Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gettysburg National Reenactment Command Post from General Allen Baldwin

To my brother and sisters in arms,

January is all but a memory and a very short memory at that. My staff, General Gesuero's staff and the GAC team have been very hard at work to bring you the event we have promised, an event by Reenactors for Reenactors. If you drive by the site on Table Rock Rd. you will already see that the fire wood has been distributed, site work to prepare the battlefield and its crossings and services roads is well underway or completed, the clearing of brush and other prep work on the site is occurring daily. This is all in preparation for a world class event. The world will be watching. Everything is falling into place on the site, in the community and in the troops. While the Commands have been working on ensuring great scenarios and adjusting the battlefield layout of the scenarios, the entire staff has made sure that the event has received its permits from the municipalities. Not letters of intent or lists of a few more loops to close and conditions to meet - but issued permits which show the work and commitment that has been made by the whole event staff - and the confidence and respect local officials have in this organization. Let's just call it what it is, let there be no doubt that our event permitting process is complete. There is no doubt.

On the second weekend in February 8-10, my staff and General Gesuero and his staff will be holding a series of scenario planning meetings and site visits with Division and Branch Commands. The Commands will be returning to Gettysburg with their "Homework" from Remembrance Day weekend complete with their thoughts, guidance and input on the scenarios helping to script and layout the scenarios. Reenacters crafting scenarios for Reenactors. These scenarios will not just at the whim of command. Everyone present will have the opportunity to work on the scenarios as a team, step by step. Everyone all together, in one place, all together in one room, working together, every voice heard and having input. These will be historically based scenarios that you have requested and this is where it will happen, through a team effort all the way. General Gesuero and I continue to hear how happy and excited Reenactors are to have this input and to be given a chance to work on ideas etc. and bring them to the table.

Just as exciting is the weekend before when Reenactors will have a chance to camp and battle on such significantly historic ground as the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary on Saturday and Sunday - and the Village of Huntertown on Saturday evening. I live within less than a mile of the Seminary and I am personally excited to have this opportunity. I was not able to participate in the event at the Seminary last year during the 150th Kick-off event, due to taking responsibility for coordination of the battle at the Seminary and the battle on Baltimore St. To me it was more extremely important to make something like this happen once in a lifetime for my brothers and sisters in arms. Now to have our hard work pay off once again. To be on first days ground again is all worth it to help create this lifetime moment of Respect, Honor and Loyalty. Inquiries for both military and living history participation should be directed to Kirk Davis, alhes1776@yahoo.com 717-338-1776. Artillery and Cavalry, please contact me directly at bigredgbg@comcast.net.

Due to the hard work, dedication and determination, the 150th Gettysburg Anniversary National Civil War Battle Reenactment will be an event we will all remember and be proud of. You have my word, and commitment as the overall and Federal Commander that the military staffs and event staffs are committed to making this an exciting, organized, responsible and memorable event. As we look anxiously to July, think about 120 cannons belching smoke and fire during Pickett's Charge, and standing at the Seminary ready for battle on the Saturday before the event- and remember these words " Forward, ForGod's Sake Forward".

Your Obedient Servant,
Allen W. Baldwin
Major General Commanding
Federal Forces, 150th Gettysburg

120 Full Size Cannons Registered For 150th Gettysburg National Reenactment

There will be plenty of artillery at the 150th Gettysburg National Reenactment on July 4, 5, 6, and 7. During the cannonade that began at 1PM on July 3, 1863, preceding Pickett's Charge infantry assault, there were approximately 150 Confederate cannons and 80 Federal cannons in the center that engaged in this massive artillery duel. There were about 300 cannons overall on the hills about equally divided. Tons of ammunition was expended and it was reported the effect of the cannonade could be heard in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. This summer more than 50% of that center artillery number will be on the battlefield at the 150th Gettysburg National Reenactment for the re-creation of Pickett's Charge on July 7. Artillery will play a significant role in the scenarios the preceding three days as well. The big guns will also be featured during various commemorations and salutes each day, including honoring and recognizing Gettysburg 100th Anniversary participants. As an added dimension are number of horse drawn artillery units our registered that will provide a unique visual for Reenactors and visitors. This will be the most full size artillery ever assembled at one reenactment.

Early Registration Extended to February 15th! for 150th Gettysburg

As the end of January approaches, there are close to 6,000 Reenactors registered for the 150th Gettysburg National Reenactment. Be advised it may take several weeks for your name to be entered into the database as this is only one of the tasks our reenactment administrative staff is performing. A reminder that early registration was extended to February 15. The cost of early registration is $25.00 with $5.00 of every Reenactor registration fee being donated to five local preservations and beneficiaries. The donation presentations will be made on the field at the event. On February 16 the registration fee goes to $35 until April 1. For an event of this size, planning, resources and logistics, for the large number of military Reenactors, living history Reenactors, dependents and cavalry, is critical to provide responsible operations and service. Please help us serve you by registering early and urge your pards to do the same!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Birney's officer commands post-Gettysburg event

I wanted to give you all a heads up on a new event that I have decided to assist with this year. The Battle of Williamsport was the last act of the Gettysburg Campaign for the ANV and AoP. There is much support for this from the locals and the NPS and appears to have a lot of perks connected with it. Proceeds are going to a very worthy case and I believe we can all have a lot of fun with this as well as doing a great job in interpretation for this very important final to the Gettysburg Campaign.

I have taken on the Federal overall command for the event to be held at Williamsport, MD July 13th-15th and believe we can do an effect job of portraying the history of this pivotal event in history. And have a great time doing it! The amenities and perks are very attractive here. A meal Saturday night as well as a period barn dance. Running water sinks and showers (well concealed in a very period looking building) pool time, and a busy but interesting schedule.

We will be hashing out the final details for the event but below is a schedule of what is planned. Give this due consideration, something new for all of us. I visited this event last year as an observer and saw a lot of potential.

Here's a quick schedule of reenactor events. Friday from noon until ? units sign in and set up camp w/ no activities planned. Saturday: Camps open at 9 and speakers begin at 10. The first fight is scheduled to start at 11ish and will be the right flank portion of the Battle of Williamsport July 6th 1863 involving the 21st VA and the Wagoner's/Company Q that saved Williamsport. For the rest of the day I would like to offer different types of demonstrations at Springfield farm i.e. inf/cav/art/camp cooking/etc. Living histories. There will be an appreciation dinner for the reenactors and helpers at 5 PM. We're tossing around the idea of doing an evening fight at 7 o'clock but that's still in the air and then there's a barn dance at 8:30 (this was a blast last year) on Sunday we'd like to do a period church service along w/ the community churches sometime around 9. At 10 the NPS does an interpretive march down the C and O Canal to the Falling Waters crossing site. This is a nice walk but after you do it once you've normally gotten your fill. This is where the NPS works with us because they give us a little $ and a little advertising but the town is always working with the C and O Canal so this year I don't have much of a choice. The NPS REALLY wants soldiers to march along with the visitors and then they want to put on some kind of a "skit" when the visitors reach the point they want about a dozen CSA to be running towards the river while a couple Union soldiers are firing shots at them from a distance. I think it's somewhat lame but this is what they want. My answer to that request has always been that I'll try to get volunteers to participate but I can never guarantee their involvement. Troy thinks we can get some guys to do the March for the skit but the NPS promises that as soon as they do their skit they'll be on the first bus to get them back to Williamsport for the last reenactment that will be at 2 on Sunday afternoon. My goal is to have the event complete no later than 4 PM. So, the boys can fight it out for a bit, come back and chill a bit, and then pack it up and go home. I hope that this doesn't sound to intense but hopefully it will be a lot of fun for the reenactors, our guests, and US!

The CSA forces at Williamsport consists of 3rd and 10th ANV, Troy Fallon and Tony Morgan the former and the latter. A decent size force for this event.

Also, there are bounties!

$100 for any company fielding 20 armed infantry

$150 for every company of 6 armed and mounted Cavalry

$150 for every staffed full scale piece of Artillery (FYI we already have 2 if not 4 full scale pieces coming from the Artillery Reserve) but we always could use more.  

Again, I see this as a very unique opportunity to do something a little different and hope that you will give this due consideration. Registration information is on the Schedule page at www.birneysdivision.org.  

D. Rohrbaugh, Colonel, Commanding
1st Battalion, Birney's Division

Background on the 150th Gettysburg planning

Planning for the 150th Gettysburg has been going on in our community for over a year. Community organizations like the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Gettysburg/Adams Chamber of Commerce, The Gettysburg Foundation, The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee, and local institutions like Gettysburg College and The Lutheran Seminary, and government agencies like the National Park Service, Gettysburg Borough, Cumberland Township and Adams County have come together and have been meeting on a monthly basis for over a year to insure a coordinated and quality experience for everyone. The 150th Gettysburg has been called by some Gettysburg’s Olympic Moment. This collaboration led to the 150th Gettysburg Kick-Off last April where for the first time ever, there was living history and an actual skirmish at The Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary and fighting on Baltimore Street in downtown Gettysburg. Three other communities, Chambersburg, Greencastle and Fairfield, all with their own rich civil war heritage, also participated with events. The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee and its staff led the way in making all that happen and supplied the volunteer planning, leadership and resources as a proud and committed community members. This is just one example where it has been necessary to not only plan for the reenactment, but to also plan for the multitude of other events that have been announced and scheduled. The eyes of the world will be on Gettysburg next year. As members of the community we are attempting to meet that challenge in an organized and responsible manner.
Jim Fox, our Director of Planning and Command Center Supervisor for the past 18 years, was formerly the Emergency Management Director for the Adams County and is currently on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Response and Recovery Team. He has been meeting with the municipalities, Gettysburg Hospital, Adams County officials, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA and the Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Services Federation to coordinate event planning efforts. When he is not giving commands on the field, General Allen Baldwin is the Director for Emergency Response for the Pennsylvania Turnpike. He is also Gettysburg Fire Chief and President of the Adams County Fire Chiefs Association. General Brian Gesuero is a professional emergency responder at BWI Airport with an extensive background in large event and emergency operations and management. For 18 years The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee prides itself as having one of the best living history areas of any reenactment in the country. Living History coordinator Kirk Davis has been there all 18 of these years making it happen. The living history area just gets better every year. The Deputy Director of Operations for the past 18 years is Gettysburg native Timon Linn. Tim has been the Chief of Police and Security for Gettysburg College, Elon University and is currently in the same position at St. Johns College in Annapolis. The Director of Operations/Incident Commander for the past 18 years is Randy Phiel. Randy is a 30 year veteran retired U.S. Law Enforcement Ranger for the NPS with an extensive background in event operations, emergency services, wildfire suppression, homeland security, dignitary protection and incident command. The York County Wildland Firefighting crew has been with us for at least 16 years. They arrive before the first reenactor sets foot on the property and do not leave until Monday morning. Many of the crew are also EMT’s and paramedics. One of the crew is an emergency room trauma physician who was extremely valuable after the lightning strike during the 148TH Reenactment. The extensive EMS staff are professionals from both the Gettysburg and Hanover areas who come back year after year offering a wealth of specific event experience. Our long-time office Administrator, Joanne Sease, is very dedicated and experienced when handling either reenactor, visitor, community or media matters. Media Coordinator Andrea DiMartino is another community member who has been part of the organization for all 18 years.
Site preparation for the 150th Gettysburg National event at the Redding and Entwistle Farms began even before this past year’s 149TH event. Some of the tasks include crop rotation compatible for a large event, repair and building of additional bridges, upgrading of roads, placing of additional firewood in appropriate locations, meeting with additional landowners, increasing the size of the CSA Camp, improving the CSA shuttle road, improving entrances and exits, and meeting with local, state and federal officials to insure good planning, compliance, safety, comfort and excellent logistics. We also have on site our own on-site Command Center and Radio Communications system approved by the Federal Communications Commission. There will be three fully staffed 24/7 EMS areas with immediate response capability. There will be one in each camp and one in the visitor area. We should mention that we are also blessed with wonderful and cooperative landowner partners who bring many needed resources to the table.
As an organization we learned one thing very early in our history. When you organize a reenactment there are three very, very critical constituencies. They are the Reenactors, the Visitors and the Community. Too often one or more is neglected. It is consistently our goal to equally and responsibly serve all three. There is a reason that very few groups organize large reenactments. It is normally difficult, it takes experience and it is risky. As the Gettysburg Reenactment organization we continue to consistently learn and improve every year. That is good for the Reenactors, The Visitors and the Community. It also enables us to walk down the street every Monday morning, when the event has concluded, and hold our heads high.
We look forward to and welcome your participation in the 150th Gettysburg Anniversary National Civil War Battle Reenactment and Commemoration on July 4, 5, 6 and 7, 2013. This may be one of the final opportunities for the reenactment community, our community and our nation to come together to experience a milestone in reenacting this iconic and pivotal battle that took place July 1863.
Respectfully,
The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee

First deadline for Gettysburg 150th registration February 15th

The first benchmark registration deadline for the 150th Gettysburg reenactment is coming up on February 15th. All units should take advantage of this deadline.

Birney's Division will be attending the 150th Gettysburg Anniversary National Civil War Battle Reenactment on July 4-7, 2013. This event is organized by the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee (organizers of the anniversary reenactments since 1995) in conjunction with such organizations as the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau and the National Park Service.

For details and registration, go to: http://www.gettysburgreenactment.com

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gettysburg

All,

I know its only January, but we are starting to compile numbers for Gettysburg. Please let your respective Battalion Adjutants know your numbers intending on attending. Send them the # of officers, enlisted, and civilians. Its never to early to start planning for a major level event. Any questions let me know at ltmurph54th@yahoo.com .


Respectfully,

CPT M. Murphy
Adjutant, Birney's Division