Monday, August 27, 2018

Message From the Commanding General Emeritus

Birney’s Division:

The Passing of the Generals Flag

on Sunday August 12, 2018 Birney’s Division underwent a change in overall command. Brig. Gen. Michael D. Maffei one of the founding members of Birney’s Division has stepped down from command to answer the call from President Lincoln to report to Washington City, bringing his years of experience there to assist in the war effort.
Before relinquishing command I announced and congratulated my replacement, Brig. Gen. Paul D. Baltzer. A long time confidant and close friend to me for many years. As I stated “it is time and only fair that Gen. Baltzer after many years of loyal and dedicated work for Birney’s Division be named as my replacement.”

Birney’s Division has been extremely fortunate over the years to have been associated with so many wonderful and dedicated people in our hobby. Not forgetting with a reverent respect those hugely important figures, which have now passed Major Gen. Ed Kelley, Major Gen. Ron Palese and others who have shaped and formed our hobby.

Gen Baltzer is the next step in the evolution of our division and I wish him and Birney’s Division the very best. Birney’s Division has formed an excellent staff of officers who are well versed and present a very proper impression as well as being capable of handling any situation brought to them on or off the field. Our troops are battle trained and represent an outstanding impression as a hard fighting battle force on any field, led by our seasoned commanders and NCO’s. Birney’s Division’s continued association with the Army of the Potomac (AoP) under Major Gen. Brian Withrow and his very capable staff has been very favorable for us over the years and we hope to continue that relationship.
It has been an experience and honor beyond words, belonging to Birney’s Division and forming friendships with so many wonderful people. In the future I hope to continue to maintain those friendships and support the Division in any way I can.

Brig. Gen. Emeritus
Michael D. Maffei

P.S. Not to take away from the importance and sincerity from the above letter, I would like to take a moment to explain what in addition to the change of command did occur on that Sunday. Yes, on Sunday August 12, 2018. I did unfortunately suffer a medical issue during the ceremony. I was transported to the hospital and tests did confirm, I suffered a mild stroke. There seems to be no permanent damage only some dizziness and unsteadiness as I walk. The Neurologists tell me it will pass in time. My sudden illness on the field took away from the importance of the moment and for that I am truly sorry. I hope you will congratulate Gen. Baltzer on his promotion and follow his command as you have done mine in the past. I had prepared a fine speech for that ceremony, however due to circumstances was unable to deliver it.

I would at this time like to say to my staff and so many of my friends who have sent messages and phone calls, thank you for your concern, I so much appreciate you taking the time to contact me and inquire about my health and needs. Once fully recovered I hope to see you all on the field again in the future. “Once a reenactor, always a reenactor.”