Friday, November 23, 2018

Division Retirement Presentation to Maj Gen Mike Maffei

As many of you already know, our Commanding Officer, Brigadier General Michael Maffei retired at the end of this season and we held a formal Change of Command at Hale Farm where he relinquished command of Birney's Division to Brigadier General Paul Baltzer. This past weekend in Gettysburg, we were able to honor General Maffei with some presentations including a formal promotion to Major General and culminating in the presentation of a shadowbox containing his General's flag and his promotion citation/shoulder boards. This presentation was made possible because of the generous donations made by the men and women of Birney's Division. On behalf of The entire Birney's command, Gen Baltzer would like to thank each and every one of you for you generosity as well as the important contribution each of you make to this division to keep us the classiest and most honorable organization in reenacting today. THANK YOU!!!

Additionally, General Maffei has asked us to pass on the following message to the division:
Message from the General: 11/20/18

This message is to thank all the members from Birney’s Division for allowing me the honor and privilege of being your Commanding Officer for so many years. It became official last Saturday at the completion of the annual Remembrance Day Parade, as I turned over command to Brig. Gen. Paul Baltzer, I am retired.

It was time for me to step aside and give another very deserving officer the opportunity to command our outstanding organization. I have been extremely fortunate to have made so many wonderful friends and to work with our former commander and co-founder the late Maj. Gen. Ed Kelley and all our staff.

Saturday evening the staff our ladies and I attended a dinner with the officers of the Army of the Potomac, something we have done for many years. This year was somewhat of a different experience for me with the recognition and thanks I received from all who attended. Gen Baltzer stood and gave a brief rundown of my reenacting career and the co-founding of Birney’s Division to all those in attendance. Then a large framed object was carried onto the floor, I was almost at a loss for words when I was awarded my Generals Flag encased in glass and a promotion presented by Maj. Gen. Withrow, our staff and the members of Birney’s Division to that of a Major General.

I received several additional handmade awards from our staff and Gen. Withrow. However what brought me almost to tears was when Col Bouwhuis informed me that the flag and Maj. Gen. awards were paid for through donations form the staff and members of our division. What a complement to be recognized by my friends for a job well done.

To all I must say Thank You for your generosity, dedication to Birney’s Division and most of all your friendship. I will forever remember my wonderful retirement dinner and all the members of our organization and all the experiences we shared. I will continue to be of service to our division and Gen Baltzer in any way I can.

Major General Michael D. Maffei (retired)

Thank you again for all you do and we wish you a safe and warm winter's quarters and look forward to seeing you all soon again next Spring.
Col R. Bouwhuis
1st Battalion

Monday, November 05, 2018

Commanding General's Message to Birney's Division - November 2018


Birney’s Division

November 3, 2018

Soldiers, Civilians and Friends,

I hope that this notice finds you well and in good spirits. We are fast approaching the time to settle into winter quarters. Many of our member units have completed their scheduled events, are repairing their kits and planning for the next campaign season. However, for some of our units and those that do partake on their own to participate in the annual pilgrimage to Gettysburg for the Remembrance Day parade, I have the following information to share with you. Also, at the end of this notice a heads up on a few more items to come.

On Friday November 16th, the 150th would like to extend an invitation to a free battlefield tour with tour guide Rich Kohr. This year the subject will be the Confederate artillery July 1, 1863. The tour will begin at the Peace Light Memorial at 1:30 pm, tour begins at 2:00 pm. Be prepared to walk and dress for the weather. As is tradition, the hat for Rich will be passed at the conclusion of the tour. 


On Friday, November 16, 2018  in the lobby at the Hampton Inn Gettysburg, 1280 York Road, I would like to hold a staff meeting to include the Division and Battalion staff officers and NCO’s. The time of this meeting will begin promptly at 7:55 pm. The agenda is to plan and coordinate for the 2019 Campaign Season. If you are unable to attend please RSVP your regrets to me or your battalion adjutant.


On Saturday, November 17, 2018 there will be the Annual Remembrance Day Masonic Ceremony at the Friend to Friend Masonic Monument. The ceremony will begin promptly at 11:30 am and end no later than Noon, giving plenty of time to walk to the parade assembly area. It is open to ALL period-authentic Civil War Masonic re-enactors.

On Saturday, November 17, 2018 the members of the Division are requested to assemble behind the middle school (same as last year) no later than 12:30 pm. Your timely arrival allows enough time for the staff to organize the lines and determine the order of march. The parade will step off at 1:00 pm. We are in need to two soldiers that are capable of carrying colors during the parade. If you are willing, please let me know ASAP.

The following was published by the SUV as the parade’s order of march. This should help you find us as we assemble.

Gettysburg Remembrance Day Parade Second Division (Reenactors)
(20) 2nd Federal Rifles
(21) Mifflin Guard
(22) Vincent’s Brigade
(23) USV’s
(24) National Regiment
(25) Army of the Potomac/Birney’s Division
(26) Federal Volunteer Brigade
(27) All other orphan reenacting groups and civilians
(28) Grand Army of the Republic/ United Confederate Veteran. This group will be last in line between the 2nd Division and the Third Division

A reminder of the Army of the Potomac / Birney’s Division Staff of the dinner to be held at the Pike Restaurant, Gettysburg, PA. Social time is 5:00 -6:30 pm with dinner followed at 6:30 pm.

The Division is looking for sites near Youngstown, OH to hold our Annual Meeting. Tentatively, the General Commanding is considering a Saturday in late March, 2019, but still is TBD. So possibly March 23rd or the 30th. I don’t want to interfere with those that partake in St. Patrick’s Day and Easter is in April, so those two possible dates appear to hold minimal conflict. Also, it is early enough for those evens just weeks away to consider and the weather should be reasonable for driving (maybe).

Several years ago, Dave Strichko and I compiled a resource guide for battalion tactics. It was not designed as an absolute replacement of the period tactics such as Casey’s or Butterfields work, but only as a quick resource to unify our drill, evolutions and camp organization. I would like to again resurrect a form of this publication for the Division’s use. It would be good to do the work on this during winter quarters and presented at the Annual Meeting. For this reason, the Division will establish a committee, under the direction of the staff, to plan, compile and publish this guide. Please contact your respective battalion adjutant, if you would like to be considered for this committee.

Also, is there any interest in creating a logo for Birney’s Division that could be placed on T-shirts, sweaters and hoodies?  It could be embroidered or silk screened. It would be nice to have  traveling civilian attire to events and maybe increase interest to the Division.

I look forward to seeing all that can make the trek to Remembrance Day in just two short weeks. For me, this has always been a special event where pards, friends and family come together in good fellowship at a very special place.

Lastly, I am honored to lead you in the campaigns before us. In all behind the scenes labors you may not be aware of, I represent the Division and its interests with you in mind.  My staff and I will make every effort, within our realm of influence, to make the events we attend as positive and enjoyable as possible. My challenge will be to make a positive impact beyond and after the exemplary tenure of my mentor General Maffei. He’s a tough act to follow!

Respectfully yours,

Paul D. Baltzer,

Brig. Gen. Commanding

Birney’s Division