Needless to say, I was scared that I wouldn’t be allowed to participate in the reenactment. However, the registrar was very accommodating, and since one of our men that had preregistered wasn’t there, I used his name.
I was issued a round wooden coin – just a little bit bigger than a quarter – that said “150th Gettysburg, June 2013, Blue Gray Alliance” on one side and “Jack’s Powder Keg” on the back. We were supposed to carry this wooden coin on our person at all times and show it to event personnel as proof that we had registered for the weekend.
Well, once we all were registered, we moved to our vehicles and started to get into our uniforms. Very few women were present, so we were able to dress without embarrassing any ladies.
Our vans moved out in unison into the main road and proceeded to the main entrance. It didn’t take but a few minutes until we were through the front gate and parked within a few rows of each other, very close to the main entrance.
Donning our haversacks, cartridge boxes, belts with bayonets and cap boxes, canteens, and our Knapsacks (which are really twofold backpacks); we hoisted our muskets and started our trek to find our unit – the Red River Battalion.
We were told to follow the gravel road we had come in on for about a mile, and we would find our unit sequestered in a wooded area. Well, off we went.
I had been puny ever since reenacting the Battle of New Orleans in January at Chalmette, Louisiana. I had been trying to regain my strength by jogging, but hadn’t attained the level of stamina that I enjoyed in 2012. Anyway, Joe and I led the way.
We came to the base of a very steep hill, one I remembered from 1998 when we reenacted the 135th Gettysburg on this farm. We asked if General King’s Red River Battalion was up at the top of the hill. Unfortunately, we were told it was.
I was already tired after being housed in a van for 18 hours with little sleep, and being an old codger, I was hoping I could make it up this hill.