150th Gettysburg Sojourn, part 8

Civil War reenactors at reveille

28June2013 – 0630 hours

One of things you hate the most at a reenactment is reveille. I believe every unit has a bugler that tries to blow the loudest horn in the whole Confederate Army to wake you.

We must have heard at least 6 different buglers blow reveille. We yelled at them to shut up and that we were up…but it does no good.

I piled out of the blanket roll and reached for my breakfast, which consisted of a soft tortilla and some beef jerky. I drank about half a canteen of water and headed for the water tank to refill my canteen and to make use of the portable toilets.  Once back, I checked to make sure I had my cartridge box full and had some spares in my haversack.  I drank some more water and headed back to the water tank to refill my canteen. I always hydrate each morning before a battle, especially if it is going to be hot and humid.

When I got back the First Sergeant yelled ‘first call’, which means we all got “cootered up,” which means we donned all of our accoutrements. This consisted of a haversack, cartridge box, belt with bayonet and cap box – and last but not least – a full canteen.  We were then called to get into line.  We adjusted according to height and put in two ranks with the taller men at the head of the column.

Civil War Enfield muskets stacked

Stacked arms

After waiting about 30 minutes, we had an inspection of our muskets. Everyone’s musket passed inspection. We were ready to go, but the war wasn’t ready to start. So, we stacked arms and sat around for another 20 minutes. Finally we got back into line and marched out.

Confederate reenactors on the march

POV in the ranks marching through Union camps to the battlefield

Civil War Union reenactors

Yankee soldiers gave us a few cat-calls as we marched through their camps

We curled back into the woods and joined another 5 battalions and began a march toward the Union camps. We had to travel through their camps to get to the place where we were to start the battle.  It was a little weird as we marched four abreast on a narrow lane with ranks of Yanks on both sides of the lane. We had some good-natured cat-calls between us, and one Union Band played Dixie as we marched by. We all doffed our hats to them as we passed. We really appreciated the gesture.

We finally got through the Union Camps and turned down a rocky lane that headed off the steep ridge line we had been traversing toward the battle site.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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