Our unit’s First Sergeant was designated the battalion guide with his position being at the end of our battalion’s left for the entire reenactment weekend. Our company was to the left of the colors (flag), so we always tried to keep a straight line between the colors to our right and the battalion guide to our left. It is a tough job to accomplish. When you have about 150 men in one long row, two deep, shoulder to shoulder, you are constantly adjusting left and right.
Anyway, our battalion halted and began to fire volleys by companies. It was amazing how all our company’s volleys sounded as if one musket was going off. When that happens, you know you have a veteran unit.
Some of our young soldiers weren’t out of their teens yet, but had participated in large events throughout the country, including previous Gettysburg events. So they were considered veterans and were equal to us older guys. We did not haze or talk down to them. They were pards.
The sun was up and it was hot and humid again. We pushed the Yanks, and they pushed back. At one point we had to cross a deep muddy ditch to get at them. They pushed us back across the ditch. Their whole unit moved off in another direction and we found another Yankee bunch to attack. Ultimately we flanked them on one side. Another of our units flanked them on the other side. And the last of our units hit them in the front. They surrendered. This was indicative of the first days fighting to the west and north of the town of Gettysburg. The Confederates flanked the Union Corps and they fled back through the town of Gettysburg and took positions on Culp’s Hill.
After the battle, we were allowed to either go back to camp or go to the sutlers.
Joe, Josh, Randy and I decided to go to the sutlers. I wanted something good to eat.
We hiked about ¾ of mile in all our gear to the sutlers. I was looking for some kind of greasy hamburger or hot dog and some greasy French Fries. I settled for a hot dog and fries. My captain had asked a doctor what kind of food to eat when at a reenactment, and he was told “anything greasy.” My wife, who is a jogger, had been told to eat the same thing when exercising in very hot conditions. All four of us chowed down on what we normally aren’t supposed to eat. It was delicious.