150th Gettysburg Sojourn, part 14

Gettysburg camp site of 3rd Arkansas, Red River Battalion

I woke up during the night to shift positions from one side to the other. This always produces a pair of sore hips.

Toward morning, just before sunrise, I decided to change clothes. Randy and Joe were still asleep. So I dug out a pair of underwear, new socks, new moleskin pads for my heels and a new shirt. I changed under my gum blanket and felt much better. I might not have smelled any better, but I felt better having the clean clothes next to my skin.

We were supposed to have 8:00AM reveille and not have an engagement until 12:30PM, but guess what; those buglers were at it again at 6:00AM. All of us wanted to throttle them.

Well, I had a lot to do; so I got up, ate some jerky and a tortilla, and went to work. First, I cleaned my musket. I have a special cleaning attachment that fits on my ramrod. It holds a barrel bore brush, and it will really get black powder loosened up. I always have a few pards that want to use it. So I keep it out for a while before I put it back in the carrying bag.

Next, I restocked my cartridge box and cleaned my bayonet with steel wool to get rid of any rust.

Then, I drank almost a canteen of water and went to the water tank to refill my canteen. After that, I drank more water and had to visit the portable toilets about two times and replenish my canteen again.

Lastly, I packed up my knapsack with my gum blankets and had it ready to go. We were going to march down the hill for the last time and operate from a new base for the rest of the reenactment. I was so looking forward to not having to trudge up that hill again.

I was still tired most of the time and didn’t have the stamina I had back in the latter part of 2012, but I was making it okay.

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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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