150th Gettysburg Sojourn, Part 26

Union soldiers firing line

Union line fires a volley

On the return trip, we all felt as light as a feather knowing that we didn’t have to tote our packs around all day.

As soon as we got back to camp, we got all our accoutrements on that we would wear for the battle scenarios on the last day of the reenactment.

I can truthfully say we all felt like we had been there a week instead of just 2 ½ days and 3 nights. It was with a sense of relief that we knew all we had to do was just make it through this day and we would had stayed the course and kept the faith to our ancestors. With this realization we were giddy, joking a lot, and giving our hung-over compatriot a little grief.

At about 8:15am, we were given First Call. Those who hadn’t put on their equipment ‘cootered up, and we all fell into line. Since we were to assault the Yanks on the hill behind us again, we didn’t have far to go. This was going to be a scenario to signify the last of the fighting on Culp’s Hill, which took place on the morning of Pickett’s Charge – July 3, 1863.

We advanced toward the wood line in front of us in battalion formation, three companies abreast; climbed over the thigh high rock wall; reformed on the other side; and advanced up the hill. The Yanks were ready for us. Their fife and drum corps began playing, and their color bearer was waving the Stars and Stripes. It looked as if their numbers had grown some as they began to volley into us.

We were halted and fired by companies with the Second Company firing first, then the First Company and then us. We raised the Rebel Yell, and in the enclosure of the woods, it seemed to reverberate and overshadow the Yanks’ fife and drums.

We were ordered to advance and load as we marched. We went about 25 yards, stopped again, volleyed and advanced again. The Yanks volleyed, and our men started to go down all along the line.

Our men pulled back, reformed and advanced again, but the Union’s firepower was too great. We retreated back down the hill. The fight for Culp’s Hill was over.

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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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