PDA

View Full Version : Battle at Cross Keys



JoeBordonaro
06-05-2006, 07:38 PM
Friends,
Here is a short account of the recent reenactment of a portion of the Battle of Cross Keys. The federal reenactors were portraying the 8th New York Volunteer Infantry:
June 3
We fought at a little town called Cross Keys this morning. We marched over a hill in Line of Battle and the rebs were right over the crest, waiting for us behind a stone wall. They were no more than 50 yards away. We did not even have time to raise our muskets to our shoulders before their first volley shattered our ranks. I was in the second rank and had time to fire, but after I fired I saw other men running and I am ashamed to say that I tried to do the same. A file closer grabbed me by the arm and spun me around and pushed me back in line. I tried to load my rifle but as I was reaching back for a cartridge I felt what seemed like a heavy blow to my chest and fell to the ground, stunned. As I lay there I heard that d**n rebel yell and heard the footsteps of the reb skirmishers as they strode by me. As I began to lose consciousness I thought that "if only we had skirmishers out in front of our line we wouldn't have been slaughtered"....And then I knew no more.
I think someone was filming this reenactment. If so, I'd love to see our line of battle come over the hill and see that stone wall. When they sounded the recall those of us who had taken hits got up, and there were a lot of us, so it probably looked pretty realistic. The next day's battle, a recreation of a portion of the Battle of Port Republic was much longer, so don't be too critical of the short length of this reenactment. As they say, more to come.
-Joe Bordonaro

tompritchett
06-05-2006, 08:03 PM
Actually it was just a fence where I was. You all actually caught us quite by surprise as most of us were resting when we got the command to rise up. We just barely got time to get our first volley off as your bodies became exposed.

Heard you-all got lost that afternoon marching to your next position.

flattop32355
06-05-2006, 08:59 PM
Heard you-all got lost that afternoon marching to your next position.

We had quite a time on that march. Two wrong turns, some countermarching, the uncertainty of what was going on or where we were, frustration at not accomplishing what we set out to do. A very accurate portrayal of life in the Union army in The Valley during 1862. In all, we marched about 5 miles total.

Our greatest thanks to the loyal family who provided us with lemonade and cookies along our march. They are true patriots. I hope they do not suffer at the hands of their misguided neighbors for their kindness to us.

54thovi
06-05-2006, 09:44 PM
That action was short and deadly, I too was in the 2nd rank and ran as soon as retreat was sounded. Seems that the bovines were told to retreat as well and the Federals and cows retreated together.

I do recall reading somewhere that at some battles the local wildlife and animals would bolt in front of the advancing army run toward the other side.

John Feagin

bill watson
06-05-2006, 09:58 PM
Actually it was just a fence where I was. You all actually caught us quite by surprise as most of us were resting when we got the command to rise up. We just barely got time to get our first volley off as your bodies became exposed.



Well now -- we used the bugle and we were less than 100 yards away when we started. If you folks didn't hear the bugle, I think we have another instance of "acoustic shadow" to add to the lore.

Wild Rover
06-05-2006, 10:03 PM
To be honest, I didn't even hear it, though I was listening for it...

FWL
06-05-2006, 10:08 PM
Well now -- we used the bugle and we were less than 100 yards away when we started. If you folks didn't hear the bugle, I think we have another instance of "acoustic shadow" to add to the lore.


Actually I did hear the bugle but it was so faint.Sounded like you were a mile away. By the time you go there I was taking a nap underneath the fence, only got off 3 rounds. But you boys looked good. Your left flank took an excellent hit. No kevlar Yanks in that group. Good job.

Frank Lilley
formerly 1st Maryland, CSA

redpatch
06-05-2006, 11:35 PM
My company was just to the left of the color company. We lost 3 killed and 6 wounded. This was in proportion to the casualties suffered by the 8th.

We really wanted to do a good job to honor these guys. We worked out casualties ahead of time and I believe some of the other companies did so as well. Hope we did a good job.

I was surprised to see how close we were to the Confederate position before we knew you were there. Haunting.

I heard that to the Confederates, it appeared that we just "melted away".

Rob Galbraith
63rd Pa., Co.C.

Chuck A Luck
06-07-2006, 09:23 AM
Well now -- we used the bugle and we were less than 100 yards away when we started. If you folks didn't hear the bugle, I think we have another instance of "acoustic shadow" to add to the lore.

I recall hearing that bugle as I lay behind the brush-shrouded fence. I figured it was a yank bugle, but was not sure. We had no order to rise - yet - so we lay on. When the order to "Rise! & Fire!" did come, by golly we did!

Co. A, 1st Maryland