This weekend, the United States Volunteers officially voted to make the BGA event our Maximum effort.
The 3rd USV has been working with the Federal command to finalize our impressions for that weekend. Here are what we are planning.
1) McPhearson's Ridge: 56th PA. This regiment is credited as having fired the first infantry volley of the battle. We've had an exact copy of the "camp colors" reproduced that they carried in the place of their national colors that day. 1st Corps, 1st Division.
2) The Wheatfield: Kelly's Irish Brigade. We are making an all out call for those who wish to join us for this special portrayal. The bulk of the forces will portray the 28th Mass. We plan to have at least two companies portray the 116th PA, and another two portray the 69th/88th/and 63rd NY combined. We will be executing the EXACT maneuvers that were done on July 2nd. This will be the closest portrayal of the Irish Brigade at Gettysburg that anyone has ever done. They started out where the PA monument is now located in three parallel lines by battalion facing west. Marched off by the left flank to the south. Deployed the brigade on line, which inverted the normal OOB. The 28th Mass had its wings inverted so that the colors were on the left of the battalion. Hearing the fighting going on in their rear, the brigade had to face by the rear rank. Then, change front forward to be parallel to the wheat field. They then charged up and over the rocky knoll and down into the field- with the whole brigade inverted and fighting faced by the rear rank. We will do this. 2nd Corps, 1st Division
3) Pickett's Charge: The 14th Connecticut. This regiment was positioned on the wall to the right of the 71st PA. We will have descendants from the original 14th with us for this portrayal, as well as inviting every "nut megger" in the hobby to join us for this special occasion. About 1/2 of the regiment carried Sharp's Rifles. If there are any Berdan's impressions who own a standard blue uniform and would like to be "on the wall" for this event, you are welcome to participate. There will be other special surprises that will only be formally announced when we enter the field. 2nd Corps, 3rd Division.
The best thing about all these impressions is that they are all fairly generic. We have all the appropriate colors for these units. The NY regiments of the Irish Brigade were wearing a smattering of New York jackets on this campaign. However, most Federal regiments were wearing the same uniforms they wore since Chancellorsville. And, they were VERY distressed. Records show that the QMD was sending riders back to Frederick to bring up wagon loads of shoes for the Federals who were crossing the PA border. Dusty, dirty and beat up.
Default impression: Sack coat, sky blue trousers, forage cap. Standard everything else. Frocks are OK. NY shell jackets for NY portrayals only. VERY few slouch hats appeared on any of these regiments, except for the 63rd NY. 7-rivet scabbards, cloth canteen slings, brass belt keepers, are all found in abundance in original Gettysburg relic collections. These are just fine to wear.
If one or any of the impressions peak your interest, please feel free to contact me. I am NOT looking for men to fill out my battalion, simply offering opportunities for individuals and units who might have a more-than-average interest in portraying some of these particular units. You can join us for the weekend or just for one scenario. Our civilians will be camping separate from the military troops if that has any bearing on your decision to participate with us.
You may contact me at my home e-mail.