As per orders, under the overall cavalry leadership of Col. Mike Church, and the squadron leadership of our own Lt. Colonel Doutt, the 2nd.US Co. A deployed at Gettysburg Pa. 5-8 July, to again defend our Northern soil for the 155th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, held this year at the Redding farm site. Our first squadron consisted of Co. A, Co. H, elements of the 11th and 17th Pa., and the 5th Illinois. Lt. Colonel Bob Vance had the second squadron of the 6th Ohio, 11th Ohio, and 7th Michigan companies. As a tactical surprise element to increase our hammering capabilities, a third squad was developed under brevet Captain Norm Hoerer. We were accompanied throughout with our own horse drawn battery the 1st. Tennessee, commanded by Capt. Steve Cameron. Suffice to say our numbers were impressive, and the reb numbers as well. On the field, Col. Church’s command staff included our own guidon, Trooper Amos, and a full compliment of buglers, totaling seven altogether with the Federal Cavalry, who were both impressive and entertaining. Bugle calls were the watchword for the event. With our gun, our extra squad, excellent leadership, and our dismounts, we were a force to be reckoned with and we hammered continuously as the rebs readily admitted. A hat tip to Major Scott Romine (XO on horseback) who, along with the 3rd Pa commander Tony Polanski, directed the dismounts who were active, aggressive and hustled all over the field all weekend, bravo.
Friday morning began early with our circuitous ride, around the event site, roughly 3 miles, to arrive on the field to open the battle dismounted as Buford’s cavalry. Complete with our gun and galvanized rebs, it was an impressive column. Some light rain accompanied our march, but it remained dry throughout the rest of the event. The temps actually cooled comfortably and the nights were great for sleeping. There was a second battle in the afternoon, the Hunterstown scenario. Saturday’s action began with us galvanizing to grey, as we helped portray the arrival of Stuart’s cavalry. It was then a quick switcharoo back to blue and game on. A fast moving tactical that with our firepower and aggressiveness, the rebs did admit we really took it to them. Sunday morning finished with the east cavalry field scenario, followed by a pass in review and a very efficient bug out before Pickets charge. So an active schedule with plenty to do and still time to relax and enjoy camaraderie and camp life as well. Camps were in a new location. The horses were shaded in the woods, and we were drawn up tightly beside them. The camps were a bit close, but I believe it added to the fellowship and family atmosphere we exhibit. All amenities were close by and accessible. USV staff also aided in camp logistics. Equipment and horses were shuttled into and out of camp efficiently. Overall the GAC did a good job. But it was the work and cooperation of our fellow troopers that made all the difference.
Mentioned in dispatches: First of all, as we know, an army marches on its stomach. It is fair to say, we could march a long, long way with team Happy on the job. Hank with assistance by Teresa Barth (now an official unit member) did an outstanding job as usual. Our meals where delicious, plentiful and timely. Everything and anything needed in camp was provided for. Three cheers. The fare also included Pulig Pies, which seem to magically appear whenever we’re near Gettysburg. Next is our own Lt. Colonel Charlie Doutt. With his on field leadership and experience, and as our consigliore, he spent hours and days of behind the scenes planning and work. Thank you Charles. To our many guests in camp, including Captain Norm Hoerer, Lauren and Perry and Robbie Gallagher from the 11th. To Captain Blake Sponsel, of the 5th Illinois cavalry: a great group of guys that Charlie and Barry met out west last year. Great to have them with us, they really fit the mold of the 2nd. Also, our outstanding troopers, including Trooper Sopko, solid as ever, Trooper Franky carrying the bugle and her new mount, Eagle really coming along. We also welcome Trooper Mike Scholl back to the ranks.
Our gallant NCOs. Sgt. Barry Kruise, always on the job. Cpl. Moloney, invaluable, also acting as our camp provost and attending to multiple details. And Cpl. Thomas, stepping up to his new position very well. It was also reported that members of the 7th Michigan and 11th Ohio traveled multiple days from Nevada and Wyoming to be there, dedication. In conclusion, all these factors combined with positive waves, equaled a very successful event. The FCA really contains some good elements, it’s a brotherhood. And it’s proved, working together, it can accomplish anything.