I beg to report on operations for the 44th
Georgia Company C this past weekend.
Winter camp having broken and all leaves cancelled, the unit converged at the Masonic Lodge in Washington, NJ for a camp of instruction and the launch of this year’s campaign. Eleven rifles and two officers reported for duty. In addition to Capt. VanBuskirk and Lt. Mallette, non-commissioned officers and privates included: Sgt. R. Sasor, Sgt. K. Doran, Cpl. D. McLean, Cpl. K. Haywood, Cpl. W. Rengel, Pvt. C. R. VanBuskirk, Pvt. D. Bond, Pvt. D. Kimball, Pvt. B. Lanza, Pvt. T. Farrell, Pvt. A. Lolli, Pvt. B. O’Brien, and Yours Truly.
An officers’ meeting started promptly at half past eight o’clock and soon after roll call, Cpl. Haywood led the unit through its first exercise in the School of the Soldier – digging a fire pit. Pvt. Bond was volunteered to demonstrate and deftly excavated a regulation pit with sod uniformly positioned about the perimeter. A respectable fire was started soon after.
The next exercise drew considerable attention if not great concern of all who watched. Cpl Rengel instructed the unit in the assembly of the table for the company fly. Each piece of the table was properly marked for where it belonged, yet after multiple assembly, disassembly and reassembly, the table never managed to stand safely upright. After a bit of study, someone came up with the idea of re-positioning the table 180 degrees so a marked arrow on the table’s underneath with the inscription “Captain’s Fly this way,” actually pointed to the Captain’s fly. That prompted an all-hands call to strike the current structure and rebuild it in the new direction. The troops dove into the effort and in no time the table was standing straight and true (with only a few leftover parts). This prompted the question, ‘How many Confederates does it take to build a table?’ The answer, as it relates to the 44th Georgia, is all of them.
Cpl. McLean then led the unit in the next School of the Soldier session on how to build the company shebang. This did not involve as many members of the unit as some needed a few moments to recover themselves from the table-building calamity. Despite several tries at repositioning the tent stakes, the shebang was raised without incident.
Following a most generous lunch from the Mason Lodge, Pvt. Farrell, assisted by Pvt. Bond, demonstrated the steps to firing the company cannon and mortar, always a favorite of visitors to camp.
arching and repetitions of the manual of arms consumed most of the afternoon followed by instruction in musket firing. Slow and cumbersome at first, the unit quickly got into stride and got off a coordinated volley or two.
The unit gathered under the company fly for a team meeting in which Capt. VanBuskirk reviewed the campaign schedule for the year and brought us up to date on the latest company and regimental news. At that point, the School of the Soldier, having removed the physical and mental cobwebs from a long winter, was complete and the Captain ordered us to strike the camp.
The next unit event is the Spring Gettysburg living history encampment May 14 & 15 at the Longstreet Monument. Please let the Captain know if you plan to attend and check the company web site and Yahoo Group page for news and updates.
Submitted With My Compliments,
Pvt. M. Lordi
44th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Co. C.
The Johnson Guards