In obedience to orders, I have the honor to make the following report of the
movements and operations of the 44th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Company C from
and including August 21 to 23.
Captain Van Buskirk arrived in advance of the unit and established headquarters, laying out the Company street in a clearing southeast of the town of Gettysburg, Pa at the base of Culp’s Hill, east of the Baltimore Pike.
Beginning Friday afternoon and stretching over the next two days the Company filed into camp, some arriving in the late hours of Friday evening and VERY early hours of Saturday morn. Friday several of us walked the streets of Gettysburg, refitting at the Quartermasters, enjoying fine dining along the Avenue, and gathering much needed staples from a local grocer. Under cover of darkness, firewood for the weekend was gathered from a stockpile along Cemetery Ridge and hauled back to camp.
Under the guidance of the Captain, visitors to the Spangler’s Spring encampment were witness to firing demonstrations that were executed on Spangler’s Meadow, the scene of an ill-fated July 1863 Union attack by soldiers from New Jersey, Massachusetts and Indiana . Pillars of black powder smoke billowed from the tall grasses before the ranks upon each crisp volley, the reports echoing from the flanking woods. Spectators who witnessed the demonstration were treated to the expert drilling and field maneuvers of the Company, including bayonet charges of the gathering crowds.
After sunset on Saturday evening a detachment from the 44th, including Private Kalajiar, was dispatched in search of Spirits. Trekking the footpaths from the summit of Culp’s Hill through the heavily forested and overgrown hillside proved challenging in the darkness that enveloped the area. Able to see just yards to our front, we traced the position of the 66th Ohio, halting on a large rock just feet from a severe dropoff that would make scaling the ridge near impossible for any assaulting troops. In complete darkness our senses were strained to detect any movements in the stillness that surrounded us. Having reconnoitered the 66th’s left flank for most of a half hour we abandoned the position and scaled the observation tower at the summit, taking note of the lights of the city, the transports on the roads feeding the town square and the landmarks surrounding our location.
Corporal McLean navigated the macadam ribbon that served as our road back to camp, skillfully circumventing any traffic along the more popular route, reversing our direction traveled earlier.
Returning to camp we discovered that the Spirits had arrived at the Lieutenant’s fly, where we joined in a rather raucous and comedic discussion of today’s society, leaving few leaves unturned. The departure of the congregated participants in the revelry was hastened only by the late hour and sides sore from laughter.
Sunday “the box” appeared in the tent of Private K. VanBuskirk Sr. The presence throughout the day of buzzards overhead, and the frequency of visits to the stone house lent suspicions that the contents of “the can” had made their way into the hearty breakfast that occupied the grill that morning. Ranger Tom was treated to sausage and biscuits as an enticement for him to continue with the encampments in the future. The camp was heavily visited through the weekend and each question from the guests was answered in a courteous manner.
Having seen no Yankees the entire three days of the encampment we struck the tents mid-afternoon on Sunday and began the trek home.
Restocked and anxious to demonstrate our refined skills in the face of the enemy, let us meet again, in force, in defense of the field at Cold Spring.
With allegiance to the Confederacy, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, Corporal James Marshall, 44th Georgia Vol. Inf., Co. C.