44th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Co. C.
The Johnson Guards
At Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
To Commander, 44th Georgia, Company C
I beg to report on operations of the 44th Georgia at Gettysburg town May 13, 14 and 15.
Foul weather and uncooperative winds ruled the weekend, but they did not dampen the unit’s resolve to enjoy the event and put on a good program for the National Park Service as we gathered for our annual Spring Event at the Longstreet Monument. Troops made camp on this part of the Great Battlefield beginning late afternoon and evening on Friday the 13th. By the following morning, a full complement of Rebels was on hand for the weekend event.
In addition to officers Capt. VanBuskirk and Lt. Mallette, those answering roll call were: (NCO) First Sgt. R. Sasor, 2nd Sgt. K. Doran, 1st Cpl. D. McLean, 2nd Cpl. J. Marshall, 3rd Cpl. K. Heywood, and 4th Cpl. W. Ringel. Privates answering the call included J. Lucas, K. VanBuskirk, Jr., B. O’Brien and Yours Truly. The camp was further graced with the presence of Mrs. E. VanBuskirk, Mrs. M. Ringel and Miss B. O’Brien.
We also welcomed to our ranks troops from the 31th Virginia, a group that had fallen in with the 44th Georgia before and brought us to almost 20 guns for this weekend.
Weather drove most of the activities. The threat of rain and a strong, chilly wind brought modest crowds to our field program on Saturday, but still, a hardy number came to watch us drill and fire as well as tour our camp. We spent most of late Saturday afternoon protected by canvas from rain and when possible, we kept to the camp fire, which required steady feeding, for warmth. Indeed, the evening wind contained challenging gusts that blew embers well past the fire pit and into the camp street. This kept those who socialized after sundown on their toes, making them remain alerted for a possible blast of embers that could find their way to unprotected tents.
Sunrise on Sunday was quite reassuring, although the wind stayed steady and stubborn. Most of the early morning conversation centered on shaking off the cold and a losing effort at preparing grits, which did little to feed troops let alone improve the mood of Yours Truly. But as always, we soldier on, grits or not.
The morning drill did not attract many visitors thanks to thickening clouds that advertised rain. But the rain held off and the sun fought back for our afternoon ll. A good-sized crowd watched 4th Cpl. Ringel instruct Pvt. Lucas in the load in nine count. The corporal’s orders and the private’s responses were conducted smartly, which greatly impressed those watching. Likewise, a finishing charge bayonet garnished with our Rebel Yell widened some eyes in the crowd.
Back in camp, the sunshine helped dry some of the mud attached to our Brogans, and it gave the canvass a chance to air out enough to store as we readied to break camp. By half-past thee, the gear was stored and the Captain’s trailer packed and ready to roll. After Cpl. Haywood’s prayer of thanks and fellowship, we broke camp.
The next event is the Pennypacker Mill June 4 and 5 at Schwenksville, Pa. The company website has details. Please make sure the Captain knows if you will be attending.
Submitted with my compliments,
Pvt. M. Lordi