I am pleased to report that the 44th Georgia, Company C has gone into winter quarters following a successful 2016 campaign that culminated with our participation in the annual Remembrance Day Parade through the town of Gettysburg on November 19.
The event was a glorious display of reenactors in their military finery with full martial music, cheerful crowds and the warm feeling of fellowship. The 44th made a fine showing for the festive parade bringing 15 rifles to accompany Captain VanBuskirk and Lieutenant Mallette. In addition to our officers, reporting for the event -- our first appearance as the Army of Northern Virginia’s 2nd Bat. newest unit -- were: First Sgt. Rick Sasor, Second Sgt. Ken Doran, Ordinance Sgt. Kurt Haywood, First Cpl. Dave McLean, Second Cpl. Jim Marshall, Third Cpl. Billy Ringel, and Privates Clark R. VanBuskirk, Gerry Mayers, Andrew Lolli, Keith VanBuskirk, Jr., Dan Boyer, Beau O’Brien, and Yours Truly, the Fourth Cpl. Also falling in with us were two fellow ANV members from the 17th Virginia.
It was a glorious morning with a mild temperature and bright sky. We gathered at our usual assembly point, the old Cherry tree at the entrance off Baltimore Street by the new Middle School and formed into line near one o’clock. Our turn to step off came about half-past the hour.
At the head of our unit, Mrs. Kathy Boyer, Brie O’Brien and Shaina O’Brien proudly carried the large new 44th Georgia Banner. The unit marched smartly, keeping good cadence and repositioning muskets as ordered by the Lt. Art. To help us keep step, the Lieutenant thought up this jody which the unit responded with gusto:
Who are we? 44th Georgia!
Who are we? 44th Georgia!
Why are we here? Because God wills it!
Dare I say that as we march along roaring this call-and-response, men in the crowd dabbed welling eyes, children waved flags, women swooned and small animals lowered heads.
By time we reached the parade’s conclusion, a strong, chilling wind kicked up announcing the coming of rain not far behind. In anticipation, we moved the wreath-laying ceremony at the 44th Georgia monument up an hour. By three o’clock, we assembled at the marker where we were met by Pvt. John Lucas who had properly set the wreath. Capt. Clark said a few words reminding us of the importance of honoring the soldiers of the original 44th Georgia and all soldiers who sacrificed so much in the War of Northern Aggression. He reviewed some of the highlights of the year’s campaign and thanked us for our participation and support. With heavy clouds covering above and the wind growing colder, Sgt. Kurt lead us in a prayer before we were dismissed.
A number of us continued the festivities with dinner at Hoss’s. Joined by 44th family members, we occupied a long stretch of table, laughing and enjoying a fine dinner before heading out and our journeys home.
As a reminder, the 44th Georgia Christmas Party will be Saturday, December 10 starting between 4:00 and 5:00 at the home of Yours Truly and Mrs. Yours Truly. Please let us know if you can make it.
Submitted With My Compliments,
Cpl. Mike Lordi