Lebanon Event After Action Report

October 30, 2011

    Since mother nature didn't want our event to take place in mid September due to heavy flooding in our area, we had to move our event to late October.  Normally this wouldn't be a big deal.  When cap'n called to tell me of the re scheduling, he joked "maybe it'll snow!".  Well. That was all it took.  The Monday before our event, there was a chance of a dusting early Saturday morning.  Mid week it changed to 1-2 inches, by Friday, it was a Winter Storm Warning with 6-12 inches expected.  

    Several of our members arrived Thursday to start set up.  Friday the camps started to pop up.  I myself arrived early Saturday morning, in a moderate drizzle, temps were in the upper 30's.  I started a fire upon arrival and soon the task became "try to keep the fire going with wet wood".  Shortly before daylight I sounded revielle and the brave souls who spent the night, maybe 20-25, awoke.  Some where around 8:30 the rain switched to sleet, and then to snow.  9:00 colors were cancelled and we began our trek to Walmer's Church Cemetary, where there are several Civil War veterans buried.  On the march over, the snow started to pick up, and it began laying.   At the cemetary we formed by the grave of Anson B. Shuey of Co. C, 93rd P.V., who was mortally wounded at the battle of Opequan Creek in September of 1864.  We laid a wreath on his grave and read off the names of all the Civil War veterans buried at the church.  On our return to camp we just tried to keep warm.  The snow was getting heavier and heavier and around noon, it was decided that it was smart to cancel the event, for the saftey of the participants.  However, the most important task of the weekend, honoring the veterans in the cemetary had been done.

    The snow made the day interesting and I think we all gained a new appriciation of what the boys from 1861-65 went through.  When our toes got cold- we could go to the car to get warm.  When our fire was going out- we could walk down to the food vendor and get warm food and coffee.  We had tents- lots of time they did not.  Most importantly, when we were wet, cold, and miserable- we cancelled and went home.  I  will conclude with a quote that, to me, shows the hardships of the real war, more than any other.  From Sgt. Samuel Clear of Co. K, 116th P.V. around the time of the battle at Hatcher's Run in early December of 1864: 

    "All this time the snow was falling fast and this being a very marshy place it melted underfoot and made a thick slush over shoe mouth deep and our feet was soaking wet before we had gone a mile.  About four o'clock we advanced and found the enemy on the farther bank of the stream (Hatchers Run), which was now very much swollen with the recent rain and snow.  We charged right through the stream and drove them back capturing some prisoners.  The water was deep.  One corporal and four men was drowned.  The rebs had dug deep holes in places and then built a dam below and backed the water up so we could not see the pitfalls.  They fell down and the water being over their heads they soon drowned.  The water was so cold our clothes froze stiff in a few minutes.  This was the hardest trip yet.  We recrossed lower down, and stacked arms and commanded to build fires.  The logs and brush are all wet and we have one awful time shivering and blowing.  In an hour or so our labor was rewarded by having a big log heap burning.  I do not think I ever felt anything so nice to stand up and warm my back before the log heap.  It is snowing and has been all the time.  At twelve we was still drying our slothes and the snow wetting us as fast as the fire dried."
    That night:
    "What a miserable night we had of it.  The snow continued to fall all night.  I spread my blanket down and wrapped myself into it, put my gum over the top and laid down about one o'clock, covered up head and heels and was soon fast asleep.  When i woke up this morning I could hardly push off the load of snow that was on me.  When I did get out the smoke rolled out of my nest like as if something was on fired.  I went around kicking in the snow piles hunting for Co. C boys- after spending and hour I got them out for roll call....We piled on fresh logs and soon...the cooking, eating, laughing, talking, and swearing was going on like there was no better place than this to be found on earth."


Cedar Creek After Action Report

October 29, 2011
  The October 19th, 1864 battle of Cedar Creek was the decisive battle of the '64 Valley campaign, which the 93rd was right in the thick of.  The 2011 reenactment of Cedar Creek was taking place on  14, 15, 16 of October.  The night of the 13th I was thumbing through the journal of Frederick Laubach (Co. H of the original 93rd) wrote in his journal on October 14th:
     "Called up and pulled out a three o'clock A.M. marched about 2 miles. Halted, cooked breakfast then marched  back by w...
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About Me

"The Knapsack" was the newsletter that some of the men of the 93rd who managed to get ahold of a printing machine printed and distributed thoughout the regiment and brigade while at Camp Edward, near Tennallytown, MD. Pictured to the left is an original "2nd Edition of 'The Knapsack'", now belonging to the writer, which originally belonged to Conrad Gerhart of the Perseverance Band, the 93rd's Regimental band in 1861-62.


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