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 way of White Post to Newtown.  Stopped a short time to rest then marched to Middletown and went into camp on the right of the town all tired an worn out".

    Needless to say, after reading that, I was even more excited to get down there, after all, Friday night I would be sitting less than a half mile from where Sgt. Laubach wrote that journal entry exactly 147 years ago.

  After leaving Lebanon at 6:00 am,  Cap'n Shirk and I arrived in Middletown, Va., in the beautiful, but rain soaked Shenandoah Valley around 9:30 am.  What was a slight drizzle, quickly turned into a steady, cold rain, and, without any engineers present to lay out a camp, we hunkered down in the van.  The rain stopped, but the mud stayed, and the Cap'n and I watched several vehicles get stuck.

    It wasn't long before more members of the 93rd started to show up en masse.  Pvt.'s  Behrendt and Wrightstone arived and still no camp site was picked.  We had enough of waiting around and as we walked the ground, we could see fire pits of years past.  It was decided that that if it was good enough last year it was good enough this year. Soon we had a sprawling camp of 4 tents- and then the wind came.

    After parking the cars, we were soon joined by the Hershey crew, Doc Bansner, and our pards from the 98th P.V. Cpl. Henry, and Pvt.'s Ciotti and Walton.  This bolstered our numbers and the camps settled down for the night. Pvt.'s Fisher and Keller happend to find our camps in the darkness, even with crummy directions form the "high command".  We got them set up and shortly thereafter I heard drummers call, and decided to join the excellent FVB field music for tatoo since I hadn't drummed for a while.  After I returned I joined Ciotti, Henry, and Keller at the end of the company street and enjoyed the hundreds of stars in crystal clear sky.  Finally after catching up on events past we decided to turn in because it was sure to be a busy day ahead.

    The following morning we all awoke to a beautiful, windy, and just a little nippy day.  Soon Pvt. Paine arrived followed by Lt. Mertz, so we had another rifle, AND he brought donuts.  Coffee was brewing and it was shaping up to be a great reenactment.  Drummer's call was being sounded and I reported to the drum major and we sounded revielle.  When I returned to the Company, I learned Sgt. Zartman had arrived.  He brought a shebang which would become the home of the Buzzards Mess, or the "Buzzards' Nest" as it affectionately would be called.

    Soon after we formed up for dress parade, followed by company and then battalion drill.  It was around dinner time when Pvt. Solomon arrived.  Before we knew it, first call was being sounded, and we were formed up for battle.  We marched by the crowd, and saw plenty of Rebel colors, as expected since we were on their turf.  There were a fair sprinkling of sutler-bought blue kepis, which was a welcome site to us, I suppose our "fans" travel well : P .  We marched clear across the battlefield and awaited the "surprise" reb attack ( the entire reb army was stacked up approx. 70 yards to our front, in plain view).  But we stacked arms and were given the order to rest.  I broke my cards out and we soon had a game of Euchre going.  After the first round which Sgt. Zartman cleaned me out on, a sudden volley from the "unseen" rebs ended the card game sooner than anticipated.  We grabbed our arms and began the retreat.  That was the theme of this first days action (as it should be) and the battle ended with us pressed up against the Heater House, which was beautifully restored over the past year appearantly.

    Back in camp preparations began for the annual company meal, which this year happend to be at Cedar Creek. While it was cooking the buzzards continued their interupted game of Euchre.  First Sgt. Watson approched and informed us we were ordered to guard duty for the Colonel's evening Soiree.  When the meal was ready we hurriedly ate and reported for duty.  Standard army practice seems to be that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.  We were ordered to guard the camp, and, after acomplishing that, we were told that was incorrect and ended up guarding the Soiree, Sgt. Maj. Bush made up for the mix up by sneakig the guards some of the vittles from the officers trays of hors d'oeuvres.  While on duty we received a valuble piece of information from a local farmer (who looked an awful lot like a modern photographer).  He claimed that the rebels were "foaming at the mouth" for a fight in the early morning hours.  This came as news to us since we were told the annual dawn tactical was cancelled because of "lack of interest" on the confederate side.  This information was reported to the colonel, who ordered us to picket duty in the early morning hours, with the strict orders of "Do not fire, unless fired upon".

    After being relieved we returned to camp, played a few hands of euchre, and called it an early night, since we now had an early morning ahead of us.  Around 3 1/2 a.m. 1 Sgt. 1 Cpl. and 3 pvts. went to the field, we posted ourselves just to the West of the Heater house.  After several hours of little to no movement in the reb camp, we were about to report back to camp, as we turned uphill, we met the pickets of the 61st P.V.  After conferring with them, we formed one, longer line of pickets.  There was still no movement in our front and with the 6 1/2 a.m.  "scheduled" start time approaching, we gathered and made sure we had everyone and prepared to head back to camp.  Just then, shots rang out.  We cautiously spread out down the slope to the tree line in our front.  Appox. 15 rebs were posted just on top of the hill to our front.  After another round of shots from them, it was unclear whether or not they saw us or were doing reconnoissance by fire- either way- some of our pickets were spotted and the ball began.  What ensued was a sharp little skirmish.  Our little squad from the 93rd flanked the reb line and were pushing them back, when the 61st hit their other flank.  The rebs got a few more guns and some cavalry and in turn hit our flank.  This kind of back and forth action continued for a little while as stragglers from both camps filtered into the battle.   After we shot through our limited ammuniton that we brought with we retired back to camp.

    The rest of the morning was spent consolidating gear and playing euchre (at least in the Buzzards Nest).  We had dress parade and inspection around 9 a.m.  We formed up for battle and moved to our spot, relatively close to where we ended the battle the day before.  The rebs pushed us a bit, and we decided we had enough of that and pushed back.  We advanced, the entire federal force as one.  Once across the creek, our Colonel Wingert fell, cut down in the heavy rebel fire.  This provoked shouts of vengence from our Regiments and we finished off the rebs.

    Thus, another Cedar Creek was in the books.  Overall it was a good event, and a good time was had by all.

-Cpl. Brandt