Charles Kenyon, Union Colonel
He can be reached at email@example.com
In the NCWA the Union Army is represented by:
1st U.S. “Berdan’s” Sharpshooters
Mechanical engineer and inventor Hiram C. Berdan was a military officer in the Civil War and creator of the Sharpshooters’ regiment. Some of Berdan’s inventions included the Berdan rifle (a repeating rifle) and the Berdan center fire primer, a range finder torpedo boat for evading torpedo nets. Berdan was an amateur champion marksman before the civil war, and it was Berdan’s interest in rifles and shooting that led him to the idea of creating a regiment comprised of men who all had notable shooting skills. On November 30, 1861, Berdan was named colonel of both the1st and 2nd Sharpshooter regiments. The green uniforms that they wore were an early version of camouflage.
The Sharpshooters’ mission during battle was to kill enemy targets of importance (i.e., officers and NCOs) at long range. During their service, they fought in every Eastern battle up until the autumn of 1864. During their tour, the Sharpshooters were noted for efficient service in the battles of Yorktown, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Spotsylvania and Petersburg. One of the members, Lieutenant Colonel William Y. W. Ripley, received the Medal of Honor for his heroism as second in command of the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters at the Battle of Malvern Hill. After serving for three years, Berdan resigned his position as colonel on November 30, 1864, in order to return to his life as a mechanical engineer and inventor. The 1st and 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters were consolidated with other units on December 31, 1864.
For more information, contact Captain Dave Rogers at DWRog@aol.com
7th West Virginia, Co. B
Nicknamed the “Bloody Seventh,” it fought in more battles and suffered more losses than any other regiment from West Virginia during the Civil War. For information on the 7th and how to join CLICK HERE
69th New York Volunteer Infantry: Part of the famed “Irish Brigade” that was composed largely of immigrants who came to the defense of their adopted land.
71st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry: Formed by recent emigres to California that returned to their home state of Pennsylvania to fight for the Union. To join please contact Captain Logan Dambrino at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Federal Artillery Reserve: Headquartered at the Presidio of San Francisco at the outbreak of the War, Lincoln had this “regular army” unit moved east for the war effort.
2nd Massachusetts Cavalry, Company A – The California 100
Photo by James Kanne
Many patriotic young men on the West Coast were anxious for a chance to join in the fight. However, they knew that if they joined a California unit they would be stationed in the West—fighting Indians, guarding wagon trains, or doing garrison duty. And so, in the late summer of 1862, a group of Californians, raised one hundred volunteers to form a separate company in a cavalry regiment that was being raised in Massachusetts. Officially they became Company “A” of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry, but they were more popularly known as the “California Hundred”.The California 100 fought with distinction in the battles of Winchester, Luray, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek. They were part of the long march from the Shenandoah to Petersburg in February and March of 1865 and later participated in the battles of Dinwiddie Court House, Five Forks and Sailors Creek. At war’s end they were present at the surrender of Lee at Appomattox Court House. They took part in the Grand Review at Washington, D.C. on May 23, 1865.
We represent the ONLY Californians who fought as a distinctly identified unit in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War. One of the three battalions of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment were all Californians, and Company A, the California 100, was the first company to be mustered.
Our “impression” is cavalry fighting dismounted. Which means we don’t have horses. Otherwise, we are armed and uniformed as Union cavalry, and we work closely with the 7th Michigan Cavalry, which is mounted. In camp, we and the Michigan boys are usually close together. We fight on foot as skirmishers, in open order—we move quickly and hit the enemy hard.
We welcome everyone to our club. No matter your age or physical ability, we still would like you to check us out. We are family oriented, and we are NOT “hard core.” Also, we have plenty of loaner gear, and can initially uniform and equip you if you want to try reenacting with us.
“Get ready to fight like devils, boys, they are Californians!”—Remark reportedly made by Confederate Colonel John S. Mosby, upon seeing his opponents were the CAL 100, not Pennsylvania cavalry.
For more information, contact Captain Kurt Reidel at email@example.com
United States Army Medical Service: This organization provided medical facilities, surgeons and nursing care for the Union Army. Also represented is the United States Sanitary Commission, a civilian relief agency which provided comforts to the soldiers.
79th New York “Highlanders”: A Regiment made up primarily of Scottish immigrants. The 79th is the most recently created unit of the NCWA, and also doubles as the 11th Georgia of the NCWA’s Confederate Corp.
Photograph by Katie Fiffick.