Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers

Company A, Inc.

Liberty, NY Event Report

Walnut Mountain Park
Liberty, NY
July 28-30, 2000
Dear Friends,

Liberty was awesome! Here is my report for the records. We arrived at the location on Friday in the evening during a driving rain. The location was wet but very nice. Brevet Nate was in command until Sergeant Liska arrived the next morning. He did a fine job setting up our street, bossing us around, waking us up early in the rain for role call etc... After setting up our street and getting the pillar of flame started we sat around the fire and prepared for the early morning tactical.

And what a tactical!! We formed up around 10am with some NY and Brooklyn boys in the 2nd Division. After marching into dense woods and dense fog we happened on the enemy. WHAT A BATTLE!! My musket was so hot that you could burn yourself on the barrel. We were flanked many times by the pesky rebs but kept our lines and held fast. The muzzle flash was incredible. We had many Berdans men with us and they were very effective. At one point there was a deep ravine between us and the rebs. It was about 20 feet across and about 12 feet deep. There we were that close yet with the fog and the smoke you could only make out silhouettes of the rebs. There were many comments made between the two sides regarding mothers, sisters, teeth, goats Etc... You get the picture. At one point we were crossing a road and at the moment we were directly in the middle a cannon went off aimed directly at us. I could see the white circle of the barrel flash. If it was a real I would be dead for sure. It was really scary. We formed up again and chased the rebs off.

Back to camp we had to prepare for the afternoon battle. We formed up around 2:00 pm and headed of to battle. We had very impressive breastworks and were held in reserve until the rebs were pushed back. Seems that the rebs were harassing two women and a goat. We saw them running but couldn't tell which one was the goat. After advancing on a wooden fence we were pinned down by massive cannon fire. By the way, there were many cannon and they were firing from when we arrived until when we left. We suffered many casualties and eventually had to fall back. We returned to camp to prepare for supper. Pvt. Sheehan and myself went foraging and what a surprise when we returned! We returned to find a cannon parked in the middle of our street.

In the distance we heard that god awful rebel yell and hot and heavy gunfire. Yea, you got it, the rebs attacked us during supper!! After getting a briefing from Corp. Elwell we hurried into the woods to link up with our company. We ran smack into the rebs as they were about to capture our signal corps. Let me tell you that Pvt. Tim Sheehan was down right inspiring. We gave the appearance of being an entire company, laying down a steady fire on the rebs. Tim was shouting things like "company into line, Fire by file, fire by company" , just about everything to give the appearance of being larger than the two of us. It worked!! They were driven off and the signal corps was saved.

We than tried to circle around the rebs but they were spread out thin with snipers everywhere. We returned up the hill and linked up with a small squad. We then tried to flush out some rebs that were lurking in the woods. That was when we got split up. I was advancing around the rebs with excellent cover. I got around and found some of our boys. We then advanced and tried to get around a mountain howitzer that the rebels had placed facing the entrance to one of the trails. As soon as we stepped into the clearing, a cannon went off directly aimed at us. That's right!! Dead again. It was sobering.

We held our ground not being able to advance when coming over the ridge was an entire company in battle line. It was now time to shoot and boot. The rebs were smart. They sent skirmishers at us letting us think that was all that they had. We fought with them for a while and that gave them the time to form up and advance on us. We fell back and fired again. They never stopped coming. We must have fell back at least 1 mile through swamps, marshes, over stone walls, through camps,and over wooden fences. Our ammunition was exhausted and just when capture was upon us, our boys arrived from the top of the hill and drew there attention. The fighting lasted for quite some time afterwards. Boy was I relieved when it quieted down.

Many of us were captured and it was great to see pvt. Tim Sheehan arrive after many hours of battle uncaptured and out of ammo. He really rose up to the challenge. After eating and talking about the battle everybody turned in early. It started to rain and didn't stop at all. We packed it in on Sunday morning and left.

What an event!! It was the best one I have ever attended. I was so realistic. The adrenaline was flowing. Yes the rain was tough on the attendance but I think it added to the realism of the event. It was sloppy, foggy, smoke filled and great fun. A tactical should be included in every event. An unplanned attack should also occur. As reenactor experiences go, it can't get any closer to the real thing than July 29th in the year 2000 at Walnut Mountain in Liberty, NY.

Sincerely and Respectfully,
Pvt John Gallicano

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