April 24-25, 1861 (2021)
Daniel Lady Farm
For the Florida Brigade Archives:
A major engagement has occurred in Manassas Junction (staged in Gettysburg). Soldiers answering the CALL TO ARMS were from the 2nd Florida, Co. E, commanded by Captain Wayne Alonzo and the 8th Florida, Co. B commanded by Captain John Porterfield. Total Florida Brigade effectives were 23.
Camp was set on Wednesday, April 21. Weather was in the mid-30s with the high in the upper 50s. On Thursday with snow flurries, the group toured the Gettysburg Battlefield following Day One events in chronological order, beginning where Marcellus E. Jones fired the first shot at 7:30 AM and ending on East Cemetery Hill.
On Friday, April 22, the Brigade assembled at the Florida Monument and recreated the Day Two march of the Florida Brigade, when 300 of the 750 soldiers became casualties. At the point of furthest penetration of the Florida Brigade, the Brigade assumed the role of Armistead’s Brigade, charging the wall, screaming like demons, only to halt at Armistead’s monument.
On Saturday, the first half of the Battle of First Manassas was recreated which focused on the Federal advance on Mathews Hill. The overall Confederate commander was General Bill McElwee. As the Florida Brigade was not in existence at the time of this battle (July 21, 1861) we joined the Louisiana Tigers under the command of Colonel Tony Morgan. Our combined forces numbered 35 effectives. As history dictated, the Tigers were decimated by the Federals and suffered severe casualties.
On Sunday, the second half of the battle was recreated when Jackson’s Brigade, combined with Jeb Stuart’s cavalry, routed the Federal Army. The battle ended with the Federal army skedaddling back to Washington.
Tents were struck just prior to the closing battle, all wagons were packed and the Florida Brigade bid farewell to the Daniel Lady Farm.
Under the leadership of Kirk Davis, the Daniel Lady Farm has been transformed into an excellent re-enacting venue. He and General McElwee are planning for next year, the 160th Malvern Hill (Seven Day’s Battles) in April and the 160th Sharpsburg in September.
This concludes my report.
Lt. Col. Clay Kearney