October 17th Program
Berdan Sharpshooter Regiment Of the Civil War
Presented by Steve Brown
Dressed in uniform, Steve Brown of Canisteo presented a very informative program about the special unit of Civil War soldiers formed in 1861. To be a member of the Berdan Sharpshooter Regiment, soldiers had to be able to shoot bulls-eyes at 300-600 yards and fire eleven rounds in a minute. This was quite an accomplishment when one considers the time it took to put gunpowder in the barrel, tamp it down, add a bullet, and fire. The regiment was used to scout ahead of the troops to see where the Rebels were and to look for the generals and officers during a battle. Their uniforms were dark green with black buttons (not gold) so the soldiers would have some camouflage as they hid behind trees and rocks. The sharpshooters engaged in guerilla type warfare.
At Little Round Top in the Battle at Gettysburg, the regiment stood at the base of the woods. They saved the battle of Gettysburg by killing the regiment of Alabama and stalling the other rebel troops long enough for Union reinforcements to arrive.
Mr. Brown shared many other interesting facts about the Civil War. In the first Battle at Bull Run, both sides were dressed in blue uniforms. Spectators came with picnic basket lunches. The North realized they were in for a long war when the South ran through the spectators and won the battle. The youngest person to enlist was twelve-year-old Johnny Clem from Michigan. He was a drummer boy. He stayed in the army after the war and retired as a major general before World War II. The last known soldier of the Civil War died in 1957 at the age of 107.
Many Americans lost their lives during the Civil War. The chances of dying in combat were one in sixty-five. The chances of dying from disease were one in thirteen. The chances of being wounded were one in ten. The number of soldiers killed or wounded in the Civil War (1,094,453) was greater than the number of killed or wounded in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War combined. New York State had the most men killed in the war. 46,534 New York men were killed or died from disease.
Steve Brown travels the country to participate in Civil War reenactments. He said they are done very realistically, not only in battle but also in the horrible living conditions the soldiers had to face. Mr. Brown showed the group the parts of his uniform, several types of rifles, and other paraphernalia. He even has a Union bullet found at Gettysburg with teeth marks, leading to the expression "to bit the bullet." One can only imagine the pain of that wounded soldier and the thousands of other men who were wounded or lost their lives in the Civil War. LSH
November 21st Program
One Man's Navy
Those present enjoyed the program presented by Glen Leathersich. Glen told of his experiences in the South Pacific during World War II. Glen had the opportunity to visit many ports in the region.
December 19th Program
Members enjoyed Christmas Cookies, Punch and fellowship sharing memories of Christmases past.