by Ray Beimel
The encampment is held at a park hard by the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. As always happens at these things, the guy I signed in with was a distant cousin on the Beimel side.
The boy above is posing next to a genuine Army wagon. Many of the parts are original. In the war, it would have been drawn by 6 mules. We often forget how important horses and mules were to the war effort. Michael Parana, a St. Marys native was the force behind re-storing the wagon. He had photos and information about wagonning during the war and lots of people came by to listen.
In midafternoon, I left to do some biking on the Clearfield to Grampian Rail trail. That story will be at the end of this. Chuck Copello, the organizer, asked me if I could do the group picture for them later before dinner. I was packing the new beater camera which delivers professional results in the hands of a skilled operator so I said I would be happy to.
The group gathered at Colonel Irvin’s house (at top). He commanded the 149th PVI. 20 years before the group had a photo taken in the same spot and many were there for this one.
Afterwards we went to the Bucktail Monument nearby. The man holding the flag is Terry Rickard, one of my coworkers in the Camp Mountain Run days and his cousin Josie.
After the photo shoot, we all came back to the encampment for dinner. I joked that authenticity demanded that salt pork, hardtack, and green coffee beans be served. But instead, we had a nice catered meal, lots of good food and cake for des-sert. During and after there was a lot of conversation of the “ah shit, that’s nothing, back when I was…” kind. I was able to hold my own given that I was packing a heap of Gettysburg anniversary tales.
Then it was time for music. This young fiddler was doing a good job accompanying Greg Hernandez, the fifer I met at the dedication of the Company G monument.