Friday, May 10, 2013

The Pennsylvania Reserves Remember Dranesville -- at Gettysburg!

As many readers may know, I spent last weekend in Gettysburg. I hadn't been to the battlefield in many years, and the visit left me with a lot of impressions and emotions. (More on that in a future post!) As part of my tour, I focused on sites associated with the Pennsylvania Reserves. Two brigades from the division participated in the fighting at Gettysburg. I am fascinated by the Reserves and have written many posts about their time in Northern Virginia. Imagine my surprise when I discovered "Dranesville" inscribed on the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves Monument along with the names of other battles in which the regiment participated. The same goes for the Bucktails (13th Pennsylvania Reserves) Monument. Although I didn't get to all of the monuments for the Pennsylvania Reserves this time around, I searched the Historical Marker Database and noticed that the other regiments who fought at Dranesville (the 6th, 9th, and 12th Pennsylvania Reserves) also listed this small-scale engagement on their monuments. I've written quite a bit about the battle, including an article for the Civil War Trust. Even after experiencing all the carnage at Gettysburg (not to mention other places like Antietam), the former members of these five regiments made sure to commemorate their clash in and around a small Virginia hamlet during the first year of the war. Dranesville rarely appears in most modern accounts of the Civil War, but the hardened veterans of the Pennsylvania Reserves could never forget the sacrifices they made in one of their early and limited battles against the Confederate infantry.

Here are a few pictures that I snapped of the monuments:

Soldier atop the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves Monument at Big Round Top. The 10th Pennsylvania Reserves belonged to the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division (Pennsylvania Reserves), Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac. The Maltese Cross on the monument represents the Fifth Corps.

A list of engagements of the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves, starting with Dranesville.

I couldn't help but take this close-up of Dranesville on the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves Monument.

The 13th Pennsylvania Reserves Monument near the Wheatfield. The 13th Pennsylvania Reserves were better known as the "Bucktails." The regiment belonged to the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division (Pennsylvania Reserves), Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac. The soldier atop the monument is appropriately wearing a bucktail attached to his cap!

List of engagements in which the Bucktails participated, starting with Dranesville.

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