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23rd Virginia Infantry Photo Gallery




Camp of Instruction with The Princess Anne Grays

Pamplin Park, Petersburg, Virginia

Photos Courtesy of Dave Clark of the PAG


Breakfast with the Princess Anne Grays - Lee's Sharpshooters




Pvt. Currin (top right) and Cpt. Reagan enjoy winter hut accommodations.




Keydets (left) give VMI cheer.








Jamestown Military Through the Ages

Jamestown, Virginia

Portraying the Amelia Rifles in the Spring of 1860


Members of the 23rd Virginia Infantry portrayed the Amelia Rifles at an 1860 militia company muster.  These men drilled and trained to protect their homes from threats from within and without. Meeting several times a year, these musters included both military training and festive celebrations.  For our demonstration at Military Through the Ages, emphasis was placed on creating a period feast by period means. 1st Sgt. Boulden and Pvt. Medwid acquired a whole pig and the makings of cornbread and other foods, and Pvt. Hall brought three bushels of Chesapeake Bay oysters and clams.  No foods were pre-cooked. Pvt. Hall spent nearly all Friday night preparing the pig, which required 12 hours to cook over an open fire. Cornbread was prepared in Dutch ovens. Oysters were steamed and made into oyster stew. On Saturday, visitors to the camp were offered pig and oysters and clams on the half shell.  The judges were well pleased. However, the difficulty of preparation and authenticity of the feast were not understood by the judges and we placed a disappointing 2nd place.  In drill demonstration, we also placed in 2nd, although considering the efforts made in camp preparation and the resulting neglect of drill, in this placement we were well pleased. Perhaps the most enjoyable MTA for the unit, we were pleased to be joined by several past members and new recruits. Our thanks to Pvt. Chris Hall for his unselfish contributions to making the meal a huge success; to 1st Sgt. Boulden and Pvt. Medwid for coordinating food and preparing barrels, props, and libations; and to Debbie Atwood, the Lieutenant's lovely wife,  for creating the authentic recruiting banners.






Pvt. Hall tends to the main course...Mr. Pig.





Visitors to the camp (left) enjoy oysters and clams on the half shell and pork.

Later, men of the Amelia Rifles enjoy the fruits of their labor.






Above and below, Amelia Rifles takes 2nd in unit demonstration.







Above and below, Camp life.






Newly elected 1st Sgt. Paul Boulden is initiated with the ceremonial pig's nose, in recognition of his rooting into the affairs of the privates. Said Pvt. D. Speer of the official ceremony, "The 'Pass The Snout' ceremony was quite beautiful and moved me to tears! (mainly due to the smell)."




Some members of the old 23rd, dating to the '70's and 80's, gather for a photo.

First row: Pvt. David Speer, Founder Col./Gen. David Seay,

Second row: Pvt. Mike Hendricks, Pvt. Donald Currin, Pvt. Gerald Harlow, Pvt. Mike Raynes, Pvt. John Jerrell,

Pvt. Clinker Moss, Pvt. Robert Lanier, Miss Ginger Lanier.


Older members of the 23rd will remember this favorite period tune from Col. Seay.   



At closing ceremony, Pvt. Hall and Cpt. Reagan receive award for 2nd place in cooking competition.




Henrico County, Virginia

a Campaigner Tactical on the original Battlefield

Narrative by 1st Sgt. Paul Boulden

Photos courtesy of Greg Starbuck


"Those of you who were unable to attend...missed one awesome event! This was the first time I really got to walk to the grounds of where these historic battles took place...and it was awesome.


Saturday: The camp was awaken by the call of the bugle, where we then formed up for morning roll call...and our breakfast rations (hardtack, coffeeish sludge, ham hocks and pork tails). After eating what we could for breakfast, we proceeded to pack up camp and prepare for the morning drill. It was at this point that Donald Currin trickled into the camp. We formed for the morning drill as one company (two platoons) of approx. 60 soldiers. and went through various drills not uncommon to the men of the 23rd but truly unique to several individuals present; skirmish drill, wheeling, by platoons into column...etc....I have to say it was impressive to see so many individuals performing these drills...and although not perfect...it was something to see.

Sometime around 11am, we set off from the NPS property for our hike over to CWPT owned Glendale property. We marched at the route step, right through the trash dump still present...it was evident of the scale of the work completed by the work party the weekend before, about 1/6 of the debris had been cleared (of which our own member Nick Medwid participated in) and truly there's still a lot of work to be done!


We then split the platoons and alternated throughout the day with one platoon advancing in skirmish order through the woods, while the other platoon advanced in column and acted as the reserve.

Sometime while traversing through the wooded terrain, our separated comrade, Jerry Harlow found us...and fell in. It was about this point that we found our munitions dump, cartridges were issued for the impending battle. We then had to cross one of the many tributaries to the of the local beaver pond and my comrade of arms was picked to erect a walk across the creek (about 3 feet deep) and assist in getting the rest of our company across.


Shortly thereafter (about 4pm) we came across a federal supply box, full of Hams, potatoes, onions, and 2 pies! Canteens were sent off in details to be filled, and rations were issued (the pie, by the spoonful). After having an early supper...we were then on the march again this time advancing upon the enemy position in skirmish order through the wood.


We first encountered a Federal detachment of artillery which opened upon us with the thunder of their mighty guns...fortunately, our company survived the first 3 barrages of fire...and advanced upon the guns with hell-like fury. The job was not done...and we continued our advance into the Federal line of infantry throughout the woods. Unfortunately....not only were we exhausted by this point...but the Federals began a flank attack on our left, forcing our entire company to withdraw. In an effort to withdraw, reform...and perform a counter flank movement we withdrew back to where we had supper...by this point...every canteen was dry...and men were beginning to drop like flies from exhaustion.


We advanced again...in column down a road towards the right flank of the enemy...it was there that we again came under fire from Federal Artillery...at which point they only got off one shot...before we swarmed the gun...once again we filtered into the woods in skirmish order advancing upon the position of the Susquehanna Volunteers...it was at this point that I took a hit (per my fate card), and was out of the action...after a brief stent of unconsciousness...I then made my way to the local Federal Aid Station...it was there that I was to spend the rest of the evening under the care of the now captured/paroled Federal Surgeon...I have to say in trying to keep 1st person, and avoid the cliché topics of politics it was one of the most awkward experiences this Reb has had to date...after the Federal surgeon assisted in removing my coat...dressed my shoulder wound and re-adjusted my sling...we settled in for the night...me sharing in what was left of one Feddy's beef ration and sharing what little now stale bread I had. It was about this time that the boys in blue went to bed as prisoners and I met up with the rest of the men of the 23rd VA. Under threat of rain, 3 of us erected a shelter and settled in for the night...


Sunday morning: We were again awakened by the bugle...naturalized our camp...and formed for the trip back to MH (where we were to have a Living History)...needless to say with the rain that rapidly deployed upon us...the NPS demo was canned. We met up with the Keydets who had come to do Federal...took them on a driving tour of Richmond, hit the MoC...and then spent a few hours at Nick's having a little cookout. Then I had my drive back to the Iron City...


GREAT EVENT...we need more events like this to keep the authentic movement going.

Paul B.







Brandy Station Living History at the Graffiti House

Culpepper County, Virginia

A living history and tour of the Graffiti House


The 23rd was privileged to be asked to perform a living history demonstration on the grounds of The Graffiti House in Brandy Station. Owned by The Brandy Station Foundation (see links page for the TBSF web site), this old home contains some of the most incredible writings of the common Civil War soldier you can imagine. From the signatures of men who passed through that place to their illustrations of their experiences and opinions, the walls are a tapestry of the personal story of the soldier you can absorb in few other places. After the living history on the front lawn, some members departed for the reenactment at New Market while others remained and toured the battlefield. Thanks to The Brandy Station Foundation and its many volunteers, the CWPT, and Culpeper County, the battlefield is now very well interpreted. This battlefield with its many interpretive stops is among the crown jewels of historic sites in our nation.      





Left - Cpt. Reagan observes a small part of the soldier graffiti. Believed to have been drawn by a Federal Soldier, this illustration is of a woman visiting the 1864 Union camps and lifting her dress to keep it out of the mud. Right - Pvt. Speer reads a tablet on the walking tour of the battlefield at Stop 2 near the site of St. James Church.




Spangler's Spring Living History

Gettysburg NMP, Pennsylvania

Portraying the 23rd Virginia of Steuart's Brigade at Culp's Hill


The position of a portion of our Brigade in repelling the assault of the 27th Indiana on Culp's Hill.









Corporal Currin educates boys on Civil War weapons.



Left. - 1st Sgt Boulden with battlefield visitors. Right - Private Speer talks to a scout troop about the Confederate Soldier.



Relaxing with battlefield visitors in front of The Regimental Quartermaster after a hard day's work in the park.

Note the sign directing visitors to our demonstration at Spangler's Spring. Our new friend Julia seated at left.



Saturday supper at O'Roarks. Thanks to Kim and Cathy for making this gathering possible.



On Sunday morning of each Spangler's Spring event, we hold a ceremony honoring the men of the 23rd Virginia who fought and died on that ground. This year, the ceremony was held on the lower summit of Culp's Hill where the hardest fighting of the Brigade took place. The ceremony included a tribute to David Seay, our good friend who founded the 23rd Virginia in the 1970's and who left us for the encampment of our heroes earlier in June. Those of us who knew him well told anecdotes of our relationships with Dave. Above, Private Harlow relates how Dave nurtured him in his early days as a Living Historian. Of course, there was much humor in all the stories.  





New Market Living History and Candle Light Tours

October 25 and 26, 2008

New Market, Virginia


Union and Confederate troops assemble in camp after day of living history activities. 

The 23rd Virginia was joined by the VMI Civil War Roundtable.



Top left, First Sergeant Boulden prepares a delicious fish bone stew and a quite watery beef stew.

Top right, Pvt. A. Speer is glad there's plenty of home made corn bread on hand.


Preparation for candle light tours.


The Union captives tour stop.




Christmas Party and Living History

December 2008

New Market, Virginia






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