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Battery B is a living history military unit located in Central Pennsylvania portraying a Union Civil War Artillery Battery. Our goal is to perform within the army regulations of 1861 - 1865. Battery B was one of the twelve companies of the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery. It entered service in 1862 and was discharged in 1865. It served initially as prison guards at Fort Delaware near Wilmington. They were then transferred to Fort Monroe at Hampton Roads, Virginia. While there they served as gunners on naval ships and the siege lines around Richmond.
The members, who are all volunteers, recreate the life of a Civil War Soldier by wearing his clothes, firing his weapons and reliving history. We do not wear original uniforms. There are very good reproductions available, besides, originals are just too valuable and fragile. Some members do fire original arms and some fire reproductions. We try to be as authentic as possible. The unit does other things beside reenactments. We participate in parades, honor guards, dedications, anniversaries, or anything which honors and acknowledges our American Heritage.
Battery B meets every third Monday evening, from 7 to 8 pm at the Boalsburg Fire Hall. Battery events, planning and other related information is discussed.
Battery B, Action Front is a drill manual created for the members of Battery B, 3rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Light Artillery, Civil War reenactors. The manual can be found in the Members Only section of the website. The manual is used in the training and exercise of batterymen in the service and operation of muzzle-loading artillery. The primary purpose being to ensure safe operation of the field pieces through a disciplined and orderly approach and repeated exercises of the procedures.The key elements: the order, the response and the report of the completion of the order, allows each of the participants to follow the progress of the sequence. This is especially useful when performing in the din and confusion of the battlefield during reenactments as well as in nighttime demonstrations. The procedures are significantly helpful anytime the Gunner or the batterymen cannot monitor the preparation and loading steps visually. Battery B, Action Front also addresses the maneuvers and the formations used by the batterymen in accessing the field pieces and when marching in parade or when in formation with infantry.It is the battery’s policy that all batterymen, including officers, are trained and proficient in all positions required to serve the field piece.Section One of the manual, The School of the Piece, encompasses limber drill, loading, firing and the disposition of misfires. Section Two, Dismounted Drill, describes detachment, section and company formations used to move the battery members from place to place.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTThe procedures described in this manual are adopted from written and verbal information gathered through James V. Dearing, Commander, Battery B, 3rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Light Artillery, as well as other proud members of the same memorial unit. All are dedicated to the preservation of our American heritage, specifically, the function and operation of the light artillery of the Civil War period.The steps and positions explained in the drills and operational sequences are established as the result of their knowledge, experience and training in the operation of muzzle-loading artillery and the unit’s ever present concern for the safety of the batterymen and especially that of the spectators viewing the firing demonstrations. The principal portion of the instructional text was distributed within the organization beginning in 1990, with supplemental updates provided through 1991 and 1992. These initial instructions were primarily concerned with the loading and firing of the field pieces and detachment drill. The original instructions are rewritten and enhanced to include illustrations showing the posting of the individual batterymen during the exercises and their movements. Additionally, the instructions are expanded to provide the drill at the limber, before and after an action, and the operational sequences associated with the situation of misfire as well as the mapping of the danger zones.The motto, Minores Abstineant, was created through the scholarly pursuits of Harlan S. Berger (Sgt. W. H. Stubbs, 67th PVI) who built it upon the expression, “Let the smaller ones keep away”. An altogether fitting tribute to the best battery in the present Army of the Potomac.
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