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September 18, 2008

Dear Federal Participant:

Thank you for supporting the 145th Bristoe Station living history. I hope that you will find this program both enjoyable and educational as we march and camp on the ground crossed by the Army of the Potomac 145 years ago.

I would like to take this opportunity to touch on a few important points you need to be aware of:


Our impression for the weekend will be the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. The 1st Minnesota was the advance guard for the 2nd Corps and opened the battle when they struck the right flank of the Confederate line of battle. The regiment was fielding approximately 125 men at the time of Bristoe Station and suffered 1 killed and 20 wounded.

Part of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, the 1st Minnesota was armed with .58 rifle muskets and uniformed and equipped with regulation US Army issue clothing & equipment. A distinctive item of apparel for men in the regiment was a black slouch hat, probably an “undressed” 1858 pattern dress or “Hardee” hat. Sergeant James Wright recalls looking behind him on the march to Bristoe Station and seeing a line of “battered black hats”. White 2nd Corps badges will be issued upon arrival in camp.

For biographies and photos of members of the regiment go to http://www.1stminnesoat.net. For recommended reading I suggest The Last Full Measure by Richard Moe and No More Gallant a Deed by James A. Wright. The last title is an outstanding soldier memoir and should be on everyone’s bookshelf.

Your Persona

Each Federal participant will receive a “Fate Envelope” Friday evening which will contain details about a member of the 1st Minnesota who was present at Bristoe Station. What it says in your envelope will determine if you are a casualty. You can read your soldiers story around the campfire, or wait till just before the battle to discover your fate. Make sure your musket and equipment is marked so that if you do become a casualty you can recover you gear.

Order of Battle

The Federal force will be organized into two or more companies with attached artillery support. Officers and NCO’s will be appointed by the battalion commander. If you wish to be considered for a certain rank, please contact me at jdo(a)npmhu.org.


Registration for Federal participants will be open from 12 Noon- 12 Midnight on Friday, and 6 AM to 9AM Saturday. At registration your name will be checked off, waiver signed (for those who registered on line), and your musket inspected. Be sure to bring your musket to registration. When you complete your registration you will be issued a parking pass and map to the Federal camp where you will park for the weekend.

When you are dressed out and ready to enter the camp area, the officer or NCO of the guard will give you brief inspection to make sure you are in compliance with the events standards.


We will change camp during the course of the event. Friday night we will camp in a county park 4.5 miles from the battlefield. Saturday night we will camp on the battlefield. Both camps will be finished with wood, water, and toilets. Please make sure you have what you need before we march out Saturday morning. Do not planning on returning to your vehicle until early Sunday afternoon.


Rations for Federal participants will consist of hardtack, slab bacon, coffee, sugar, potatoes, onions, and apples. Rations will be issued Friday at 6 PM.


Saturday morning will be spent drilling until we start our march at approximately 10AM. We expect to arrive back at the battlefield and engage the Confederates at approximately 3:30 PM. Following the engagement we will continue with ongoing living history activities, collection of wounded and prisoners, pickets, and making camp until we stand down at approximately 11 PM. Saturday evening will also feature a torchlight tour from 7-9 PM. This will involve a limited number of participants. If you are interested in helping with this, please contact me at jdo(a)npmhu.org.

Sunday will be devoted to public programming, with a memorial service and pass in review, followed by a concert of the Liberty Hall Fife & Drums. At 12 Noon there will be a tactical demonstration involving all troops. This will conclude our activities. The first shuttle bus to return you to the parking area will leave at 12:30 PM.


There will be a limited number of sutlers present at the registration area during the event. They include Bill MacIntosh, Ben Tart, and Photographer Bob Szabo (Friday & Sunday). Please take the time to stop in and check out their wares or have your image made.


The Battlefield Park is currently trying to raise money to purchase a reproduction 3” Ordnance Rifle to make the position of Colonel David McIntosh’s CS artillery battalion during the battle. To help with this the event organizers are raffling of a number of items. They include:

  • De-farbed reproduction 1861 Springfield with bayonet, scabbard, sling, and tools

  • Gift Certificate for a reproduction 19th century civilian shirt by Ruth Owens

  • 6” tall model of a 3’ Ordnance Rifle and CS artillery officer

  • A copy of The Soldiers View by Keith Rocco

Raffle tickets are $2 each or three for $5. The drawing will be held on April 19, 2009. Tickets will be available during the event and from the event website afterwards.


If you have any questions regarding a certain aspect of the program please feel free to contact me at the phone or e-mail below.

Thank you again for your support of this program. I look forward to working with all of you the weekend of October 10-12 at Bristoe Station.


James D. Owens

Brevet Major, 1st Minnesota Vol. Inf.

Federal Coordinator, 145th Bristoe Station


(301) 681-7462 weeknights 8-10 PM EST

website: GTodd
September 4, 2008