the 1st Pennsylvania Company B


Who We Are

Our organization represents Company B, 1st Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Infantry. The 1st Pa Reserves were also known by their federal designation as the 30th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Company B was recruited in Lancaster, Pa. in June of 1861. The present day Company B participates in battle reenactments, living history encampments and school programs. We also tour Civil War battlefields and related historical sites, attend lectures and research the original unit in order to gain an insight into the lives of those who lived during this captivating time in America's history.


History of Company B

The original Company B, also known as the UNION GUARD, was comprised of volunteers from Lancaster County in south central Pennsylvania. The majority of Company B , being members of the Union Fire Company in Lancaster, derived their name from the fire company which was located on East King Street. As part of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, they belonged to a division which was unique in that all were from the state of Pennsylvania. At various times during their enlistment the Reserves were commanded by such famous generals as George Gordon Meade, Samuel Wiley Crawford and Lancaster's own John F. Reynolds. Gaining a solid reputation as a fighting unit, the 1st Reserves fought at most of the major engagements in the eastern United States during their three years of service. They fought as members of the Army of the Potomac in both the First and Fifth Corps.

The unit first distinguished themselves in the Peninsular Campaign in 1862. At Second Bull Run the Reserves fought gallantly, despite the Union Army's setback. Engaged heavily at South Mountain and in the Cornfield at Antietam, the regiment suffered severe losses. At Fredricksburg they were part of the only division to penetrate enemy lines.

In 1863 at Gettysburg the Pennsylvania Reserves defended their home state by charging down Little Round Top and driving the Confederates back across the Wheatfield. During the 1864 Campaign the regiment saw heavy and almost constant action from the Wilderness to their final engagement at Bethesda Church. The unit was mustered out on June 13, 1864, with many reenlisting in the 190th Pennsylvania Volunteers.


Lancaster County Civil War Living History Association

Company B is incorporated as the Lancaster County Civil War Living History Association. We are a democratic organization which operates under a formal set of by-laws and is governed by elected executive officers and a board of directors, in addition to the elected military chain of command.

Our members are committed to the accurate portrayal of military and civilian life of the mid-nineteenth century. Those wishing to join the organization need not be experts in Civil War history, but must be willing to learn and to strive for authenticity.

As a family-oriented unit, our membership is open to anyone aged sixteen and over, and children of our members participate as well. We invite prospective members to attend one of our monthly meetings in order to learn more about our organization and its members. Ask for a copy of " THE UNION STANDARD" our newsletter, which contains historical information as well as other unit information. If you are interested in becoming a part of America's past, contact the following members: for civilian information contact Kay Lingle at kakl901@comcast.net, for military information contact Bob Slamp at 1stpacpl@comcast.net.


The Union Standard

The Union Standard is the newsletter of the Lancaster County Civil War Living History Association. Topics included in the newsletter are : Business Report, Treasurer's Report, Event Sign-up Lists, Historical Information, On Hallowed Ground (notes on upcoming tours) Calendar of Events.

Event Schedule


Types of Memberships

There are three types of membership in Company B. Supporting Members receive our newsletter and may attend tours and trips. They may attend meetings as non-voting members. Supporting members pay dues and may participate in reenactments with the approval of the Board. Prospective Members must be at least sixteen years of age and complete certain attendance requirements. Full Membership is attained after completing a year's probationary period and receiving a majority vote by a quorum of the full membership. Annual dues are currently set at $20.00 for individuals and $10.00 for supporting members.


Tours and Lectures

The members of Company B participate in tours and lectures throughout the year. Scheduled tours and lectures are listed in our newsletter as well as discussions on plans for future tours and lectures. Two previous lectures were on the relationship of bugs and insects and the Civil War soldier and a presentation by Gary Hawbaker who is writing a book, soon to be published, on the 1st Pennsylvania Reserves.


Meeting Locations & Dates

Meetings are usually held at the Ironville Methodist Church in Columbia, Pa. Meetings are usually held bi-monthly on Sunday afternoons beginning at 2:00 PM.


Equipment

The equipment for a Civil War reenactor produces "sticker shock" for those unfamiliar to the hobby. This hobby, while initially a little on the pricey side, becomes very inexpensive after your basic and optional equipment has been acquired. Company B is attempting to create a listing of used equipment that will help some enter the hobby with reduced costs.


Unit Flag

The unit has recently purchased a reproduction of the first Colors presented to the 1st Reserves by Governor Curtin on September 10, 1861. The premier flag maker in the country ( if not the world ) Steve Hill of the DuPage Military Flag Company in Massachusetts created the "colors". The "colors" are a work of art. The unit supplied Steve with close up photographs of original state colors made under contract with the Horstmann Brothers Company in Philadelphia in 1861. The state of Pennsylvania has recently completed a project to preserve 358 original Civil War flags, maintained up until a few years ago, housed for 74 years in glass cases in the rotunda of the capitol building. With photographs in hand Steve completed the colors in time for its debut at this past years' Remembrance Day ceremonies at Gettysburg.