Sergeant, 13th Pennsylvania Reserves (42nd Pennsylvania Volunteers)
1st Pennsylvania Rifles "Bucktails,"
First Brigade (Col. William McCandless )
Third Division (Brig. Gen. Samuel W. Crawford )
Fifth Army Corps (Maj. Gen. George Sykes)
Army of the Potomac (Maj. Gen. George G. Meade)
Gettysburg, June 1863
The 13th Pennsylvania Reserves (42nd Pennsylvania Volunteers) was additionally named the 1st Pennsylvania Rifles. Although better known as the "Bucktails", this regiment became officially known as the First Rifles. The same can be said regarding the 14th and 15th Pennsylvania Reserves (43rd and 44th Pennsylvania Volunteers), which officially were designated as the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery and the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry, respectively.
The regiments were grouped into a division of three brigades, and the entire unit normally fought together until the initial enlistments expired in 1864. The exceptions to this include the 2nd Brigade, which did not take part at Gettysburg as it was assigned to the Washington, D.C. defenses, and the detachment of several artillery batteries and cavalry troops to other divisions.
The 13th Pennsylvania Reserves, also known as the 42nd Pennsylvania Infantry, was one one of several wartime units whose members were selected for their skilled marksmanship. Emulating the European practice of raising detachments of jagers, or riflemen, Philadelphia attorney Thomas L. Kane recruited a cadre of hardy outdoorsmen who pinned bucktails on their forage caps to symbolize their status as crack shots. Initially organized in two battalions, by September 1862 the seasoned veterans were reunited as a regiment and armed with the double-set trigger Sharps Model 1859 rifle- a weapon that suited their status as elite sharpshooters.
Attached with other regiments of the Pennsylvania Reserves to the Army of the Potomac’s 5th Corps, the Bucktails entered the Gettysburg campaing 349 strong.Their commanding officer, twenty three yer old Col Charles Frederick Taylor, had been captured and exchanged earlier in the war, and was eager to display his unit’s prowess in the defense of their native state.
Advancing with their brigade late on the aftenoon of July 2, the Bucktails waged a deadly firefight in the woods bordering the famous wheatield. Pushing forward to encourage his men, Colonel Taylor was cut down by Rebel fire, but as night fell the regiment still held their ground. The next day the 13th Reserves launched an ttack that netted two hundred prisioners and the flag of the 15th Georgia, a deed that won Medal of Honor for Sergeant James Thompson and another accolade for the famed Pennsylvania Bucktails.
The figure is a reduced DML body, in this case also shortened the arms to make sure the wrist joints would no be seen in various poses.
All the uniform parts are from BGT as is most of the equipment. The Sharps rifle is from SST and the bayonet itself is from SST in a BGT frog. The waterbottle and socks are from SST and the shoes are from the DID Dick figure. Of course they are not basic brogans but shoes are shoes and these look the part I think!
The “Bucktail” was made with some fur material from my wifes fly-tieing materials> it was cut to size, trimmed and painted.
The HS is DID Peter Greim, repainted hair and retouched with some washes. Sergeant insignia also from BGT. On the cap there is maltese blue cross, signifying the Fifth Corp’s Third Division.