The 15th Massachusetts Color lead the Union Volunteers to the front line defending against "Picketts Charge" at the 150th Gettysburg.
"2013 was a banner year for the 15th. The unit was under the command of CAPT. Steve Doucette. Steve was breveted Major for Gettysburg, where he served as a Brigade right-wing commander. Former Captain Alan Filo stepped up for several events, including commanding the company at Gettysburg. The real work of running the company was done in fine form by 1st Sergeant Paul Mello, easily recognized by his tall straw hat and omnipresent cigar. Corporals Steve Raff and Steve Carol rounded out the NCO Corps. Tom Connell served as Chaplain for both the 15th and as the Union Volunteers Regimental Chaplain that year. Zachary Connell was our drummer boy and Col. Ruiz’s runner during Culps Hill at Gettysburg (much to his chagrin). Wendy Benedict was our Civilian Coordinator. Our association officers were President Steve Doucette, Secretary Deb “Auggie” Martin, and Treasurer Marty Andrews.
Two major reenactments commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 2013. The first was the Blue Grey Alliance event at the 500-acre Bushing Farm, where the historic 135th event was held. Billed as a reenactment for reenactors, not all the battles had spectators. The ground was chosen for its authenticity, not for ease of viewing. Estimates placed attendance at between 18-20 thousand reenactors, a few thousand less than the 135th event. Still, it was an incredible event and holds the record for the most extensive collection of civil war-era artillery since the civil war. The weather cooperated enthusiastically, providing authentic temperatures for all three days with rain, true to history, on the third day.
History tells us that the 15th Massachusetts Infantry was among the most heavily engaged Massachusetts units on the second day of fighting (and the third, for that matter).
Our company fell in with the Union Volunteers under Col Frank Ruiz. We fought under New York Flags for Culp’s Hill and the Wheat Field. Our proudest moment was in hearing the decision of the Union Volunteers to take to the field on the third day flying the colors of the Fifteenth in honor of our predecessor’s charge to the Bloody angle, throwing back the enemy at the high-water mark of Pickett's Charge. As we marched to the lines, our strength similar to what the 15th had at Gettysburg, shouts of “give ‘em hell 15th” echoed in the air as we made our way through Union artillery lines. I am not ashamed to say tears of pride, and empathy, for our long at rest brethren poured down my face.
Click here for a complete account of the 15th at Gettysburg.
Click here for a video of the Blue-Grey Alliance Event.