Civil War buffs refight the Battle of ResacaIt rained hard both nights that Ben Walbrun and Dave Pulsfus slept in a dog tent on the site of the Battle of Resaca. The two Hudson men traveled to Georgia over the Memorial Day weekend to participate in a re-enactment commemorating the 145th anniversary of the Civil War battle.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
It rained hard both nights that Ben Walbrun and Dave Pulsfus slept in a dog tent on the site of the Battle of Resaca.
The two Hudson men traveled to Georgia over the Memorial Day weekend to participate in a re-enactment commemorating the 145th anniversary of the Civil War battle.
They were looking for a taste of what members of the St. Croix Rifles, part of the 1st Wisconsin Infantry, would have experienced in the battle – and they got it.
“We got fairly wet. But that’s what the troops would have had,” said Walbrun.
The federal troops called the open-ended pup tents like the one Walbrun and Pulsfus slept in dog tents for a reason.
“They were small. You had to crawl in them,” Walbrun explained.
To keep his head and feet under the canvas in rainy weather, a soldier had to curl his body.
Walbrun, 22, and Pulsfus, 26, talked about their re-enactment experiences in a visit to the Star-Observer office a week after returning from Georgia.
The young men are longtime Civil War buffs.
Walbrun became interested in re-enacting when members of a 2nd Wisconsin re-enactment unit marched in a Pepper Fest parade some years ago.
Pulsfus was a member of his father’s re-enactment unit growing up in Sauk City.
They organized a Hudson-based re-enactment group a year ago.
They planned to portray Company C of the 22nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry until learning through local historian Steve Anderson that the Hudson addresses on that roster were for a town in the southeastern part of the state.
That led to the decision to portray Company F of the 1st Wisconsin Infantry, also known as the St. Croix Rifles. The Rifles’ roster included volunteers from throughout St. Croix and Pierce counties, including Hudson and River Falls, plus some from Minnesota and as far away as St. Croix Falls.
The 1st Wisconsin left the state in October 1861. It fought in several battles in Kentucky and Tennessee and ended its three years of service by participating in Gen. William T. Sherman’s advance on Atlanta.
Walbrun and Pulsfus stopped by two other 1st Wisconsin battlefields on their way to Resaca, Ga. They visited the site of the Battle of Stones River at Murfreesboro, Tenn., and the 5,500-acre Chickamauga battlefield in northern Georgia.
For the full story of their experiences, see the June 18th print edition of the Hudson Star-Observer.
The St. Croix Rifles will be putting on a demonstration at the Octagon House in August.
Sept. 11-13 the unit will host a re-enactment at YMCA Camp St. Croix in partnership with the St. Croix County Historical Society. An 1860s baseball game, field hospital and church service are expected to part of that event.
You can learn more about the St. Croix Rifles online at www.geocities.com/firstwisconsin. Contact Walbrun by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (715) 529-2299 if you’re interested in joining the re-enactment group.