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After the reenactment, long after most reenactors had left, members of the 77th Pennsylvania Volunteers were still on the battlefield.  Capt. Griffin's wagon was in the town livery and was unavailable until Monday morning, plus we had a flower wreath on order in Corinth that was, too, unavailable until Monday.
 
Capt. Griffin, Sgts. Miller and Woodruff, Cpls. Hood and Mountford, Pvts. Hawkins, Huneck, Lamoreux and Warren and Musician Lamoreux all travelled to Ruby Tuesday's for a good meal.  the food was good, but the wait was very long.
 
Jokes were told around the campfire until weariness overtook us.
 
The next morning the wagon was retreived and all items were packed away as we broke camp.  Sgt. Plunk and Pvts. Gray and Hawkins had to leave directly for home.  the remainder of us (the same group as above with the exception of replacing Pvt. Hawkins with Lt. Frisby) went to Shoney's for breakfast buffet.
 
As we left Shoney's, we saw Cpl. Hood's Jeep had leaked water and antifreeze all over the ground.  While Capt. Griffin and Pvt. Warren split off to pick up the floral wreath, the rest of the group went to the local Jeep/Chrysler dealer.  The final prognosis was that the Jeep in question lost pressure in its water pump when the engine was turned off.  If continually refilled, the Jeep should take the men home.
 
From there we drove directly to the visitor's center at Shiloh National Military Park, where we saw the film on the battle and procured a copy of our permit to hold a ceremony.  We changed into our uniforms and drove to the 77th Pennsylvania monument.
 
At the monument, we placed the wreath and came to attention in two facing lines before the statue.  Cpl. Mountford read the invocation that was given at the monument's original dedication ceremony.  Then Sgt. Miller read the speech of Sgt. John Obreiter, given at the same ceremony, which detailed the movements of the 77th Pennsylvania on the field at Shiloh.  Sgt. Obreiter was the 1st Sgt. of the 77th, the chairman of the board that established the monument at shiloh, and the model for the soldier atop the monument.
 
Capt. Griffin then read a compilation of speeches by former regimental commander Col. Thomas Rose, Pvt. William Woodcock, Gen. JPS Gobin and himself.  The compilation give a short history of the regiment, the feelings of the men in the regiment on the country they fought to save and on the realization of the importance of their efforts at the time of the dedication, today and into the future.
 
Musician Lamoreux then played Amazing Grace and Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean on the fife.
 
All agreed the ceremony touched us at the deepest levels.  Park rangers had assured us that the wreath would remain as long as it looked presentable and warmly thanked us for our efforts to honor and remember the men of the 77th.
 
At Bloody Pond, where Cpl. Mountford insisted on taking a sample of water home for a souvenir, we met a couple of Scotsmen who were vacationing in the US, touring battlefields across the country.  Capt. Griffin also met a gentleman and his wife who were on the staff of Gen. Dolive.
 
We left Pvt. Huneck there as he had plans to visit Vicksburg and Chickamauga.
 
After leaving Shiloh, the parties drove east in three different vehicles.  Lt. Frisby, Sgt. Woodruff and Cpl. Hood were separated fromt he others in Memphis.  All made it to their homes safely, though Sgt. Miller and the Lamoreuxs were on the road until early morning, Claude arriving home just in time to shave and shower before leaving for work.
 
Until the next time we take a crack at the Serpent's Egg,
 
Press on regardless.
 
 
I have the honor to be your most humble and obedient servant,
Capt. Rex Griffin
Coy. E, 77th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry
The Bell Guards
 
 
Monday, October 17, 2005

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