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Memorial Day, A Tribute to the Keystone Battery of Pennsylvania by Jeff Burgess

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Memorial Day, A Tribute to the Keystone Battery of Pennsylvania by 

According to their website, the original Keystone Battery was organized in the early part of 1861 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a volunteer infantry company and was drilled as such until the early part of 1862, when it was formed into a light artillery battery. Shortly after converting to artillery tasking, its services were offered to the federal government as an independent battery for one year of service. Their offer was accepted in August 1862. 1862 was a very difficult time for recruiting into military service, and the Keystone Battery was required to furnish 150 men to fully equip it. The Keystone Battery opened its enlistment rolls for two days and had nearly 500 offers to enlist, clearly demonstrating the Keystone Battery’s popularity.

The Keystone Battery was first deployed as part of the defenses of the city of Washington. The war had not gone well for the Union forces prior to the entry of the Keystone Battery: a major defeat had been suffered at Bull Run and the Union incursion into Virginia had been repulsed at Fair Oaks. There was real fear regarding the safety of Washington. Confederate generals Lee and Jackson were poised to strike northward.

In late 1862, Lee moved through Maryland and struck into the fertile heartland of Pennsylvania. Keystone Battery was rushed by rail to Gettysburg, but was placed in reserve and saw no major action there. Following Lee’s withdrawal from Pennsylvania, the Keystone Battery engaged the enemy repeatedly in Virginia. At the expiration of its term of service, The Keystone Battery was returned to Philadelphia.

The Keystone Battery immediately opened a second enlistment and throughout the war kept its force in the field with repeated enlistments. Examination of the troop rosters for the various enlistments reveals that a veteran core of enlisted and officers remained in service with the Keystone Battery throughout the entire war. The Keystone Battery served with distinction during the war.

Subsequent to the Civil War, the Keystone Battery was reorganized and admitted into the Pennsylvania National Guard. The unit saw action during the labor riots of 1877, the Spanish-American War, and the coal strike of 1902.

See also:
The Civil War Archive, Union Regimental Histories, Pennsylvania, Battery “A”, 1st Regiment Light Artillery (43rd Volunteers) (webpage)

The History of Battery A (Formerly known as the Keystone Battery) and Troop A, N.G.P., Compiled and edited by Logan Howard-Smith and J.F. Reynolds Scott, Philadelphia, The John C. Winston Co, 1912 (PDF file, 4.66 MB)

This image combines the image of Lt. Ronald Evans, Commanding officer of the Keystone Battery of Pennsylvania, Batter ‘A’, 1st Regiment Light Artillery 43rd Volunteers. In the USA reinactors, such as Lt. Ronald Evans, go throughout the South and reinact the battles associated with this regiment. There are many folks who participate in these reinactments.

It is Memorial Day in the USA and this image is my contribution to the honorable tradition of honoring those who died in serving the country during war and peace.

I have been creating fusion photography for over 10 years and have been in numerous shows and galleries. My training includes courses in Digital Art and fine art. I continually work to improve my art and the craft of photography.

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  • © Kira Bodensted
    © Kira Bodenstedalmost 2 years ago

    05-27-13 Congratulations!
    Your outstanding work has been featured in ART UNIVERSE

  • Thanks so much Kira for the feature.

    – Jeff Burgess

  • Keith Reesor
    Keith Reesoralmost 2 years ago

    Outstanding work Jeff!! :)

  • Thanks Keith for your look and comment.

    – Jeff Burgess

  • Woodie
    Woodiealmost 2 years ago

    Fantastic image Jeff,
    As a matter of interest how many stars would be on your flag at this time as I’ve seen 50 stars (1960) pattern flags used in WW2 re-enactment photos? Cheers Neil

  • Don’t actually know how many states existed at the time of the civil war. Interesting that they include all 50 in re-enactments. Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked it.

    – Jeff Burgess

  • TeresaB
    TeresaBalmost 2 years ago

    May 28, 2013

    Beautiful work!

  • Thanks so much for featuring this image in layered up. It is much appreciated. I think the sepia also lends to the image.

    – Jeff Burgess

  • billfox256
    billfox256almost 2 years ago

    This is a tremendous salute to all the brave men and woman, from both sides, of this conflict.
    If memory serves me right there were 34 stars in the flag at the time!!! Congratulations on
    a well deserved feature!!! Bill

  • This was a war that allowed the flag showing 50 stars……so men on both sides and families of all should be honored for their sacrifice. It is too bad that this war occurred but the result is a country like no other.

    – Jeff Burgess

  • vigor
    vigorover 1 year ago

    Beautiful work, I love these reinactments!

  • Thanks so much for your comment.

    – Jeff Burgess

  • AngieDavies
    AngieDaviesover 1 year ago

    Very nice work!

  • Thanks.

    – Jeff Burgess

  • pat gamwell
    pat gamwellover 1 year ago




  • Thanks so much Pat for featuring this image on the #1 artists of redbubble.

    – Jeff Burgess

  • virginian
    virginianover 1 year ago

    Wonderful work!

  • Thanks Much Virginian Photography

    – Jeff Burgess

  • Marilyn Cornwell
    Marilyn Cornwellover 1 year ago

    Beautiful work, Jeff!

  • Thanks Marilyn. Much appreciated.

    – Jeff Burgess

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