Representing the Union Army of the period are several units that are recreations of actual Civil War military organizations. These include representative units from the artillery, infantry and cavalry, as well as the support systems such as the U.S. Medical Department.
The Infantry was the mainstay of the Army during the War, the "Queen of Battle." It represented the bulk of the troops that engaged in fighting. Most of the soldiers in the field during the Civil War belonged to infantry units organized under the auspices of the state volunteers.
Union Brigade Commander:
Image by Wm. Dunnaway at Ardenwood Farm, Fremont Ca. 2005
In the NCWA, the Union Brigade infantry is represented by several units:
- 1st U.S. Sharpshooters: One of the regiments of the famous Berdan units, clad in distinctive green uniforms. This was an elite group of marksmen.
- 7th West Virginia: Nicknamed the "Bloody Seventh," it fought in more battles and suffered more losses than any other regiment from West Virginia during the Civil War.
- 69th New York Volunteer Infantry: Part of the famed "Irish Brigade" that was composed largely of immigrants who came to the defense of their adopted land.
- 71st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry: Formed in Pennsylvania by Californians that returned to their home state to fight for the Union.
The other two uniformed branches of the Army, artillery and cavalry, are also represented in the Union Brigade:
- The Federal Artillery Reserve: Headquartered at the Presidio of San Francisco at the outbreak of the War, Lincoln had this "regular army" unit moved east for the war effort.
- 2nd Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry: Actually raised in California, this unit was nicknamed the "California Hundred" as it represented one hundred Californians that volunteered for duty in the Eastern theater.
Also represented in the NCWA's Union Brigade:
- United States Army Medical Service: This organization provided medical facilities, surgeons and nursing care for the Union Army. Also represented is the United States Sanitary Commission, a civilian relief agency which provided comforts to the soldiers.