The original Company I, (McLean County Rifles) was mustered into service on May 30th 1861 and was commanded by Captain William T Blanchard. They numbered some 127 men in all. The Company history follows the regimental history with the exception that in May 1862, Company I together with companies C,G & H, split from the main body to join Brigadier General George D. Bayard, to fight against Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, in the Shenandoah Valley. They reunited with the rest of the regiment in September 1862. They mustered out with the rest of the Bucktails on May 31st 1864 at Bethesda Church. They had suffered 60 casualties, 21 killed, 38 wounded and 1 missing.
The re-enactment group was founded in 1985 by Brian (Beau) Garoghan, who commanded the unit until 1997 when he stepped back into the ranks, and command of the unit was passed on to Lt. Clive Hooker. In 2002 Clive went off to join the provost and command passed to Beau’s son Lee (Laa Laa) Garoghan. Simon Garoghan took over from Lee in 2016, who still supports as corporal, and was promoted to Captain for the 2018 season.
There are at present some 25 (23 fighting) Bucktails in the unit, most living in the SE, but some from as far as Cornwall and Northampton. The unit has a strong friendship bond and we regularly meet up for social occasions as well as at battles. The command structure currently consists of a captain, first sergeant, ordnance sergeant and two corporals.
Most members of the unit have a strong interest in the history of the period, and will be more than pleased to help any member of the public at our events, to a better understanding of the ACW and its European links.
As a re-enactment group we strive to achieve as an accurate historical portrayal of the original Bucktails as possible. Both on the battle field and around the camp. On the field, like the original Bucktails, we prefer to fight as skimershers out in front of the main force and in the thick of the fighting. Around camp, like the original Bucktails, we like to party!
The group are members of the Southern Skirmish Association ( SOSKAN ) and regularly take part in both SOSKAN and ACWS events throughout the year. At events, the regiment will take part in the camp activities, guard duties and of course, the battles. We all strive along with our colleagues to bring the American Civil War to life and, hopefully , not only entertain the public, but educate them at the same time. The best way to learn anything is to take part, so come along to one of our events, travel back in time, and enjoy learning about our, and our American cousins history.