Education

Montville Township Boy Scouts Meet Civil War Re-Enactor; Will Travel to Gettysburg

d1bb5ed6428ca9659572_best_Boy_Scout_Troop_meeting_re-enactor_077.JPG
Scouts from Montville Township's Troop 74 met Civil War re-enactor Gregory Belcastro of the 7th NJ Infantry Company “A” on October 21st at their troop meeting. Credits: Melissa Benno
2ed1cec88f3997657806_best_Boy_Scout_Troop_meeting_re-enactor_042.JPG
Civil War re-enactor Gregory Belcastro of the 7th NJ Infantry Company “A” speaks to scouts from Montville Township's Troop 74 on October 21st at their troop meeting. Credits: Melissa Benno
ddc1c24f989ce6c2fd1f_best_Boy_Scout_Troop_meeting_re-enactor_050_fix.jpg
Scouts from Montville Township's Troop 74 listen as Civil War re-enactor Gregory Belcastro of the 7th NJ Infantry Company “A” speaks at their troop meeting. Credits: Melissa Benno
254162bb8267f1fff014_best_Boy_Scout_Troop_meeting_re-enactor_057.JPG
Scouts from Montville Township's Troop 74 line up for Civil War re-enactor Gregory Belcastro to demonstrate linear fighting tactics on October 21st at their troop meeting. Credits: Melissa Benno
d1bb5ed6428ca9659572_best_Boy_Scout_Troop_meeting_re-enactor_077.JPG

MONTVILLE, NJ – Montville Township’s Boy Scout Troop 74 met First Sergeant Gregory Belcastro of the 7th NJ Infantry Company “A” on October 21st at their troop meeting. Belcastro, who has been a Civil War soldier re-enactor for 18 years, taught the troop about the Civil War, Gettysburg and New Jersey soldiers’ role.

Buried Here in Montville

Montville Township Historical Society President Kathy Fisher opened the meeting by telling the scouts that a Civil War soldier is buried directly next to the church where the troop meets, by the name of George Buggins.

Sign Up for E-News

“War was tough on entire communities,” continued Belcastro. “The companies were structured by entire counties from New Jersey. If one company suffered heavy losses, an entire community lost its youth.”

Uniform

Belcastro went on to describe his uniform to the scouts.

“We wore a long, wool uniform, called a ‘frock coat,’” said Belcastro. “It protected the men’s thighs, and was a fancy-looking uniform. New Jersey was the only state in the union that issued men this uniform, and always looked sharp in the field.

“On my head is a ‘forage cap,’ which was a little floppy, but named because if the soldiers didn’t get enough food, they could flip it upside down and collect food in it, because the cap expands to twice its size.

“On my ankles are white pieces of canvas called ‘gators,’ which served as a cheap boot. The commanding officer of the 7th New Jersey, Colonel Francine, bought all of his soldiers these white gators, so they stood out on the field. Even today, I can spot my men on the field, too.”

Equipment

Belcastro also showed the scouts his pack, filled with a candle, sewing and shaving kits, and hard tack.

“They also carried games like checkers, cards and dice, but just before a battle the road would be strewn with these items. It was considered a sin to play cards or dice, so the soldiers would discard the items so if they were hit, the items wouldn’t be found with them.”

Casualties

The Civil War was rough on New Jersey, Belcastro told the scouts. There were one thousand men in the New Jersey brigade at the start of the war, but before the fighting had actually started two years later, there were only 375 left.

“Illness and disease claimed them,” stated Belcastro. “Most of the soldiers were farm boys, but when they met the city boys from Newark and Trenton, those men had been exposed to mumps and measles and it spread to the others. There were 275 left by 1863, a year later, and after the first day of Gettysburg only 125 New Jersey soldiers remained.”

Weapons

Belcastro then showed an early Civil War rifle and a later Civil War rifle to the scouts. He explained that grooves cut into the barrel improved the accuracy of the later rifle. He also demonstrated the bayonet feature of the musket. He explained military tactics, called linear or Napoleonic tactics, in which the soldiers formed a shoulder-to-shoulder line to fight, which equated to heavy loss of life.

“Sharp shooters were told they weren’t men, because they hid in trees and bushes,” he said.

Later in the war, more accurate guns were used and Grant changed tactics after a 20-minute 1864 battle resulted in 8,000 casualties.

Trip in November

Belcastro’s visit was spurred by the Troop’s November camping trip, which will be a trip to see the Gettysburg battlefield; touring Crystal Cave Park; experiencing the Escape Room, an interactive entertainment experience that requires teamwork to solve a puzzle to reach the goal;  and visiting the Antique Automobile Club of America.

The 2nd NJ Brigade will be re-enacting “Winter on the Home Front: A Civil War Christmas” on December 5th and 6th at Historic Speedwell. For more information, click Christmas

For more information about the 2nd NJ Brigade of the 7th NJ infantry Co “A,” click HERE

For more information about Montville Township’s Boy Scout Troop 74, click HERE

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montville

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_731db9e3e271373f9a07_library_winter__2018_tapinto_montville4

Mon, April 23, 3:30 PM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Paper Airplane Challenge

Education

Carousel_image_a1e0d610d1aa73fa1837_0eb64679-6d22-4fd0-8df2-5afc1b4ad4b6

Mon, April 23, 7:00 PM

Senior House, Montville

Montville Republican Club Monthly Meeting

Government

Carousel_image_a9bf50845abee2b52c7e_high_school_montville_township_high_school__2018_tapinto_montville_____1.

Tue, April 24, 7:30 PM

Montville Township High School, Montville

Board of Ed @HIGH SCHOOL

Education

Carousel_image_449c9683624fc0df433b_a_township_committee_2018__2018_tapinto_montville

Tue, April 24, 8:00 PM

Montville Township Municipal Building, Montville

Montville Township Committee Meeting

Government

Calling For The Resignation of Councilwoman June Witty

April 12, 2018

Dear Editor,

This week, Montville Township Republican Committeewoman, June Witty, posted a chart depicting a swastika that compared Democrats to Nazis on her personal Facebook page. This post by Committeewoman Witty was not only insensitive to township residents registered as Democrats but, more importantly, this post is rooted in hate and vitriol toward the Jewish Community. Anti-Semitism is ...

OneMontville Hosts Community Screening of “Love, Simon” with MSLstories.com

April 21, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - OneMontville announces a community screening of the new film, “Love, Simon” in coordination with MSLstories.com. The screening will take place on Sunday, May 6 at the AMC Theaters in Wayne, NJ starting at 3:45pm. Tickets are available for $9 per person, and may be purchased through local businesses promoting the event. Tickets are currently available at ...

Master Plan Kick-off Meeting to Be Held

April 8, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Township Committee, Planning Board, and Zoning Board of Adjustment will have a special “Master Plan Kick-off Meeting” at the municipal building on Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m.

The Master Plan is the document that has been “designed to guide the future development of the community, in a manner consistent with sound planning criteria and the ...

Short Evacuation Occurs at MTHS

April 17, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – A short evacuation occurred at Montville Township High School on April 17.

After the regular 2:10 p.m. dismissal, a fire alarm sounded but an announcement was made naming it a false alarm, according to a student who was in the building for an extracurricular activity.

The alarm again went off at 2:18 p.m. and the student said an announcement was made that the building ...

Police Officer Offers Cyber Safety Tips

April 21, 2018

POMPTON PLAINS, NJ – Sergeant Tom Rich of the Summit Police Department spoke before a room packed with parents wanting to hear about technology’s effect on their children and his seminar entitled “Media & Cyber Safety: Protecting Children and Teens” on April 12.

The 20-year police veteran discussed his passion for working with and helping children. He said that in a ...

Lifehouse, Andy Grammer, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited to Perform for 2018 NJ Balloon Festival

April 9, 2018

READINGTON, NJ – Balloons may be the main attraction at the annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, but music also takes center stage here.

The festival will be held July 27 through July 29 at Solberg Airport and this year’s main music attractions have been announced.

On Friday evening, Andy Grammer will perform. His debut album featured the platinum singles ...

OneMontville Hosts Community Screening of “Love, Simon” with MSLstories.com

April 21, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - OneMontville announces a community screening of the new film, “Love, Simon” in coordination with MSLstories.com. The screening will take place on Sunday, May 6 at the AMC Theaters in Wayne, NJ starting at 3:45pm. Tickets are available for $9 per person, and may be purchased through local businesses promoting the event. Tickets are currently available at ...

Columns

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, April 21 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 22 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
172 Pine Brook Road, Montville
10 ...

Century 21 Open Houses this Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 open houses for this weekend:

Saturday, April 14 from 1 - 4 p.m.

1.  Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 15 from 1 - 4 p.m.

1.  42 Horseneck Road, Montville

2.  Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two ...

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 The Crossing open houses this weekend:

Saturday, April 7 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)

Sunday, April 8 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
42 Horseneck Road, ...

Century 21 Open Houses This Weekend

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are Century 21 The Crossing open houses this weekend:

Saturday, March 31 from 1 - 4 p.m.  

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
1 Kirsten Court, Towaco
42 Horseneck Road, Montville

Saturday, March 31 from 1 - 3 p.m.

12 Pond View, Montville

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Pet Corner