Musters – Events

The First Defenders meet at 6:30 PM on the second Tuesday of each month from September through May. Meetings include dinner and a speaker who may be a guest or a member. Meetings are currently held at The Inn at Reading. A book raffle is held each month with all proceeds donated to battlefield preservation. Guests and new members are welcome. Space is limited in the restaurant, so please contact a board member or the First Defenders by email (see the Regimental Staff page).


MEMBERS ONLY! Sign up to attend the upcoming event!


Sickles at Gettysburg

No one who fought at Gettysburg was more controversial than Daniel Edgar Sickles.  A disgraced former congressman who had shot and killed his young wife's lover (and who beat the charge with the first insanity defense in American history), Sickles was the only military non-professional corps commander in either army at Gettysburg.  

Reviled by many, Sickles would always claim he had won the battle by deploying (and essentially destroying) his III Corps from Devil's Den, through the Wheatfield to the Peach Orchard and along the Emmitsburg Road.  Assailed from two directions by Longstreet's Confederate juggernaut, historians still debate whether Sickles was foolish or extraordinarily lucky.  Sickles would lose a leg during the action on July 2nd, and he would never return to a field command.  He would, however, eventually return to Congress late in the 19th Century and manage to have himself awarded a Medal of Honor!

James Hessler is a Licensed Battlefield Guide who has written what has been described as the first balanced biography of Daniel Edgar Sickles.  His program will discuss this rogue-ish character who left an indelible mark on the Battle of Gettysburg and who lived a long and controversial life.  Love Sickles or despise him, he was unquestionably one-of-a-kind!