Beatty, who started as a private, is today a First Lieutenant (second in charge) in Reynolds Battery L, which comprises 76 members and is the state’s largest re-enactors artillery unit. Also in that unit is Lockport’s Rick Chapman.
Annually, the unit begins its re-enacting season during the first week in May and generally goes through to the end of September. Beginning in 2011, the summers have been especially special to CW re-enactors who are traveling throughout the country to participate in the 150th anniversaries of the some of the war’s greatest battles.
Last year, Reynolds Battery L was fighting around a little creek called Bull Run, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Manassas. This September, the group will celebrate the same anniversary at another small creek called Antietam in Sharpsburg, Md.
Next year is the biggest of them all, with the three day battle of Gettysburg celebrating its 150th on July 1 to 3, 2013. Like those brave union soldiers of yesterday who had a call to duty, Beatty and his troops feel it’s their duty to be there and to remember the courage and unheard of sacrifice men and women exhibited in those troubled times.
“The Civil War soldier was a very patriotic person. Our version of war today tends to be industrialized or politicized. Reading so many of their journals, I think a lot of them felt it was their duty to fight in this war. There were very little desertions. They had hardships, but they stepped up and did what they thought was right.”
Beatty’s exploits has landed him and many of his fellow re-enactors in acclaimed Civil War films that include Gods and Generals, working with acting greats like Stephen Lang, who played Stonewall Jackson in that film and also played General George Pickett in the movie Gettysburg (Killer Angels).
Jackson and Pickett aside, Batty’s two favorite Civil War generals are John Reynolds and Winfield Scott Hancock.
A Lockport native, Beatty has been married to the former Sandy Gardner of Lockport for the past 37 years. They have two daughters, Allison, 28; and Jillian, 25.
Contact US&J sports editor John D’Onofrio at 439-9222 ext. 6247.