Today’s Unit


The History of Today’s 1st Nebraska

The Unit was formed in the late 1980’s as the “Irish Battalion” in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska.  As the Irish Battalion, we portrayed both Union and Confederate troops at many events.  We saw service in the reenactments of Shiloh, Prairie Grove, Butler, Westport, and Gettysburg.  Additionally, we have been at numerous local events and parades.  Many of our members have been involved in many Civil War movies, such as: “Glory”, “Dances With Wolves”, and “Gettysburg”.  We have also been involved in numerous school presentations and other such activities.


Members of First Nebraska at the 135th anniversary (1998) Battle of Gettysburg

The “Irish Battalion” served us well as a name, it reflected the Irish units that fought for both the North and South.  In 1990, we voted to change the name to: “1st Nebraska Infantry”, (Irish Battalion).  We wanted to tie into the rich and almost forgotten history of our area.  So we voted to represent the Nebraska Territory in 1861.

In early 1996, we voted for a company designation.  We chose Company A.  As the years have passed, new members have joined to make the unit what it is today.  In every event we attend, we continue to bring honor and pride to the many men who called Nebraska their home.

While today’s First Nebraska primarily portrays Union soldiers, we occasionally portray  Confederate soldiers at reenactments to help balance the numbers.  Most notably is the reenactment held in Pipestone, Minnesota where Union forces largely out number the Confederates.  At this reenactment we portray the 6th Arkansas.  Information on proper Confederate uniforms and equipment to each individual unit is sparse, and as in the 1860’s, we go with a more general impression.  For example, a butternut to gray sack coat with brown civilian pants is appropriate.