by Jeff Bell
A battle-hardened veteran of the Civil War walks the halls of WVU Parkersburg. Donny Jones, a current sophomore studying Political Sciences and History, faces the tiring schedule of student life and also spends several weekends portraying 1st Sergeant Jones of the 36th Virginia Infantry, Company A, also known as the Buffalo Guard.
The Buffalo Guard was originally formed in Buffalo, West (ern) Virginia in 1859 and was accepted into the Confederate States service in July 1861 according to Jones.
“The Buffalo Guard has battle honors including Carnifex Ferry, Kessler’s Cross Lanes, Fort Donnellson and Fayetteville. The Guard was disbanded in April 1865,” Jones said. Jones’ fascination with the Civil War started at a very young age.
As a child, Jones would accompany his grandfather while hunting for Civil War relics in area encampments and other sites. “I saw my first reenactment when I was 12 and joined the 36th Infantry when I was 14, working my way up through the ranks,” Jones said. Jones was promoted to the rank of 1st Sergeant Sunday, Mar 27. “As a re-enactor, my goal is to portray the average confederate soldier, recreate battles for the public to see, and live as the boys of 1865 lived for weekends at a time,” Jones said. The schedule keeps Jones busy, averaging one event a month between Mar and Nov.
“We travel all over this somewhat local area of W.Va., VA., Tenn. and Ky.,” Jones said. This may sound exciting, but this hobby is not for the faint of heart.
“You need to have a love of the Civil War or at least of US History,” Jones said.
The Buffalo Guard has the proud honor of being the best Confederate impression in the state and maintains a very strict uniform regulation, but the complete uniform of the re-enactor can be compiled over time.
With plenty of veteran re-enactors available, the uniform kit of a new recruit will quickly become authentic.
“Achieving a good impression does take a little time,” Jones said.According to Jones, the regiment is always interested in meeting new Civil War re-enactors. Contact Jones via e-mail at JacksonCoRebel@aol.com or on facebook for more information