Federal Volunteer Brigade

Gen. Ron Palese

Past Commander

Jan. 22-1949 -

Dec. 21. 2017


Our Mission Statement:
The Federal Volunteer Brigade is formed as a living memorial, to provide living historians a means to honor the men, who fought to preserve the Union during the War of the Rebellion from 1861 through 1865, and the women and families who supported them. The Federal Volunteer Brigade members pledge to strive to accurately portray the lifestyle of the period, with honor, dignity and respect to themselves, each other and to the memory of those we represent.


It is with the deepest sadness that I announce the passing of General Ronold E. Palese.

Ron passed away late this afternoon, December 21, 2017, in Myrtle Beach, SC, surrounded by his family.

Our reenacting family deeply mourns the loss of his friendship and his abounding spirit. His passing will be felt within our reenacting community. Ron was a guiding force in the early years of reenacting, a mentor to many and a friend to all.

Funeral arrangements are pending, and the family is requesting those who would like to attend his funeral to let them know if they will be attending.

Ron was my mentor, my good-and-bad guide through my reenacting "career". He was a wealth of knowledge, and I could always count on him for solid and sage advice.

Through the good and bad times, I loved him as a brother, and I was comforted in knowing he always had the best interests of me and our community at heart.

He will be missed, and never forgotten.

May God rest his soul.

--Gen. Jay Henson

Our History:

The Brigade was formed in July 2008, after the 145th Gettysburg event.  It was decided at that event that we should branch out on our own to pursue our vision of reenacting.  The organizational meeting was held in Gettysburg.  An initial draft of by-laws were written, communications inviting members was drafted, and the name Federal Volunteer Brigade (FVB) was adopted.  Ron Palese was selected to be the Brigadier General, and Jay Henson was selected as First Regiment Colonel.

Our first event as the Federal Volunteer Brigade was in October 2008, at Cedar Creek, in Middletown, VA.

General Palese retired at the end of the 150th Gettysburg event, passing command to Brevet Gen. Dennis Shirk, of the 93rd PA. Colonel Jay Henson was appointed General, then ratified by a vote from the Board of Company Commanders in 2015.

Our history goes back further than the creation of the FVB. 

Before the FVB was founded, the majority of our companies were the Second Regiment of Vincent’s Brigade, where Ron Palese was Colonel.  Some of the original members of Vincent’s Second were the 93rd Pa., with Dennis Shirk, the 61st Pa., with Rob Wingert, the 87th Pa., with Jim VanLaeys, and the 7th Md. with Jay Henson.

Our future is bright, in part by the strength of our past.  

If you or your company is interested in joining the Brigade, please contact us.  

Gen. Dennis Shirk

Past Commander