4th Mo Co E, Fredericktown, MO Oct 22-23, 2011

 

After Action Report for Fredericktown, Mo

The Good:

1.       All those listed below who attended. I really appreciate that you came (civilian and soldier alike) such a long distance in such a busy year. I cannot thank you enough for your dedication.

2.       Hand to hand combat with the 9th Sharpshooters. Described below in the after action report.

3.       Singing around the camp fire Saturday night. We had a great time.

a.       Everyone who sang did a great job.

b.       We now have a new marching song taught to us by Tony Venute. What great addition Tony has been to the Fourth.

4.       Being with the 2nd Missouri, 3rd Dismounted, and 9th Missouri Sharp Shooters.

5.       “May the Fourth be with you!”

6.       Great fire wood and plenty of it.

7.       The battle scenarios were good considering the number of troops we had. Actually, they were real good.

8.       Captain Ron, Dime, & Tim did a fine job with the Rebel forces. Hats off to you gentlemen.

The Bad:

1.       Dressing Blue entire weekend. This was my fault for the most part. The plan was to cherry pick 10 soldiers from all four units. I didn’t want to lose any of our men so I just told them I would have all of us go Blue.

2.       Our camp site was a little difficult to deal with but not terrible.

3.       It would have been nice to have more than 10 of us there. We had to be in skirmish mode the entire time we engaged.

The Ugly:

1.       Half mile to the port-a-johns.

2.       Half mile to the water.

Those in attendance:

Soldiers:

Captain Daniel Keith                           

1st Sergeant Laurence Bryan               

2nd Corporal Clayton Kelly                 

Private Jim Bearden

Private Blake Burke                               

Private Anthony Eden                         

Private John Ezell                                  

Private Jim Moran                                 

Private Tracey Odgers (Sat)                

Private Anthony Venute                      

Civilians:

Misses Virginia Johnson

Mister Zadrian Johnson

Misses Becky Keith

Misses Maxine Moran

After Action Report:

Dear Major Sam Looney;

We arrived to Fredericktown, Missouri in the cool of the evening around 6:30. We quickly established a camp and set up tents. We had troops arriving well into the morning.

After a good breakfast First Sergeant Laurence Bryan instructed them men in drill. At Lexington we discovered the new manual of arms written by General Hardee. We have been intently reading and practicing it and plan to have it mastered soon, but I must say that I am sad to see us leave Scott’s manual behind to the dust bin of history. The men took to the new methods as if they had known it from a previous life.

Soon after lunch we were informed of Rebel movement south of Fredericktown. We linked up with Turner’s Brigade with Captain Greg Zelinske as acting commanding officer. We created a stratagem to rid this area of people engaged in acts of perfidy.  We were placed on Captain Randy Baeher’s left flank to guard his cannon as he proceeded to engage in a duel with the rebel artillery. I instructed the men to take shots of opportunity but at the extreme range our fire was ineffectual. As the main body of Union troops arrived we were deployed on the right flank of our army as skirmishers. The forces loyal to the flag pushed the rebels off their works and back into the woods.  Captain Zelinske sent a squad of Cavalry and a platoon of infantry to sweep the rebels from the field. To our surprise, the initial group of rebels was just bait to get us to commit our troops. After a rapid retreat our forces regrouped and repulsed the counter attack. The Fourth’s causalities were 1 officer wounded, 1 soldier wounded, 2 soldiers killed.

Apparently the local inhabitants were much elated by our victory and put on a huge dinner at a local church. Later that night a dance was held and although I did not attend I was told it was a good time had by all. The Fourth sat around the fire and sang songs and talked of home and what we were going to do after the war was over.

The next morning news of Rebel movement was reported again. We were order to again link up with the Turner Brigade commanded by Captain Zelinske. We staged ourselves again on Captain Baeher’s left. As the cannon duel subsided the Fourth again was deployed to the right of main body of troops. As we moved forward one could see the panicked looked in the rebel’s commanding officers actions. Captain Zelinske redeployed us to his left. On our third push into the rebel breast works I did not hear Captain Zelinske command to halt and the Fourth pressed into the works and were engaged in hand to hand combat with what we later found out to be the vaunted Ninth Missouri Sharp Shooters. We overcame the men of the Ninth and pushed them from the field. Again Captain Zelinske deployed a squad of Cavalry and a platoon of Infantry into the woods to clean up rebels. Again, the rebels counter attacked with a strong force. They also uncovered two hidden pieces and commenced to fire directly into us help their counter attack.  We were forced to withdraw from the breast works but as we did we destroyed the section were we were positioned.  This proved helpful because the Rebels were unable to use this section as cover and it forced them into the open. Our fire was too punishing for them to withstand. They began to withdrawal. The Fourth’s causalities were 1 officer killed, 2 soldiers killed, 2 soldiers wounded.

Your obedient servant,

Captain Daniel Keith

Company E

Fourth Missouri Infantry Regiment

Army of the Southwest

USA

 

 

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