4th Mo Co E, Fort Defiance, April 14th & 15th, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On Friday a week ago, we straggled into Ft. Defiance trying to beat the cold rain. Some beat it and some didn't. We were joined by a proficient 13 year old fife player who, together with our own Travis on the drums, made wonderful music for our ears.

Friday night, Cpl. Jim Bearden, Sgt. Chris, and Sgt. George visited a local tavern along an abandoned rail line (KATY, I think). We were received with astonished looks and, at least for Chris, admiring glances. We were fed well on typical tavern fare. As we ate, a cold rain settled in.

After returning to camp, we discovered that many expected soldiers were unable to show up. Some were caught out west by a freakish snow and ice storm. Others had transportation difficulties including our dear Captain who could not get his buggy started right in his own barn.

Our camp was on a grassy slope right in front of the Daniel Boone home. The rain ran down the slope all night long. Everyone was cold and wet. Well, the Yankees were not as they sheltered in the town homes and barns with fires burning in the fireplaces.

Dawn broke with the rain continuing. Sgt. Moran braved the elements to get a fire started. We had to drain the water out of the fire hole first. Only Sgt. Jim braved the elements to cook his breakfast in the rain. The rest of us stayed in the tents or visited the Boone home to get warm by the fire.

Lt. Col Mississippi took over Battalion Command. The entire Battalion was consolidated into two companies. Major Looney and one company slipped around the Boone home into town to set up an ambush. The rest of us eased around the Boone home and ran into a Federal outfit in gray uniforms taking their ease in the basement. We drove them out and into the town. Unfortunately, they ran into the first company spoiling our surprise. Amazingly, the rain stopped as soon as the firing commenced. We drove forward into the town pushing the blue bellies ahead of us. Our greatly outnumbered cavalry fought the larger Yankee cavalry to a standstill. To our right was a large parade ground that was soggy with the rain. Local townspeople begged us not to despoil their parade ground. As Southern gentlemen, we agreed to stay on the road and in the town. Amazingly, the northern infantry also abided by their wishes. Their cavalry, scum that they are, ignored the pleas and attempted to flank our lines by riding through the parade ground. We quickly refused the flank, held our fire, and shot them to pieces as we retreated in good order.

Saturday afternoon, there was a traditional wedding on the grounds bringing all activities to a halt. That evening, a truce was declared and a hot meal was shared by all. Later we heard that the dastardly Yankee cavalry pulled out to a man citing the bad weather's effect on their horses. Our beloved Captain showed up after getting his buggy started. Thus,  our forces grew while the opposition's fell. This bodes good fortunesfor the next day.

We spent a cold night snuggled down deep into our blankets. At least there was no rain. Sunday morning brought a hearty breakfast with eggs, bacon, and potatoes from a local farm paid for with good currency. The church bell ran for services. We had expected to be outside since all were muddy and dirty. The local matron invited us in saying mops and hot water cleaned up many things. We were treated to a fine sermon by our dear Captain, clear voices singing, and prayers for the troops. We returned to camp in high spirits.

Rumors had swirled about galvanizing efforts. Sure enough, the four members of the 4th were called upon to break out their blues. Yes, we always have them. After a sumptuous lunch, we began our movement into town. Portraying Yankee scum, we harassed every citizen we saw, demanding kisses, food, and otherwise turning them into southern sympathizers. About half way through town, we picked a fight with a southern company drilling in the parade ground. Several Yankees ran to our aid and formed into line with us. After driving them off, we reported to Col. Stan Prater regarding our two day patrol wherein we tangled with a large force of Confederate troops.The Col. had us fall in with their meager troops. We laid around town, taking in the sun, and continuing our harassment of the towns people.

Several southern troops tried to infiltrate into town as citizens. Our Captain, a private in Yankee uniform, went out to challenge them. they left. Hardly had we settled in when muskets began popping at the edge of town. In the distance, we could see a company of infantry and several Indian troops whooping and hollering. One company tried to push on our left but were stopped by the artillery. Another company pusheda company of Yankees back through the town. Several of us were sent forward along the fence. We were unseen by the enemy until suddenly we flanked their officers. When we began firing on them, their surprised reaction was to call back their troops.

This led to a steady advance through the town. Cpl. Jim Bearden was placed in charge of a squad that protected our left flank and pushed steadily forward. We drove them out of the town,up the slope to the Boone home where we flanked the Confederates and drove them from the field. During the fight through the town, several soldiers were cut offincluding a Confederate Major who fell behind to his ultimate demise.

After the fight, we returned to our tents to shed the blue as quickly as possible. Several of our former adversaries said they could tell who we were by the hard fighting we exhibited. With thanks and praise, we broke camp andheaded for our warm homes.

 

The Good

o   Good food and warm fires

o   Piper and drummer making the best music for marching and fighting

o   Turning townspeople into Southern sympathizers

o   Fighting

o   Church and religious discussions

o   Touring Boone home with Indian troops

o   Hospitality by the local citizens

 

The Bad

o   Galvanizing - but now, we are done with that - someone else's turn

o   Consolidating because we did not have enough soldiers

o   No payroll, contests, rounders, or anything

o   Sitting out the rain in our tents and other protective places

 

The Ugly

o   Rain. cold, cold rain. 

o   Poor turnout throughout the Battalion despite a Max Effort Event

 

Your Obedient Servant,

Sgt. Scott George

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