Cavalry After Action Report
I have put some of the pictures of us that I got and some that I found on the Carolina Brigade Yahoo Group site. It is under the folder Joel's Photos, Some of them are quite good I think and I was happy we got so many. If anyone wants a certain photo or you don't have access to the group let me know and I can send you the photos thru email.
As far as I was concerned, I was as happy as a clam for the duration of the weekend. My journey started out about 10:30 in the morning on Friday as I loaded up the car and drove up to Spartanburg. Dan had graciously offered to come down to my place and pick me and my horse up since my trailer and truck were shot. We left my house around 4:30 and ended up at the site around 6 if memory serves. After some debate we decided to move the picket line and eventually the whole 2nd South camp into a grove of trees right next to the parking lot. It worked out great. I would recommend we ask for this spot in the future as there is very little public traffic through there and easy access to water. Stuart and Jamie arrived at the site about 30 minutes after us and they had gotten pre-approval to crash in the McConnell's cabin and store their horses in the paddock right beside it. If we continue to do this event in the future, we might want to scout the site first and see if the coordinators would let us have our choice of where to set up.
Huge kudos have to be given to Stuart for getting an order of five Tarleton helmets completed in such a short notice. They looked awesome. The weight and heat took some getting used to, but mine is wearing in well. Not only did he deliver the helmet order but he and Jamie added two more troopers to the event, to round us out to seven on Saturday. Not bad considering the event was a last minute throw in. Along with the insta-brit coats, we looked damn good all together. As Ed put it on Saturday, Why is it that we always look so good and have the biggest turnout in the wrong uniform? Anyways, I enjoyed the drill we were able to do with the number that we had even if my horse was acting up a bit. We had some very decent wheels and were doing very well with the maneuvers of coming from column into line and vice versa.
As I saw it, the Battle on Saturday was the best we could do with the circumstances. I fully respect all of our horses for committing to 3 charges to the fence. Gunfire and shouts were coming at them and us at some points from only 10 or 15 feet away. The troops we faced on the other side of the fence were not prepared to "play" with us. They seemed content to simply fire and reload there weapons. Realistically, it would not have been a bad tactic as there was no way our horses were going over the fence or through it. Some of the shots were so close and so many that on the third charge I decided to take a hit, because at that range, all of us would have been unsaddled. Stuart portrayed Christian Huck and therefore had to fall of his horse and die, which he was able to do. We all looked around and then booked. I would have wished the field would have been bigger and the opposition been more willing, but I think we did alright with the tasks given to us.
Unfortunately, I did not get to say goodbye to many of the troopers who left on Saturday, but I must confess, it was probably better that you did leave when you did, as Sunday turned out to be a hellish one. Saturday's dinner left much to be desired as most of the food was gone before half of the line got through. The party that night seemed to be in the separate camps and Trooper Crawley, his daughter Hunter and Myself simply enjoyed some popcorn and Yuengling with conversations from the rest of the 2nd South. On Sunday, Stuart and Jamie had planned to leave around 11:00 am, so Ron and I both agreed that 2 troopers on the field just wouldn't be our cup of tea, so we decided to shove off shortly after the rest. I made sure my saddle was fully packed and that all my gear was collected for the walk out. Ron and Hunter helped ride some of the gear back up to their trailer and then we heard the bad news that Stuart's trailer had an axle shear off. They were stranded until they could find a loaner. I decided that I would ride back down to get more gear but had the misfortune for one of my stirrups to break, so I just went back to the trailer to pack everything else up. Later on, I forgot that Ron's horse Calhoun and my horse Sugar had issues with each other and as I walked her towards the trailer, Calhoun took a shot at her and missed but he was right on target for my left knee. It felt like one of those Yosemite Sam cartoons where he gets kicked by a horse and goes flying off screen. All I know is that I landed in the woods and that my knee and stomach felt like jelly. I turned out to be fine and walked it off although Aleve has been my best friend for the past few days.
I got home about three in the afternoon and I hear Stuart and Jamie made it safely back to Williamsburg at about 8:00 in the morning on Monday.
We had some gorgeous rides on Saturday and Sunday and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. It was great to see everybody this weekend and hopefully all the troopers will be able to get together in the saddle in the near future.
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