Tuesday, September 29, 2009

After action report - Pawnee City, Nebraska.

Went to a reenactment this past weekend in Pawnee City, Nebraska. It was small and not based on any actual battle in the area but I hadn't been out all year and was missing the wool. Mrs. Spiff and the three youngsters went along as well. The event was sponsored by the local museum and took place on the grounds and adjacent property.

We left home on Friday afternoon around 4:00. The drive was only about three hours but took a little longer due to some stops for provisions. Nice to have that short of a trip. On our arrival there were few reenactors (a permanent situation) and much confusion. After attempting to register as per instructions we were told that there was no Friday night registration. The registration took place on Saturday morning, a bit awkward.

First order of business was to get Mrs. Spiff and the family set up. We located the civilian camp and got the tent set up and gear unloaded with no problem. While the setting was less than authentic, the civilian camp offered a nice location for camping.

A short drive into the boondocks brought us to the C.S. camp. I was able to quickly locate my company and begin unloading. As we were doing this the rain that had been falling off and on began again. Fast movement prevented any significant wetting of my bedding. The rain continued most of the night but all stayed dry. A quick shower the next morning would be the last of the rain for the weekend.

Reveille sounded before sunup on Saturday. After dodging the brief shower we lined up for roll-call. That done, breakfast was attended to with rapidity before morning parade. Following parade I was assigned to picket duty. That was uneventful save for a brief encounter with an arrogant cavalry civilian. After getting relieved on picket I was able to get a pass to go up to the civilian camp and check on everyone. Things seemed to be going well and all were surviving. Bug appeared to be enjoying her first event as she crawled around and looked at grass and leaves. Spiff Jr. and Sis being the veterans they are were having a ball. Had lunch while I was up to visit.

Spent the early afternoon practicing for some hand-to-hand combat centered around a Union gun. Took a few takes but we got it down. The fight went well and the hand-to-hand went as planned. A couple of the guys who watched said it looked pretty good.

Following the battle we cleaned up and relaxed for awhile. Then came some dinner and a visit to town. After that I again visited the civilian camp and chatted with the family for awhile before bidding them good night and heading back to camp. A late night offensive was contemplated by command and we were told to prepare before bed. I did so but the movement was inexplicably called off. Slept soundly.

Awoke Sunday morning to a crash of gunfire. Surprise attack and Billy Yank was on the offensive. Scrambled out of bed and into line as we got them stopped just short of the camp. Managed to push them back to their camp and outflank them to gain the edge of their camp before a truce was called. Great skirmish and well played by the Blue-bellies. Somewhat surprising to find them so aggressive.

Following the fight we returned to camp for breakfast. I then packed out some of my gear before church call. Attended a mutual service in the museum chapel. Good sermon. C.S., U.S., civilians, and spectators all present. Nice.

Walked the family back to their tent after the service and then returned to camp. Packed out the rest of my gear. Battle at 1:00 p.m. Not quite as impressive as the first day. We were supposed to repeat the hand-to-hand but never got the chance. Got whipped badly.

No trouble at all getting out of the event. Packed up pretty quickly and hit the road. Faster trip home with fewer stops.

Overall it was a fun little event that I would like to repeat is possible. The forces were small but the setup was acceptable and the powder ration did much to make up for any shortfalls. For its size it was well done and well attended by the public.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Don't forget.

I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the planes flying into the World Trade Center. I pray that everyone will always remember that day and those who died.