Monday, November 7, 2011

The End of the Season

Guyandotte, Huntington WV, November 5-6, 2011

The 1st Tennessee had a contingent of five, larger than last year, although Winston went civilian this time, dressing as Jefferson Davis.  We fell in with the 5th Kentucky, rather cramped up into a little corner.

It was a good weekend.  Even though all battles were street fights, it seemed more appropriate since this was the actual location of a skirmish 150 years ago, when the Federal forces burned the village to the ground.

The weekend did not start so well for Cpl Jeff Carte, who had somehow managed to forget the entire wood frame for his tent.  But being creative rebel soldiers, we managed to scavenge Cpl Kletzli’s fly.  Cutting the wood for his fly down to size, Carte managed to use the canvas for Kletzli’s fly as his tent.  He was fortunate that I had also brought my dog tent, so that the ends of his tent could be covered.  When done, with the odd dimensions of about 12 feet by 5 feet, Kletzli christened the tent Jeff’s Weiner Dog tent.
Jeff's Weiner Dog Tent

It was probably just as well that Kletzli had to give up his fly.  It felt like there was hardly any space to move.  I imagine, though, that if we have any more numbers, we’ll be sure to get sufficient space.

Zack Carte got into some kind of motivated work mode that Friday evening.  He made two trips to the wood pile, loading up a good portion of the bed of his truck each time.  We had more wood than we knew what do to do with.  Winston even had a tough time using up the wood while he attempted to signal the Soyuz capsule down.

They did feed us well, with breakfast (biscuits and sausage gravy) and lunch both days.  Lunch on Saturday included vegetable soup, which everyone thought was good, though I was not fond of, but I am not much for vegetable soup.  Sunday lunch was hot dogs, with chili sauce, which was more to my liking.  No supper was served, so we were on our own.  Fortunately I had my trusty jowl bacon and eggs I had planned for breakfast, and included frying a brick of oatmeal.

Saturday brought us a disappointing battle, although we did have HK Edgerton join us as our flag bearer.  The colonel had the 5th Kentucky wait to one side for the Yankees to pass, then we were to enter the street and join the battle, where they would eventually surrender.  The problem was that the Yankees never pushed far enough to get past us, and so we would have missed out on the battle completely.  I looked around and thought that if we ran down the street we could enter at the far end of town and at least get a fair showing.  I had no sooner finished this thought when Capt. Steiner ordered us at the double-quick down the street, as if he had read my mind.

After I cleaned my gun I did get to listen to HK Edgerton for awhile.  After experiencing him last year as a black Confederate soldier, I was hoping I would see him again this year.  I managed to video quite a bit of his talk, but the batteries for my good camcorder died after about ten minutes.  The rest of the video was from my cell phone, which is of rather questionable quality.  Hopefully, you will find him interesting, and will be able to view the videos.  One thing is for certain, he has a certain dislike for Yankees.   More information on HK Edgerton can be found at

The Sunday battle did go much better.  We entered the battle at a good point and made a glorious death.

The one turn-off of the day was about an hour before the battle, there was a scenario where a group of Yankee prisoners were to be marched out of town. Since they were short the hundred or so Yankees they needed, they asked us to galvanize as prisoners for the scenario.  I had my navy vest and black slouch hat on, so all I had to do was take my coat off and I passed for a Yankee (go figure).  But most of the rest of us had butternut or gray kepis, so it was a little more difficult to pass them off as Yankees.  Plus it all just felt weird.  It seemed to me that they would have been fine with the smaller numbers.  They did offer us the opportunity to bow out, but I think most of us just went with the flow, not really thinking about it.

Overall it was a great weekend.  The weather could not have been better, even though it was late in the year.  It was a bit nippy during the early morning hours, but during the daylight hours it was warm enough that we did not need our greatcoats.  Kletzli has expressed his dislike for street battles, but at this event he gave an approving nod, since it was in line with the history of the location.

It was an excellent way to end the season.

And with that, there will be a few posts between now and the start of next season, but it will be light.

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