Sunday, May 18, 2014

Yankees in Gray

Conner Prairie

May 17-18, 2014

Everything written here are my sole opinions and observations and do not represent the opinions or observations of anyone else or any organization. 

Conner Prairie gained a reputation for being very strongly favoring of Yankees and not so supportive of Confederates.  In the past, the Yankees placed pickets to prevent access to the Confederates to the park’s Civil War living history village, even though there really was no reason to. One incident in particular even caused the 1st TN not to return until this year.
This year we were given promises that access would not be restricted, so we hoped for the best, and all worked out.  I hoped, though, that none of our guys would bother the Yankee camps.
We did have a guest company fall in with us that hadn’t been part of the Independent Guard before.  This company came to us as the 4th Florida, but they were more used to wearing blue as the 4th Ohio.  We welcomed them in our ranks.
The 4th Florida was a little small in numbers, but the 154th Tennessee was able to fill them out with only a few of their numbers attending.  The 50th Virginia carried the colors as is their preference, being filled out with members of another company.  Also joining us was the 44th Tennessee, being a strong force, along with the 4th Virginia and the 1st Tennessee.  The 1st TN was a bit weak in numbers, but were helped out with three members galvanizing from the 7th Kansas.
The Saturday battle was rather simple.  The 44th TN was sent down to the left flank to face the cavalry.  The 1st TN faced Henrys on the right flank.  I took position between the main battalion force and the 44th TN to relay the colonel’s commands.
Unfortunately, the Yankees pushed us hard, with the Henrys firing like shouldered Gatling guns, blazing away like a farbie Rifleman.
The battle concluded with our numbers nearly completely decimated.
Sunday started as any Sunday—rather quiet.  I warmed my breakfast over a brazier Capt Sharp was using to keep him and Pvt Marcotte warm underneath the company fly.  We had morning parade and a very brief drill.  The rest of the day was clear until first call at 1:30 pm.
We formed up and advanced down the hill. The 44th TN led the way as vanguard, facing the cavalry and dismounted cavalry with their Henrys.  The 4th VA advanced to the right flank into the woods to hide from the Yankees.
I took position halfway between the 44th TN and the main battalion to act as messenger for the colonel.
The rest of the battalion advanced forward, facing the main Yankee battalion, but before advancing past the 44th TN, the IG double-quicked into position on the 44th’s left, pushing the Yankee cavalry back.
As the Yankee battalion advanced and the cav were put in check, we moved back into the center of the battlefield to face on the Yankees.  The colonel sent the 1st TN up the right flank to face down the unit of Henrys, while the 4th VA came out of the woods.  With so much going on, confusion could be seen within the Yankees.  The Henry unit fired away with reckless abandon, and when they were completely unloaded, the 1st TN charged upon them, forcing them to break and run, unable to reload in time.
With the Henrys out of action and the cav pushed back, we surrounded the Yankees.  We started pushing forward into the Yankees, accelerating as we saw that the Yankees had gone into disarray.   The battle ended with the 4th FL taking the Yankee flag and the 1st TN capturing the Yankee colonel.
The battle was good, with constant action and maneuvering.

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