July 12-13, 2014
It was hot, and I was tired, so I tossed the very minimum of needs into my car for Sharon Woods, opting for a dog, my officer’s uniform, and basic gear. I was in such a mood that I forgot completely to pack my skillet and eating utensils.
I set my dog as a shebang, hanging the ends over the front to provide a bit of extra shelter. So long as it didn’t rain, it was plenty. I set up against a tree to use the mulch for the soft ground, though it was sloped bad, so made it feel like I’d roll away if I wasn’t careful.
J.R. Sharp worked with Chris Edwards for most of the scenario planning. Dave Julian took overall Confederate command, which gave me the opportunity to come as battalion major.
The 4th Ohio came to galvanize to help us with the expected low Confederate numbers. The 9th Kentucky was also there in force. The Confederate Marines was there as our artillery.
We formed for morning parade and I had a bit of difficulty getting them on line. Working with the colonel, I determined that my problem was in not enforcing the companies to bring their guides to the line. I was following a shortcut I had seen in having them simply dress to each other.
We were supposed to lose the battle Saturday, starting deep into the village and be pushed back to the field. But the Yankees moved like a drunk slug. It was clear they would not take ground from us—we would have to pull back and give it to them.
The battle went sluggish—the Yankees only advancing when we pulled back to give them ground. Once we were finally pushed into the field, the men ran low on ammunition. But the Yankees stopped to parlez, so the battle ended with us holding the field.
Supper was noodles and salad—a bit of a let-down from Ohio Village, but the meal from Ohio Village cannot be topped.
After supper, I relaxed awhile. We could hear the music of the ball, and eventually Keisha Farelly came to me and asked if I could dance with Cheyenne, Trish Carte’s five year old granddaughter.
Making a child happy is always a good thing. I took the short toddler to the dance floor, but the dance we were to do was the Spanish Waltz, a somewhat complex dance difficult to teach to beginners. I tried working with her a bit with Keisha and John (who also were beginners at the period dance), and found failure. Cheyenne was easily distracted and confused—we were making no progress—so I pulled us out to wait for the next dance.
The next dance was rather simple, being similar to the Virginia Reel, called the Liberty Reel. It was energetic, and by the end of the dance I was drenched in sweat, but Cheyenne loved the dance.
I slept somewhat well. The day went pretty quiet, with a couple games of Euchre.
We formed for battle. There was a rather huge amount of attrition in the Yankee numbers, so the 4th Ohio switched to blue.
The battle started at the train depot, and was to push us back to the hill where we would defend and win. This time the Yankees pushed much better, but clearly the 4th Ohio was also a significant portion of the Yankees we faced.
We were pushed back to the field and made a rush to the woods to make our stand. Unfortunately, as we prepared our fight, lightning strikes nearby unsettled some of the soldiers. Personally, I thought it was a bit early to call the fight, but the threat of electrocution was a bit too much, so we ended the fight there.