Sunday, April 24, 2016

Defencing the Line


Perryville, KY

April 23, 2016

We drove down to Perryville, KY and set up camp at the Baymont Inn in Harrodsburg, surviving the night with what sounded like someone sharpening a sword with a grindstone.

We broke camp early, arriving at the Perryville Battlefield at 9 am, meeting with Chad Greene for instructions.  Our simple goal was to progress the battlefield toward its condition at the time of the battle.  Because the actual clean-up day was the same day as our drill, the park set up this special day for cleanup exclusively for us.

One of the piles of wire fencing we removed.
He directed us to a wire fence with barbwire that needed removed.  Expectations were that it would take us the bulk of the day to remove the some three to four hundred yards of fencing, but the thirteen of us worked quickly, completely stripping the wire well before noon, having time to begin work in tearing a barn down.

Part way into the barn demolition
We stopped for lunch, eating hot dogs and chips provided by the caretakers of the battlefield.

We returned to the barn and finished stripping the sides off and removing boards inside.  The wood we saved was to be used in constructing a barn that will be burned down during the reenactment in October.  Once we cleared the construction, Chad Greene lashed a chain to the support beams and had a bobcat pull the barn down.  We finished our work removing the tin roof.

After cleaning up back in Harrodsburg, we made our way to the Kentucky Fudge Factory and relaxed to a quiet evening on the back porch.

We endured another night of sword sharpening, then headed home, stopping at the Lexington Cemetery to see the graves of a number of Confederate soldiers, including a member of the original 1st Tennessee Co B.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cold and the Wet

The season of wool and gunpowder opened with battalion drill.  The 44th Tennessee, 1st Tennessee, and a consolidation of the 50th Virginia, 5th Virginia, and 19th Virginia met at Hartford City, Indiana to work out the rust of the winter.

I arrived at camp early Friday, finding our new 1st Sergeant, Jeff Carte, unloading some of his gear.  We set up the fly and I started a campfire, reporting back to Capt Sharp to keep the beast from rearing for failing our duties.

Winds picked up and spurts of rain kept us running to the fly for cover.  A few of us, including Capt Sharp, Pvt Compton, Cpl Cochran, and Pvt Myers decided to try to campaign while the rest of us set up tents.  About three times through the night the campaigners had to move from the fire to under the fly to avoid the rain, returning when the drench passed.  The third time, Pvt Compton moved to his car when the fly collapsed, dumping a bucket on him.

The temperature dropped to freezing, chilling me awake and keeping from a good sleep.

Well had roll call, then formed the battalion.  The winds were high, but sky was clear, though cold.  The companies went separate ways to drill, the 1st staying at the cabins behind a hill, while the other two companies went to the top of the hill into a high gale.

After lunch, the weather turned bad, so we relocated battalion drill to the gymnasium at the Indiana National Guard Armory.  We drilled a number of maneuvers, but the space was limited.  We did finally make it through the day of drill, breaking by mid-afternoon for the weekend.