I was the first of the company to arrive at Hale Farm, and found we were assigned our usual location in the woods. I started to drive my car down the trail into the woods, but rains had been pummeling the area, leaving rutted mud paths where the wheels of my car would only spin, so I parked just to the edge of the woods and started unloading.
I was soon confronted by Col Van Wey with a handshake. Among a bit of small talk he pointed to the piles of dirt on the field where the battles would be held. The crew that made those piles had not followed the instructions which included the digging of trenches. However, it was probably good as we agreed we would probably end up reenacting the Parting of the Red Sea.
The rest of the company arrived, and all but myself decided to campaign, sleeping under a fly or shebang. I came, not knowing what rank I would hold, so had gear for both private and lieutenant and needed a place to store my spare gear, so had the only A in camp.
With the threat of rain lasting all weekend long, our numbers were down. None of our ladies attended.
The schedule Saturday was pretty light, with only picket duty being assigned. An abundance of rations was issued early and timely, which included pork, potatoes, eggs, and apples.
We went into parade with my rifle in my hand. We expected a new recruit to arrive who would be carrying my gun, but he had not shown yet, and we needed the rifles.
A quick morning parade, then we worked to improve the breastworks, adding logs to strengthen. When we finished we were free to relax and enjoy the rest of our morning.
Our new recruit did finally show, and we outfitted him in time for battle, allowing me to carry a sword instead of a rifle.
We went into battle and defended the breastwork. As the battle neared completion, the rains hit hard, first drenching the crowds, giving us a show as if the apocalypse was upon us as they scattered to shelter. But the rains quickly hit us as well, and we had the men clear muskets and double-quick to the shelter of the woods.
The rains continued for hours, turning our camp into a lake. Picket duty was canceled. Dinner approached and Pvt Compton cooked a tasty dinner for us, combining the rations with corn, spinach, and onion, running out to the campfire when the rains let up and returning to shelter when the clouds opened up.
Pvt Matt Roberts showed up late into the night and joined us, setting up a shebang next to Cpl Silvers.
I settled for the night, getting dry in the warm night inside my tent.
Morning came to more wet. Pvt Compton wanted to cook up breakfast for us, but finally gave up out of frustration, unable to get coals worked up between the heavy and constant rains. Except for morning parade and the battle, all other activities were canceled.
Between parade and the battle, we broke camp and hauled off our gear to our cars, trying to beat the worst of the rains we heard were coming.
The battle proceeded, and we fought until we ran out of ammunition, but we held the breastworks.
And with nothing left dry in our possession, we left.