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Prelude to Chickamauga

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  • #16
    Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

    Originally posted by Federal Bummer
    Was that the entire confed force or just one company we trapped and routed on sat afternoon?

    My top ten list of the event

    10. The WEATHER

    9. The Ducthman's trade for a large ham, then having no way to carry it

    8. Marching

    7. Being a scout and flanker for the company

    6. Laying out Friday night with a clear sky and great pards

    5. Serving under Lt Petersburg

    4. Watching, counting, and setting the trap above the valley sat and leaving the only way out: A fast advace parallel to our line, allowing us to rake their ranks with fire. Petersburg strikes again

    3. My detachment holding our fire until 5 confederate picketts nearly walked up on us, giving them quite a shock when we opened up, and then pushing them back down the hill along the tree line.

    2. As the same men retreated to the rear of their line, hearing the sound of spencers leting them know their line of retreat has been cut

    1. Escaping the larger enemy force to get to Chattanooga by charging through one of the fords, in fours, EARLY sun morning before the ford could be blocked

    I'm glad at least you didn't include me taking a tree to the face in an effort for dry wood Saturday night Steve!

    I had a great time and cannot think of a better event to close out this year for me. The land was awesome and never really knowing where the enemy was always adds that rare bonus dimension to an event! Great job everyone!
    Andrew Martin

    "Schedule... for anyone who gives a sh*t"
    150TH Manassas July 22-24 2011 (Highlight was finding a 6 pack of piss warm Old Style beer in "Tent City" for $20 bucks! on Sat. best purchase I think I've ever made)
    200th Battle of Tippecanoe Nov. 5-7 2011 (Wow.. a moving and emotional event, had our 4th US Infantry colors dedicated the right way)
    150th Shiloh Mar 30- Apr 1 2012


    • #17
      Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

      I am glad you all had a great time. I know many folks worked long and hard to bring this one up.I have to say you all did a good job...anything that was asked of you you did without grumbling.It was one of the best tactical events I have been too. The Critters guys. Thanks to those of you who were in the woods 20 yards in front of me who didn't blow off my baby maker when I went to get rid of my tea!! I will forever be thankful to you. Nate as always you did a great job. We had no idea where you were at most of the time. Thank you to all who came down.
      Last edited by trippcor; 10-23-2006, 11:28 AM.
      Kiev Thomason
      a.k.a. King Corn:baring_te
      Armory Guards
      Forest Park Lodge #399
      Forest Park GA.


      • #18
        Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

        Yeeeeha Comrades!
        Prelude to chickamauge was an absolutely fantastic event! I have not had so much fun in the woods, since I was a child. First, I want to extend my personal thanks to the event coordinators, planners, hosts, officers, non-com's and all the privates. Here's some of my personal moments:
        -moving through the woods with pickets, looking for FEDERALS.
        -hearing the sounds of their lookouts and pickets moving through the woods looking for us.
        -Moving while staying hidden, searching the forest for movement and staying out of the open areas. (I grew up on a 500 acre Farm, it was sold in 1981). I felt at home, doing what I loved to do.
        -watching birds, listening to birds to see if they were moving because of Federal movement.
        -Finding John Cleaveland's horse blanket as we passed where some Federal scout spent the night on Picket. Wondering how he could not find his blanket; because it was too dark or because he was in a hurry to great out of that spot?
        -Watching the confederate officers in action. This was absolutely the best tactical movement by infantry across country by the WIG and the GVB.
        -Watching Kiev scout, mind our squads positions, and keeping communication with Pickets and main body.
        -moving around the fords and catching the federal infantry ambush on their flank, where their horsemen could not get into action to help them. We had out-flanked the Federal ambush. By using the ravine the Fed CAVALRY used to ride past our positions scouting for us but not seeing us.
        -standing picket in the dark looking at shapes trying to discern movement.
        -sitting in the woods in the rain looking for the federal MOVEMENTS.
        -visiting the southern homestead, resting and cooking. Then moving back to the top of the hill.
        -throwing down my traps in the saturday evening twilight in the woods, only to find that my full canteen was now empty because the cork came out as I unloaded.
        -getting permission to go re-fill at the goat farm. Trying to find a comrade to go with me. But, no one would volunteer. So I made way carefully along the goat pens in the darkening twilight. The dogs were barking. Fortunately, I saw three union cav faces looking over the big honeysuckle bush, I raised my enfield & shot right above those faces from 50 YDS and ran back to my lines. I was thrilled I avoided capture, but thirsty. I spent the night without enough water. When the rain started, I packed up quickly. Got permission to go for water. When through our pickets and up the hill. In the rain the feds must have been asleep. I got to the water. And made it back to our lines of pickets and up the hill to camp. Stealing water under the yanks noise in the rain, my private victory.
        -Hiding in the rain on picket looking for Yanks. We searched by pickets for the federals down the hill across the fords. When the final attack started we sat and listened as the battle increased. Then we moved by the flank until we could see the cavalry Horses with horse holders. We charged up hill from their rear and captured nine horses and holders. The remainder (except for one whose horse ran off) mounted quickly and raced up the hill only to find the escape route covered by confederates and a volley of death. Sgt M. Clarke hands me Corey Adair's beautiful Spencer after his comments to the cavalry. I lovingly wiped off the breech, slung my enfield and carefully used Corey's weapon to guard the troops as we walked them up the hill. They tried to escape but we were carefull and stopped it. When we asked them to dismount, I could tell we had asked more than some of them could do. I know they were hurting inside at being totally outflanked, surrounded and basically embassed. When it was over I lovingly handed over Corey's beautiful spencer to the cavalry. Thanks Corey! I fought with you at picketts Mill, but never against you. Thanks to all the cavalry, I never saw a single Cavalryman until we captured your horses. Oh and... Hey Verne, where were you this weekend:)
        - Nate, I missed you, but I wish you all my best for you and your future spouse!

        It is always the simple things. This weekend it was the skillful tactics our officers used. We privates never knew what was up, because they were afraid we would be captured by cavalry. I felt like I was under Stonewall Jackson.

        Thank YOU ALL! It was worth every effort you individually put out.
        My special thanks to Tripp, Art, Kiev, Robbie and Col. Hunter. Thank you Sgt Hicks and Sgt Clarke. And finally, thanks Mike for putting up with me and being my skirmish partner. Hey James Wooten, if you ever want to game some CW battles, I am available! Corey, Thank you! To hold your loaded spencer, It was the first time I have ever held such a weapon in battle.

        What a grand time it was, it will be in my memory for a long, long time! At least til alzhiemers clogs my mind.

        Houston White
        Last edited by trippcor; 10-23-2006, 03:39 PM. Reason: Add signature
        Houston White


        • #19
          Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

          I had a great time, except for that wonderful 2 1/2 hour trip on the Atlanta bypass. High points included the interaction with the owners of the home, raiding the cellar looking for food and also trading with them. The company was very good, Mr. Petersburg runs a top notch show, it was a real pleasure. The best part for me was the sunday morning march, an unknown enemy location, with a fast paced march, the company then rushed a possible enemy location. It was pretty cool seeing the company running down the dirt road, I can't explain it, you just had to be there, but that was my moment.
          Being with pards from Indiana and that 'Buckeye State' :confused_ is always a good time.

          It was worth the drive down, thanks to Tripp and everyone who did all of the work to put Prelude on. Hope we raised a few dollars for the Homestead.
          Grandad Wm. David Lee
          52nd Tenn. Reg't Co. B

          "If You Ain't Right, Get Right!"
          - Uncle Dave Macon


          • #20
            Re: Prelude to Chickamauga


            I'm glad my belly smacker at the ford on Sunday morning DID NOT make a Yankee top ten list! :embaresse

            Mess No. 1 thanks you all for having us. It was our last event for the year and boy, what a way to go out!
            Ken Cornett
            MESS NO.1
            Founding Member
            Mason Lodge #678, PM
            Need Rules?


            • #21
              Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

              It was a very good event and my hat is off to Kiev, Tripp, Robbie, Nate, Coley and Hunter for this event. They did a great job at planning and execution.
              The scenario was good and the land pretty good, except for the all of the fences and unseen barb wire. But it was very workable.
              I am glad that everyone had a great time. I know that I did as well. Sometimes things are not as we all see them. It sure seemed like we caught the Critters with no protection. We did come up on them after they had a lengthy fight with our other two companies. How many were shot up by then, hard to say. And if Nate's company had been there, I am sure with my company coming in the open field, we would have had a heck of a fight to remain in tact.
              I do know that from reports, the Critters knew where we were and how many we had at all times. I am telling you, I smelled them around and could not see them and that is not a good feeling.
              Houston, I believe you were shot by our own battalion pickets coming back from your water excursion.
              The Critters did not take off after the fight either. They even asked if we wanted to continue and we made the decision to abandon the field.
              I know from our side it seemed like we won the world. But somewhere herein the details and accounts from both sides lies the truth.
              Great event again and look forward to the next.

              Art Milbert
              Last edited by Tenthtexas; 10-24-2006, 01:27 PM.
              [FONT=Georgia]Art Milbert[/FONT][SIZE=1][/SIZE]


              • #22
                Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

                Hello Again:
                I want to apologize to Mr. Coley Adair for mis-spelling his name. Coley, my excuse will be my age 51. It was my senior moment. I was just so happy after the event. Where did my brains go?
                Houston White
                Tenth Texas, WIG, 42nd GA, etc.
                Houston White


                • #23
                  Re: Prelude to Chickamauga AAR

                  As Mr. Milbert has just said, "But somewhere herein the details and accounts from both sides lies the truth". Funny how our AARs have very different perspectives of the same events - I suppose that's why they say that eye witness accounts of the same criminal activity are probably the most unreliable ... and when we read many period accounts of the same actions, we also see the same thing from the men who were actually there. I guess what matters most is what we each take away from the experience that we can use to remember or improve ourselves.

                  Prelude to Chickamauga this past weekend was a great experience. You always know when you've had such an experience when you have a hard time sifting through the many moments that made up your event for you ... and also as you remmber wishing, "I wish so and so were here to see this ..."

                  It was a great event for me personally. I'd like to thank all those who have already been thanked for their part in planning and executing this event - Robby, Tripp, Kiev, Coley, Hunter et al ... it was a great pleasure to have been involved in just a part of that and to see the spirit of cooperation, the "can do" attitude, the teamwork and the focus on the men who would be attending, and how to better their experience ... that was a refreshing thing to be a part of.

                  For me as a company commander, just being able to execute orders to post pickets, to send out patrols, to be woken numerous times by my men "seeing" or "hearing" things (including that company of Critters that turned out to be cattle as Andrew already mentioned) to listen and watch as men anticipated what might be just around the next bend, or in that thicket of trees just ahead, or lurking in the damp early morning mist ... whether it be Critters or Federal Infantry ... was a great experience. To watch small coffee fires pop up when we had time to rest - to watch packs and bedrolls being unslung and men relaxing with a pipe or a tall tale ... good moments. To see so many good impressions ... to renew old friendships and acquaintances and to make new ones also.

                  If I have one regret it would be that fight at the grain silo on Sunday morning. Coley and we had all agreed that we would respect one another's firepower, (how often have we heard that complaint leveled at "mainstream" events?) especially knowing that we were up against Spencers in the hand of fellows who know how to use them; and in hindsight I probably should have pulled my Company back a little earlier. But in the heat of the fight, with orders to stand my ground ... oh well ... still a good fight. I trust there are no hard feelings.

                  I'd like to acknowledge the tasks that the Critters carried out and the way in which they carried them out - it seems like they screened their infantry very well and it appeared that they were used effectively. We knew you knew where we were ...

                  Lt. Petersburg - sorry I never got to actually see you this weekend but it was always the threat of where you might be that made the difference ... and my thanks to Captains Art Milbert and Cory Pharr - I have fallen in alongside you before and will always welcome the opportunity to do so again in the future ... and thanks to the men in your companies.

                  And of course, I would be remiss if I did not thank my own men and NCOs - for your dedication, for doing your duty and for being such an important part of my experience. I hope it was a good one for each of you also.

                  Thanks for a great event!


                  Paul Jerram
                  Late Commanding, 3rd Company, CS Forces
                  Prelude to Chickamauga
                  Paul Jerram
                  Black Hats Mess
                  Armory Guards, WIG


                  • #24
                    Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

                    We all had a great time and it was a damn good event in spite of the plague of barbed wire. Too many excellent moments to list, basically the best of the event took place on Sunday, from the start of the rain to the end of the final scrape, nobody who was there needs me to describe how incredible Sunday was.

                    Thanks to all those in charge for taking good care of us, and for the much needed tasty food and coffee on Saturday. The whole event was a shining success from start to finish, the only complaints that I heard or voiced myself (besides some people refusing to keel over, as is typical when boys play in the woods) concerned the abundance of barbed wire and the lack of "action". The barbed wire was indeed an unfortunate factor, but the extensive lulls between brief and intense engagements, along with the endless hours spent searching in vain for the enemy, were in truth quite realistic. This event had a flavor and feel to it unlike any other I've attended.


                    • #25
                      Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

                      Hello Art:
                      I suspected the same thing and that is why it was not in my original moments.
                      As I went for water Sunday morning in the rain, I talked to each picket I could find or maybe all of the pickets who properly challenged me(3). They watched me go and come back. We talked again and then I made my way up behind our pickets. When the picket who shot at me, woke up? I believe he saw me and shot. Then he tried to do what pickets are supposed to do, but he did not recognize the confederate password. His sign was "Harris Homestead". I said "Pharr" and ran as fast as I could to the top of the hill. So maybe, it was our pickets, or maybe it was yankee picketts following me back from the water tank and taking me inside our lines? If so, the Yanks deserve their kill. Anyway, I had a great time doing it. I was inside our lines at the time when the sleepy pickets finally stirred in the rain? Friendly fire in the rain and dark, probably happened to many in the war.

                      To me I heard pistol shots and musket fire all weekend. Now I realize the Sharp's must sound like pistols. I am used to hearing muskets. So while they are firing at us running up to the horses, it sounds like a pistol at distance? Some should have died charging, but so should Nate's infantry when we ambushed them or the cavalry when we surprised them. And maybe one of the yanks who I shot at trying to ambush me at the water on Saturday night. But, I could have missed too. This is not real war. But, even in the CW many more balls were fired than ever hit anybody. We know the avg "balls fired vs hits" for many engagements.

                      The fun is always in the tactics, not in who did or did not take hits. Remeber we are doing this as opposed to mainstream. Have Fun, there is always another event because no one ever dies.

                      Houston White
                      Tenth Texas
                      Houston White


                      • #26
                        Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

                        Ah perspective. I love it!!!! Each side has their own "victories" here and they should! Gents on both sides thank you for coming down and braving the Atlanta traffic to the Harris Farm. I hope you take away many great "moments" as I have.

                        The Good: The interaction at the Farmhouse, not knowing if any "unfriendlies" were in the out buildings, great interaction with the "Harris Folks", and getting to raid the cellar. Joe's successful trade was almost rendered null by the sheer size of the ham.

                        The Saturday skirmish on the hill and down to the ford. From my, the Federal, perspective we stalled the Confederate advance guard, took potshots at your main body and when the cavalry made their most fortuitous move behind the Confederates and came into their rear. It was marvelous from atop the hill! The Unionist force moved down the hill, still taking shots at the Johnnies, and then linked up with the cavalry to get in the rear of the Confederates. Very cool manouver. I heard from Tripp that Hunter reacted very well to us Federallys atop the hill and shifted the Johhnies away from the Critter attack from the rear at the ford. Good job there to you as well!

                        I'll tell you AC'ers this, seeing a combined effort of infantry and cavalry on Saturday was something that I have read out of the books. From my perch atop the hill seeing the cavalry probe one spot, and then probe another, find it ripe for the picking, galloping down to the ford, dismounting and coming to link up with infantry was brillianty executed! That is something that I will remember for a long time!

                        Also the camraderie we had in camp on Saturday night (thanks for the leftovers Johnnies, we enjoyed your camp.) was great. Very "OUTSTANDING!"
                        The weather was a burden both nights but we stuck it out like the Boys of '61 through '65 had too. No, Knapsacks were not dropped.

                        The "Lets get the Hell out of here" charge Sunday by the Federal Infantry was great as well. We had NO clue where the Johnnies were, so we hit the closest ford at top speed and double quicked it up the hill to the afore mentioned goat farm, I'll tell you this my heart was fluttering with the unknown factors of "Where are the Cornfeds gonna ambush us?" The postshots by the Johnny's as we went up hill lent speed to my worn feet. The commander, Mr. "Mercury" Petersburg made the decision to take the road out of the area instead of getting smacked by trying to run back to the farm. Yeah we got out of Dodge vey quick on Sunday. Take that as you will.

                        The Bad: Gents, I tried to get the weather gods to be favorable to us. Yeah it was cold on Friday night, and it rained early on Sunday morning, but it was nice and sunny on Saturday, so I guess we got a good show of the meterological spectrum.

                        Who won? The Feds? We got the area mapped like we were supposed to, took one casulty on from infantry, alas poor Duffer, I knew him well. Our marvelous cavalry provided a very "Spartans at Thermopolye" for us as well Sunday. So the goal was reached and the map not lost.

                        The Confederates? Well since I was not on the Johnny side I cannot say, but you all held the field of battle, and captured some nice fancy weapons to boot.

                        To be lame, I think we all won. From all of the reports I've seen and heard everyone had a blast! That means the goal was achieved from the coordinators standpoint.

                        The UGLY: Atlanta traffic. Next time us Corn love'n Georgians host an event at the Harris Farm we'll put a warning up "Don't drive through the ATL on Friday from 4:30 pm to 9:30 pm

                        I want to thank everyone who came to the event. It was great to do research and see some of the ideas thrown around come to light.

                        Tripp, Robby, Kiev, Hunter, The Jerrams, Jeff Yoder, The Beav: you guys helped make the event work. Good job! I'm just glad I kept Nate from marching from one end of the farm to the other on Saturday morning.
                        Last edited by Coatsy; 10-23-2006, 11:11 PM.
                        Herb Coats
                        Armory Guards &


                        • #27
                          Re: Prelude to Chickamauga AAR

                          Originally posted by Paul Jerram
                          As Mr. Milbert has just said, "But somewhere herein the details and accounts from both sides lies the truth". Funny how our AARs have very different perspectives of the same events - I suppose that's why they say that eye witness accounts of the same criminal activity are probably the most unreliable ... and when we read many period accounts of the same actions, we also see the same thing from the men who were actually there. I guess what matters most is what we each take away from the experience that we can use to remember or improve ourselves.
                          While it's fun to talk a little smack about happenings at an event like this, I think truer words have never been spoken!
                          [COLOR=Blue][SIZE=3][B]Steve Ewing[/B][/SIZE][/COLOR]
                          [COLOR=Blue][SIZE=2][URL=]Tar Water Mess[/URL]

                          [COLOR=DarkRed][SIZE=1]"There is something in the very air which makes every Kentuckian a soldier." Z. Taylor[/SIZE][/COLOR]


                          • #28
                            Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

                            To all concerned ,

                            I had a great time! I didn't think I was going to be able to make it. Thank you to everyone who puts event on and works their butts off.

                            Just to let everyone know who led the Critters into the Valley of Death it was I and I alone.(Jerry Ross)

                            My commander Coley Adair heard me ask to be in the front of the line so I could do some shooting and he said you take my spot and so I did. As we came through the ford we fanned out in a skirmish line went to the top of the hill were located the enemy guarding the only way out I knew. As we heard the first volleys we went to cover and dismounted. We drew down on the Confederates as fired into them as fast as we could. I know me and a pard had to reload at least three times.That is one the chamber and seven in the tube. I don't think a man I shot went down or ducked. I must tell the the company we bought these guns from how inaccuarte they is...

                            With this happing we could not move forward and I and I alone was to stubborn to back off when I noticed this, I moved to our right to keep from getting flank but it alas ws not enough for our 15 men to handle. When we noticed the men coming from our rear again damn guns did not fire straight again. Many of our guys had already taken hits from the fine shooting sesh.
                            The men who were able tried to mount up to go out but our flanks were entirely covered we were shot to smitthrenssss.We would not be able to shoot our way out. At least not with the guns we had.

                            I was a damn fool for letting us get into the mess and a damn fool for not getting us out of it at the right time. Sorry Coley I kilt your men and my self needlesly. To my fallen comrades on horseback I let you down.

                            Lessoned learned? maybe? Do it again? If my own guys don't kill me first,YES.

                            I love a good fight and it has been a few years since I have laid down so much powder. I had really thought our Federal infantry was around some where and might have come. But again this D_ _ _ fool ought not assume.

                            I had a great time thanks again fellas .

                            Jerry Ross (Moron)
                            Critter Company (maybe if they don't kick me out for getting them kilt)
                            Jerry Ross
                            Withdraw to Fort Donelson Feb 2012

                            Just a sinner trying to change

                            Hog Driver
                            Lead ,Follow or Get out of the way !


                            • #29
                              Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

                              Thanks to all the fellas in the WIG and the Critters for yet another outstanding weekend. It has gotten to the point where if you boys said "show up at (Name Location) and nothing else, we know we'll be there. As usual, this is long. I tried fifty words or less, but alas, failed again:

                              The Good

                              Uncertainty - Nothing beats the feeling that every time you visit the sinks, or wander too far from the camp that you might get zapped. When moving, it makes you conscious of any noise you might make and keeps your wits keen, not to mention the adrenaline rush. We had a first-timer (on campaign) and he probably said it the best after we left. "That is what I thought I was getting into when I started reenacting".

                              Having the Critters on OUR side - That was the most realistic use of cavalry I've seen up close at an event so far. It was a lot easier to sleep knowing that if we saw something that resembled a cow/horse, we were safe either way.

                              Impressions - Didn't see the Rebs up close and personal too often, but the Federals were made up of a lot of regulars that we see often at events.

                              Movement (See uncertainty) - This is my favorite thing - carrying only what you need and walking the paths in that red clay is something that gives us Northerners a rush.

                              Interaction at the Harris Homestead - The citizens "living" in the house had just the right mix of being hospitable while being wary of us at the same time. I have to wonder whatever became of that large piece of ham that Joe put in with the beans simmering on the fire. Did anyone get to eat the mixture and was it worth all the fuss that Joe put into the cutting of his "prize"?

                              Camaraderie - At least with the infantry, we were made up of mostly real northerners and it is always fun to cut up with the boys from the GHTI. Bottom line on events is that the participants walk away knowing that they had a good time. Based on the smiles on people's faces and the AAR's so far - mission accomplished.

                              The Bad

                              Boundaries - It seemed like we kept running into the "out-of-bounds areas" that have already been mentioned.

                              Cow Patties - Hobnails do a great job in rough terrain, but are worthless if you hit a nice fresh cow pie.

                              Hits - This event made me realize that sometimes the lack of hits has less to do with people's unwillingness to go down and more to do with the fact that they might not even know they are in someone else’s sights. There weren't too many instances where I personally got close to the other side, and when we did, guys did a good job of ducking, taking cover or generally getting down. In this type of scenario, when you know that you could be captured and have your food taken from you, it makes it even less likely that guys will go down and stay down. This isn't a knock on this event. I thought that given the numbers, terrain, etc, that the interaction was pretty realistic. Just something to consider for future tacticals.

                              I-285 – Damn. We thought we missed rush hour when we got onto I-285 from I-75 at around 7:45 PM. We were mistaken. This was more than made up for by an encounter with some of the lovely women of Atlanta at the Kangaroo three miles from the event. We were convinced that we had reached some sort of portal to the society of beautiful women and lingered about for a while munching on Subway. We ran into some Confederates who can corroborate our story. It was explained to me that this location is midway between the UGA campus and Atlanta and that it is like this every night at this particular rest stop. All I can say is WOW.

                              Perspective - Saturday Battle

                              For the record, we moved to the top of that hill because we heard something. Once on the top, skirmishers were sent to our right to "flush out" the enemy. Our left flank was protected by a large open field and our right flank by the barb wire (out of bounds) I was deployed on the far left with Misters Brinkman, Coble, and Ewing. From our vantage point, we could see everything that the Confederates were doing on the other side of the open field and I'm pretty certain that they didn't know we were there. We were feeding the number of enemy troops back to Sergeant Liechty who was then relaying the info to Sergeant Coats and Lt. Petersburg. We counted sixteen troops moving to engage our skirmishers on the right.

                              The decision was made to wait until we knew a good number of the enemy had moved to our right to react to the gunfire produced by our skirmishers. At the same time, we watched the Critters across the field move into position in a clump of trees and wait. From that position, unless the Confederates wanted to brave a wide open field, they covered our left flank. We were quietly cheering their presence from our vantage point.

                              In our front was an open field and the treeline which the Rebs stayed inside during their movement to the top. They were firing forward at our main body, which was the intent of the ambush. We were chomping at the bit to move down the treeline on their right, since we weren't spotted. Eventually, we did move down the treeline and fired enfilade into the line of skirmishers who had moved to the top.

                              We then observed the Critters moving from their position in the trees into the rear of the men who had come to the top and were scattered in the woods. Unless there were more troops still to come out of the main body of the Confederates, their skirmishers sent up through the woods were essentially cut off. Now whether we (the infantry) should have closed the deal on our end is debatable.

                              When the firing subsided we were re-assembled and moved to the other side of the open field. From the other side, we could not see the position that we had occupied to observe the movements of the enemy.

                              Bottom Line

                              I am happy to know that everyone saw success on both sides. To paraphrase a cliche, sometimes, it isn't a matter of who wins and loses, but how realistic the game is played. Given the quality of officers chosen for the event, I have no doubt that they had the utmost confidence from the men in the ranks on both sides. Since each side met their objectives and all had a good time, I'd say that the bottom line equals a success in anyone's book.

                              "Doing What They Did"....

                              The time capsule created for this event included many things that the real men might have encountered over the period of two days or even two weeks. In the absence of a large, decisive battle (since we moved by the flank Sunday and "escaped"), I know that the real soldiers had these kinds of skirmishes on a regular basis and the results were either inconclusive or decisive on a very small scale. Just to re-enforce this point, here are some accounts I came across while studying this general time period prior to the Battle of Chickamauga. I was looking for information on the 51st Ohio, who were present in this vicinity during the late-summer/early autumn time-frame. I have highlighted some of the actions that are similar to the “moments” I’ve already seen here in the AAR’s:

                              On September 16th, General Palmer reported that Colonel "Grose, with two regiments and one section of artillery, crossed the creek and drove a party of the enemy over the hills."

                              "The night of the 16th," T. J. Wright, 8th Kentucky Infantry, added, "a reconnoitering party from the Eighth and Twenty-first Kentucky of sixteen men and two officers (Captains Wilson and Savage), crossed the river and silently crept through brush and thickets until they came near the enemy's cavalry videttes, two of them standing together. Captain Wilson, of the Eighth, heard them conversing, and crept near enough to hear them debating the probability of General Bragg and Longstreet's combined forces being able to utterly annihilate the Union army under Rosecrans, in case they succeeded in cutting us off from Chattanooga."

                              On September 17th, General Palmer observed that "early in the morning the enemy's cavalry attacked our pickets at Gower's. After a sharp skirmish, [they] were repulsed with some loss in wounded and 1 prisoner."

                              Early in the morning of September 17th, around 4:00 p.m., a mounted contingent of the 4th Georgia Cavalry Regiment rode over the pickets of General William B. Hazen's Brigade, posted on the Dry Valley Road near Gower's Ford. General Hazen, with an aide, was personally at the picket post when the attack occurred. "The attack was so sudden," he wrote, "that the horsemen were upon us, and some passed us and were captured before they could check their horses. The pickets took cover, while I sought the friendly shelter of a field of high corn. The affair was over almost in an instant, with a repulse and a loss to the enemy of one captain and several men."

                              "Early in the morning of the 18th [actually the 17th]," Samuel Keeran, 124th Ohio Infantry, wrote, "a squad of rebel cavalry attacked our camp, firing a volley into our tents before we had got up. Three shots struck Gen. Hazen's tent. We were not long in getting up and ready for business, but when we got ready there was no enemy to fight, but two of the rebs, more bold than the rest, rode up to the bank of the creek and fired at Gen. Hazen, who was then just outside his tent. The two rebs were just across the creek from him. Immediately there were a hundred muskets raised ready to fire at them, but Gen. Hazen drew his sword, saying 'Don't fire.' He also said he admired bravery where ever he saw it. Those two men were all alone."

                              The next day, September 18th, brought more prolonged fighting north of Gower's Ford in the vicinity of Owen's Ford and Bird's Mill. Around 9:00 a.m., the Federal pickets along the creek near Owen's Ford noted the enemy advancing in force on the opposite bank. Shortly thereafter Confederate artillery, probably from A. L. Huggin's Tennessee Battery, began firing shells into the camps of Colonel Sidney M. Barnes's Brigade. The shells caused much confusion but no injury in the Federal camps.

                              Barns had been ordering his men into line of battle when the attack commenced. After completing the maneuver the troops marched 200 yards to the rear, occupying "a commanding position in an open field." To protect his front and flank from the advancing infantry, Colonel Barnes ordered the 26th Pennsylvania Battery to unlimber on a nearby commanding hill.

                              Two regiments from Barnes Brigade, the 8th Kentucky and 51st Ohio, spent most of the day skirmishing across the creek with the Confederates. The Confederates engaged in this action were probably dismounted cavalrymen. John Lindsey dates the skirmish at Owen's Ford as the 18th and involving the 8th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment of Dibrell's Brigade in Armstrong's Division of General Nathan Bedford Forrest's Corps. "Skirmished all day at Owen's Ford," he wrote, and with the aid of Captain A. L. Huggin's [Tennessee] battery were enabled to hold the position taken during the day."

                              Thanks to all for a great time. See you in the field!
                              Last edited by Eric Tipton; 10-24-2006, 01:11 AM.
                              ERIC TIPTON
                              AC Owner


                              • #30
                                Re: Prelude to Chickamauga

                                Yes, it was a good event and my thanks are to those who worked hard to put it on. All in all, I think it was well worth my time and effort to drive down from Missouri for it.

                                I was grateful to spend some time with my oldest son who will probably be deployed to the sandbox before we get a chance to do another event together.

                                Standing an advance guard on Sunday morning at a water supply near the ford was interesting. The rain dripping off the trees kept sounding like movement in the leaves and was pretty spooky sounding - my imagination began working overtime and I was wondering how me and my guard partner were going to get out of there if some of those horsemen came into the clear. The short answer was we wouldn't.

                                Pulling the first picket duty on Saturday was fortuitous. I got a pretty good night's sleep even with the rain beginning in the early a.m.

                                Dawn seemed to take forever to arrive.

                                I also got a real kick out of something on Saturday evening. Our company did a lot of the advance work during the weekend and did quite a bit of skirmish/scouting. As we left the homestead and approached a large rise, two of our boys were sent up top to have a look. As they topped the ridge the setting sun made perfect silhouettes of them. I don't get too many real "moments" at events - there's always modern talk, junior-high humor or something else that detracts from the moment. But this one was truly one of those moments for me. Several of us on the skirmish line below commented on it.

                                Hats off to Capt. Milbert for taking advantage of a situation and having us high-tail it up that hill after the cavalry. The apparent confusion that set in among the dismounted troopers when they saw us charging up behind them was a real sight - easily the high point of the weekend and a great way to end an event and another one of those moments. Two moments at one event - not bad at all.

                                The Yanks say they accomplished their objectives and we were told that we accomplished our orders so I guess we'll call it a draw.
                                Michael Comer
                                one of the moderator guys