|After Action Report
Early on Sunday Morning, a portion of the Command Staff determined that there was a need for a brigade to perform general harassment and Ambush duties. I received my commission soon thereafter. My first impressions of my troops cannot be described. It was my honest opinion that they would skedaddle at the first shots. Nevertheless, they were mine to form and command into the best fighting force they could be.
We had no opportunity to train or drill as we immediately needed to get on a train and be taken to our first destination. I must say that also on board that train was some fine lovely ladies but my attention needed to be toward my command. At our stop I ordered my troops off the train and form a line of battle. To my surprise they formed the most perfect line that one could ever believe. I later learned that nearly all these troops came from distinguished military families. Good form and obedience ran through their blood.
Our first task was to establish a stronghold and deploy the troops. The boys quickly created an abatis to prevent access to our rear from a close position. They worked with great excitement and efficiency. They then deployed on good ground behind trees and waited patiently.
They would not have to wait long for Scout Savannah Mungos sharp eyes caught the lead elements of the Federal column. My boys waited. The Yankees had deployed in a formation that indicated they knew there was trouble ahead and trouble we were going to give them.
The lead vidette caught site of the shine of my musket just in time to go report it to his maker. He was bullet bait. Unfortunately it was enough to give our position away and the Yankees sent a small squad to get behind us. The squad hit us but to no consequence and my boys sent them to meet their former vidette.
The federals knew that their only choice was to run the gauntlet, firing all the way. This they did with great skill and for that they departed with their unit mostly intact. I called for my boys to rally on the road, give me a line and march at the double quick to the top of the hill where we could continue to pour our fiery death upon them. But for the speed of the cavalry we would have done better but we did manage to get some shots off to the rear guard.
Later in the day the Munchkin Brigade was deployed at an access road to a bridge that was in the hands of our Confederate brothers. I deployed the troops in a safe location where they should see some action. Told them to Hold their positions, as I was called to the bridge by HQ. I handed command over to Corporal Chris Markijohn. He took command with a good hearted shrug.
I was not present to see the action but I am told they encountered the enemy and even captured some horses by wounding the picket. My troops apparently havent seen enough of this war to be hard hearted for one of my solders told Private C. Hinterlang in a sad voice you shot your mom.
Orders came in from command that the Munchkin Brigade was to guard the Ironclad CSS Ted Smith that was being hidden from federal eyes in the most unexpected spot. The troops were deployed quickly but then reformed on the far side of the Ironclad so that our young scout could heed natures call away from the eyes of her fellow troops. The soldiers quickly redeployed at the call, Im done.
We stayed in our positions to what seemed to my troops as FOREVVVVVVVVVER. Many games of rocks/paper/scissors were played but the soldiers held their positions. Private D. Hinterlang seemed to be the most seasoned soldier as he found a good tree for cover and just sat there waiting for the inevitable federal attack.
I came to realize the unique issues with troops this young when another trooper asked to heed natures call. I recommended a distant tree when he quizzically asked to Poop? Oh I guess this is just like the big boys.
When the fight did come, my troops were quickly overrun and captured. I guess it is true that there is no such thing as a dead cavalry man. Even when facing young troops. It was OK in the end since my young soldiers realized that the federals gave up the ship and it ended up in our hands after all.
After that long wait at the Ironclad and the disappointing battle, I figured the morale of my troops would not be high enough to go see if we could find more action. I could not have been more wrong. After a brief period of R & R to handle some of the aforementioned issues we once again charged toward battle. This time we fought under our own flag.
We deployed on the ridge overlooking a large valley. The artillery was chewing up a detachment of cavalry amongst some pines when a second detachment was seen streaking along the far ridgeline. It was easy to see that they made it across unscathed until they came out again among pines on a far hill. They were well within range of the artillery and a few well placed rounds reduced their number.
Before long, dismounted cavalry was seen in the valley below us and it was time for the Munchkin Brigade to have some fun. They poured fire on the low lying troopers by volley, by rank, and at will. At one point they refused the line with a very well executed countermarched wheel. When it looked like the dismounted cavalry was going to take our position I asked my troops Shall we charge. Needless to say, I was soon looking at my options for making this charge. The thicket was too rough at our present position so we moved along the ridge towards the artillery about 50 yards. At the call to charge we bounced down the hill towards our foe. Unfortunately one cavalry skirmisher wounded me before we reached enemy lines and my boys stopped to protect me. I guess it was like cutting off the head of the snake, or was it just pure loyalty.
My special commendations go out to all the fighting soldiers of the Munchkin Brigade.
Submitted by Brevret Captain John
After Action Report Squads 1 and 2
All (and I do mean, "All"...troopers, civilians, kids, canines, felines, etc.):
What a weekend!!!! The weather was perfect, the hosts were perfect (well, Michelle was...Red Dave is still working towards that goal), the company was perfect heck, even the animals cooperated fully.
For those of you who were not able to attend...well, you missed a wonderful time. For those of you who did attend, I hope your physical therapy and massage bills are not too expensive.
Below is a recap of the weekend.
Sgt. Poustie, General Poustie (aka Bev), Corporal HAZMAT Schetter and myself were the first ones to arrive at Red Dave's on Friday. After quickly setting up our personal camps, a picket line, a water trough, etc., we started to direct traffic into the campsite. It didn't take long for the camp to get filled. In fact, by late afternoon we had enough troopers to take a ride of the property. While on this ride, I noticed several troopers were looking "for something", not sure what, but they were definitely looking "for something" that might be connected to the planned scenarios on Sunday. Sadly, they didn't find anything of value.
By Friday evening everyone was settled into a cool night of slumber. And, a cool night is exactly what Trooper Stefl (with one S) was going to have. As he was unloading his gear at 2 a.m. he realized he had only brought one shelter half, not a full tent, but half of a tent. But, being the Boy Scout he is, he quickly fashioned a shebang that he called, "North Pole", and quickly fell asleep. (And, I am happy to report he only suffered two frostbit toes.)
Dawn came early on Saturday. In fact, Doc swore someone had moved up the sun. All were bright-eyed and happy to fall in for the year's first assembly. And, this year's first assembly was different from past years. This year, we assembled the company by squads. After a brief introduction and review of the days events, the company was dismissed to take care of their horses and themselves.
After breakfast (for animals and humans), dismounted squad drill commenced. After this drill, we went straight into mounted squad and company drill. Both squads worked out some kinks early on. And, before I finish a description of this drill I must add that at this point, we picked up two new troopers. Trooper Ray-Ban and his sidekick Mini-Ray-Ban, a.k.a. Brian and Eric Briggs. Troopers Ray-Ban were very gung ho from the start. Although, when I told Trooper Ray-Ban that we needed to ride stirrup to stirrup, he started to sweat profusely. Then, I realized he was an Anesthesiologist and he thought I was describing a medical procedure. I quickly disabused him of that idea and he just as quickly reclaimed his normal calm demeanor. (Man, those doctors can be touchy . ; ) ) Back to the drill
Towards the end of squad drill, yours truly and Guidon Bearer Chris (I Slept with the Captain) Hopes went looking for 1st Squad (Sgt Vance). After conducting an Air, Sea Search and Rescue over three states we finally located them. It seems as if Trooper Universe had visions of his ancestors and decided that his squad should reenact the plight of the Lost Battalion of the French Foreign Legion. After locating the Legion squad, I sent Guidon Bearer Hopes back to retrieve the 2nd Squad so that we could initiate Company mounted drill. Five hours and one bolted horse later, the two squads reunited for saber drill next to Red Dave's house. The saber drill was well executed by the company and many lessons were learned. For example, I didn't realize that Sgt. Vance's horse could back-up as fast as my horse could go forward. That was truly amazing! : )
Lunch followed morning mounted drill. After lunch, it was back into the saddle, again. (Sounds like a song, huh?)
The afternoon mounted drill was primarily focused on "second echelon" moves, such as "On right into line", "Left into line", "Front into Line", and dismounted skirmishing with horse holders. Both squads did well with these maneuvers and we ended the drill with a mock attack on Red Dave's house that was defended by the Munchkin Brigade and miscellaneous troops under Captain Hope's command. This was also the first time during the weekend that the company got to practice (what I hope will be our signature tactical move) the "Fix and Flank" maneuver. 2nd Squad "fixed" the opposition forces in place, while the 1st Squad flanked the opposition forces out of position, ending up with a double-envelopment of their position.
After a wonderfully catered dinner, the evening was topped off with a Fours Competition and Sunny Slope Farm's own version of Orange County Choppers. First, the Sunny Choppers...after consuming my dinner, I was just about to wax eloquent on how to properly remove a Federal employee when the Sunny Slope Farm Chopper Show came on...literally, was ignited...as in the engine was ignited and the bike wouldn't go away. Thankfully, after 27 minutes of listening to all the perfectly running gears in the Sunny Slope bike, a commercial break interrupted the decibel level 15 bike. Unfortunately, the ratings were so low for those first 27 minutes, the Mungo Network decided to cancel the show and the bike went away.
Now, to the Fours Competitition...three sets of fours participated with the winning set coming from 1st Squad, made up of HAZMAT, Wild Bill Comisford, "Tippecanoe and Tyler Tapp, Too", and Mike "I Swear My Carbine Fired" Oakley. This set completed the course in a time of three minutes, 15 seconds. The other two sets completed the course in four minutes or less truly outstanding times. Thanks to all who participated.
It was during this competition that the company gained another NCO. During the competition, Trooper Daisy Mungo displayed superior barking, err, I mean leadership skills, by directing her attention to each trooper in line. She urged them to work faster and more efficiently. In fact, I doubt we could have had all three sets come in under four minutes without her quality barking, there I go, again...I mean, quality support. As a result of her efforts, she was given a battlefield promotion to Gunnery Sgt. Congrats Daisy, have a Chewy bone on us.
After another good night of sleep, everyone was up and ready to go on Sunday morning for the tactical scenarios. The tension in camp was palpable (whatever that means, I have always liked that word). As the squads were given their orders, the civilians were trucked to their locations and the other troops were ferried to their positions.
The first scenario had the Federals (2nd Squad) locating a spy and decoding a message. During this scenario, the Munchkin Brigade made the Federals feel their sting. Trooper Stefl, riding out in front as scout, first detected danger when he noticed a string of candy bar wrappers and abandoned sippy cups in the ditch. His suspicions were confirmed when he heard, "I have to go number two." Upon hearing this coded message, he wheeled about and started firing into the Munchkins. The Munchkins immediately returned fire with every cap gun at their disposal. The battle teetered back and forth for awhile until one the Munchkins came running out of the woods with a light saber yelling, "Luke, Luke, I am your father!" At this sight of superhuman bravery, the Federals skedaddled down the road. This Munchkin victory will go down in Hobbit history as a one of their greatest victories.
Also, during the first scenario, the Confederates (1st Squad) were given the mission of fortifying and protecting a bridge. And, did they ever accomplish their mission. Their fortifications were well done and even better placed.
The second scenario called for the Federals to attack the Confederates at the bridge. To make the scenario more real, the civilians were asked to "mingle" near the bridge. However, on their way down to the bridge, they were stopped by Mr. Universe (a.k.a. Eric the Tapp). The Tapp was caught off guard by the civilians. In fact, he was in the middle of preparing for his next body building competition. As he was about to "oil" up, the civilians came into view. Well, from there it just got plain ugly. Through it all, The Tapp would not allow them to pass his barricade. In the end, the civilians...now MOB, dispersed .
The second scenario did not last very long. In fact, it was over without a bang...literally, without one single shot from the emplaced cannon. The Federals attacked the Confederate front and right flank. The frontal attack was repulsed with heavy losses and captures (that was an incredible hit you took Dave "A Stitch in Time" Whittingtan). However, the right flank attack did succeed in penetrating the defenses. As a result, the Confederates withdrew from the field and the Federals returned back to camp. The calm did not last long. Soon, the Confederates were attacking the Commissary Barn from two directions. It was during this attack that Meg "Pitcher" Hinterlang unveiled her secret weapon. Her gun literally yelled, "Bang" instead of discharging black powder. The most incredible part about this incident was the fact that she actually scored hits with this stealth technology.
After another bountiful lunch, the "band was put back together, again." The Sixth Ohio's two squads reformed back into blue and proceeded to the final objective...Gilligan's Boat, oops, I mean the CSS Kentucky. While proceeding to the ironclad's location, the company rode in extended column formation... scouts out, followed fifty yards behind by the "Fix'em" squad (in this case, 1st Squad), followed another 100 yards behind by the "Flank'em" squad (in this case, 2nd Squad). It wasn't too soon before this new tactical formation was put to the test. And, a successful test it was. The Scouts located some Confederate 4th VA infantry in the woods to the left. The 1st Squad dismounted and fixed the skirmishers in place. Meantime, the 2nd Squad had also dismounted and came up on the flank and rear of the 4th VA boys. The enemy immediately surrendered. This was the first successful skirmish for the Sixth Ohio for the new year.
Soon after this engagement, the squads reversed roles. This time the 2nd Squad was asked to fix the enemy (Munchkin Brigade) into place while the 1st Squad flanked. Again, a successful result was achieved but not without a stern fight. The Munchkins put up a fierce resistance and towards the end resorted to throwing Legos grenades. Fortunately, we were prepared with our own Lincoln Logs bunkers and the grenades exploded harmlessly against our fortifications. In the end, the Professor, Skipper, Ginger, the Howells, Mary Ann (my favorite), and Gilligan were captured. No, that's not right. Sorry, I nodded off while I was writing this AAR (much like you probably are while reading it) and woke up during a TBS episode of Gilligan's Island. What really happened was...we captured the boat and paroled all the Hobbits guarding it.
The day ended with a big show finale. Again, the company was attacked on the road. The 1st Squad fixed and the 2nd Squad flanked. The Confederates were completely routed and captured. This only left the Munchkins (reconstituted after some timely constitutionals at Red Dave's) and the artillery. It was decided to once again employ the fix and flank maneuver. However, this time the flanking squad (1st) had to run the "gauntlet." The gauntlet was a distance of 150 yards where the squad would be under the fire of the artillery piece. So, in a move of complete teamwork, the 2nd Squad first deployed as mounted skirmishers and feigned an advance on the piece. The piece fired a round at 2nd Squad. Upon this shot, the 1st Squad reenacted the Kentucky Derby and made a mad dash across no-man's land. They made it without another shot being fired. Thereupon, the 2nd Squad was asked (not ordered), "Can you guys go dismounted one more time?" With faces that said, "I am going to kill this Bataan Death March Guard," but with voices that said, "Sure," the squad dismounted and started their covered approach. The squad's approach took them down a hill, through a swamp, over a dale, (no, not over a dale...sorry), through swamp, and back up a hill. And, guess what we faced once we started up the hill none other than the Hobbits of Sunny Slope Farm. Yes, the Munchkins were all done with their counting and production of ones and twos in Red Dave's bathroom and had reappeared on the battlefield. And, were they loaded for bear. After several Munchkin volleys followed by ten yard rushes, the 2nd Squad was now stuck. They could not advance any further as now all the opposing forces were arrayed against them. Then, it happened...the 1st Squad had finished their own covered, dismounted approach and started hitting the enemy in the flank. Soon, the enemy's position was turned and the game was over. (Although the Munchkins did take a fearful toll of 2nd Squad.)
The weekend ended with a perfectly executed "On right into line" followed by a "Left Wheel, March!" and a three cheers chorus for several contributing groups, i.e. civilians, visiting units, Munchkins, canines, etc.
My thanks go out Red Dave and Mrs. Red Dave (Michelle, I hope you have a little blue in you). You two were the perfect hosts and you have a beautiful farm. Also, thanks to all the troopers for giving the squads a try. You guys/gals did great. In addition, I would like to thank Sgts Vance and Poustie and Cpls. Mungo, Schetter and Green for taking on additional duties.
Hope to see everyone at Gettysburg in 10 days.
Until then, I remain...
The Bataan Death March Guard
(Mild editing by the webmaster)