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At approximately 16:30 hours on Tuesday, June 20th, the participating troopers of the Sixth Ohio Cavalry departed the premises of the 4-H Campgrounds in Mineral Wells, WV. Upon departure, loud wailing and crying could be heard from inside the grounds. The aforementioned wailing and crying was not because someone was hurt or even worse, deceased. Rather, it was because 84 children (ranging from grade school age to college) were extremely upset that their "cavalry" day was over.

Enough of the military jargon...here is the after action report in plain hillbilly (Mungo, that means West Virginian):

Thanks goes out to Darrell Markejohn, Katie Markejohn, Bob Vance, Aaron Schetter, Arriane Schetter, Dakota Wentz, John and Meg Hinterlang, Mike Martin, and Brian Kesterson for taking a day off work and helping to instruct the rudiments of cavalry drill to those 84 children. (By the way, the best troopers all day long were Ms. Markejohn, Ms. Schetter, and Mr. Wentz...great job!)

The day started out with dismounted drill for all the children (divided into the Michigan Brigade, Morgan's Men, and Laurel Brigade). Also, we had cooperation from the 12 adult 4-H instructors. Those instructors formed a special "fire" brigade and participated with the campers.

After a very good dismounted drill, the newly minted troopers went to lunch.

Proceeding directly to the barns after lunch for "Boots and Saddles," the new troopers reported promptly to the field of instruction. Troopers Martin and J. Hinterlang took command of the Laurel Brigade, Troopers Markejohn and M. Hinterlang took command of the Michigan Brigade, and Troopers Schetter and Kesterson took command of Morgan's men.

The new troopers did a fine job of picking up on the drill and even getting their horses within 5 feet of each other. ; ) Trooper Martin especially appreciated the quality of horsemanship in his brigade.

Seriously, the kids did as well as could be expected when you take into account that half of them have probably never ridden their horses out of an elongated arena before.

After one hour and 20 minutes of excruciating mounted drill, the battalion was given a water break. During the break, the Sixth Ohio performed a short demo.

After the break, two of three commands (intermediate riders....Morgan's Men and experienced riders....Michigan Brigade) were combined into one battalion and taken on a two mile scout of the grounds. Scouts and flankers were deployed during the scout. (The kids really liked this part of the day.) Upon return from the scout, the battalion was dismissed to dinner.

Later that night I was contacted by the Camp Coordinator. She thanked us profusely for coming out and spending the day with the kids. She said it was the best event they have had at the camp in over ten years. She would definitely like for us to come back next year.

Again, thanks to all who came out.

Drill season is now over. It is time to test what we have learned on the fields of valor.

Until then,

I remain your most respectful and obedient servant....

Mike