June 20, 2014
A loud huzzah and heartfelt thanks to all for your performance at Trevilian Station. I do not possess Lt Mark's steel trap mind, so I will offer some highlights and apologize in advance if I omit someone.
I'd like to start with a sincere thank you to our logistics team: Frenchie, Jan, Cpl Hank "3 Hat" Happy and his family, Trooper Doutt, and anyone else who had something to do with food, water, hay, picket lines, and all the other minutiae that can make or break an event. The camp was laid out according to SOP and kept clear of plastic and other anachronisms: well done. A couple of thousand years ago Sun Tzu remarked, "the line between disorder and order lies in logistics." Our ability to move, shoot, and communicate on the field in an orderly way depended, then as now, on these details.
I had the "opportunity" to command a composite battalion made up of the 11th PA and Co. H, 2nd U.S. Cavalry in addition to ourselves. While I regretted missing a chance to personally lead you at the company level it gave me an opportunity to view you in action from a bit of a distance, and wow! It was an impressive sight to see and my thanks go to Lt Mark, Sgt Barry, Cpl Ace, Cpl Hank, and all of our troopers for riding like the Regulars we portray.
With A Co. as the anvil and the other units as hammers on the flank the first cavalry battle on Saturday was a rout. Period. The constant forward motion and tight ranks denied the enemy the mobility that is the lifeblood of cavalry. On Saturday afternoon we fought dismounted, as the Federal infantry apparently did not get the memo, and outnumbered about 3:1 by a combined arms force of Confederate infantry, artillery, and mounted cavalry we fought a stubborn delaying action in the tradition of true Dragoons. I appreciate everyone's willingness to fight on foot for this one! The Saturday evening tactical went according to plan until first contact (typical of real military operations) and turned into a pretty confusing melee (typical of real military operations). I was very proud of the way A Co. was able to ride over varied terrain and quickly divide into two wings and charge in opposite directions to meet the enemy and keep him occupied until H Co. and the 11th PA arrived to reinforce. Huzzah.
On Sunday morning's "infantry" battle some of our troopers fought mounted in a composite company and some fought dismounted, since the Confederate choice of using combined arms on Saturday's "infantry" battle was critical to their success. Meeting the enemy on his own terms made all the difference, and this battle ended with the Confederates bottled up as they were on Saturday morning. The final "all cavalry" battle included about 100 Confederate infantry, and these were able to seize and hold the center of the field. Repeated attempts to dislodge them failed, and it was only by constant, hard-hitting action that we were able to keep the Confederate cavalry from breaking through to the rear.
All in all the weekend was a success, and photo coverage by Frenchie (available on Facebook) and Chappie (available on Shutterfly) is illustrative and of high quality. Thank you for the coverage!
Lastly, a word about the filming that was going on in camp: Trooper Al Underwood organized a film shoot by a video crew from his HQ to assist the modern 2nd Cavalry in creating a video and slide show for its museum. It speaks highly of this unit that we were chosen to represent the American Civil War heritage of the United States Army's longest continuously serving mounted unit. Well done, Dragoons.
I look forward to seeing you on the field at our next event, which for me will be Dry Creek.
Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant,
2nd US Cav Co. A / 9th VA Cav Co. D