Fort Ticonderoga After Action Report
Submitted by Trooper Harry Moloney
On the weekend of 2-4 October 2015, Troopers Harry and Rebecca attended the Ft. Ticonderoga Festival of the Horse event. We were attached to the 1st Vermont Cavalry, commanded by Capt. Tim Short.
We traveled to the town of Ticonderoga, New York on Thursday and Friday, laying over en route at a farm in central Pennsylvania on Thursday night and arriving in New York about 4pm Friday.
We performed an initial reconnaissance shortly after arrival. We soon found and were welcomed by the event director, Stuart Lille, Ft. Ticonderoga Senior Director of Interpretation and fellow mounted Revolutionary War reenactor. We were the first to arrive and with Mr. Lille’s blessing, had free rein to ride and explore the operating area to include in and around Ft. Ticonderoga itself. The daytime temperatures were in the low 50's, accompanied by a significant wind chill. The horses seemed to enjoy galloping the open fields and nibbling the grass in the nicely maintained parking/camping area.
Saturday was clear and dry. The wind had died overnight and the little rain that fell around midnight had dried and gone. Temperatures were still in the low 50's but direct sunlight made the day very comfortable in shell jackets.
We saddled up on Saturday morning and prepared to scout the area for new arrivals. After our early morning scouting ride, in which we located a horse drawn supply wagon and an ox team pulling logs, we joined the recently arrived 1st Vermont for drill. The 1st Vermont and 2nd U.S. totaled eight troopers, including Capt. Short. We worked out our formations and horse holding arrangement then rode to the King's Garden to check in with the organizers and complete the area scout.
We drilled again in the garden area, this time in front of an audience, and then moved outside to the cornfield for our formal demonstration. Capt. Short led us in drill at all three gaits, mounted fire from revolvers and carbines, dismounted carbine fire, and a saber melee. One of Ft. Ticonderoga’s historians, who was mounted and in Civil War cavalry uniform, narrated the event.
After the demonstration we rode into Ft. Ticonderoga’s central courtyard. This required us to duck down to our horses’ shoulders as we rode under the long and low and stone archway, and into the central part of the fort. Capt. Short suggested a spontaneous drill demonstration, which we did in front of numerous spectators who had been exploring the fort when we showed up. Drill was executed well, and more so considering we had approximately 80’x80’ to work in. Afterward, we returned to the cornfield and watched a foxhunting demonstration performed by members of the Green Valley Hunt Club, then talked with them about horses, foxhunting and riding in upstate New York and the vicinity.
The following morning, Trooper Rebecca and I followed the scenic routes toward Albany and home. It was a successful event for horse and human alike.