Seven intrepid mounted troopers and one dismount showed up for Waynesboro at War and were basically the entire Federal force for this event. Confederate participation was also limited, which was too bad given that this event bravely persisted while others in Virginia opted to cancel in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville. This one has a lot of potential and I hope the cavalry community will give it a chance next year.
Saturday reenacted the first battle of Waynesboro, in which the Federals were routed and Sunday the Second Battle of Waynesboro, which included action by our very own 2nd U.S. Cavalry and resulted in a Federal Victory. Due to the departure of half the Confederate Cavalry on Saturday afternoon, two of our troopers galvanized on Sunday. We also tried an alternate version of a living history demonstration that included running at heads and a bit of audience participation in directing the activity of the unit. It was Amos appreciation weekend for your Captain, who opted to carry the guidon so that there would be at least something with stars and stripes on the field without sacrificing a dismount. It is harder than Amos makes it look… It was also NCO appreciation weekend for Troopers Frankie and Brad, who each took turns maneuvering the unit in drill during some informal mounted training. Other than a delay in hay delivery the logistics were spot on and the field was “good ground”.
Mentioned in dispatches are Trooper Frankie, who was in constant motion splitting wood, fetching water, helping around the campfire, and cleaning up after my attempts at cooking without a word from me or the Corporal. Speaking of the Corporal, Mark Sopko performed admirably as one would expect and also played a lovely impromptu version of “Taps” on Sunday for a ceremony in honor of LT George Bliss, who earned the Medal of Honor at the Second Battle of Waynesboro. Trooper Brad Thomas was back in the saddle with Mystery after a long hiatus while the latter dealt with some equine health issues. Veteran Troopers Mark “Crusty” Bailey and Rick Smith anchored the unit in battle and drill and provided ample witty conversation. New Recruit Sharon “Shawn” Sluss rode like a veteran in both blue and gray and with any luck will join us next campaign season with her own mount. Dismounted recruit and Captain’s Orderly Emmanuel Blanco quickly learned the mysteries of the Sharp’s Carbine and served as 25% of the Federal Infantry forces.
In all this was a good event and I hope it survives to reappear on our schedule next year.
Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant,
Scott E. Womack Captain, Commanding
2nd U.S. Cavalry Company A/9th Virginia Cavalry Company H