First, if you have never ridden inside an antebellum fortress like Fort Monroe, Fort Ticonderoga, or Fort Pulaski (Savannah) you should put it on the bucket list. Clip clopping through the sally port and drilling on the huuuuge parade field as our forebears did 150+ years ago is really cool. We ended up with seven riders for each demo, which was respectable, and the drill looked sharp (especially on Sunday). Huzzah! We validated the use of smallish living histories as training opportunities by having a new mount (Marci's) and a new rider (Tony) in the ranks. Mark brought the heads and several of us took the opportunity to run them, along with trying to grab a saber stuck in the ground. Only Sam Womack was able to manage that one. I can't speak for the others, but I just don't fold in half to reach down like that like I used to do: something to practice at home. Rumors of accessing the beach via pedestrian stairs and galloping on it are not to be believed; any photos thereof are obviously photo shopped.
According to park authorities the crowds were larger this year than last and we had a steady stream of visitors coming through camp. My thanks to all of you who entertained the curious and did your part to accomplish our educational mission. The park's website and/or FaceBook page should have photos posted soon along with some video of us riding through a sally port (tunnel).
Logistics were fine; we had ample food, water, and firewood plus the luxury of our own outhouse. We camped about a mile and a half from the demonstration location, which was nice because we were away from the flagpole and all of the unwanted attention that can bring.
Mentioned in dispatches:
Sergeant Barry for taking charge so I could ride as a saucy trooper, and for giving us the opportunity to practice galloping and wheeling under low branches.
Corporal Mark for handling the "chaos of details" that event PoC's have to manage and for feeding us so well.
Trooper Tony for facing for the first time the prospect of pulling out a saber and charging across a field, and dismounting/remounting to fire the carbine. By the demo on Sunday you wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of her and Pepper.
Trooper Marci for helping around camp and offering sage advice on a wide range of topics.
Trooper Sam for being his quietly competent self and for hauling firewood.
Trooper Brad for keeping that wild OTTB (Off the Track Thoroughbred) in the ranks and for talking Park Ranger to the NPS contact. This makes us look pretty savvy.
Trooper Beames for showing up just in time to replace Trooper Marci, whose mount was not up to a second day of corkscrewing a la Red.
Trooper "Oatmeal" Chayt for keeping us fed in style and for the massive positive waves she is always sending out.
Troopers Mize and Riggleman for informing the crowd in an entertaining way, both in camp and at the demonstration, and for helping with weapons maintenance.
Bureau of Military Information agent Chappie for assisting with our educational mission and being his usual helpful self around camp.
Guests Trooper Brian Denny, Trooper Nathan Denny, and Mrs. Karen Denny from the 17th PA for adding their expertise to the venture on Sunday.
Thank you for all your efforts, and I look forward to future opportunities to take the field with you this year.
Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servant,
Scott E. Womack
2nd U.S. Cavalry Company A/9th Virginia Company D