By Mike Murley
(c) 1999, Mike Murley, used by permission
Originally posted 5/22/99 on my RR2 Bravenet forum
This was originally on Szabo's, but since that's down and all would have been lost any...
I'll only list the highlights:
1. Being privileged to command Company B, 35th Iowa Volunteer Infantry - bully pards with sand.
2. Colonel Dom Dal Bello and Col Steve Dunfree.
3. Marching every bit of 50+/- miles in full heavy marching order with knapsacks.
4. Digging the excellent works at Pleasant Hill the day after the "event ended" and the fantastic comradeship and cohesion among those that stayed for the Saturday reenactment (but no regrets to the pards in blue that left after "the event ended").
5. The dinner at the Childers' manse.
6. Marching with the pards I came to think of as "my company" in what always will be "our battalion".
7. The weather.
8. The Confederate cavalry taking hits when they charged our works.
9. "Colonels, walk over here with me..." (private joke).
10. Thursday night in camp.
11. Friday night in Pleasant Hill and the beer around the fire after "the event ended".
12. That Company B lost no men due to illness or fatigue (we were lucky).
13. The Friday speed march back to Pleasant Hill.
14. The good nature of the Confederates when they disturbed my coffee and caused me to say intemperate things.
15. Our cavalry - axes and mules! Timber!
16. Surgeon Armstrong.
17. All the pards.
There will be a fundamental difference between the US infantry experience and the CS infantry experience. We saw (and believed this was) a recreation of a historical campaign (not a free flow tactical) - and I was told by Col. Mount (CS) on Friday it was one. I was unable to verify this one way or the other.
Despite a number of indifferent and negative points, it was a killer event. For the vast majority of us in the 35th, it ended when we marched into Pleasant Hill on Friday afternoon. Saturday's 4 PM battle was a different event. In one way a continuation, but in another way a separate one. That's why I bought beer and cokes for 'my boys' on Friday night, because it was the last time the pards of Company B would be together (it was enough for the battalion, as it turned out) - and because civilians can't do beer math, there was enough for everybody.
The Saturday event was cool in its own way. Digging the trench line; the cooperation of the property owner (and his active help with head logs!) and the cohesion of the 'veteran volunteers' was awesome - like them, I didn't want to leave (tho' I also wanted to go to the Vicksburg CW show with some of the 'departed'). Too bad the Johnnies never attacked our main works.
late captain, Comm'ding, Co. B, 35th Iowa
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