Sharpshooters continue to make history this year as we had two sharpshooters on battalion staff Sunday. I was requested to fill in as battalion Sgt. Major and Captain Whitehall was once again requested to be acting battalion adjutant. In other exciting news, pvt. Ron Guwick joined us! We had a wonderful time catching up with our favorite Canadian. His stories and company are still wonderful and his recruiting talents second to none.
Saturday was a long one beginning with battalion's participation in the Old Town Days parade. We had a fun time cruising to the event with the colors and hanging on while on a flat bed trailer. Including the parade, we had a 2.1 mile march from the parade straight to battle. It was a lot of fun but left a few sore and blistered feet. The battles were alright. While dynamic, they were not particularly exciting. Once again, our shooting range was a hit and now being looked forward to and requested by battalion and other reenactors who appreciate joining some firing practice. It's a magnet for the public. We have carefully designed the range from lots of documentation but we continue to fool other reenactors who actually think we're firing lead down range! Saturday we had a visit from east coast Sharpshooter, Joseph who fell in for second battle. He was good company and pretty awesome on the field, too. Captain Bright from the cavalry had a new recruit fall in with us for second battle, too. For having zero reenacting experience he did a fine job.
I enjoyed being Sgt. Major during 1st Sgt.'s call but the position isn't particularly exciting especially when you're a sharpshooter used to sending rebs to their maker. During the battles, the Sgt. Major is essentially the safety monitor but Captain Whitehall put me to work for a very exciting maneuver during Sunday's second battle. Captain Whitehall did an ammo check and had me rush to deliver more ammo to our heavily engaged sharpshooters. The captain called me in for additional support crushing the heavily exposed confederate flank. The South Carolina boys were backed up right in front of the pubic. The captain seeing the opportunity signaled to Captain Struve to join in the attack who, with lighting speed, rushed over to support Company D. Once we were in place we opened up a wall of fire and the Captain led a charge that completely broke the rebs. I had never seen a company scatter and run in complete disorder like a spooked flock of birds. Company D took five prisoners including two officers and three privates which I detained under armed guard in front of the public while Captain Whitehall, supported by Captain Struve, chased the rebs almost off the field to end the battle capturing a Confederate cannon!
Our speed in shooting is growing in intensity each event through our diligent practice in drill and on the range. I've noticed we're often going through twenty five or more rounds a battle. Speaking with other units while acting Sgt. Major, quite a few other reenactors maybe fire 6 to 10 rounds a battle! Our new field clean technique is proving itself fast and very effective as we have yet to have a single rifle malfunction or stuck block this year.
With Company D's leadership on battalion staff Sunday, Pvt. Hardway (Aurianna) did a great job as acting 1st Sgt. It says so much about our company's commitment to cross-training our soldiers to handle every position and supporting them for success and confidence. We also have to commend Pvt. Ternan, who for the first time marched the company back to camp, halted, fronted, and dismissed them with perfection. Company D, continues to be the battalion's go-to company for support and leadership. Sunday morning we provided the battalion escort to board the U.S.S Tahoma and then to Confederate camp for battle planning.
Battalion did some good things for all of us this weekend. Rather than waking up at o-dark-thirty for the pancake feed, Col. Geho gave everyone Schwann's ice cream sandwiches Saturday. On Sunday, the Colonel had me distribute two pounds of black powder to every company. Saturday's movie night also seemed to be a hit with a number of the reenactors.
We are looking forward to a record turn out at our Ft. Steven's living history event on the Fourth of July weekend. Ethan's carpool is fully loaded already as is ours. With such a large turnout expected and with three new recruits we are considering planning the first Berdan tactical at Ft. Stevens. We will have the hours from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to pit squad against squad in a battle royale. I will also have a competition shot clock ready to dial in our speed shooting and to measure shot splits. We will also be drilling, building leadership skills, and planning for Chehalis. We will also be expecting a huge turn out for Chehalis and will be planning for a Company museum display. I expect to have at least one period correct heavy rifle case completed by then to continually up our impression.
Thanks to everyone who could make it and thanks to everyone's dedication and hard work. We hope to see you at Ft. Stevens!
1st Sgt. Koepp