Deep Creek, WA
After Action Report
We had a wonderfully large turnout placing us in second place only behind the 20th Maine! Even with late arrivals from other units Saturday night, Company D still had the 2nd most rifles on the field. The visitor turnout was enormous. For just the Sunday night battle and candle walk alone, well over 500 people purchased tickets. Camp layout was poorly done with companies packed in like cord wood. Due to poor layout, some company streets were only arms width apart! Our civilians seemed well placed though military was so packed there was no room for a company fly. Speaking of our wonderful civilians, it was a pleasure welcoming our newest civilian member, Mrs. Soderling. Our newest military recruit Private Lou “teacup” Bumonte, was great to get to know and will also make a wonderful addition to our Berdan family.
Saturday saw plenty of drill and camp activity but since the organization was recreating Bull Run and since we were the 2nd largest company, we filled in for line infantry. It wasn’t that exciting, but we got rewarded with great play the next day. Saturday afternoon Cpt. Whitehall held a brief but nice corps badge ceremony for our newest enlistees and some overdue vets. Saturday evening saw a wonderful officer’s club hosted by Capt. Whitehall who invited battalion staff and family for a wonderful evening of drinks and gentlemanly conversation.
Sunday morning saw an extensive amount of drill including time for privates to practice leading company drill. After drill, Company D was sent on special assignment to fortify and barricade three trails on an otherwise exposed Union left. Grabbing every available axe and hatchet in our camp and borrowed from other camps, we formed up and marched out for our special assignment. Stripping our uniforms down for proper fatigue duty, we set to work chopping logs and pounding stakes all while staying out of sight of Confederate drill. Next battle, we were deployed to defend the flank against the Jasper Greens at first but then the 1st Texas made a mad dash around the far side of the hill but ran hard into the barricades, stopping them cold in our trap. During the whole battle only three who climbed straight up managed to get around the wall! The Sharpshooters “held the line.” Through the chaos of the battles, our company runner, Pvt. Doramus was vital in keeping communication between squads open.
In between battle, we got some good practice on the rifle range and shot a YouTube video. Our range practice drew a crowd of at least 40 people. Sunday battles were generally pretty good since we were in the trees and on the hill. Everyone performed very well.
The nights were cold but the days warm so we continued the event tradition of company bath time. Braidyn joined us riding on the Captains shoulders while we all marched to clean up and cool down after the day’s battles. Each evening we cleaned rifles and taught our newest members our tips and tricks, as everyone sat out on their gum blankets with their Sharps and cleaning kits with them. Even Sid and her friend came over and got in on the rifle cleaning action.
Monday, battalion called off drill so units could be available for the public. We took some great group photos thanks to help from Pvt. Melendez of the 20th Maine, and Lt. Saint of the 12th. Corporal Spiekerman and privates, Soderling, Severson, and Cook led a very well received talk on Sharpshooters in the events pavilion. Each spoke confidently in front of the large audience and received more questions than other presenters and the only presenters that session that got a full round of applause. Pvt. Hardway demonstrated in a YouTube video an easy way to defarb a canteen. For the Memorial Day honoring ceremony, Company D was requested to participate again. Captain Whitehall, Corporal Spiekerman, Privates Soderling and Cook carried the Nationals as well as service flags in parade dress with honor. It is a true privilege to be entrusted by so many to continually lead in honoring our nations service men and women and those we've lost in service.
The entire event, people performed so well from keeping camp defarbed, practicing military and civilian courtesy (even as some were still learning), volunteering for military and civilian fatigue details, and regular business. On top of that, the unit got a nice photo in the Spokesman Review online (CLICK).