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PostSubject: Role Play Example   17.04.15 15:25

First Day's March to Strasburg
Harper’s Ferry, Va.,   2 a.m.  
May 1st,     Year 3




General Kirk woke early to assure that his division got on the road at the proper times.  As he left the hotel he was using as a headquarters the night stars still shone brightly.  There was something peaceful about rising before the rest of the men, but he knew that this might be the last one for a long time.  He knew that the rebels would not just let the First Corps march through the Valley unopposed.  The question was how quickly would the information that the corps had moved to the Valley.  In his years in the army Kirk had learned it is always better to be totally prepared for the enemy than not.  That meant to always keep a keen eye on the road ahead.  That would be doubly important this day as he would be riding with Colonel Corrie of the Tenth Brigade.  The brigade was new to the division and the men were still not accustomed to army life.  Volunteer soldiers tended to enter the army with a complete lack of knowledge of what it was like to be a soldier.  The romantic notions they had when they enlisted would soon vanish with the harsh reality of campaigning.  Marching in the wet cold rains of the spring or the searing heat of the summer or being shot at by the enemy with every projectile hurled toward them being their last moments on this earth were far from the thoughts of riding off gallantly with a loved one waiting at home as you left to crush the rebellion and be back home before the snow flew.

An aide had retrieved the general’s horse.  Hoisting himself into the saddle he rode to the camp of the Eighth Brigade.  There were still two hours before the brigade was to be on the road but the camp was buzzing with activity.  Many of the men were finishing up their morning meal as the quartermasters began unpegging their tents and packing up their personal belongings and placing them in the brigade wagons.  Others were at the picket line examining their mounts.  No matter what they were doing it all pointed toward beginning a new campaign.  These troopers had tasted battle before and were excited about leaving camp and being on the road again.  It never ceased to amaze Kirk that the trooper in the ranks grew weary of camp life very quickly and would much prefer to be on the road.  

Colonel Kidd had noticed Kirk riding into the camp and proceeded to ride over to meet him.  “Good morning sir, as you can see the men will be ready to leave at the appointed time.” 

“Very good colonel, your men will lead the march out of Harper’s Ferry.  Send your scouts out immediately and remember to have a proper advance guard leading your brigade and flankers covering your right and left.  I will leave the decision of which regiment to fulfill that duty to you.  I have received word that the rebels have already caught wind of our arrival in the Valley.  There is no word on where they are though.  Keep a keen eye out for them.  Have your scouts well out in advance and report back frequently.  Also send reports back to me.  I will be travelling with Colonel Corrie and here is my route.  Since we will be leaving Harper’s Ferry last it would be best to send couriers westward to the Turnpike and then northward to meet with the brigade. Godspeed, colonel.”

The two officers spent a few more minutes discussing some of the less important details of the march and then Kirk parted to meet with Colonel Harrison.  The sun was beginning to rise as he rode to Harrison`s camp.

Arriving at the Ninth Brigade’s camp Kirk immediately sought out Colonel Harrison.   The colonel`s tent was on a hill overlooking the brigade camp.  Entering the tent he saw that his second-in-command was eating his breakfast.  Harrison stood to greet  his old friend.

“Good morning Robert.  Have you eaten yet.”  Kirk replied that he had not.  Harrison sent an aide out to fix the general a morning meal and some fresh coffee.

“Joseph, I have just come from Colonel Kidd’s camp and by all indications he should be leaving when ordered.  I assume that you too will be ready.”  Colonel Harrison nodded since he had just placed a piece of bacon in his mouth.  “I want you to keep in constant communications with Colonel Kidd.  Intelligence gathered in Washington had indicated that the enemy has left Fredericksburg for the Valley.  I can only assume that the infantry will rail to the Valley, most likely to Staunton far to the south.  They shouldn’t be a bother for a bit.  The question will be the cavalry.  For them to rail to Staunton would be foolish.  The distance they would have to march from Staunton to Strasburg would be greater than if they travelled westward from Fredericksburg to the Valley.  I am sure we can expect them sooner than the infantry.  If we move smartly we may be able to catch them without any infantry support.  But first we will have to find them.  The experience of the Ninth and Tenth Brigades should serve us well when we meet up with them.   It will be important to send a detachment of one hundred troopers to destroy the major bridges at Snicker’s Ferry and Berry’s Ferry over the Shenandoah River.  Once the detachment has destroyed the first bridge have it move southward and destroy the second one.  Remain in communication with this detachment.  Once you reach Berryville the Eighth and Ninth will bivouac for the night.  Send out your scouts immediately.  They may be able to gather some very valuable information which may be useful to you in the morning.  It would be very nice to catch the rebels either unaware of our advance or in an isolated position.  In the morning you will lead the march southward.  Although the Eighth Brigade has served this division admirably I feel much more secure with the veterans leading the march to encounter the enemy.  We have known each other long enough that I can trust your judgement once you encounter the enemy.  If you uncover the enemy early enough send a message and I will attempt to join up with you.  You will travel southward from Berryville through White Post.  Continue south until you reach the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.  If you encounter no enemy during your march then leave a regiment at the river crossing.  Have that regiment destroy the bridge over the South Fork and the railroad bridge to the north.  Once they have been levelled then destroy the bridge over the north fork.  Along with the railroad damage last year it should prevent any rebel troops trying to use this route to attack our rear.  Once that is done then head westward on the road to the north of the river to Strasburg.  These orders are solely contingent upon the fact that the enemy has not be uncovered during your ride.

Having given Colonel Harrison his instructions and finished his breakfast Kirk decided to leave to meet up with Colonel Corrie.  The Tenth Brigade’s camp was just further to the west from the Ninth’s.  As he had found in the other two camps the men were all in various stages of preparing of the day’s march.  Entering the colonel’s tent the two officers greeted each other.  Colonel Corrie was in the process of writing out his last minute orders to his regimental officer’s for the day.  Not wanting to disturb him Kirk requested a sheet of paper and wrote the following note:





FROM: Major General Robert Kirk. . 
TO:
 Brevet Brigadier General David Fontenot. . 
CC:
 
. . . .


Tenth Brigade Headquarters - May 1st , Year 3


General, 

As stated in my previous communication I will be travelling with the Tenth Brigade as the Cavalry Division moves southward.  Our route will take us westward to the Valley Turnpike then southward to Winchester.  The brigade will bivouac for the night in the Winchester area before resuming the march in the morning.  Our destination will be Strasburg.  The Ninth and Tenth Brigades will be moving southward to Berryville then continue southward to the North Fork of the Shenandoah.  As of this moment in time we have no word concerning the whereabouts of the enemy.  If I were commanding the only route to the Valley available to the enemy will be the rail line to Staunton.  It should be some time before we meet up with them.  Even if they marched westward from Fredericksburg we will still have the jump on them.

I am more concerned about their cavalry.  For them to rail to Staunton would not be their most direct route to the Valley.  I can only assume that they will ride westward from Fredericksburg thereby crossing the river as some major point.  Luray or Front Royal appear to be logical destinations.  It would be convenient for us if they decide to travel to the Front Royal - Stasburg area.  That would place them over a hundred miles from any infantry support.  If the cavalry finds them in this area it may be wise to rush the infantry southward and attack.  The cavalry could move around their left and cut them off south of Strasburg.  Let me know when you believe the infantry will be ready to move.  As we discussed previously you will have command of the infantry but we will have to work in conjunction with each other. 

Regards,

Robert Kirk,
Major General, commanding Cavalry Division
After completing the letter Kirk placed it in an envelope and called in an aide to deliver it to the infantry headquarters.  It was only a short time later that Colonel Corrie had completed his last minute orders and had them sent off to his regimental commanders.  The hour was approaching 7 a.m.  Kirk excused himself for a moment and left the tent to check on the movement of the other two brigades.  From his vantage point he could see the Ninth Brigade forming their column on the road and begin moving out.  Satisfied that all was going according as ordered he re-entered the tent.  “The division has started to leave. From what I saw entering your camp the Tenth should be ready to leave once Colonel Harrison’s brigade has moved out.  Colonel, your march from Alexandria to Harper’s Ferry indicated that the men will need some practice before they acquire the proper skills to march and fight as a unified organization.  As we march from here to Strasburg we will spend some time observing the men an noting those lessons that will be needed to be taught first.  This is no reflection upon you or the men under your command.  It is simply a fact which all green units must undergo.  As we march southward we will ride up and down the column and attempt to correct any problems we see as we go.  Have you decided on who will have the honour of leading your march.”

“Yes, sir. Lieutenant Colonel Brinton of the Eighteenth Pennsylvania appeared to have the one of the most organized units in the brigade and from what was observed on the march to Harper’s Ferry a very good commander.  I believe we can trust him with the advance guard.”

“Very good, let’s ride over to his camp and get him on the road first.”

Leaving the tent the two officers mounted up and rode to the Eighteenth’s campsite.  As they arrived they could see that most of the troopers had completed their preparations and were standing next to their horses waiting for their next order.  As they rode past the line a cheer began and followed them as they proceeded.  None of these troopers had seen their commanding general before but many had heard about his past adventures.  General Kirk was a very humble person and although many officers in the army enjoyed such greetings he always felt a little uncomfortable about them.  He had always felt there was only one time when such greetings were appropriate and that was after a victory on the field.  But in a way that was more of a celebration of the accomplishments of the troopers who had orchestrated the victory and not just the presence of their commander.  

Finding Colonel Brinton speaking to one of his subordinates Corrie and Kirk approached.  Brinton turned away from the officer he was speaking to and was surprised to see the two mounted men approaching.  He turned and saluted.  Colonel Corrie began as Kirk sat back.  “Colonel I commend you upon the readiness of your men.  For this reason I have decided to give you the honour of forming the advance guard with the possibility of being the first regiment of the brigade to meet the enemy.  Send a company of men out now to form the advance detachment.  Have the commanding officer send a detachment of a dozen men out as scouts.  They will make sure that the crossing over the Opequon Creek at Wooden Bridge is secure.  The remainder of the regiment will leave one hour later.  You will deploy flankers to follow the column with special attention paid to your left flank as you march westward to the Turnpike and then the right and left flanks as you ride southward.  Reports will be sent back to me every half-hour.”

“Yes, sir.”  Colonel Brinton saluted, turned and rode over to Captain Richards Company D who were ready for the march and transmitted the order.  Brinton ordered Richards to detach twelve of his most trusted men to leave immediately to form the advance detachment.  Captain Richards then rode down his line and transmitted his orders to his men.  One hour later the orders of “PREPARE TO MOUNT,” “MOUNT,” and “Form - RANKS” were sounded.  Once the troopers were in formation the orders “by fours” then “MARCH” were given.  The first four troopers on the right of the line entered the road then followed by the next four and so on as the company left the camp.  There was no turning back now............

**********************************************************************
Action
Kirk meets with Colonels Kidd and Harrison to check on their preparations
Kirk meets with Colonel Corrie of the Tenth Brigade
Sends a note to General Fontenot informing him of the Divisions movements
Colonel Corrie designates Lieutenant Colonel Brinton of the Eighteenth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry to form the advance guard of the brigade.
The Eighteenth Pennsylvania begins it march to Wooden Bridge to secure the bridge and then advance ahead of the brigade
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PostSubject: Re: Role Play Example   17.04.15 15:26

============================= Major McPherson's Posting ================================

Just 2 miles to the north from Washington D.C. - Encampment of 1st US Battalion

At first Major Nathaniel McPherson thought that this must be some kind of bad joke, but the fear and seriousness in the eyes of Private Hemmings told him that what he just had heard was the truth. A mob had gathered and from what he just had been told those guys meant business, them being lead by some crazy fanatic didn't help to ease the mounting feeling of unease in his gut. He called for Corporal Reed to take care of the young private and hurried out to fetch First Sergeant Adcock at once as he didn't want to waste any time waiting.

He found the First Sergeant already walking briskly towards his own tent, seemingly he had heard the commotion and had been alerted by it. Making a mental note of the man's high sense of duty and good judgment he gave the senior NCO of Company A the following order: "First Sergeant Adcock! Sound the alarm at once - I want every man in Company A and Company B assembled no later than 15 minutes from now, send word to Captain Kipler as well - prepare for light marching order, each man carrying only musket, ammunition and canteen! Hurry!". As the efficient soldier sped away at a run to execute the orders Nathaniel returned to his tent and told his young aid to fetch himself a mount and then take Private Hemmings back to his father and to make sure that nothing happens to him. He then thanked Hemmings for his bravery and that he had informed them about what had happened and about the whereabouts of Captain Lyozov. Nate just hoped that the Russian Officer was alright as an angry mob could be as dangerous as a pack of Apache out for a couple of scalps. As Hemmings and Corporal Reed had left he gathered his own gear that wasn't more than one of the muskets his men were using, the bayonet and ammunition, then hurried out to see how his men were doing.
--------------------
Actions:
- some RP
- orders to sound the alarm
- orders for Company A and Company B to assemble
- orders to get word about this to Captain Kipler as well
- each man to carry only his musket, ammunition and canteen
- orders Corporal Reed to take care of Private Hemmings and bring him safely to his father
- fetches his own gear and joins his men
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PostSubject: Re: Role Play Example   17.04.15 15:27

============================= Captain Kipler's Posting ================================

Captain Kipler's Tent - Company B - 1st US Battalion


Captain Kipler was sitting at his desk working on his daily orders for the Company. He looked over at the letter that he had just recieved, confirming the arrival of his XO to his new post elsewhere; 1st Lieutenant Lindsay. He was please with the meetings that he had with Major McPherson the previous day and was energized about the upcoming training for his Company. He had been informed of a new officer coming upstream and, unfortunately, also been informed of his XO being transfered to another position in the Union Army. 'I never figured Lieutenant Lindsay would of lasted more than five minutes in the field...I'm glad he'll be getting a more...suitable position'  He was anxious to meet his new junior officer and was hoping that he would be a bit more relatable. 1st Lieutenant Lindsay was a great officer, but could not relate to his men and looked at the lives of his men as expendable, as long as his ultimate goal was accomplished. He skimmed over the paper to find the name 1ST LT. ROBERT KIRK printed in bold black ink at the bottom of the page. A strong sounding name, but not particularly southern sounding. He wondered where 1st Lieutenant Kirk might be from....

As soon as Captain Kipler had finished thinking through his new officer and his assignment and orders, his orderly, Corporal Sherley, entered and saluted.

"Captain, there is a newly promoted 1st Lieutenant here to see you, sir" he turned his head towards the flap of the tent. "Send him in" retorted Captain Kipler.

As 1st Lieutenant Kirk walked in the tent, Kipler began to notice his appearance. He was a decent sized person, very good in posture though. He stood proud but not arrogant and made sure to keep himself well kept; not to the point of Lieutenant Lindsay though. He like what he saw; a man who could possibly join him in leading a fine group of soldiers. Kirk saluted him and he returned in promptly as he stood and shook his hand. He had a strong grip and James appreciated that.

"Lieutenant, let me be the first to welcome you to Company B of the first Battalion -- finest Company of the whole Union Army. We are a newly commissioned unit and still have a lot of work to do, but the men are showing a lot of promise and the non commissioned officers are strong leaders. Now I will bypass the pleasantries for right now, I'm sure we will have time to speak over coffee sometime soon, but I am very glad to have you join our Company. Our current XO, 1st Lieutenant Lindsay is a fine man and a good officer, but not the right man for Company B. I am having him transferred to another assignment that will better suit his strengths as an officer. Your promotion straight from Corporal to 1st Lieutenant accompanied with the praises that I find in this here letter lead me to believe that you are the man that should take 1st Lieutenant Lindsay's place as the Company Executive Officer. You will be place in the charge of the First Platoon/Right Wing of the Company." He began to pace back and forth and he always did as he spoke.... "Find 1st Sergeant Beaver, he will outfit you with all of the equipment that you will need...musket, ammunition, tent and such. He can also point you towards 1st Platoon's section of tents where you might consider meeting with Sergeants Culpepper and George. They are your lifelines to the men and will help you get your bearings. I suggest, once you have gotten yourself situated, that you muster your platoon and introduce yourself...."

In the middle of Captain Kipler's sentence, Corporal Brown, a Company A man, ran into the tent and quickly saluted the two men. Although out of breath, he spoke up....

"Sirs, I greatly apologize for the interupption, but I have extremely important orders from Major McPherson." He handed the letter to the Captain, saluted the men again, and left the tent. Captain Kipler held up one finger towards Lieutenant Kirk as if to ask him to hold for a moment and opened the letter from the Major; it was orders to prepare to move out. He read out loud one of the lines in the note....

'Prepare for light marching order, each man carrying only musket, ammunition and canteen..." Kipler looked back up as he finished his sentence.

"Well Lieutenant, looks like we do not have time to speak any more. You are now the Company XO and commander of First Platoon, congratulations. It looks like you will be getting your trial by fire. Find First Sergeant Beaver, have him sound the Company alarm....I need the men mustered and ready to go immediately. You heard the letter; musket, ammunition and canteen only. Have the quartermaster sergeant fetch your musket and ammunition, we can worry about your other belongings upon our return. Inform me as soon as the Company is assembled. I will inspect the men and we will march to meet with the rest of the Battalion.

Captain Kipler stood and saluted 1st Lieutenant Kirk. "Dismissed, Lieutenant"

....as Kirk was leaving the flap of the tent Captain Kipler said one last thing to him

"Lieutenant....this is your time"


-----------------

Actions:

- Some RP
- Received the letter concerning his new officer, 1st Lieutenant Robert Kirk
- Had Kirk enter his tent and introduced himself
- Appointed Kirk the Company XO and commander of First Platoon
- Received the order for immediate muster and preperation for march
- Ordered Kirk to find First Sergeant Beaver and sound the alarm and inform him when the men were ready
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PostSubject: Re: Role Play Example   17.04.15 15:28


Orders are Issued for the Valley Campaign
Headquarters, Cavalry Division, First Corps, Army of the Potomac
Harper’s Ferry, Va.    April 30th,   Year 3





After arriving in Harper’s Ferry the three cavalry brigades busily went about the tasks of preparing for a new campaign.  General Cooper had ordered the First Corps to the Valley with the purpose of destroying the military resources of the Valley.  The Valley had long been a major source of agricultural, livestock, mineral and natural resources and minor manufacturing for the nation.  Now that Virginia had decided to side with the rebellious faction it became ever so more important to maintain these supplies for the new South.  The War Department had chosen the Spring to launch this attack in order to eliminate all of these resources before the crops would have time to mature sufficiently to be of any use to the rebels.  The strain it would place upon the rebel army would have to be measured in the future.

The dilemma Kirk had was that just less than one year ago these same people were citizens of the United States.  He knew that the average farmer tending to his crops and caring for his family had little to do with the formation of the Southern bloc of politicians and upper class citizens who fueled the fire to such a state to have the South attempt to break away from the United States.  On the other hand if a soldier’s family and home were threatened a soldier in the field may have some misgivings about being away from home.   How he would treat these people would have to be outlined to his commanders such that they could maintain some control and order with the men under their command.  He knew that there would be individuals who would ignore these rules and they would have to punished accordingly.

These were the thoughts that had kept Kirk awake during the previous few nights but as the new day dawned it was time to summon his brigade commanders and give them their orders.  Rising from his bed he prepared for the new day.  Leaving the house he was using for a headquarters he summoned three aides to notify Colonel Kidd, commanding the Eighth Brigade, Colonel Harrison, commanding the Ninth Brigade and Colonel Corrie, commanding the Tenth Brigade to his office.

With the aides on their ways Kirk had a few minutes to get a morning meal.  Crossing the street he entered a hotel and sat down to a fine meal of eggs, bacon and soft bread.  He had hoped to meet with General Fontenot but the lady who served him stated that she had seen the general among his troops earlier this morning before she left home for work.

Once again Kirk felt secure that his comrade had a keen eye to details which always served a commander in the field well.  After eating his breakfast he began to return to his headquarters just in time to see his three brigade commanders arrive.  Greeting the three officers he invited them to his office to discuss the details of the campaign.

After entering the room the three subordinates sat around a large desk while Kirk retrieved a map of the Valley.  Before unrolling the map upon the table Kirk approached Colonel Corrie and offered his hand.  The two shook hands.  The colonel had been selected by Governor Stephen Erwin of Pennsylvania to the volunteer service.  Almost single handedly he had recruited the Eighth Pennsylvania from the area around his home close to Harrisburg.  He came from a rich, influential family and with his own money was able to supply his men with carbines, revolvers and sabres.  His reward was the colonelcy of the Eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry.  He stood about five-foot-seven-inches tall and approximately one-hundred and fifty pounds.  His roundish face sported a fine handle-bar mustache with sideburns framing his face.  Kirk had heard that he ran the family business since the passing of his father and the factory had doubled its production since.  Although he had no previous experience commanding a cavalry brigade Kirk hoped that his ability to run a factory would be beneficial in commanding men.  He knew he would have to keep a close watch on him as the campaign progressed. “Colonel Corrie, we have never had the pleasure of meeting.  I welcome you to the division.  There’s nothing like getting your first experience at the beginning of a new campaign.”

There was little time for pleasantries, there were many things to discuss.  Kirk returned to the table and unrolled the map.  “As you have already heard we are to move up the Valley, destroying all resources that might be used by the rebel army.  I have thought very hard on how I want the men to move through the Valley.  I will hold each commander responsible for the men under their command.  All factories and mills capable of manufacturing goods for the rebel army will be destroyed.  Every effort must be made to protect the property of the local citizen when buildings are set to torch.  Those owners known to be loyal citizens of the United States and are willing to take an oath of allegiance shall be spared.  They will be watched closely to make sure they stay true to their oath.  The officer in charge will make sure that all of the workers are out of the building before it is set to torch.   Each worker will be able to remove whatever they can from the factory for their own personal use.  These people were not responsible for this rebellion.  Once the building is clear all machinery will be destroyed and then the building burnt to the ground.  Although this measure is extremely harsh, the destruction of this property will end this rebellion all the quicker.

As far a livestock and crops are concerned we will take what we need only.  General Fontenot’s infantry will be following us.  They will have a greater need than we do.  I will discuss with the general that he will take what his men need, leave enough for the families and destroy the rest.  Any goods taken or destroyed from private citizens will be compensated by receiving a voucher in greenbacks to be redeemed once this rebellion is put down and the state returns to the Union.

During our ride I am positive we will encounter citizens who will openly defy our presence or even worse plan to disrupt our march or do harm to our men.  These outlaws will be arrested immediately and sent back to Harper’s Ferry to be imprisoned until a trial can be organized.  Anyone who is known to have killed one of our men will be executed without trial.  There must be witnesses who will testify to the murder.

Personal property and private dwellings will not be harmed.  Guards will be posted on the properties of all citizens who cooperate with the army as it moves.  All officers and men found in possession of personal property obtained by looting will be placed under arrest and tried by a military trial.  Any officer or man convicted of rape or murder will be executed by a firing squad.  I want you each to issue a notice to your men concerning these matters.

As far a the march is concerned we will leave at first light on 30th.  I expect you to be ready by then.  All horses are to be examined and those not fit for duty replaced.  Those unable to find replacements will remain here in Harper’s Ferry until horses arrive.  All men too ill to travel will remain behind.  The division will travel light.  Wagons for supplies will carry some goods that we will not be able to find en route, forage should be plenty for the horses and mules.  The majority of wagons will carry ammunition.  We will be travelling deep into enemy territory and I don’t want to be caught with a lack of ammunition.  The first leg of the march will be rapid.  We will aim for Strasburg and Front Royal.  Once there we will await the arrival of the infantry.  From there we will advance, screening the infantry as we march.  I will send proper written orders to each of you before we march.  Your routes and destinations will be outlined in detail.   I wish to have a word with each of you before you leave.

Colonel Corrie, would you remain while Colonel Kidd and Colonel Harrison wait outside.  The two officers stood and left the room, shutting the door behind them.  “Colonel, you are new to this command.  Your brigade is made up of raw recruits and other than some basic training they have had I doubt they are ready for any field action.  From what I surmise from your reports the march to Harper’s Ferry showed me that your men are not ready to meet the enemy.  Sending them into battle with at least some training would be a foolish waste of men and horses.  I will make available the book I wrote to assist you and your officers on how to teach your men.  In addition I will temporarily assign some regular cavalry officers to your brigade to assist you with their training.  I will travel with your brigade as the division moves to Strasburg.  Once we arrive there you may begin your training while we await the arrival of the infantry.  I have faith in the spirit of these volunteers that within a few weeks they will be ready to actively campaign.  I have reviewed the communications concerning your brigade that the War Department sent to me but if you would be good enough to refresh me it would be helpful.”

Colonel Corrie stood and saluted.  “General, I fully understand your apprehension concerning the ability of my men. I will see to it that they learn their lessons well and I am looking forward to doing my duty and ending this rebellion.  The Tenth Brigade is composed of the following regiments:

Fifth New York Volunteer Cavalry commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Hammond - 953 officers and men
Sixth New York Volunteer Cavalry commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Arthur E. Beardsley - 963 officers and men
Eighth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry command by myself - 963 officers and men
Eighteenth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Robert P. Brinton - 953 officers and men
First Vermont Volunteer Cavalry commanded by my second-in-command Colonel Addison W. Preston - 932 officers and men
and the Sixth New York Horse Artillery commanded by Captain Joseph C. Martin - 68 officers and men

The total for the brigade is 4,764 officers and men present for duty with Captain Martin’s four Napoleons manned by 68 officers and artillerymen.”

Kirk paused for a moment then removed a sheet of paper from the desk and jotted the information down.  Placing the pen down he addressed the colonel.  “Excellent, colonel.  That will be all for now.  I will issue my orders for the brigade later in the day.  See to your men.  Oh, could you ask Colonel Harrison and Colonel Kidd in.”


Colonel Corrie saluted and left the room.  Moments later Harrison and Kidd entered the room.  Addressing the officers, “Have a seat.  I will have to rely heavily upon your two brigades as we move up the Valley.  Colonel Kidd, your Eighth Brigade as performed well ever since we left Alexandria, especially those regiments who participated in the rail road raid last year.  From what I have heard that damage has yet to be repaired and the advantage it will still afford us will be very useful.  The ability of the rebels not to use the Manassas Gap Railroad will force them to rail far to the south and then march northward down the Valley.  By the time they organize their supplies and transportation we will be able to gain some very valuable territory.  Your brigade will constitute the right wing of the advance, moving to the west of the Valley Turnpike until we concentrate at Strasburg.  Is your brigade ready?”

Colonel Kidd replied, “Sir, the men are eager to begin.”  

Major Richardson’s First Maryland reports 953 officers and men ready to ride as does my First Michigan with 973 officers and men, Major McCartney’s Third New York with 932 officers and men, Lieutenant Colonel Sackett’s Second Pennsylvania at 891 officers and men and Major Haseltine’s Sixth Pennsylvania numbering 861 officers and men.  I believe that totals some 4,610 officers and men.  Captain Fuller’s First New York Horse Artillery along with its four 6-pounders and 78 officers and men completes the brigade.”

General Kirk once again wrote the numbers down on the paper.

“Colonel Harrison, what is the state of the Ninth Brigade?”

“Sir, as with the Colonel Kidd’s troopers the men are anxious to get started and put an end to this rebellion and go back to their normal lives.  Lieutenant Colonel Jennings Third reported 861 officers and men and Majors Lord, Mason and Starr of the First, Second and Fourth Regiments report 2,654 officers and men, totaling 3,515 troopers eager to ride.  Major Pennington’s First Horse Artillery with his four Napoleons and 70 officers and men will support the troopers.”

Totaling all of the numbers Kirk announced, “Very good, that will give us 12,889 troopers supported by 12 pieces of artillery.  That will be more than enough to handle these rebels.  You are both dismissed.  I will get you your orders later today.  Good day, gentlemen.”


FROM: Major General Robert Kirk
. . TO: Colonel Kidd, commanding Eighth Cavalry Brigade
. . CC:

. . . . SPECIAL ORDERS - No. 3



Harper's Ferry - March 20, 1861

Colonel Kidd,

As per our conversation earlier today you will prepare your brigade to move from Harper’s Ferry to Strasburg at first light tomorrow morning.  All horses will be examined and those not fit for duty will be exchanged.  Each man will be responsible to assure that his mount is fully shod and prepared for the march.  An extra set of shoes will be carried by each trooper.  Although it will be critical to arrive at Strasburg at the earliest possible date there is no need to press the horses.  The standard walk, march, rest orders will be carried out.  

This march will be conducted in such a manner as though we are travelling in enemy territory with the possibility of encountering either enemy cavalry or infantry.

Your brigade will be responsible for its own supply.  Wagons for supplies, ammunition and supplies will be assigned to your brigade by the quartermaster.  The standard one wagon per twenty-five men will be sufficient for the march.  The men will forage for as many supplies that the land will afford making sure that some will be left for the infantry that will follow.  

Although the brigade will encounter no enemy troops it should maintain a proper marching order.  An advance guard of one-fourth of your total number will be deployed.  The advance guard will watch for any indications of enemy troops that may have arrived since our last intelligence report and clear the road of any obstacles.  The advance guard may be pushed up to one quarter days march ahead of the main body but generally no further than a few miles.  For protection of its own march, the advanced guard should have an advanced guard of its own, consisting of one or more companies, and on its flanks.  The advance and flank detachments shall maintain a distance of from 500 to 1000 paces from the head and flanks of the main advanced guard.  These detachments will send out patrols in front and on the flanks, to examine the country and obtain early intelligence of the enemy.  These patrols are to be from 500 to 1,000 paces from their detachments, and ought to regulate their intervals so as never to lose sight of each other, and to form a continuous chain around the head and flanks of the main advanced guard.

A rear guard shall be deployed in a similar manner as the advance guard.

The main column along with the 140 wagons will stretch approximately for 2 miles in length.  It will be critical to have each commanding officer to ensure that their troopers are maintaining proper intervals during the march.  The Eighth Brigade will lead the march, leaving at 5 a. m. on the First of May.  The first day’s march will take the column to Berryville (20 miles).  The route to be taken will be Bolivar - Charlestown - Rippon - Berryville.  The column will rest at noon at Rippon before carrying on to Berryville where the brigade will bivouac for the night just north of the town.  Pickets and vedettes will be deployed while the brigade is at rest.

The commanding general will be travelling with the Tenth Brigade.

By command of,

Major General  Robert Kirk
Commanding, Cavalry Division, First Corps, Army of the Potomac



FROM: Major General Robert Kirk
. . TO: Colonel Harrison, commanding Ninth Cavalry Brigade
. . CC:

. . . . SPECIAL ORDERS - No. 4



Harper's Ferry - March 20, 1861

Colonel Harrison,

As per our conversation earlier today you will prepare your brigade to move from Harper’s Ferry to Front Royal at first light tomorrow morning.  All horses will be examined and those not fit for duty will be exchanged.  Each man will be responsible to assure that his mount is fully shod and prepared for the march.  An extra set of shoes will be carried by each trooper.  Although it will be critical to arrive at Front Royal at the earliest possible date there is no need to press the horses.  The standard walk, march, rest orders will be carried out.  

This march will be conducted in such a manner as though we are travelling in enemy territory with the possibility of encountering either enemy cavalry or infantry.

Your brigade will be responsible for its own supply.  Wagons for supplies, ammunition and supplies will be assigned to your brigade by the quartermaster.  The standard one wagon per twenty-five men will be sufficient for the march.  The men will forage for as many supplies that the land will afford making sure that some will be left for the infantry that will follow.  

Although the brigade will encounter no enemy troops it should maintain a proper marching order.  An advance guard of one-fourth of your total number will be deployed.  The advance guard will watch for any indications of enemy troops that may have arrived since our last intelligence report and clear the road of any obstacles.  The advance guard may be pushed up to one quarter days march ahead of the main body but generally no further than a few miles.  For protection of its own march, the advanced guard should have an advanced guard of its own, consisting of one or more companies, and on its flanks.  The advance and flank detachments shall maintain a distance of from 500 to 1000 paces from the head and flanks of the main advanced guard.  These detachments will send out patrols in front and on the flanks, to examine the country and obtain early intelligence of the enemy.  These patrols are to be from 500 to 1,000 paces from their detachments, and ought to regulate their intervals so as never to lose sight of each other, and to form a continuous chain around the head and flanks of the main advanced guard.

A rear guard shall be deployed in a similar manner as the advance guard.

The main column along with the 140 wagons will stretch approximately for 2 miles in length.  It will be critical to have each commanding officer to ensure that their troopers are maintaining proper intervals during the march.  The Ninth Brigade will take to the road as soon as the Eighth Brigade has cleared the town.  The brigade should be on the road by no latter than 8 am on the First of May.  The first day’s march will take the column to Berryville (20 miles).  The route to be taken will be Bolivar - Charlestown - Rippon - Berryville.  The column will rest at noon at Rippon before carrying on to Berryville where the brigade will bivouac for the night just south of the town.  Pickets and vedettes will be deployed while the brigade is at rest.

The commanding general will be travelling with the Tenth Brigade.


By command of,

Major General  Robert Kirk
Commanding, Cavalry Division, First Corps, Army of the Potomac



FROM: Major General Robert Kirk
. . TO: Colonel Corrie, commanding Tenth Cavalry Brigade
. . CC:

. . . . SPECIAL ORDERS - No. 5



Harper's Ferry - March 20, 1861

Colonel Corrie,

Colonel, in order to maintain a proper pace for the march I have decided to ride with the Tenth Brigade.  

As per our conversation earlier today you will prepare your brigade to move from Harper’s Ferry to Strasburg at first light tomorrow morning.  All horses will be examined and those not fit for duty will be exchanged.  Each man will be responsible to assure that his mount is fully shod and prepared for the march.  An extra set of shoes will be carried by each trooper.  Although it will be critical to arrive at the Strasburg area at the earliest possible date there is no need to press the horses.  The standard walk, march, rest orders will be carried out.

This march will be conducted in such a manner as though we are travelling in enemy territory with the possibility of encountering either enemy cavalry or infantry.

Your brigade will be responsible for its own supply.  Wagons for supplies, ammunition and supplies will be assigned to your brigade by the quartermaster.  The standard one wagon per twenty-five men will be sufficient for the march.  The men will forage for as many supplies that the land will afford making sure that some will be left for the infantry that will follow.  

Although the brigade will encounter no enemy troops it should maintain a proper marching order.  An advance guard of one-fourth of your total number will be deployed.  The advance guard will watch for any indications of enemy troops that may have arrived since our last intelligence report and clear the road of any obstacles.  The advance guard may be pushed up to one quarter days march ahead of the main body but generally no further than a few miles.  For protection of its own march, the advanced guard should have an advanced guard of its own, consisting of one or more companies, and on its flanks.  The advance and flank detachments shall maintain a distance of from 500 to 1000 paces from the head and flanks of the main advanced guard.  These detachments will send out patrols in front and on the flanks, to examine the country and obtain early intelligence of the enemy.  These patrols are to be from 500 to 1,000 paces from their detachments, and ought to regulate their intervals so as never to lose sight of each other, and to form a continuous chain around the head and flanks of the main advanced guard.

A rear guard shall be deployed in a similar manner as the advance guard.

The main column along with the 140 wagons will stretch approximately for 2 miles in length.  It will be critical to have each commanding officer to ensure that their troopers are maintaining proper intervals during the march.  The Tenth Brigade will take to the road as soon as the Ninth Brigade has cleared the town.  The brigade should be on the road by no latter than 10 am on the First of May.  The first day’s march will take the column to Winchester (20 miles).  The route to be taken will be Bolivar - Charlestown - Smithfield - Wooden Bridge then south west to the Valley Turnpike then to the north of Winchester.  The column will rest at noon at Smithfield before carrying on to Winchester where the brigade will bivouac for the night just south of the town.  Pickets and vedettes will be deployed while the brigade is at rest.

The commanding general will be travelling with the Tenth Brigade.



By command of,

Major General  Robert Kirk
Commanding, Cavalry Division, First Corps, Army of the Potomac

There was one more order to be written.  Before Kirk arrived General Fontenot ordered the Horse Artillery to be assigned to the infantry.  

FROM: Major General Robert Kirk
. . TO: General Fontenot, commanding First and Second Brigades
. . CC:

. . . . SPECIAL ORDERS - No. 6



Harper's Ferry - March 20, 1861

General Fontenot,

Prior to my arrival in Harper’s Ferry an order was issued by yourself to detach the Horse Artillery from the cavalry.  Since the full cavalry division will be on the march in the morning kindly resend that order and return it to the Third Brigade.

The cavalry will be leaving Harper’s Ferry on the first of May.  The Eighth Brigade will head to Strasburg while the Ninth and Tenth will be located between Strasburg and Front Royal.  We shall await the arrival of the infantry before pressing on up the Valley.



By command of,

Major General  Robert Kirk
Commanding, Cavalry Division, First Corps, Army of the Potomac



******************************************************************
Action

General Kirk meets with his brigade commanders
Orders issued for the first days’ march

Eighth Brigade, Colonel Kidd commanding to march to Berryville.  (Bolivar - Charlestown - Rippon - Berryville.  The column will rest at noon at Rippon before carrying on to Berryville)

Ninth Brigade, Colonel Harrison to march to Berryville.  (Bolivar - Charlestown - Rippon - Berryville.  The column will rest at noon at Rippon before carrying on to Berryville)

Tenth Brigade, Colonel Corrie commanding to march to Winchester (Bolivar - Charlestown - Smithfield - Wooden Bridge then south west to the Valley Turnpike then to the north of Winchester)
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