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In this issue:
When I first ran for sergeant two years ago, I said I had a vision for this unit. I wanted us to be the best unit in the battalion, if not the club. Well, at Knight's Ferry this year we were the largest, best drilled, best looking, hardest working, and had the best party in the evening. We were the only ones with powder, caps and paper at the entire event. (We sold over 20 lbs of powder and nearly 1,000 caps; I will be ordering more for Mariposa.) We had four walk-ons and I think at least one of them will be coming back. We were color company for the first time in years, and now that we've got more soldiers over the age of 12 I expect we'll be doing that again. I towed the trailer to the event for the first time and it went well. Big thank you to everyone who stayed to help me load it at the end.
The entire command staff has expressed its gratitude to us for stepping up for provost. They didn't even ask until 9pm when most of us were already drunk, but we still covered 3 out of 4 shifts, including the 4-6 am shift in the rain. (Thank you Anne & Danielle!) We also did 2 out of 4 shifts for picket duty during the day, during which we engaged in light skirmishing with rebel pickets across the river. That was one of the coolest things I've ever done.
I took a gentler approach to drinking water and it seems to have worked; not a single person got dehydrated. In fact, the entire weekend was very safe with only 1 medic call for a spectator (compare to 7 calls a couple years ago).
Even though we had limited time, we still drilled harder than any other unit and it showed. In addition to the standard manual of arms, we also covered marching by the flank in 2's and 4's, firing at the oblique, firing by file and by rank, the proper countermarch maneuver, turning by the flank, and some basic skirmishing tactics. At Mariposa we're going to add anti-cavalry tactics.
On a sadder note, we also had the memorial service for Gary Nelson, a.k.a. Father Nelson. The 69th carried black streamers on our flags (for the first time since 9/11) and we all wore black arm bands. We also purchased a memorial flag which was given to Gary's widow, Kris Nelson, during the memorial ceremony, and I left a card at Gary's funeral on behalf of the entire unit. Kris has indicated an interest in camping with us in the future.
Coming up: Las Mariposas. My favorite event. We've got 200 acres to run around on. For those who haven't been before, you need to come. For those of you who have been before, no introduction is necessary. If you come to one event this year, this is the one. It's as big as a real battlefield and we do amazing stuff there. This year, the event is getting the full support of PACWR, including the NCWA and CHAS, which means more mobile artillery. If you've ever been overwhelmed by a Confederate attack and wished you could have direct artillery support, your wish will be granted. The twilight battle will be back, with more advanced tactics. In addition, the 69th may get skirmishing and more independent maneuvering.
Tom Bispo needs more help with Mariposa School Days, so if you are available, please contact him: email@example.com
It is my pleasure to remain,
Your obedient servant,
--J.I. Koplowicz, Captain
We have received the following communique from a Confederate marine sergeant:
That was a good weekend. Anne, James, and Nathan killed me a lot. You all did well. -Raff
From command staff:
It was previliage to serve with all of you who were able to attend Knights Ferry. Personally I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding with this office over the entire weekend. Also Mr. Harris (aide-de-camp) and Mr. Reynolds (co-adjutant) were tremedously helpful in getting every test submitted, corrected by Sunday morning.
Now on to new business, the Las Mariposas event is coming in three weeks on April 21 and April 22. The premier event in Northern California promises to be tremendous. Tom Bispo really needs your help with the school day on Friday April 20. He is seeking at least two speakers to do infantry. Please pass this on to your troops ASAP since he needs to finalize arrangements this week.
Sirs, this is first call for your this event. Please start inquiring from your troops regarding attendance, tents types and special requests. I look forward to hearing from you soon in this regard.
Here is Mr. Bispo's e-mail so he can be contacted directly about the Mariposa school day. Thanks