150th Battle of Shiloh after action report

From: kbachand@juno.com
To: ric.erkes@yahoo.com

150th Anniversary Battle of Shiloh after-action report (Pardon me if you’ve already gotten this.)

Macbeth Light Artillery members attending the event:
Brig. Gen. Ken Bachand and Mary, Col. David West, Lt. John Lane and June, Pvts. Ed Kennedy, Dicki Kennedy, Bill Burns.

Falling in with us: David and Susan Judy of McClanahan’s Battery of the Valley Division in West Virginia.

Those who didn’t make it missed a fine weekend–that is, fine for the re-enactment part.  We had 29 guns on the Confederate line.  We were in position number 25 with another original Noble Brothers’ gun beside us in position number 24.  The weather for the fight was fine each day.

The event coordinators were the best we’ve ever encountered, for they treated us with the utmost courtesy and were willing to help us with anything we needed.

Unfortunately, Ed and Dicki Kennedy went to the wrong re-enactment the first day and so didn’t make it to the right one until Sunday.  But because Dave and Sue Judy had signed up with us, we had just enough to run the gun on Saturday with Sue running powder and serving as number 4 on the gun.

Sue performed another very fine function for us with her bugle, her fife, and her bagpipes.  We were the only unit at the event that marched onto the field to the sound of the pipes.

We had a very convenient inconvenience right after we arrived when the truck got stuck in some soft ground.  The convenient part was that the event folks had a big tractor on the spot to pull us out.  And no sooner had that been done when the power steering and power brakes went out on the truck.  That was convenient too, for just imagine what might have happened to us and the gun if that had occurred on 285 going around Atlantta!  But again the event folks were there to help us, and a local mechanic was contacted who got a new hydraulic pump installed without anyone having to miss a minute of re-enacting.  Special thanks should go to Bill Burns for picking up the new pump and getting it to the mechanic.

Then, Shiloh being Shiloh, we spent all Saturday morning sitting under the fly while the rain came down.  But it cleared about noon and did not affect the re-enactment.  However, it came back that evening with a vengence, and we had a river of water flowing down into our encampment and golfball-size hail coming down like bullets out of a machine gun.  Fortunately for us, we were again under the fly, for anyone caught out in it would have gotten away with no less than a serious headache.  Amazingly, our vehicles survived without any apparent damage.

One very good thing to come from this event is that adjutant John Lane finally got around to paying us for all of our back years of service–IN CONFEDERATE MONEY, THAT IS!

Although the official action ended Sunday aftternoon, some dedicated die-hards stayed in camp, and there was another fight after dark that night.

David West, Mary, and I broke camp on  Monday morning and made the long, more-than-nine-hour, drive back to South Carolina where Mary and I stayed overnight at a motel in Anderson.  We arrived home shortly before noon Tuesday morning–six days after leaving–got unpacked, and are now trying to get excited about going down for the Battle of Anderson just eight days from now.

I think it’s worth saying that the air conditioner on the truck isn’t working, so David and I had an old-fashioned 18+-hour trip swetting our way out to Shiloh and back with Mary following behind as escort in our nice air-conditioned car.

Respectfully submitted,
Ken Bachand, B.G.