Shiloh Thursday Afternoon
We marched in a column of fours for about ¾ of a mile until we came to the reenactor parking lot; crossed a county road and proceeded to the Fallen Timbers skirmish site.
There were about 2 other soldiers between me and the second sergeant, who is the absolute end of the company line. We were the third company of a four company battalion. The soldier on my left was a young man and the soldier on my right was an older man. Before we had begun marching I had introduced myself to them and memorized their faces because when we maneuvered into battle line I had to be between these two comrades.
After a bit of a march our cavalry got into a fight with some Union forces. We had by this time had entered a wooded area and still marched in a column. After the cavalry had pushed the Yank skirmishers back we continued forward.
We were ordered into Company line with one company just a few paces behind the other. The path through the woods was so narrow and the wood line so thick that the files of us at the end of our line had to follow the company and couldn’t extend the end of the company line as usual.
We proceeded this way for about 75 yards sometimes, due to the increased widening of the path and the less thick tree line vegetation, being able to extend out the company line and other times having to get behind the main company line again due to the path width and vegetation. We finally broke out into a wider area; went on line; and pushed the Union Forces back.
We played cat and mouse with the Yanks until they finally decided to leave us alone and we marched to the area for our night camp. It was on a hilltop that sloped off to a pond at the bottom of the hill. We all laid out our bedrolls and began to clean our rifles. I have been reenacting for 18 years, but, naturally, I got a dry patch that I had put on my rammer caught in my barrel and couldn’t get it out.
A knowledgeable person said to put water down the barrel, which I did and the patch came right out. I guess you are never too old to learn.