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Colonel Joseph Leo, cmdg
6th Battalion, 1st Division, ANV
Herewith is my report on the operations of Co.H, 1st Maryland Infantry, in the action at Museum Village, Monroe.
Our first action occurred at Museum Village in Monroe, NY. A small detachment of 14 soldiers and four civilians arrived on Friday afternoon, to find an incredibly small ground alloted for our camp. It was only through the efforts of Sgt. Major Sullivan (John Maloney) and Provost Marshall Bass (John Prushko), that the situation was salvaged. Despite their herculean efforts, the camp was very tight, and difficult in which to manuever.
This was an unusual event, with event command in the hands of Col. Abraham, but the Legion functioned as an independent entity, under your able command. We had an excellent battalion drill in the morning, with much attention focused on correct civil war era skirmish drill.
Down time was pleasantly spent, with an excellent array of merchants available on sutlers row. Several purchases were made by unit members. The buildings of the museum were also available, and interesting, although it was disturbing to see how many buildings have been closed down since our last event there some three years ago.
The afternoon's battle had some advantages over past years, and other concerns. Space has always been a problem at Monroe, and the situation remains much the same. An effort to make a more satisfying fight was made by starting from the drill field to the side of camp, fighting through the barn buildings, and arriving at the traditional battle site. The soldiers found the skirmish fighting exhilarating, but there were some safety issues in the fight through the buildings, most notably level fire at very close range by some redlegs. This matter was addressed by you at the time, through proper channels, and you have our thanks. I must suspect that the spectators may have been a bit disappointed, since so much of the battle took place out of their sight. They could hear us but not see us.
Perhaps our highlight was our battalion dispersal and rapid reforming of the line. We received much deserved praise for this, and the men performed admirably.
The afternoon faded into evening, with more trips to sutlers' row, and an array of evening activities, featuring a ball, and a casino, hosted by our sister unit, Lee's Light Horse. Many took advantage of these activities, but many others opted for the cramped confines of camp, and convivialty always available there, even under tight conditions. It was a particular pleasure to get to spend some time with our good friends from the 16th North Carolina, who made the long trip down from New York's North Country. We hope that our schedules permit us to see more of them in the future.
Sunday's activities began, as is fitting, with divine services. These were conducted in the camps, with ours being held in the nearby Meeting House. While I have conducted many services over the years, this was the first that was actually held inside. It was an interesting experience to be able to praise the Lord in a normal tone of voice. I was particularly pleased to see Lt. Col Boyle and Miss Karen in attendence. Col. Boyle has often expressed a
desire to attend, but at those events, someone else was conducting services. I am glad that we had this opportunity to worship together.
Battalion drill showed the good effects of the skirmish work of the day before. While there has been less opportunity to drill the battalion then we might have hoped this season, we have still made some very important strides. My compliments to our Colonels!
Sunday's battle was on the same lines as the day before, with minor adjustments, which, unfortunately, included our demise. The tight space made for a rather static fight, which was marred by a rogue company in blue which appeared on our flank, contrary to the plan. Clearly units which send no representatives to meetings should not be on the field. In order to continue with the planned scenario, we had to ignore them, which must have looked
terrible to the spectators.
Co.H took a moment after the battle to offer congratulations and a gift to Pvt. and Mrs Willam Gardiner (Bill and Margie Maisano), new members who chose to spend their wedding anniversary with us at this event. They are a much appreciated addition to the unit.
Being a holiday weekend, the battle was scheduled late, with reenactors invited to stay an extra night. Few of our people chose to do so. In the future, I would recommend to the organizers that they adopt the more traditional approach of an earlier Sunday battle. With many of us faced with the need to get home, the difficult vehicle access to camp for breakdown made us late indeed.
This was the first Monroe event we have attended in three years. It remains a laid back, late season event. We were assured that in future, the campdifficulties could be improved upon. All in all, while it will never be a great event from the military side, there are many sutlers, and a good array of civilian activities, making it worth our consideration for future
Captain, Co.H, 1st Maryland Infantry
Major, 6th Battalion, 1st Division