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Date Posted: 14:24:16 04/01/08 Tue
Author: Fred Baker
Subject: Re: Cavalry
In reply to: Charles Bradford 's message, "Cavalry" on 11:31:56 04/01/08 Tue


That's a decision Tom and I haven't settled on yet. There are pros and cons.

At BGR we lost over half the battery horses with conditioning issues, field injuries, etc. Additionally, the amount of food required is immense, there is nearly no grazing area, and in many stretches the terrain is extremely demanding. Getting a man up and down some of the ground is a challenge. One horse, let alone a large number, would be daunting. Additionally, it's one headache to evaucate an injurred man from the area we're in. It's something else altogether to get a badly injurred animal tended to.

In 2007 we lucked out with weather. However, it's very possible it could rain for some or all of this event (we'll hope for the same conditions as before of course). The thought of what a sizable number of horses would do to the trails is a bit frightening. In many places they would be churned into a bog. The woods are often extremely thick as well, meaning horses jammed in a single line with no way to deploy. Lastly, the area we have for parking is not huge. I have trouble picturing where we could mass the necessary numbers of trucks and trailers.

We have no desire to do this half-way and short-changing one force at the expense of another doesn't sit well with me. Frankly, I think the cav would have a limited role and would create some very serious logistical and medical issues. At BGR, when we came up short on our first day's intended bivouac, we had to begin moving dozens of prestaged bales as well as grain. And that was for two teams of draft mules, one team of four oxen, and horseflesh for one gun and limber. The requirements to feed or reposition grain and hay for even a small number of cav would be vast. None of that is to say it's an impossibility but we operate pretty lightly, keeping the most men in the field and the fewest on internal/logistical. That also means we're able to adjust on the fly when called upon to do so.

I hope this gives light to the fact that Tom and I are doing our best to think things through and not make rash and foolish decisions. I would wager that none of us would want to go to an event of this type where the organizers hadn't thought the little things through. The devil is in the details and it's those smaller elements that contribute to the overall success or failure.

My two cents,

Fred Baker

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