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Date Posted: 14:42:39 11/14/08 Fri
Author: Pogue
Subject: Re: Things to Think About
In reply to: Fred Baker 's message, "Things to Think About" on 07:10:41 04/29/08 Tue


Along with being in shape and honest with oneself, I have to add:

Pack light.

The Army dictates that you will carry the musket and accoutrements. That weight will not change. But you control what goes into the haversack and knapsack/bedroll. The less the better. If you can't eat it, wipe with it, wear it to keep warm or dry, or the doctor didn't prescribe it, maybe you don't need it for this event. You won't need two blankets, an overcoat and three sets of drawers. You won't need that nifty collapsible chess set or desk. You won't need a fourteen place setting of tinware.

Pack smart. Utilize your pockets. If you have two evils, take the lesser in weight.

Mark your canteen or canteen strap with some defining mark, initials or other easily seen device. It is a major pain to match canteens and canteen owners, especially when you are trying to move fast in the face of the enemy.

Make sure any meds you are taking do not conflict with iodine (assuming we will use iodine tablets again). Get online and google AND call your doctor about this. Be informed. We don't want to haul another body out of the woods.

Arrive on time and report to the company captain and orderly sergeant. It makes their life so much easier and helps the company come together better.

As Fred suggested, if you are carpooling, make a pact that any injuries not requiring immediate surgery will not send the whole carload home. Played out and injured soldiers can rest with the civilians, help with the logistics crew or just sleep it off in the car. Let's keep the numbers up. When companies lose 3 or 4 guys, it really hits morale.

Finally, take advantage of the trip and see the Louisiana countryside. For BGR, I drove from Nashville to Vicksburg, down US 61 to St. Francisville, crossed the Big Muddy on a ferry, took LA Hwy 1 to Marksville and visited Fort DeRussy, then jumped on I-49 to the event site. Thus I had more or less followed the route of many Federal soldiers, even crossing the river by boat, and saw a great portion of the state. I saw things along the way that reminded of comments I had read in the Newsome book.

I look forward to being in the Piney Woods again soon!

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