|Our lonely mess tent in the desert.|
Last weekend B Troop returned to Picacho Peak State Park for the annual Civil War in the Southwest re-enactment. We had missed it last year due to the sequester business. We weren't permitted to participate in an off-post events for a period of time.
This year we returned in force. We were able to field ten riders and two cannon crews. It has been a long time since we had that many people on the field. We invited our riding students to participate on the cannon crew as they hadn't been trained yet to ride in full campaign gear.
We set up our camp in the traditional spot which was just as dusty as it always is. Maybe more so this year because of the winds. Pretty much everything we took out there came back a dusty brown color. We set up a corral for the horses, pitched our mess tent, dug a fire pit, and settled down for a big pot of chili. It was wonderful.
|Are fielding of ten riders at Picacho.|
The next day we went up to the battlefield for the three re-enactments of the day. First was the battle of Valverde, then the battle of Glorietta Pass, and final the battle of Picacho Peak. These battles are probably only known to the most ardent Civil War buffs. They were fought in 1861 to determine who would have control of the New Mexico Territory, which at the time included present day Arizona. The Union eventually won as they managed to destroy the Confederate supply train at Glorietta Pass.
|Blade and I riding into battle.|
We introduced three new horses to the battlefield with predictable results. Bob, who is an experienced Cowboy Mounted Shooting horse, did the best, although he had trouble with some of the cannon fire. Blade did the job, but spent most of his time spinning in a circle as each musket and cannon went off. Ruger, just about came unglued in the first battle, but settled down enough to finish the next two battles. His rider, however, decided he had enough of a work out and declined to ride the next day. I took the same precaution with Blade as he was struggling with the whole thing. One day was enough for these newbies. Bob finished both days.
As always, it was a good time with the usual (or unusual) campfire antics in the evening. The new students treated us to an interpretive dance of my riding school instruction which had everyone in tears. There was much toasting to the cavalry and other things and at some point a bag piper from another camp showed up and serenaded us. The stars and moon were bright, the fire warm, and the conversation ridiculous. A good weekend all around.
|The cannon crew in action.|
All photos by Dawn Hill