The following is a battle report from Trooper Bob Hines of the current 1st AL Cav. USV on his trip to Vicksburg.

     Now I know how Stonewall Jackson's "foot cavalry" felt.  But, beyond 
     some soreness in my feet and ankles, I had a great time at Vicksburg.  
     Luckily, I even managed to avoid blisters - hell, I have felt worse 
     after standing around all day at a job site. I think it was a 
     fantastic event for the dismounted.  Ya shoulda been dere.....
     We started with a decent scrap on Friday under a hot late-afternoon 
     sun for which we were complimented for having done EXACTLY what was 
     hoped for by way of tying up the johnnies whilst the heavy infantry 
     got into position to kick some butt.  
     Saturday morn we moved out at 0630 onto an old RR bed which was shady 
     (thankfully, because the sun was ferocious and temperatures were 88 
     degrees) and easy walking.  Got about half a mile when the mounted cav 
     decided to shake things up by paying a call on the Rebs to see if they 
     were out of their bedrolls yet.  Uh, huh....yeah, baby - Johnny was 
     awake and he was open for business.  We tried to back up the mounted 
     by deploying into a corn field but the horsey folk got balled up in 
     front of us and we never got a chance to properly bring our fire to 
     bear.  That corn will never amount to much because a horde of 
     graybacks emerged from the woods to our front and right flank to kick 
     our butts off the field along with the mounted.  Only one of our 
     infantry units was up and that was not enough firepower to stop the 
     Rebs.  Ouch.
     But, we got 'em back when we followed the Rebs down the road for 
     another mile or so and forced a passage of 14-mile creek (the actual 
     field for the Battle of Raymond).  Got across the creek in good order 
     (nobody broke legs negotiating a 6-foot bank) after blowing past the 
     Rebel mounted rear guard.  Deployed nicely opened up on the grayback 
     infantry.  Pissed 'em, too; because they turned on us (5 BIG 
     battalions) in an open field and unleashed some arty on us as well.  
     We kept the fire hot as Kevin ran back looking for some support for us 
     because our butts were up against a deep creek (literally).  However, 
     the fire managed to slow up the Rebs and pin them in the open field 
     long enough for the Federal Infantry to hit 'em on both flanks.  
     Glorious.  More blue infantry took over from us and we sat and enjoyed 
     the spanking being applied to Johnny.  Yeah, we hooked 'em good and 
     the infantry cleaned 'em and fried 'em.  Ummm, umm....fried grayback - 
     After that, we resumed the march and had one hidden battery try to hit 
     us - the mounted soon took them out because the Reb infantry did not 
     stay around to fight.  That was the last obstacle before Raymond.  
     Marched into town and took over under strict orders to behave 
     ourselves.  After a rest at the actual Federal HQ (a plantation house 
     yard) we had enough energy left to get some great fighting in some 
     thick woods.  Reb infantry tried to engage us and got hopelessly 
     disoriented in the undergrowth.  Section leaders did a great job by 
     taking over the battle and instinctively thinking "flank, flank, 
     flank".  Bagged the better part of a whole Reb Battalion (22 captured 
     and as many down) as a result of our fire & maneuver.
     Sunday - back on the road at 0700 (roughly) following Johnny.  Only 
     had a short company (yeah we lost a few due to blisters). Overcast 
     helped out a lot by keeping temperatures cooler.  But that was the 
     only thing cool.  Action was hot as a firecracker.  Got shot up twice 
     before 0800 as the Rebs had pre-scouted the best ambush points.  Our 
     maneuvers were greatly limited because we were skirting some cotton 
     fields which were strictly OFF LIMITS to participants - otherwise we 
     could have dome some flanking and butt-kicking.  Had another hidden 
     battery which cleaned clock on some mounted and on lead dismounted 
     company of the Missouri boys before the rest of the unit charged in 
     column of fours (yes, us with revolvers on two legs trying to keep up 
     with horsey soldiers on four legs - puff, puff, wheeze, pant, gasp).
     Further down the road we ran up against a Reb roadblock where their 
     infantry deployed and poured it to us.  Again, we were forced into a 
     narrow front due to a bottleneck.  Thrice-damned Provost Company tried 
     to mix in as light infantry and only wound up getting into our way.  
     Rebs moved forward and volleyed by successive ranks in a conveyor belt 
     fashion.  We finally infiltrated onto their flanks thru a creek bed 
     and thick woods.  Got into a field and poured it to them, taking 
     enough pressure off the Federal Infantry to open a hole when Johnny 
     diverted some infantry and his mounted to bite us.  We slipped back 
     into the woods and they refused to follow - wonder why?
     One more stand by Johnny on the march but we were pretty blown from 
     the previous roadblock.  Snaveley (commanding because Kevin's horse 
     was not fit for duty on Sunday - so he was slicksleeve for the day) 
     took us off line for a rest (which we needed more than another fight).
     After that we got about an hour's rest before the final Battle of 
     Champion Hill on Sunday.  Good fight, saw lots of action by flanking 
     Reb battalions on at least 3 occasions and forcing them to give.
     Overall I would do it again.  But not until Thursday (groan).  We came 
     dangerously close to hard-core campaigning .... and we liked it.  We 
     did well.  We can do this....this was fun.  I am tired and my feet are 
     sore but it was a well-run campaign with the City of Raymond and the 
     host units (Stanford's MS Battery) looking out for you with water, ice 
     and vigilant emergency units all along the way in case they were 
     needed.  Yeah, there were tubby middle-aged guys (and some young kids) 
     going down in the heat and with blisters.  4th Battalion lost maybe a 
     third of it's strength to foot problems but NONE to heat or exhaustion 
     (although we were pretty beat by Sunday afternoon).  Yeah, dismounted 
     led the way for most of the march and we did well.  Give me a couple 
     of cold ones and enough time to cook up some more yarns and I'll do it 
     Ya shoulda been dere.....see you for Tannehill, if not, then on to 
     Gettysburg.  One piece of advice: you got, what, 7 (?) weeks before 
     the Big-G.  Get into shape and get it ready 'cause dismounted is gonna 
     roll over the hill like a wagon wheel.  See you there.
     Yer obt' and footsore servant,

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