Day Zero plus 648

Newly re-constituted Kentucky Militia of the T.E.F. 2nd Kentucky rifles, 1st Cumberland Cavalry Regiment. We pushed into the Ashlands two days ago with the 1st Illinois Light Infantry Infantry, Marion Regiment. The going has been mostly easy so far. Our horses have come from some of the best stock and our men the same. But when we saw the ash, we knew things were going to change. The mood has gone from positive to somewhat somber. The cadence songs and occasional merry hoot and holler has faded and a pregnant silence hangs in the air. Even the horses seem..different. The Ash bothers their eyes and we had to put the screens on them after awhile, most reckon its the discomfort from those screens. The ash is just oppressive. Its a layer, not more than two inches thick, that just covers everything. Its omnipresent. Anything not capped, covered or closed will be ruined in mere minutes. Every step turns up a fine dusting, and there seems theres no respite. The company Sergeants say it gets worse as we go in-Its a trip many of them have made before, Carbondale to Colorado Springs, bringing supplies to the Forward Operating posts and helping out the TEF. But so many of us are green. Who knows how well they'll fair?

Day Zero plus 652 We met our first contacts today. A group of raiders out in the wash near the remains of Great Bend. Hopped up on home-made opioids and gasoline, not more than a couple dozen of them. Went forward with a scouting party, hey thought it would be an easy task. They opened up on us with some fairly normal run of the mill firearms, but were either too high or too fucking scared to make any effort to aim properly. The first shots swished by our heads. we might not have even noticed were not it for the next folly falling about five meters in front of us. The Squadron commander ordered a charge post haste One might understand why a few of us were reluctant-myself included-to bloody our sabers when we had perfectly capable rifles right in out hands. He quickly organized into a maneuver and fire element, leading the manuver element himself. With ten of us in tow we flanked off as the fire element rode forward, took up positions and began firing. As the flanking element closed the gap, the fire stopped, well timed We fell on their unprotected flank. The flash of steel-the shots of pistols, the rattle of sabers-General Bragg would have been proud. One of the raiders rushed to me with an axe-like some sort of ancient warrior. Three .45 caliber slugs put him to the ground, and a trampling from one of our horses yielded a lovely crack from what was undoubtedly his spine breaking free. All said and done we had routed and destroyed a numerically superior force without a single casualty. Everyones spirits were high at that moment. They still are-our resolve had been tested and we hadn't blinked. It was a good showing, for sure.

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