The 5th Missouri Infantry, CSA

After (in)Action Report, Holden

    Gentlemen - I have the honor to inform you of the recent debacle at Holden Lake on the 13th inst. Despite ominous forecasts from the weather gurus and a diversion of at least two units to repel an incursion near Hulton Mills, an estimated 60 infantrymen of all ranks answered the call to defend western Johnson County from jayhawkers. The 5th provided one officer & five rifles, plus a runner. We camped with the 1st MO Dismounted and our strength was combined with theirs and that of the 3rd MO dismounted. Friday evening proved uneventful, and we were able to successfully outfit recruit Dominic and runner Pete. Unfortunately, we only had 2 tents to accommodate 5 people, but the skies remained clear.

    Food ration issued Saturday morning was plentiful, with ample bacon, eggs and potatoes for several meals. The sky was clear and the weather warm as we prepared for the parade in downtown Holden. Hurry up and Wait was the order of the day, as we boarded overcrowded school transport to the site. On our arrival in Holden, we rested in the shade for over half an hour before proceeding with a 3 block parade, where the participants far exceded in number the watchers. We returned to camp using the same transit.

    With action scheduled for 1:PM, we were initially requested to form our companies at 12:30. However, the skies became ominous and it seemed we would be subjected to a bout of precipitation. Indeed, that proved to be true, as the skies opened upon us for at least 2 hours of incessant heavy rain. Lakes and rivers quickly formed in the camps, with cavalry camps worst hit. However, the 5th's camp was not spared, and I quickly found my anything on the floor of my tent well-saturated.

    At the conclusion of the storm, it was decided that action against the enemy would be futile on that day, with hopes of driving the redlegs on Sunday. Based on this decision and the strong possibility of additional heavy rain, with discretion the beter part of valor members of the 5th joined a general exodus. That being the case, I saw no use in attempting to lead a company of none so returned to my base camp near Warrensburg.

    One interesting note, a former Captain of the 5th visited our camps with a substantial amount of first class gear that he wished to sell. Capt (retired) Jerry Lee provided many soldiers with excellent arms, clothing and aoccoutrements; we added a pristine Springfield rifle to our company inventory.

    My thanks to 1st Sgt Horan and family, Pvt Richard Burton with Ian Gilbert and recruit Dominic (whose surname I did not catch). Also to musician recruit Peter Beaugard, who was substantially outfitted at the sutlery before the rains intervened.

    The next action that we plan to attend as a unit is Pilot Knob, on September 24-6. Ft. Davidson is a key target in Gen. Price's effort to retake Missouri and is a top priority for our unit.

    I remain, Your Obdt Svt,
    B. Wayne, Captain 5th MIssouri Infantry, Company A

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    Updated 6/13/2010