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Arkansas Chapter of the CoHT . . .

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The 2005 National Tactical

by Bryant McIguire

We gathered at the No. 1 blockhouse and listened to the safety rules. Our names were drawn from a kettle and we were assigned to a team. Mark, Marty and myself were lucky enough to be on the same team this year. Our Captains discussed who should go in first and the other team did. We waited for a short time and started in after them. Mark our Indian scout took the lead position and myself the rear guard. Just before we actually got into the woods and were still near the road going to the boat dock that is a part of the park, a man in a pick up truck watched us moving in a line toward the woods. He asked me since I was closest to the road at that point , "What are your fellas hunting?" to which I responded "The other eight guys already in the woods". All I got was a blank stare and he drove off. Mark did a great job leading us into the woods and to the enemy. I kept a look out on our rear for any of the other side that might sneak up on us.

Finally I came up to a clearing that all of our team had crossed without incident and after checking our back trail. I crossed and had just about made it across when I heard a shot to my right and saw white smoke. It was a fair shot and I pulled a chit to see what my injury was. I was shot in the arm and had to return to the "hospital" to mend. I tied my red "bloody" rag onto my arm and started back. Checking in at the "hospital" I was told I was all healed and to go back and get revenge. I headed back keeping to cover on the near side of the creek, all the firing was going on across the other side. I watched much closer now being alone and not sure where anyone else was. I spotted movement and hunkered down. I saw a red hair roach first and knew it was my trail mate Mark Grigg. Then I saw he was not alone and that they were walking pretty casually for having a battle going on around them. Then I noticed the "bloody rags" on each of them. I stood up and hailed them. We then found a good crossing place on the creek and swapped sides. Mark and his companion headed for the hospital and I back into the fight. I crossed and kept darting from tree to tree. I saw more movement and "took to my tree". I looked hard and saw two more men with bloody rags and showed myself to them. They were two of the enemy and tried to convince me that they were the last of their side over there. I thanked them but continued on. I heard someone on the rise to my left and hid until I could tell it was one of my own team. I hailed him and let him know I was one of our Captain’s own men. We joined up with one more of our team and discussed our next move. I told them what the enemy had told me and we thought it wise not to trust their word too much. We headed on back slowly not wanting to walk into an ambush and on the other side of the creek we saw Marty Kayter coming toward us and suddenly he took to his tree. He told us that the fellow just behind him was one of the enemy and the fight was on. As the two of our men still on the side of the creek with me kept the enemy engaged with insults and entreaties to surrender I dashed unseen from tree to tree until I had a good shot if he were to move just a little. Finally he made a run for it and I had his back. I took my shot just as 3 other guns belched death at him. I called my shot and he stopped to read a chit. For some reason he read it out loud and it said "Flesh Wound, Keep Fighting". Well we had all reloaded pretty fast and when he finished and was standing there showing us his chit we all took aim and cut him down. While he pulled another chit I was looking behind me not wanting any surprises and heard something out of place to my right. I alerted my team mate nearest to me and we began to dash and cover. I took the lead and told him if the enemy got me for him and his friend to get him.

Sure enough while trying to get from one tree to another I heard a blast just in front of me and saw smoke rise from a cut in the bank of the creek. I had dove for cover but he called a good shot and I accepted my fate. Once again I was wounded in the arm. While I lay there wounded my two other team mates dispatched the lurker while he struggled to reload. Then the time for the tactical was over and we made our way back to the fort tired and worn but happy to have experienced some of what it must have been like to fight a frontier battle Indian style. Yes I know that no lead was allowed in anyone’s bag and the ram rod was not allowed to be pulled or used. No edged weapons were to be pulled and no shots closer than 10 yards are allowed. And all shots are to be wide and high. But if you allow yourself to get in the spirit of the thing you know that you don’t want to be shot or captured and you know that "they" are out there so you are careful and crafty or you are shot or captured.

Returning to camp to drink my weight in water and take my ease I informed my dear wife that I had been wounded in the arm twice and would probably be of no use in keeping the homestead for some time. I got that look we Husbands are all too familiar with and then a smile and some mock sympathy.

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