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After Action Report of Det. A. / 77th Pennsylvania Infantry
Elmore City, Indian Territory

Day 1 - 18 October 2008

Upon arriving in Elmore City Friday night, the local citizens seemed somewhat happy to see us. By the looks of things, this town has been here awhile, for there were houses, general stores, blacksmiths, streets, and a town hall just to name a few. One of the local gentlemen came forth and mentioned that a small group of Confederates were somewhere west of the town and have been pillaging and harassing the town for the past couple of weeks. I had told the gentlemen that I would leave a few of my men behind to help protect the town while tomorrow morning, we will go out looking for the Confederates. After a couple of miles down the road to the west of the town, we found the Rebels at camp. The man was right about where they were, so I guess we could trust the citizens of that town for information on the enemy. We made a fireless camp in a spot below a hill between our position and the Confederates to conceal our position. I sent a runner back to town to gather up the rest of the men being this was just a small unit in the area. After camp was set up, I sent out pickets in a spread formation about 50-75 yards to the south, west, and north of our camp, with orders that if they encounter the enemy, they are to return back to camp immediately. At around 10am Saturday morning, the enemy was spotted moving towards us from the west. The camp was called to arms as we made ready to stop the Confederates from pillaging and harassing the town.

The Confederates came into view from the tree line and we opened fire. To their amazement, they scattered for cover as some Federal issued lead found their marks. Because of the town being 4 miles to the east of us, I told the men to conserve fire. Shoot only at what you can see and to keep their heads down. At about this time, there were a few Confederates soldiers that managed to reach the top of the hill, and opened fire on us from that elevated position, but they seemed to be lousy shots as we could hear the rounds hitting well behind us. I told the men not to worry about the Confederates on top of that hill, and worry about the ones on the grounds ahead of us. The Confederates tried many times to move around our lines to get to the town for safety. This told me that they were low on ammunition and needed to re-supply. We advanced towards the Confederates in a long Skirmish line pushing them back farther and farther. When they came to their camp, we could see them grabbing what they could and making a dead run further west away from their camp. We perused them for about another mile and decided that it wasn’t a good idea to go too far, so we went back to the Confederates camp to gather information about the Confederates group we just faced. To our amazement, we found stolen precious metals, many bottles of alcohol, stores of food, a large ammunition cash, barrels of water, and letters to a General in Texas requesting more support.

While we were going though the Confederates stuff, they mounted a counter attack against us, catching us off guard and forcing us back to our camp. I guess that they stopped at their camp because they were not seen perusing us. Even though the men were tired, we reloaded our ammunition and weapons and in good moral, we once again, advance towards the Confederate camp to attack in force. We were able to sneak up to about 50 yards off their camp and waited until the sun had set behind the trees. When the sun disappeared, we popped up and rushed in on the camp firing at anything that moved. We were able to take and hold half of their camp, but were soon pushed back as more Confederates came into view. My guess was that they were a company sized unit that split up to pillaging and harassing the towns in the area. With the men killed or wounded on both sides, the fight just seemed to stop on its own as we withdrew from the area and back to our camp. The order was given to re-arm and re-supply themselves, and to send out pickets on a regular rotation through out the night. The scouts were sent to the top of the hill to observe the enemy through out the night. The only reports were that the Confederates had a few men leave the company in the night, and that they were celebrating the victory by the bottle. This might be to our advantage come early morning. The men will sleep because they have earned it, but early in the morning, we will attack the soused enemy in their bunks by means of surprise. For now, I have sent runners into town for food, water, and supplies for we were still in camp without fires to help conceal our position. The town’s people were more than graceful with the food, water, and supplies. As we consumed the meals, the Confederates taunted us from their camp with shooting into the night air. We ignored them and went to sleep, for we are determined to win the day.

Day 2 - 19 October 2008

Thanks to the Rebel celebrating the night before, we were allowed to sleep in a little longer than we anticipated. At a half hour before dawn, the men awoke to gear up, get a quick meal, and move towards the enemy camp behind the north side of the hill. We held there for a few minutes to see what was happening in the Confederate camp. To our amazement, the camp was stirring with a few soldiers. Most were still in their watery slumbers, but soon to wake up. The soldiers we could see were eating breakfast, playing cards, and looking around for items lost in the celebration the night before. The order was given to load and fix bayonets. At the wave of the hand, a wave of blue swept over the ground and into the camp as the Confederate soldiers scrambled around for any weapon within reach and fired at the tidal wave coming towards them. We pushed through their camp, picking off soldiers as they fell out of their shelters and firing at those who were alerted to our attack. With great determination, we pushed the enemy into the open away from the tree line and their camp.

The rate of fire we were giving caused our barrels to heat up and soon began to glow red. To load a round in a glowing barrel would have been disastrous for our men, so we gave up ground while trying to cool the barrels so we could fire once again. The Confederates pushed us back into a hidden fence line to the north of the enemy camp where we were lucky to find a stash of Confederate pistols already loaded. Taking what we could carry, we decided that it was going to have to be all or nothing as we closed our eyes, and took a deep breath. When we opened our eyes, we were charging head long into the camp and their lines. With pistols aimed at the enemy, we fired the confederate lead into the bodies of those standing in front of us. When the smoke cleared, dozens of Confederate soldiers lay dead or severely wounded on the ground. Most of Confederate soldiers were dead, the rest were soon to follow. The enemy was identified as the 17th and 22nd Arkansas. A detachment of the 9th Texas Dismounted Cavalry was amongst the dead and wounded inside the camp. We took 5 Confederate prisoners with us back to Elmore City after they buried their dead. We’ll let the good citizens of that town decide their fate. We returned the stolen goods to the respected owners, and confiscated the Confederate ammunition and other issued items.

I could not bear to tell the citizens of Elmore City, that a handful of Confederate soldiers deserted in the night hours. With luck, they will not make it back to their lines. I also did not tell them that it is possible that they might have been successful on getting a letter out asking for reinforcements to their location North-West of their town. I do have a feeling that there will be a larger force in route to this town in the near future. I am requesting that we remain in this town and strongly requesting more reinforcements to this location as soon as practical. This might be the chance to end the war in here in Western Indian Territory, and we shall be able to push into to Texas from here with little or no resistance ahead of us.

This town is equipped with an operational telegraph office as well as a railroad in the town to the north called Maysville. The land layout has many rolling hills with roads connecting the towns in the area. The locals tell me that they will assist us in anyway possible. We will hold this area until ordered to leave or reinforcements arrive.

Sgt. Daniel Hucker
Detachment A. - 2nd Platoon / Company E.
77th Pennsylvania Infantry
Frontier Battalion
SW Indian Territory

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