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20 February 2010

Upon arriving Friday evening, we made our homes in the soft grounds of a place in Indian Territory called Round Mountain just northeast of a town called Yale. Forage parties were sent out to gather food and supplies, as the rest of the company made camp and tried to make a fire with the wet wood available to us. With the use of candles, we had a good fire going after the wood dried enough to catch fire. This fire helped many of our men in the company find their way back home. As some men came in soaked from the day's rain, they had reported that they saw a group of Confederates just to the northeast of our position, about a half mile away from our camp. When asked if they knew how many, they had replied that they did not know. They saw a few soldiers and several campfires' smoke columns. A patrol was sent out to see what was out there.

The men set up camp, gathered around the fire, and began to cook their dinners when a small fire fight broke out in the distance around where the enemy was said to be seen. The men were told to have weapons ready and nearby just incase they decide to attack us. About an hour after the shots had stopped, the patrol came back intact. They reported that there is a company of dismounted, and 3 companies of infantry. Their artillery was seen moving toward the town of Yale. We sent a soldier on horseback to the nearby town of Stillwater to inform the 2ND Colorado  that we have made contact and believe that they are already moving in to occupy the town of Yale, requesting their support. The rider never returned with the response as we had to make a decision to deny the enemy access to this town and access to the state of Kansas.

Throughout the night and early morning ours of Saturday, plans were made as scouting patrols were sent out on a rotation to keep watch on the enemy and to look for grounds for an attack. One was found just in between the enemy and ourselves. A small field surrounded by trees, and a wooden fence line along the west side of the field. Three trails led to the west end of this field as a small downward slope offered some cover to this attack. Along the fence line. We asked the artillery to place their guns on the south end, inside the trees for cover.

A scouting patrol returned with information that the enemy was seen marching in line to this very location. The enemy artillery was out in front of the column as the company of dismounted was attached for cover. The infantry was just behind them. All together, just about a quarter mile away. As we were gearing up to make our attack, the 2ND Colorado marched down the trail to our camp. Captain Trent, commanding the 2ND  CO, assumed field command as he was brought up to speed of our situation. The idea of an attack after drawing them into the open was a sound plan and began immediately.

Shortly after taking our ready positions, our artillery opened fire. Their guns had to set up in a storm of canister fire as their dismounted took up a defensive position. Our Signal Corps went onto the field to draw out the dismounted to the open as the enemy cannons began to return fire. Smoke filled the field very quickly as it was unseen that the enemy infantry had arrived. As we could hear the crack of hundreds of muskets, we marched onto the field to support the Signal Corps. We could not see the enemy until we marched about 50 yards in front of them. We opened fire on them as another company came onto the field to support the dismounted and one company of infantry opposing us.

Each time cannon fired, it became a smoke screen against both sides. During the fighting, the enemy had brought on line another company and was moving to our lines left flank. We had them in the middle of the field as our 3RD company came out behind the enemy lines just in time and cut off the new company in a crossfire. The 77TH attacked up the middle to keep the pressure on the enemy as the 2ND Colorado attacked the right flank.

As the cannons fired on their side, the smoke dropped visibility down to about 25 yards as the enemy used that to gather themselves and re-organize. The came at us with a stretched line as 3RD Company had rejoined our lines after loosing sight of the enemy in the smoke. The enemy was charging into our position as our guns fired into the blind. Both sides took hits from cannons, as our infantry gave them volley after volley. Just before it became hand in hand fighting, the enemy pulled back and brought out a white flag to talk with Captain Trent. The field was silent as we strained to hear what the commanders were saying when our artillery broke the silence. The Confederate commander took it as another surprise attack and ran back to his lines and ordered his men to return fire. Captain Trent had done the same and the fighting began once again.

The enemy had made several attempts to use their numbers on each of our flanks to weaken us. Though we had lost a good number of men to the fight, we were able to hold our lines. Once again a white flag was seen from across the field as Captain Trent sent a runner. over to the artillery to not fire until the sound of muskets were heard again, or a runner was sent over with further instructions. The Commanding Officers once again, met in the middle of the battlefield to discuss the next solution. It was decided and agreed that both sides would gather their dead and wounded and return to their respective camps.

In the night after the fight, it began a down pour of rain and lightning that soaked the camp and the battlefield we fought on the day before. Our artillery had pulled out in the early morning hours as it was heard that their powder became wet and was rendered useless to us. They pulled back into town to dry off and re-supply.

We were able to make a fire from the fire pit after scooping out the water held inside. As breakfast was being prepared, we sent out another patrol to see the result of the enemy. As the boys were just finishing up breakfast and making ready for the fight ahead, the scouts returned with information that the enemy has begun to pull out to the south. They were seen marching out southbound as other companies were breaking camp and doing the same.

The order was given to break camp and leave these soaked grounds to peruse the enemy. As the wagons came down to gather up our camp gear they became stuck in the mud, which delayed our departure to peruse the enemy. We were now roughly 12 hours behind the enemy. Our only hope is that they do not attempt a surprise attack on us along the way, as I am sure they will. Until then, our moral has been lifted as we had stopped this enemy from occupying this town of Yale, and denied access to the State of Kansas. As we marched away with our rain soaked heads held high, we could only hope for two things. One, other Federal units had the same fortune as we had; and two, the sun come out soon to warm and dry our drenched bodies.

 

Bvt. 1SGT. Daniel Hucker

Company E. /  77th Pennsylvania Infantry

Frontier Battalion / Indian Territory

20 February 2010Upon arriving Friday evening, we made our homes in the soft grounds of a place in Indian Territory called Round Mountain just northeast of a town called Yale. Forage parties were sent out to gather food and supplies, as the rest of the company made camp and tried to make a fire with the wet wood available to us. With the use of candles, we had a good fire going after the wood dried enough to catch fire. This fire helped many of our men in the company find their way back home. As some men came in soaked from the day’s rain, they had reported that they saw a group of Confederates just to the northeast of our position, about a half mile away from our camp. When asked if they knew how many, they had replied that they did not know. They saw a few soldiers and several campfires’ smoke columns. A patrol was sent out to see what was out there.The men set up camp, gathered around the fire, and began to cook their dinners when a small fire fight broke out in the distance around where the enemy was said to be seen. The men were told to have weapons ready and nearby just incase they decide to attack us. About an hour after the shots had stopped, the patrol came back intact. They reported that there is a company of dismounted, and 3 companies of infantry. Their artillery was seen moving toward the town of Yale. We sent a soldier on horseback to the nearby town of Stillwater to inform the 2ND Colorado  that we have made contact and believe that they are already moving in to occupy the town of Yale, requesting their support. The rider never returned with the response as we had to make a decision to deny the enemy access to this town and access to the state of Kansas.Throughout the night and early morning ours of Saturday, plans were made as scouting patrols were sent out on a rotation to keep watch on the enemy and to look for grounds for an attack. One was found just in between the enemy and ourselves. A small field surrounded by trees, and a wooden fence line along the west side of the field. Three trails led to the west end of this field as a small downward slope offered some cover to this attack. Along the fence line. We asked the artillery to place their guns on the south end, inside the trees for cover.A scouting patrol returned with information that the enemy was seen marching in line to this very location. The enemy artillery was out in front of the column as the company of dismounted was attached for cover. The infantry was just behind them. All together, just about a quarter mile away. As we were gearing up to make our attack, the 2ND Colorado marched down the trail to our camp. Captain Trent, commanding the 2ND  CO, assumed field command as he was brought up to speed of our situation. The idea of an attack after drawing them into the open was a sound plan and began immediately. Shortly after taking our ready positions, our artillery opened fire. Their guns had to set up in a storm of canister fire as their dismounted took up a defensive position. Our Signal Corps went onto the field to draw out the dismounted to the open as the enemy cannons began to return fire. Smoke filled the field very quickly as it was unseen that the enemy infantry had arrived. As we could hear the crack of hundreds of muskets, we marched onto the field to support the Signal Corps. We could not see the enemy until we marched about 50 yards in front of them. We opened fire on them as another company came onto the field to support the dismounted and one company of infantry opposing us.Each time cannon fired, it became a smoke screen against both sides. During the fighting, the enemy had brought on line another company and was moving to our lines left flank. We had them in the middle of the field as our 3RD company came out behind the enemy lines just in time and cut off the new company in a crossfire. The 77TH attacked up the middle to keep the pressure on the enemy as the 2ND Colorado attacked the right flank.As the cannons fired on their side, the smoke dropped visibility down to about 25 yards as the enemy used that to gather themselves and re-organize. The came at us with a stretched line as 3RD Company had rejoined our lines after loosing sight of the enemy in the smoke. The enemy was charging into our position as our guns fired into the blind. Both sides took hits from cannons, as our infantry gave them volley after volley. Just before it became hand in hand fighting, the enemy pulled back and brought out a white flag to talk with Captain Trent. The field was silent as we strained to hear what the commanders were saying when our artillery broke the silence. The Confederate commander took it as another surprise attack and ran back to his lines and ordered his men to return fire. Captain Trent had done the same and the fighting began once again.The enemy had made several attempts to use their numbers on each of our flanks to weaken us. Though we had lost a good number of men to the fight, we were able to hold our lines. Once again a white flag was seen from across the field as Captain Trent sent a runner. over to the artillery to not fire until the sound of muskets were heard again, or a runner was sent over with further instructions. The Commanding Officers once again, met in the middle of the battlefield to discuss the next solution. It was decided and agreed that both sides would gather their dead and wounded and return to their respective camps.In the night after the fight, it began a down pour of rain and lightning that soaked the camp and the battlefield we fought on the day before. Our artillery had pulled out in the early morning hours as it was heard that their powder became wet and was rendered useless to us. They pulled back into town to dry off and re-supply.We were able to make a fire from the fire pit after scooping out the water held inside. As breakfast was being prepared, we sent out another patrol to see the result of the enemy. As the boys were just finishing up breakfast and making ready for the fight ahead, the scouts returned with information that the enemy has begun to pull out to the south. They were seen marching out southbound as other companies were breaking camp and doing the same.The order was given to break camp and leave these soaked grounds to peruse the enemy. As the wagons came down to gather up our camp gear they became stuck in the mud, which delayed our departure to peruse the enemy. We were now roughly 12 hours behind the enemy. Our only hope is that they do not attempt a surprise attack on us along the way, as I am sure they will. Until then, our moral has been lifted as we had stopped this enemy from occupying this town of Yale, and denied access to the State of Kansas. As we marched away with our rain soaked heads held high, we could only hope for two things. One, other Federal units had the same fortune as we had; and two, the sun come out soon to warm and dry our drenched bodies. Bvt. 1SGT. Daniel HuckerCompany E. /  77th Pennsylvania InfantryFrontier Battalion / Indian Territory