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2 June; Artillery Escorts

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2 June; Artillery Escorts

Post  Ben Blackwood on Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:56 am

The orders had been delivered to him by a stiff-faced sergeant, as the regiment was preparing itself for the day's march. In a way, Blackwood was not very surprised to receive such a direction. Blackwood supposed he should be grateful for anything that might get him away from the column, but in this instance he found it a trial to muster any eagerness.

He and his company were to detach themselves from the regiment at once and join with an Artillery troop on some sort of special errand that Trevor had not troubled himself to describe. Perhaps the precise nature of their mission did not matter. It could be a chance for the Light Company to redeem themselves. Equally, it could be Colonel Trevor ridding himself of what he perceived to be bad apples.

Blackwood sighed and folded the orders carefully before tucking them inside his jacket. With only one subaltern left, and that fellow's whereabouts not being readily known at the moment, it fell to him to order the company mustered himself. Sergeant Northcut appeared promptly when Blackwood called for him and moved off again just as promptly to carry out his orders.

Soon enough, the remaining Light Company men were formed and on the march. They had sensed a change in the wind upon the arrival of the messenger-sergeant and wasted little time readying themselves for a move. Good lads, the lot of them. This morning, Blackwood decided to forgo sending for his horse and marched alongside his company.

Other companies and regiments eyed them curiously as they passed, for it was too early yet for the general order to march to be given. Blackwood ignored the stares. His mind was more occupied with working out what sort of Artillery troop they were to travel with and what they might end up doing.

Presently, the distinctive dark blue jackets of the Royal Artillery could be seen milling about near a cluster of guns. Blackwood, through Sergeant Northcut, ordered the company to a halt. Then he went forward in search of an officer, who would, he hoped, be able to better explain the Lights' required duties.

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Ben Blackwood
Midshipman

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Re: 2 June; Artillery Escorts

Post  Guest on Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:57 am

Major Patrick McAllister was just getting up. He had gotten orders that French troops were getting the rear column and he was supposed to use his lighter artillery to deal with them. "Alright laddies. We have been given the task to take out some French buggers who are pesterin' are lad in the rear. Get the light cannons ready to move. We leave when our escort arrives."

As if on cue, a company of infantry came up. He turned to their leader. "Ah. Laddy, are you our escort?"

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Re: 2 June; Artillery Escorts

Post  Ben Blackwood on Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:22 am

They were, obviously, expected. Blackwood saluted the officer who'd addressed him. "Yes, sir. Captain Blackwood, Second Guards."

By the look of it, the gunners were preparing to move. Good. The less time wasted on that, the better.

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Ben Blackwood
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Re: 2 June; Artillery Escorts

Post  Guest on Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:52 am

He looked him over. "Well, Captain Blackwood, I'm Major McAllister, previously of the Royal Irish Artillery, now of the Royal Artillery. Have you been told where we're goin', lad?" He looked at his men. They were almost done.

He looked back over at Blackwood. "Where are ya from?"

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Re: 2 June; Artillery Escorts

Post  Ben Blackwood on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:01 pm

The major seemed affable enough, which was a relief. "I haven't, no," Blackwood answered, shaking his head. "My orders were vague on that point."

He paused, then added, "I am from Hampshire, sir." It wasn't necessary to ask where McAllister was from. That was apparent in the major's accent.

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Ben Blackwood
Midshipman

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Re: 2 June; Artillery Escorts

Post  Guest on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:10 pm

"Ah, well, I 'appen ta know what we're doin'. Me lads are gonna go blast these big guns at the French, who are gettin' our lads at the back. And yer lads are to escort us." He was only partly surprised that Headquarters hadn't told Blackwood.

By this time, his boys were done. "Well, I suppose that we should git goin'." He remarked. "Alright, Lads! Time ta move out and make the French wish they had never attacked us." He turned to Blackwood. "Shall we?"

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Re: 2 June; Artillery Escorts

Post  Ben Blackwood on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:20 pm

Ah. That sounded like an errand worth going along on, Blackwood thought. He was glad of any fresh opportunity to have another crack at the French.

"Yes, sir." Blackwood grinned. "We shall indeed, sir. Sergeant!"

Northcut appeared as if by magic. A short issue of orders passed, then Northcut was gone again, arranging the waiting Light Bobs into the necessary formation.

The infantrymen would lead the way, for the most part. Several men would be out on flank and forward scouts. Blackwood himself would remain with the guns themselves. They were on the move, however, and that suited him fine.

"Were you with Sir John last year, sir?"

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Re: 2 June; Artillery Escorts

Post  Guest on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:34 pm

He grinned at the lad's enthusiasm. It appeared that most of Blackwood's troops would be going in front of his, with the rest on the sides and back of his. At the mention of Sir John, he shook his head. "Unfortunately, nay. He died before I joined, and that was about 12 years ago. But he twas a legend, he was."

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Re: 2 June; Artillery Escorts

Post  Ben Blackwood on Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:32 am

A frown touched Blackwood's brow but was gone a heartbeat later. "I wasn't on the retreat with him either," he said. "Before now, my last field service was in Denmark."

This was not the first praise attended to Sir John Moore that he'd heard, either. Other officers - and men as well - who had served under him spoke in much the same manner of the late general.

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Re: 2 June; Artillery Escorts

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