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Between the Picquet and the Dawn

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Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:22 pm

The good news was that the missing vedette had found its way home. The bad news was that they had been fired on by picquets from the 27th, although that news was less bad than it might have been. Captain Pooley had not found out the exact number of injuries to men or horses, but did not think any were too serious. He had added with a laugh that at least they had shot their own major first!

The other news - the more important news - was that the Scots Greys had found out where the French were based. Getting lost in the mountains, they had found their way to a different monastery than intended, only to find that it was giving refuge to the vilagers from Pombal, a small village some 7 miles to the north of their present camp. The villagers had gone there to escape the French, who had taken over their village. A whole regiment of French, according to the people they had spoken to, apparently in Latin...

Edrington, now wide awake, set off to the separate camps of his riflemen. No need now for them to go searching either for the French, or for the Scots. It might do more harm than good. The question was, what would Wellesley do about them? If the Second Division went after the French, they would surely scatter among the hills, and it would take a major operation to root them all out. But it would seem equally foolish to leave them behind them as they marched away to join the rest of the Army at Coimbra.

The whole camp had settled back down, after the false alarm. Not that it was quiet or even motionless. Voices still talked softly, men snored, and horses and mules shifted and snorted in their sleep. Picking his way carefully between sleeping bodies and little heaps of baggage, Edrington found the 60th's camp and enquired for Vickery.

[OOC: I will be out from 11.30 to 2.00pm: but I'm only going to tell Vickery and then Sharpe not to go out tomorrow - so it doesn't matter if we don't meet...]

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:25 am

'Hurry up and do nothing' sergeant Grey thought. After their arrival just a few hours ago, he had first told the men to get some sleep, but to be under arms and ready to march an hour before dawn, then he took cornet Westley to find a superior officer. They gave oral reports to a concerned captain Poole and when Poole went to inform his superior officers., he had sat down with Westley to write a full report.
That had been hours ago.
Strangely the news of a french force so close to their march did not seem to bother anyone. Grey sighed and went to inspect his troopers. They would be ready, whenever the marching orders came

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:47 am

(OOC - Agh! Had read this and meant to reply and got rather sidetracked. *headdesks* Embarassed )

Vickery was standing in the pre-dawn chill, nursing a cup of tea as a couple of Riflemen kicked dirt over the ashes of last night's fire, relit this morning to provide a hot drink before they set out. Breakfast consisted of a bit of bread and whatever was left from last night's dinner.

He looked up from the pair of greenjackets to see Roper hurrying towards him. "Colonel Edrington's askin' for you sir," he said.

Vickery frowned, puzzled. "Did he say what he wanted, Tom?"

"No, sir. Reckon you c'n ask him yourself, sir."

A familiar redcoated figure was making its way towards them, and Vickery nodded. "Thanks, Tom," he said and nodded in response to the other's salute and walked towards the Colonel.

"I understand you're looking for me, sir? Is there a change of plans?" he asked, saluting.

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
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John Vickery
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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:52 am

[Unfortunately there has been a change of plans since the change of plans I was about to tell you about... But at least I can stop you haring off up to the wrong monastery]

"The Scots Greys are back, so we do not need to search for them. Unfortunately they rode into a picquet of the 27th..." Edrington grimaced. "They apparently got lost on the way up the hill, and if you'd gone on their proposed route you would have had a wasted journey. If you'd followed them - and I expect you probably would have found their trail - you might have run into a French regiment..."

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:56 am

That would not have been good.

Vickery threw the dregs of tea away in disgust. "Bloody cavalry. Why not put the horses in charge? They might have a scrap of sense between them if they did. So what do you want us to do instead, sir? The usual scouts and picquets?"

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/t1736-capt-the-hon-john-vic

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:15 am

"More than that - there's a village called Pombal about 7 miles ahead - not far from our route as far as I can tell from the map. The Greys did find a monastery, with a large number of refugees, who say that they have been driven out of their homes by a whole French regiment. I assume that is where our Grenadiers of yesterday are based ..."

He looked at Vickery. "Until we have further orders about clearing them out, I would like to have a much wider, and stronger ring of patrols. The light companies can do what they do when Rifles are not around - act as visible flank patrols. Your men - and Mr Sharpe's - will be further out, and rather less visible. Particularly on the right hand flank."

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:19 am

"Do you want the whole Company to provide cover today then, sir?" From what he'd heard, those who hadn't been among Sergeant Fischer's group had been pretty envious of those few men, as they hadn't arrived in time to do anything.

Though a whole Regiment was even beyond the abilities of the Rifles to clear, though that wouldn't stop them trying.

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Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:29 am

"I believe we need everyone - all your men on active duty - to be on patrol. We saw what happened yesterday - the grenadiers breached our perimeter, and had there been more of them, and had they attacked instead of retreating, we would have had trouble. We can't afford that today. So I want to know that any attack on one group will be noted - and reported - by another." He smiled. "But I won't expect you to tackle a Regiment on your own. The Light Companies - and the 27th and the 33rd will provide theirs too - will be between you and the column. Not much more support, but if you fall back towards them - or manage to summon them - it will give us time to ready the whole column."

Edrington shrugged. "A regiment might not cause much of a problem for our division in a regular battle, but from an ambush in the hills - I want your men to ensure that does not happen."

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:38 am

"You can rely on us, sir. They'll be glad to do some of what they term 'proper soldiering'. And you know you can't trust cavalry to do a proper job.." He smiled as he said it, though; the cavalry did a good job, though it was mostly Vickery's pride in his own men and branch of the Service coming to the fore, rather than any animosity towards the cavalry.

"If Lieutenant Sharpe and his detachment of the 95th provide scouts ahead, I can divide my Company in half to cover each flank. Although... am I to take it we are expecting the French to be to our right, sir?"

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King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/t1736-capt-the-hon-john-vic

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:45 am

Edrington grinned. "That is not the sort of prediction I would care to make. If they are going to attack, it might be from either side. But their base in Pombal is on our right, so it does make sense. It would give them a better escape route into the mountains, rather than being trapped between us and the sea." He removed his hat and rubbed at his hair, weighing the odds. "I would expect any full scale attack to come from the east, but nuisance or diversionary attacks from either side. The Scots Greys will be ahead of us on the road, but we can't expect them to take to the hills - we've seen where that leads."

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:59 am

Vickery snorted. Cavalry in the hills... whatever next? "They should have the sense to leave skirmishing to those who know what it entails. Bloody fools. Stick them on a horse and try to see which one's got the brains. Can't go lumbering about the hillside on a big heavy horse and expect to have things go your way. Who let them do that, anyway?"

If he split his Company, he'd go with those on the right, and let Brady take the others, with Sergeant Fischer to advise him. He only had one bugler though, and could see the lad being kept rather busy if they fell in with the French. Though, if they managed to somehow sneak round and come at them from the left instead, Brady would have no way of warning the Light Companies, or the column itself, short of sending a runner.

"I don't suppose you have a bugler who knows the Rifles' bugle calls?" he said. It was more wishful thinking than anything, and Brady would have to send a runner to let the flanking Light Company know, if anything untoward did happen. Though, maybe if he were to let Brady have Cavender... he was the more experienced officer, being the Captain, and could more easily organise a skirmish.

It was challenges such as this that made soldiering interesting. And he had always loved a challenge.

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Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:10 am

"I can ask," Edrington said, "but I doubt it. And none of them have green jackets or are skilled at scouting. As for cavalry - Hussars would be more use to us, but dragoons..." He smiled. "I understand it was a punishment, for some offence, to force them to walk their horses uphill in the heat. This time, they will stick to the road."

[OOC - bath-and-dinner time; I'll be back probably at 8.30 to 9ish - by when we might know more]

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:16 am

"It's times like this when you realise just how useful it would be to have more than one bugler," Vickery said wryly. "If there isn't anyone we can borrow, we'll just have to make do and do our best with what we have. Never let it be said the Rifles couldn't do that."

(OOC - See you later then!)

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Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/t1736-capt-the-hon-john-vic

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:28 am

Edrington nodded, and yawned. "I thought I'd stop you and Mr Sharpe having a wasted morning," he said, and was about to leave when he remembered.

"By the way, Captain. Have you found out what happened yesterday with your man being taken prisoner? There may be lessons to be learned."

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:28 pm

Vickery's thin face darkened. "I have not, sir. You may rest assured that I will be having words with him and it will not happen again."

To have to take his Company, as well as soldiers from another Regiment, to rescue one of his own men who should have be more alert did not sit well with the Captain. Newbury was a good scout most of the time, and Vickery wondered why he had slipped up this time, and what he could do to ensure the man did not make that mistake again.

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Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/t1736-capt-the-hon-john-vic

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:46 pm

"Very well - I will leave it to you, at this stage." Edrington smiled. "I shall try to remember our agreement not to interfere, but please, let me know what you decide. I will give some thought to what to do about the other - inexplicable - prisoner."

Willoughby was not in the Rifles, but if his actions had caused the Rifleman to slip up, then he should not escape punishment.

"I don't need to tell you to keep your men alert this morning - the known presence of Frenchmen should ensure that. I think we may have some real action when we get to Pombal - unless they run away, not liking the odds."

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:54 pm

"I shall certainly inform you about my decision as regards his punishment, my lord. And you may rest assured that it will not happen again."

He nodded soberly as Edrington mentioned the French. "I think some real action will do the men good, sir. Action is much better than training for keeping them sharp, after all."

_________________
Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/t1736-capt-the-hon-john-vic

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:54 am

Edrington nodded in agreement, and then said, smiling: "If we perform well together today, I may be allowed to keep you, for the next challenge. I would, I have to admit, be sorry to lose you."

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:17 am

"Then I shall ensure that we work together as best we can, sir," Vickery replied, with a broad smile of his own. "It would be a shame to have to try to forge a working relationship with another Colonel who may not be so open to our methods as yourself, sir."

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Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/t1736-capt-the-hon-john-vic

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:56 am

It would have pleased Sir Arthur, Edrington thought. There was a reasonable working relationship between him and his Rifles officers, even if the men had yet to grow accustomed to the idea. But today's fight might change that.

"I'll leave you to sleep, if you can," he said. "Or to make what arrangements are necessary. I should tell Mr Sharpe that I do not want him to follow the trail of the grenadiers, now we know where they are. Better to come on them all together."

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:12 am

"Thank you, sir. I will make sure you know our order of march and where you can find me - or my Lieutenant, who will be in charge of the other half-Company on the other flank. And I will have to inform him and my Sergeants of the change of plans. I think tomorrow will be a busy day, for all of us."

He was already thinking of the best way to go about things, and made a mental note that he would have to have a word with Rifleman Newbury as soon as practicable.

"I take it you will be marching with the column as usual, sir? We will need to be able to find you in case we discover anything out of the ordinary, of course."

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Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/t1736-capt-the-hon-john-vic

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:40 am

"I'll be near the front, or thereabouts, for most of the time, I expect. Unless I get summoned by the Staff. I think the French would be wary of tackling the column, even with sharpshooters. But it would be foolish to take anything for granted. The villagers might be mistaken about numbers either way."

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:47 am

"That's true enough, sir. If you're needed at all, either personally or with reinforcements, I'll send a runner with a message for you, sir. Unless you hear rifle fire, and decide to come anyway. It might be best for you to ignore any bugle calls unless you know what they mean. I wouldn't want to find regiment of redcoats rushing up because I needed my men to close to the centre or anything like that, after all, sir."

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Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/t1736-capt-the-hon-john-vic

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  Guest on Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:56 am

"I will try to stop them rushing off in support, unless you call for us, or ... No rabbit hunting tomorrow. Or shoot enough for the entire battalion who will be coming up to support you. And if you are attacked in numbers, don't worry about falling back. The battalion is there to support you, just as you are protecting us."

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Re: Between the Picquet and the Dawn

Post  John Vickery on Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:05 am

Vickery nodded. "Thank you, sir. I will endeavour to protect the column to the best of my abilities. And should anything happen, we might almost dispense with a training day later - though I have no doubt such a day, or even an afternoon - will be of use to explain our way of working to those of the Line regiments who may find it hard to understand otherwise. And I will make sure that any rifle shots you hear will be in earnest, and not because someone takes it into his head to shoot a harmless bunny."

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Character by Sharpiefan | Banner by sans nom | Timeline | Wiki page



King George commands, and we obey
Over the hills and far away ~ Traditional

An officer must be confident in giving orders, or else the soldier will not be confident in executing them.
avatar
John Vickery
Captain

Species : Captain; 5/60th Rifles
Number of posts : 2869
Location : Leading from the front
Member since : 2008-08-03

View user profile http://showthecolours.forumakers.com/t1736-capt-the-hon-john-vic

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