Thursday, November 20, 2008

RTS Santa Fe Returns

20 November …

Today, the RTS Santa Fe returned, though we were not expecting it for another week, with the resupply of troops and some much needed equipment. She brought great news and gifts. Chief O’Malley was topside yelling orders as the Santa Fe landed just outside the compound. We are going to have to build an extension to the fort walls to encompass the landing zone.

Captain George W. Lamar, Republic Army, arrived to become the Executive Officer of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Regiment. He hand carried the promotion letter for Captain Higgins, signed by Major General Pummel. Major Higgins is now at the proper grade of command for a battalion; he was not too surprised about the news as he had been earmarked for promotion before taking command of the Venus expedition. Subaltern Landowski is now Lieutenant Landowski as he has completed his two years in grade. The "Black Legs" also received reinforcement of two additional companies of infantry. I am glad to see the numbers increasing as with the additional two companies, the 3rd Battalion is now at half strength with a total of 205 men and a single detachment of Artillery.

The Marine Engineers contingent is now officially a heavy company, as we have five complete squads. Our numbers were increased with the arrival of eight new privates and Corporals Mendoza, Ferguson and Gonzalez. They all managed to shake the malaria they had contracted and seemed to be excited to make landfall. I can only imagine their relief to be out of the hospital in Houston that had become their home since their illness began. The men were happy to see their NCOs as the squads were reunited with one another. Sergeant Garcia and Corporal Cromwell are also pleased to see the new arrivals as the strain of command is lessened by their arrival. It is Christmas early this year for us, as we now have a steam-powered water well kit, two steam drills; one steam sawmill and two donkey boilers. We were also given a steam-powered motor whale boat.

The Republic Army saw fit to send a single 2.5” Colt Mountain Gun/Howitzer vice the requested two 3” Colt-Whitworth cannons that were requested. Corporal Miller of the gun crew was told a mountain gun could be easily transported on the backs of three mule or oxen and so was a better fit for the environment. So, the Army battalion of “Black Leg” infantry now has four “Red Leg” artillery added to its ranks.

The best thing for me is the arrival of mail, as the missus sent many letters to me and it is good to hear from loved ones as it strengthens the heart. I almost forgot Chief O’Malley brought me an eight week old puppy; a female red and white Irish Setter. He says the missus bought the dog and made sure that he brought it to me. She came with the name Lady Venus and Chief has been training her for me. The missus thought I needed some company, as our two Irish Setters at the house would always go on walks with me.

Dr. Jonas R. Caruthers, professor of archaeology at the University of Santa Fe, and Dr. Franklin W. Palmer, a leading scientist and professor of science at the Glasgow University, arrived and are here to examine and conduct research on the temple. I am sure they will have some help from the willing officers.

Well, it is off to the Staff NCO Mess, where I plan on swapping lies with my good friend Chief O'Malley as we partake of some actual Republic brewed ale.

[Editors Note: The 1879 Colt Mountain Gun is a 2.5” (7 pdr/63.5 mm) breechloading screw gun. It has a range of 3300 yards when fired with a shrapnel charge. Unlike other guns of the period, the 1879 CMG had a 1” thick wooden gun shield with ¼” brass band to protect the crew from smallarms fire. This was innovative at the time as all gun crews had previously been unprotected and easily picked off by rifleman.]

1 comment:

Eli Arndt said...

Wonderful news! Letters from home and a puppy to boot.