Macktown Living History
Weekend After Action Report
April 27, 28 and 29th, 2007

Chef de Bataillon Ducrest:

Upon arriving at the temporary French camp near Mack Town I was dismayed to learn there were English and Scottish soldiers in close proximity. While our mission was to destroy a nest of renegade brigands and river pirates operating in the area, we did not shirk from the possibility of action with les Goddams. After establishing the perimeter and accounting for the men, we turned in on a crisp (very crisp) spring night.

Advance of the French and allies column towards Mack Town

In the AM, after a soldiers meal, we made contact with the English. Since the inhabitants of Mack Town were primarily of an English persuasion they were camped close to the buildings. After a short negotiation we agreed that we should set aside our natural urges to fight and unite to destroy the brigands, which was also their reason for being there. Their force was larger, but we had combined arms. Still, I agreed to accept the battlefield “suggestions” of their commanding officer.

After time spent drilling (we had been joined by a small detachment of Austrians and an American regular), we assembled to assault the pirate stronghold. A throng of the local inhabitants arrived to witness the anticipated destruction of their nemesis, but alas it was not to be. The English insisted on marching to the accompaniment of those accursed pipes so all chance for surprise was lost. Though I must admit the piper played well enough.

Drilling after our arrival at Macktown

Advance of the cavalry, grosse frere to the fore

Sudden Militia volley

With our cavalry leading we advanced in column while our English/Scottish “allies” marched in line of skirmishers. No doubt unable to master walking in a straight line. As sporadic musket fire began to ring out the public retired and we deployed into line on the left. The brigands, a mix of deserters and rabble, began to work against the English left flank which they had thought to anchor on a woods line. Tragic for them as the woods were soon full of the enemy. We were firing excellent volleys into the opposing force when I noticed that almost all the English had fallen. Sensing that only our friend the bayonet could snatch victory I ordered them fixed and we charged. Only then did a previously hidden group open a most devastating fire into us. Nearly half the formation fell in the first volley and with our right flank evaporating we had to retire, covered by the active exertions of our cuirassier. The final sight as we retired were the brigands plundering and mutilating the remains of the fallen. They would be avenged.


Advance of the sneaky Militia

Advancing by vollies of the French on Sunday

In the evening we toasted our comrades, ladies and former foes with a variety of brandy, wine and good German beer. Music drifted through camp and from the tone and quality of song, I believe the English were mourning their dead in some strange language. The combination of good food, fine sleeping weather and lots of medicine made sleep easy.

In the morning both the English and our force received fresh reinforcements, and revitalized we planned to renew the struggle. Surprisingly, whether have accident or intention (I suspect the latter) they wanted us to attend a ceremony in the morning. At that time they had the termidity to raise the colors of the Bourbons in our presence. When I saw this insult I immediately began la Marseillaise and all joined into the chorus. As they tied off the flag I shouted, “mort aux tyrans!”

We altered our plan for the next engagement. Our cavalry, previously unable to operate at speed was held back initially. As we engaged the enemy, from column to line once more, the cavalry would gallop forward as we reloaded to cover us and continue to bring (pistol) fire onto our foes. This time the English were able to hold the right and we were rightly given the honor of administering the coup de grace to our foes, via the bayonet again. The woods echoed with our cry of “je passé quand même” as we swept irresistibly forward. Though their weak fire felled some, we brought the battle to a conclusion as the cuirassier charged around behind them to cut off retreat. Needless to say the crowd was most appreciative of our action, and I commend the men for maintaining a tight formation during the bayonet charge, even at the pas accéléré. Justice was summarily dealt out; in particular the deserters regretted their decisions.
Croissez la Baionette !
In the late afternoon we were asked to be present for the striking of colors. As the final volley salute echoed away, I stepped from the ranks and said, “Know you now that the truce ends tonight. Be out of camp by dawn!”

For the glory of the Empire,

Michel Matheau, (Michael Mathews)
sous-lieutenant (pending the kit)
21eme Régiment d’Infanterie de Ligne.

En Avant!
Enjoying the nice weather for a change

The ladies at Macktown

Macktown Living History
2221 Freeport Road
P.O.Box 566
Rockton, Illinois 61072

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