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Part 1: Phiippi to Shiloh Chapter 1: Assignment “How many men did you say will be under my command?” “3,000, sir. Ten guns in two equal batteries, three infantry regiments, two skirmisher regiments, and a cavalry regiment. Oh, and another 1,500 men and 10 guns will arrive in a day or two’s time, under the command of Frederick Lander. All regiments are from Minnesota, sir.” “Don’t call me sir, Adam. How many rebels did the scouts say were holding the town?” “Er… 3,300 and 6 guns, with another 8,000 men and 18 guns coming as reinforcement. Including an armored train.” Meet Major General Donald Robinette, age 40, and Major Adam Loomis, age 39. The two had stayed good friends after their harrowing journey to the Northwest Angle. There, Robinette had earned the governor’s favor by saving the commander of the expedition--the governor’s son--from a mutiny, and he had been given his division and rank, as opposed to his friend’s. This rank difference served against them, however, as Loomis was technically supposed to be in Washington to oversee the training of new recruits, and had only barely been permitted to escort his friend to West Virginia. “High command is sending four and a half thousand men, with 20 artillery pieces, to take a fortified position, across a river, held by 11,000 men, 24 cannons, and an armored train?” “In all fairness si-Donald, you are effectively high command yourself. Remember, your division is the only one close enough to the town. Shame I won’t be able to join it, though. Ope, here’s our stop!” As the train rolled into the stop, the small welcoming party of officers came into view. Commanding the first regiment--By this point, the units were still named after their commanders--was Major Samuel Zook, a native and veteran of the Northwest Angle. The third regiment was commanded by Major Kelly Walton, who had actually never seen combat before--A family appointment, as his father was a state senator. The batteries were under command of two close friends, Majors Bobby Woods and Wade Scales, veterans of Mexico. There were a few vacancies, however. “Adam, did the report not say that there would be eight officers?” At this, Zook cut in with a quick salute. “Sir, our cavalry, mounted and dismounted, is currently scouting the town. They should return with their commanding officers, Majors Bristow, Schaefer, and Stockon, shortly. As for Wagner’s, er…” Woods saved Zook here from explaining the awkward situation. “Brigadier General Sigfried was killed when he fell off his horse, and Lieutenant Colonel Wagner had to fill in divisional command. With you here, though--” “Good, keep him there. I can’t command the division directly once the reinforcements arrive, and I want the most senior officer we have to keep track of you.” Turning to Loomis, he finished his thought. “Adam, wire Washington with the news. You’ve been promoted to commander of the second regiment.” ------------- As all generals know, the first thing to do with a new force is to train, train, train. An army without discipline is a mob, after all, and this particular army was even closer to being one than normal. In fact, Robinette was pretty sure he recognized some faces from the ‘57 riots. Regardless, they were his army to lead now, and he had to find a way to stuff some discipline into them, one way or another. He was already thinking on how exactly he should do so, when a soldier of 3rd Regiment gave him an opportunity. The clearly drunk corporal stumbled straight up to him, bottle still in hand, and slurred out, “You know mYBE WE SHOULD JUST LET THE REBS BREk away. Not loke wd’re goong to be ae to fight them with jow much they outnuuumber us.” Well, drunk or Dutch, anyway. Punctuating his point, the sergeant kindly showed Robinette the contents of his breakfast that morning, using the general’s boots as a canvas. A look of disgust on his face, yet silent gratitude in his mind, Robinette turned to Loomis. “Adam, have this man arrested, and schedule a flogging for tomorrow morning.” “Sir? Oh, yes sir. You, come with me.” Leading the sergeant away, Loomis made a mental note to find out where the horses and their whips were kept. I’ll have to ask that Bristow about that, I suppose. Rumor spread quickly throughout the camp, with an exaggeration each retelling, and before night had fallen, even the cavalry near the hills south of town knew about the sergeant’s planned execution. It even got so bad that the sergeant himself thought he would be executed, despite hearing the sentence of flogging multiple times, and tried to escape multiple times--Well, if drunk stumbling no more than 20 feet can be counted as an escape attempt. These rumors had a benefit, however--Once the execution came, and was revealed to be only a flogging, Robinette was seen as both strict and merciful. This didn’t magically fix the discipline problem in camp, but it sure went a hell of a long way towards that goal. The rest of that problem would have to wait, however--Bristow’s cavalry returned, with the news that Confederate reinforcements were still a day’s march away, and the Confederates in the town had near-fully entrenched the bridgeheads. Robinette, Loomis, and Walton received this news with their dinner, and discussed it over the meal. Walton quickly voiced his opinion. “We have to attack now! Before the rebels bring up their reinforcements!” Robinette replied with the caution he had learned in the Angle. “Keep in mind we’re still outnumbered, attacking across a river. We’ll not be able to take the position until our own reinforcements arrive.” “But they’ll get here at the same time! Our only option is-” “An option that would result in hundreds dead. Look, I’m sorry, but there’s simply no way we can take the town.” “War is about death--argh, look, how about we ask Loomis what he thinks. Major?” Loomis had been happily eating the small steak he had for his dinner, watching the two fight, so he choked a bit as his name was mentioned. “What? Oh, er… I mean, if we wait for both armies’ reinforcements to get here, we’ll only turn a difficult situation into an impossible one. So, I say we attack now.” Walton took his chance, and added on to the point. “Exactly. Ask all the other officers, they’d agree.” “But we can’t… oh, very well. Which regiments are ready to march now?” Loomis answered this one. “Sir, Major Zook’s regiment, along with the two regiments of dismounted skirmishers.” “And the others?” “Ready within the hour, sir.” “Good. Order those three to advance, and the others to join us as soon as they’re all organized. I’ll ride with the van, you two to your regiments.” A duo of salutes accompanied two “Yessir,” and the two junior officers left the tent for their regiments. Robinette was left in solitude for a moment, perhaps lost in thought, perhaps saying a prayer. Still, battle had to be fought. Robinette followed the two majors out.
"It is with a heavy heart that I write to you my King, Fernando VII de Borbón, that without reinforcements from España herself our control in the Caribbean is crumbling to American and British aggression. Weaker willed Spanish sailors actively defect as our losses grow daily, our outposts in Panama and Mexico fall uncontested, and Cuba itself lies under the dominion of two foul enemies who gleefully wish to see our Catholic brethren slaughtered and drowned. I have tried admirably to reverse our misfortunes here: We have captured American traders and sunk those who precariously wandered closer to Habana alone, Even gone so far as to reclaim our rightful lands mere minutes from La Habana, sinking naval craft out of our class with what few numbers we could muster, But even as we reclaim these lands and poke the beast, the Americans smell blood and have no qualms overwhelming our small armada with massive numbers and impressive ships... ...they prioritize us as their primary target, even as they ignore the British and Piratas staunching their claims to the Bahamas. Every step Spain takes forward in the Caribbean, we are forced to take three steps back by those who cooperatively desire a destitute Spaniard presence here. Our critics label us as lazy or disorganized, yet never have I seen such hardened and resolute men who have stayed loyal at my side as our craftsmen starve for even basic resources and food. No, my King, instead we feed on American blood daily, and in the absence of reinforcements I have decided to take my own initiative and establish privateer contracts here in the name of España. Capitán de Bandera Federico Gravina" --- This is a call out to anyone on PvP2 US who thinks that the Spanish faction is dead: WE AREN'T. Spain is squashed in between two of the most populous factions on the server, and as we have continuously lost territory to many of our previous so-called "friends" on the outer fronts, our population has been forced back to La Habana. Even as our population has swelled slightly because of this, we do NOT have enough players to hold our ports effectively and make our way out of Cuba. I fully expect us to suffer the same fate as PvP1 EU's Spanish faction soon enough, unless there are those who are willing to take up our RECONQUISTA of rightful Spanish territory. We have no love for British or Americans and if you've been privy to recent server events we are still ACTIVELY fighting for ports for even the right to craft heavier ships as our port resources grow increasingly sparse around our capital. Why have we not pushed these factions back? We simply lack the numbers. Our under-equipped forces (many of us are just nearing 3rd Rates as many previously high level Spanish players quit or defected due to demoralization or boredom) are something that can be transformed in time, but this post is directed at those who WANT TO HELP THE UNDERDOG in this fight. Bullsaw and myself (as well as others) are eager to assist those who wish to transfer over to Spain's waters and ACTIVELY ENGAGE IN DAILY PVP. Even those who aren't interested in switching fully but want to aid Spain's RECONQUISTA in some way or another are obliged to PM me. We have a national Teamspeak, again PM Bullsaw or myself for details if you'd rather a more personable approach. Viva la España! P.S. I do respect our enemies as competent PvPers, so do not mistake this post as a complaint -- I want to make things more challenging for you when push comes to shove. I doubt Americans/British enjoy killing defenseless towers anymore than we do. P.P.S. Many of our Spanish players speak English as well as Spanish. Don't be shy if you're like me and aren't bilingual. All are welcome.
Here recorded are the humble thoughts of a loyal Spaniard to the Royal Spanish Navy. --- February 3rd Ave Maria! I finally find myself present within the walls of Habana off the coast of Cuba. The trip across the Atlantic still refuses to relinquish the smell of sea and salt from my nostrils, though I am thankful I did not succumb to the sickness that plagued half of the crew within transit. My station as a Capitán, albeit lowly, still has put me in position for the first time to lead men of my own and prove my worth as a marinero de España. I will pray at the local mission for the safe journeys of my crew around the extent of Habana's waters as I establish a lay of the land, and then begin enforcing Spain's Treaty de Tordesillas. It is God's will that Spain control these waters, as is my King's; truly a noble cause if there ever was one. February 11th It seems that the plague will not let the sea contain it, as I now find myself the head of a much larger ship known as the "Snow" with its previous Capitán laid to rest in Habana's cemetery. The ship is nimble, yet strong, and has aided me well in the pursuit of Spain's ambitions within these waters. I've also tried to establish myself amongst my peers, keeping in close contact with the post, letters, and even a trip to the tavern or two to accustom myself to their customs and activities. The Spaniards here are much different than those I knew at the ranches in Hispania. They are tougher, grittier, even cynical at times, though undoubtedly each of them still has a love for the Spain in their hearts so I cannot fault them. Perhaps their cynicism grows from the massive loss of colonies within the Caribbean, the entirety of Florida lost to the Americans with the British an ever winding serpent in the south, even piercing the veil of Cuba itself. I hear of as many victories as I do defeats, so I know that my brothers are not incompetent soldiers without a mind for strategy, but our numbers are spread very thin amongst Spain's massive claim to these waters. I will think on what to do. February 13th I have received word that my mother has passed. I grieve as deeply as I pray. February 19th A grand strategy of sorts has been made aware to me from la tenientes españoles. Many of my peers have been actively directing many of our Capitáns to the southern reaches of Panama, and even I have established a personal outpost within the region of Canalete to assist their plights when need be. Unfortunately, that is not enough for some of the more expressive tenientes of the Spanish fleet in this region, wanting a vast portion of our ships located in the Panama region to assist against the brigand threats and a possible Scottish incursion into the colonial scene. Others find themselves on the opposite spectrum, citing the former as cobardes and accusing them of treason as they abandon Cuba's defense. I find myself torn as the trip to Panama is not a quick one to make and with the loss of Mantua unsafe as vile Americans have begun to harry even Habana itself from the port of Key West. Many of the new Capitáns who are being sent from the homeland much as I was are targets for the larger and more organized hordes of ciudadanos de hamburguesa in the north. The divisiveness on this issue has lead to even personal insults amongst my peers, ingraining the divide as a personal vendetta in which only Spain herself suffers. I will try to be the voice of reason as much as I can. I've also been put in command of a larger ship on par with a frigate. February 22nd The Americans grow bolder with every passing day. I've resigned myself to defending the coast of Cuba whilst others try to enforce Spain's claims elsewhere. I find it a personal duty to protect and cultivate the newer Capitáns so that they will know our cause is not hopeless as the Anglos encroach closer to our capitol each day. It is my hope that they will grow emboldened under my display of stalwart vigil in the face of adversity, so that they will stay and fight instead of descending into degenerate piracy in face of a hopeless war. I sunk this one in particular lurking right off the coast of Cuba, whilst other prizes I've claimed have become so emboldened to hunt just outside the port of Montanzas and Mariel. My luck did not hold out forever, as a patrol deep into the Keys with a favorable comrade known as "olo" resulted in my defeat and near capture. To attack near Key West is to stir a hornet's nest, even as we muster up dozens of Spanish ships under "Bentguruissimo" and "NeoG's" leadership we were ultimately outgunned, though I am a firm believer that our skill at arms far surpassed their own. The Americans accuse me in particular of attacking those engaged against piratas or even at times the British, leading to the justification of their overwhelming numbers being brought down upon my ship. They would not be wrong, though I wonder if they would not feel threatened as I do were the situation reversed, and their home port of Charleston were under threat of the Spanish each passing day. It is my hope to instill fear and uncertainty amongst the Americans, so they know that they at least cannot sail these waters without harassment. Despite our best efforts however, two more major ports on the west coast of Cuba have fallen into American hands and I doubt their recapture will be any time soon. Their massive weekly raids are nearly unstoppable, and I pray that reinforcements from Hispania come soon or else we may share a dismal fate in the New World. If there is any good to be said about our situation, it is that we are not without a fight and any man who actively seeks such violence out would do well to join la flota española.