September 11th Skirmish: The Fall Potomac

by Mike Kendra on September 26, 2011

I was scheduled to head to Springtown, Pennsylvania for a Mid-Atlantic Regional Skirmish on September 10th and 11th. Unfortunately, heavy rains and flooding led to a postponement of that event to late in October, so I checked my calendar and loaded my truck anyway.

On Sunday, September 11th, I found my self heading south on 81 into Virginia.

The forecast was for a Mild Sunny day, but it was partly cloudy when I arrived on Chalybeate Springs Road at about 7am, with only bits of blue sky showing here and there.

I was happy to join the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Musket team as an extra shooter for the Fall Potomac Regional Skirmish held at Fort Shenandoah.

It was really looking like a nice day and I got myself settled in, greasing my bullets and prepping targets with my team.

At about 8:15, I had just relaxed and sat down in the morning sunshine that had come peaking out between the clouds. Ammo and targets were ready, it was going to be a great day…

It took a few seconds to register, but soon I realized it was drizzling on us, as the sun was shining… To me it was an eerie reminder of the loss and tragedy happening on that day 10 years earlier… the sprinkling continued for about 5 minutes, then it was over, and the sun ruled the rest of the day.

When the time came to line up for the Opening Ceremonies, I spied a cannon and a large number of men with muskets out near the hundred yard line. Also there was a color guard, all this I assume in commemoration of the events 10 years prior.

I did manage to get this photo of my team-mates and a few others from the ceremonies…

Once the ceremonies got underway, we had a beautiful National Anthem and Dixie rendition by a pair of trumpets (I think it was a recording, or else I couldn’t see the guys playing). After that the Cannon fired a blank (at least I assume), and the musket shooters fired a twenty-one gun salute. Then to top it off, a bagpiper played Amazing Grace, very touching, and then taps was played.

Overall, for a September 11th ceremony, it was very touching and fitting. I was glad to be there.

And then we got to satisfy our craving for black-powder smoke.

We started with 32 Clays, then moved onto Wood Blocks, Styrofoam Cups, Hanging Clays, and finally a Rapidfire 12″ Drywall Target at 100 yards. We only had 7 shooters, but we cleared every frame, and had a great time.

Thanks so much to the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery for the friendly atmosphere and the fun of shooting. I hope we can do again sometime!

Coming Soon

I’ll be running a story on the top teams who will be competing for the National Musket Championship in two weeks. Also, I’ll be reviewing some recent stories that you may want to know about. I’ll have that and more, watch for a new story later this week!

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