2011 Skirmish at Chipco Crossing

Post date: Nov 2, 2011 4:06:09 AM

This past weekend, October 22nd & 23rd, 2011, was the Skirmish at Chipco Crossing Reenactment in Dade City, FL. There were a total of four Berdans Saturday, and three Sunday. 1st Sergeant Mike was unable to take the field with us do to prior engagements, though he did attend Saturday to observe the battle. The arrangements for period camping were in the old battlefield for the Union and for the confederates it was where it always has been along the fence line. The battles on both days started at 2:00 pm and averaged about 35 minutes long.

On Saturday, the battle began with a small skirmish on the old battlefield, which led to a huge open cow pasture where the remaining fight ensued. Throughout most of the action, we were posted on the battalion’s right flank. We engaged some Home Guard infantry and artillery. We finally drove the infantry away from the right flank, which left their artillery exposed. As we advanced on the first artillery piece, PVT Rojas aimed and misfired. One of the cannoneers charged and tackled Rojas as PVT Briggs and a Marine watch gracefully.

Sunday's battle was much more intense since we fought on the old smaller field. Due to crowd issues, the large open cow pasture was not used. We were ordered to take positions at a smoke house in the middle of the field. Once we took our positions, we engaged the enemy's position atop a grassy knoll. As we fired, the sound of the guns ricocheted off the house and actually sounded like bullets were hitting the house. As more of our infantry was brought up, we advanced to some sparse trees on the other side of the smoke house. After some intense fighting, the Rebs charged down the hill toward us. We began to fall back, but the Rebs killed the corporal as he passed his revolver to PVT Briggs. PVT Rojas' rifle misfired and he was taken prisoner only to take a rifle butt to the head. PVT Briggs unloaded the revolver as he tried falling back to a safe position, but was also captured at the smoke house. Back behind the smoke house PVT Briggs broke free from his captors and ran out of the back of the house. PVT Briggs was pursued and tackled by Confederate PVT Barry Chadwell. As the two fight on the ground, one of PVT Chadwell's Reb comrades approaches the scuffle and shoots PVT Briggs in the head, killing him instantly. The Rebs drive the Federal troops from the field, seizing the day but not winning the war.

PVT Taylor Briggs

PVT Matthew Rojas

1st U.S. Sharpshooters, Co. F