May 9, 2015: Death is Not the Worst of Evils
It is just after midnight and we are about to mount up. The heat of the day has not yet dissipated. I can hear the frogs singing their chorus down by the pond as the sweat trickles down my spine. Is it the heat or my nerves? Probably a bit of both. I am more anxious about this battle than I have been about anything in years. It feels … monumental … pivotal. It is.
If we prevail, we will have routed the largest threat in the region. If we cannot prevail … I’d rather not think about it. We’ll send a man back to warn everyone and they’ll have to run. The plan is for them to run in the direction of the Freeman Militia Center. But, of course, whatever is left of those we’re about to attack will be between our families and the FMC.
Our plan is to ambush the combined U.N.-marauder force roughly 32 miles southeast of our farm. Based on our intelligence, they are camped about 40 miles away. After they break camp, we expect them to follow Highway 275 in our direction. They’ve been covering about ten miles a day. Our point of attack will be near the end of their march for the day. They will be somewhat tired – particularly if it is hot as it was yesterday.
We have a force of approximately 100 men. The women, children and older men will remain behind waiting for word of the battle.
Tactically, we will divide the force into fourths. I will lead one-fourth of the men in a frontal attack. One-half of our force will attack from the hills on either side of the highway at the point we have chosen – one-fourth on the enemy’s left flank, the other fourth on their right flank. The final group of twenty-five men will sweep around to the rear of the battle to catch the U.N. troops in a pincer movement to completely envelop them.
It’s a simple plan, but simple plans usually work best – especially when your troops are light on training.
I do wish our mortars were a little more sophisticated. We’ve ranged them here at the farm, but the aiming mechanism is primarily based on Kentucky windage. Our artillery men can pretty consistently put a mortar in a ten-yard circle from ranges of 400-600 yards, but there’s as much art to it as there is science.
The mortars are made primarily of scavenged commercial fireworks and scraps of metal. One of the men in the group sold fireworks and put on shows prior to the crash. He had a warehouse full of stuff from China. Sort of ironic when you think about them being used on Chinese U.N. soldiers … Chinese soldiers who have come to the United States to herd our citizens into FEMA camps and deprive them of their rights.
Thick with irony ….
We’ll launch the mortars over the heads of our men on the two flanks and down into the valley onto the U.N. troops and trucks. That should soften up the already weary U.N. soldiers before my platoon hammers them head on. We’ll be in vehicles with mounted guns and grenade launchers. (As it turns out, I should have been practicing my driving rather than my long-range shooting.) We’ll fan out the vehicles to form a barrier against their advance. The men on the flanks will rain down fire from either side as the fourth platoon sweeps in from the rear.
My hope is that they are undisciplined and unmotivated. From all accounts, most of the U.N. troops are. The irregulars are a bigger question mark. Based on their performance at Pete’s, we don’t expect them to be particularly skilled tacticians – particularly in the midst of a surprise attack.
We have no idea whether or not Tanner’s men made it back to their encampment or, if they did, whether Hood is on his way north with reinforcements. As it stands, we can only count on the 100 men that we have mustered here at Union Creek.
In a few moments, I will speak to the men gathered to fight in defense of their families and farms. I plan to tell them the story of General Johnathan Stark and his famous Battle of Bennington. It was Stark who spoke the words that later became the basis of New Hampshire’s motto:
“Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils.”