It had been another long hot day when the courier galloped up to the Mansion in a cloud of dust, but then again every day was hot in the South, when it wasn't cold that is and always long apart from the shorter days. Maybe I won’t have another Mint Julep .
“Mint Julep?” I said
“Urgent Orders from Richmond “ he said , never even getting off his horse and galloped back the way he came .
Putting down my drink I opened the orders, apparently I was to head immediately to Culpepper with all possibly speed and take command of whatever forces were available to block a damn Yankee force heading that way. It appears that Lee had taken all the other Generals with him to win the war in the North and had somehow forgotten to tell me about it, still I had slaves to pick and cotton to beat and the Mint needed harvesting so I had kept myself busy until that time came when I was once more called upon to serve my State.
And that Time had come.
I read on:
Richmond would in the meantime divert whatever forces they could urgently scrape together, be it state militia or units in the process of re-fitting for my use. If the enemy hadn't already reached Culpeper then I was to move towards Front Royal until I encounter them. Richmond also said that it was essential that I held up the enemy long enough for them to transfer a proper General from another theatre.
The only forces in Culpepper when I arrived were ours, no sight of the Yankees so I called an officers Council to see what we had available.
It appears all the other officers had also somehow missed the call up for Lees Great War winning Invasion, We all agreed that he obviously wasn't as brilliant as the papers made out and that he had far too many limbs to be counted as a proper General.
As it was vital we got on the road to locate the enemy as soon as possible we agreed a four Mint Julep maximum and divided up the forces at our disposal. Richmond had managed to get us four experienced units that had been refitting nearby and added to the State militia and some local recruits we had enough to field four small divisions.
We set out and about eight miles out of Culpepper we spotted the enemy. Being a true Southern gentleman I rode up to the enemy under a flag of Truce and asked to see their commander. He was a smartly dressed man who gave me a crisp salute, politely refused my offer of a Mint Julep and we agreed that the battle would commence in an hours time.
I rode back to my lines and start to array my forces. I am confident that if all things go as planned then we will have thrashed those Damn Yankees long before whatever play that other General is watching and cannot be bothered to leave has finished.
This is a Mr Steve Production
Every so often we round up all the Steve’s in the club and herd them into one corner to play a game by themselves, this is mainly done for the comedic effect of watching them work out whose turn it is but also more importantly its so that we always know were they are and we can keep an eye on them.
So enough preamble, here are the initial Briefings and the forces for The Battle of the three Steve’s. (Plus me as umpire).