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Old 09-29-2016, 17:17   #7
The Reaper
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Free Pineland
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Colonel Wilder was a real innovator.

He mounted his troops so they became mounted infantry, and were known as the Lightning Brigade.

The War Department refused his request for Spencer repeating rifles. He then used his own factory as collateral to equip each of his men with a Spencer, and the troops signed vouchers for them.

His artillery was a mixed gun battery of 12 pound mountain howitzers for close in work and 3-inch Rodman rifles for long range work. The battery commander was Captain Eli Lilly. Yes, that Eli Lilly.

His mobility and firepower led to the Lightning Brigade frequently being used as a fire brigade, sent where the action was hottest.

During the battle for Alexander's Bridge at Chickamauga, COL Wilder led his Lightning Brigade in the defense of the bridge against a significantly larger Confederate force, primarily Walthall's Missisisppians. Wilder's troops repelled multiple attempts by larger forces to take the bridge, in some significant degree because of the repeating rifles and Lilly's Battery.

Walthall was eventually reimbursed the cost of the rifles, before he or his troops had to pay for them.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - President Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

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