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The railroad from Oklahoma, took Major Brittles, and his aide Lieutenant Farley, as far as Billings Montana, 

From there, they took the stagecoach to Butte. Then another to Helena, where they caught up with Brittles new command.

The entire trip, from Oklahoma to Helena took 4 weeks.

During that time, they were attacked by hostile Indians a total of 5 times. Luckily, the passengers and the driver and his partner riding shotgun, drove them off. 

Once he arrived in Helena, he officially took command of the company. 100 officer's, and enlisted. Among the company was a doctor, a blacksmith and wood workers. Most of the supplies they would need was stowed in 15 wagons, plus the doctor's wagon.

The major stood before his men, gathered in a nearby field where they had set up their tents.

"Men. In 2 days, we set off for our new assignment, Fort Lincoln. It will be a long, hard trip. We will be traveling through hostile territory. But we will make it, I promise you that." He looked around at his men. "I don't tolerate liars. I don't want to see anyone drunk while on duty. Obey my orders, do your duty, and we'll get along fine. As of now, everyone is on leave until tomorrow night. Company dismissed." 

The men ran off, hooting and hollering. 

 

When it was time for the company to get moving, everyone was ready. No one was drunk, or hungover.

The wagons would be spaced between the troops, offering them guard.

Scouts would ride ahead, looking for places to camp, or water, or hostiles.

 

"Troop. Ho." With that, the caravan was off.

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)

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While Addy wasn't by any means easily spooked, she wasn't so addled as to turn down the chance for an escort through what could be dangerous territory, so when she heard that there was a cavalry troop headed in her direction, she set out to get her team hitched early and get the cargo for Kalispell loaded and secured. 

 

As she came in sight of the camp, the troop was pulling out, and she snapped the lines to encourage her four-up hitch of Belgians a fast trot, guiding them  toward the head of the column.

 

"Hey, Major!" she called out, "ya mind if I ride along with ya fer a spell?"  Even though it had been ten years, and most of the hard feelings were far behind, the blue uniforms still gave her a bit of the heebie-jeebies, but the War was over, and she knew that most soldiers were honorable.

 

@Glenn

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One of his officers, who heard someone calling the major, rode up to him and informed him of the person asking to accompany the company on it's trip.

 

Brittles halted the company, and rode back, on his blond horse named Percy, and looked at the woman driving the rig. "Where you headed, Miss.....?"

Edited by Glenn (see edit history)

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Sgt. Nikolaus Braumann rode near the head of the column, one of the so called 'picked men' - a foursome of the more dependable troopers in a unit who were often called upon to do specific duties at the beckon call of the commanding officer, such as being sent on ahead to scout in front of the column if warranted.  It was all in a day's work to the army veteran. Braumann had been in the cavalry since the Civil War  and was a career soldier, he simply knew nothing else. He was in many ways a fine soldier, especially in times of danger. During the Civil War he had even earned the Medal of Honor for his courage and ferocity when he personally killed half a dozen rebel horsemen in a skirmish. He has been wounded four times, twice in the war and twice by the Indians. Out in the field he is obedient to orders, dependable regardless of circumstances. On a post or off duty, he is not  so much the perfect soldier though. Nikolaus is a heavy drinker, not unusual at all in the US military where even a sizeable percentage of the officer corps are alcoholics. In fact he has been busted once before for drunken brawling, losing his sergeants stripes which had taken him years to gain. However he managed to regain them only last year.  Braumann is one of those very necessary veterans that help keep a unit together, the recruits look to him and he can be both a hard taskmaster and a caretaker of the enlisted men.

 

trooperforsagas.jpg

 

Also up front in the column but for a completely different reason is young recruit Private Jean Lavalliere (called by his fellow troopers French Johnnie), a Canadian who when he arrived in the states without a dime to his name signed up for the army. He has now been in the cavalry for a grand total of four months. After the usual rather basic training in St. Louis - where the army taught them to march in step and salute and fear their officers more than the Indians - he was sent on to his unit. He can barely ride, he is learning on the job. As for firing the cavalry trooper's main weapon, a breechloader Sharps carbine, he has yet to fire a shot in anger. However he does have one useful talent, he has a flair for music and can play the bugle. So thus he is the unit's bugler.  It is his job to shadow the commanding officer, always ready to sound whatever trumpet call is ordered by it recall, assembly, or the more stirring charge.

Though tinged with a French accent, fortunately his English is also quite good. He has already been in trouble once since his arrival, AWOL. Though he tried to explain to the commanding officer that it was all a mistake, he certainly had not meant to desert, he was punished rather severely. The young man is  now more than a little nervous of this new commanding officer, Maj. Brittles, wondering if he too will be as brutal.

 

Both troopers turned their heads to look back at what the commotion is all about. Apparently some wagon wants to join their progress. And is that a woman driving it? Don't see that everyday.

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"Mornin', sir."  Addy smiled and nodded to the man, glad that he'd at least been willing to talk to her.  "Headed out ta Kalispell, through Whitefish.  Sure would be glad of some companionship, if you've a mind."  She glanced at the troop, then back at the officer.  "Name's Addy Chappel, I'll keep my distance if ya like, an' set my own camp." 

 

She didn't want to be a bother, and she'd be setting her own camp if she was on her own, so it wouldn't be a problem if he wanted her to keep to herself.

 

@Glenn; @Wayfarer

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"We will welcome your company, Miss Chappel. You don't need to stay a distance from us." He turned to his aide. "Escort the young lady to the doctor's wagon." He turned back to Addy. "You'll fall in line behind the doctor's wagon. He'll keep an eye on you. Any problems, do not hesitate to call me." He tipped his hat to her, then rode off.

 

Lieutenant Farley, the aide, looked at Addy. "Ma'am, if you'll follow me, I'll show you where the doctor is." He tipped his hat, and started slowly riding away, waiting for her.

 

When Brittles got back to his place, he called for Sgt Braumann. When he arrived, "Sergeant Braumann. A lady will be traveling with us. She will be traveling with the doctor's wagon. I want you to tell the men, she is not to be molested. Anyone, anyone sergeant, who accosts her will be shot. Understand?"

Edited by Glenn (see edit history)

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"Thank ya, appreciate it."  Addy gave him a nod, touching the brim of her hat, a relic from the war that showed which side she had supported, but that was in the past now.  And she did have some knowledge of how the Military worked, so she pulled her rig into place behind the doctor's wagon and settled in for a long day, hoping that there wasn't any drama and ignoring the looks she got from some of the soldiers...she hadn't driven wagons this long without getting some strange and judgemental looks, and they didn't bother her.  As for being 'molested', while she was grateful for the order, she had no doubt that any man who tried would regret it long before the Major could intervene!

 

@Glenn; @Wayfarer

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Braumann heard his name called and left his place in the column to come aside the Major, "Yessir."

 

The major promptly informed him the column had taken in this woman and her wagon for the journey. Made sense, civilians looked to the military for protection out on the frontier. The major's next words had a harsh tone to them and same with the sentiment. Braumann blinked but kept his thoughts to himself.

 

"Yessir, will do."

 

Tugging on the reins he turned his mount around and made his way down the length of the column. He was going to have to speak loudly and say it more than once given the size of the column.

 

"Alright lads! The major sez that none of you are to molest this woman we got here with us for the trip. Anyone doin' so will be shot!"

 

That opened a few eyes alright.

 

He went a bit further down the length of the column then again used his best sergeant's voice.

 

"Here me out, boys! Major's orders - do not molest the woman we have with us. Anyone who tries will be summarily shot!"

 

One of the other long serving vets piped up, "Geezus sarge, we ain't criminals."

 

"Some of you are but we won't mention names," Nikolaus grinned, "Right, O'Reilly?"

 

A redhaired Irishman who was the butt of that jibe snorted, "I was framed!"

 

There brought some more chuckles. But Braumann had made his point, everyone had heard the orders so there could be no excuses. Job done the veteran NCO headed back to his place in the ranks. As he did so he turned his head to the woman on the wagon and then nodded while touching the brim of his weather beaten hat.

 

"Ma'am."

 

"Sargent."  Addy returned the nod, relieved that there were a few older veterans in the troop.  Seemed like that a majority of soldiers these days were pups fresh off ships in New York or Boston who didn't know one end of a horse from another, much the less how to speak English.  It was asking for trouble, she reckoned, when your troops couldn't communicate, but it was the US Cavalry, so they knew best, right?

 

@Bongo@Glenn; @Wayfarer; @Stormwolfe; @Flip

Edited by Bongo (see edit history)

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Orders came while John MacIntosh was on patrol with the Second Colorado Cavalry’s H Troop, but oddly enough, Fort Garland sent a galloper with the news, ad a copy of the orders. MacIntosh was taken by surprise, figuring if anything he and Ke-Ni-Tey would be heading back to New Mexico or Arizona Territories to fight Apaches, because if you were white or with the army, you were there to fight.

 

They had ridden hard for two days before they caught the column on it’s way to wherever they were going, his orders didn’t say. Just that he was to report to a Major Brittles and serve as the troops scouts.  

 

Odd, he thought, a command on the move with no scouts, just unheard of, unless the scout, or scouts deserted or were dead, common down south. One of the reasons he liked having Ke-Ni-Tey along, he knew Indians, Apaches best of all having raided with Victorio from the age of twelve. That experience also gave him tactical superiority over his enemies, and a knowledge of what they might or might not do in any given situation, much the same as MacIntosh himself.

 

Once they spotted the column Ke-Ni-Tay disappeared into the tress, flanking the troop as he always did. MacIntosh closed the distance carefully, allowing them to see him clearly as a white man before picking up his pace to report in. He slowed next to the last wagon where a Sergeant was talking with the lady driving.

 

“Sergeant. Name’s MacIntosh. I have orders to report to a Major Brittles.” He looked to the woman teamster, “Ma’am.”

 

Tag @Wayfarer@Bongo@Glenn @Stormwolfe

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Braumann saw the man riding up but he was just one man and he wasn't an Indian in warpaint so nothing to be alarmed about.  The woman had just acknowledged his greeting when the newcomer addressed him.

 

"If you're lookin' for the major, he's riding up at the front of the column where a commanding officer should be. I'll take you to him," Braumann answered.

 

The pair made their way to the front, reining in short of the major.

 

"Sir, this here fella says he has orders to report to you," Braumann kept it short and simple.

 

@Glenn@Flip

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"Thank you, sergeant." Before the sergeant could leave, "Sergeant, send out some additional scouts." The major returned the man's salute.

 

Brittles turned his attention to the man. "You wanted to see me, mr.…."

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Addy smiled and nodded to the newcomer, noting from the cut of his clothes that he was a civilian, and likely a scout...a good thing, someone who had first-hand knowledge of local tribes, and not just book-learning and hear-say that some of the officers assigned out here had.  It would make the trip safer, and hopefully make for a better resolution should they encounter any Natives.

 

@Flip; @Wayfarer; @Glenn

Edited by Bongo (see edit history)

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Braumann was about to leave the newcomer to the major but the officer wasn't done with him yet.

 

"Sergeant, send out some additional scouts."

 

"Yessir, permission to take the 'first four'," Braumann nodded. That was the term for the picked veterans who were often sent on ahead or given special duties when needed. Every company had them and they always rode directly behind the unit CO to be available at moment's notice. Unlike a lot of the recruits, these men had seen it all, they could acquit themselves well regardless of the duty. And they were damn proud of that designation too. Leastwise Braumann was.

 

It seemed as if the officer was ready to salute? Or rather return a salute he was expecting from the veteran NCO. It was one thing to do all that spit and polish hoopla back at forts or on parade grounds, it normally was not expected out on campaign. Most experienced officers did not bother. So Braumann had made no effort to do such a thing. He always addressed the officer with 'sir' and that was enough.

 

So he waited for a reply to his question and a reprimand if the new commander choose to make an issue of this saluting business.

 

 

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"Proceed, sergeant." He didn't say anything about a salute, because he knew that the seasoned men usually didn't salute. Oh he could require it. but why start to quote regulations out here. Now when they reach the fort, it'll be something different.

 

He looked at the stranger. "Who are you?"

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"Proceed, sergeant."

 

Braumann got his answer and that's all he needed.

 

"Yessir," with a quick nod, he turned his head and the other three troopers of his foursome were already quite alert, expecting that reply no doubt.

 

"Let's go then, gentlemen," he spoke to the trio.

 

Leaving the major to discuss things with the civilian the four troopers gained some speed to ride on out ahead. First thing on Braumann's mind was find some close high ground so they could get a better lay of the land. Given the column had wagons it simply wasn't practical for the entirety of the unit to seek the high ground but that's the kind of thing flankers and outliers could accomplish.

 

sgtsagarpg.jpg

 

@Glenn

Edited by Wayfarer (see edit history)

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"Thank you, sergeant." Before the sergeant could leave, "Sergeant, send out some additional scouts." The major returned the man's salute.


MacIntosh sat his chestnut gelding patiently, he had been in enough commands to know to wait his turn. Besides, he was just reporting in, not reporting an uprising or a war party about to descend on this command.


Brittles turned his attention to the man. "You wanted to see me, mr.…."


“MacIntosh, Sir. Reporting in, civilian scout.” He pulled the written orders from his jacket pocket and handed them over. “Ah Major, I’d careful out there, them boys are liable to run onto my man who’s scouting your flank. He’s Apache and well, I’d hate to see anything happen that didn’t need to.”

 

Tag @Glenn@Wayfarer@Stormwolfe

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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Brittles read the letter, detailing who this man was.

"Mr. MacIntosh, why didn't your man ride in with you? If he rode in with you, no one would have fired on him. Does he plan on staying apart from us when we make camp, or get to the fort? A good scout is someone to use, sir."

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"He's scouting sir, and I've heard no shots." MacIntosh replied. "Ke-Ni-Tay's pretty savvy. He'll be in when he's done." The Apache was thorough when he was out, the two has so far survived Sioux, Cheyenne, Crow, and Blackfeet not to mention the Apache. "I'm just saying hopefully nothing happens that doesn't need to. See you have a woman with the column, sort of odd. Protection?"

 

Tag @Glenn

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The four riders knew what to do and split into pairs, each group heading at angles toward the closest high ground on either flank ahead of the column. Braumann urged his big gelding up a fairly steep partially wooded slope with Private Loudon right behind him. As they reached the crest, indeed this what he was hoping for, a chance to get a sweeping view of the ground ahead where the column would be heading. Scatterings of forest and some more slopes hid a lot from sight but as far as he could tell no suspicious signs. Wait!

 

A few hundred yards away, one individual rider and setting a good pace too.

 

"Joe! See that? Down to the left," Braumann pointed.

 

"Looks like an Injun ta me," Joe squinted as he answered.

 

"Yeah but just one and I don't know...." Nikolaus would need to see this rider up closer but something about the man even at this distance. He wasn't garbed like some Sioux or Cheyenne on the warpath.  No he was different in some way?

 

"So what'da we do now?" Loudon deferred to his sergeant.

 

"We sure as hell ain't gonna try and chase him. He could well not even be a hostile but if we go chargin' him....hell, I'd run too if I was a redskin and got charged out of nowhere for no reason," Braumann knew something else too. That there was no way cavalry could chase down Indians, he'd learned that thru experience a long time ago.

 

He turned his head and glanced down toward the column, nothing amiss going on, they were still coming on at a measured pace, wagons and all.

 

"Let's just wait and see what he does," the NCO decided.

 

"Think he's seen us?" Loudon wondered aloud.

 

"I'd be willing to bet he has. They don't miss much," Braumann assured the man.

 

@Flip

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"The lady is headed in our direction. She asked if she could travel with us, and I approved." Brittles looked at the man. "I'll tell you what I told my men...she is not to be molested." 

The column continued moving. "It'll be dark soon, hope the scouts find a place for us to camp." Brittles looked at MacIntosh. "You or your companion know this area?"

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"Fair enough Major. I've no intrest in her one way 'tuther. I'm hired to scout, and we'll know it well enough in short order, Sir." MacIntosh replied referring to knowledge of the land. "My man out there'll have him some news when he rides in, 'bout a number of things, garenteed!" He smiled and nodded.  I'll drop back, pay my respects then head out to the right. Have a look-see"

 

Tag @Glenn

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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Ke-Ni-Tay rode easy as he followed the tracks, aware of the soldiers above him. There were four unshod pony tracks and from where he sat, fresh, shadowing the column. His Winchester laid across his saddle brow, ready, but then he was always ready. Ke-Ni-Tay was aware that he did not match the local tribes, he was sure that confused the four riders. He hoped there were no men that had been in the southwest.

 

He drew up and angled slightly toward blue coat and raised an arm, the palm of his hand open. He was about to find out how he was going to be received by these white-eyes. He had information they should know, especially if  the local tribes were hostile. But that would be their mistake to try this column. Ke-Ni-Tay knew the might of the Army from both sides of the fight. And with he and MacIntosh along they would increase the odds, because they always had.

 

So, thinking they were friends as they had not attacked he waved his outstretched arm.

 

Tag @Wayfarer

Edited by Flip (see edit history)

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While they waited for any reports from the scouts, the column continued heading north.

Brittles looked at the company bugler and signaled him over.

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Braumann kept watching the Indian until the man raised his hand then actually waved. With a grunt he turned to Private Loudon.

 

"See that. He's gotta know we're soldiers and he's waving. He's friendly enough alright," the veteran commented even as he then waved back .

 

It wasn't much as contact went but it was something and the distance was still too great to attempt even yelling as substitution for conversation so Braumann decided to stay where he was and allow the Indian to approach. A part of him hoped the native knew some English because he certainly not speak any tribal tongue. Besides he was pretty certain this one wasn't from any of the tribes in this part of the country. It was a bit of a mystery and one he hoped to get an answer from soon.

 

"Joe, gimme that tobacco pouch of yours," he directed.

 

"Thought you didn't smoke?" the other man was confused.

 

"I don't. But I wanna give it to that Indian if he comes up here. That's a sign of friendship to give a stranger tobacco or so I was told," Braumann explained as he took the pouch then from the outstretched hand.

 

"You owe me, sarge," Joe grumbled.

 

"Yeah, right," Braumann nodded.

 

sgtsagarpg.jpg

 

@Flip

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Private Jean Lavalliere noticed the commanding officer signaling him to come closer. With a quick nod, the young man kicked the sides of his mount a bit to get the horse to advance just short of the major. He was wide eyed and a bit nervous. But at the same time pretty sure he hadn't done anything wrong to get into trouble for.

 

Unlike the grizzled Braumann, French Johnnie as the troopers called him, gave a quick salute.

 

"Yessir!"

 

Boot camp in St. Louis had pounded it into the new recruits that your officers were gods and you better damn well do whatever they say if you did not want to get into trouble. His training sergeant that time had punched him more than once when he didn't snap off a proper salute or straighten to attention. He wanted no trouble out here now in the middle of this god forsaken wilderness.

 

trooperforsagas.jpg

 

@Glenn

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About Sagas

Sagas of the WIld West is a roleplaying game set in a fictionalized version of the town of Kalispell in Montana territory. Our stories begin in 1875 and are set against the backdrop of actual historical events.Sagas was inspired by the classic television and movie westerns. Our focus is on writing, storytelling and character development.

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