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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:00 pm 
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Here follows a spinoff to my TL 'Crime Time', which I previously began on the Alternate History board. Comments are invited.

Operation: Holdfast
Date: January 8th, 1936
Location: The Farm, Monee Township, Illinois
Time: 1:00 PM

From his office at the Farm, Otis Needleman places a call to Mr. Smith and says “Jim, I just wanted to update you on the status of the job that Joanne Faulkner and May Day are on. Assets are in position and they have eyes on target. May Day anticipates dropping the hammer tomorrow evening.” Mr. Smith replies “excellent news, Otis. The sooner the pathetic shade of that slimy bastard Senator Bilbo is howling in hell, the better I’ll like it. While you’re still on the line, I have a tasking order for you.”

“Go ahead, boss.”

Mr. Smith pauses momentarily on his end of the line, then says “execute Operation: Holdfast at the earliest possible opportunity. Put Mike Garrity in charge of the operation and tell him that he can recruit his operators from among the Organization’s present staff, and that he can call upon my uptime and downtime assets for whatever material support is needed.”

“Received and understood. I think Mr. Garrity will enjoy this assignment because he spent half his life in New England before you recruited him; he’s also got a special familiarity with Massachusetts.”

“That’s why the operation is his to command.”

“Understood, Jim. Needleman out.”

Over the next several months, Mr. Garrity recruits the necessary personnel from among Mr. Smith’s staff. The Maine Section is given the task of having an exact copy of an 18th-century merchant ship constructed, and then the supplies, equipment, tools and weapons are loaded aboard. Lastly, Garrity and his personnel come aboard and the ship puts out to sea. Once the ‘Columbia’ is out of the sight of land, the ship’s portable time drive is activated. ‘Columbia’ disappears from the here & now of May, 1936 and reappears in the same location on May 5th, 1770.

As soon as ‘Columbia’ is thoroughly checked for any possible damage from the temporal displacement, Mr. Garrity orders the ship’s helmsman to set course for the mouth of the Connecticut River, east of Saybrook Point on the shore of Long Island Sound. Due to weather conditions that are somewhat adverse, ‘Columbia’ takes a week to make the voyage. When she arrives, the ship is sailed up the Connecticut River to the port town of Hartford. The crew of ‘Columbia’ ties her up dockside on the city’s riverfront, and Garrity goes ashore in company with three of his men to arrange for the purchase of wagons and horse teams.

Though all of Garrity’s personnel are dressed in period-correct outfits, this is not what causes them to stand out. Rather, it is Garrity’s enormous stature that draws curious onlookers. In an age when most men average 5’8” in height and weigh between 140 and 165 lbs, Mike stands out at 6’4” and 290 lbs. Even so, his money is just as good as anyone else’s. The expedition is very well-supplied with coin (in the form of gold Guinea coins from Britain and silver Eight-Reales from Spain, and so the transaction is completed within two days. The wagons and teams are driven dockside, there to be loaded with the cargo from the ‘Columbia’ and taken in hand by Mike Garrity’s people. The volume of the cargo is such that two round trips are going to have to be made in order to deliver it all.

On May 14th, Garrity sees that all is in readiness and assumes his position at the head of the column. The objective is Westfield, a small town in the western reaches of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, near the confluence of two rivers which will be later known as the ‘Westfield’ and ‘Little’ rivers, respectively. Due to the size of the column and the primitive state of the roads in this region, the trip is expected to take approximately three weeks.

The purpose of Operation: Holdfast is to establish a foothold in the New England Colonies prior to the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. The expedition’s load-out of equipment and supplies was chosen with this purpose in mind. First, there are eighty crates of rifle-muskets with ten guns per crate. These weapons are patterned after the Enfield P-1861, except that they have flintlock ignition. Other weapons are one hundred rifled flintlock cavalry carbines with 24” barrels (modeled on the P-1861 Artillery carbine; these are contained in ten cases with ten guns in each), sixty flintlock artillery rifles with 30” barrels (modeled after the P-1861 Enfield ‘Naval’ rifle) and 100 cased pairs of flintlock cavalry pistols. These last guns have 12” barrels and are in .58-caliber (just as the long guns are).

The artillery consists of four 20-pdr rifled guns (patterned after the Model 1861 Ordnance Rifle), two 12-pdr field guns with bronze barrels (patterned on the Model 1857 Napoleon and intended for close-in defense of the battery) and six short-barreled howitzers (copies of the Model 1841 12-pdr Mountain Howitzer). Due to the size and weight of the artillery, they will come in the second shipment (as will the one hundred tons of reagent-grade sulfur in wooden barrels that hold 50 lbs each).

Four wagons are loaded with various kinds or personal accoutrements and leather gear for issue to infantry, cavalry and artillery troops, four more wagons are loaded with medical supplies, two with personal gear and the remainder with patterns, tooling, dies, molds and gauges necessary to set up a machine shop and gun factory. The machine tools are broken down into their component parts, and all are designed to use water power; the drill bits, milling bits, taps, dies and saw blades are all of the very finest tungsten-alloy tool steel. In order to allay any suspicions, all of these items have had their appearances altered to match the appearance of the same items as they were produced in the mid-to late 18th century.

On June 6th, Garrity’s column rolls into Westfield on the post road leading from Springfield. While his men concentrate on setting up camp in an open field along the banks of the Westfield River near the road, Garrity walks across the road to Fowler’s Tavern. This building is located on a low rise near the confluence of the Westfield River and the Little River, having been built some 15 years previously in 1755. From this historical record, he knows that the Westfield Town Council holds forth in public session the first week of every month. Unless bad weather forces them inside, the sessions take place under a gigantic elm tree located directly in front of Fowler’s Tavern.

As luck would have it, the Town Council is in session. The members of this august body couldn’t help but notice the line of wagons coming into town, because the post road from Springfield runs right past the front of Fowler’s Tavern. As Mr. Garrity walks over, he sees a number of men sitting under the elm tree and says “prithee, do I have the honor of addressing the town council of Westfield?”

A distinguished-looking gentleman of medium years rises from his bench and says “you do, sir. I am Obadiah Noble, and I am the mayor of this fair town. May I have the pleasure of your name, sir?”

“Mr. Mayor, my name is Michael Garrity. I was born in the Colony of Virginia and I grew up in the Colony of Pennsylvania. I went into business with the aid of Mr. James Smith (also from Pennsylvania). My commercial ventures here in the Americas and overseas were extremely successful. After some few years, I found that the climate of the southern colonies was not to my liking, and so I resolved to remove myself to a more amenable northern climate. I have a particular regard for the people and lands of western Massachusetts. I liquidated my business holdings, purchased a new stock of goods and equipment and so, I am here.”

“I understand, sir. What is it that you seek from the council?”

“Your Honor, I seek the council’s approval for the purchase of certain lots and acreage both within and without the town. My purpose in doing so is the establishment of commercial enterprises such as a coalyard, a lumber yard, a grist mill, a powder mill, a machine shop, an iron foundry and an arms manufactory. These businesses will require much effort to set them up, so I will hire any who are willing from among the town’s population and pay them good wages. Afterwards, I will need good workers and these will be likewise hired and paid accordingly. I have substantial financial resources available to me, so I will be able to pay fair prices for the land I need.”

Mayor Noble thinks for a few moments, then confers with the other members of the town council. Heads are nodded all around, then His Honor replies “Mr. Garrity, your offer is fair to behold. The town council has authorized me to accept it, and it is certain to be well-received of the townspeople. You see, times are rather hard because business has declined of late owing to the unstable political situation between the colonies and England.”

Garrity replies “I know full-well whereof you speak, Your Honor. When my ship put into port in the town of Hartford, I received late intelligence of the massacre perpetrated upon certain residents of Boston by British troops on the evening of May 5th. Unless I am very much mistaken, I judge it to be highly-likely that the several colonies will come into conflict with England before many more years pass. Should such unfortunate circumstances come about, know that my entire business enterprise will be tasked with the solemn duty of contributing to the safety of Massachusetts. What say you all, Your Honor and honorable members of the town Council?”

Obadiah Noble and the other members of the council rise to their feet as one man and speak with one voice ‘Aye!!”


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:33 pm 
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Part the Second.....

Setting up shop
Date: June 20th, 1770
Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
Time: 12:00 Noon

In the aftermath of Mike Garrity’s arrival in Westfield and upon receiving approval from Mayor Noble and the Town Council, Garrity dispatched teams of his men for the purpose of locating and surveying suitable plots of land for the establishment of his businesses. After two weeks of work, it was decided that the machine shop and iron foundry will be located on the north bank of the Little River (in approximately the same location as the firm of Crane & Company would be in Mr. Smith’s original history). For the sake of efficiency, the sawmill will be co-located on the south bank of Little River (directly across from the machine shop). This particular location was chosen because it is ideal for the construction of a dam; the bedrock over which this section of Little River runs is granite.

One of Garrity’s most pressing needs is for timber for his building projects. Therefore, the sawmill has been given conditional priority over everything else. The saws and other necessary machinery are moved to the site where they will be stored under temporary canopies made with wooden frames and roofed over with canvas. Production of sawed boards and timber begins almost immediately, but the rate of production will be low until the machines can be set up. Doing so will require a dam for the provision of water power; with this in mind, hired crews of quarrymen are dispatched to East Mountain and Provin Mountain to the east of Westfield in order to begin digging out the quantities of stone required.

The next major part of Garrity’s building plans is the construction of a powder mill. Due to the danger posed by the mill’s production of black powder and other explosives, it was decided to site the enterprise on a section of the Westfield River 1.5 miles away from Westfield proper. In the history-that-was, this place was known as Powdermill Brook. As with the sawmill and the machine shop, the powder mill will also require a dam to be built. Lastly, the grist mill and the buildings for the arms manufactory will be on the north bank of the Westfield River; the arms manufactory will be located upstream from the grist mill, and both will be powered by water from the same dam.

Once the sites for all the businesses have been plotted and laid out, Mike Garrity and eight of his people remain behind to guard the camp and supervise the hired work crews. The others return with the wagons to the Port of Hartford to begin shipping the artillery and the rest of the equipment & supplies. Aside from the artillery, artillery ammunition, miscellaneous tools, the one hundred tons of refined sulfur and the reserve supply of gunpowder, there are bags of various kinds of seeds for the planting of crops and the expedition’s personal arms cache. The weaponry consists of forty Sharps Model 1863 percussion carbines, twenty Sharps Model 1863 Infantry rifles and 60 pairs of Remington Model 1858 .44-caliber percussion revolvers (with tools and three extra cylinders each). As it will take some time for the powder works to be up and running, the carbines and rifles were provided with supplies of nitrated paper cartridges for each weapon. Both the rifle and the carbine are .54-caliber, and their cartridges are loaded with 435-grain ‘ring tail’ bullets. The rifle cartridges have 80 grains of powder and the carbine cartridges have 60 grains.

The expedition’s ‘secret’ weapons are a pair of reproduction Model 1875 Hotchkiss 1.65” mountain guns. Each of these guns is provided with a total of 40 cases of ammunition (30 common shell and 10 case shot). The cartridge cases are all of drawn brass (making them reloadable), while the guns themselves are of the type that use friction primers for ignition. Each cartridge uses a propelling charge of 6 ounces of black powder; the bursting charge for the common shell is four ounces of Octol (instead of black powder), while the case shot projectiles are loaded with thirty hardened lead balls each weighing just over one ounce. For the sake of operational security, this part of the shipment is being kept under wraps.

While the wagons are on the way back from Hartford, Mike Garrity is taking care to meet and greet the notable citizens of Westfield. In order to make the best impression with them, he’s dressed in a well-tailored coat in reddish-brown wool with a fold-down collar of grayish-green and long, fold-back cuffs on the sleeves. Garrity’s vest matches the color of the coat’s collar, and his long-sleeved shirt has ruffles at the wrists. The outfit concludes with tan knee-breeches, knee-length stockings, brown leather boots and a black tri-corn hat. The only other affectation to fashion is an engraved gold watch carried in the left lower pocket of his vest.
Among the people that Garrity meets is the Reverend Wilbird Hawkins, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. This gentleman is clad in typical, subdued church attire of the period, and has come to see for himself what works the new visitors to town have brought. Garrity nods his head respectfully and says “I give you good day, Pastor; I trust that all is well with you and yours.”

Reverend Hawkins returns the greeting and says “all is well with the congregation, my son; thank you for asking. I must confess to some little curiosity at what you and your men are doing, and so I resolved to go out among your men and see with my own eyes. In truth, I have scarce seen men that are more industrious than yours. It is as if each of them seeks to outdo his fellows and be everywhere at once.”

Garrity touches the brim of his tricorn hat in respect and says “why thank you, Pastor; that was most kind of you to say so. In going out and around the town, I have taken note of all the principal buildings and I observe that the meeting house of your congregation on the Town Green is somewhat in need of repairs. While the brick walls are most stoutly-built, the roof needs work and I see the need to replace the spire before too long.”

“You are very observant, sir; what you say is the literal truth. There is need for repairs, but the church treasury has been depleted of late.” Garrity smiles and says “Reverend, I have devoted part of my available funds to the purpose of improving public works here in Westfield. With this in mind, I will donate the sum of five hundred guineas in gold and one thousand milled dollars in Spanish silver. I say, let the work be done in grand style so that it will last for the foreseeable future.”

Garrity’s charitable gesture is so sudden and unexpected that it takes Reverend Hawkins quite by surprise. When he recovers his composure, he says “Bless you, Mr. Garrity. Your generosity is a shining example of all that is good and noble in the hearts of man.”

“Thank you, sir. You can come by the camp later this afternoon and pick up the funds there; two of my men will assist you in the carrying thereof. In the meantime, will you please escort me to the town’s Burying Ground? There is a particular grave that I wish to pay my respects to.”

“Of course, sir. Which grave do you want to visit?”

“That of Abigail Sacket Noble, who died at the age of 19 years on July 3rd 1683, just four days after giving birth to her first child.”

“Very good, Mr. Garrity; please follow me.”

While Garrity is out visiting, his men back at camp on the south bank of the Westfield River are rearranging the layout in anticipation of the equipment and materials coming in from Hartford. The headquarters wall tent (which measures 12’ long x 10’ wide x 7’4” high) has been moved upslope from the river, and is now on a gentle rise overlooking the rest of the field. Immediately outside the tent, there is a dining fly (12’ wide x 15’ long) underneath which unit meetings take place. The tents occupied by Garrity’s men are in two neat rows leading away from the headquarters; they are of the ‘A-Frame’ design used during the Civil War, each measuring 9’ long x 8’ wide x 7’ high. Each of the A-frames is occupied by two men, and is spaced six feet away from the next one in line. The ground on which the tents have been set up has been trenched so that rainwater will drain away and not pool up where it isn’t wanted. Lastly, the camp’s firewood supply has been stacked up in two neat piles of ten cords each, one on either side of the headquarters tent.

When the wagons return from Hartford, the main task after the equipment and supplies have been stored away will be the construction of a water filter using sand, charcoal and limestone gravel. The filter will be large enough to provide the camp with fresh, clean water for drinking, cooking and cleaning; while having enough excess capacity to allow the camp to grow and provide water for the nearby residents of the town. Though no excavation has taken place as yet, the design of the water filtration system has already been plotted and staked out.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:31 pm 
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Period detail, period detail, period detail...

So far, it's a 'labour of love', with not a false step I can see. Isn't my preferred period, but rings true...

Having similar issues with my Late Roman / Byzantine-tech 'Solutrea' (WIP) where technical stuff ~2003 must be hidden from folk terrified of change...

Turns out they've cause to fear progress-- Old, old cause...

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:28 pm 
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Nik_SpeakerToCats wrote:
Period detail, period detail, period detail...

So far, it's a 'labour of love', with not a false step I can see. Isn't my preferred period, but rings true...

Having similar issues with my Late Roman / Byzantine-tech 'Solutrea' (WIP) where technical stuff ~2003 must be hidden from folk terrified of change...

Turns out they've cause to fear progress-- Old, old cause...


Hi, Nik:

Welcome and thanks for being the first one to comment on the TL. I created this as a spinoff of my 'Crime Time' TL over on the Alternate History Board shortly before they gave me a ticket to Coventry........ :evil:

The purpose of this TL is two-fold; the first one is to provide my protagonist Mr. Smith another alternate timeline that he can loot. The second purpose is to provide Mr. Smith and his people a safehold to which they can retreat to in case matters in 'Crime Time' go pear-shaped

The special affinity that my alternate self has ITTL is based on how I feel about Westfield. My paternal grandparents moved there from NYC in 1950 and my father and his siblings grew up there. For all of the holidays between 1964 and the spring of 1984, we'd go visit my grandmother for Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful place to spend the holidays and, to this day, I miss those times desperately.

Fowler's Tavern is a real building; it is located on the corner of Main Street and Exchange Street just 75 yards from my grandmother's old house on Noble Street. It was built in 1755, and was where General John Burgoyne was temporarily held prisoner after he was captured by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

The empty field next to the Westfield River where the expedition's camp is set up really exists; it is a farmer's filed and is still empty today.

The Old Burying Ground I mentioned is now called the Mechanic Street Cemetery; Abigail Sacket Noble's grave is the oldest known interment therein. She was the wife of John Noble and died just four days after the birth of her first child. John Noble was the son of Thomas Noble (who founded the town of Westfield in 1669).

Westfield River and Little River are exactly as I described them.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:12 pm 
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I like the tip of the hat to the late Joanne Faulkner.


Otherwise, a bit early for me to comment, as this era is not exactly my specialty.

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A Missouri man had once written the Confederate[s] that all they had to do to get rid of the St. Louis Unionists was to destroy the breweries and seize all the beer: 'By this, the Dutch will all die in a week and the Yankees will then run from this state.'


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:18 pm 
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Jotun wrote:
I like the tip of the hat to the late Joanne Faulkner.
Otherwise, a bit early for me to comment, as this era is not exactly my specialty.


If you are able to access the Alternate History Board, 'Crime Time' is posted there up to the most recent update.

I had been working on Crime Time for two years before I got my ticket to Coventry.......


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:53 pm 
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AH.Com can be a very, very strange place. I've glumly posted chapter after chapter of really good stuff, got scant response, whilst drivel drew umpteen fawning comments. And then there's ASB country...

Thankfully, my interests, musings and/or scribblings on the forums never prompted a flame-war. Same cannot be said for Phys.Org news / comments where my 'ignore' list has reached epic proportions...

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:59 pm 
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Part the third:


Up and running
Date: September 18th, 1770
Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
Time: 10:00 AM

Today marks a very important day in the development of Mike Garrity’s industrial enterprises, as the last stones in the three dams were set into place. To mark the occasion, Mike stages a grand celebration for his staff and the people of the town; the food and drink being paid for out of his own pocket. Behind the dams, the reservoirs are already beginning to fill and they will shortly be at a level where they can be used to power the machinery for Garrity’s various industrial operations.
The dams were conservatively designed and built, with an arched shape to better resist the pressure of water from the reservoirs and also to guard against the possibility of flooding. Mike Garrity knows that Westfield is located on an alluvial floodplain, that it is has been subject to several floods in the past and there will be other floods in the future. Each dam is built with a core of basalt faced with granite; the blocks of the core and facing were quarried and cut so that they have tongues and grooves on the edges (so that they could fit together like the pieces of a great puzzle). When they were set into place, they were further secured by the use of mortar.

Garrity’s sawmill was the first building to be completed after he and his staff arrived in Westfield. The lumber in the building’s walls and framework was all hand-cut; the work took the better part of a month to complete. When the building was finished, the parts for the sawmill’s machinery were moved inside and put together in anticipation of waterpower being available to speed up production. It will take some three days for the reservoir behind the dam to fill up to the point where it can be used to power the sawmill’s machinery. When the water starts flowing, half of the sawmill’s capacity will be used to make lumber to build proper houses for Garrity and his men. The remainder will be divided among the other projects (with priority going to the grist mill), plus making lumber for sale to the people of Westfield.

In the meantime, the operations of Garrity’s camp continue on as they always have. The water filtration system was completed two months previously, and each tent was relocated to a raised platform built of packed earth and faced with stones from the Westfield River. To store the expedition’s own arms cache, an armory was constructed on the highest point of the field away from the Westfield River; this location is just north of the post road. The armory building has a long, rectangular floor plan, with two floors and a basement. The walls of the building proper are of stone, while the foundation is of brick. For the time being, the expedition’s reserve supply of gunpowder will be stored in the basement, along with the ammunition for small arms and artillery. The first floor is where the stockpiles of rifle muskets, cavalry carbines, artillery rifles and cavalry pistols; the second floor is where spare parts and tools for the expedition’s personal weapons are kept, along with special items such as six flintlock volley guns (based on the Nock pattern), four flintlock grenade guns and four wall guns with rifled barrels. Cases of hand grenades are also kept here.

The grist mill will be an important part of Garrity’s development plans for the area, as it will provide a revenue stream for the expedition. The fees that will be charged for grinding grain into flour will be one part in twelve by weight, meaning that, if a farmer brings 600 lbs of grain to be ground, 50 lbs will be given to the mill as payment for services rendered. After the grist mill, the next buildings to go up will be the iron works, the machine shop and the arms manufactory on the banks of the Westfield River.

Mike Garrity will want his arms manufactory running as soon as possible after it is finished. This will require raw materials, so he sends three of his men to contract with the owners of the Northampton lead mines for as much lead as they can supply. Making black powder needs charcoal, and it is known from the historical record that charcoal made from willow wood provides for better powder. With this in mind, Garrity recruits teams of local people to go out and fell some of the willow trees that are common in the area. The trees will be split into pieces of the proper size and burned into charcoal. The charcoal will be ground into powder and stored to be later made into gunpowder. The primary ingredient of black powder is potassium nitrate, or saltpeter. To supply it, Garrity has his men set up several niter beds near the location of his powder mill west of town. These beds will produce potassium nitrate by the action of natural decay on animal manure and other organic wastes; supplying this material will not be a problem, as Westfield is an agricultural town and manure is available in large quantities.

The most important raw material for the machine shop, iron works and arms manufactory is iron itself. Garrity consults his geological database and identifies several deposits of bog iron and iron ore in Massachusetts that are, as yet, unknown to the people of 1770. Teams of three men each are dispatched to these locations in order to acquire the land and set up iron mines. Prominent among these are the deposits in Davis, West Springfield, West Stockbridge and Lenox. Further industrial development will require a plentiful supply of coal. Another examination of the geological database shows that there is very large deposit of anthracite in the vicinity of Mansfield, Massachusetts that isn’t due to be discovered for another fifty years; this land is also marked for acquisition.

Aside from his industrial projects, perhaps the most important matter on Mike Garrity’s mind is flood control. Not only is Westfield built on an alluvial floodplain, it is at the confluence of the Westfield River and Little River. The town’s proximity to the Berskshire Hills just to the west means that rainfall is concentrated in this area and easily winds its way down through the Westfield River’s watershed. With this in mind, Garrity seeks out Mayor Noble and arranges a meeting with him and the town council. As before, the council meets in front of Fowler’s Tavern.

Mike Garrity begins by saying “a fair good day to Your Honor and gentlemen of the Town Council.” Mayor Noble returns Garrity’s greetings and replies “what brings you before us today, sir?”

“Mr. Mayor and men of the council, I come before you today to discuss the protection of Westfield from the possibility of flooding. It is known to me that this area is subject to floods; the writings of the illustrious Thomas Noble himself describe a great flood which took place in the year 1679. I have considerable time and money invested in Westfield, and I would likewise not see the town’s residents, their homes, farms and businesses put to hazard.”

Mayor Noble replies “what is it that you propose, Mr. Garrity?”

“Mr. Mayor, it is my idea that Westfield should take a lesson from the industrious people of the Netherlands and protect the town by constructing a dike on the south bank of the Westfield River. This dike would run from below Powdermill Brook to the confluence with Little River, and be of such a size as to shield the town from future floods. I have a good deal of skill at engineering and architecture, and I will design it. Not only this, I will pay the full cost of construction out of my own pocket. All that the town of Westfield needs come up with is the materials.”

The generosity of Garrity’s offer catches Mayor Noble and the town council quite by surprise, as they didn’t think that he would contribute more than one-fourth of the cost; one-third at most. The Mayor confers at length with the other members of the town council, then says “Mr. Garrity, once again, your generosity is quite unexpected. Such an undertaking would be mighty indeed; it is of such moment that we must needs put it to a vote before a meeting of the entire town. I trust that you understand this necessity?”

Mike Garrity nods his understanding and says “Your Honor, I never expected anything else. Please send word to my camp of when the meeting will take place, as I would like to be in attendance.”

“Of course, sir.”

Satisfied with the reception of Mayor Noble and the town council to his proposal, Mike returns to his camp and confers with his senior staff. The plan for the dike is outlined, then he says “gentlemen, the Boston Massacre has already taken place, just as it did in our original history. The fuse for the Revolutionary War will be lit by the Boston Tea Party, which is due to take place on December 16th, 1773. After that, the Revolutionary War is a certainty. Unless something drastic takes place, the actions in Lexington and Concord will still take place, just as they did originally.”

The first of Garrity’s men to speak is Bob Richardson, who says “what do you want us to do about it, Mike? There are only 60 of us, and our technological superiority can only go so far.” Garrity replies “Bob, my plan is to provide logistical support for the Continental Army in the form of powder, improved weapons, rations and medical supplies. This way, the Continentals won’t have their morale kicked in the head at places like Valley Forge. Think of it this way; our support won’t be the sole crutch that George Washington relies on. Instead, it will make victory that much easier to achieve.” Allan Trent speaks next and says “Mike, do you intend to do anything about Benedict Arnold and that slimy bastard Banastre Tarleton?

“Allan, I am of the opinion that Benedict Arnold was a victim of circumstance. Had he not turned against the patriot cause in our original history, Arnold would have been recognized as one of the Revolution’s greatest heroes. Instead, he turned traitor and we all know how that worked out. What I propose to do is to use my influence at the appropriate time to see that Arnold receives the recognition and promotions that his record deserves. This way, he’ll stay loyal.”

Trent considers Mike’s proposal for a moment or two, then says “Alright, it’s your play. As a matter of fact, I agree with you. How about Tarleton, what are you going to do about him?”

“Bloody Ban got his nickname during the Revolutionary War because the troops under his command were notoriously cruel toward Continental soldiers who tried to surrender. I intend to prevent this by killing Tarleton as soon as he step so much as one foot into the Colonies; specifically by using my Whitworth Rifle to put a bullet into his head from a thousand yards away.”

Allan nods, then asks “how about all of that fancy hardware we’ve got in storage at the armory? I’m pretty sure that we didn’t bring all of that stuff along for looks.” Garrity replies “you are correct, Mr, Trent. When 1774 rolls around, I will apply to the Massachusetts colonial legislature (known presently as the Great & General Court) for permission to raise a battalion of infantry, two batteries of artillery and a troop of cavalry. These troops will be armed and equipped from the materiel we brought along, and I will train them. As far as the rest of us are concerned, we’ll be a sort of ‘flying company’; mounted on the best and fastest horses, we’ll use our Sharps carbines & rifles, the Remington revolvers and the two Hotchkiss guns to strike first, fastest and hardest. Then, we’ll withdraw before the British have any idea what happened.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:43 pm 
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Would this dike happen to have a 'firing step' against future need ??

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:29 am 
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Nik_SpeakerToCats wrote:
Would this dike happen to have a 'firing step' against future need ??


But of course....... :!:


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Getting Ready
Date: October 15th, 1772
Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
Time: 1:00 PM

In the two years since Mike Garrity and his crew set up shop in Westfield, Massachusetts, the scope of his industrial operations has greatly expanded. Not only are the sawmill, grist mill, powder mill, ironworks, chemical works, machine shop and arms manufactory up and running at full capacity, Garrity also set up a leatherworks (for the manufacture of boots, shoes and military accoutrements) and a cloth mill (patterned after Slater Mill, which was originally set up in Pawtucket, RI in 1793). Among Garrity’s most-profitable enterprises are the iron works and the cloth mill. These two businesses have critical advantages over their competitors, as the iron works has several nail-making machines; the cloth mill not only produces cloth by the use of water-powered machinery, it also manufactures and sells basic patterns of finished clothing (the production of these items is facilitated because of the several foot-powered sewing machines (copies of the Singer Model 1917) which were brought along on the expedition.

At the powder mill, production centers on black powder for small arms and artillery. Small quantities of TNT (for filling artillery shells) and nitroglycerine (for the manufacture of dynamite) are also being manufactured. At Garrity’s mill, black powder is made by first wet-mixing the ingredients and grinding them together under pressure from wheels made of tone or bronze. This ‘Mill Cake’ is damp when made, then is it placed is molds where is it placed into boxes that each measure two feet square. Water-powered screw presses squeeze the mill cake until it is just 50% of its former volume. This forces out the water, and the resulting product is called ‘Press Cake’. At this stage in the process, press cake is as hard as slate.

The slabs of press cake are broken to pieces and the pieces are forced through sieves to produce powder grains of standard sizes (Fg for large-bore rifles & shotguns, FFg for muskets, FFFg for small-bore rifles and pistols and FFFFg for priming flintlocks). Coarse powder (designated as ‘C’ for use in field artillery & small mortars) has grains that measure 5/8” in diameter. Hexagonal powder (designated as ‘C-2’ for use in heavy artillery) is produced by squeezing the mill cake into six-sided grains that measure 1.5” across. These grains are distinguished by a small central channel running down the middle.

At the arms manufactory, flintlock rifles, pistols and shotguns are produced for sale on the civilian market. Flintlock rifle-muskets are being made and stockpiled for later issue to the Massachusetts Colonial Militia. Instead of casting round balls by hand, balls for civilian weapons are produced are produced in a shot tower. Here, molten lead is poured through a copper plate with holes of varying sizes. The partially-cooled lead balls free fall inside the tower and land in large basis filled with cold water. The balls are gathered, then sorted according to size. Any ball which is out of round is re-melted. Balls which are intended for use in rifles are then sewed into greased cloth patches.

For the elongated balls fired by rifle-muskets, the bullets are produced by forming lead into wire with a diameter of ½”.This wire is fed into copies of the J.D Custer bullet press and cut to length. These short pieces of lead wire are pressed into shape, with pointed noses, hollow bases and three grooves for the holding of lubricating material (60% beeswax and 40% beef tallow). Finished bullets are fed into the hoppers of cartridge-making machines; these machines cut sheets of cartridge paper to size, roll them into tubes, tie one end of the tubes closed with waxed linen thread, load the tubes with a bullet and a charge of powder, then fold the finished cartridges closed. A second machine folds the cartridges into paper-wrapped packs with ten rounds in each; these packs have printed labels describing the caliber, bullet weight and powder charge of the cartridges inside. For reasons of operational security, these conical bullets will not be released until after the Revolutionary War breaks out.

At the iron works, the most profitable products are nails and copies of the Rittenhouse stove (an improved version of Benjamin Franklin’s design from the 1750’s), the ‘Rocket’ stove and ‘Chappee’-style stoves for the burning of both coal and wood. Garrity’s nails are very much in demand, because they are machine-made and therefore are very inexpensive when compared to hand-forged nails made by a blacksmith. Compared to a blacksmith, each of Garrity’s nail-making machines can produce nails of any desired size at the rate of 3,600 per hour; a skilled blacksmith can make only 80 mails per hour.

Three of Garrity’s highest-priority projects at present are the design and construction of a wire-drawing machine, the production of rubber and the re-invention of the process of Pasteurization. In regards to rubber, his chemical base won’t be up to the production of synthetic rubber for many years; therefore, Garrity’s researchers are resorting to the expedient of using the milk from dandelion flowers. Dandelions are known as a source of natural latex and, unlike rubber trees (such as Rubber Fig, Guayle, among others), will grow well in northern climates. Part of the rubber project involves the creation of the process known as ‘Vulcanization’ (originally patented by Charles Goodyear in 1839).

The prosperity of Westfield has spread throughout the rest of Hampden County, due in large part to the incredible productivity of the various types of seeds provided by Mike Garrity to local farmers. For example, his seeds yield up to three times as much as those planted in the colonial period; 50 bushels/acre (compared to 17 bushels/acre for corn, wheat & rye), 60 bushels/acre for barley & oats (compared to 20 bushels/acre) and 45 bushels/acre for peas & beans (compared to 15 bushels/acre). Other seeds that he offers are those for carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet onions, peanuts, various species of potatoes and sweet potatoes; these also have much-increased yields.

A meeting with the Governor
Date: October 19th, 1772
Location: Massachusetts Town House, State Street, Boston, Massachusetts
Time: 2:00 PM

Mike Garrity’s operations in Hampden County have made him well-known and extremely popular in the western half of the colony. With this in mind, he and three of his men ride on horseback to Boston in order to meet with Governor Thomas Hutchinson and petition the Great & General Court of Massachusetts Bay for permission to raise a regiment of foot, a troop of cavalry and a battery of artillery. The ride on horseback to Boston takes the better part of four days; Garrity & his men arrive in Boston on October 18th. After securing lodgings in downtown Boston, preparations are made to meet with Governor Hutchinson the next day.

At 2:00 PM on October 19th, Mike Garrity rides to the Masschusetts Town House. An enquiry of the locals reveals that the governor’s council chamber is in the west side of the building on the second floor. He enters the building and makes his way up to the second floor, where he seeks out the governor’s secretary and says “pray tell good sir, is Governor Hutchinson present? I have matters of pressing importance to his excellency.” The secretary responds (more than a little overawed by Garrity’s enormous stature) by saying “May I have your name, sir?”

“My name is Mr. Michael Garrity and I have just come from the town of Westfield in Hampden County for the purpose of asking His Excellency’s permission to go before the Great & General Court and petition for the authorization to raise, equip and train a body of troops for the defense of Westfield.”

“You are in luck, sir. His Excellency has a policy of setting aside two or three days a month for the purpose of meeting and greeting the citizens of the colony; it so happens that today is one of those days. If you will please wait here for the moment, I will go and see if His Excellency will receive you.” Garrity nods, and settles down on an ornate wooden bench to await his audience with the Governor. The wait isn’t long, as the secretary exits the governor’s office a few minutes later and says “His Excellency will see you now.”

Mike enters Governor Hutchinson’s office and presents himself before his excellency’s desk. Governor Hutchinson greets him expansively and says “well Mr. Garrity, your reputation precedes you. How can I be of assistance to you today?”

“Good afternoon, your excellency. I come before you today to seek your permission to approach the Great & General Court for authorization to raise, equip and train a body of troops for the defense of Hampden County. I am a man of considerable means, so all of the expenses involved in this enterprise would be borne out of my own pocket.” Governor Hutchinson replies “your zeal is quite understandable, sir. What size unit do you have in mind?“

“A regiment of foot, a troop of cavalry and a battery of artillery, sir. These men would be trained to work together, in a sort of ‘combined arms’ approach; each body working to support the other.” Governor Hutchinson considers what Garrity said for a moment, then replies “a novel approach. I see no drawbacks to your proposal, therefore I am pleased to give you my authorization.”

“Thank you, your excellency. I am somewhat unschooled in the ways of politics, so I would like to know how one goes about approaching the Great & General Court with my proposal.”

“It would be but a small matter, Mr. Garrity. As it so happens, the Court is sitting in session this very afternoon. They are meeting in the council hall on the first floor of this building, and all that is needed is to accompany my secretary thereto. He will announce you, then the matter will be in the Court’s hands. My words carry much weight with them, so I do but expect that legislative approval for your idea will be only a formality.”

“Thank you, your excellency. I would like to show my appreciation for your support by inviting your excellency to guest with me at my home in Westfield. While you are there, I can show you around my business enterprises.” Governor Hutchinson nods his head and says “I will be very pleased to accept your kind offer, sir; subject to the duties of my office of course.”

“Of course, sir.”

The governor calls for his secretary to escort Mr. Garrity downstairs to the Great & General Court’s council hall. In short order, the governor’s secretary meets with Thomas Cushing, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Garrity outlines his proposal to Speaker Cushing, who agrees to put it on the afternoon agenda.

Mike Garrity waits in the chamber’s visitors gallery and observes the House’s deliberations. While he waits, he remembers visiting this very same building in 1994 (years before he was recruited by Mr. Smith); the differences in the building and its surroundings are striking, to say the least. While he is lost in thought, another gentleman sits down beside him. This man is none other than Paul Revere, who also has business before the House. Suddenly, Garrity notices who has joined him. He says “ahh, Mr. Revere, forgive me for not recognizing you at first.”

“That’s quite alright, sir. You must be the estimable Mr. Garrity, of who I have heard much these past twelve months and more. Might I enquire as to why you are here?”

“Of course, sir. I have come to seek the permission of the Great & General Court to raise a body of troops for the defense of Hampden County.”

Paul Revere replies “a noble idea, sir. Perhaps you would do me the honor of dining with me tonight at my house over on Clark’s Square.” Before Mike Garrity has a chance to do more than nod his acceptance, Speaker Hutchinson’s voice calls out loudly “will Mr. Garrity please come before this honorable house?”

Garrity slowly and deliberately walks up to the podium and begins to address the House of Representatives. His proposal takes only ten minutes to make; the next half hour or so is occupied by answering questions from the members of the House. After this, he resumes his seat in the gallery while a vote is taken. From among the fifty or so Representatives, the vote is very lopsided in Garrity’s favor; 45 yea, 3 nay and 2 abstentions.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:19 pm 
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First Steps
Date: October 24th, 1772
Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
Time: 2:00 PM

Immediately after Mike Garrity and his three companions returned to Westfield, he set about recruiting men to join the militia unit he is setting up. His first step was to arrange for the printing of recruiting broadsides; Mayor Noble and the town council were notified of the Governor’s permission for Garrity’s activities. The first broadside was placed on the wall of Fowler’s Tavern on Post Road, then others were nailed to trees on the Town Green and still more on several public buildings throughout Westfield. Riders were also dispatched to other towns in Hampden County (such as Springfield, Holyoke, Brimfield and Chester) in order to post broadsides therein.

The terms of enlistment in Garrity’s regiment, the Black Horse Cavalry and his battery of artillery are that recruits will receive two months of training. Rates of pay during training (or on active service) are one shilling per day (with a bonus of 50% to those in the cavalry troop and artillery battery), paid monthly in the form of Spanish silver dollars and copper pence. Arms, accoutrements, uniforms and rations are issued free-of-charge, except that recruits must maintain their equipment & uniforms or be fined.

After basic training is completed, Garrity’s regiment will be mustered one a month for a period of three days so they can practice their fieldcraft, marksmanship and tactics. Aside from this, there will be two weeks of training each year, held in the fall after the harvest. The monthly muster drills (not considered to be active service) are paid at the slightly lower rate of ten pence & two half-pennies per day. Garrity’s rates of pay are half-again better than any other militia unit in the colonies (or even the British Army). Not surprisingly, he gets more recruits than he needs over the next two weeks. To make sure only the best recruits are signed to the muster rolls, Garrity requires that anyone who enlists has to be able to read and write. An exception is granted for freed slaves, free blacks and Indians who are illiterate; these are taught their letters by fellow recruits who are given the privilege of seniority over those who they teach (plus a pay bonus). He also devises a series of examinations to test the marksmanship and horsemanship of potential recruits. For the artillery, possible recruits are tested for their mechanical & mathematical aptitude. In both cases, only those men with the highest scores are accepted.

Date: November 7th, 1772
Location: Camp Bartlett, Hampden Plains, north of Westfield

While the recruiting drive was going on, Mike Garrity’s men set up a training camp on the plains north of town. This installation is called Camp Bartlett (so named after the original founded in 1917 to train National Guardsmen for service in the First World War). The recruits begin to arrive on the morning of November 7th, they are given a medical examination and issued their clothing, accoutrements & equipment. In contrast to the brightly-colored uniforms of the British Army and colonial militia regiments, the clothing issued by Garrity’s quartermaster are dyed to aid in the concealment of his troops; the regimental coat is dyed dark green (after the fashion of the coat worn by Berdan's Sharpshooters in the Civil War), while the trousers are dyed a woody shade of brown. Items of clothing and equipage are as follows:

4 sets uniforms
2 pairs insulated leather boots
1 pair rubber overshoes
8 pairs wool socks
2 sets woolen longjohns
1 set eating utensils (tin plate, 24-oz copper cup, knife, fork, spoon)
1 tarred leather haversack
1 rubberized canvas backpack
1 2-quart tin drum canteen with convex sides, gray jean-wool cover & leather carrying strap
2 green wool blankets, 72” long x 60” wide
1 vulcanized rubber ground cloth, 72” long x 48” wide
1 rubberized canvas poncho, 72” long x 48” wide
1 double-layered linen sleeping mat (to be stuffed with leaves or straw)
1 50-round cartridge box w/ leather shoulder strap
Leather waist belt w/ bayonet & scabbard
folding shovel
pickaxe
hammer-backed hatchet
camp knife

In camp, the recruits are issued folding canvas cots with wooden frames and sleep under copies of the GP medium tent (at the rate of one squad per tent). When on campaign, the troops will sleep under 4-man tents made of waterproofed canvas (identical to the Civil War ‘A’-tent, but measuring 9’ L x 8’ W x 7’H).
Late in the afternoon, Mike Garrity arrives at Camp Bartlett to inspect the progress made thus far. The men are summoned to the camp’s parade ground via drum roll, and are called to attention under the watchful eyes of their drill instructors. He climbs on a small wooden platform at the edge of the parade ground and says “good afternoon, gentlemen. I am Colonel Michael Garrity, your commanding officer; I am pleased to see you all here today. Pursuant to authorization granted to me by His Excellency Governor Thomas Hutchinson, you are all hereby accepted into service. Your training begins tomorrow morning with the issue of your weapons, and it will take the next two months. During this time, you will regard all orders from your drill instructors as coming directly from me. Apply yourselves earnestly to the tasks at hand and all will be well; recruits who distinguish themselves will be personally recognized by me. That is all.”

Garrity’s executive officer takes over and shouts “COMPANY OFFICERS, TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR MEN. YOU RECRUITS WILL REPORT TO YOUR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS BY LETTER OF YOUR COMPANY IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER, THESE LETTERS ARE FOUND IN THE TOP LEFT-HAND CORNER OF YOUR MUSTER SHEET.”*

In a calculated and deliberate strike against the practice of slavery and racism, Garrity opened the recruiting rolls of the regiment to all free-born men of color and Native Americans. Additionally, slaves were given the opportunity to enlist. Those that did were immediately freed from their master or mistress; their former owners receiving compensation equal to the former slave’s market value.**

To further ensure the loyalty of Garrity’s men and shore up their enthusiasm, he issued a public order that all recruits are to be paid the same wages. Additionally, all men are to receive a recruitment bonus equal to two weeks’ regular wages. When the order was read in camp, a spontaneous shout broke out “THREE CHEERS FOR COLONEL GARRITY; HIP-HIP HUZZAH, HIP-HIP HUZZAH, HIP-HIP HUZZAH!!!”

Mike Garrity leaves Camp Bartlett and returns to the privacy of his own home. When he is alone, he activates his personal communicator and says “Smith-Actual, Garrity here. I have a status report and a supply request.” Mr. Smith responds “Garrity, Smith-Actual; proceed with your report.”

“Be advised that Operation: Holdfast is proceeding according to schedule. Industrial infrastructure is in place and producing to specifications. Request the transfer of additional supplies of gold guineas, Spanish dollars and lesser-denominated copper coins to be made as soon as possible. When the Revolutionary War breaks out, I have a plan to back the issue of Continental paper money with hard specie. Therefore, I request that you also transfer the equivalent of three hundred million dollars in gold bullion.”

“Copy that. Mike. Send your merchant ship out into the Atlantic Ocean south of Long Island and the coinage will be time-jumped to the cargo holds. For the bullion, I’ll dispatch SS Glomar Explorer and SS Arcadia to your timeline where they will recover the contents of the wrecks of the Spanish Treasure Fleets of 1708, 1715 and 1733, plus the galleon Las Cinque Chagas in 1594 and the Matanzas Bay Treasure Fleet from 1628. When the contents of these ships are in hand, I will notify you immediately.”

“Received and understood. Garrity, out.”

*: adapted from the recruiting scene in the 1989 film ‘Glory’

**: adapted from the IOTL vote taken by the Rhode Island General Assembly on February 14th, 1778


Last edited by Garrity on Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:23 pm 
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Hope the new recruits don't notice too many odd things.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:14 am 
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jemhouston wrote:
Hope the new recruits don't notice too many odd things.


They won't. The really high-tech goodies (like Garrity's Sharps percussion rifles & pistols, the Remington revolvers, Whitworth sniper rifles and the Hotchkiss mountain guns) are being kept under wraps for the time being.

After 1774-5, all bets are off. Then it's 'game on'......


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Continuing Operations
Date: November 27th, 1772
Location: Camp Bartlett, Westfield, Massachusetts
Time: 10:00 AM

After being schooled in the basics of being a soldier (some of the most important points being to look after one’s fellows and equipment before looking after oneself), Garrity’s recruits are marched out to the firing range by companies in order to learn the complex choreography involved in employing their rifle muskets. First comes familiarity, where the men are taught how to dry-fire their weapons. Next, the same lessons are repeated, except that the recruits are ordered to use blank charges to demonstrate their knowledge of the procedures of loading and firing. Last comes live-firing.

The live-fire part of the drill consists of each recruit being issued 100 rounds of ammunition; 50 for practice and 50 for record fire. There is only enough space on the firing line for two companies at a time; while two are on line, the other six are waiting. The drill instructors line their men, then they order “Attention, Company. Load in nine times..LOAD!” At this preparatory command, the rifle-musket is brought to the position of port arms and the lock is placed on half-cock with the frizzen opened; the rifle-musket is held in position with the left hand.

The second step in this process is ‘Handle Catridge’. At this, the recruit reaches behind his back to his cartridge box, withdraws one paper cartridge and holds it securely in the right hand so that the tail of the cartridge can be flipped open with the thumb. The third step is ‘Tear Cartridge’. The cartridge’s tail end is flipped open with the thump and the cartridge is brought up to the mouth when the end is torn off with the teeth.

The fourth step is ‘Prime’, which involves a small amount of powder being poured from the cartridge into the pan, the frizzen closed, the weapon held with the left hand and grounded with the trigger guard facing away from the body. The fifth step is ‘Charge Cartridge’, which involves the rest of the powder being poured down the barrel, the patched ball being squeezed out of the cartridge tube and seated in the muzzle. The sixth step is ‘Draw Rammer’, where the ramrod is pulled from underneath the barrel and grasped securely in the right hand.

The seventh step is ‘Ram Cartridge.’ Here, the recruit uses the ramrod to push the patched ball down the barrel and seat it tightly on top of the powder charge. The eighth step is ‘Return Rammer’, where the ramrod is returned to its place below the barrel. The ninth and final step is ‘Shoulder…Arms’. This is done from the position of attention, with the rifle-musket being drawn upwards by the right hand and held at the middle barrel-band with the left hand. Then, the right hand drops to grasp the weapon around the trigger guard and the left hand quickly drops to the side.

To fire the rifle-musket, the commands aren’t nearly so involved. They are 1) ‘Ready’ (musket butt brought up and shouldered), 2) ‘Aim’ (rifle-musket leveled at the target with the front & rear sights in alignment) and 3) ‘Fire’ (trigger is pulled). After firing, the recruit brings the weapon to the position of ‘Shoulder Arms’ then grounds it. If more firing is in order, the next command is ‘Reload.’ As Mike Garrity and a couple of his staff ride up to observe the firing drills, the instructors are shouting out “YOU RECRUITS WILL NOT BE DISMISSED FROM THIS DRILL UNTILL EACH OF YOU IS ABLE TO LOAD AND FIRE THREE AIMED SHOTS IN THE SPACE OF ONE MINUTE.”

Garrity and his staff dismount their horses. He walks over to confer with Harry James (the Chief Drill Instructor) and asks “how are the boys doing, Harry?”James replies “the men are shaping up very nicely, Mike. It’s amazing what good food, good clothing, regular pay and proper treatment will do for a man’s morale. Oh, don’t get me wrong; there was plenty of grumbling in the beginning. You know as well as I do that this sort of thing was to be expected.”

“Good work, Harry. I’ve got something for you that will get the men to work even harder. When they break for lunch, gather them all together and tell them that I am instituting a series of decorations and bonuses. Each recruit who completes weapons training will receive a badge from me based on their level of skill; the design of the badge will display the level of skill. For example, a marksman’s badge will consist of a Maltese cross. A sharpshooter’s badge will have the cross augmented by a small bulls-eye in the center, and the expert badge will have a wreath around the cross. Each badge will have a clasp affixed to the bottom with the words ‘Rifle-Musket’ on it. To further increase the men’s interest, the badges will be made of sterling silver; the wreath on the expert badge will be made of gold.”

“I like that idea, Mike. When the boys hear about it, they’ll be falling all over themselves to do the best that they can.” Garrity grins when he hears this and replies “I thought that might be the case. Tell the men also that the best overall shooters will be ranked by platoon, company and the regiment. The best shot in each platoon will receive a bonus of one week’s pay; the best shot in each company will receive a bonus of two week’s pay and the best short in the entire regiment will receive a bonus of three week’s pay plus a personal commendation from me.”

Mike Garrity and his staff stay on to observe the firing drills. When lunch is called, he goes among the troops and greets each man individually; such details as names, where they are from and how their families are doing are discussed. After lunch, the men are called together as Mike ordered and his announcements are read to them. Not surprisingly, Mike is acclaimed with a series of thunderous cheers.

After leaving the shooting range, Mike continues his tour of inspection throughout the camp. As he watches, the troops of the Black Horse Cavalry company and the artillery battery are continuing their efforts to master the complex disciplines involved in their specialties. For the artillery, each man was assigned to a specific role on a specific gun. For the 20-pdr rifled guns and the 12-pdr smoothbore gun-howitzers, the seven-man crews for each piece are commanded are commanded by a soldier with the rank of sergeant. He is called the ‘Chief of the Piece’ and has seven other men to assist him. Aside from the chief of the piece, there is a corporal who is in charge of the ammunition limber and a gunner who has the task of aiming the weapon and correcting its fire.

Of each piece’s seven-man crew, the duty of the #1 man was to ram the load and swab the bore after firing. The #2 man inserted the charge and the projectile into the cannon’s muzzle, while the #3 man tended the vent. The #4 man primed and fired the piece at the command of the sergeant, the #5 man carried the round to the #2 man. The #6 man was in charge of the ammunition limber and had the duty of choosing the fuze time (if shell or case shot was called for) based on a table attached to the inside of the lid. The #7 man carried the round from the limber to #5.

When the round is seated, the #3 man would piece the powder bag with a long bronze or brass pick. The #4 man would then prime and fire the gun. After firing, the #1, #2 and #2 men would roll the piece back into battery and begin the loading and firing sequence all over again. As for the pack howitzers, the crews are only six men (including the chief-of-the-piece). Mike Garrity foresaw the possibility that his artillery crews might have to defend their pieces from close assault, so each man was issued a flintlock carbine and required to go through the same kind of marksmanship training as the infantry.

Over on the cavalry grounds, the men of the Black Horse are going through their own routines. Each man selected for recruitment into this unit already knows how to ride and care for horses, so training time was much-reduced. Cavalry training began with each trooper learning how to fire his carbine and pistols; first from the dismounted position, then from the mounted & stationary position and finally from the gallop. Each trooper was issued a saber (based on the U.S Model 1860) and receives training in fighting with it against infantry and other cavalrymen, both in the stationary position and at the charge.

Satisfied with what he sees in camp, Mike Garrity mounts up and returns to Westfield proper to oversee his other business interests; of late, they have been expanded to include a bank, a tavern with an attached inn and a print shop. The bank was set up to give Garrity’s employees and the other citizens of Westfield a safe place to keep their money; the tavern was set up to cater to the needs of people travelling from Springfield and points east, while the print shop was seen as a necessary addition to Garrity’s infrastructure; in the coming conflict with Great Britain, there will be an acute need for maps, pamphlets and propaganda broadsides.

By now, Mike Garrity is the town’s largest employer. He is very popular with his employees because of the high wages and the decent treatment they receive at his hands; among the citizens at large in Westfield, he is also very popular because of his continuing efforts in supporting the town. This popularity was further reinforced when Garrity detailed the physicians attached to his staff to set up shop and see to the medical needs of the people. Part of the support program includes teaching local physicians improved medical techniques and administering a vaccination program (starting with inoculations against smallpox). Already, Garrity’s efforts are bearing fruit as new cases of smallpox and other infectious diseases are trending sharply downwards (as are cases of childbed fever and surgical infection).

In the matter of additional financial support from Mr. Smith’s uptime organization, Mike Garrity sends a message via his communicator for the crew of his merchant ship to weigh anchor, slip their moorings and sail down the Connecticut River towards the Atlantic Ocean. Three days later on November 30th, 1772, the Columbia is in position in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island. The ship’s captain has his crew set out sea anchors fore & aft to keep his ship in position and stationary, then he signals Traffic Control at the Alpha Site to begin time-jumping the cargo. Over the next two or three hours, successive loads of coins in chests materialize on the Columbia’s weather deck and are carried below to be stored in the ship’s holds.

The Columbia’s captain and crew aren’t worried about piracy, as there hasn’t been much in the way of raiding in New England waters. Even so, the ship is well-armed for her defense. The battery consists of eighteen 20-lb rifled breechloaders (patterned after the Model 1861 Ordnance Rifle and disguised as muzzleloaders) and a pair of rifled 30-pdr breechloaders (mounted as fore & aft pivot guns). The vessel has a full sailing rig, with three masts (fore, main and mizzen. For emergency use only, there is a small diesel engine concealed deep in the hold.

The Revolutionary War is expected to break out in early 1775, just as it did in the original history. When this happens, Mike Garrity intends to send a commission to Mr. Smith for a warship to be built. The vessel will be modeled after HMS Warrior, except that the hull will be fully-protected by armor. The central citadel will remain, except that its protection will be composed of a single 4.5” thickness of Krupp-style cemented steel backed with 24” of teak (arrange din two plies of 12”-square timbers. The bow and stern sections are protected with 2” of KCA backed with 12” of teak (two plies of 6”-square timbers); deck armor is 1.75” of KCA backed with 6” of teak (3 plies of 2” square timbers). The ship’s magazines and several bulkheads are also of 4.5” KCA.

For armament, this ship will have 26 6.4”/100-pdr rifled breechloaders on the gun deck (13 on each broadside). The weather deck will have 24 4.2”/30-pdr rifled breechloaders (12 on each broadside) and a pair of 8”/200-pdr rifled breechloaders as pivot guns (one each on the fore & aft decks in armored barbettes). For propulsion, the ship will have a combination of a full sailing rig and a pair of 6,000-shp steam turbines. These turbines will drive a pair of propeller shafts and be fed by four coal-fired boilers; there will be enough coal in the bunkers to steam 3,000 nautical miles at 12 knots.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:08 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:50 am 
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jemhouston wrote:
sneaky

Precisely.

Garrity's vessel will be the world's most powerful warship for at least the next 50-60 years.

The fore & aft breechloading pivot guns are based on the 8"/200-pdr Parrott rifle as shown below.
Image

The guns on the ship's broadside are based on the 6.4"/100-pdr rifle shown here.
Image

The guns on the ship's weather deck are based on the 4.2"/30-pdr Navy Parrott rifle shown here.


as an aside, the 8" 200-pdr shown in the first picture is located out in front of the Westerly, RI National Guard Armory where I drilled while attending graduate school.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 5:03 pm 
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Additional Assets
Date: December 3rd, 1772
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
Time: 1:00 PM

Mike Garrity’s merchant ship returns to its moorings on Hartford’s waterfront. Having previously been notified of the Columbia’s return via his communicator, Garrity arranges to have forty of his wagons standing by dockside to begin the offloading process. Mindful of the cargo’s value (one million guineas in gold coin plus three million Spanish silver dollars; a total weight of 90.5 tons), fifty of Garrity’s uptime operatives are on hand to provide a security escort for the shipments. The first four wagons are loaded with the gold (just under two tons per wagon), while the remaining 36 are loaded with two tons of silver coins each. Each type of coin is contained within cloth bags, each of which is marked with an inscription describing how many coins are in each bag. For the gold coins, there are 4,000 coins per bag; for the Spanish dollars, there are 1,000 per bag. The bags are secured in locked, iron-bound chests with two bags of coins in each chest. The remaining 11 tons of silver coinage will remain onboard ship until such time as additional wagons can be sent to retrieve it.

When all is in readiness, the escort commander radios Mike Garrity and says “Garrity Actual, be advised that Operation: Coin Drop is a go.” Garrity replies “received and understood; take all due security measures and proceed at your own discretion, out.”

Bob Richardson stands tall in his saddle and signals for Allan Trent to take up position with his squad at the rear of the column. Richardson has his own squad at his side and the remaining thirty men are deployed to either side of the column in groups of fifteen men each. The distance between Hartford, Connecticut and Westfield, Massachusetts is 45 miles by road. At the rate of nine miles per day, the trip si expected to take five days.

Richardson calls out loudly “HEAD’EM UP, MOVE’EM OUT!!” He chuckles softly to himself and says “I always wanted to say that…”

While the wagons are on the way to Westfield, Mike Garrity takes steps to see that the receiving vault in the basement of the armory is in readiness. Satisfied that everything is being done to his standards, Garrity seeks out Mayor Noble in order to gain permission from the town council for the last and greatest of his infrastructure projects. As it so happens, Mayor Noble is in his office just off the town green. Garrity knocks on the door and is bidden to enter by a voice from within.

“A fair good afternoon to you, Your Honor. I trust that I am not disturbing you this day.”

Mayor Noble replies “I give you good day, Mr. Garrity. To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?”

“Mr. Mayor, the Town Dike has been completed these many months now and it has proved its worth in several recent episodes of flooding. I dare say that if not for the dike’s presence, Westfield would have suffered severe damage. Even so, the post road bridge at the confluence of the Westfield River and the Little River has been repeatedly damaged by these floods. As this bridge is the only way in and out of town, there have been times when the bridge could not be used due to flood damage. I propose to alleviate this problem by building a new bridge to replace the old; this bridge would be of stone and so designed at to last a thousand years. As part of the project, I also propose the construction of a new bridge. This one would span the Westfield River below Powdermill Brook and be just as strong as the first one; these two bridges would be my gift to the town, as I intend to pay for the cost of the materials and construction entirely out of my own pocket.”

Mayor Noble’s eyes widen in surprise, stunned at the magnitude of what Garrity is proposing. When he recovers his faculties, he says “Mr. Garrity, of all that you have done for Westfield, this would be your largest project by far. I will bring this matter before the town council at the next meeting. You may rest assured that I will lend your proposal my wholehearted support. Assuming that the council gives it permission, when would you intend to begin construction?”

“Mr. Mayor, due to the current cold weather, I would not countenance beginning work anytime before the middle of April, 1773. At that time, the weather will be warm enough so that the mortar won’t freeze and crack as it dries and men can work in the river without undue risk of becoming chilled.”

“Very good, your honor. In other matters, I’d like to compliment those men of Westfield and Hampden County who have enlisted in the regiment I am forming. They are attentive students and are rapidly acquiring the skills necessary to serve on the battlefield, should such a happenstance come about. The men will finish their training before the end of January and will be ready for inspection at that time.”

Pass in Review
Date: January 15th, 1773
Location: Camp Bartlett, Massachusetts
Time: 12:00 noon

Mayor Noble and the Town Council of Westfield declare a public holiday so that as many of the citizens of Westfield can be on hand to witness the graduation ceremony for the men of Garrity’s Regiment, the Black Horse Cavalry and the Sons of Thunder artillery battery. There is much anticipation in the air, and a great deal of civic pride; this is shown by the hundreds of people who have come from other towns in Hampden County to see the festivities.

For the previous several hours, preparations have been made to accommodate the hundreds of anticipated visitors to Camp Bartlett; these include setting up pavilions and benches for the visitors to sit upon, plus the cooking of a substantial meal for the troops and visitors. Colonel Garrity and the men of the training cadre draw up the men by ranks in their separate units, there to await he order to begin the parade.

The men of the regiment are formed by companies, with their arms and accoutrements cleaned and polished. Full packs are on their backs, and they are clad in their distinctive uniforms. The regimental coats are of wool, lined with linen and are dyed in a dark shade of forest green. The trousers are dyed a shade of woody brown. Together with the dark-green tricorn hats, the uniforms were designed to aid in concealing the troops on the battlefield.

As for the arms and equipage, there is no brass or polished steel to be seen anywhere; the buttons are covered with black cloth, while the buckle on the waistbelt is covered with subdued black enamel. The barrels of the rifle-muskets and the bayonets are blued to as not to reflect light. In contrast to the brightly-colored uniforms of the day, the appearance of Garrity’s men is so distinctive that it is the subject of much discussion among the visitors to the camp.

Before the parade begins, there are a series of speeches by Colonel Garrity and the other dignitaries in attendance; these are followed by a benediction delivered by Reverend Wilbird Hawkins of the First Congregational Church. Colonel Garrity mounts the speaker’s podium once again and bellows out the command “PASS IN REVIEW”. The eight companies of the regiment pass by the reviewing stand in alphabetical order, followed by the Black Horse Cavalry astride their great black horses and then by the Sons of Thunder artillery battery.

As each company of infantry, the cavalry and the artillery battery pass the reviewing stand, the commanding officer of each unit calls out “EYES…..RIGHT!” The men of the units execute ‘Salute Arms’, while the commanding officer brings his sword to the front and sweeps it down low and to the right. The moves of each unit with all the precision of a machine, and are loudly cheered and applauded as they pass by. At the conclusion of the parade, the men are drawn up by units in front of the reviewing stand, whereupon each unit is presented with its stand colors. Lastly, Colonel Garrity publically calls out and recognizes the honor graduates and best shots in each unit. These mean are awarded their medals and bonuses, all to the applause of the assembled witnesses. Following this, the best shot in the regiment and the regimental honor graduate are called forth and decorated. Further marks of distinction are conferred by Colonel Garrity upon the best marksmen and honor graduates when they and their families are invited to dine with him and the other town dignitaries.

While the dining is going on, various members of the regiment have been detailed to escort parties of visitors around Camp Bartlett and demonstrate the training that they underwent. During the dinner, Colonel Garrity announces that two companies of infantry, one squadron of artillery and the crews for two pieces of artillery will be on duty at Camp Bartlett at all times (as a sort of ‘permanent party’). This duty will be held on a monthly/rotating basis, and the men who have it will be paid as if they are on active duty.

Arteries of Commerce
Date: April 17th, 1773
Location: Westfield, Massachusetts
Time: 10:00 AM

Now that the weather is warm enough to start construction on the two bridge projects, Mike Garrity and his senior staff undertake to survey the precise locations where the new bridges will be built. The bridge over the mouth of the Little River will be constructed in two stages; preparation will begin by constructing a temporary bridge will be constructed just upstream from the present location so that traffic and commerce on the Post Road will not be hindered, then the old bridge will be demolished and the site of the abutment on each end of the new bridge will be prepared.

The topsoil in this area is several yards in thickness, and it is Garrity’s intention that the foundations of his bridges be grounded on bedrock. Therefore, open-air caissons will be built in order to protect the foundations of the abutments while they are being worked on. The caissons will be built like the stockade of a fort, with individual timbers driven into the riverbed and lashed together to make them water-tight. Afterwards, the water will be pumped out and the actual process of construction will begin.

Little River is not very wide, so Garrity’s design calls for the bridge to have one arch that reaches from bank to bank. The abutments themselves will be built from fitted blocks of granite cemented together, as will the voussoirs of the arches themselves. The exterior sides of the bridge will be faced with brick, as will the underside of the arch. To guard against the possibility of damage from ice, floating trees and other debris, the abutments will be so shaped as to deflect the flow of the river and keep such things from building up.

The roadbed of the Little River Bridge will be four lanes wide, with pedestrian walkways on either side, The walkways will be separated from the roadbed by 4’ high brick walls topped with granite capstones; to keep pedestrians from falling into the river, each walkway will have a decorative railing made of wrought iron.
As regards the bridge to be built over the Westfield River, the distance to be spanned is much greater than over the Little River. Garrity’s design for this bridge draws inspiration from the Division Street Bridge, which was built in 1876 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in his original history. Here, the abutments will be of similar design to those on the Little River Bridge, but more massively built. The bridge will incorporate five barrel-vaulted arches with voussoirs, three of which will span the river and one on each bank next to the river. All of the bridge’s piers will be built directly on bedrock, and those two in the middle of the river’s channel will have ogive-pointed facings on the upstream and downstream edges to deflect ice and floating debris away from the piers. The piers will be built of granite blocks cemented together and measure 10’ thick. Lastly, the underside of the arches and the upstream/downstream facings of the roadbed will be faced with brick (just as on the Little River Bridge. To ensure the bridge’s long-term stability, the foundations of the two piers in the riverbed will be designed to eliminate the risk of being undermined by the scouring effect of the river’s flow.

To economize the use of manpower and materials, both bridges will be built at the same time; estimated time to completion will be 18 months.

The Gathering Storm
Date: June 15th, 1773
Location: Various
Time: Various

The construction of the Little River Bridge and the Great River Bridge is well underway. The expertise of Garrity and his men in logistics ensures that all construction materials are sourced and delivered with as little delay as possible. Elsewhere in the Colonies, the flames of discontent are beginning to rise. All that is needed is to add yet more tinder to the fire. The discontent of the Colonies began to be felt in the aftermath of the French & Indian War, which plunged the British government deeply into debt. To raise revenue and further apportion the Colonies’ share of the costs of maintaining the Empire, the Stamp Act was passed by Parliament in 1765 and followed by the Townshend Acts of 1767. The Stamp Act required that all documents printed in the colonies be done upon paper produced in England, the validity of such paper being proved by revenue stamps which certified that the tax on the paper had been paid.

The tax revenue from the Stamp Act was earmarked to pay the salaries of British soldiers and officers posted in the colonies. The colonies considered this tax to be unnecessary and burdensome, as there were no more foreign enemies on American soil and that the threat from the Indian tribes could be dealt with by colonial militia. What irked the colonial legislatures even more is that the tax had been levied without their consent and without colonial representation. Thus, the cry ‘No Taxation without Representation’ began to be heard.

The Stamp Act was repealed by the Declaratory Act of 1766; this act added more fuel to the fire by stating that Parliament had the right to legislate for the colonies in all cases whatsoever. In 1767, the Townshend Acts were passed by Parliament. These acts were passed to raise revenue in the colonies in order to pay the governors and judges so that they would remain loyal to the king. Other purposes were to punish the Colony of New York for failing to abide by the Quartering Act of 1765 and to establish the precedent that Parliament had the right to tax the colonies. These acts were vigorously resisted in the colonies, which prompted the occupation of the City of Boston by British troops in 1768. A direct result of this was the shooting of five colonists by British troops in Boston on March 5th, 1770, which action now being called the ‘Boston Massacre’.

On the evening of June 15th, Mike Garrity calls his staff together for a secret meeting and says “gentlemen, affairs in the colonies are standing on the edge of a knife. All that is going to be needed is a little push, then everything is going to collapse like a house of cards. Unless I am very much mistaken, that push will come at night on December 16th of this year in the form of an action that we all know as the Boston Tea Party. After that, events will spiral rapidly out of control and the Revolutionary War will begin. Harry, I want you to pick out three of the boys and go to Boston on the pretext of setting up a business office for me. I want the four of you to be on the scene when the tea Party breaks out, because I want first-hand information on how things actually went down.”

Mr. James nods his head and replies “Copy that, Mike.”


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:58 pm 
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If you could covertly film it, that would be better than just eyewitness accounts.

I'm surprised he's not lighting the match himself.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:13 pm 
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jemhouston wrote:
If you could covertly film it, that would be better than just eyewitness accounts

This is exactly what Mike's boys will be doing.

Quote:
I'm surprised he's not lighting the match himself.

Tempt me not, as I have given serious thought to having Mike do just that..... 8-)


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