Fort Heath's outer wall
CPR - Day One
The bugle cut through the dawn like a knife of brass. The sun was not yet even peaked above the hills, and each watch read somewhere around 6:00 AM. The bugle continued to blast, playing a crisp 'Reveille' which resonated throughout the Fort with unparalleled power. The echo rang in Church's ears as he sat by dim candlelight. His own watch read 5:58, and he'd hoped dearly for it to somehow be wrong.
He adjusted in the lopsided hand-carved wooden chair, leaning over a piece of yellowed paper lined with boxes and smudged ink that barely could pass for words. He gripped the pencil in his hand and hastily checked a few boxes before extending his legs, the poorly made chair groaning as Church rose to his feet. He folded the paper and grabbed his reading glasses from the table, ambling to the entrance to his hut. He slid his feet into a pair of perhaps too well broken in black boots. Grasping at the faded greenish blue wool and cotton frock coat, he pulled it around his figure, tucking the paper and reading glasses within, before fitting it further and buttoning it. He took a quick bite of some stale hardtack as he fitted a sheathed foot saber and loaded his Smith & Wesson Model 10, opening the almost vertical stairs and ascending the sunken step boards.
He was met with fair enough weather, at least for the Commonwealth, a slight overcast with the orange of the rising sun burning through the clouds with immense power. He glanced around, adjusting the collar of his frock coat, pulling a green forage cap from within and fitting it on his head. His eyes fixated to the lighthouse, as they always had, but he found it still in the state of rubble it had been when it had been brought down two weeks ago. Old chunks of clay and brick were contained mostly to the area immediately around the lighthouse, but it seemed that otherwise, none had bothered to pick up the rest of the debris.
He turned, ambling to the muster square in the center of all the half-buried huts, where the bugler, a young Corporal, stood, bringing his hand to a crisp salute as Colonel Church appeared. Responding with a half-hearted acknowledgement, hardly a salute, the Colonel grunted something that could've been speech, but the Corporal seemed to know exactly what it meant. The young soldier pressed the bugle to his lips, blasting 'Assembly' and returning to a rigid position of attention.
Little by little, men and women in faded uniforms of blue and green, so drab and matted they looked almost purple trickled out of their communal huts, rifles, shotguns, and even some proper automatic weapons in tow. A ragged bunch, they were, all blocked off into four groups of about thirty, with their commanders and such stood in the front of them. As the arrivals ceased, the Corporal, in his sharp voice, announced, "Regiment, to attention!"
The soldiers abided, standing rigid and shouldering their firearms, before their commanders, which stood before them, swiveled to face Colonel Church, each saluting. Church returned the salutes, before picking the paper and his glasses from his pocket. "Well, no point in getting around it. We all know what we're here for." He spoke calmly, his voice carrying as unfolded the paper, fitting on his glasses. He read off, "Today's garrison duty, Companies B and D, single platoon to each guardhouse." He continued, a bit of coughing and sniffling from the men as they waited. "Pickets have come back that the raiders have abandoned the siege. Company A will be performing scavenging duty for today. That puts Company C on R&R for today."
He paused for a long moment, speaking even quieter than before. "Dismissed." The companies fell out, attending to their duties as the Colonel waved off his staff, which crowded around him like bees to a hive. As he ambled towards the headquarters cabin, he reached in his pocket, ignoring protests of his younger adjutants as he lit a clay pipe.