Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 27
Conor delegated the selection of the remainder of his men to Shamus and Black Michael, he had other things to hand. He knew what could be achieved with a small unit of reliable men, He knew it would not be easy, but he would shape them into the unit that he dreamt of.
Conor, whilst undergoing training with Shamus and Black Michael, had at night gone in to his Father’s library and studied the many military journals therein. He had learnt of many things, mainly of strategy and tactics, but one thing had stuck in his brain, a small well-trained unit used wisely would always beat a run of the mill unit of whatever army.
And it was to that end that he was training his men, his intention was that they would be the elite company of the Regiment Dillon and possibly The Irish brigade. It would take a lot of sweat and probably more than a little blood, but Conor believed it was achievable and he would work to that end.
The following day, Conor had his volunteers in line with their muskets, He asked how many of them were marksmen, they looked back at him bemused. The Irish soldiery of this period had a tendency to use their muskets as clubs rather than for their proper purpose.
‘From now on,’ announced Conor, ‘You will become proficient in the use and maintenance of your weapons, you will be given two days. Any man who can not fire two rounds a minute and hit a target on both occasions, will forfeit his place in this unit’
‘I, myself will take seven of you, as will Black Michael, Shamus will take six and the remainder will go with O’Driscoll. Our enemy the English beat us only in one regard, they have the firepower, they fire volley after volley which breaks men’s spirits and causes them to falter, I want to turn their own strength against them!’
(C) Damian Grange 2019