| “I understand that the position of our superiors has dictated that quarter is to be shown to the foe, be they the enemy, the Marxist, the highwayman or the misguided. However wars were not won by giving quarter; thus I say again to you and the generals in Laredo that it is under the black flag of no quarter we shall ride. For it is only with the black flag that we shall find our victory and safeguard our land from the usurpers around us.”|
— Darwin Mitchell, 2270.
|Date of birth:||October 6th, 2246|
The renegade maverick of the New Confederate States of America, Captain Darwin Mitchell, known as 'Captain Darwin', is a man who is revered and despised not only among his foes but among his compatriots. Controversial, ruthless, and cunning he has led his humble band of cavalrymen deep into enemy territory to strike fear into the hearts of all those who oppose the progress of the new Southern nation, becoming the bogeyman of the Northwestern Corridor more feared than even the Bandoleros of Ciudad Camargo.
Darwin Mitchell was born the son of an enlisted soldier in the army of the New Confederate States of America and the nurse of a town doctor in El Carrizo, Tamaulipas in 2246. His father being a part of the garrison, he grew up with both parents in the house. Raised a protestant, Darwin was educated by the town reverend as were all the other children in El Carrizo. He became bilingual in English and Spanish and literate as well.
He found he had a passion for books and the written word, and while books were scarce in town, his father stopped by the Capital Library in Laredo as much as he could when military business called him to be there and made sure to buy novels and biographies for young Darwin. By the time he was thirteen, Darwin had read the histories of the Old Confederacy, the United States of America, Mexico, and the long and bloody histories of medieval Europe. He seemed a good candidate for a teacher, and when he was seventeen he put in a request to attend Beauregard University in Laredo. However, such dreams were cut short by the wars the Confederacy found itself in.
Early Military Career
It was in in 2263 that an order of general conscription was issued to the Confederate provinces in Tamaulipas. The Confederate Congress ordered that two battalions of able-bodied men and women be assembled to help fight off the advance of Comancheros backed by Los Bandoleros of Ciudad Camargo in Nuevo Ciudad Guerrero and the surrounding area. The logic was since this was a Mexican affair, it was fairest to call on Confederate citizens in Mexico to fight it. This, however, meant that Darwin's dreams of a college education in Laredo to were done as he was given a jacket and a rifle by the Confederate Army along with a one-month basic training.
He didn't do that well in the physical portions of the training, showing dexterity and speed, but lacking stamina and raw strength. In drill, he excelled as well in memorization of chain of command, orders to the sentry, and other military regulations. This put him on a leadership path, while he didn't make sergeant he did make corporal of the newly minted second squad in first platoon, Echo Company. His military career had begun.
His first posting was near Nuevo Ciudad Guerrero. The goal of the newly declared offensive operations was pacification. Their hands full engaging another paramilitary, Los Bandoleros of Ciudad Camargo, a vicious gang of motorcyclists and raiders had contracted Comanchero ruffians to attack Confederate settlers. While Nuevo Ciudad Guerrero was nothing more than ruins, reduced to ruins in a previous battle between Confederates and a Fighting 33rd-True Patriots coalition force, it made a good base of operations for the scum of the border. Thus it was up to the men of the new 3rd Tamaulipas Regiment to pacify the town.
The tactics were simple; the city was scouted, and the parts where the comancheros had holed up was surrounded under cover of darkness. When dawn broke, light mortars and explosives were used to bombard the enemy as well as surprise them, demoralize them, and give a sense that they were under attack by a vastly superior force. While the Confederates outnumbered the bandits six to one, of the three hundred soldiers there, less than twenty had actually seen combat whereas all the comancheros had killed and raided for most of their lives.
The ensuing gun battle lasted three days as the green Confederate troops struggled to gain any ground on the comancheros. Their tactic was to bombard the large concrete parking structure the banditos were holed up, lay down suppressing fire, and allow a group of men to make their way into it, the hope being that enough men would amass inside that the comancheros would have to focus on fighting off the intruders and would thus not be able to repel any more charges on the structure, allowing the whole regiment to make their way into the place.
The plan was simple and poorly thought out, ten men teams found themselves pinned down inside the structure and quickly defeated. In all it took one hundred men to eliminate the fifty comancheros inside. In addition to the hundred dead, there were forty injured, roughly half of the conscripts had been incapacitated or killed for a parking structure. This defeat led to the High Command of the Confederate Army withdrawing the 3rd Tamaulipas and sending in a more seasoned unit from Texas.
Darwin had found himself injured with a pistol caliber round in his right leg. It had torn clean through his Achilles tendon while he was running and brought him to the ground. He survived by playing dead until night when he had time to crawl back behind friendly lines. The wound left him permanently crippled due to the damage sustained to his tendon. He would never walk at an average speed again nor be able to run. But that wouldn't stop him. Now stationed in his hometown of El Carrizo he put in a formal request for advanced training as a cavalryman.
With a bad leg and over a year and a half left in his conscripted term, Darwin decided he would become a cavalryman, the thought being that the cavalry was on foot less, giving his pained right leg a rest. To become a candidate was tough, but with hard obtained letters of recommendation and persistence he was accepted to the Nathan Bedford Forrest School of Horsemanship in Laredo. Training was tough, but he came quickly to horsemanship, in two months he was a qualified cavalryman in the 6th Cavalry Regiment of the Army of the Rio Grande, the corps responsible for tending to each side of the Confederate border without any regard for province or county.
For a year he rode patrol, seeing little action with the cavalry but securing the position of sergeant in his squad, commanding eight men he received commendations for leadership, good behavior, and for service. But his true abilities would not be found until he was twenty in 2266 when a platoon of cavalry stumbled upon an arms deal that threatened the entire future of Confederate influence in Tamaulipas at a little lake called Los Olmos.
Battle of Los Olmos
Los Olmos, The Elms, was a small lake surrounded by a grove of dead pre-War elm, oak, and willow trees. A nice little shady retreat, it was after four days of hard riding that Darwin's commanding officer decided he'd give his platoon a rest. Little did they expect however that when their horses rode up to the spring that they'd encounter fifty enemy combatants. They were ten members of the Fighting 33rd selling crates full of pre-War automatic rifles to a band of forty comancheros. The arms, if they fell into the hands of the raiders would put a heavily armed bands of guerillas within a days ride of the Texas border and Laredo, the capital.
That being said, it was imperative for the exhausted cavalry to fight. While tired, they had the element of initial surprise and were mounted on horseback. They charged full on, guns blazing against the automatic rifles of the enemy. While the foe had no cover, their weapons ensured devastation on Darwin's unit, the grove around the lake became so covered with gunsmoke that the fighters couldn't be. When the smoke had finally cleared, the comancheros were dead or dying along with their 33rd Allies. The cavalry however was also nearly obliterated, of the thirty horse soldiers only ten survived, and of those twenty, Darwin Mitchell was senior among them. Back in Laredo he and the survivors were hailed as heroes who had not only saved Confederate settlements in the Corridor but who had also brought back a great quantity of arms. This worked out excellently for Mitchell who found his career elevated overnight.
With most of the men in his platoon dead, and Mitchell being distinguished and the senior NCO, he was made lieutenant of the platoon which was augmented with new troops. Being mostly green, the unit was assigned to safer patrols on the Rio Grande. This went on for eight years as he rose to become a captain. Occasionally he saw action during this time with a gang of comancheros or enemy scouts but for the most part he had an overall peaceful decade of getting to know his troops and improving his horsemanship skills. By the time he was twenty seven he was a skilled equestrian rider and a much better pistol shot, his bad leg was completely compensated for and his platoon, all of whom were excellent riders as well were ready for their ride into glory and infamy at a small bridge in the Northwestern Corridor.
The Alemán Bridge Massacre
Alemán Bridge was a small stone crossing over Ironback Creek about five miles from Ironback. Captain Darwin as he was now called was on a hunt for a band of rustlers who had made out with a dozen head of cattle from a nearby ranch in Ironback. As Fighting 33rd units were in the area and it was possible this raid was made to feed the foe, it was a military matter. After two days of hunting, Darwin's unit found a target even juicier target crossing Alemán Bridge, an unusually well-armed group of travelers. Darwin had the bridge surrounded on both sides quickly, blocking the travelers on it. He then proceeded to engage in conversation and asked to search the wagon these men who presented themselves as merchants had with them.
While they were not wearing any uniforms, they were toting automatics and wearing body armor and seemed reluctant to allow the troops to search the wagon despite the fact that they claimed to be Confederate citizens. As he was outgunned in terms of firepower, Captain Darwin made the first move. He drew on the men and his men followed. The next thirty seconds was chaos as bullets rained on the fifteen men from all directions, they hadn't even known what hit them. When they were all dead, Darwin dismounted and rushed to the wagon with two other men. The first man who climbed inside was instantly killed by a shotgun blast, Darwin then poked his head in and fired off his Caballero, killing the man inside with the gun and finding another man, a captive bound and gagged.
The man was none other than Lewis Schindler, a Confederate senator up for re-election who was presumed dead after an attack on his convoy in Texas two weeks earlier. In reality he had been abducted by a 33rd Hoplite team who intended to bring him down to a bunker in the central part of the Corridor and ransom him back. In that moment, Captain Darwin seemed a hero, but his actions on Alemán Bridge were about to earn him infamy when it turned out that seven of the soldiers were merely incapacitated, saved by their Kevlar. He ordered no quarter and personally executed three of them to Senator Schindler's horror as well as that of several of his men, including his executive officer, Henry Sleever. When Lieutenant Sleever tried to step in front of a wounded 33rd hoplite, Captain Darwin personally shot him dead and then shot the soldier, cold-blooded murder they would call it at his court martial.
It was 2273 and 'Captain Darwin' was in chains in the Confederate Capital of Laredo. Not only was he being charged with first degree murder of a fellow military officer, he was also charged with the murders of seven unarmed and incapacitated enemy combatants. These charges, eight counts of first degree murder made him an infamous figure in the Confederacy. He testified that Lieutenant Sleever had threatened him and had proceeded to draw on him, something that four of his men verified under oath and the rest said they were unable to see. However none of his men denied it outright.
Opinions on Captain Darwin were mixed. Some felt he was in the right for killing the wounded troopers and felt that Sleever had been a traitor. They often cited the no quarter policy the 33rd had towards wounded Confederate troops on the field. Others felt that the behavior of the enemy was irrelevant, that Captain Darwin had ignored the rules of engagement, massacred unarmed men, and murdered his second-in-command. The proceedings took one month and ended in a verdict of not guilty to applause and scorn alike.
A free man, Captain Darwin was returned to the cavalry. However his reputation was now that of a rogue and it was felt that he wouldn't be able to work well in a conventional unit. Upon the recommendation of his new friend in Laredo, Senator Schindler, Captain Darwin found himself in the Special Forces.
His new role in the Special Forces was as a marauder. His new unit assigned to him, nicknamed "Mitchell's Marauders" was a group of ragtag cavalrymen who had shown prowess in combat and a special resolve. The Captain's orders were simple, go behind enemy lines and wreak havoc. His assignment was accepted with pleasure and he disdained his uniform for civilian clothes. In the Confederacy his mission was not a secret as he raided down throughout the Corridor and in the Border Country of Tamaulipas hitting Los Bandoleros, the Fighting 33rd, Comancheros, arms dealers, and slavers.
His name has been gaining infamy ever since, he is famous for his relentless policy of showing no quarter despite the Confederate rules of engagement. Mitchell's Marauders have a reputation for murder, rape, and theft and are a feared band if there ever was one. The black flag he flies under is literal, his guidon flies it as they ride into battle on raids to let the enemy know their time has come. He has hit over two hundred targets in eight years, some as small as a wagon of gunpowder, others as large as troop convoys. He leaves none alive and generates controversy and praise in his homeland where many regard him as a murderer and many more a hero. But his greatest reputation is as an entity more fearsome than the legendary El Confederado, sometimes he is seen as the living form of the ghost and some stories attributed to the ghost are attributed to him. He's a hometown hero and a scourge of the border and the only thing that is for sure is that when the day comes, if the day comes that he is captured that there isn't a non-Confederate soul in Tamaulipas that will show him quarter.
Darwin is a man with an interesting personality. He is often regarded as polite, friendly, caring, and a gentle human being to those who know him personally and even to people he has just met. He extends a certain warmth to all those he meets and is quite an amicable stranger with a smooth voice and trustworthy look on his face. He is honest, loyal, and moral when not soldiering.
However as an officer his personality forsakes the kindness that defines him to his friends and acquaintances. While he is not a cruel or overbearing commander to his men, in fact he is quite the opposite, joking around and smiling with his subordinates. He treats his troopers as equals and would sacrifice his life for every last man who rides under his black flag. But his flag is just that, black. Despite being a well-mannered and intelligent sounding man off the battlefield, he has the attitude and mindset of Attila the Hun on the field of the battle. He has never shown a bit of remorse when it comes to killing anyone who is affiliated with the enemy including families. While he shows no remorse in the murder of unarmed civilians or surrendering enemies, it must be noted that he was never shown any sadistic tendencies of enjoying it and has never employed any cruel and unorthodox means of execution. To him, killing of all who oppose his country is simply a duty he must undertake as a soldier, nothing more and nothing less. He is ultimately a paradox, a gentlemanly Protestant Christian with etiquette and manners as well as a cold blooded killer, a mix between Robert E. Lee and William C. Quantrill.
Despite being a military officer, an educated student of history, and a man with a cultured and sophisticated vocabulary, Darwin Mitchell does not keep the clean attention-to-detail experience that one would expect. Indeed many newcomers to his unit can't identify the leader. His hair is normally under a hat so he doesn't comb it. While he shaves his face, he washes seldom and always smells like smoke, gunpowder, and dirt.
He wears civilian clothes at all times. While once he was able to present an immaculate uniform, he grew tired of it after receiving his commission and being the lead officer in his unit he has the prerogative to do so. Additionally his wearing of plain civilian clothing aids his raiders in moving all across the Northwestern Corridor and the Border Country without being detected as easily as they pass for just another group of scavengers or cowboys riding together. His outfit and first impression coupled with his bum right leg doesn't make him look like the marauder famous for massacring his foes without mercy or regards to sex, age, and combatant status. And that is just the way he likes it.
Darwin is well-armed at all times as his job needs him to be. Being a cavalryman he prefers handguns and wears a .45 Gaucho on his hip at all times. Additionally, he keeps a five or so inch blade for utilitarian purposes. On his horse, he travels light with a basic saddle, a sleeping bag, a pack of food for a few days and a wooden cane he keeps his sleeping bag rolled around for help with his bad leg when walking. His horse, a Palomino named Constantine is loaded also with his weaponry. In a saddle scabbard, he keeps an unmodified Albanian SKS and in his left saddlebag he keeps a pouch of stripper clips loaded for it. In addition on his pommel holsters are a pair of .30-30 Caballero revolvers and in his right saddlebag is a collection of handguns. Everything from small little .22 Saturday Night Specials to big bore .357's are in that bag. They are all looted handguns which he keeps for his preferred style of combat. Since he fights on horseback, his philosophy is to keep around a dozen loaded handguns on his horse and one on his hip so he may constantly switch sidearms once they run out instead of reloading them in the heat of battle.