Mahaffie Station 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mahaffie Station 2006

A townsman from Mahaffie Station, of the legal profession.  Shortly after this he was tarred and feathered and sent away for misdeads to the populace... details are sketchy

This man was photographed at the Station, details are unknown as to his identity...

 

 






Mahaffie Station:  April 21-22, 2007

Pictures from 2007 courtesy of Brian Cox and herb Shemwell:

       

       

     

       

     

 

 

                   

After Action Report:  April 21-22, 2007 From Captain Brian Cox:

Gentlemen:  Mahaffie 2007 was a fine event.

Men of the 9th present for duty:  Pvt’s Herb S., Brad A., Chris V., Tom L., brevet First Sgt. Rob M. (and family), and Brian C.

Overall, I would guess that we had about 100 infantry, with a bit more in federal infantry. There was a smattering of cavalry on both sides as well as artillery.

Mother Nature reminded us of her presence with a brisk wind, and a threat of rain on Sunday, but as a whole, the weather was excellent. Temperatures were cool at night, and not hot enough during the day to work up a sweat.

Our camp was positioned poorly, again, across the road, and away from most of the foot traffic, the sutlers, and, indeed, a good source of water (we had a water fountain on our side). But the wood was plentiful, and the parking close. The organizers also promised and delivered on four engagements, including two morning skirmishes and two afternoon battles. We all had our fill. And there were some pyrotechnics as well. And some federals who came to fight and plenty of them!

Our own Tom L. was present on Saturday as Abraham Lincoln, and the lads assisted him as a guard. The high point of the morning was a little oratory with Tim Rues (administrator of the Lecompton Constitution Hall) appearing as the fiery Jim Lane., and introducing the President. Tom, as old Abe, then held the crowd spell-bound as he related anecdote after anecdote about Lincoln in a first person style.

The Saturday battle was a confused affair with artillery, infantry including skirmishers, and cavalry occupying an entirely too small space (I think we are putting our skirmishers out solely for the crowd and not with a view toward what skirmishers are supposed to do). But it was action packed.

On Sunday morning, the 9th went out with some of the dismounted scouts in an attempt to pester the Yanks into some action. We set up to flank the Yanks when they formed up to attack the main body of scouts. A couple of their men saw us and came out of the trees to shoot at us, but we waited until they fired, then sent four of our number forward to capture them. At this point, unfortunately, the Yanks had their dander up, and came after us in full force, forcing us to run back across the road. At that point, and recognizing that the organizers only wanted a brief skirmish, we signaled to the Yanks that they had won and the skirmish was over (whew!). There clearly were some Yanks here who had come to fight, and I take my hat off to them.

On Sunday, we formed up again, but the die was cast, and our lot was to be defeated, and so we were. Of course, nothing could stop the two silly suicide charges some of our boys, none from the 9th, made on Sunday’s battle, straight into the teeth of federal lead.

The battalion was ably led by brevet colonel Mike Girdner of the 3d Mo. We split captain duties again as at Shiloh with the estimable Captain Keith handling the company on Saturday, and your faithful servant taking over on Sunday.

A special treat was a formal sitting for pictures taken at Herb’s house on Saturday night. We will have several posted on the website soon. Chris V. impressed us all with several fine uniforms. Later, we disposed of some popskull brought by Pvt. Anspach, and had some lively conversations around the fire with the lads, and Brad’s lovely and articulate wife, Kim

There was a great sutler’s row, for the size of this event, including the addition of Fall Creek which made the trip from Indiana. Del Warren, of course, was there as well. The “food court” was also there with all the usual treats.

We had a good catered dinner on Saturday night, chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits, and cookies.

Overall, Mahaffie presents itself as a kind of Civil War festival, with a number of pleasant distractions, but no great demand placed on us.

It bears noting that Mr. Tripp M., a 9th member from the old days presented himself as I was breaking down on Sunday afternoon with a desire to join us again. Please join me in welcoming Tripp to our Band of Brothers.

Your obedient servant,

Brian Cox
Captain, 9th Texas Vol. Infantry

The Following is After Action report from Captain Daniel Keith 4th Missouri


Ladies and Gentlemen:

Well this one had some surprises to it, good and bad.

Friday we set up camp. We had 3 gentlemen join us. These where fine fellows that double the size of our company. Yes I said “doubled”. Only 4 people from the 4th showed. Needless to say we did not get the bounty of $150 and our treasury is still $0.

Saturday started off with a fine breakfast cooked by Jim and Dizz. Then Duke straggled in. I was very happy to have Duke. So the 4th with its 3 add ons, combined with the 1st MO and the battalion went out for a morning skirmish. We pushed those dirty rotten yanks back into their fortifications and camps but in doing so we came to realize the true number of those invading loped eared Dutchmen. After a fine lunch, the 9th Texas joined with the 4th to make one grand company. The 1st MO battalion commanded by Col Girdner. He did fine job. We pushed those Yanks again off the field even though we faced two separate battalions of blue. A fine dinner and dance was provided by the locals. Love them mashed potatoes.

Sunday started off again with a fine breakfast. Some of us went to the church service. Then we had a skirmish in which we almost entered the Yankee encampment. We did take two prisoners. The 4th fell in with the 9th Texas again and we where aptly lead by Captain Brain Cox. We took several casualties and again reconnoitered the true strength of those evil blue demons. Duke, Casey, and Denise bravely went to the Yankee camp and rescued a Southern damsel being held captive by men who would not know the proper way to treat a woman if you slapped them in the face with the rule book. Soon after a peaceful lunch with some fair ladies we where again called upon to defend the South. The overwhelming odds were too much for us at this battle. It reminded me of many a battle ( Corinth , Champions Hill, etc) where Missouri boys take an initial advantage but are lost due to the lack of support.

The Good:

   1. Being joined by Denise, Casey, and Kelly.
   2. More Yankees than you can count. We were out numbered at least 2 to 1.
   3. The battles.
   4. Sunday’s skirmish.
   5. I didn’t get blown up.
   6. Eating Sunday lunch with Debie, Michelle, Maxine, & Carolyn.
   7. Eggs, bacon, and potatoes breakfast. So good, we did it twice.
   8. Good weather to wear wool in.

The Bad:

   1. Never saw a Yankee take a hit.
   2. Plush grass everywhere except where I slept. Nothing but dirt, rocks, sticks, and acorns.
   3. Very cool nights.

The Ugly:

   1. Our attendance. Out of 12 that said they were coming, only 4 should up. Three called to cancel.
   2. The wind. Very strong wind. Really strong wind.
 

 

 

 

 

mahaffie Station:  April 22-23 2006

A letter home from a Private in the Ninth Texas about this event...

                

Dear Mother,

     I write you knowing it has been several weeks since you have heard from me.  I wanted to let you know that the Army has been on the move and on Friday, April 21st, took up a position just south of the Mahaffie Stagecoach stop southwest of Westport, Mo.  We camped under several large oak trees and set up our tents trying to crowd into the shade as it has been very warm.

     Present from the 9th were Capt. Albert, Sgt. Cox, Corpl. Matlack as well as privates Tim and Mike Adams, Evan Andrews, Bill Luther, Tom Leahy and his son Carl (our drummer).  Corpl. Matlack’s wife Lalani and young son, Robbie had managed to catch up with the army and it was heartwarming to see father and son re-united.  Little Robbie is bold and intelligent beyond his young age and quickly became a favorite of the boys in camp.  Lalani is a fine cook and she supplied the men with her famous rolls and lemonade that was much appreciated.

     Another fine surprise was waitng for us as we found Sgt. Cox’s brother had come into town and managed to find us in camp.  Randy Cox is a newspaper man from the Oregon Territory.  He followed us into the battle that day and managed to survive the ordeal although I admit I lost sight of him once things commenced.  I know that the Sgt. was glad to see him as the distance involved in their separation if formidable.

     The weather was fine the first night for sleeping, but a little cool when we arose.  Several sutlers had pulled in behind the arriving troops and we spend a while in the morning after battalion drill, looking over their wares.  The Capt. and Sgt. Cox purchased some fine looking dress hats but I found things too rich for my eleven dollars. 

     All day we could hear the distant “pop” of pistol fire as the Yankees were getting closer and closer gauging our strength.  On our way back to camp we were stopped by a fellow inquiring about the 9th Texas and Sgt. Cox.  He was a new recruit - Brad Anspach, a fine fellow of great outdoor experience having hunted and trapped in the wilds of the West for considerable time.  We are mighty glad to have him in the ranks!

      About two thirty we were ordered to get ready and it wasn’t long before young Carl was drumming out the long roll to form up.  Under the Command of Major Clayton Murphy (Colonel Amend is away in the East) we were led across a fine road and behind a line of trees to await events.  It wasn’t long in coming as through the trees we were treated to a large cavalry battle between our brave boys and those “people”.  Soon both sides had their cannons join in and it wasn’t long before you could not see anything upon the field because of the dense smoke of battle.  The Elliot Scouts were sent through the trees as skirmishers and fought for a while before being withdrawn when a large force of blue-bellies was spotted advancing. 

     We were soon all aligned again and told to guickly advance through the trees and reform in good order on the other side which we did with a yell.  After the normal jostling and moving we finally got our alignment and went forward at the walk.  We began pouring fire into them and they replied in-kind. Looking over the man in front of me I could see a large group of Federals to our left and a smaller group directly to our front.  We exchanged volleys for several minutes and the evidence of the many deadly balls flying through the air began to take it’s toll.  We stopped firing long enough to allow our cavalry another chance to break them but they did not succeed.  Our ranks continued to press them, advancing and firing every few yards but they stood fast, determined not to give ground.  Many a good son was left on the field as we were finally forced to retire.  As we withdrew I saw the medical people on the field moving from one crumpled form to another and also the “blue buzzards” looking for the contents of southern pockets.  Oh Mother - the horror of these sights I dare not relate to you.

     Late Saturday night, just as dusk fell, we could hear an occasional distant gunshot and then suddenly one of our batteries opened - something very unusual at night.  Just then, Evan came running into camp and reported to the Capt. that he had seen a group of Federals forming up near the local treeline across the road.  We all scrambled to get our belts and boxes on and we crossed the road and formed a skirmish line atop a small rise overlooking the area.  Sure enough, in the gathering twilight we could see two distinct groups of Yankees that we opened on - our muskets belching flames and sparks - a real show in the dark if you would every chance to see it.  We were joined by a few other scattered troops and even one artillery man firing his pistol.  After about ten minutes we withdrew as we had expended alot of powder for no appreciable purpose. Thank God we lost no one.   

     As the darkness of the night deepened, a great storm arose form the West and threatened us with frequent and angry lightening.  At one point it began t rain and then to also hail (pea size) - you should have seen the boys head for their tents.  I’ve never seen them move that fast - even in battle.  The heavens continued to threaten until early light but the worst of the storms passed to the south and east.

     Sunday dawned partly cloudy but bearable and we were able to rekindle our camp fire with some effort.  A hearty breakfast of biscuits and gravy was provided as a surprise by the Capt.  After Church call we walked around the Mahaffie homestead and I must tell you it is a fine, two story structure with a large front porch and strong stone foundation.  While there, myself and some of the boys partook of some buffalo meat and found it to be very delicious - even better than beef if you can believe it!

     The balance of the day was spent in camp until we suddenly heard several of our cannons open to the west.  The Capt. told us to ready ourselves which we did as quickly as we could go.  We formed up in the shade of one the large oaks and marched out to confront Old Abe’s monkeys.  The batteries continued a hot fire across a field of broken weeds while our skirmishers and cavalry retired having done all they could do.  We advanced forward until the Yanks were no more than a stones throw away and began firing by companies so the fire and smoke seemed to belch forth in regular puffs like the breath of some great dragon.  Our determination and marksmanship soon began to tell, although I witnessed a goodly number of loyal southern boys breath their last.  Sgt. Cox went down - gut shot but upon being examined by a doctor on the field it was found that the ball had struck his belt buckle only knocking him down painfully.  A close call for sure!  After several more advances the action became pretty hot but we gave as good as we got and we were finally able to push the Yanks from the field and win the day.

     I suppose I should now close as I near the end of my paper and have no more. I do not believe I shall get leave to come home anytime soon as word is that we will depart here soon for Missouri.  I tell you truly that the cost of this war in lives and treasure is frightful Mother and I am often glad to be at a loss for the words to describe it.  Please take care of Father and let all know I am well and in good health - I remain your obedient son --

Pictures of event 2006:

To see full versions of these pictures, purchase the 2006 commemorative DVD/CD with all events pictures included.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

To see full versions of these pictures, purchase the 2006 commemorative DVD/CD with all events pictures included.