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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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...
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.