The Journal of the Ninth Texas Regiment of Infantry:
Updated March 10, 2019
March 1-2, 2019
Home now after first blood of the 2019 season at the truncated Coffeyville
KS campaign, March 1-2. Expected frigid temperatures and several inches of
snow forced the event organizers to cancel Sunday activities. But despite
sub-freezing temps on Friday night and temps during the day Saturday
hovering in the 30’s, the 9th put four men in the field at this non-Max
event, and with some reinforcements from our brothers in the 2nd Kansas, we
creditably fought the 8th and the rest of the 2nd in two spirited battles.
We killed the entirety of their rank and file and took the surrender of
their captain and a non-com during the morning battle, but they returned the
favor almost precisely in the pm. Great fun.
Those in attendance for the 9th:
Acting First Sgt. Mark Isbell, Privates Hayden Laurence, Carlo Gonzales, and
your humble correspondent. We continue to bring in new men who are
well-versed in history and the business of reenacting.
I think that the cold weather and some other factors kept some away but we
had appreciable, appreciative crowds for the battles and were pleased to be
able to talk to small groups here and there about the life of the Civil War
soldier, and we had two better than average nibbles - the latter alone worth
the price of admission.
We took guided tours of the Brown mansion, the major landmark of the site, a
resplendent, turn-of-the-century home to hugely successful Coffeyville
businessman W. P. Brown - read more here:
Reputed to be haunted, no spirits made themselves known to us.
We re-acquainted with 9th vet Wayne Joplin who offered in addition to some
fine spirits and a heated wall tent, an excellent bean pot once owned by 9th
man, now deceased, Roger Conlin. Wayne cleaned it up, oiled it down,
repaired part of the pot, and threw in a hook. I have visions now of future
We also had a short ceremony before the American flag honoring America’s
vets with all soldiers drawn up, a short speech given, and the laying of a
Firewood was plentiful, water was close, as was parking and several clean
porta-potties. The grounds are more than enough to support a bigger event,
with ample room for camps, and sufficient cover to make fights interesting.
And we also made some time - over our very short stay - to get in drill
twice. Kudos to acting First Sgt. Isbell for taking over the job once while
I addressed the spectators.
Our thanks to the 8th and the 2nd Kansas - patriots, soldiers, and gentlemen
all - to “Col.” Rob Burrows for ramrodding the event, and to the Coffeyville
Historical Society for financing the event and permitting us the run of the
grounds. We look forward to this event becoming bigger and better every
Captain, 9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
After Action Report of
the Actions at Gettysburg PA,
July 5-8, 2018
The 2018 Gettysburg Campaign presented a rare experience - the travel, the
shared sacrifice, the camaraderie, the history, the hubbub, the weather, the
many battles confined in time and space - and I was honored to have
participated in the campaign and privileged to write this report. I thank
those faithful readers who will read this report to the end and apologize
for the delay.
The soldiers …
The 9th Texas has attended every major Gettysburg campaign for as long as I
have been in. Those soldiers making the 2018 campaign for the 9th Texas:
Captain Brian Cox (your humble correspondent)
Pvt. Daniel Young
Pvt. Tony Mattia
Pvt. Mark Isbell
Present for the First Missouri Battalion staff:
Major/Colonel Chris Visser (9th Texas alum)
Major Howard “Catfish” Rollins
Sgt. Major Gary Sutton (9th Texas alum)
Col. Brad Amend and Color Cpl. Dave Jepsen, both planning to attend, had
last second emergencies which kept them away from the campaign. Major Visser
took charge of the Battalion and did a great job.
The 9th Texas was consolidated for the event with soldiers from other
companies, noted here, and I could not have asked for better soldiers:
Acting First Sgt. Marcus Katzer (3d MO)
Acting First Cpl. Elisah Burrough (4th MO)
Pvt. John Jehlie (4th MO)
Pvt. Mike Hall (4th MO)
Pvt. Walker Hall (4th MO)
Pvt. Jeremy Johnson (5th MO)
Pvt. Richard Burton (5th MO)
The 9th with its additions was the First Missouri Battalion’s first company
and Capt. Brian McCarthy’s 9th MO Sharpshooters which itself had additions
from the 2nd Missouri, constituted the Battalion’s second company. Although
a small battalion, the First Missouri stood as its own battalion for the
event, including the climactic Pickett’s Charge on Sunday. Of that, I am
(The event was designated as a “maximum” or preferred First Missouri
Battalion event, and it is unfortunate that we did not have greater
attendance from the Battalion.)
The road …
Part of the adventure of reenacting is the travel to and from the event with
your pards, men of generally like mind and tastes. Of course, Gettysburg
presented the considerable challenge of just getting there and getting home
again with all your gear and mind intact.
In the event, I could not have asked for better travel mates than Sgt. Major
Gary Sutton and new man Daniel Young. Although the distance to the event -
about eighteen (18) hours out of Topeka as a point of reference - was
somewhat daunting, I can say that every minute was worth it (given the time
change, we lost an hour going but picked it back up returning). Every one
took his turn driving, and we had no troubles on the road, including driving
through the night both ways. This time, we rented a Chrysler Pacifica van -
which had more than enough room for three men and their gear - at a cost of
somewhat over $200 per man. Gas and toll roads turned out to be about $85
Mr. Sutton picked an itinerary prior to the event which included leaving on
Monday, July 2 and returning on July 9, with an anticipated one night stay
in a hotel in Gettysburg town, which was reserved long prior to the event,
on July 3. The latter was a prescient call given what would be our
exhaustion from the trip in all night on July 2-3.
The trip took us mostly on I-70 through or near major cities - Kansas City,
St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, Dayton, Wheeling, Chambersburg, etc., -
and one time change as noted. Much of the scenery seemed the same as eastern
Kansas, although those roads through Indiana were a little rough. Notably,
Pennsylvania presented stunning vistas of rolling, green-forested hills and
well-kept farms. Otherwise, the drive east of Chambersburg was a little
unnerving especially at night with the ups-and-downs, lack of shoulders, the
passing of trucks, and construction zones including numerous lane shifts.
The many runaway truck ramps gave you pause concerning the nature of traffic
In our only real miscue of the trip, we arrived at the registration site
somewhere around 4 am on Tuesday, well prior to opening. But we got in a
fitful hour or two of sleep, and were literally the first to register for
the event when it finally opened at 8 am. We filled out the necessary
paperwork and were made to wear a paper wrist bracelet with the warning that
this was to be worn at all times. This time, they apparently meant it, as
Pvt. Burrough, whose bracelet later dissolved for one reason or another, was
denied re-access to the event until he went back again to registration and
secured another. The souvenirs for sale there - t-shirts and coffee cups -
were nothing out of the ordinary. Indeed, on close inspection, the uniformed
reb and yank on the latter bore some noticeable errors.
Gettysburg town …
According to Wikipedia, Gettysburg’s population is a little over 7,200, and
that expands substantially during the influx of reenactors and spectators
every July to commemorate the pivotal 1863 battle (as per Wikipedia, “[y]he
Gettysburg National Military Park receives an annual 3 million visitors per
Much of the town, certainly the part which we frequented, caters to the
history buff, and the main streets are clogged with souvenir, militaria, and
book stores. Several sutlers are also based here - Dirty Billy’s, S and S,
and Regimental Quartermaster. I found of particular interest the two toy
soldier stores although made no purchase this trip (The Antique Center of
Gettysburg and Gettysburg Miniature Soldiers). We made our way through many
of these, each of us having our own interests. We did have three very
satisfying breakfasts at the Lincoln Diner which had excellent fare and
Our quarters for two nights was a motel centrally located in Gettysburg
town, in a suite of three rooms and four beds, up a wooden staircase, and
overlooking a small pool. Mr. Mattia joined us for our stay at the place.
Our room 33 and indeed the entire motel turned out to be haunted, at least
as promised by the staff. In support of the claim, the manager offered up a
notebook of photographs of ghostly visitors, mainly in the form of “orbs”
including one floating ominously over our room 33. None made their
appearance, however, while we were there.
In what might be considered an additional reenactor pilgrimage, we had
dinner on Tuesday night at Gen. Pickett’s Buffet, a reenactor favorite, not
only for the food but for the sheer history of the venue, every wall filled
to the brim with mostly limited edition prints of the battle. And we could
not have asked for a more helpful and vivacious waitress than Marie.
Our second night’s stay at the motel was on very short notice: we had
checked out and were going to spend the day (Wednesday) touring the
battlefield and then retire to the reenactment site late in the day, when we
found out that rain had closed access to the event site, into and out.
Surprisingly, the smattering of rain which fell on us at the NPS site didn’t
seem enough to be cause for closure but we were not on-site at the time and
obviously they may have had it differently. The motel was good enough to
book us for an additional night on this very short notice in our old room.
We had a pleasant meal across the street at a microbrewery/restaurant and
were joined by others from the Battalion. Pvt. Isbell who was already
on-site, was effectively locked down, and so went to bed. We spent the rest
of the night touring again the small shops which make up the bulk of this
part of the town.
The battlefield …
No pilgrimage to Gettysburg is complete without a complete tour of the
actual battlefield, maintained by the National Park Service, and we took a
full day to visit it and its mammoth Visitor Center. Pivotal aspects of the
Battle such as the railroad cut, the Angle, Little Round Top, Cemetary
Ridge, Devil’s Den, the Wheatfield, the Copse of Trees, and the like, come
alive when you are actually there (of course, we spent too much time arguing
the proper pronunciation of the word “copse”).
Monuments of course are everywhere on the grounds - to units, to points in
the battle, to particular personalities; some relatively small, others quite
grand (e.g, the Pennsyvlania monument on Cemetery Ridge) - and that alone
could take up all your time. Wikipedia informs us that:
“The monuments of the Gettysburg Battlefield … represent "one of the largest
collections of outdoor sculpture in the world.” … As of 2008, the National
Park Service unit managed 1,320 monuments and markers, 410 cannons, 148
historic buildings, and 41 miles (66 km) of roads (8 miles of them,
Many of the monuments have their own story and the visitor is well-advised,
as we were, to obtain some reference material. For example, the Gen. Buford
monument contains an artillery tube at its foot said to have fired the first
artillery projectile of the fight; the 90th Pennsylvania’s monument had a
bird’s nest atop, said to memorialize the act of one of its soldiers who
returned it to its tree which had been toppled during the fighting. And
there was much more.
I was the beneficiary of having two travel mates who knew or studied up on
considerably more of the battle than I did or had, Sgt. Major Sutton and
Pvt. Daniel Young, and they provided considerable detail to the points we
visited on the battlefield.
We also went to the Gettysburg Cyclorama (a favorite of mine), now owned by
the NPS, a massive circular painting, which Wikipedia describes as follows:
“The painting is the work of French artist Paul Dominique Philippoteaux. It
depicts Pickett's Charge, the failed infantry assault that was the climax of
the Battle of Gettysburg. The painting is a cyclorama, a type of 360°
cylindrical painting. The intended effect is to immerse the viewer in the
scene being depicted, often with the addition of foreground models and
life-sized replicas to enhance the illusion. Among the sites documented in
the painting are Cemetery Ridge, the Angle, and the "High-water mark of the
Confederacy". The completed original painting was 22 feet (6.7 m) high and
279 feet (85 m) in circumference. The version that hangs in Gettysburg, a
recent (2005) restoration of the version created for Boston, is 42 feet (13
m) high and 377 feet (115 m) in circumference.”
The Cyclorama is itself housed in the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center,
redone in the past several years, and the latter is quite an experience in
itself, with exhibits, a movie of the battle, bookstore, and amenities, and
packed to the brim with visitors when we were there. I was a little
disappointed as to the number of exhibits, which I expected to include more
uniforms, flags, and weaponry. That said, kudos to the NPS for maintaining a
first rate facility.
The camp …
Although others, apparently those arriving sooner, had first dibs on flat,
open ground, freshly mown, the First Missouri Battalion was relegated to an
overgrown little hollow, at the edge of the property, somewhat removed from
the center of activities.
I was wary prior to the event of the prospect of armies of ticks ready to
attack, however, in the event, I had reports of a total of two (2) tick
sightings. More numerous, however, were the chiggers and mosquitos which
attacked some of us. I was relatively unaffected, this year having sprayed
my clothing with Permithrin and my skin and the ground under my groundcloth
with Deep Woods Off, which seemed to do the job. There was also ample poison
ivy. There were some spiders, but no snakes or other critters. I think I
heard, or dreamed, of a couple of owls who got close and made a ruckus.
We had several A-tents and shebangs and others campaigned it; given the size
of the site, and limitations of the terrain, we made no effort to maintain
Amenities were sufficient. There was ample firewood although substantial
deadfall was available. A water buffalo and porta-johns were some fifty
yards away. We were allowed to drive in to off-load our gear, and then drive
away to the parking area about a quarter of a mile away. There was hay but
we either were not provided any or just did not bring any down.
Sutler’s row, as at most “national” events, was awesome, with just about
everything a reenactor could desire including top of the line sutlers,
activities tents, food venders, and others. One quite adamant fellow had a
display pushing the idea of Black confederates; twin sisters had a table
with books and figurines telling the story of Gettysburg through cat
The climate on-site was mostly hot and humid and that was compounded by our
location with dense woods and little breeze; it was literally
sweat-through-your-vest hot. Against all odds, it fell to about 58 degrees
one night, and rained a bit during the first day’s fights.
Camp activities …
Because we had some relatively new men, we had about an hour of drill and
were able to practice several things which we were ultimately called upon to
do during the actual fights. Not much space for the effort ‘tho. Mr. Katzur
capably stepped up as acting First Sgt.
Some South Carolina veterans also joined us for the weekend including
several of the fights. One of their number proved adept at banjo and singing
and regaled us with a number of period songs, in many of which we readily
Mr. Isbell cooked up a Cornish hen on his recently-acquired squirrel cooker,
and I had a taste. Raw rations were issued for part of the stay - coffee,
onions, and potatoes. And Private Burrough proved a capable cook for the
time we were there.
We spent some time around the campfire discussing the motivations of the reb
soldier, religion, and other issues.
We were happy to have Pvt. Tony Mattia, a preacher from Wamego, fall in with
us again. Pvt. Mattia not only gave pre-battle prayers, but also a stirring
sermon and service Sunday morning, the latter using an actual 1863 ANV
Many ghosts of Gettysburg stories were told, including several in the lull
before battle. One related by Major Visser was of his being accosted by a
soldier on the site during the 1992 filming who offered a pack of
cartridges, saying “you’ll need these.” The pack was heavy by reenacting
standards and indeed, it contained ten real rounds including greased rounds.
No one else was camped nearby and this person was nowhere to be found after
he made the delivery.
We did have some discipline problems in camp. On Saturday night, Pvt. Jehle
was charged with and convicted of straggling and disrespecting an officer.
The private was brought in under guard to the undersigned and the
specifications read. Witnesses testified, most apparently truthfully, the
accused only partly so, although giving a spirited defense (including in
part, that he had been so instructed by Gen. Lee). Upon conviction, the
sentence was bucking and gagging for eight hours and half rations for three
days (the bucking and gagging was actually done for a short time, Pvt. Jehle
howling and growling the whole time).
On Sunday, a Brigade Court of Inquiry - not entirely serious - was also
convened, the judges of which were several “big bugs” and the undersigned as
the Missouri Battalion representative. Prior to hearing the charges, the
presiding judge poured out a shot of home brew to aid our judicial demeanor
and insight. The sundry accused were brought forward by their guards and
mostly made to stand with a noose around their necks. One was charged with
stealing a chicken, another with wasting food, and another gambling. Two of
our boys were charged with misconduct before the enemy, here failing to fall
in with the army for the Saturday afternoon battle. The defense was that
they were foraging but the panel was unpersuaded, and the punishment meted
out at my recommendation was bucking and gagging.
And then, there was the kerfuffle with the NPS. Majors Visser and Rollins
apparently made an after-hours visit onto the battlefield prior to the
event, and were accosted by a small army of law enforcement (including all
of five enforcement vehicles, with three NPS and two Gettysburg officers),
one of whom approached with his hand on his gun. The hapless duo, although
recognized as reenactors, were made to wait with hands raised for 30 minutes
while the matter was investigated. Ultimately, Visser was given a $50
federal ticket for a “closure” violation with the warning that if he ignored
it, a warrant would be issued for his arrest, and the stern admonition that
after hours access is forbidden. Just my two cents, but it seems like all
this was mostly unnecessary, and a simple admonition to move on and don’t do
this again, by a single officer, would have sufficed.
The fights …
The point of the event, of course, was the five (5) battles over three (3)
days, culminating in Pickett’s Charge on Sunday, July 8. An estimate of
numbers was north of 7000 with one estimate of 1200 walk-on’s from Thursday
night to Friday morning.
Friday. July 6 -
The morning battle, perhaps the best and longest, was against the Iron
Brigade. We were pushing their skirmish line on the other side of a small
creek when a solid line of blue appeared coming over the hill on our front -
it was the Iron Brigade - much to our surprise. The temps and humidity
remained high but there was periodic rain throughout but not a drenching
rain and nothing to dull the action.
We did have several medical emergencies on Friday, on the federal side,
which stopped the action. I don’t know if any of these was due to heat
exhaustion but such reinforces the point that reenacting can be a demanding
hobby and all should take steps to ensure an appropriate level of fitness
and acclimation to the heat and humidity.
Saturday, July 7 -
We had two more fights including the Wheatfield. On the latter, we made
three charges in, and prior to the third, were treated to some hand-to-hand
between some of the Rebs and the Yanks; it was short but great to witness,
as it was wholly unexpected by us and they did a great job. In the event,
our little consolidated company had 100 percent casualties. The temps and
humidity was considerably better than the past two days.
Sunday, July 8 -
The climax of course was Pickett’s Charge on Sunday, and we formed up behind
the artillery line. The pre-charge barrage was a little short but the reb
assault was inspiring. The First Missouri Battalion was in the second wave
after the first was completely broken. We dutifully advanced in perfect
order to the beat. Federal artillery was not in action on our charge, but
ours too was nevertheless broken, and only several who offered to surrender
actually made it to the wall. As the assault was breaking, the feds chanted
We utilized an old vet’s trick of breaking down prior to the Sunday battle,
enabling us to go directly from the fight to our vehicle. That worked like a
charm and we got on the road after the fight at 3 pm. We had no trouble on
the way home and were well-satisfied with our week’s venture to Gettysburg,
and hoped that we, as well, gave sufficient tribute to the lads of 1863,
blue and gray, who fought and died following their convictions. The campaign
is now down in the books and has to rank with one of the best that the 9th
has been to.
I am, respectfully,
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
First Missouri Battalion
I have compiled here some comments of others about the campaign:
Appendix One (comments by Major Visser, First Missouri Battalion):
Greetings, Men of the 1st Missouri Infantry Regiment,
It has been nearly 3 weeks since we marched to Pennsylvania, and I apologize
that it has taken me so long to tender these remarks to you. However, I can
only offer by way of explanation that I have not had access to a real
computer in that time, and my thoughts were more than I thought I could do
justice by merely typing on my phone. So please forgive me for it taking so
long. Without further ado, I will got on with it.
So. Wow. That’s the only thing I can say at the start of any thoughts about
the experience that we had in Pennsylvania. We had been looking at this
event approach since I first gave General Hunt our commitment to attend in
March 2017, a few weeks prior to even going to Shiloh. From that time, I
have watched the even approach and grow nearer and nearer, and I still was
caught completely unaware of how profoundly amazing the weekend would turn
out to be. Given the unfortunate but random combination of life events by
the men of this regiment, we can all agree this has been a tough year for us
to get together and live and fight as one in the field. As the registration
process got underway, I was never discouraged by the number of men I saw (or
did not see), and I decided that I would commit myself as totally to helping
the men of this battalion enjoy the weekend as those men had committed to
And boy, did you commit. We have gone to a lot of national events, good and
bad, together over the years. But I don’t think I have felt anything as
close and tight-knit as I did at Gettysburg 155. We all started arriving at
different times, some us of us (much) earlier than others. We came from
different states in different cars, and some of us had never met before we
arrived there. However, by Thursday night, having endured heat, rain,
chiggers, closed roads, closed event sites, and constant asking of “Do you
have your wrist band?!?!”, we somehow already felt to me like a single
group, comrades-in-arms who had been together every second for years, and
the camp felt right away like one at summer camp after several weeks of
living there together and sharing experiences.
When we awoke on Friday morning to kick off the fighting for which we had
traveled there, the gloomy clouds and the sprinkling of rain didn’t dampen
your spirits a bit. We arose from our bedrolls ready to accomplish the work
before us, and we did it. We marched in the rain, stood in the steam cooker
waiting, and then attacked in the renewed rain to drive the Iron Brigade
back from that ridge. I know that for those who were not there, they will
never know just how different and memorable our first glance of the enemy
line was that morning. When we saw those black hats pop over the hilltop and
then saw the massive Union line coming fast at us, all our hearts stopped in
The weather for the rest of the weekend was only beat by how amazing the
rest of the weekend with you guys was. I never heard a complaint, never saw
you balk. And believe me, there was plenty we COULD have complained about.
But you men acted through every hindrance like the professional soldiers you
strive to portray, and I personally could not be prouder.
The fight in the Wheatfield on Saturday afternoon, even with the spectators
close and the small size of the field, ranks in the top five battles I think
I have ever fought. We were grim. We were gritty. There was nothing pretend
about us pushing through that fence at the Emmitsburg road and pouring into
the wheatfield like locusts, and then standing firm as the 1st Minnesota
charged us at the double-quick until they stopped 25 yards from us and we
traded volleys into each other’s faces. That moment there was one of the
most realistic and connected moments I have experienced in my nearly 30
years reenacting. And that’s what reenacting is at its finest- realistic and
I could go on and on about the weekend before I get to what I really came
here to say, but I won’t, except to finish something I started to say to you
on Sunday morning, and as you remember, couldn’t finish. When I was
imparting to you some advice on how to carry out the final battle of the
weekend, I wanted to explain what it was that rendered me unable to finish
speaking. As I was talking, I was also thinking about you. As I stood and
spoke, I saw you staring back at me. I do not know what it was at that
moment, but I was suddenly overcome not with tears about the men who made
the charge in 1863, or even about how “this is Gettysburg, man!”. What you
saw was the moment I was swept over by the profound honor it was to be your
leader that weekend. It was only because of circumstances that I was in that
position for that weekend. But the ease at which you men gave me not only
your attentiveness but your trust to give you orders and direct you, not
just in camp but on the battlefield moves me even now as I write this. You
men can never know what a great privilege it was to sleep, eat, scratch,
cook, and die beside you in Gettysburg. I will hopefully see you over and
over in the future, but I know that this weekend will always be a
one-of-a-kind in my heart. It was truly humbling, and you have my most
sincere thanks for the privilege of being your colonel.
As I told you in Gettysburg, I am also very thankful that those of you who
did came, and that goes to each and every one of you. I am grateful that I
was able to shake every one of your hands on Sunday to tell you that in
We have a rest of the season to still accomplish, and I look forward to
seeing all of you very soon. You are the reason I reenact, and my door is
always open for you. God bless you all.
Always leading beside you,
Christopher C. Visser
Appendix Two (comments by MAJ McCollum, AAG, First Arkansas Battalion):
Members of the First Arkansas Battalion, I hope that you all have returned
safely to your homes by now. I also wish to convey my sincere gratitude and
thankfulness to you and your very competent leadership for your conduct on
the field of battle as well as in camp at G’burg. The TMB is definitely a
force to be reckoned with and demonstrated this fact very well at the event
thanks to your strong showing in numbers and excellent training. I look
forward to our next event and time spent together. Until then I remain your
most humbled and obedient servant MAJ McCollum, AAG
Appendix Three (comments by Marcus Katzer, Acting First Sgt., First Company,
First Missouri Battalion):
Today was one of the most powerful and somber experiences of my career as a
reenactor. This past week has been a childhood dream come true. The battles
were incredible. The formations of infantry on both sides seemed endless at
times. Re-creating Pickett's Charge today however, shed a whole new light on
my perspective of the event. We reenact as a hobby, yet coming up to the
fence and seeing the decimated battalions of your comrades to meet the enemy
cannot be explained, even in recreation, unless you've experienced it
yourself. The bravery and courage shown by both sides of this engagement is
insurmountable. The men who fought and died on this field 155 years ago
deserve the utmost respect, regardless of the flag or cause they fought for.
Thank you Christopher Visser, Howard Rollins, Brian Cox, Mark Isbell, and
anyone else I forgot to mention for making these past few days ones I'll
never forget. Acting First Sgt. Marcus Katzer
Appendix Four (comments by Brian McCarthy, Captain, Second Company, First
I’m not sure how to tell everyone how much fun we had. Gettysburg is an
incredible place. I/we have made our pilgrimage to the hollowed ground. My
comrades and I spent a week touring and fighting this battle. It’s
staggering to think about the size and scope of this engagement in
Pennsylvania. Gettysburg is a great town. We paid our respects to the beer
gods at the Blue and Gray cafe yet we behaved ourselves around the throngs
of tourists. All and all a [sic] successful trip. I’ve never seen so many
blue coats in my life and the Rebel Army was an impressive sight to see.
Capt. Brian McCarthy
9th Texas 2018 Campaign - Retrospective
9th Texas 2018 Campaigns
With the 2018 campaigns, the 9th Texas has completed its thirty-sixth (36th)
consecutive season (1983-2018) as a reenacting group, second oldest in the
Midwest. New men and old vets alike can take enormous pride in what the 9th
Texas is and what it has done. Here is what we did during 2018:
The 9th Texas began the 2018 campaigns in April with the
four-battles-over-two-days campaign at Cowtown (Wichita KS) and also completed
an extended company meeting there. Cowtown presented the strongest company with
seventeen (17) rifles, tied with Humboldt. Some retired vets joined us for the
fights and contributed gear. We had some great food (including senator’s bean
soup) compliments of the ladies from the Verdrigris militia and special
refreshments in the saloon compliments of our brothers in the Missouri Irish
In May at Kingston MO, the First Missouri Battalion staged an ostensibly judged
tactical, the contending forces to reach and secure certain points in the
terrain and be judged thereby. The 9th was chewed up twice, missed any contact
on a third outing, but thereafter crushed a federal rear guard. It was quite a
change of pace from the usual fare.
The June Hulston Mill MO event was lightly attended by the 9th but the boys
galvanized as Yanks for the Sunday fight in period buildings. We also
inaugurated Pvt. Isbell as company cook - many thanks for his excellent efforts!
A small contingent of 9th men made the eighteen (18) hour drive to Gettysburg PA
in July for the 155th and fought the heat and humidity and four battles over
three days. Although small in numbers, the Battalion stood as its own unit. Some
of us were also able to thoroughly tour the Battlefield and the town, staying
two nights in the latter in a haunted motel. The anticipated plague of ticks did
not materialize. the 9th has previously been to Gettysburg for the 150th and the
filming of Ken Burns’ The Civil War.
The Brownville NE event in October turned into a one day affair after the
weather forced the cancellation of the eagerly-anticipated immersion march-in
sponsored by the 4th Arkansas. Even so, we had two furious fights with the Yanks
through the town, and a hot lunch to boot.
Thereafter, the 9th attended the triennial event at Humboldt KS, also in
October, executing Pvt. Keidel as the federal deserter, burning down the facade
town, and drilling into the night on Friday. We put seventeen (17) rifles on the
field, tied with Cowtown for the top number. Issued rations were compliments of
the City. Three (3) new men made the campaign.
A scheduled October Lexington MO event was cancelled for reasons not altogether
The 9th finished the season on a high note in December at the biennial campaign
at Prairie Grove ARK consolidating with our brothers in the “other” 9th Texas
from Dallas/Fort Worth, and had a first rate time. There were near-ruinous
thunderstorms on Friday night, a Christmas box from home on Saturday (including
a couple of letters), and as much drill as we had time for. Sadly, Prairie Grove
was also Sgt. Major Gary Sutton’s last event after 30 years in reenacting and
the 9th presented him a framed collage of photos over the years with signed
regrets filling the back side. Gary is a 9th Texas man, and will be greatly
Smaller events along the way were Round Mountain (Yale OK) in February (several
9th men galvanized as federal in weather not as cold as you might expect); and
Pipestone MN in August (where we had a pay call amid intense heat and humidity).
We also did some recruiting at the Kansas Muzzleloaders Association Trade Show
in Manhattan KS in February and at the Shawnee KS militaria show in April; and
did some living history at the Mine Creek Battlefield (KS) in August and at
Crawford County’s (Pittsburg KS) Civil War Days on Labor Day weekend.
Rank structure was stable: Captain Brian Cox; First Sgt. Randy Downey; First
Cpl. Herb Shemwell; and Second Cpl. Jamie Ralph. Several men capably stepped up
to fill acting roles. We also inaugurated Pvt. Isbell as company cook and picked
up three (3) new men: Hayden Laurance, at Prairie Grove in December; Richard
Fitzwater at Humboldt in October; and Daniel Young at Gettysburg in July.
Recruiting - every man’s duty - remained a high priority for the 9th as it has
been in the past and will continue for the future.
No dues were assessed as we have several hundred in the bank. No new equipment
Our excellent webpage at
ninthtexas.com - instituted in 2006 - continues to spark interest and our
Facebook page - instituted in 2009 - continues to be an excellent source of
communication. We continue to hand out our business cards.
With high hopes for the future, and thanks to the rank and file for their
continued support, I proudly state, “there is none finer.”
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
First Missouri Battalion
December 27, 2018
9th Texas Soldiers on the 2018 campaigns:
Captain Brian Cox
First Sgt. Randy Downey
Cpl. Jamie Ralph.
Pvt. Brad Amend (Col.)
Pvt. Bard Anspach
Pvt. Kevin Belt
Pvt. Kyle Buntin
Pvt. Nathan Edwards
Pvt. Richard Fitzwater
Pvt. Gene Hainstock
Pvt. Chris Hayhurst
Pvt. Mark Isbell
Pvt. Robert Johnston
Pvt. Chris Keidel
Pvt. Bridger Keyes
Pvt. Wyatt Keyes
Pvt. Hayden Laurance
Pvt. Sam Lowery
Pvt. Dawson Manning
Pvt. Carl Rader (Lt., ret)
Pvt. Aaron Stabb
Pvt. T. Stick
Pvt. Gary Sutton (Sgt. Major)
Pvt. Braxton Thomas
Pvt. Chris Visser (Major)
Pvt. Kelton Wilson
Pvt. Daniel Young
Campaign at Prairie Grove Arkansas, Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2018 -
After Action Report
The 9th Texas attended its umpteenth campaign at Prairie Grove
ARK the weekend of Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2018, reenacting the December 1862 battle. It
turned out to be a great event some rain notwithstanding. Submitted herewith,
faithful reader, is an After Action Report for the campaign.
I picked up Pvt. Young at Sgt. Major Gary Sutton’s place in Blue Springs and we
made our largely uneventful way down to the site, approximately 5 1/2 hours out
of Topeka as a point of reference, and got in very early. Registration was
prompt but we needed to carry the token issued as a sign of the same, and it was
a $10 charge this time.We found the Missouri camp and commenced to set up. Kudos
to (now Lt.) Paul Dittemeier for setting up the companies’ streets.
Attending for the 9th Texas:
Capt. Brian Cox
First Sgt. Randy Downey
Acting First Cpl. Jamie Ralph
Pvt.’s Robert Johnston, Bridger Keyes, Wyatt Keyes, Daniel Young, Mark Isbell,
and (new man) Hayden Laurence.
Please join me in welcoming Pvt. Laurence to the ranks.
Work, health, and sundry commitments kept others away. That said, I urge that
the enjoyment of events by the rank and file increases synergistically with
Attending for Battalion staff:
Col. Brad Amend. Lt. Col. Chris Shuster, Major Howard Rollins, Major/Adjutant
Chris Visser, Sgt. Major Gary Sutton, Color Sgt. Shawn Bell, Color Cpl. Dave
The 9th fell in with the lads of the “other“ 9th Texas from the Dallas/Fort
Worth area, and they were every bit as capable, hard-fighting, well-drilled, and
well-led as we had expected. Their Lt. Ron White has acted as their captain in
the absence of their regular captain. Attending for the “other” 9th Texas:
Lt. Ron White
2nd Sgt. Keyes Larsen
Musician Robbie Matlack
Pvt.’s Jeff Cheatham, Trey Barton, Jay Reid, Brian Larsen, Kevin Otter, Tyler
Larsen, Dave Rodin, Frank Harewick, Zach McCraig, Rob Matlack (please excuse my
misspellings or omissions, if any)
Musician Robbie Matlack is the son of (Cpl. ret.) Rob Matlack and spent his very
first years in the 9th, and has developed maturity and considerable prowess as a
drummer, and acted as such for the Battalion. I head nothing but great things
about his performance.
Pvt. McCraig of the other 9th proved to be a skilled musician, regaling us on
Saturday night with trumpet and fiddle.
Other Battalion units in attendance to a greater or lesser extent: 1st Mo, 2nd
MO, 3d MO, 4th Ark, 5th MO, 9th MO Sharpshooters.
As always, the cooperation of Mother Nature was fondly prayed for but that
cooperation was not forthcoming, at least in part. We all read the forecast but
rain and high winds came in in near-ruinous waves later in the evening on Friday
night, the storms ferocious in intensity, with some units drenched to the point
of deciding to pick up and leave, and most others with some gear and clothing
wet. That said, the rain did not stop us from playing some cards under the 9th’s
fly, with the Keyes men and Capt. B. Dodson of the 3rd MO. Against all odds, I
think that I was the big winner. And, we were given an additional hour in bed on
Saturday morning by the Sergeant Major, undoubtedly due to our rough night with
Temperatures during the day were very tolerable although Saturday night turned
chilly, into the mid-30’s.
Sutler's row was pretty spare as I saw it during my one visit: James Country
and Fall Creek. I was also told that Robert Serio of Missouri Boot and Shoe was
in attendance. I saw no food venders although I think breakfasts were served in
the Latta Barn. A water buffalo was a short walk from our camp, as were the
sinks (which were kept quite clean), and firewood and straw sufficient for our
purposes; of course, no fire pits were to be dug. One complaint as I saw it -
almost no effort was made to keep cars out of camp.
We had received a “stack arms” challenge from the Arkansas Battalion, and so
spent considerable time drilling and picking our fastest entrants. That
competition was postponed indefinitely, but in the event, we arranged our own
little intra-company competition between the 9th and our comrades, the 9th Texas
from Texas. The latter edged the boys from Kansas but only by a bit.
(Examination of the drill manual is always a good idea. As to the stacking of
arms, see Hardee’s (1862), SOS, no. 410-12.)
On Saturday night, a couple of ladies - one carrying a bat and an unpleasant
demeanor - with a gaggle of Yanks, came into camp looking for Lt. Col. Shuster,
and later Sgt. Major Sutton, on a claim of the man having fathered a child by a
particular woman, and wanting him to do the right thing. I don’t know how that
turned out but this appears to be a continuation of the court martial at Pilot
This event, of course, was the weekend of Sgt. Major Gary Sutton’s retirement
after some 30 years of faithful service (Gary is a 9th Texas product). Much has
been written elsewhere about Gary and how irreplaceable his presence for the
Battalion. That said, ceremonies were held all weekend for Gary: a nice
presentation sword from Staff and comments by Colonel Amend on Saturday; a
presentation engraved watch from Staff and a written tribute read by Major
Visser; and a framed collage of photos of Gary over the years from the 9th
Texas. (I was scurrying around until nearly 4 pm on Saturday trying to get
signatures/comments on the back by those who knew or knew of Gary; I was mostly
successful and filled up the back with regards from the lowliest private to Gen.
Following that presentation, we brought up a Christmas package which had arrived
from family back home in Texas which included something for everyone: cookies,
fried pies, bottled peaches and eggs, canned oysters, some “moonshine cherries,”
cheese and sausage, cigars and chewing tobacco, candles, knives, small bibles, a
shirt, a domino game (I think that is it) and two letters from wives back home,
Ms. Heidi Keyes and Ms. Lesa Isbell.
Once again, Pvt. Isbell capably cooked three meals on the weekend, transported
the foodstuffs and cooking materials, and supervised the cleanup, without
On Saturday we had company drill, then battalion parade, then battalion drill,
and some more company drill for new men. And more drill on Sunday. We did
skirmish drill both days and that is progressing, I think. We do need work on a
movement of the company from column of fours to a battle line facing right, i.e.
“on the right by file into line,” and I will bone up on that. Relevant text from
Hardee’s is set out in a note below.*
The comment of Oliver Norton of the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry bears noting:
“The first thing in the morning is drill, then drill, then drill again. Then
drill, drill, a little more drill. Then drill, and lastly drill. Between drills,
we drill, and sometimes stop to eat a little and have roll-call” (we have it
I had some very good discussions with Lt. White about the running of the company
generally and with Sgt. Downey about the 9th specifically. Of note, as to the
former, good advice offered was that non-coms need to understand that a positive
attitude at all times is paramount (for an overall exposition of the duties of
the rank and file including non-coms, Kautz’ Customs of Service (1864) might be
examined. See, e.g., the link at 64thill.org/drillmanuals/kautzs_customsofservice/enlisted/index.htm)
Two picket/trading-between-the-lines scenarios with the Yanks were put on hold
as we simply ran out of time, but we are going to try to get that done at
Cowtown with the 8th Kansas.
As to the battles, Prairie Grove presents the rare opportunity to fight on the
same ground as the 1862 campaign and it is splendid ground for the fight, with
relative advantages for both sides. The main topography aside from the Borden
House is the steep hill extending from its front, the forested areas on either
side extending down the hill and confining movement some, and the broad plain
beyond that from which a stand up fight could be had.
Both days’ fights opened with the customary artillery bombardments, then our
infantry moved forward by a “passage of files” through the pieces, then to form
up into a battle line beyond. (I am advised that the movement can be found in
Hardee’s (1862), SOB, no. 105 and following. There is also a discussion of
passing obstacles in an article found at drillnet.net/.)
The Yanks staged preliminarily both days around the Borden House from which we
pushed them down the hill, and their main troops then came up from the plain.
Inexplicably, both days, the federal’s main force was divided into three main
pieces, divided by some space, and as far as we could tell, not coordinating
each with the other. I am still a little uncertain what was the purpose of those
fellows seeking cover around the Borden House, but plainly not in the fight
although between competing firing lines.
On Saturday, the First Missouri Battalion was to have gone in first to get at
the federals, but another rebel unit preempted us and went in instead. We waited
a bit and then went in and drove the federals away from the Borden house. They
left a number of casualties and retreated down the hill. One of our units was
driven off and we were forced off once but advanced again and with substantial
casualties drove the federals back to their starting point. The battle ended
after about an hour.
Sunday’s battle was better by accounts than Saturday’s. We started in after the
bombardment and immediately encountered the federals at the Borden House. It was
back and forth there awhile but we eventually pushed them off and down the hill
where we regrouped. It was back and forth here again for awhile and we took 50%
casualties. There was here eventually some firing at distance including by their
artillery, and unfortunately, the remaining men in the 9th went down at the
bottom of the hill from canister, except Lt. White who was wounded.
The Sunday battle was over at 2 and we were on the road by 3:15.
Both battles were viewed by a substantial number of spectators kept back but
close by yellow tape.
Overall, it was a very good event, the rain on Friday night notwithstanding. The
9th Texas boys did everything I could have asked for and it was an honor to have
the 9th Texas from Texas fall in with us. (I have reproduced below an after
action communication from their Second Sgt.**)
I am respectfully,
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
First Missouri Battalion
* Hardee’s (1862), SOC, no. 148-50:
ARTICLE IV. - The company being in march by the flank, to form it on the right
(or left) by file into line of battle.
148. If the company be marching by the right flank the instructor will command:
1. On the right, by file into line. 2. MARCH.
149. At the command march, the rear rank men doubled will mark time;
the captain and the covering sergeant will turn to the right, march straight
forward, and be halted by the instructor when they shall have passed at least
six paces beyond the rank of file closers,
the captain will place himself correctly on the line of battle, and will direct
the alignment as the men of the front rank successively arrive;
the covering sergeant will place himself behind the captain at the distance of
the rear rank;
the two men on the right of the front rank doubled, will continue to march, and
passing beyond the covering sergeant and the captain, will turn to the right;
after turning, they will continue to march elbow to elbow, and direct themselves
towards the line of battle, but when they shall arrive at two paces from this
line, the even number will shorten the step so that the odd number may precede
him on the line, the odd number placing himself by the side and on the left of
the even number will afterwards oblique to the left, and place himself on the
left of the odd number;
the next two men of the front rank doubled, will pass in the same manner behind
the two first, turn then to the right, and place themselves, according to the
means just explained, to the left, and by the side of, the two men already
established on the line;
the remaining files of this rank will follow in succession, and be formed to the
left in the same manner.
The rear rank doubled will execute the movement in the manner already explained
for the front rank, taking care not to commence the movement until four men of
the front rank are established on the line of battle; the rear rank men, as they
arrive on the line, will cover accurately their file leaders.
** “Captain Cox,
The enlisted men of Company F, 9th Texas Infantry thank you for allowing us to
fall in with you at Prairie Grove. I hope we measured up to your standards. Your
boys certainly lived up to ours. As 2nd sgt, Keyes was impressed with the
discipline in the ranks. I think we may create a traveling trophy for Brigade
stacking competition. Just let us know when you're ready to try and take it from
us. We particularly enjoyed the time in camp with our pards. Thank you for
including us in your "package from home". This was my son Tyler's second event.
I think we've hooked him for good. The shirt he received is the first item in
his very own kit. He sends his personal thanks.
I hope we get to see some of your boys down at Canton in February. We'll take
good care of you. You are welcome in our camp any time.
Sgt. Brian Larsen
9th Texas Infantry”
Retirement of Sgt. Major Gary Sutton …
Words we will hear no more:
“First Missouri Battalion; gentlemen, good morning! Gentlemen, get out of your
bedrolls! It is 6 am, it is time to join the army for our duty! Gentlemen, get
your breakfasts. First Sgt’s, I need morning reports at 6:30. Let’s get up!”*
*Sgt. Major Gary Sutton, 2018 Gettysburg PA campaign, July 7, 2018, 6
Many of you will recall these or similar peremptory words of Sgt. Major Gary
Sutton, calling on the men to get out of bed, heard many times over battlefields
in Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, and elsewhere. These are words which we will
no longer hear. With great sadness, I have been advised and report that Gary
will retire from reenacting after a thirty-one (31) year career as a soldier in
the 9th Texas and the First Missouri Battalion. A few words of thanks, regret,
and remembrance on this occasion are appropriate.
Gary's career in reenacting began with his watching a reenactment at Butler, MO.
Gary’s wife turned to him and said, “you really want to do this, don’t you.” His
career began shortly thereafter in 1988 as a private in the 9th Texas Infantry.
Gary relates that he spent time researching as many things as possible about the
history and the hobby, listening intently to experienced reenactors along the
way, trying all the while not to embarrass himself and the ones around him (I
can safely say that Gary met this test!).
Gary was soon promoted to Corporal in the 9th, and began to study NCO duties to
better his knowledge. He was thereafter promoted again to Sergeant after a short
time, and he “cherished the idea that someone had thought enough of me to give
me that honor. I must have done something right somewhere!”
In about five years, Gary was promoted up to Battalion staff as bugler, and for
a couple of years, provided the battalion (then the 4th Extra Battalion, aka
“Beck’s Battling Bastards”) with the sound of the bugle, not only in camp, but
on the field. “[Gary] studied bugle calls, and drum calls, and felt that [he]
was an integral part of the portrayal of a Civil War soldier for the public.”
It was at Prairie Grove, Arkansas, around 1996, that then Col. John Beck
promoted Gary to Sergeant Major – a first for the battalion, and apparently in
the region. Gary “studied duties, and NCO relationships to provide the rank and
file with an accurate-as-possible representation of the rank [and, is] proud of
that accomplishment.” (Again, I can safely say that Gary did so and is rightly
proud of his having been an integral part of the Battalion’s presence and
success on the field.)
Gary relates his fondest remembrance of reenacting and states “the 135th
reenactment in 1998 (to this date the largest reenactment ever held on American
soil) at Gettysburg, PA, where, in depicting Pickett’s Charge, 8,000
Confederates marched across the field to the Copse of Trees, where 12,000
Yankees waited. I remember the size of the march and the noise. The spectacle.
It was exhilarating.”
Gary states for the future of the hobby:
“the hobby … looks challenging. We must continue to engage the public, share our
knowledge of the history with them, and sometimes force ourselves to face
possible complacency and difference of thought. I fear if we, as reenactors,
don’t face skepticism head on, especially in this age of political differences,
we, as a society, will lose interest, and our beloved hobby will shrink in
importance.” Good advice!
I have been a fellow soldier of Gary’s since 1993, travelled with him to events,
fought the weather, the marches, and the battles with him, and I can say that
there is no better pard than Gary. He is well-prepared, loyal, always of good
cheer, skilled in the duties of his rank, and knowledgeable of the life of the
Civil War soldier and the business of reenacting. Many might say moreover that
Gary was more than a pard or a brother in the ranks. Rather, his soft but direct
tone, ready wisdom, and steady presence made him something more in the nature of
a father to the men in the rank and file. Gary can be justifiably proud of what
he has done over the years for the 9th, the Battalion, and reenacting
generally. I can safely say that Gary will be virtually irreplaceable, and we
are worse for the loss.
Sgt. Major - you will be missed. There is none finer!
I am, most respectfully,
Your humble servant,
Captain, 9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
First Missouri Battalion
9th Texas at Browville: AAR oct 13 2018
The 9th Texas participated in a furious day of reenacting at Brownville NE
on Saturday, October 13, 2018. We joined our brothers from Missouri and
Nebraska, including our Battalion brothers, the 3d Mo and 4th Ark.
Present for the 9th Texas: Capt. Brian Cox, and Privates Edwards, Isbell,
Sadly, Mother Nature (mainly rain-soaked terrain with more on the way)
forced the cancellation of most of the event including the campaigner march
slated for Friday-Sat (kudos to Sgt B. Keller and Major Visser, however, for
all their hard work on the project - which may reappear next year). But many
of us still made the trek to support the event for the day and were glad we
We divided into two companies of about 10 men @, Capt. Arbaugh in charge of
Company A and your humble correspondent of B. The 9th’s own Major Visser had
One of the attractions of the event is the street fighting through the
vintage town and, literally through the spectators. As anticipated, fighting
in the morning was furious through the town, over the trail, across the
bridge several times, and at one point down a steep embankment offering no
reprieve for any misstep. As with the terrain, the yanks were worthy
We broke for lunch of chicken and biscuits with green beans and a choice of
dessert. An impressive display of Civil War armaments and sundry
paraphernalia was on display in the community hall where we ate.
We were back on again in the mid-afternoon, after a short march out of town
and up an impressive hill. This fight was in a more open venue, the site of
battles past on sloping terrain and light woodlands. We were supported by a
couple of artillery pieces. The fight was mostly in our separate companies,
mostly not acting in complete coordination. But our company B was able to
put some of the federal to flight at one point, re-captured one of our
artillery pieces and in fact ended up the fight in the federal’s rear.
I think we all had a first-rate time, and I commend Brownville as a great
event, even truncated as it was. All men were rewarded with a packet of
**The following was posted by Sgt. Keller following the event:
“I just want to say a big sincere thank you to those men of the battalion
that showed the interest to still come to Brownville even when it was
downgraded to just a one day event. We thought for sure when it was said
that the event would have no camping due to flooding and that it was a "do
what we have with whoever shows up" event, that it was dead. Those of you
who expressed interest in still making the trip for the day truly are what
makes our hobby great. We turned nothing into something amazing. I would be
inclined to say it was even one of the top 5 Brownville events that I can
remember having. Each and every one of you should be proud of yourselves. It
was because of you that we could even put on such an enjoyable event.
Compliments from all around the city is what I heard. The last minute change
of plans turned into a success and is a testament to the members of the
PSS. The following was also posted by Major Visser following the event:
I want to offer my deepest gratitude to those members of the battalion that
still made the trip to Brownville. We were only there one day; yet we
managed to still fight as many battles as any other standard event we
attend, and had a beautiful day for it to boot.
But the truly impressive item of the day was each of you who did not want to
stop when the event was "on, off, and on again". We have had other events
cancelled this year, and the replacement events didn't draw much enthusiasm.
But with this one on the verge of being over, each of you, and the TWICE AS
MANY FEDERALS, were not willing to take no for an answer. You MADE this
event possible by your insistence to show up and get this one in the books.
I'll try to keep my thanks short in proportion to the day, but I just want
to tell you how much Brownville, the organizers, and most of all myself
appreciated your help today. You continue to humble me more all of the time.
Always with you and never without you,
Christopher [Visser, Major]”
After Action Report: Pipestone, Mn 2018
Campaign at Pipestone MN, August 10-12, 2018, After Action Report
The 9th Texas participated in the campaign at Pipestone MN August 10-12, and
your humble correspondent can say that, although it has been several years since
I was last there, the six (6) hour trip (out of Topeka) was worth the trip for
this bi-yearly event.
Present for the 9th Texas: Capt. Brian Cox, First Sgt. Randy Downey, Pvts. Mark
Isbell and Nathan Edwards. Present for Battalion staff: Col. Chris Visser, Lt.
Col. Chris Shuster, Sgt. Major Gary Sutton, acting Color Sgt. Dave Jepsen.
Weather mostly cooperated with temps at mid-60’s night, and mid-80’s day, and
dry and clear, but humidity both days pushed the discomfort level quite high,
and we had one man go down with the heat on Sunday.
Pipestone is a Civil War “fair” of sorts with an active sutler and food vender
row, many presentations, and a battlefield site gauged for the taters. That
said, the event was attended by approx. 50 infantry both sides, 3-5 artillery
pieces, and battles both days. We invited the Yanks out to fight on Saturday
morning to no avail, but to our surprise, they came out on Sunday and we had a
spirited engagement before driving them off.
Regular battles both days were in the “bowl” which forms the apex of the event,
the Johnnies have the better of it on Saturday and being driven off on Sunday.
As to the latter, we attacked several times but were eventually driven off
through the taters.
I confess that I had forgotten what an excellent event this was.**
I am, your obedient servant,
Captain, 9th Texas
First Missouri Battalion.
**A fuller version of events at the event can be found on the
9th Texas’ Facebook page.
After Action Report: Hulston Mill, MO 2018
After action report for Hulston Mill MO, June 8-10, 2018
The 9th Texas and the First Missouri Battalion have now concluded the first
half of the 2018 campaign with the actions at Hulston Mill MO, an
under-attended, but action-packed maximum battalion event. The 9th survived
the heat and humidity, and the battles, ate well, and lived the life of the
Hulston Mill is an historic state park and campground about four hours out
of Topeka as a point of reference, some 30 miles west of Springfield. The
Battalion has been here several times in the past. I encourage all to strive
to attend this event when it is held again.
Heat and humidity were blistering with temps in the 90’s and heat indices
above that; it was “sweat-through-your-vest” hot. Ameliorating somewhat the
temps was our campsite, nestled partly under the trees in a little
cul-de-sac against the tree line, and with a water spigot spitting distance
away. Of course, nearby lurked the armies of ticks and poison ivy for those
who entered the forested areas.
Present for the 9th Texas: Captain Brian Cox, First Sgt. Randy Downey,
acting First Cpl. Brad Anspach, and Privates Mark Isbell and Daniel Young.
The latter, an army airborne veteran, with some CW artillery experience,
joined the infantry and acquitted himself well in camp, in drill, on the
march, and in the three battles.
Present for Battalion staff: Col. Brad Amend, LC Chris Shuster, Major
Howard Rollins, Major/adjutant Chris Visser, Sgt. Major Gary Sutton, and
Color Cpl. Dave Jepsen.
Other units present in force were the 3d MO under Captain Boone Dodson and
the 4th MO (the largest company) under Captain John Ezell, and Elliott’s
Scouts. Several from the 2d MO fell in with us and fought well.
Amenities were adequate although there was no straw. Wood, including that
brought to the site by Cpl. Anspach, and water, were plentiful. No rations
or bounties were issued but there was a sutler’s row including James
Country, Adler’s and Missouri Boot and Shoe. Facilities were a two hole,
unisex shed adequate for the purpose.
We instituted a company mess for the three main meals, superbly carried out
by Pvt. Isbell in procuring, transporting, and preparing foodstuffs, cooking
and serving, and cleaning up, all without complaint or assistance. Sunday
morning was the topper with scrambled eggs with sausage, fat patty sausages,
grits, and sliced strawberries and bananas. Three such meals at $10 a man
was a steal.
We also finally got off the ground roll calls at 12 noon and 5 pm, in
addition to that early in the am, and a truncated field shaving scenario.
Other than the heat, there were only two main drawbacks for the event.
First, was the wholly unrestricted parking permitted reenactors and
civilians. We had a row of reenacts parking in plain sight, and a civilian
camper 50 feet away. I expressed my disdain to Capt. Ezell who promised to
convey this to the event organizer.
The other was the federal presence. Although there were numbers of federals
on Saturday, such were not the numbers we had anticipated when Camdenton was
cancelled and the Battalion picked up Hulston Mill. In fact, the federals
were down to some eight troops on Sunday, the latter eventuality resulting
in the 9th volunteering to go Blue and support the Yanks. Against all odds,
perhaps, that lead to the best fight of the weekend in a Ride with the
Devil-type assault by the rebs on the several period cabins on the site,
after we had been pushed into them from open ground.
We did get our butts handed to us in the two battles on Saturday, including
by the substantial federal artillery presence. Of note, some ground charges
were laid and fired off to excellent effect, two 9th men taking impressive
The Battalion fought as Missouri State Guard on Saturday and generic rebs on
The 9th got in drill on several occasions, including practicing skirmish
twice, and the men readily picked up on this difficult maneuver. Salient
points: deploying on the line you are on (by the flank); deploying forward
(on the file); firing/ceasing firing; advancing; moving in retreat. I
encourage those who wish to study further to secure a copy of Hardee’s or
you might also want to consult the excellent summary at
We also had some excellent discussions including with Battalion staff about
how we can secure more rifles at Battalion-wide events. I reiterated my
belief that securing in writing the event suggestions from the various
companies prior to the Battalion planning meeting might be helpful. In
addition, I also suggested that Battalion staff needs to find some way to
enforce greater attendance by the sundry units at previously-scheduled
Battalion max events, such as this one.
We also had considerable interest in a live-fire winter quarters to reprise
those held twice in the past on Sgt. Downey’s land near Yates Center KS. We
can tentatively scheduled this, weather and promised attendance permitting,
for February 2019. Some issues to consider: molding minie balls, securing
targets to fire at, sanitary facilities, and the possible building of one or
more wooden huts.
We have had a good season thus far, and I look forward to more hard-fighting
in the second half of the year. And now, On to Gettysburg:
I am respectfully,
Captain, 9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
First Missouri Battalion
After Action Report: Cowtown 2018
Cowtown, April 27-29, 2018, After Action report
I can state that the 2018 Cowtown event was a resounding success; even
Mother Nature cooperated with us this year. Weather was near perfect with
highs during the days of 70’s and at night of high 40’s-low 50’s. There was
only a small smattering of rain on Sunday morning.
Those who attended:
Captain Brian Cox
First Sgt. Randy Downey
First Corporal Jamie Ralph (from injured leave)
Acting First Corporal Brad Anspach
Pvt. Nathan Edwards
Pvt. Robert Johnston
Pvt. Bridger Keyes
Pvt. Wyatt Keyes
Pvt. Braxton Thomas
Pvt. Kevin Belt
Pvt. (Lt. ret.) Carl Rader
Pvt. Gene Hainstock
Pvt. Chris Hayhurst
Pvt. Mark Isbell
Pvt. (Sgt. Major) Gary Sutton
Pvt. (Major) Chris Visser
Pvt. Chris Keidel
Thanks to the 3d Missouri and the Verdigris Militia for substantial
reinforcements. Also aiding the 9th was a man from the 4th Mo., one from the
2nd, and one from the 4th Arkansas. Again, unfortunately, the rebs had no
Present for the Yanks were the game lads from the 8th Kansas and the
Missouri Irish Brigade, a tube from the 2d Kansas Light Artillery, and
Captain Seba’s McLain’s battery.
It was good to see Mr. Hainstock fall in for the campaign. Retired 2d Lt.
Carl Rader also fell in with us for the fights on Saturday. And Retired
Major Brian Albert, Retired 2nd Sgt. Mike Haberkorn, and Private Morris
Floyd also dropped by. We received donation of equipment from Floyd and
Carl. We also had some discussion about the meaning of Beck’s 4th Extra
Battalion which was inscribed on a camp table donated by Carl. Apparently,
this was an invention of former 9th Captain and later general John Beck
describing the then-Missouri Battalion as an additional unit of the brigade
which was often the fourth Battalion, hence the name.
Present for Battalion staff were Sgt. Major Gary Sutton, Major Chris Visser,
Major Howard Rollins, and color Cpl. Dave Jepsen all of whom fell in as
The event followed the usual format: battles Saturday were at 11:30 and
3:00 with action in around the trenches and the fights generally reversed
from morning to afternoon; Sunday battles were the tactical at 9 am and the
concluding battle at 1. Cowtown presents the opportunity to configure
battles of radically different style from an assault on structures, a fight
in and for the trenches, house-to-house, and more. We took full advantage of
The (hopefully now) traditional footrace (pulled from Company Aytch) had six
entrants this year: three from the 9th, two from Verdigris, one from the
10th Mo, and one from the 3d. Despite a tight run, Wyatt Keyes edged his
brother to claim the title and bragging rights. There was an unsuccessful
attempt to throw the race by some rascals.
We also had a spirited 9th Texas annual meeting at which a number of issues
On Saturday night, we were treated to senator’s stew with cornbread by the
ladies of the Verdigris Militia. It was excellent, and I went back twice.
Many thanks to the ladies of the Militia who put together this feast!
In addition, the Missouri Irish Brigade set up in the saloon with
substantial libations and some finger food - quite a treat. While there, I
had some serious conversations with their Captain (Kevin Christiensen) about
how they run their company and I garnered a number of ideas.
My only regrets: we did not have roll calls at noon and at 5 on Saturday,
we did not set out a picket. Also - no saloon gals, and considerably less
Many thanks to the units attending, to the City of Wichita for continuing to
permit us access to the side, and to Greg Hunt, the reenactors “roadie” and
special friend of the 9th Texas.
I am, respectfully,
Captain, 9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
First Missouri Battalion
After Action Report: Kingston tactical 2018
After action report, Kingston MO, May 18-20, 2018:
The 9th Texas and the First Missouri Battalion commenced the Battalion’s
2018 campaign with some hard-fighting at Kingston MO, northwest an hour or
so out of KCMO. The event featured very good, dry weather, rugged woodlands
to fight in, and hard-fighting with the federals, in a series of judged,
tactical (that is, no spectators) fights, every bit of four or better over
the two days. Pickets were placed out for several hours on Friday night.
Although we had the edge in cavalry, we were outnumbered in infantry and
Present for the 9th Texas:
Captain Brian Cox
Acting First Sgt. Brad Anspach
Acting Second Corporal Nathan Edwards, and
Privates Aaron Staab, T Stick, Mark Isbell, and Dawson Manning. The 9th was
joined in the effort by elements of the 4th Missouri and the 4th Arkansas.
Present for Battalion staff were Colonel Brad Amend, Lt. Col. Chris Shuster,
Major/Adjutant Chris Visser, Major Howard Rollins, Sgt. Major Gary Sutton,
and Color Cpl. Dave Jepsen.
Other units participating were the First Missouri under Captain Steve
Montgomery, the Third Missouri under Captain Boone Dodson, and Elliott’s
Scouts. I was very disappointed that other units in the Battalion did not
turn out for this previously-scheduled, maximum Battalion, and novel event.
You were missed and missed out.
Mother Nature largely cooperated with mostly sunny conditions, a little hot
and humid on Saturday morning, and a light rain only starting in earnest
after we broke camp. Of note - ticks and poison ivy were everywhere.
The novelty of the event was that each side’s command staff received orders
during the course of the day advising as to required movements/objectives
which inevitably led to a collision between the two sides. In addition,
judges imbedded in the ranks were to call out casualties, those to return to
the “medical” tent to sit things out for a bit. As of this writing, I am
still waiting to see how our company did. We were under Lt. Col. Shuster’s
command and Captain Dodson had his own separate company. Col. Amend stayed
in camp to receive and send dispatches. From where I stood, we had our asses
handed to us mostly on Saturday, with a third effort bringing no contact. We
eventually prevailed in the fight on Sunday, encountering a federal rear
guard which we bested with a “rolling thunder.”
Overall, the spontaneity of the event was superb: we were
sent out with certain objectives with no idea where the other side was, and
with additional orders received by courier in the field. That challenge was
compounded by the rugged, heavily-wooded terrain, and the heat and humidity.
It bears noting that every soldier should take steps to read up on the
duties of the rank above his, given the inevitability of the need to step
up. That eventuality appeared this weekend when Private Brad Anspach capably
stepped up to take on the important job of First Sgt. Kudos to Mr. Anspach
for a job well-done.
On a side note, most of the Battalion went in to Polo MO for dinner Saturday
night at the Red Rooster, which just happens to pass for the 9th’s mascot,
the rebel chicken of defiance (see the related photo).
Many thanks to all who survived this endurance-testing event. And now, on to
I am respectfully,
Captain, 9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
First Missouri Battalion
For more pictures click
Corporal Bob Albert retires
I am sad to report the retirement of
9th Texas First Corporal Bob Albert, after several decades as a reenactor
with the unit; his first year in was 1991. Bob was a reenactor's reenactor,
first rate in drill, impression, leadership, and knowledge. Known for his
ready sense of humor (some might say his biting sense of humor), Bob had
just as ready a smile, and was known as a brother from the lowliest private
to the top rank in the Battalion. It is, of course, the rare reenactor who
could take on the duties of a private and those of the top officer in the
unit, all in the same day, and be happy to do it, but that was Bob. Bob was
also one to both set a good example and to instill in us a desire to achieve
it as well. And the 9th and the First Missouri Battalion, indeed Civil War
reenacting as a whole, will be the worse for our loss of Bob.
Please join me in wishing Bob best success in his future endeavors, and
letting him know that he will always have a home in the 9th Texas, wherever
and whenever that might be.
I am, most respectfully,
Your humble servant,
Captain, Ninth Texas
Farewell, old Friend - Cpl. Mark Gianelloni retires from the 9th
With great sadness, I report that our own Corporal Mark Gianelloni
is seeking greener pastures and relocating with his family to South
Mark has been a Civil War reenactor for thirty-two (32) years,
setting or close to setting a record for the 9th, and has been in
our ranks since approximately 1992. Mark was recently promoted to
Third Corporal of the 9th and served creditably in that role during
recent campaign. Mark was also the owner/operator of Longwood
Sutlery, bringing quality goods to the rank and file at the lowest
possible price, as many of you can attest. His sons VJ and Atticus
also fell in with us and served as good soldiers. And I would be
remiss if I failed to mention Mark’s faithful wife Sarah without
whose consent and support we would never have had Mark in the ranks.
I remember Mark as a capable reenactor and friend, with a ready
laugh or smile. Mark never had a bad word to say about others, was
always full of stories about events of long ago and could just as
readily discuss current events and politics as he could the history
of the War. I was impressed by Mark’s faithful attendance at Sunday
Mass even while attending out-of-town events.
Mark promises to stay in touch (and has, as his Facebook posts
show), and I hope that we will see him again on some field at some
future national event.
We are worse off without you, and Cpl. Gianelloni - you will be
I am most respectfully, your obedient servant,
New Pictures can be found on Facebook:
9th Texas Civil War reenacting
Drill notes Vol. III
- Things every soldier, officer, non-com, and
enlisted man, needs to know or refresh on -
I have taken this from the text
of Hardee’s (see, e.g.,drillnet.net/1862/1862.htm)
with some annotations by me given the reality of
reenacting practice - these are noted by
asterisks (**). I have also deleted those
portions of the manual which are not actively
used by the 9th or the Battalion (
In the Captain's Corner)