The 2013 Season  was one to remember for the ages!

 

Fireside reading at Cowtown.

 

 

Sgt. Randy Downey

 

Pvt. Staab and Pvt. Waters before the battle opens.

 

New Page:  Just for Fun; comics, drawings and outtakes.

* NEW PIC's ADDED March10 2010 to outtakes page

 

 

 

 

 

2009 season after action reports all can be found here!

Journal2009

 

 

 

 Sgt. Shively looking exceptional in Federal Blue!  

 

 

Priv. Driscoll awaits execution at Humboldt.

 

 

Sgt. Bell installs the Ninth's ceiling tile at the Tip On Inn.

 

 

The Ninth applies the torches to the town!

 

 

Pvt. Shemwell tries to calm the civilians!

 

 

Three comrades enjoy the Humboldt event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Journal of the Ninth Texas Regiment of Infantry: 

                  

                    NINTH TEXAS 2011 CAMPAIGN - RETROSPECTIVE

The season was a great success as the 9th inaugurated the sesquicentennial (i.e. 150th anniversary), brought new men into the ranks, brought veterans back into the ranks, got into some mischief, fought hard battles and overall had some great fun. Our only regret, perhaps, the Battalion schedule prematurely ended in September with Lexington.

We began the season with Cowtown, in Wichita KS, in April and fought the 8th Kansas and saw huge crowds. Next up was the first 150th for us at Carthage MO in May where we fought through the town square including some hand-to-hand with the Yanks. Next up was another 150th at Boonville MO (for the “Boonville Races”) in June. Our “national” event for the year was in August at Wilson’s Creek/Oak Hills, near Springfield MO, where we fought battles over several days, and the heat. Of note, the 9th was sent on a special mission on Sunday morning by Col. Amend resulting in the capture of several federal officers. We capped the season with the “Battle of the Hemp Bales” in September at Lexington MO.

Our high turnout of the season was twenty-three men (including officers) at Wilson’s Creek, a fine effort!

The battalion continues to be capably led by Col. Brad Amend a 9th alum, along with other 9th alumni, Sgt. Major Gary Sutton and Color Sgt. Shawn Bell.

We saw the retirement from his longstanding role as First Sgt. of Brian Shively, and the promotion of veteran 1st Cpl. Randy Downey into his shoes. Pvt. Shemwell received a well-deserved promotion to 3d Cpl. and Cpl’s Albert and R. Matlack moved up a notch. Also of note during the year:  some of the lads participated in the filming of a “vampire” Civil War movie in New Orleans, Mr. Gianelloni’s sutlery continues to grow, and the 9th newsletter has been resurrected.

That said, on to 2012. Never forget - “There is none finer!”

I remain, your most humble and obedient servant,

Brian Cox
Captain, commanding
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
1st Mo. Battalion

2011 Honor Roll:


Pvt. (Col.) Brad Amend
Pvt. Brad Anspach
Pvt. Jason Gibbens
Pvt. Nathan Edwards
Pvt. Morris Floyd
Pvt. Mark Gianelloni,Pvt. VJ Gianelloni
Pvt. Mike Haberkorn
Pvt. Mike Hall (from California)
Pvt. Chris Hayhurst
Pvt. Rob Hayhurst
Pvt. Jon Knudsen
Pvt. Matthew Lafferty
Pvt. Tony Mattia
Pvt. Jon Matlack
Pvt. Tripp McMillan
Pvt. Jim Pettus
Pvt. Jamison Price
Pvt. Jamie Ralph
Pvt. Joshua Ralph
Pvt. Justin Ralph
Pvt. Aaron Staab
Pvt. David Stickelman
Pvt. Brett Sutton
Pvt. Chris Visser
Pvt. Jamie Waters
Captain Brian Cox
1st Sgt. Randy Downey
1st Cpl. Bob Albert
2nd Cpl. Rob Matlack
3d Corporal Herb Shemwell
Pvt. John Poitevin
Pvt. Gene Hainstock


               

       LEXINGTON 2011 -  A VERY GOOD EVENT!!

The Ninth Texas attended the fourth and final 150th anniversary event of the 2011 season at Lexington MO, the weekend of September 16-18, 2011. This was, of course, the celebrated “Battle of the Hemp Bales,” and the reenactment, with its necessary props, was pulled off on Sunday, almost without a hitch. Read on faithful reader, and hear the tale of Lexington 2011(with apologies, somewhat belatedly).

There were no pests, no injuries, but rain. Indeed, it rained most of the weekend, generally to no harm, and only a real downpour on Saturday night. And it was misting on us when we were breaking down on Sunday afternoon, so that necessitated the airing out of equipment at home (I hope everyone did that). But of course, rain is nothing that the Battalion is not used to and ready for.

Present for duty for the 9th Texas were the following true soldier of Texas:

Nathan Edwards (“saw the Elephant” at Lexington!)
Morris Floyd, Mark Gianelloni, VJ Gianelloni, Chris Hayhurst, Rob Hayhurst, Jon Matlack, Jamie Ralph, Joshua Ralph, Justin Ralph, Aaron Staab, David Stickelman, Brett Sutton, Capt. Brian Cox
1st Sgt. Randy Downey, 1st Cpl. Bob Albert, 2nd Cpl. Rob Matlack.

There is a picture of this crew on the 9th’s Facebook page.

Unfortunately, Messrs. (and new 3d Cpl.) Shemwell and Visser were unable to make the trip. And Mr. McMillan received bad instructions to the camp, and so was forced to turn back (I will take some of the bad on that).

This was our second biggest turnout of the year (behind Wilson’s Creek), and something to be proud of. Those in the 9th who did not attend, indeed, those who did not attend at all this year, or in recent years, are missing really great times and camaraderie.

Mr. Jon Matlack, an old 9th man, came along with his lovely wife Judy. As he is relocating to points west, it could be some time before we see him again. Cpl. Rob Matlack and his family came and they are always good to see in force. And a special treat, former 9th captain John Heath, was also in attendance and he promises to fall in with us in the future as the opportunity arises. Mr. Brett Sutton also fell in with us and he is a good soldier, and has been away for too long.

I extend my thanks to Mr. Ralph who has brought two new men into the ranks, his son Justin, and cousin Joshua, both of whom are good soldiers. And also to Mr. Visser, who sent us a new man, Mr. Nathan Edwards, who saw the elephant at Lexington and plans to join up. The latter arrived literally with only a rifle and the eagerness of a new recruit.  I couldn’t be prouder of him. Later, on Sunday, I spoke with his father who also expressed an interest, possibly, in joining us. And thanks also to Cpl. Albert who succeeded in getting Morris Floyd, an old 9th man, to fall in with us, and he is also working on several others. Men, these are efforts which we should all be working on.

Kudos as well to 1st Sgt. Randy Downey who always challenges us on authenticity and attention to detail. And don’t try to challenge the man on the authenticity of the wooden clogs he sported through much of the weekend (see the picture posted on the 9th’s Facebook page).

Present for Battalion staff were:

Col. Brad Amend
Major Sam Looney
Lt. Col. Mike (“Mississippi”) Williams
Sgt. Major Gary Sutton
Color Sgt. Shawn Bell

Other companies present:

1st MO under Capt. Steve Montgomery
2nd MO under Capt. Ron Ulrich
3rd MO under Capt. Chris Shuster
3rd MO Dismounted under Capt. Tim Ritter
4th MO under Capt. Daniel Keith
5th MO under Capt. Bill Wayne
16th MO under Capt. Todd Conner

Hard-fighting units, everyone!

Permit me to note that Capt. Shuster’s boys from the 3rd MO. held a reunion of new and old members on Saturday night, and their singing and rejoicing filled the Battalion streets. And yes, I heard a tambourine as well. A good idea for the 9th to consider - hmmm, Cowtown 2012?

Sutlers of note at the event - James Country, Fall Creek, and Coon River, to name just a few. I was sorry that I did not partake of the food court which apparently had some variety. I got a new vest, and Mr. Stickleman began to buy more gear. A note to new recruits - as a general rule, “always consult a veteran” before buying any gear as it will save you some money, and perhaps some embarrassment down the line. Check the website for our standard uniform and gear. ninthtexas.com/recruitment.htm (clink on the link under “New Soldiers Handbook”).

Col. Amend said that the infantry numbers were - MSG 101, and Yanks 75.

Getting in and setting up -

Finding the camp and getting through registration was quick and easy. Some of the 9th were already present on-site when Mr. Stickleman and I arrived, after dark. The Battalion location was set and we set up the 9th’s camp on the far end, just touching an electrical wire set up for the livestock - I was reliably informed that the current was running. An imposing barn lay a stone’s throw from us and as such, it was a little difficult getting away from the 21st century and into “the moment.” Given our proximity to the farm, a rooster, in addition to Sgt. Major Sutton, awakened us in the early am both days.

Unfortunately, there was no effort to keep cars out of the camps, and this was far worse than Wilson’s Creek. Indeed, there were cars everywhere. You can complain about soup cans with labels on the fire, or modern cigarettes being smoked, or too much cutting up in the ranks, but this is something that reenactors should really police themselves. The boys in the 9th had some very unkind, and loud, things to say about the owners of those vehicles, one of which with trailer stayed most of the weekend at the very edge of our camp. Sorry, no excuse for that.

Moving on, kudos to Mr. Chris Hayhurst who lent his strong back to the digging of our fire pit which was bigger than most of our fire pits, and I think better suited to the purpose. And yes, the fire was started with one match.

There was plenty of firewood, although we did gather a great deal of deadfall to supplement our supply and it was a little smoky, and water was also close at hand. Portapotties were literally on the edge of our camp, and were kept relatively clean and supplied and had hand sanitizers in them - a good touch. But the proximity was just a little too close. Inexplicably, the folks who cleaned the portapotties apparently came in at 3 am Saturday morning - you can’t have a perfect world but man, what were they thinking?

Saturday -

Reveille per usual was at 6 am and even for those early to bed, this is a trial, perhaps, as it was for me, having spent a rough night in the sack with a bump in the ground under my back and slightly colder than usual temperatures.

We had our roll call under the auspices of 1st Sgt. Downey who is quickly warming to his new role and rank, and orderly call and breakfast.

The 9th’s event prank for Saturday morning parade was the small pirate “stick” flags which we all wore, conspicuously placed in the ribbon of our hats or in a buttonhole. Col. Amend had to laugh in spite of himself when he saw the feat. That was worth the effort. C’mon Battalion, join in the fun!

We had Battalion drill on Saturday morning, pretty basic stuff really:  we right-faced (those following Scott’s apparently do not “double up”), then a march to the battlefield, thence by company into line, so that we had succeeding battle lines of the companies in line of battle. At that point, Col. Amend intended us to then form up to the left of the lead company, to form our battle line facing forward. His command was for each succeeding company to peel off by left half wheel with an eye on our spot in the Battalion battle line where we would be; at the last moment, the captains command right turn into line and there we would, hopefully be. Some companies, not ours, however, anticipated a battle line to our left, so it was a little of a cluster the first time we did it, but we did it again and had it down. Thereafter we did some work on wheeling by all clasping arms in an attempt to ensure that we neither bulged nor caved in the middle (that’s the line, not the belly). This worked well, and was something that the 9th has often done. I might note that, given the rain on Sunday, we had no drill.

We fell in with Capt. Connor’s 16th MO boys for the weekend, as we have before, and they are good men, all.

Saturday battle -

In a change of pace, 3 pm was the time set for the battle on Saturday. The battle was on rough ground - a corn field recently harvested but with plenty of cobs and stalks left behind, so it was necessary to watch your footing and watch where you took a hit.

The Federals were pretty well entrenched behind fortifications with head logs. I should have gone over there to take a picture or two of their work - did anyone get a shot of their handiwork that we can post? It was quite a sight to see the Yanks when they fired from their distance during the battle - you saw the little puffs of smoke, and you could almost imagine those balls coming your way. And they had some pesky cannon firing us as well.

The plan was three frontal charges against the Yanks, then call it good. After the second assault was beaten back, I pleaded with Col. Amend to “let us hit them again,” and he did, but by the end of the third assault, the 16th/9th was down to four rifles and two useless captains. The rest of the Battalion had suffered greatly as well, the field strewn with the wounded and dead. We drew off; the day was not to be ours. Of course, as we marched off to the cheers of the spectators, it was very much like we had won the entire War on that field! God bless you, Missourians!

Of note, word spread of a federal cavalryman who took a hit during Saturday’s battle, and fell from his horse. Some might suggest that a cavalryman taking a hit, and falling from his horse, is a momentous event in and of itself. What happened next, however, cements that conclusion. As the story is told, after his master’s wounding and fall, the horse dutifully remained near him, and then apparently thought the time and place appropriate to urinate. And so it did -- all over the cavalryman! The latter deserves the highest commendation for observance of duty above and beyond the call by not stirring during the unexpected equine shower!

On a different note, a poison ivy concern was raised by a 4th MO Soldier after the battle on Saturday, he offering soap and towels to wipe off any residue from exposure. No one from the 9th complained of ill effects until Mr. Ralph posted after the event that he was feeling “itchy” (rude comments followed).

We did have a scenario of tent inspections after the battle, and not-unpredictably, some contraband was found in the tents, and I had to mete out some discipline on the spot. Mr. Joshua Ralph and Mr. Stickelman endured that well.

Saturday night -

We had a makeshift stew with the main cook Chef Albert and his Sous Chef Pvt. Stickleman - sausage, bacon, beef, vegetables, whatever we could find or scrounge and we had to do a little of the latter. Poker and some refreshment was in the offing after that.

After the poker game got rolling, we had a couple of groups come through on the candlelight tour, but the game rolled on. Your humble correspondent prudently stayed out of the game, having taking a beating before at the hands of Cpl. Albert previously, and he was again the big winner; he later said, he had to work for it this time.

And we had some spirited conversations that night about the fighting motivation of the common Civil War soldier, and the meaning of individual rights in modern society. Mr. Gianelloni and I did not see eye-to-eye on a thing or two, but all had mellowed out by the end of the conversation. Sgt. Bell and I also caught up on things, and I had the chance to see his latest sartorial acquisition - a scarlet red smoking jacket. Quite a sight!

Later, the word went out to “batten down the hatches” as stormy weather was coming in, and true enough the rain did come and lasted for several hours although no one got too wet.

Sunday and battle -

Sunday morning came soon enough and we were in a constant light drizzle. A church service was held, and Messers. Gianelloni, Mark and VJ, and Staab, went into town to Mass. After a bit, the rain came more steadily and drove all under canvas.

We had officer’s meeting in the rain in the Colonel’s tent and we talked about possibly having yet one more event this season. Sad to say, no such battalion-wide ever materialized and the 2011 season, although a good one, ended prematurely, at least at the Battalion level. (I note here, patient reader, that as of this writing, the Battalion planning meeting for 2012 has been held and the schedule set and it looks to be a great season.)

And then, the time for the eagerly-anticipated Battle of the Hemp Bales was on us. The battle was slated to start at 1:30 and we dutifully formed up at 12:30 and marched in our same formation for the assault on the federal line, in the same place as Saturday. Well, there was a bit of waiting (40 minutes or so) prior to the battle, and Sundays are not the time to keep the boys waiting as there is still the matter of breaking camp and driving home, with the prospect of going back to work on Monday morning. During the downtime, I did share some stories of the road with Capt. Conner and Sgt. Major Sutton. And the delay gave us the chance to have our own “pre-battle” in the cornfield, where the numerous unharvested corn cobs proved too inviting and many a soldier, among them Col. Amend and LC Williams, were showered with kernels.

The Battalion color line was dutifully set up while we waited for the battle; Cpl. Matlack guarded it from our end. Some dared to cross it, some were tricked into crossing it (sorry, I could not resist!) Faithful reader, “crossing the color line” is a no-no; you must go to the end of the line to cross.

Well, in the event, the plan was to roll the “hemp” bales  (which had been provided for us on the field) closer and closer to the Yanks to force their surrender, as in the actual battle. How those bales were to be moved was the trick. Col. Amend suggested, and this actually proved workable, that a couple of men would hand off their rifles to a third and the two would then roll the bales for a short distance, thence to advance again on the wing commander’s orders. This worked out quite well. The only - fairly minor - problem was the large ravine in our front, which we encountered shortly after our advance. But it proved not much of an obstacle and we rolled over it quite easily.

You know, faithful reader, at reenactments, sometimes you don’t know how something is going to turn out, whether it will work or stink up the place, but I have to tell you, after this one finally got going, it worked without a hitch, and the lads had, by all accounts, a great time of it.

Victory was won a little too easily, the Yanks giving up while there was still seemingly some battle to be fought. The deal was done, however, and the Yanks had some kind of ceremony inside their fortifications, then came out to surrender. And that was it, but it was a great battle, and something we don’t get to do but once in a decade.

During the Saturday battle, as file closer, I was looking for a man among the 9th/16th to “run,” and I picked one of the latter who seemed hesitant. Then, my eyes fell on another. I exhorted him to run, to throw down his rifle and tear off his leathers, and howl in fear. He too seemed hesitant. I caught his eye again and said now is the time, do it. Again, hesitant. Again, I said, “Run!” And so he did - straight for the federal line where he was immediately shot down (good hit tho)! But the lad was a good sport about the ribbing, and a good solider all around.

Getting out -

Much satisfied with the weekend’s activities and battles, we made our way back to camp and broke down in the misting rain.

Epilogue -

A story on the event can still be found at http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2011/09/18/battle-hemp-bales-reenactment/

We had a great season, and ended it with good numbers at Wilson’s Creek and Lexington and brought some old and new men into the ranks. I applaud you, worthy foe men of the 9th - “There is none finer!”

Sorry to you, faithful reader, for the great delay in churning out this AAR of 2011.

And now, on to the 2012’s!! Schedules are up on our Facebook page, at ninthtexas.com, and on the Battalion website.

I remain, your most humble and obedient servant,

Brian Cox
Captain, commanding
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
1st Mo. Battalion


 


                

Shiloh TN March 29-April 1 National

Cowtown Wichita KS April 20-22 9th annual meet.

Jeff City. MO May 4-6 Max

Humboldt KS June 8-10 9th Texas local

Pipestone MN Aug 10-12 possible

Lamont IA Aug 31-Sept 2 possible

Camdentown MO Sept 14-16 Max

Pawnee City NE Sept. 21-23 possible

Vicksburg MS Oct 19-21 National (preferred)

Prairie grove AR Nov 30-Dec 2 Max

              

The event -

With high expectations, the 9th Texas and the 1st Missouri Battalion attended the third “maximum battalion” event of the season, a so-called “national” event, at Wilson’s Creek MO (aka Oak Hills) the weekend of August 12-14, 2011. The actual battle was a confederate victory of forces under Gen. Ben McCulloch, including the Missouri State Guard, over federal forces under Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, who was killed in the battle leading a counter-attack. The Yanks were outnumbered by better than two to one but inflicted on their opposites an almost equal number of casualties. The rebel forces were left in command of the field.

Read on, faithful reader, for the tale of Wilson’s Creek 2011.

Present for duty for the 9th Texas:

BRAD ANSPACH
MARK GIANELLONI
VJ GIANELLONI
JASON GIBBENS
MIKE HABERKORN
MIKE HALL
CHRIS HAYHURST
ROBERT HAYHURST
JON KNUDSEN
MATTHEW LAFFERTY
TONY MATTIA
TRIPP MCMILLAN
JAMISON PRICE
JAMIE RALPH
JUSTIN RALPH
AARON STAAB
DAVID STICKELMAN
CHRIS VISSER
BRIAN COX
RANDY DOWNEY
BOB ALBERT
ROB MATLACK
HERB SHEMWELL

This is the biggest regiment we have been in several years, and I applaud the effort of the rank and file to attend this event.

Our newest recruit, David Stickelman “saw the elephant” at Wilson’s Creek and acquitted himself well, and he appears to be a quick study and ready to join the ranks. Second Sgt. (ret.) Mike Haberkorn, with his ready smile, also joined us, and I hope that he will make the 9th his home again. Also, Chris Hayhurst, son of old 9th veteran Rob Hayhurst, also re-joined the ranks and promises to attend future campaigns (just keep potatoes away from him!). Pvt. Ralph brought along his son, Justin, and he proved a good soldier like his father. Sgt. Downey brought along new man Matthew Lafferty and he also proved a solider eager for the fight. Mr. Visser brought along a new recruit for company G, Mr. Jon Knudson, who was a good soldier and steady wit. Mr. Gibbens brought us Mr. Jamison Price, son of a friend, who joined us for part of the fight, and he was a dutiful private. Mike Hall motorcycled in from California and joined us for the event and may also attend future events with us. Tony Mattia and Tripp McMillan - we don’t see enough of you! We had looked forward to seeing Pvt. Brett Sutton, son of our Sgt. Major, Gary Sutton, however, a family commitment kept them away. We also briefly said hello to West Summers, an old 9th man, who was fighting with his Louisiana boys. Pvt. Mark Gianelloni again brought along son VJ, and they are both good soldiers, the latter having seen the elephant at Cowtown earlier in the year. Old veterans Chris Visser and Jason Gibbens were also on board and one can never have too many veterans for helpful guidance. My apologies if I missed anyone.

Cpl. Matlack again brought his family - he has a whole squad now! The missus, Leilanie, brought around cookies and lemonade on Saturday, I think, and that was much appreciated.

Mr. Stickelman also brought by his wife and 2/3’s of his brood, and they seem ready to join up in the whole Civil War experience. Young Mr. Tanner expressed an interest in being our drummer boy.

It was also good to see Mr. Anspach back in the field after the birth of his son earlier in the year. And he brought two large burlap bags at my request for trash - those plastic bags will just not hold. The burlap bags were filled to the brim by the end of the weekend; indeed, we had to turn away trash from other companies as we just ran out of room.

And last, but certainly not least, the best non-coms in the Battalion, 1st Sgt. Randy Downey, 1st Cpl. Bob Albert, and Corporals Rob Matlack and Herb Shemwell, were all present at the event and helped break in the new men and keep good order and discipline on and off the field.


We reacquainted with Mr. Pettus, recruited as infantry last year, but who has found his true home in the cavalry.

We were also glad to see Mr. Jepsen, an old friend of the 9th, who is and has been part of the Battalion color guard. Dave appears to be back in the field after his marriage earlier in the year and a painful achilles tendon tear which slowed him somewhat.

The 9th’s campfires for one reason or anther were quite subdued by 9th standards over the course of the event; perhaps the lads got a little tired from the heat and humidity, and the two battles per day. There was no 9th “forge” this time and no great mischief.

Present for Battalion staff:

Col. Brad Amend
Lt. Col. Mike (“Mississippi”) Williams
Major Sam Looney
Major Dave Burnos
Color Sgt. Shawn Bell

Other companies in the Battalion:

1st Missouri
2nd Missouri under Captain Ron Ulrich
3rd Missouri under Captain Chris Shuster
3rd Missouri Dismounted under Captain Tim Ritter
4th Missouri under Captain Daniel Keith
5th Missouri under Captain Bill Wayne
9th Missouri Sharpshooters under Captain Dime Hollingsworth
16th Missouri under Captain Tod Connor

I also saw Captain Joe Broski of the 10th but did not have a chance to catch up. Mr. Mike Girdner of the 3rd was also present and I tried to cajole him into giving the 9th a command performance of his “nautical discourse” (not to be missed), as in year’s past, to no avail

Kudos to the Capt. Keith’s 4th Missouri and Capt. Shuster’s 3rd for pulling in very large companies - these guys do a tremendous job on and off the field! The Battalion was also huge with 223 men at its high point.

The good, the bad -

The event site was near Republic MO, a small burg southwest of Springfield MO, about 4 1/2 hours out of Topeka as a point of reference and close to the actual battlefield which is preserved by the National Park Service - see their website at http://www.nps.gov/wicr/index.htm. I made the trip down with our newest recruit, Mr. David Stickelman of Valley Falls, recruited last year from the RK Gun Show in Topeka. Mr. Stickelman and I soon found common ground and talked almost the entire time down and back. The trip down was uneventful on good roads the entire way. We did make a stop at Osceola Cheese, about 60 miles north of Springfield which has a variety of cheeses and processed meats and snacks, and picked up some provisions (check them out at http://www.osceolacheese.com/).

We had all paid a $20 pre-registration fee. Registration on-site was quick and easy for Mr. Stickelman and me, others a little more sticky. No event t-shirts or medals were in the offing, nor any powder ration, nor any coupons for local merchants, nor any issued or prepared rations. We got a parking pass for our vehicle (likely never checked), a wooden nickel which we were cautioned to keep on our persons (which were never checked), and some very good directions to a local grocery store, and to the reb camp.  We also got plenty of water in water buffalos on-site, and plenty of straw. And we also got to pay for much-needed ice at $3 per bag, portapotties which, although close to our camp, were not always kept clean by my observation (and none had the nice touch of a portable water basin), and not enough supplied firewood until late in the event (we had to scrounge some deadfall twice during the event to supplement our supply).

The ground was good, if you could find some shade and except for those ubiquitous vines growing out of the ground which seemed to reach up and trip the unwary soldier.

The event pulled large, appreciative crowds (from the billboards I saw at two spots in town two weeks earlier, it looks like the event was heavily advertised) - yes, Missourians, you love your history. And we were able to talk to a number of folks about the Civil War and the business of reenacting. Some other folks made their way into the camps who were wearing VIP tags but I never caught why. And the battles, well, some good, some bad. Read on.

Thursday -

Mr. Stickelman and I made our way over to a local Walmart for more provisions and then went back to find our camp which was really quite easy to find (some of the roads having been carved into the area for the event). We soon hooked up with Messer’s Downey, Shemwell, Staab, and Mattia, and others, some of who were already on-site and had made the march to and from the actual battlefield. Mr. Downey’s report of that will be out soon. I could see the sweat on their brows and it was evidence of the heat and humidity to come, but satisfaction too for having made the effort.

We had just enough room to make a street for our expected 25+ man company. Mr. Gibbens was set up in a large wall tent with his gal at the end of our street, having been kicked out, apparently of the civilian camp for one reason or another. I heard some rumors that some of the land designated for the event had been pulled at the last minute. Nonetheless, we made our camp and set about the grim/fun business of soldiering. For future reference, I need to agitate to get a camp in the trees for much-needed shade as some of our brother units had.

The rest of the boys made their way in in bits and pieces over the next two days, to the point that we were at near full strength by Friday night. Boys, for those of you who did not come to this relatively close event, you missed the chance to hook up with your pards in the 9th with the largest strength we have had in several years.

There was plenty to do at the reenactment, faithful reader, as, in addition to catching up with our pards and attending to camp duties, we had two (2) battles on Friday and Saturday, with one on Sunday, regimental drill, and a couple of extra missions which Col. Amend sent us on, of which more later. And we also had to do a little shopping at sutler’s row - always a treat at a “national” event. I think that there were other activities going on in this area, talks and such, but I did not attend. And sutler’s row was fairly close to our camp, so no great hike there for your shopping. Mr. Visser and McMillan were excited about some new suspenders that they purchased. The non-coms and I also had our photo taken by Bob Szabo who set up shop at the event and kept busy from what I could tell. Some bought powder/caps/rolled cartridges from Jack’s Powder Keg which had set up at the event. Nice fellow that Jack, a Louisiana juvenile court judge. Mr. Chris Hayhurst and I went looking for him on Saturday afternoon and after several wrong turns and three large glasses of iced tea, found him and bought some supplies. The 9th has purchased powder from him before. See his website at http://www.jackspowderkeg.com/

Over the course of the weekend, I had a chance to have some good talks about regimental business with Sgt. Downey, Cpl. Albert, and Messr’s Visser, Gibbens and Haberkorn.

Mind you, faithful reader, one of the constants of the event was the heat and humidity which truly made you “wilt.” This was “sweat through your suspenders and vest” hot! At one point during the weekend, Captain Keith attempted to prove that it was not at all hot by doing some pushups in front of his men. At another point, Captain Ulrich addressed his troops sans jacket and shirt, bare-chested. Many dipped into the nearby creek, the one main feature of geography of note in the area, for a cool down and wash up. Plenty of young kids and some dogs made that trip as well. I note that some tempers flared on the battlefield after one battle, due no doubt to the sultry conditions, but all was forgiven thereafter.

We made an effort to bring extra coolers but ice simply does not last long in the heat, even in the coolers. Ice was offered for sale, as noted, at $3 per 20 lb. bag, brought in by some young ladies in golf carts, although somewhat sporadically. I note that Mr. Staab brought in a huge wooden box, big enough to hide a small man, and therefore big enough to hide several smaller coolers. We also brought and bought some extra bottled water and Gatorade or variant thereof. We were also provided two extra flats of Gatorade on Saturday. Whoever made that happen and paid for it, many thanks!

There was no, I repeat no, attempt to keep cars out of camp, and some brought theirs into camp prior to the battle on Sunday to get an early start on leaving. Frankly, parking was a mere 10 minute walk away over easy ground, and I witnessed no traffic jam of any sort on leaving so the reenactors should have done a better job of policing that themselves. Experiencing a “civil war moment” is something to be striven after and cultivated, not just hoped and waited for.

We had good company drill both days, and the non-coms effectively did their part in training the new men.

Chiggers were present in force and although I made it home with a few bites such was nothing like my bouts of chiggers bites in the past. Mr. Ralph was gracious enough to share his anti-chigger ointment with the lads, and that seemed a good investment for hot summer reenactments. I heard complaint of only one tick, found crawling on a nearby soldier’s jacket. Mr. Visser caught a snake at one point and sported it around but it was of the non-poisonous variety. Mr. Shemwell was prevailed upon to tell his Wallaby story another time to the great amusement of the lads. But his stuffed version, and its “accoutrement” was left at home this time.

Otherwise, there was plenty of irreverence in the 9th over the course of the weekend but that is just who we are.

Friday battles -

On to the meat of the matter, faithful reader.

We fell in with Capt. Wayne’s 5th Missouri on Friday as the 9th was not at full strength; Captain Wayne graciously agreed to let your humble correspondent have command. We had enough men on Saturday and Sunday to stand alone.

The Friday morning battle, set to begin at around 10:30, was to have the Yanks begun the battle with an assault on us at a designated time and place, and after we had formed up. At the last minute, in a nice touch, the scenario was changed rather to a surprise attack on us to give the troops a complete change of pace. That was not announced to the rank and file but the troops handled it quite well. Captain Keith of the 4th apparently had his men in the middle of a foot inspection staged to occur just at the moment of attack (nice thinking, Captain). In the event, we received the Yank attack and pushed them back across the bridge and into the sutler’s row and that was the end of it. We all witnessed Lt. Col. Williams attempt to cross the bridge on horse. But the several dead and wounded soldiers on the bridge apparently spooked the beast and it balked from going over and appeared most upset at the prospect. Scary. More horse stories later.

Well, that battle was good enough! Permit me to note that Col. Amend was resplendent this weekend in a new uniform of light brown with orange pipings, and a havelock to boot!  Col. Amend, a 9th alum, always presents an impression and calm demeanor we can all attempt to emulate.

The Friday afternoon fight at 5:00, however, was a bust. With high expectations, we formed up, marched over, and went into the tree line above the main battle area and never strayed out and never saw any Yanks. We did get to burn (sorry, waste) some powder when we were asked to make some noise which we dutifully did by firing several volleys into the tree line in our immediate front. Needless to say, there was a great deal of grumbling in the ranks after that. Col. Sanders of the 1st Arkansas Battalion was also getting visibly upset. At an officer’s call after the battle, one of the commanders asked if we had concerns, and said that we did a good job after having been placed in a difficult situation (??!!). The only good thing of this battle was the entertainment of Sgt. Bell who was acting as adjutant and constantly regaled us with comic faces, jokes, and laughs per usual. Well, back to camp and to some liquid refreshment.

Friday night -

One lady came through our camp on Friday night and regaled us with some songs. Other units had musical talent with them during the course of the weekend. This is something the 9th has always lacked. Mr. Poitevin, where were you when we needed you?

And there was the matter of the federal troops supposedly being on the move on Friday night. After we had settled down to our fire, we heard a ruckus on the road which ran through the area a little ways from our camp. This was apparently some federal cav, and they creating a little ruckus, firing their pistols, etc. I don’t know what response we made to that but it didn’t last long. Soon enough, rumors began to filter in of the federal infantry supposedly being “on the move,” as their camps were “empty.” We soon found that some of our artillery boys had posted one of their canon on the road down which the fed cav had just come, and they were ready for action with a full crew. We dutifully reported this to Col. Amend who, much to my chagrin, ordered the 9th to send out a patrol to investigate. I asked for two volunteers and Cpl. Matlack and Pvt. Anspach and I coutered up and set out to see if federal infantry was indeed on the move. We interrogated everyone we ran into but obtained no useful information. Finally, we ran into a squad of federal infantrymen and asked them what they knew and they obligingly accommodated us. Their report was that the federal high command had called everyone back in as they were very mad as reb cavalry had gone into their camp and torn up picket lines and loosed some of their mules, etc. I don’t know if the latter is true, but true to our orders, we proceeded even further, to the federal infantry camp itself, and satisfied ourselves that their infantry was not in fact on the move. We made our way back and reported that to Col. Amend and retired again to our camp. We did not hear of the incident again.

Mother Nature cooled things down a bit that night with the seemingly inevitable rain which drove us under canvas with a steady rain about 10 pm or so, and it rained steadily for several hours thereafter, but none got too wet. Earlier in the evening we had received reports of bad weather coming in and the word was spread to batten down the hatches which we all dutifully did. Nothing like previous events including Boonville earlier this year.  Faithful reader, enduring the elements is part of the soldiers’ lot.

Saturday -

Prior to the battles, and during the morning parade, the ladies of the 4th Missouri presented the Battalion a hand-sewn flag. A short history of the flag was also read to the battalion by Major Looney. Nice touch to have those kind of extras at events. I might note that an officer should not carelessly leave his sword poked in the ground during morning parade for fear that others of a more mischievous bent, like one particular Color Sgt., will carry it off.

Later, with all the men formed up, I called out and congratulated Mr. VJ Gianelloni and Mr. David Stickelman who “saw the elephant” at Cowtown 2011 and Wilson’s Creek 2011, respectively. I will try to catch up on the other new men as time permits. This should be a significant event for the Civil War reenactor and one which merits remembrance. I hope this will continue as a 9th tradition.

On Saturday between the battles, the non-coms and I had a Szabo photo taken and the result is posted on the 9th’s Facebook page. See his living history collection at http://www.robertszabo.com/gallery/livinghistory/index.html

Saturday battles -

Messer’s Visser and McMillan went into battle with “packs on.” I asked the latter whether a soldier going into battle might be told to leave “packs off.” He corrected me that soldiers might instead go in with packs on given the eventuality that the soldier might never be reunited with that pack given the vagaries of battle and therefore wanted to take it with him. Makes sense.

At one point on Saturday, the 9th was drawn up in line of battle and put to waiting for a bit, of which we did quite a little bit. One youngster in the crowd was all kitted out in a reb uniform. I called him over and whispered into his ear the various commands for “school of the soldier,” and the 9th dutifully complied with the commands of its new, young captain. I think his mom got some pictures and I hope that that was fun for the lad, as it was for me.

For the Saturday morning fight, we had a broad front for our battle line and Col. Amend had the reb units cycle through the artillery and each other in a passing of the lines to put fire on the Yanks. (I clearly need to work on that movement.) But the whole point of doing that was to get all the rebs into the fight to let the boys burn some powder, but we just had too many rebs compared to the Yanks or for the space. At one point on Saturday, we stared directly into the mouth of a yank cannon. I didn’t think he would fire at this distance, but he did. I heard later that a reb cavalryman was even closer than we and he jumped out of the way at the last minute.

The Saturday pm battle was a real cluster. We had been promised that this would be about a 20 minute fight and so it was for most of us, at least after we got into it. We formed up with more reb infantry behind us, waiting for the battle to begin. We waited, and waited, mind you in August Missouri sun and humidity. Then the Big Bugs (with apologies to Pvt. Watkins) finally decided what was supposed to happen and, incredibly, moved us and the nearby crowd of spectators to another staging location. More waiting. Then we were into it and up the “bloody” hill. A couple of charges by us, and that was it and we left the field, but were given the option to go in with the 4th or go back to camp.  Most of the boys were a little pissed by then, and most went back to camp but a few went back in with the 4th MO. I went back out and snapped a few pictures.

Saturday night -

I had put the word out for the 9th to bring in “strange food” for the boys to sample. I had picked up a jar of hot pickled okra from Osceola Cheese but left in the car. Sgt. Downey was the only one who otherwise brought a strange food item - a “100 year old egg,” apparently some type of snack food of Chinese origin. We opened up the package and there were a few gulps as we thought about who would sample it. Cpl. Albert dove in and sampled it and pronounced it not bad. Thereafter Mr. McMillan and Sgt. Downy took a bite. As of this writing, concerned reader, all survived.

Mr. Stickelman cooked up a fine soup on Saturday night with some raw rations left for us (including carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and some seasoning and fried sausage) and a borrowed pot. I think we may have found a new chef for the 9th!
Mr. Shemwell and Staab and others went into town on Saturday night for supplies and a supper at Ruby Tuesday’s (what, no Braums?). A beer garden said to be at the site, presumably in the food court, closed at 8 pm. I think the organizers just do not know thirsty soldiers!

Col. Amend came around our campfire later that night and asked if the 9th was up for a special scenario the next day. Apparently, some of the federals, redlegs perhaps, had been rousting the civilians in the civilian camp, pro-Southern apparently. The colonel wanted us to lay a trap for them and attempt to seize some of their officers and bring them back to our HQ, and was the 9th up for that. Well, Hell, yes! More on this later.

A stray black and white dog nosed into my tent on Saturday night after I had retired, and although at the time, I wasn’t sure but that it was a dream, I was later assured that it was owned by one of the boys and he nosed into several other tents as well. I fear for what mischief my boy Booster might get into if I brought him to an event.

Sunday -

Some of our numbers began to fade away on Sunday morning.

Mr. Staab reported to roll call on Sunday morning with his pants down around his ankles. As discipline, he was ordered to run with his pant so to the end of the company street and back. No report has surfaced of the cause of Mr. Staab’s having his pants down.

On a more polite note, there was a period church service in camp, officiated over, no doubt, by Capt. Keith. Messer’s Gianelloni, dad and son, and Staab, went into town to find a mass.

Per usual, the men began to break down their camps in anticipation of the “Great Skedaddle” which always follows the Sunday battle.

Sunday battle and happenings -

In a nice touch, the organizers set the Sunday battle, which proved to be the best, to commence at 12 noon, giving us an extra hour or so to hit the road back home.

With high hopes for our little scenario that Col. Amend had mentioned the previous night, the 9th marched out prior to our fall-in for the battle and over the relatively short distance to the civilian camp. We made contact with some of the ladies and they confirmed the intelligence that Col. Amend had that some federal officers rousted them every day prior to the battle. I posted one man atop the adjoining hill and two or three more on or near the bridge across which the federals would have to come. Then, I split up the 9th into two squads and designated their waiting spots. After a couple of false alarms, we began to see federal armed forces coming across the bridge. First cavalry, then infantry and more infantry. I began to have the distinct notion that we had bitten off far more than we could chew and that this just wouldn’t end well.

Well, we kept our cool and attempted to stay out of sight, and incredibly, the federals just passed by us to stage on the hill toward which the main battle of the day would be directed shortly. (I do give the federal infantry kudos as, with their fife and drum playing, they looked great marching across the bridge.) Then, we saw the scoundrels we were after - about 4 or 5 federal officers, one of whom announced himself by his leggings as a redleg - coming into the camp and making contact with the civilians.

I thought it time to pounce and so we burst out and engaged the Yanks in a brief skirmish, although none of use was loaded except your humble correspondent. As it turned out, they weren’t loaded either, although one fired pistol caps at me. The redleg took to his heels and sprinted over to the federal line, and we only saw his back. He left, however, our prize - three federal officers. We took the captured, and humbled, officers over with great satisfaction and in front of the Battalion which was marching in the other way, to Gen. Huckabee who was astride his horse. I was pretty impressed that, during the spirited exchange that followed, Gen. Huckabee and the senior of the captured Yanks, were both pretty cool cucumbers. You had to be there to see these two reenacting professionals keep their cool and continue to maintain entirely plausible first person impressions.

Gen. Huckabee and the Yank traded some pretty lively insults at close range, and after a request from the men that we “parole ‘em to Jesus,” the former generously determined to a regular parole of the men. He left them with the stern caveat, however, that if we caught them under arms again, they would be executed. After, perhaps, some surprise on their part when we first burst out and captured them, I give those Yanks my personal highest compliment for playing along and staying in first person the whole time. Well done!

Well, we still had a battle to fight, and so the 9th fell back into its place in the Battalion line.

Prior to the battle, and off to our right, we saw some commotion and it appeared that a man had fallen off his horse, and was in the process of being flailed by the horses’s hooves. Medics including some from our ranks were immediately called to the scene, but the matter was soon determined to have been intended.

Permit me to note that our artillery, especially on Sunday, was overpowering. And its firing over our heads got a little too close for comfort at times. But the battle was a great one.

At the appointed time, the cannon burst forth hot iron and we were in it, this time to make the charge up the corn field and into the guns of the waiting federals. We pushed and were pushed several times going up the hill and finally, after the 9th was down to three rifles and one officer, we reached the crest of the hill, and there the matter ended. At one point, I put Mr. Downey in command and he did a fine job.

As a file-closer, I have a great opportunity to watch the men in the line as they act and react to the ebb and flow of battle, and watching how the soldiers take their hits is particularly instructive. You cannot rival, however, Mr. Visser’s. During the battle, this ill-fated soldier took two balls, the first to his leg, resulting in a pretty scary kind of shaking in the lower leg/foot as though nerves had been torn up and muscle loosed from bone. I didn’t think he would be able to make it back up, but he did, the foot still shaking and not able to bear weight. The second and final hit was shortly to be a ball to the head which sent Mr. Visser back and down, his rifle carefully placed as he went down. That one concluded Mr. Visser’s active participation in the battle. Now those were too good hits, and if you had seen them, you could learn a lot! Kudos to Mr. Visser.

To formally terminate the contest, Taps was played with all soldiers on the field doffing hats. Nicely done. Amid all the fun and mischief, no one can sugar coat the grim nature of war and the slaughter of thousands of young men in all of America’s wars, including the WBTS.

The Sunday battle was just shy of an hour although it seemed like far longer than that. We were broken down and on the road by about 2:45 or so.

Getting out -

Although I told him about the 9th’s tradition of hitting Crackerbarrels, Mr. Stickelman has a fondness for the Wafflehouse, and so that is where we had a late lunch in Springfield before hitting the road home. Mr. Stickelman and I were home in Topeka later than night at approximately 7:30 pm.

Epilogue -

The Homie award goes to Mr. Ralph who at one point in the battle Saturday hailed Ted Prater, retired colonel of the Battalion, who was serving informally as a file closer. Mr. Ralph greeted him and stated that he thought he was a federal? Mr. Prater, of course, was the Battalion colonel for many years. (I may have come in a distant second by sitting down on and breaking one of my camp chairs.) Sgt. Downy needs to bring Homie to the next event so that a proper award can be made to the next recipient.

I am immensely proud of the boys in putting a 22+ man company on the field and carrying themselves in a soldierly fashion on and off the field, including helping break in the new recruits. Truly, “There is none finer.”

That said, I ask each man for the next event, Lexington, to ask himself, before the event - what can I do to make this event a better event for my pards? Some information about Lexington MO, September 16-18, 2011, can be found at mocivilwar150.com/event/200

Kudos from Col. Amend following the event:

“Gentlemen of 9th, comrades all...I would like to take this time to congratulate this company of men for their bravery in the face of numerically superior enemy forces. You were able to bring some relief to our pro-southern citizens, and provide very useful intelligence, through the capture of several federal officers. As Colonel I am authorizing Captain Cox grant two weeks furlough to each member of the raiding party, in recognition of a job well done. I know in the coming weeks as we advance Northward in pursuit of the foe, the 9th Texas infantry will be to the fore of the fray whenever battle is joined. Again gentlemen "Well Done" Most Respectfully, B. W. Amend, Colonel, 1st MO BATT”

Our newest recruit, Mr. David Stickelman reports that :

“The Wilson's creek event was very positive for me.  The 9th Texas was incredibly welcoming and everyone in the unit was tremendously helpful and interested in seeing me have a great time.  I was very happy with everyone's willingness to assist me with information and supplies.  I can honestly say that no one in the 9th Texas made me feel unwelcome or belittled me for being new and unfamiliar with reenacting.  The 9th is truly a great place to be and I am very thankful to have found such a great group of reenactors.  I appreciate your invitation to join and truly had a great time at Wilson's creek.  I find myself really looking forward to future events.  What an exciting and interesting hobby this is!”

Chris Hayhurst adds:

I would like to say to all the old and new 9th men I had a blast at the creek and would be more then happy to fall in with you boys more as the years go on and I really had too much fun getting to see all the guys I grew up with in the 9th. Thanks guys, it really was a blast. Can't wait til Lexington

You can also find an AAR on Cpl. Matlack’s blog at http://spiff45.blogspot.com/

I remain, your most humble and obedient servant,

Brian Cox
Captain, commanding
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
1st MO. Battalion



                 

Lexington MO, Sept. 16-18, 2011

Well, boys - we whipped them fair and square at Oak Hills and now Gen. Price wants to capture the lot of them. The general has directed that you faithful Guardsmen assemble no later than Friday, September 16, 2011, in the vicinity of Lexington Missouri to complete the task.

We anticipate an advance on the prosperous town of Lexington where the local citizenry supports our cause. We have been led to believe that a much smaller force of federals may attempt to stand in our way. I foresee that they may have to take cowardly refuge in some of the structures in town and the General hopefully will use some imagination in removing the Yankee invaders from the town. But, if every man does his duty, the outcome of the impending contest will not be in doubt.

Now, up and to the task, men of Texas. Help “Pap” Price drive the federals from fair Missouri!

Who is with me?

YOS,

Brian Cox
Captain, commanding
9th Texas Reg't of Infantry
1st MO. Battalion
 
 

 

               MISSOURI STATE GUARD DRIVES SIGEL'S

            DUTCH HIRELINGS FROM CARTHAGE!!

   

 

                Battle of Carthage MO Reenactment
                            May 13-15, 2011

After Action Report

The 9th Texas attended a very good reenactment at Carthage MO the weekend of May 13-15, 2011. The event kicked off the 150th anniversary of 1861 battles of the Civil War (or as those of a different persuasion may refer to it, the War Between the States). Read on faithful reader, and hear the tale of Carthage 2011.

The actual battle on July 5, 1861, was a largely strategically unimportant victory of nascent Missouri State Guard (MSG) troops under sitting Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson over better armed federal troops under Col. Franz Sigel. The MSG outnumbered the federals by some 6 to 1 but fully 1/3 of their number of 6000 were wholly unarmed. Eventually, the MSG drove the federals from the field but only after a desperate defense and skillful retreat by Sigel.

Our own reenactment of the event somewhat shy of 150 years later was as true to the event as reenactments will get with the Missouri and Arkansas battalions driving the federals around the town square on Saturday. Sunday’s battle was a “tactical” event for reenactors only, of which more later.

I rode in to the event with Mr. Staab for about a four (4) hour trip out of Topeka, as a point of reference. Some light mist fell on the way down, but that was as wet as the weekend got. Upon our arrival, our first stop was the local Brahms for an excellent burger (I am getting to be a fan). Some of our boys were already on-site and had set up the company street and dug the fire pit.

Present for duty in the 9th Texas were newly-promoted 1st Sgt. Randy Downey, 1st Cpl. Bob Albert, newly-promoted 3rd Cpl. Herb Shemwell, and Pvt’s J. Gibbens, Pettus, Ralph, Staab, and Waters, and your humble correspondent as captain.

Young Mr. Jordan Waters, Mr. Staab’s cousin, joined us again and proved an eager and capable soldier. We welcome him to the ranks. Greetings also to Ms. McDaniels who accompanied Pvt. Gibbens to the event.

We fell in with Captain Todd Conner’s boys of the 16th MO as a combined company for the weekend. The boys from Jackman’s 16th are a good bunch of soldiers and we were privileged to have taken the field with them.

Also present for the Battalion were the 1st under Captain Steve Montgomery, the 2nd under Captain Ron Ulrich, the 3rd under Captain Chris Shuster (sporting a very tall hat - see the photo on the 9th’s Facebook page) (including the 4th Arkansas), the 10th under Captain Joe Broski (who did artillery work), and the Arkansas Battalion. Sorry if I missed some.

Our brothers in the 4th MO selflessly galvanized for the weekend to help portray Sigel’s yanks and Captain Keith was the overall federal commander, and did a good job as usual. More on the good captain later.

Present for battalion staff were Colonel Brad Amend, Major Sam Looney, Lt. Col. Mike (“Mississippi”) Williams, Sgt. Major Gary Sutton, and Battalion Color Sgt. Shawn Bell.

I would guess we had maybe 400 or more infantry, and maybe 6 or 7 pieces of artillery., both sides. There was also plenty of reb cavalry, including some ladies in the ranks, eliciting at one point a “howdy, ma’am”; much less cav on the federal side.

Mother Nature largely cooperated the whole weekend with 60’s and 70’s during the days, but much cooler at night, in the mid 40’s.

While no rations or powder was issued, and there was $10 lug for MCWRA membership,  getting in was no problem and registration was quick and easy. (I wish I had made the effort to snag one of those event medals.) Porta-potties were close at hand, but a little problematic. More on this critical point later. Sutler’s row had Del Warren, Fall Creek, the Irish Lady, and others. Food sutlers were a little slim, but I heard good things about the Apple Jack vender.

Wood was no problem as, with that provided for us on our arrival, and one trip to the wood pile by the entire regiment on Friday night, we had plenty, and also plenty of straw. Water was also close at hand. Ice was not provided, but it never really got warm enough for that to be an issue. Parking was very close. One complaint - the universally promised, but almost never enforced rule against cars in camp, was not enforced here and add to that the fact that our camp was in the midst of a modern softball diamond, and it was virtually impossible to get away from the 21st century.

We were told that photographers would be “imbedded” in the ranks for purposes of a film or book of photographs, but I saw none “imbedded” although there were many photog’s around, still and video. I would like to get a copy of that event book of photos, and will advise when I have any details if anyone is interested,

Breakfasts of the weekend were the usual fare -- eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese. I have to say that Mr. Staab cooked up some mighty fine corn bread in a dutch oven on Friday night. I hope to see that again. Col. Amend admonished us at one point on Saturday about rough language in the camps, that a complaint had been made. Sorry about that, won’t happen again.

There was much talk around the campfire about the recent film shoot of Tim Burton’s “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.” Some of the lads were extras in the filming down in New Orleans including our own Mr. Pettus and Mr. Visser.

We had some fairly large crowds in the camps mainly before the battle on Saturday, and we were able to talk to the folks about what we reenactors are doing and why, about the battle and the War, and the life of the Civil War soldier.  This is always good PR for the 9th and also carries out one of our basic functions as a reenacting group to help educate the public about history.

The plan for the Saturday fight was adapted after the actual scenario with the MSG making the march into town, and there to push the Yanks back. And that is what happened. Of course, there was the matter of the long march into town on asphalt roads and the corresponding march back after the fight. There were some pretty footsore soldier during the latter, and we had to arrange for some motorized transport back, including a local constable who graciously accepted the task.

Prior to the battle, Gov. Fox on horseback came by to urge us to throw the German mercenaries out of Missouri. Well done!

In the event, we marched into town and initially made contact with the feds in the town square where the artillery was set up. We had a brief set piece battle there, including with way more cavalry than there was room for. I note that Pvt. Waters, carrying a shovel for weapon, took an early hit, and dutifully remained in place as a casualty. I say with no regret that he was then  and there told in a rather peremptory fashion by one of the cavalrymen to move off and under a tree. No call at all for that tone.

Well, we then pushed the Yanks into the streets, and commenced “rolling thunder” which we had done before, all great fun. And I hope the massed spectators, many of whom were able to get quite close to the action, enjoyed it as well. Rolling thunder, faithful reader is the process of succeeding companies advancing, giving a volley, then splitting in the middle, with each side going to the rear on opposite sides, hooking up again with the companies behind, thence to move forward and repeat the process. And down some of the narrow streets, it created quite an impressive “boom” when the volleys were delivered. I give the Yanks kudos for creativity when, at one point, several Yank cavalrymen burst out of an alley on our flank, and engaged us.

A special treat for the troops, and hopefully for those of the crowd on Saturday who got to witness it, was a brief hand-to-hand melee between the competing forces toward the tail end of the fight. This is quite unusual in the reenacting world because of the relatively high chance of injury unless handled very carefully (recall Jeff City in 2009). And add to that the prospect of doing that with metal heel plates on concrete. I can say with great satisfaction that the 9th was picked to do the part for the MSG with our opposite number being the game lads of the galvanized 4th Mo. Prior to the battle, we carefully scripted the matter, as much as possible, down to the point of each participant meeting his opposite combatant and planning their own little brief tussle. The actual deal went off very well, thank you, with only one complaint of an unexpected blow to a particularly sensitive part of Mr. Gianelloni. I think he survived. Mr. Staab’s man was nowhere to be found and so he hung back. Would greatly appreciate knowing of any videos of this out there.

That done, the battle in the streets just continued to run, and I guess we could have circled the square again. But, at one point, I saw the Colonel go out ahead of our lines, and it appears that was the signal for the matter to end.

What little we could see of the Carthage “square” during the battle looked quite intriguing with some shopping and eating opportunities. But no time!

Battalion Color Sgt. and 9th alum Shawn Bell arrived on site Saturday afternoon, and we helped him to a bachelor party of sorts around the various campfires as his nuptials approach.  1st Sgt. Downey and his pard, the 1st Cpl. shared a skillet of cabbage and sausage for Saturday night dinner. I was offered a spoon. Good stuff.

And there was the matter of Captain Keith’s kepi. Apparently the challenge was made of a $5 bounty to whomever could take his hat, although there was some disagreement about the actual terms of that bounty. Well, Mr. Ralph with some assistance was able to get that hat, and bring it back into the 9th’s camp, and the same was the subject of some photography, and I think those photos may surface. All in good fun, and the bounty was paid by the good captain on Sunday. I understand that there may be some paybacks, and so our mascot chicken will need to remain vigilant. That said, Texas is ready!

(I might add that, after the event, Captain Keith emailed me and applauded the 9th’s ingenuity in getting his hat.)

One soldier, who shall remain anonymous, was  reportedly caught in a porta-potty sans paper and used his cell phone to make a call to his pard who quickly made the rescue. “If they’d a had ‘em, they’d a used ‘em.”

Around the campfire later that night, we were treated to a command performance by a young man, Jake Simpson, from the 4th MO who was brought over to the 9th’s campfire. In looking for a smoke-free seat, he eventually landed next to me, and I can tell you that was a rare treat. Now, that boy can play - bluegrass, rock, cowboy, classical, and of course, Ashokan Farewell (composed by Jay Unger in 1982 and used as theme music in Ken Burns’ Civil War). He knew almost all of our requests (and I had several). He was accompanied at various points by a guitar and bones. Thanks, Jake, for providing that great entertainment!

Dave Renley, of Minnesota, later came by the 9th’s campfire to catch up. A most hospitable host on our trips up to Pipestone.

There was a dance on Saturday, per usual, but I think no one went except young Mr. Waters (and he said he got asked to dance).

Shawn Bell was full of mischief - no one can bring you up like Sgt. Bell; a real asset to the Battalion, on and off the field. There was the matter of the disappearance of the flagstaffs from the federal camp ....

The 9th’s campfire was relatively calm for Texas with most hitting the sack no later than 12:30 or so. No cards, and no “bob fire.”

There also was the matter of the wallaby. Someone, who has not yet been found out, but I have my suspicions, placed a stuffed wallaby in Cpl. Shemwell’s tent. I understood he awoke at 2 am to find the animal there, and Herb had no idea where or how. In any event, the creature was patterned after the North Platte NE wallaby which Herb encountered on one of his travels. In the interest of propriety, let me just say that the poor wallaby had the look on his face which suggested, “just shoot me.” Our new mascot wallaby, faithful to the original, provided great amusement to those in camp to whom he was introduced, including, I might add the good Ms. Looney who came around.

Sunday morning dawned, and we were left in the sack a little longer by the Sgt. Major. Time to do some shopping after drill. No church call was heard in the 9th’s camp. I understand that the organizers brought someone in to preach.

As said, the public part of the event was effectively over on Saturday as the event organizers determined to reward the reenactors with a tactical on Sunday; the term generally means reenactors only, no spectators. Ok, good idea, once you get past the idea that we would not have the folks to talk to in the camps as on Saturday (and Missourians love their Civil War history!). But the part about the four+ mile march to the site of the tactical really sounded like a dealbreaker to many of us. However, our own Col. Amend was able to negotiate our way out of that march and change the plan to permit motor transport to the site, and thence a relatively short march to the field. That all worked out pretty well - we all had to break down camp by 11:30 and then get into the long caravan in our cars and trucks to the site.

The sun broke through for awhile, but it was mostly cloudy and fair for the fight. Perfect weather.  Gen. Huckabee was with us on Sunday and took overall command. I think that I also saw Ted Prater, our former colonel, earlier in the camps.

We hit the field and our artillery began to engage theirs long distance. Their cav began to pester our flank a little but had no chance against our greater number of cav. Our infantry then began to advance across the open field and we traded volleys with the federals, still in the distance. We advanced still further, and there the 9th/16th took a most destructive canister hit with better than 50% of the men down. But we had no choice but to stay in the fight and as we advanced further and shifted to our left, those men who went down were invited up to finish the battle. Eventually, we had the Yanks pushed into a narrow defile, an opening in the tree line. Then the Arkansas boys appeared to also push them at right corners to us. “Pinched” into the corner, the Yanks had no choice but to give, and there the battle ended. We resurrected, gave the usual cheers, and Gen. Huckabee promised to bring refreshments at Wilson’s Creek.

Thereafter, we made the approximately 20 minute march back to the parking lot. The good in that march back in was that, when we made it to the parking lot, we were ready to hit the road back home, and so we did, saying goodbye to Carthage 2011. We were back on the road by 2:15 and home in Topeka a little past 6 pm.

Farewell, Carthage, on to Boonville (June 17-19)!

Boys, the Max Battalion schedule is nearing being half done, so I encourage all the faithful soldiers of the 9th to join in the fun.

Your obedient servant,

Brian Cox
Captain, commanding
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
1st Missouri Battalion

Epilogue - Faithful reader, for a report on the reenactment and many pictures, please visit the website of the Carthage Press at http://www.carthagepress.com/

Someone said that this is the last Carthage reenactment. I hope that is not true as we had a warm welcome from the locals, and it was a good event, and site of an actual CW fight.

Sympathy to Mr. Gianalloni whose barn back home was torched on Saturday, apparently an arson. And to Mr. Hayhurst, who made the long drive in to Carthage only to have to immediately turn around to attend to a family emergency back home.
 
 

 

     ATTENTION TO ORDERS :   RANK  STRUCTURE     

   With great reluctance, I announce that I have accepted the resignation of Brian Shively from his position as First Sgt. of the 9th Texas. Sgt. Shively has been the First Sgt. of the 9th for many years and a soldier in the 9th since 1996. His technical skills, leadership abilities, and all-around good cheer are known to all. Duty and loyalty have always been Brian’s watchwords. I cannot understate his contributions to the 9th, and he will be greatly missed as First Sgt. I think that we will yet see Brian around the 9th’s campfire at some time in the future.

Effective immediately, the 9th’s non-com rank structure will be as follows:

First Corporal Randy Downey is promoted to First Sgt.;

Second Corporal Bob Albert is promoted to First Corporal;

Third Corporal Rob Matlack is promoted to Second Corporal;

And Private Herb Shemwell is promoted to Third Corporal.

Men, these are your new non-coms and entitled to your respect.

I can readily say that there is no finer group of non-coms anywhere in the Battalion. These men will serve the 9th well in the trying and competitive times ahead. And during the busy campaigns of the sesquicentennial, with competence, commitment, and communication. Each of them will be expected to step up from their new roles to a brevet higher rank, as the need arises.

Men of the 9th, please join me in congratulating these soldiers on their promotions!

9th Texas - THERE IS NONE FINER!

Your obedient servant,

Brian Cox
Captain, commanding
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
1st Mo. Battalion



 

                 

                           COWTOWN AFTER ACTION REPORT   

The 9th Texas spent a pleasant weekend at its first event, and spring muster (after a fashion), at Cowtown in Wichita Kansas,   and 1870’s style frontier town, and a ready made prop for the business of Civil War reenacting.

Present for duty for the weekend were:

Brevet 1st Sgt. Rob Matlack; and Pvts. Gianelloni (Mark), Gianelloni (VJ), Hainstock, Poitevin, Ralph, Staab, and Amend (our Battalion’s colonel who selflessly fell in as a private), and your humble correspondent as Captain.

The location was in our own back yard, and close enough for greater numbers of the 9th to be in attendance, and I hope that happens in 2011, where we will do this again. Firewood was sufficient and water was just across the street. There were no food venders, but all undoubtedly gained weight, the undersigned included, from the calories consumed. Our opponents were the game lads of the 8th Kansas and McClain’s battery (would like to get some reb artillery here sometime). And the 2nd Kansas under Captain Greg Traxson fell in with us to bolster the reb side.

Mother Nature, although taunting us with her omni-present power on the way down with high winds and drizzle, nonetheless cooperated with good conditions during the days, including dry weather (hopefully a sign of things to come for the reset of the season). Friday night was a little cool and windy but Cowtown graciously opened up the various buildings on-site, and the 9th spent Friday night quite warmly in the period schoolhouse.

Cards were much in evidence both nights and Mr. Poitevin introduced us to a new game or two. Departing from our usual custom of cards at the Captain’s table in camp, we tramped over to the town Saloon which provided an appropriate backdrop for some serious card play. Alas, my luck was none too good.

Mr. Poitevin and Mr. Hunt (who was the Cowtown “roadie” for reenactors) regaled us with a song or two on Friday night.

Saturday dawned and after breakfast, we had our drill through the town with the 2nd Kansas. While drilling we stopped in front of one of the merchant’s stores and gave an impromptu talk on the life of the Civil War soldier, and stood for questions. My thanks to the two soldiers who I pulled from the ranks to answer questions in first person for the crowd. Although unawares, they pulled it off quite well.

Saturday’s battle was conceived as a spur of the moment deal. While confabbing with Captain Goering of the 8th Kansas, our foe for the weekend, as to the scenario for the day, we suddenly noticed an earthen berm across the sidewalks on the far North edge of the town. Instantly, it struck us that that would make a great fortification for the side lucky enough to defend it. At first, it was the Rebs, then at the last minute, we changed it to put the Yanks there. Bad choice for us as it turned out. In the event, we stormed into town up the main street, engaged some of their skirmishers, then attempted to take their works but we were thrown all the way back into our camp clear on the other side of town. Although we got our butts handed to us, the crowd watching this was appreciative and truly impressive for a venue the size of Cowtown.

We also re-acquainted with some old 9th men who dropped by including former captain Brian Albert, and Pvt.’s Luther and Harris. And we also saw Mr. Tim Johnson, a federal now for many years, but good to see.

Saturday night came around soon enough, and after a trip to the local Brahms for provisions, and some cards as noted, Mr. Hunt again sang us a song or two and he was joined by his lovely wife who also gave us a spirited version of Garyowen.

VJ Gianelloni might be said to have technically “seen the Elephant” at Cowtown 2011 (as this was his first event to actually fire a rifle in a fight, although he has been under fire before). A relation to Mr. Staab, Mr. Jordan Waters, also joined us for the fight on Sunday, and this was his “seeing the Elephant,” and he did a fine job and we hope to see him out again.

Sunday morning dawned and we had a nice church service, helped in part by our own Mr. Staab, who will be doing the whole thing soon, I hope.

Sunday’s crowds were greatly down from Saturday’s but there was still fun to be had. The scenario this day was for the Rebs to break up into two parts, the 9th as skirmishers, and the 2nd coming in later to roll up the federal flank. The Yanks were in camp, supported by an artillery piece, and the 9th first engaged them, and then the 2nd came in to finish the job. Per our plan, Captain Goering of the 8th called for a ceasefire and came out with a white flag and surrendered his men. We rounded them up then did a march by the crowd to good applause for our efforts.

Many thanks to the City of Wichita, owner of Cowtown, and a special thanks to Greg Hunt, who was essentially the “roadie” for the reenactors, for making the weekend memorable. Greg told us Sunday morning that we had helped Cowtown set a single day attendance record. And we made the local Wichita Eagle (with photos and a story -- see http://www.kansas.com/ under photo gallery).

And a special thanks to the boys of the 2nd Kansas under Capt. Greg Traxson who fell in with us. Hard fighters, and good impressions every one.

I am more impressed with this venue every time I go to it. And, although it is a little late in the season, I think that I will make it a permanent location for the 9th’s annual meeting/spring muster.

Just a couple of thoughts - more sutlers and food venders are needed, and this should be advertised as a two day event.

That said, Well done, Cowtown!

YOS,

Brian Cox
Captain, commanding
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
1st Mo. Battalion
 

  

       After Action Report for Prairie Grove ARK, Dec. 3-5, 2010

The combination of the First Kansas crew boys and the men of the Ninth made for a respectably sized company for the Prairie Grove Reenactment. Acting Captain Randy Downey led the men up the hill for numerous charges that culminated in the loss of over 50 percent of the brave boys that faced the guns of the Yankees.  That’s sometimes happens when a green Captain leads experienced troops into battle!  Exemplary work was performed by the non-commissioned officers as well.  Bvt. First Sgt. Albert even managed to maintain good volume throughout the event without damage to his voice! 
Maneuvers performed by the Battalion included column of fours, left half wheel onto line, and by company onto line.  Quite a bit of time was spent on passage by guns or obstacle and this maneuver was used during the battle on Sunday.  Unfortunately disciplinary action was necessitated during the event as three privates lost track of their rifles.  Sgt. Major Sutton was asked to apply his expertise in this area. He certainly is a hard man!
Some of the high points of the weekend were, frozen coffee slushies in the morning, melted glass artwork in the campfire Saturday night, and a visit to the campfire by General Huckabee and Col. Sanders.  There were rumors of spirits being available for those soldiers of the Ninth old enough to legally imbibe, but this correspondent will not accept those rumors as fact without solid evidence.  Especially in light of the mysterious disappearance of a portion of Col. Amends private stock!  Long overdue pay was issued on Saturday per Confederate regulations.  The boys were happy to have cash on hand to send home or in some cases donate to those more adept with the cards.  Cpt. Downey was heard to remark that if he had to be an officer, there was no better time than payday to be in command!  Some fines were deducted from the pay.  It was reported that Cpl. Visser had an overdue bill with the washer women.  Another high point (?) of the event was the actions of Capt. Daniel Keith who in front of the whole Battalion stripped his accouterments, tunic, and shirt to down to nothing but brogans, trousers, and braces!  This on a cold December morning that left none of us doubting the strength of his constitution, but possibly slightly concerned with his judgment! Surprisingly, Capt. Keith’s sermon on Sunday was not… “Naked I Come to Thee”.
All in all it was a fine and memorable event.  Many thanks to the First Kansas for  falling in with us!

Randy Downey, Brevet Captain

 

 

        ANNUAL FEE FOR THE WEBSITE DUE!

Men, the $15 annual fee for the maintenance of our great website at ninthtexas.com is now due. This is a very small price to pay for the work that Jamie and Herb put in on this which not only keeps up communication to the rank and file, but also keeps up our public profile. If I am not mistaken, we have run a deficit in years past, and that is not fair to Jamie who has to eat that cost.

I am going to put a check for $20 in the mail tomorrow, and I ask that every man also do so as soon as possible. Please email me if you need Mr. Ralph's mailing address.

At Cowtown, those soldiers who have not paid will endure additional camp duties!

YOS,

Brian Cox
Captain, commanding
9th Texas Reg't of Infantry
1st Mo. Battalion
 

   REGIMENTAL MEETING NOW SET FOR COWTOWN IN APRIL

As there was no great hue and cry to have the regimental meeting in Topeka in February, and given some support shown for having it with the event at Cowtown in April, I think that is what we will due. The dates are April 15-17, 2011 (Friday to Sunday). The 8th Kansas will be in attendance, as will the lads from the 2nd Kansas. There will be live entertainment on Saturday night.

All should make an effort to attend, if not both days, then whatever you can. Any potential new recruits should be encouraged to attend. And this is prime recruiting territory. Please get out word to friends, co-workers, and any others who might be interested in attending/joining up.

Next Saturday is the Battalion meeting, so I will have more details on the 2011 campaign, although many are up at ninthtexas.com under Journal under "Looking Ahead." Guys, please start marking your calendars.

 

 

 

               ATTENTION TO ORDERS!!

Battalion meeting set for Saturday, February 5, 2011, at 11 am, in Pierce City MO.

I will attend in behalf of the 9th, but please advise of any comments of concerns in behalf of the rank and file. If anyone wishes to attend as well, please coordinate with me.


YOS,

Brian Cox
Captain, commanding
9th Texas Reg't of Infantry
1st Mo. Battalion