The Journal of the Ninth
Texas Regiment of Infantry:
CIVIL WAR BUFF?
There are lots of Civil War reenacting groups in the Midwest, and the 1st
Missouri Battalion has some of the finest. And there are some excellent federal
units as well, the 8th Kansas among them. Anyone interested in entering into the
big, wide, exciting world of Civil War reenacting would not go wrong with any
group in our Battalion. If you are reading this, you must be interested.
That said, let me make my pitch for the 9th Texas, a Confederate unit with men
mostly from Kansas and Nebraska, and the second oldest unit in the area. They
say, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, I say, there are no new
tricks to teach to my old dogs. As to non-coms and high privates, there are none
more experienced, bar none:
First Sgt. Randy Downey has been been reenacting since 1998.
First Cpl. Bob Albert has been in it since 1992.
Second Cpl. Herb Shemwell has been in it since 1997
Third Cpl. Mark Gianelloni has been in it since 1983.
Our own “high private” Chris Visser, who also occasionally steps up to colonel
to command whole armies, has been in it since 1990.
Among five (5) reenactors, that’s a century of reenacting experience.
Yes, “Been there, done that.”
If you are looking to join a Civil War reenacting unit, I guarantee that you
will find no other more experienced (and fun-loving) unit than the Ninth Texas.
Give us a try (see our contact page on this webpage for persons to contact for
Your obedient servant,
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
First Missouri Battalion
P.S. As captain of the 9th, I have been in it since 1993.
The intrepid travelers from the Ninth Texas arrived at the Downey Ranch on the
Thursday morning, prior to the reenactment. Present for duty were Bob Albert,
Morris Floyd, Shawn Bell, Baxter Thomas, Brad Amend, and myself. Waiting for
transport in Ft. Scott was Dave Jepsen. While the initial plan was to only take
one vehicle, an examination of the gear to be packed and the amount of seating
in the Expedition led to a decision to take two vehicles. After a quick stop in
Ft. Scott to pick up Mr. Jepsen and top off the fuel tanks, we were on the
road. The trip to Mississippi proved to be mostly uneventful, with the
exception of a stop in Lake Providence, LA to sample the local cuisine. The
lakeside restaurant had previously been scouted by First Cpl. Albert on an
earlier trip South with his family. The menu included a large amount of fried
Southern specialties, quite heavy on the fish and seafood. Some of the group
was hesitant to sample the “gator balls”, fearing a relationship to the high
plains “mountain oysters”. However, the breaded balls of ground gator proved to
be as tasty as the catfish and shrimp! The author was somewhat disappointed
with the jambalaya as it proved to be a bit dry for his taste. Overall the food
was very satisfying. Of special note was the seasoning that was available for
purchase. Bob bought a container for his personal use and I believe that it
ended up being tried on almost every dish cooked on the campfire during our
The group pulled into Raymond sometime after dark and experienced a quick and
easy registration process. Instead of separating all the names by unit
designation, they had simply arranged them in alphabetical order. This was a
simple yet effective trick that should be emulated at other reenactments. The
Ninth pulled into the campsite via a well laid out, one way road. We were
located in a stand of tall pine trees on a slight slope, with the staff located
on the tree line. Other battalions were located in the meadow close by. We
were just next to the wagons and teamsters. These included a team of four
humungous oxen. Stumbling onto these large steers in the middle of the night was
quite an event. These beasts were extremely well trained. One of them wandered
from his camp and was sampling the grass further down the encampment. When the
teamster arrived, he merely told the bovine “You know better, get back home!”
The ox turned, looked at his master and ambled back to his allotted spot without
any further guidance. Later on both Privates Ralph (Jamie and Josh), plus
Private Nathan Edwards arrived to swell our numbers. In addition to these
stalwarts, we were folded in with the Fourth Arkansas for the weekend. The
members of the 4th attending were Capt. Arbaugh, along with Privates Williams,
Ream, and Keller. Due to the unfortunate absence of Captain Cox, I was
brevetted Captain of the Ninth and Bob Albert acted as First
On Friday morning we heard shots in the distance as those who had arrived early
on Thursday and slept on their arms that same night, fought and marched towards
the camps. We set up our campaign styled haven and settled in. Later in the
morning, the Ninth hit the sutlers in mass. It was like drovers hitting Dodge
City after weeks on the trail driving cattle! Young Mr. Thomas purchased his
own musket for use in the field. Clearwater Hats happened to be in attendance
and this proved to be an expensive treat for the Ninth. Mr. Floyd, Mr. Downey,
and Mr. Albert all purchased new chapeaus and in addition, Mr. Jepsen also
ordered a new hat. The balance of sutler row was then closely examined for
bargains and we headed back to camp. It was determined that neither Baxter nor
Nathan had seen the Vicksburg battlefield or the preserved wreck of the Cairo.
As the rest of us had toured the sights in previous visits, we sent them on
their way to take advantage of the opportunity. Sometime later in the
afternoon, word was received by the battalion that Yankees had infested the
“town” of Raymond and were harassing the civilians encamped there. An “ad hoc”
company was assembled from the First Missouri and placed under the command of
Captains Keith and Schuster. Word had been given that there would be only
twenty or so of the Federals and we probably shouldn’t overwhelm them with
numbers. As a result of this caution, only around thirty-five or so volunteers
marched off to the rescue. On arrival at the town, a common occurrence of the
weekend was initiated. We waited on the Federals. We actually waited for a
quite a considerable time, before crossing the bridge into town. Once there, it
was discovered that the numbers of blue bellies that was reported did not
include all the Yankee Cavalry or the dismounted troopers with pistols and
repeaters! After a rather sharp engagement and almost getting flanked numerous
times, we retired across the bridge and returned to camp.
On return to the camp, the Ninth assumed picket duty for the evening. This
included directing traffic and maintaining the one way direction of travel so as
to facilitate better access for all. We did this in the proper fashion with a
reserve at HQ and review of all stations by NCO’s. While making my rounds of
the posts on duty, I was accosted by a reenactor who seemed to feel that I was
the individual personally responsible for not having enough outhouses and also
seemed to feel that it was acceptable to yell at me for how disgusting the
facilities were. After attempting to educate him as to the location of the
other facilities in the area, he continued with his tirade. In the end, I had
to rather forcibly inform him that I had nothing to do with the arrangements and
to take it up with the provost or the Generals headquarters if he wasn’t
satisfied. A prime candidate for Motel Militia if I ever saw it! Most of our
watch passed uneventfully. There was one individual of note that had trouble
accepting that just being a member of the XXX XXXX Brigade did not automatically
allow him to drive a quarter to a half mile the wrong way on a one lane road in
the dark, against the traffic, but he was the exception.
Saturday morning dawned and Captain Arbaugh took his turn at commanding our
little detachment. The First Missouri Battalion was the first in the barrel to
galvanize, so we marched off in the blue suit to assault the foe. Marched is
the key word. During the march, one of the teamster’s servants left his master
and joined the column, so that “Mr. Lincoln’s soldiers” would save him from
bondage. We continued marching on to do battle and after a hefty barrage by the
artillery we waded through a slough and climbed steep muddy banks to get at the
rebels. The scenario called for us to be repulsed after crossing the creek,
fall back, and attack across the creek again. Some of the Confederate Cavalry
thought that bottling us up in the creek bottom instead of following the planned
scenario was the thing to do. This resulted in some ridiculous amount of
standing and looking foolish in front of the crowd by both sides. One neat
point of the engagement was that they allowed the reenacting artillery to set up
directly in line with the guns permanently set in place by the park system. It
made for a very impressive gun line. After the final charge through the creek,
we marched all the way back to camp in order to change uniforms. There was
little time to relax and we marched right back out as the boys in grey. We
marched a bit further this time and initially engaged the Federals out of sight
of the crowd. We were to push them back and on the last push, take extensive
casualties. At this point the Federals decided to stay in one place and not
move. Finally the engagement came to somewhat of an end and we marched back to
camp for the second time. After the battle, we had a pleasant surprise. Pvt.
Jamie Ralph’s sister had attended the battle and picked up some goodies for us
to snack on! Root Beer floats in the Mississippi woods! It was greatly
appreciated! There is a rumor that the special Cajun seasoning purchased in
Louisiana was even tried on the ice cream.
Sleeping out was cool but comfortable during the night. The smoke from the fire
went straight up through the pines and allowed maximum utilization of the fire.
Most of us had no trouble drifting off.
Sunday dawned and it was the author’s day to act as Captain. The morning was
spent packing out extra gear to the parking lot in anticipation of a quicker
departure from the event. The event management did shut down access to the
camp by vehicle on midnight on Friday as advertised and parking was out of sight
of the main camp as advertised. However their method of stopping traffic was to
put yellow traffic tape across the gates. This wasn’t especially effective.
Things weren’t too bad on Saturday, but Sunday morning the amount of cars in
camp was atrocious. I was proud to note that the First Missouri Battalion did
it the right way and either packed their gear out, or waited until after the
last battle on Sunday. As a matter of fact, the Fourth Missouri repeatedly
reminded the other encampments of this fact with a loud “No cars in camp!”
bellowed in unison numerous times during the morning. It was well received by
our battalion, but much less so by the offenders. Kraut and oysters were
available at lunch, for those of the Ninth who wished to participate. It has
been said that the lingering effects of this lunch were felt well into the
afternoon and evening.
In the early afternoon we once more marched off to do our duty. We moved
through the woods, down the railroad cut, and then emerged behind a large
redoubt and earthworks. At this point we were formed in rank forward of the
works. The Yankees eventually sent out skirmishers, which we engaged. When
things got hot we were marched behind the works and took our places in the
trenches. One of the battalions was inexplicably left exposed and eventually
retreated over the works and into the entrenchments. At some point the Union
regiments were formed and were merely standing in place. Finally we saw why
they were waiting. Another battalion had moved up through the trees to aid in
the attack. As the blue hordes finally made their way forward, the First
Missouri Battalion readied their special surprise. Colonel Amend had researched
period grenades and had three different types ready to toss or roll down the
earthworks banks. Really impressive were the fake cannonballs with working
fuses that were handmade by the Colonel. I understand that there were some wide
eyes when these rolled down [on] the attackers.
After the attack was finally repulsed, we were dismissed and allowed to straggle
back to camp. After taking down the staff tents and changing garb, we were
ready to hit the road back home. Other than a couple of missed turns, things
went rather well. It was noted that at our first fuel stop in Mississippi, the
convenience store had THREE types of pickled eggs for sale. Naturally the
author had to try the red ones! We stopped for supper while in Louisiana, but
settled for Applebee’s instead of something exotic. After sunup the next
morning, we made it safely home and ready to start preparing for Prairie Grove
At this point, I have a few final thoughts on the reenactment.
Registration was easy, quick, and painless. The earthworks were great and the
experience of defending them was enhanced by Col. Amends grenades. Our actual
camp area was comfortable. Water was well piped throughout the camp and
battlegrounds in an unobtrusive manner. I really got a kick out of the old hand
pump that was rigged to dispense water by Confederate Headquarters. At least a
couple of sutlers with specialty wares were in attendance for our perusal. The
battlefield was spread out over some distance, but we still marched a lot less
in those three days, than they did in one! I would much rather have an excess
of ground than not enough! Wood was adequate and while we could have stood to
have a few more porta-johns, the amount did suffice. I enjoyed having the
wagons and teams in the area. For those of us who campaigned it, the proximity
of the “mixed” camp was a little too close for comfort. Normally I don’t expect
to hear babies crying in the middle of the night at a reenactment. The battalion
across from us in the meadow literally had some indoor (tented) toilets and
showers. There were tent complexes with wood cabinets and dining tables. I
also saw cooking being done on propane stoves. I was reminded of Lt. Carl Rader
of yore, looking at a civilian camp and seeing Sodom and Gomorrah! The only
place that I have seen to rival this level of camp gear has been the artillery
camp at Pilot Knob! One of my biggest complaints of the event was the garb of
the campers. I don’t believe that you could look in that direction without
seeing someone in modern clothing morning, noon or night. If you are going to
theme camp where others can see you, please do it in period clothing! I
personally don’t get as riled up over the gal troop issue as some folks. I’ve
seen some really good impressions. However, don’t wear jewelry, fingernail
polish, or eye shadow!!!! In addition if you are portraying a man, expect men to
say and do the things that guys do when they get together in groups. I saw more
gal troops at this event than I’ve ever seen in one place before. I might say
that our Color Sgt. and First Cpl. received some rather evil looks for a simple
two word greeting of, “Howdy Ma’am!” For fairness sake, I must mention the bare
chested gentleman in a hoopskirt that I saw in the Artillery Camp on Sunday.
I’m really not sure that I care to speculate on the occurrence at this time! I
certainly didn’t stay around to inquire of the whys and wherefores! The numbers,
especially of Federals, were less than I would have wished. The reenactment was
at least held on a sufficient amount of ground and was larger than other events
that I have attended this year. A valiant effort was made to restrict vehicle
access to the camp but I honestly think that the only way to keep the idiots
from driving in would be full time pickets or guards at the gates. This would
be similar to what we had in [Corinth] several years ago. I would also say that
communication appears to have been an issue. I really wondered if both sides
were reenacting the same scenario part of the time! At least twice I literally
would not have been surprised to see a flag of truce while the opposing
commanders figured out “what the heck” was going on! Overall, I did enjoy
myself. The weather was fine, the company was good and despite some rough
spots, I could tell that significant effort had been put into the affair.
Your Obedient Servant,
Bvt. Captain Randy Downey
DEATH OF A SOLDIER...
Most tragically, Private Jason Gibbens unexpectedly departed this life the
evening of October 6, 2012. Mr. Gibbens was a company ‘C’ man from back in the
day, and renewed enjoyment of the hobby with the 9th in recent years. He was a
loyal and capable soldier and always of good cheer. His steady presence on the
field of battle will be missed.
Please join me in extending our most humble prayers and condolences to the
family of Mr. Gibbens for their loss and our thanks to our most merciful Father
for permitting us the time that we did have with him.
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
1st MO. Battalion
JEFFERSON CITY MAY 4-6, 2012
KINGSTON, MO June 1-3, 2012
(Kingston 2012 was not a maximum battalion event, but three stalwarts from the
9th attended. Here is a short after action report from Pvt. Staab):
The event was a good one, although numbers were not great. Elliot's Scouts were
the only ones that had to “go blue.” The organizers gave out plenty of rations
and we had another great meal on Saturday night. The event should perhaps should
have been a Max Battalion event. This event was a good event the last time (in
2009) and they put out written surveys for us to tell them how to improve it and
they acted upon it. Last time we were without sufficient fire wood and parking
was basically in camp. They did a great job improving on these. Messrs. Tripp
McMillan, Chris Visser, and I fell in with three me of the 4th Arkansas and the
16th Mo. We had a good 45 minute fight on Saturday with lots of good action and
reaction in the tactical Sunday.
Pvt. Aaron Staab
Attention to Orders - Rank Structure -
Men, most of you already know that Cpl. Rob Matlack has accepted a new job in
Texas and therefore has tendered his resignation as Second Corporal in the 9th
Texas. With great regret and unavoidably, I have accepted that resignation.
Cpl. Matlack has been stalwart 9th soldier since 1997, and has provided not only
a light heart, but also attention to detail, to propriety, to dignity, to
soldierly bearing, and to scholarship. Although a relatively young soldier, Cpl.
Matlack was clearly headed for higher rank. He will be greatly missed. I can
only say that I am glad that Texas got him!
Although Mr. Matlack’s shoes will be difficult to fill, I have determined to
maintain the 9th’s rank structure of three (3) corporals and one (1) sergeant.
When the 9th regularly puts twenty men (20) in the field, I will reconsider, as
necessary, that arrangement.
As such, and although there are many capable men in the 9th, I have tendered the
rank of Third Corporal to Mark Gianelloni, and he has accepted the promotion.
Mr. Gianelloni has been reenacting since 1983, and a member of the 9th since
1992. From where I stand, he always puts the 9th above himself and never fails
to be of good cheer. I have impressed on Mr. Gianelloni the responsibility that
rank carries, and he accepts the charge.
This promotion is effective immediately, and I will expect the rank and file to
accord to Cpl. Gianelloni the respect that his stripes command (unless he gets
too big for this britches!). Please join me in extending congratulations to Cpl.
Gianelloni for his promotion. (Cpl. Shemwell will move up to 2nd Cpl.)
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
1st Missouri Battalion
REPORT OF ACTIONS AT HUMBOLDT KANSAS
Near Indian Territory
Brevet Captain Randy Downey
The correspondent pulled into Camp Hunter Park Friday, in the mid-afternoon,
ready to lay out the company street for the Ninth Texas. The site of the Civil
War Days was carpeted with grass and dotted with numerous large shade trees. It
is said to be placed on the same spot as the Civil War era Camp Hunter. It is
one of the most comfortable spots that the Ninth frequents.
On arrival, I scanned the area for the promised amenities, yes there was
straw in place and a whole rick of hard wood stacked conveniently close for our
use. The reader will please forgive me for spending so much time speaking on the
quality of the wood supplied. However, the last few engagements that the Ninth
has participated in have supplied firewood that could only kindly be referred to
as sub-standard. It is hard to light a log that is still oozing moisture out of
the cut ends! This wood was cured, split, and ready for immediate use. It also
left a very satisfactory base of coals for cooking.
At this time I noticed that the building fronts for the burning were not yet
in place. Shortly after, I was conscripted to help move the fronts and pull the
supply trailer into place. When this labor was completed I was able to take
myself to the local mercantile and acquire rations for the reenactors
sustenance. A fire was built and several of the men drifted in for the evening,
this included some of our favorite opponents, members of the Eighth Kansas. It
was a great pleasure to have their assistance for the event!
Saturday morning dawned and we prepared our breakfast and greeted the new
arrivals. Pvt. Chris Keidel was present for the morning and it was good to see
him back in the ranks. We had the addition of a new recruit, Sam Lowery, who was
sporting a finely sewn period shirt and union trousers of his own making! Due to
an unexpected family emergency, Captain Cox was unable to attend the event. As a
result the following brevet rank was used for the weekend, Captain Randy Downey,
First Sgt. Bob Albert, and Cpl. Gary Sutton (Sgt. Major). Enlisted men attending
for the Ninth Texas were Privates Matt Lafferty, Chris Keidel, Sam Lowery, J.
Thomas, Dawson Manning, Jamie Ralph, Shawn Bell (Color Sgt.), and Brad Amend
(Col.). Also falling in with the Ninth was Pvt. Garret Pierce of the Second
Kansas. Pvt. Leahy was on detached duty and portrayed President Abraham Lincoln
for the event.
In attendance for the Eighth Kansas were First Sgt. Randy Durbin, Todd Meek,
Mark Brown, Logan French, Tom Hardy, and Tyler Heusinkueld. Captain Goering was
reputed to have been laid low by sickness.
To start the festivities, a procession was held through the grounds. It was
headed by a carriage carrying both Abraham Lincoln and John Brown. The Ninth and
the Eighth properly presented arms, but it must be said that the author heard
several invitations to the theater being offered to the President.
Shortly after the procession a reenactment of the first raid on Humboldt was
held. Members of the Eighth joined the Ninth in plundering the town and rousting
the citizens. Displays of soap making, a children’s museum, and other displays
were on hand. James Country, a period Sutler, was on hand for browsing. Numerous
speeches and talks were given under the big tent. Both John Brown and Abe
Lincoln were in attendance to educate the audience. The Ninth’s own Gary Sutton
laid out his soldiers gear and belongings in the camp and expertly explained
their use and how they related to the Civil War Soldier. A demonstration of
field amputation was given and appeared to be greatly appreciated.
In the afternoon the Ninth and Eighth combined and gave a demonstration of
period drill that was quite well received. The Brevet Captain greatly relied on
the expertise of First Sgt. Albert during this event and called for Pvt. (Col.)
Amend to provide commentary to the crowd. Later, the Blue was donned and a squad
formed for the execution of Pvt. Driscoll. Pvt. Driscoll was executed at Camp
Hunter for sticking a knife in a comrade, deserting after the fact, and possibly
most important, stealing the Colonels favorite horse to leave the area. First
Sgt. Durbin of the Eighth took charge of the combined platoon, had the men
reverse arms and then marched poor Pvt. Driscoll to his doom. A mixed firing
squad sealed the privates’ fate. It may be noted that Driscoll’s boots were
removed prior to his insertion into the coffin.
The finale of the day was the burning of the town. Torches were lit, the home
guard was captured and pillaging was rampant. Churches, the masonic lodge, and
the homes of widows were spared. Only one civilian casualty was reported and
none of the Union men were executed. Humboldt fared much better than its
counterparts in Missouri under Lane’s tender administrations!
Following the events of the day, the Ninth retired to its campsite and
proceeded to prepare supper. Potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, and the like were
peeled and fried in bacon grease. Pork steaks were cooked and consumed with
gusto. Private Ralph’s sister and brother-in-law were visiting from the West
Coast and dropped by with extra refreshments and the makings of root beer
floats! About the time that the pork steaks were done, this correspondent was
called away from camp to take care of a breakdown at the ranch. Upon returning,
I found the Ninth
engaged in the obligatory card game for confederate scrip. I then sat back,
observed the boys at play, and enjoyed a small dose of liquid libation. In the
morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of eggs and bacon, enhanced by the
addition of doughnuts and assorted breads that had been left us by one of the
local venders. It was truly tasty. We then took our leave of each other and
parted until the next campaign. There was quite a bit of rations left and most
of this was donated to the local food pantry.
The event was a change of pace from our usual routine of battle reenactment.
It was held on the actual site of Camp Hunter and depicted Border War events
that took place close to home. I have heard nothing but positive comments
locally and personally wish to thank all those who took the time to help and
participate in this event.
Your Obedient Servant,
Mankato KS Event July 21-22, 2012
9th Texas Annual Dues
Men, at the regimental meeting at Cowtown in April 2012. We voted in a $20
annual dues. This will go to support our tremendous webpage and to purchase
necessary supplies. This is really a small price to pay for membership in a
great organization. Please do your part and mail your dues to me as soon as
Captain, 9th Texas
Cowtown, April 20-22, 2012, After Action Report
Cowtown (Wichita KS) was a very good event, and well attended, the weekend of
April 20-22, 2012. Cowtown is an 1870‘s style town with plenty of structures to
play in, near the heart of Wichita KS, and home to our Company A. There was some
buzz about bigger things to come for the event in the future, and that is reason
to look forward to and plan for the event. Read on, faithful reader.
The event was very well-attended by the 9th. Present for duty:
Brad Amend (private/Colonel)
Jim Arbaugh (private/Captain 4th Ark.)
Shawn Bell (private/Color Sgt.)
Atticus Gianalone (courier)
Cody Williams (4th Arkansas)
1st Sgt. Randy Downey
1st Cpl. Bob Albert
2nd Cpl. Rob Matlack (and family)
3d Cpl. Herb Shemwell
Captain Brian Cox
This turnout, at seventeen (17) rifles, was excellent.
Braxton Thomas, nephew of Cpl. Albert, took the field with us and “saw the
Elephant.” Pvt. Lahey has been away from the ranks for too long and he joined us
for the weekend as well.
Some old 9th Texas veterans also stopped by on Saturday afternoon: Lt. (ret.)
Carl Rader (with his engaging wife Donna), and Lt. (ret.) Bill Nestleroad. Mr.
Rader has been continuously look for new recruits for the 9th. And former 9th
Captain, Brian Albert, up from Texas, also stopped by, as did Sgt. (ret.) Mike
Haberkorn, down from Topeka, with his several grandkids and lovely wife Barb.
Thanks to the 4th Arkansas lads who made the long trip down (Capt. Jim Arbaugh
and Cody Williams) and fell in with us. Some great looking frock coats on those
Brad Amend, 9th alum and colonel of the 1st Missouri Battalion, showed his
selfless spirit by falling in as a private for the event
Other units (or parts thereof) in attendance:
8th Kansas under Captain Jon Goering
2nd Kansas (“Verdigris militia”) under Captain Greg Traxson
Elliott’s Scouts under Brevet Captain Bob Green
2nd Volunteers (U.S.)
Capt. Goering of the 8th was overall commander for the Yanks, and your humble
correspondent did similar duty for the rebs.
Many thanks to old friend and sutler James Country (and Del Warren) out of
Liberty MO for making the trip down to satisfy reenactor shopping needs. In
addition to running the sutlery with his wife Jean, Del can take care of all
your gunsmithing needs.
Crowd turnout was excellent on Saturday although I do not have numbers yet from
Mr. Hunt. Last year, of course, we set a single day attendance record for the
venue. I cannot speak for the event organizers, but there is no reason from
where I stand that this cannot be turned into a weekend-long event along the
lines of the recently-deceased and much-missed Mahaffie event in Olathe.
Kudos to Greg Hunt of Cowtown for ensuring that the event ran smoothly and that
reenactor needs were met. Nice guy too.
The men stood up well for drill on Saturday morning of in excess of an hour.
Much less, of course, than the lads of 1862.
The battles, for the most part scripted on an ad hoc basis, were quite good and
provided a variant at each turn: Saturday battle behind fortifications
including trenches; Sunday morning in the streets, buildings, and camps; and
Sunday afternoon a stand-up affair in the main street. I hope the boys enjoyed
the variety. Unfortunately, the crowds missed the best battles in my opinion
which were the two on Sunday.
On Saturday, although some pyrotechnics were planted near the confederate
trenches, the federal cannon failed to show although the crew did, so that was
somewhat of a bust. One charge was fired off during the Saturday fight and it
was well executed, with a satisfying blast of noise and smoke (from the bag of
cement placed atop) - but you were left wondering what caused the blast.
Most reenactors parked on the other side of the venue so that we did not have
the same problem with restricted access to vehicles prior to close as in years
past. Mother Nature also cooperated pretty well, with excellent temperatures in
the 60’s and 70’s day and a little cool at night but no one suffered as a
result. And wonder of wonders - no rain!
While no rations were issued - that would have been a nice touch - there was
plenty of firewood, both supplied and deadfall, and two restrooms with clean
porcelain were near at hand, as was ample potable water. Parking was a stone’s
throw away, behind walls, so we never had the annoyance of cars in the camp such
as plagued us last year.
As the men trickled in on Friday night, and camp was set, we determined to
forage at the local Braum’s and a good time was had catching up. Saturday night,
by contrast, was not the 9th’s finest as a couple of our number fell ill,
including Mr. Matlack with an ailment of as yet unknown origin. However, there
was some card playing the saloon, with big pots spread around. Later, Cpl.
Albert found a Faro table and instructed the lads in the finer points of the
The scenario for a Sunday morning fight was hatched Saturday night between Capt.
Goering of the 8th and your humble correspondent. Rather than the 9th launching
an attack on the federal camp, the federals were to attack the 9th’s camp, one
company frontally at 9 am, and then when that drew our attention, a second
company to attack our rear at the same time. Only 1st Sgt. Downey for the 9th,
and Captain Traxson for the Militia were aware of the plan. This kind of fight
is great fun what with all the ready-made props (i.e. the buildings), the chance
for insults/challenges to be hurled at your opponents at short range, and
generally fierce, furious action. The downside is that there is generally less
fire control than in a line of battle. But there were no mishaps, and I credit
that to veteran soldiers on both sides who viewed safety as their first
There was talk that Cowtown has created somewhat of a buzz among other units
with some talk of even greater numbers in the future. I heard that the Arkansas
Battalion may come in alternate years. To that end, a Standing Committee on the
Conduct of Cowtown has been created for long-range planning. I hope that some of
our Missouri brothers can attend in the future, and they are certainly welcome.
The Wichita eagle still has a note about the event -
In addition, Cpl. Matlack’s after action report can be found at
By unanimous acclimation, Pvt. Staab takes home the Homie (at least in spirit,
as its last whereabouts are unknown) for antics on Saturday night the most
notable of which was his talking in German. Pvt. Staab later claimed that
language is foreign to him.
A brief company meeting was held Saturday afternoon, and some points determined:
1. We have now instituted a $20 annual dues, going first to the website
maintenance fee, and thereafter into the company account held by the undersigned
to be used for the purchase of needed company supplies, etc. This is a very
small price to pay.
2. There was no agitation for change in the rank structure, therefore it will
continue through 2012. As all will recall, the 9th provides for rank by
appointment, not by election.
3. Any additional events - please get those out to me for posting and
emailing to the men.
Absent further notice, Cowtown in April of every year will be the default
regimental meeting. Of note, the Battalion meeting for campaign 2013 will be in
November of this year.
Men, always remember, years down the line, you can look back on these days with
your Brothers, and know that, whatever we have been through, good times and bad,
“There is none finer.”
I remain, your most humble and obedient servant,
9th Texas Reg’t of Infantry
1st MO Battalion
HUMBOLDT KANSAS IN DANGER !!