Tribbey, OK June 8-10

Tribbey, 2007

June 8 - 10, 2007

Tribbey, Oklahoma

After ACtoion Report by Captain Cox

Pictures courtesy of Brian Cox and herb Shemwell




After Action Report re: Tribbey OK, June 8-10, 2007

Boys, Tribbey 2007 epitomized a well-run, small-sized reenactment. The only thing we could have hoped for was a cooler Saturday, but the Devil was out for his due, so what could we do but fight it out all weekend?

The trip from Topeka, was easy, but long. We arrived on-site after 11 pm Friday night, after about six hours on the road. Brad A. and Brian A. were there waiting for us.

Present for duty:  Col. Amend, Major Albert, Cpl. Matlack, Pvt. Anspach, and Captain Cox. Also, Major Looney and Dave Jepsen.

Saturday --

There was a brief rain around 8:15 in the morning but such was only a minor annoyance. This was certainly more than made up for by the absence of any reveille. But the weekend had only just begun.

We did have a taste of some pesky mosquitoes which were not only persistent but also creative, some said actually getting under their blankets (I ended up with several chigger bites, and Brad Ans. pulled a tic off of him on the way home).

We started the day with a little card playing with certain officers (whose identifies will not be revealed - but check out the pictures to be posted).

At the 9:00 officer’s meeting. Robbie Sanders, now federal, said that we were going to not only have an event satisfying for the crowd but also for the reenactors. And so it was after the scenario was revealed including some hand to hand with the Yanks and a seizure of their guns. The battle plan was for the federals to hold a bottleneck in front of the crowd and their camps, with artillery support, and the Rebs would attack in waves.

We quickly saw that this scenario would require us to march all the way ‘round a large hill so as to be able to position ourselves for the attack. Little did we know that the sun would soon appear in full force and turn the event into a veritable spa.

Thereafter, we received instruction on hand-to-hand, and we  drilled a little (mostly, on the right by files into line).

We fell in on the left flank with some lads from the Red River Battalion including some from the “other” 9th Texas. On their right was a battalion of Cherokee dismounted cavalry. They were later heard to grumble that, when they messed up on where they were supposed to be, we were trying to get a cavalry unit to follow infantry commands. One of the lads good-naturedly jibed later that, when they flubbed a movement, it must have been their horses that got spooked.

As we came around the hill, most of the 9th was ordered out as “flankers,” which is like skirmishers to the side, instead of the front. We encountered nothing but moved into some rough terrain, including some gulleys, and much reddish clay-like soil which was quite beautiful to look at along with the seas of flowers which spread before us. Still nothing.

Then we stumbled onto two companies of federals dead ahead. Whoops! -- as the battle hadn’t started yet. When it began, we pushed, and they pushed back. All the while, it was getting hotter, and hotter. And our rifles began to get almost too hot to handle.

Then our right flank charged the Yanks and engaged them in furious hand to hand. Then, on the left, we got the order to go in and we took one of their guns, and were in the process of turning it on them as fast as we could when the federal infantry rushed us, and we had our own hand to hand. It was a  jumble of bodies, and great fun.

Conspicuous for his bravery during the fray was Pvt. Burrows who stood and fought as a veteran.

Given the heat, many men were near exhaustion by the end of the battle. Sam Looney later reported that the heat index was 105 to 106 (I mean, this was “sweating through your braces” hot).

After the battle, as a group, we had to ignore the Colonel’s order to reform as we were just too exhausted and hot. We sat in the shade to recover not far from where we ended the battle. After that, we repaired to the courtesy tent for some cool pop.

We had a special surprise when Gen. Beck (ret.) appeared, down for the day from Wichita. He regaled us with stories of reenactments long past.

Later, we enjoyed the $5 bean and brisket dinner which wasn’t half bad (including corn, biscuit or bread, pop and a cookie). When all were fed, a couple of us went back for seconds.

Later, we received some troubling reports of what Mother Nature had in store for us after the heat of the day, including a report from event staff that 65 mph winds and nickel-sized hail were expected about 10. The consensus was that none of the tents would hold in that kind of wind. Fortunately, none materialized and we only had the mosquitoes to contend with.

Your humble correspondent and his mosquitoes, made it an early night, and after the fireworks display, the rest of the 9th did as well. Unfortunately, we had all heard the report that there would be a tactical in the morn at 6 am.

Sunday --

True to the plan, we arose prior to 6 am on Sunday for the tactical. Although the 9th was present for duty, as usual, it seems like we had lost most of the companies from the day before with the exception of several lads from our neighboring camp. Notwithstanding, the 9th, never backing down from a challenge, went out to find the federals. At this hour, it was considerably cooler, although we were out for quite a while on rugged terrain seeking out the Yanks.

We went out looking for them, then we spotted them, and their numbers were well in excess of what we could muster. So we took to sniping at them, then falling back, sniping, then falling back. Finally, they came into the open and loosed a couple of volleys at us, and sent out some skirmishers who were no more than an annoyance. And then it was over, just as it was getting interesting. But Col. Amend handled us well, and we never got in any trouble with the Yanks. And the sun was asserting itself again.

We were back to camp by 7:30 for some breakfast, bacon, biscuits, and a potato and onion kabob.

The scenario for the afternoon battle was reversed with the Rebs holding the bottleneck, and the Yanks doing the marching around the hill and attacking. Unfortunately for us, the additional difference from the Saturday battle was that we were now outnumbered by about 3 to 2, given that some of the lads had pulled out.

Our friend Dave J. provided a delicious watermelon before the  battle.

We fell in about noon, and although it was not as hot, with more cloud cover, we had been sweating all morning. We marched out to our appointed location which we found was  in the trees and in Col. Sanders’ Union camp (we hope that he likes the souvenirs we left in his pack).

After our artillery opened up, Col. Amend gave the order to advance with a right face, then a front, then we commenced to blast away at the Blue bastards. We were holding our own when they stretched their line to our left and we were in danger of being flanked. At that point, another of our companies appeared on our left in support, and there the battle was called, after approximately 40 minutes.

We broke camp smoothly and quickly, and we were back on the road in short order.

The event was well run with a good event website, with plenty of water and wood, sufficient food venders, a smattering of sutlers (including Del Warren, a wood worker, and a photographer), and clean johnnies.  The registration process was smooth and quick, and the ubiquitous staff was courteous and helpful (event if they couldn’t get me one of those Tribbey Fire Dept. hats). They event had a nifty event T-shirt. The event site, on private land, was a great playground for us.  Tribbey will roll around again in 2009, and I highly recommend it.

Your obedient servant,

Brian Cox
Captain, 9th Texas

Brian Cox