Action Report re: Tribbey OK, June 8-10,
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
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
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
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
Thereafter, we received instruction on
hand-to-hand, and we drilled a little
(mostly, on the right by files into
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.
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
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
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,
Captain, 9th Texas