AAR Pipestone, MN August 14th & 15th, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

 

The Perfect:

  1. The weather. Oh, my! It was absolutely beautiful. I was actually cold on Friday night. It was “I am ready to play some football” weather. One of the major draws of going to Pipestone is that it is nice and cool in August.

 

Captain Brian Cox, of the 9th Texas, is the absolute best at entertaining crowds and being educational at the same time. Captain Christian Shuster of the 3rd Missouri said it best when he told me, “There is many a place that would pay top dollar to have someone of Captain Cox’s caliber to come and speak for them.” Without a doubt Captain Cox is the best I have seen in Civil War Re-enacting circles of combining information and entertainment. He always had a large crowd around him. With tireless energy he made simple the complex and straightened what was crooked. May God bless him to allow him to use his talents in such a way for a very long time.

 

The Good:

  1. Stopping by Werner Enterprises and visiting their offices in Omaha, NE. I work with them at Bass Pro Shops and they were very gracious to Sara, Ana, and me.
  2. We had tons of people through the camp again. They estimated a crowd of 3000 people on Saturday. That’s huge considering the park.
  3. Captain Shuster having a huge company again. Wow!
  4. We were always met with friendly warm smiles from the people of Pipestone.
  5. Clayton’s friend, Mark, coming up and joining us on Saturday. He makes a fine soldier, even if he is a third French!
  6. Did I say the weather was prefect?
  7. The Pipestone National Monument that is a half mile away. This was my third visit the city of Pipestone, MN and this is the first time I took the stroll over to the Monument. It was amazingly beautiful.
  8. Having Sara and Ana Gonzalez ride with me. The last two times I have ridden with Scott George and although I enjoyed his company, they smell a lot better on the way back than he does. Sara and Ana are terrific young ladies and if you haven’t had a chance to get to know them, you should.
  9. The dance at Pipestone was good. It has been better in the past but it was still good. Lots of town folks.
  10. I appreciate Major Dave Renli, Major Chris Visser, and Major Sam Looney’s effort in commanding the battalion.

The Bad:

  1. Sometimes scenario should be broken when things are handed to you. We set a trap for the Yankees and it didn’t work. We then got ate up piece meal. They went ahead and lost but the Yankees should have kept the advantage and changed the outcome. a. I understand that part of the reason the trap failed is because the Yanks didn’t follow scenario but be that as it may, all plans go awry once the first musket is fired.
    b. Maybe we shouldn’t follow the scenario so closely? Hmm!
  2. David Hunt falls down on slippery rocks going up a hill and half the company stops to help him up and he falls again. It’s not the falling down that was bad; it was everyone stopping to help him back up. “We are in battle! People go down! Form that battle line! We have them flanked!”
    a. David didn’t think I was being very nice. 


The Ugly:

  1. Not enough Yanks. We travel a very long distance up North to “Yankee Land”, you wouldn’t think we would have to have some of the Confederates galvanize. What is that about!
  2. Road construction on I29. Seriously! Does all of I29 need to be worked on at once!
  3. Minnesota 34 being closed. Come on Garmin, a little heads up would be nice!!
  4. Battle at 2PM for us that have to drive 9 hours.
  5. Um, let’s have the armies face each other and give cheers and platitudes before Sunday’s battle. After the battle we are very anxious to leave and are not listening to anything the leaders are saying. If one has the grand speeches and “thank you” before the battle, I think they will be better received. Serving as private in the ranks is good for me sometimes.
  6. “Hey, why do I have to re-cap!  The first cap worked just fine. Don’t you see that big black spot on the ground! Didn’t you hear that loud noise! Didn’t you see and smell the smoke! I tell you what some Sergeants are so picky!” says Private Keith.

Those in attendance:


Soldiers
Major Sam Looney
Captain Daniel Keith
Corporal Clayton Kelly (Sat)
Private Jim Bearden
Private Diz Carver
Private David Hunt
Private Mark Kelsey (Sat)
Private Jim Moran

Civilians:
Carolyn Carver
Ana Gonzales
Sara Gonzales
Kaitie Kelly (Sat)
Maxine Moran
Katy Langford
Teri Spenser


Dear Major Looney,

Most of my command arrived Friday evening. Since the Fourth’s numbers were limited we combined with the Ninth Texas to make a very fine fighting group. Captain Brain Cox was very gracious and offered Saturdays command to me.

On Saturday we had heard reports enemy activity from locals in the area and so pickets where set by Captain Christian Schuster’s Third Missouri. After a fine breakfast the rattle of musket fire was heard not far off. This was around 7:30 AM. As ordered we formed our company and marched to the noise of battle. Major Chris Visser asked us to deploy to the extreme left flank of the enemy. We met light resistance so I split the company in half. The rear rank commanded by Captain Cox to keep the Yankee pickets occupied while the front rank of the company slammed into the left flank of the main body of yanks. They quickly realized their peril executed an orderly retreat. We harassed their retreat. At your command the entire battalion formed and we march near their camps to taunt them. It was and enjoyable experience. We only had one man wounded and captured on Yank. He was a nice enough fellow and gave us valuable information on the enemy’s strength and location.

After lunch, the cannon duel signaled that the enemy was very near. We quickly formed our company and were deployed as skirmishers to meet the Yankee skirmish line. Our goal was to retreat to draw them through the open in the woods and destroy a third of their army before the main body could deploy. They took the bait only so far. We drew them in so far but they realized the trap before we could spring it. Captain Matt Tucker’s 6th Arkansas still hit them hard and pushed them back. My combined companied restocked our ammo and redeployed around the extreme left of our line. We where to wait there until Major Visser wing of the army engaged the left flank of the enemy then we were supposed hit them on the right flank and destroy them with the flanker movement. To our surprise we were ordered out to battle long before we heard our comrades’ guns. As we move on the battle field we see the problem Captain Tucker’s entire command being wiped out. As rapidly as we can we hit the enemy’s right flank. After a momentary shock they re-group and put our small company in a pincer movement. We lost several men very quickly. Being flanked on my left by superior numbers and about to be flanked on my right by superior numbers we move to right to anchor on an artillery piece. Finally, Major Visser’s command comes to the rescue and with Captain Shuster’s 3rd spear heading the assault drives the Yanks back. Although, this was a victory for us it was a very costly one. The combined 4th Mo and 9th Tx lost two officers and 5 enlisted men.

After a fine meal at a local establishment we went to the town square where the town’s people where putting on a dance. I am sure they were celebrating our glorious victory over the hated Yanks.

Sunday morning was peaceful enough. We had our morning company drill lead by Captain Brian Cox of the 9th Texas. He was gracious enough to take command of the company for the coming day. After nice relaxing breakfast, church services and a tour of the pipestone quarry (which was very beautiful and worth anyone’s time to visit) our spies informed us that the enemy was on the move again. I had not time to eat lunch but thanks to Private Jim Bearden giving me an Apple and a fruit pie handed to me from Captain Cox I had energy. Since, our wing of the battalion took the brunt of the fighting we were held in reserve. I am unable to report on much of the fight because we were in the rear, but I do know once we were deployed we were unable to advance very far. We took heavy causalities. Half the command went down before we back out of the fight.

Seeing our loss and the victory of the blue devils the local towns fold became very disheartened and left hoping that their homes wouldn’t be looted and families attacked and harassed. We hated to leave the locals to the mercy of those who know no mercy but with the Yanks commanded the field and since we were unable resupply ourselves so far north we had to retreat to a better defensive position.

Unless I hear differently we will meet General Price’s troops some were near the town of Pilot Knob at the end of this month.

May God vindicate our cause!


Your obedient servant,


Daniel Keith, Captain
Commanding
Fourth Missouri Infantry Regiment

 

Below is Major Dave Renli, overall commander of Confederate forces' report: 

This is not really an afteraction report as much as it is a thank you to each of you as units. I probably forgot someone and it certtainly wasn't intended so give me a bit of grace please.

I did enjoy the weekend and it was because of each of you.
dave

Pipestone CW Days 2010

Gentlemen, please let me take this opportunity to thank all of you for your participation at Pipestone. There seemed to only be a few hic-ups during the weekend, like bathrooms being down for a few hours, trash receptacles missing from CS areas and maybe periodic distribution of ice for a few folks. What I was impressed with was that there seemed to be little problems with mosquitoes, never heard of a tick being found and the wood pile was well seasoned. There was straw for those who wanted it.

Sam Looney had the morning reports but at one time I counted 85 Inf. 
including officers and NCO’s in line. Add the 10 or so Artillery and we came close to making 100.

I know 2012 is intended and would love to consider that you will all be back but as we all know that will certainly depend on the National 150 schedule. Just know you can already place a bookmark in the calendar for the “teenth” Weekend.


I am sorry that my career took me off the field immediately after the battle. I would have liked to stick around and helped with teardown and visited for a while but we all know how work gets in the way of play. Hopefully, I will be seeing all of you over the next year at other events and we can chat then. I know each of you was given an evaluation form from the PCW Committee. If you didn’t already turn it in, I hope you will spend a few minutes thoughtfully commenting about what you liked and didn’t like. The Committee does look at them and is interested in making changes as necessary to keep you coming back.

1st S Carolina Out of Austin MN.   Captain Bloody Bill Feuchtenberger  
Wonderful job. Good turn out. I really would encourage you to consider a more formal relationship with the Missouri Battalion as your home for National and even Regional Events. They are a good group as you have already found out. Hopefully we will see you down the road and if I’m across the field yell before you shoot. (Around 3 hours though some came from farther parts)

1stNB/6thAR out of the Council Bluffs area. Captain Matt Tucker    The 
wagon was a good touch. Thank you for your willingness to galvanize to Grey again. Matt getting them on line first was impressive. I have never seen them first in line in all the years I have played side by side. Great job with the crowds also. Seemed like there were always folks in your camp asking questions. (3-4 hours for most)

165thNW/Wheats Tigers Captain Waylon Osterberg again out of Central NB though members are a bit wider spread. Serving with them this weekend was a group of young-uns from Kearney Nb  I know I tease you and maybe ride you guys a bit but you are greatly appreciated. You have been a cornerstone for this event for a number of years. I don’t always understand the pajamas and you have to admit you stand out a bit. 
Thanks for being our galvanized, sacrificial company on Saturday and then our rear guard on Sunday. (Wide variety but 3 plus hours for most)

Freemont Pathfinders Shane Johnson Commanding (Scattered Central NB) but all were as private soldiers this weekend. Thank you for folding in with the 3rd MO this weekend. I am always happy to see the steadiness of you folks in the line.  Shane, please let me know when the date is set for the tactical next spring at Vertigre. I think you will find the 13th there with some strength. For the rest of you, this is an event you might like to consider if you want a two day free flowing tactical without spectators on hundreds of acres of land. (4-
6 hours)

6th AR Jim Arbaugh and friends fell in with the 3rd Missouri. Again NB folks mostly. We go back a number of years and it’s always a pleasure to have you on the field. See you down the road and looking forward to it. (4-6 hours depending on individual)

3rd Missouri Captain Schuster Kansas City area.  1st Missouri Battalion. Somehow you ended up with the largest company and handled it very well. Thanks for your comments and support through out the weekend it was good to have you folks back up to the great white north.  Thanks for letting some of the smaller units fall in with you. 
See you across the field before the years out I’m sure. (6 to 7 hours from Pipestone)

9th Texas Wichita and 9th Texas Council Bluffs. Captain Brian Cox Brian your folks area always steady whether in camp speaking with the public or on the field.  Personally, thank you for the steady support you give to the event and me. Every time I looked down the way here was a crowd in the 9th’s area. Now these folks should have brought a lunch with them or someone should have broken out the three loaves and five fishes cause they were there to learn from (a) master. (9 hours to Pipestone for the Wichita group, 4 for the Council Bluffs bunch)

4th Missouri Captain Daniel Keith (also Chaplain) Springfield Missouri area.. Daniel the 4th was the first 1st Mo Unit to support Pipestone with the exception of the Council Bluffs 9th guys. Again constant in your support of the event and always willing to tell me what we need to be considering. Glad to count you as a friend.  Two things, I appreciate you and your troops more than you know and the reference in your sermon to Samuel’s sons and how that turned into the kingdom of Israel was poignant to our lives and I never saw the implication transferred to the David and Goliath story before. It isn’t about being perfect, but in whom we place our trust. Thank you. Sorry I felt compelled to leave before the last song.  (9 hours plus)

There are two others who I need to recognize.

Chris Visser 9th Texas Lincoln NB has been coming to Pipestone for as long as I can remember. He was a snotty nosed kid then and now he’s just (you all can fill in the blank as you see fit).  I have learned to appreciate his panoramic view of the field and his willingness to help me when I don’t know the right commands etc. Thanks for all your help Chris. (4-5 hours)

Major Sam Looney, Adjutant 1st Missouri Battalion. Miami Oklahoma.  
When I met Sam he was Captain of the 4th Missouri. He and his wife Carol were so friendly to me when they came up. He told me that some of his troops had fought across from the 13th at Bentonville and when I came to the MO Bat officer’s meeting/campfire and asked for folks to come to Pipestone it was a yes from the start. That was eight years ago. Sam, I appreciate your friendship and advise. (10 hours)

I hope I can gather a few after action reports from various units which include some impressions about how the battles went. I would hope they would also include camp and event suggestions. Once I hear from some of you I will try to compile information send it back out to you and then to the committee as we start planning 2012.

You all have my email. But if you need to contact me please do so.


Dave Renli, Humbly serving as your Major at Pipestone 2010.

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