Fight at Jackson Fairgrounds

The Fight at Jackson Fairgrounds:

Confederate Victory Against the Odds

by

©2003 Kirby Ross

with an Introduction by James E. McGhee, ©2003

The Fight at Jackson Fairgrounds: Confederate Victory Against the Odds

© Kirby Ross

Author’s Note & Introduction
Ch 1 – Lindsay Murdoch Ch 6 – Playing a Squally Game of Marbles
Ch 2 – Chasing Phantoms Ch 7 – Aftermath
Ch 3 – Closing In Ch 8 – Mopping Up
Ch 4 – Hell Breaks Loose Epilogue
Ch 5 – To the Death Bibliography
Return to Civil War St. Louis



AUTHOR’S NOTE

In the course of researching the Federal Missouri State Militia and its counter-insurgency operations in Missouri, I ran across the obscure story of the Skirmish at Jackson, Missouri.  The event itself was not unusual for the state—as Missouri historian and writer James E. McGhee mentions in his Introduction that follows this note, over 1000 military engagements took place there during the Civil War.  What is unusual, and even remarkable, is the level of documentation that exists concerning the Jackson affair.  It did not take long for me to see that this was a story waiting to be told—a story that might just be one of the most detailed accounts of a small-unit action existing in regard to the Trans-Mississippi Theater.  So detailed, in fact, that it has even been possible to deduce who killed whom in the fighting.

Despite the fact the number of soldiers that participated in the Jackson Skirmish barely totaled 90 men, no fewer than eight first-person eyewitness accounts relating to it have surfaced—most of which have been gathered through the work of Jim McGhee.  Where one personal anecdote would fade off and leave the reader wondering what happened next or what happened on other parts of the far-flung field of battle, lo and behold, another version would surface, until finally a very comprehensive, all-encompassing picture emerged.  While my efforts in weaving each account into a seamless, cogent, single story was at time quite trying and entailed more than a few rewrites, I believe the final result that is embodied in the story that follows is an accurate depiction of what transpired in and around Jackson, Missouri, on the first days of April in 1862.

Kirby Ross

INTRODUCTION

The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy

By Charley Hester, Edited by Kirby Ross

available for pre-order at Amazon.com

Also by this author:

James O. Broadhead: Ardent Unionist, Unrepentant Slaveholder by Kirby Ross

Missouri was the scene of over 1,000 engagements during the American civil war, ranking it third behind only Virginia and Tennessee in the number of military encounters that occurred within its boundaries between 1861-1865.  Some of the Missouri battles were large affairs that decided important strategic issues, involved sizeable numbers of troops, and resulted in great loss of life.  The bloody combats at Belmont, Lexington, Pilot Knob, Wilson’s Creek, and Westport fall into that category.  Much of the warfare in the state, however, consisted of little fights between small groups of men simply intent on killing one another.  The skirmish at Jackson in April 1862 is a classic example of the type of fighting that most often happened in Missouri during four years of internecine warfare.

The engagement at Jackson, sometimes referred to as the “Battle at the Fair-Grounds,” was a chance encounter between a small group of Confederate recruits and a Union militia detachment from Cape Girardeau determined on driving them from the area.  Barely mentioned in the official records of the war, it has been nearly forgotten, even by the people of Jackson.  But the skirmish at the fairgrounds was important to local residents in 1862 for at least two reasons.  First, the fight brought home the dreadful reality that war was not necessarily something that occurred elsewhere; the townspeople actually heard the exchange of fire between the contending parties and later viewed the blood and pain of wounded soldiers first hand.  Secondly, the men who fought that day, especially on the Confederate side, were “their” boys, members of the local community that were suddenly seen in the unfamiliar role of soldiers.  Doubtless the war never seemed quite the same to Jackson residents after seeing it so close to home.

After the fight at Jackson the Union troops of the Missouri State Militia that were involved returned to Cape Girardeau.  Their unit would undergo several reorganizations over the succeeding months and spend the remainder of the war fighting local guerrillas and Confederate raiders that occasionally penetrated Missouri.

The center of attraction at the Jackson fight—the small contingent of Confederate recruits commanded by William L. Jeffers—formally organized a company on April 16, merely a few days after leaving Jackson.  It had Jeffers as captain; William E. “Button” McGuire, as first lieutenant; Richard J. Medley, as second lieutenant; and John A. Bennett, as third lieutenant—all of whom figure somewhat prominently in the following story by Kirby Ross.  Operating initially as an independent company, their unit was driven from the state into northeast Arkansas in May.  It eventually was attached to Lieutenant Colonel Charles Matlock’s Arkansas Cavalry Battalion on June 16.  When Matlock’s troopers were dismounted in July, Captain Jeffers resigned his commission.  He returned to southeast Missouri to recruit again, and was soon followed by Lieutenant McGuire and other members of his company.

Jeffers’ recruiting efforts were very successful, aided no doubt by a Federal order commanding all men to enroll in the Missouri (Union) militia.  Unwilling to fight against the South, men flocked to Jeffers’ standard in sufficient numbers to create the 8th Missouri Calvary Regiment.  The balance of the war saw the 8th raiding Missouri with Generals Johns S. Marmaduke and Sterling Price, and vainly contesting the Federals for control of Arkansas.  Throughout, Colonel Jeffers led his men from the front rank during its combat history.  As Luther Jenkins would recall, with Jeffers in command “It was never ‘Go on,’ but ‘Come on, boys.’”  The regiment finally surrendered, with the men receiving their paroles at Shreveport, Louisiana, in June 1865.

Years after the war, when Colonel Jeffers died, survivors of his regiment initiated a campaign to erect a monument in his honor at Jackson.  Although the process was slow, the monument was finally dedicated at the Jackson Homecoming celebration of 1908.  It stands today at the south end of High Street at the entrance to the Old City Cemetery near Jeffers’ final resting place.  In the northwest part of the cemetery is a stone that marks the burial place of William E. McGuire, Jeffers’ lieutenant.  It makes no mention of his Confederate service, or of the fact that he died shortly after being released from the hell that was the military prison at Alton, Illinois.  Remembered on the opposite side of the same stone is John W. McGuire, William’s son, who fell while charging a Federal line at Glasgow, Missouri, on October 16, 1864.  Other troopers of Jeffers’ little recruit command are buried nearby.  And to the southwest, only a short distance away, is the Russell Heights Cemetery, once the fairgrounds, where Jeffers’ squad boldly won their spurs in combat and then rode away into history.

Kirby Ross has rescued the fight at Jackson in 1862 from historical obscurity.  He has diligently researched the official records, various memoirs, muster rolls, and newspapers in a whole-hearted effort to reconstruct the events of the engagement as accurately as possible.  It must be said that he has accomplished his goal in admirable fashion.  The men and events come alive in a fast paced and well written narrative that places the event in its proper historical context.  It is a fine, well balanced battle account, and a fitting tribute to the men in blue and gray that fought at Jackson on a quiet spring day in 1862—for cause, honor and survival during some of the dark days in the history of our great republic.

James E. McGhee

Missouri Militia GO 3

MISSOURI MILITIA (G.O. #3)

County Origins of Specified Units

by Kirby Ross

Also by this author:

James O. Broadhead: Ardent Unionist, Unrepentant Slaveholder by Kirby Ross

Autobiography of Samuel S. Hildebrand
by Kirby Ross, Samuel S. Hildebrand, James W. Evans, A. Wendell Keith

available at Amazon.com

The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy

By Charley Hester, Edited by Kirby Ross

available at Amazon.com

On January 30, 1865, Governor Thomas Fletcher had an order issued providing for the creation of the Missouri Militia.  This organization was made up of independent companies that were referred to by county designation as opposed to numerical designation.  Its troops were provisioned by the Federal government and paid, at least in part, by imposing a fee upon “disloyal” citizens residing within the individual counties in question.  Sixty-one companies were formed, fifty-five of which are identified in the chart below.
See also: Federal Militia in Missouri by Kirby Ross

1. Home Guard 1861

2. Six-Month Militia 1861

3. Missouri State Militia 1861-1865

4.Enrolled Missouri Militia 1862-1865

5. Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia 1863-1865

6. Provisional Enrolled Militia (G.O. #107) 1864-1865

7. Missouri Militia (G.O. #3) 1865

8. Missouri Militia (State Convention) 1865-late 19th century

Unit Commanding Officer Troop Strength Comments
Audrain County M.M. John J. Mitchell (1Lt.) 57
Bates County M.M. John Atkinson (1Lt.) 44
Bates & Henry County M.M. William Weaver (Capt.) 97
Benton County M.M. John Cosgrove (1st Lt.) 61
Bollinger County M.M. John R. Cochran (Capt.) 91
Boone County M.M. Henry N. Cook (Capt.) 95
Caldwell & Ray County M.M. Clayton Tiffin (Capt.) 86
Callaway County M.M. Wm. H. Thomas (1st Lt.) 56
Camden County M.M. Henry G. Bollinger (Capt.) 86
Cape Girardeau County M.M. Ezra King (Capt.) 93
Carroll & Livingston County M.M. Daniel Hoover (1Lt.) 73
Cass County M.M. Joseph Burk (1st Lt.) 58
Chariton County M.M. Peter R. Dolman (Capt.) 91 Note:  This company became Company A, 76th Missouri Militia Regiment.  Dolman was appointed colonel of that unit.  See, Missouri Militia (State Convention).
Christian County M.M. T.J. Gideon (1st Lt.) 45
Clay & Clinton County M.M. John W. Younger (Capt.) 84
Cooper County M.M. George Miller (Capt.) 80
Cooper & Moniteau County M.M. John B. Calhoun (Capt.) 82
Crawford County M.M. N.G. Clark (Capt.) 80
Dent County M.M. G.A. Kenamore (Capt.) 101
Douglas & Ozark County M.M. Charles K. Ford (Capt.) 90
Dunklin & Stoddard County M.M. J.C. Thomas (Capt.) 11
Howard County M.M. Warren W. Harris (Capt.) 97
Howard County M.M. William R. Forbes (Capt.) 5 Note:  Where one county had multiple independent companies, the unit would have been referred to by the name of the commanding officer.
Jackson County M.M. William S. Smith (Capt.) 84
Jasper County M.M. Lyman J. Burch (1st Lt.) 59
Johnston County M.M. Wm. E. Chester (Capt.) 93
Lafayette County M.M. R.W.P. Mooney (1st Lt.) 60
Linn County M.M. B.F. Carter (1st Lt.) 46
Livingston County M.M. A.J. Boucher (1st Lt.) 40
Macon County M.M. Robert Davis (1st Lt.) 59
Maries & Osage County M.M. James M. Dennis (Capt.) 83
Marion, Monroe & Ralls County M.M. Henry C. Gentry (1st Lt.) 60
Miller County M.M. John B. Salsman (Capt.) 88
Mississippi County M.M. John A. Rice (Capt.)
Montgomery & Warren County M.M. S.W. Hopkins (Capt.) 98
Morgan County M.M. R.P. Ruley (Capt.) 81
Newton County M.M. Samuel Achord (1st Lt.) 42
Perry County M.M. Hiram Minor (Capt.) 94
Pettis County M.M. H.C. Donnohue (Capt.) 97
Pike County M.M. William Kerr (Capt.) 82
Platte County M.M. Franklin Luthey (1st Lt.) 71
Pulaski & Texas County M.M. Richard Murphy (Capt.) 85
Randolph County M.M. Charles F. Mayo (Capt.) 87
Randolph County M.M. Alexander Denny (Capt.) 87
St. Clair County M.M. Benjamin F. Cook (Capt.) 41
St. Francois County M.M. F.A. Millert (1st Lt.)
Ste. Genevieve County M.M. David Flood (1st Lt.)
Saline County M.M. John S. Crain (Capt.) 94
Stoddard County M.M. Louis M. Ringer (1st Lt.) Note:  This company consolidated into Dunklin & Stoddard County Company (see above)
Stone County M.M. Patrick C. Berry (Capt.) 83
Taney County M.M. Wm. F. Fenex (Capt.) 95
Wright County M.M. Thomas K. Paul (Capt.) 90
Bridges North Missouri Railroad M.M. Luman W. Story (Capt.) 88
Pacific Railroad M.M. H.P. Dow (Capt.) 91
S.W. Branch Pacific Railroad M.M. Thomas Thomas (Capt.) 99

Source: Annual Report of the Adjutant General of Missouri for the Year Ending December 31, 1865 (Jefferson City, Mo.: Emory S. Foster, Public Printer, 1866), pp. 694-699. Name spellings remain as they were in the original document.

Home Guard 1861

HOME GUARD

County Origins of Specified Units

by Kirby Ross

Also by this author:

James O. Broadhead: Ardent Unionist, Unrepentant Slaveholder by Kirby Ross

Autobiography of Samuel S. Hildebrand
by Kirby Ross, Samuel S. Hildebrand, James W. Evans, A. Wendell Keith

available at Amazon.com

The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy

By Charley Hester, Edited by Kirby Ross

available at Amazon.com

The Missouri Home Guard was unlike the Home Guard organization in any other state.  It was controlled by the national government, as opposed to the state government, and existed only for a few months.  Closely related to (and sometimes considered a part of) the United States Reserve Corps (USRC), the Home Guard was a major component of the Federal force that bore the brunt of the fighting in Missouri in the first months of the war.

Despite the key role it played, records are sparse on the Home Guard.  One post-war Congressional report stated it consisted of 241 companies, 6 regiments, and 22 battalions, a partial listing of which appears below.  This inventory is nowhere near complete, and the names of large numbers of units that were formed seem to have been forever lost to history.  Those that have been identified seem, in large part, to be the consequence of members of the individual units having taken a small amount of time to compile a roster of the troops in their commands.

An observant reader will note a discrepancy between the number of regiments the Congressional report listed and the number named on this chart.  This appears to be the result of battalion-sized units being listed as regiments in some primary sources.

Brief notes are sometimes included below regarding the units and/or their commanding officers.  This is not to slight any other men or units that went on to do noteworthy deeds—it is merely the consequence of having had specific information very close at hand as this list was being drawn up.

See also: Federal Militia in Missouri by Kirby Ross

1. Home Guard 1861

2. Six-Month Militia 1861

3. Missouri State Militia 1861-1865

4.Enrolled Missouri Militia 1862-1865

5. Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia 1863-1865

6. Provisional Enrolled Militia (G.O. #107) 1864-1865

7. Missouri Militia (G.O. #3) 1865

8. Missouri Militia (State Convention) 1865-late 19th century

COUNTY OF ORIGIN/ COMMANDING EXISTED
NAME OF UNIT OFFICER STRENGTH (1861) CASUALTIES COMMENTS
Adair County Home Guard
Gordon’s Independent Company (Mtd.) Capt. James E. Gordon 58 May-Oct. 15 Note:  Participated in Action at Blue Mills on Sept. 17
Shibley’s Point Independent Company Capt. Jacob R. Cook 164 June-Sept.
Bolander’s Independent Company (Inf.) Capt. William H. Bolander 49 Aug.-Oct. 5
Barry County Home Guard
Stone Prairie Independent Company Capt. John Sexton 41 June-Aug
Benton County Home Guard Regiment Col. Henry Imhauser 6 companies June 13-Sept. 13 24 KIA/3 DOW Note:  Participated in the Battle of Cole Camp on June 19
Caldwell County Home Guard
Kingston Independent Company Capt. Moses L. James 57 June-Sept. 24 3 KIA Note:  Participated in Action at Blue Mills on Sept. 17
Shoal Creek Rangers Capt. James R. Murphy 80 ?
Cape Girardeau County Home Guard
Cape Girardeau Independent Battalion Maj. George H. Cramer 4 companies June-Sept.
Fremont Rangers Independent Battalion Lt. Col. Lindsay Murdock 3 companies ??-Dec. 10 8 KIA/1 DOW/2 MIA Note:  Not to be confused with two unrelated independent companies operating under the “Fremont Rangers” name in Dade and Johnson counties (see below).
Cass County Independent Company Capt. Aaron Thomas 76 July-Sept. 8 2 KIA
Christian County Home Guard See Greene County Home Guard, below
Clinton County Home Guard
Edgar’s Independent Company Capt. William A. Edgar 91 June-Sept. 16
Rogers’ Independent Company Capt. Hugh L.W. Rogers 64 June 14-Nov. 20 1 KIA
Cole County Home Guard
Jefferson City Home Guard Battalion ? ? June-Aug.
Cole County Home Guard Regiment Col. Allen P. Richardson 11 companies June-Oct. 1 2 KIA/2 DOW/2 MIA
Cooper County Home Guard
Boonville Independent Battalion Maj. Joseph A. Eppstein 3 companies June-Dec. 18 5 KIA
Dade County Home Guard
Fremont Rangers Independent Company Capt. T.A. Switzler 138 Aug-Sept. 1 Note:  Participated in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek on Aug. 10
Dallas County Home Guard Battalion Col. William B. Edwards 4 companies June-Aug. 10
DeKalb County Home Guard Regiment ? ? June-Sept.
Douglas County Independent Company Capt. John S. Upshaw 77 July-Oct. 13 Note:  Absorbed into Phelps’ Volunteer Regiment on 10/13/61
Franklin County Home Guard
Pacific Railroad Home Guard Battalion Col. William C. Inks 6 companies June-Sep. 17
Franklin County Home Guard Battalion Col. James W. Owens 6 companies June-Sept. 28 3 KIA
Railroad Patrol Guard Company Captain George King 100 Sept.-Jan. 23, 1862
Gasconade County Home Guard
Matthew’s Independent Battalion Col. James A. Matthews 4 companies June-Sept. 4
Hundhausen’s Independent Battalion Lt. Col. Julius Hundhausen 5 companies ??-Oct. 1 Note:  Reorganized as Hundhausen’s Battalion U.S.R.C. (3 Years), which was subsequently absorbed into the 4th Missouri Infantry Volunteers.
Gentry County Home Guard Regiment Col. Manlove Cranor 8 companies June-Oct. 1 KIA/2 MIA Note:  Participated in Action at Blue Mills on Sept. 17
Greene County Home Guard
Greene County Independent Company Capt. Colly B. Holland 89 June-Oct. 5
Greene & Christian County Regiment Col. John S. Phelps 13 companies June-Aug. 17 4 KIA/5 MIA Note:  Detachment participated in Battle of Wilson’s Creek on August 10.  Colonel Phelps was a U.S. Congressman at the time of his service in the Home Guard.  After this unit was disbanded he served as commanding officer of Phelps’ Volunteer Regiment and then as military governor of Arkansas.  After the war he was elected governor of Missouri.
Harrison County Home Guard Regiment Col. Henry O. Nevill 7 companies Sept. 3-Sept. 23
Hickory County Home Guard Battalion See Osage County Home Guard, below
Iron County Home Guard
Pilot Knob Independent Company Capt. Ferdinand Schmitz 99 June-Oct. 13
Jefferson County Home Guard
DeSoto Independent Company Capt. Allen Cook 85 June-Sept. 19 1 KIA
Johnson County Home Guard
Johnson County Home Guard Regiment Col. James D. Eads 11 companies June-Sept. 1 KIA/1 DOW Note:  Participated in the Siege of Lexington Sept. 11-21.  Records are available only for field officers and one company: of the two casualties identified, one was a lieutenant colonel and the other a first lieutenant.  This indicates the possibility a significant number of casualties may have been incurred throughout the entire regiment.
Fremont Rangers Independent Company Capt. William J. Budd 99 Aug.-Dec.
Knox County Home Guard Regiment ? 7 companies July-Oct. 1 KIA Note:  Participated in the Action at Clapp’s Ford on Aug. 14
Lafayette County Home Guard
14th Missouri Home Guard Regiment Col. Robert White 8 companies July-Oct. 19 3 KIA Note:  Fought at Siege of Lexington Sept. 11-21 and was captured en masse.
Lexington Independent Company Capt. Frederick R. Neet 74 Aug. 12-Oct. 22 Note:  Fought at Siege of Lexington Sept. 11-21 and was captured en masse.
Lawrence County Home Guard Regiment Col. James C. Martin 6 companies May 25-Aug. 10 14 KIA/1 DOW
Lewis County Independent Company Capt. Robert McCollum 41 June-July 16
Linn County Home Guard
Linn County Independent Company ? 41 ??-July 16
Brookfield Independent Company Capt. Watson E. Crandall 87 June-Aug.
Livingston County Independent Company Capt. Peter Sutliff 67 June-Sept.
Maries County Independent Company Capt. William Wenzel 60 June-Aug. 26
Marion County Home Guard Battalion Maj. Josiah Hunt 3 companies June-Sept. 2 KIA/1 MIA
Moniteau County Independent Company Capt. John E. Pothoff 62 June-Aug. 16
Nodaway County Home Guard Regiment Col. Wm. J.W. Bickett 7 companies July-Oct. 20
Osage County Home Guard
Osage County Independent Battalion Maj. Chesley Glover 6 companies May 27-July 21
Osage County Regiment and Hickory   County Battalion Col. Joseph W. McClurg 17 companies June-Dec. 1 KIA/1 MIA Note:  Colonel McClurg was elected governor of Missouri after the war.
Ozark County Home Guard
Martindale’s Independent Company Capt. W.F. Martindale June-Oct. 13 2 KIA/3 DOW
Stone’s Independent Company Capt. B.S. Stone June-Oct. 18
Pettis County Independent Company Capt. John P. Thatcher 92 June-Aug. 15
Phelps County Home Guard
Bennight’s Independent Company Capt. John W. Bennight 63 July-Sept. 20 4 KIA Note:   Available records indicate large number of casualties incurred at Bennight’s Mill against Col. Freeman on Sept. 1
Pike County Home Guard Regiment Col. George W. Anderson 8 companies May-Sept. 3 Note:  Anderson’s father and two brothers served in the Confederate Army, with his father being killed in action in December 1861.  After the Pike Home Guard was disbanded,  Anderson served as colonel in the 49th Enrolled Missouri Militia and 1st Battalion Enrolled Missouri Militia.  He was elected to the United States Congress as a Radical in 1864.
Polk County Home Guard
15th Regiment USRC Home Guard Col. James W. Johnson 4 companies June-Dec. 6 1 KIA Note:  Detachment fought at Siege of Lexington Sept. 11-21 and was captured en masse.
Putnam County Home Guard
Collins’ Independent Company Capt. Sylvester S. Collins 58 May-Aug. 1
Shawneetown Independent Company Capt. James Ewing 84 July-Sept. 1
Bogle’s Independent Company Capt. William H. Bogle 59 Aug.-Oct. 13
St. Charles County Home Guard Regiment Col. Arnold Krekel 12 companies July-Aug.
St. Louis County Home Guard
Carondelet Independent Company Capt. Henry Nagel 127 June-Oct. 17
Scott County Home Guard Battalion Maj. Daniel Abbey 4 companies May-Aug. 5
Shelby County Independent Company Capt. Joseph H. Forman 70 July 23-Aug. 23
Stone County Home Guard Regiment Col. Asa G. Smith 6 companies June 5-July 19 8 KIA
Sullivan County Home Guard
Cooper’s Independent Company Capt. James W. Cooper 63 June-Sept. 20
Meals’ Independent Company Capt. William S. Meals 72 June-Sept. 20
Washington County Home Guard
Potosi Independent Company Capt. George R. French 75 July-Sept. 9 1 DOW Note:  Participated in Action at Potosi on Aug. 10
Webster County Home Guard Regiment Col. Noah H. Hampton 7 companies July-Aug. 18

Sources: Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Missouri for the Year 1863 (St. Louis, Mo., 1864), pp. 95-133;

Annual Report of the Adjutant General of Missouri for the Year Ending December 31, 1865 (Jefferson City, Mo., 1866), pp. 28-30, 36-39;

Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion (Des Moines, 1908), pp. 1341-1343. See also,

Organization and Status of Missouri Troops in Service During the Civil War (Washington: Government Printing Office 1902)

Missouri Militia State Convention

MISSOURI MILITIA

(STATE CONVENTION)

County Origins of Specified Units

by Kirby Ross

Also by this author:

James O. Broadhead: Ardent Unionist, Unrepentant Slaveholder by Kirby Ross

Autobiography of Samuel S. Hildebrand
by Kirby Ross, Samuel S. Hildebrand, James W. Evans, A. Wendell Keith

available at Amazon.com

The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy

By Charley Hester, Edited by Kirby Ross

available at Amazon.com

On April 8, 1865, a second organization called the Missouri Militia was created, this one by the State Convention.  Eighty-four regiments, six battalions, and two independent companies were formed, all of which have been identified and are listed on the chart below.
See also: Federal Militia in Missouri by Kirby Ross

1. Home Guard 1861

2. Six-Month Militia 1861

3. Missouri State Militia 1861-1865

4.Enrolled Missouri Militia 1862-1865

5. Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia 1863-1865

6. Provisional Enrolled Militia (G.O. #107) 1864-1865

7. Missouri Militia (G.O. #3) 1865

8. Missouri Militia (State Convention) 1865-late 19th century

UNIT COUNTY OF ORIGIN COLONEL COMMENTS
1st Regiment M.M. Ray County A.J. Bair
2nd Regiment M.M. Buchanan County Wm. R. Penick
3rd Regiment M.M. Buchanan County Cyrus J. Missemer
4th Regiment M.M Buchanan County Joseph Thompson (Maj.)
5th Regiment M.M. Osage & Maries Counties James M. Dennis
6th Regiment M.M. Jackson & Cass Counties H.H. Williams
8th Regiment M.M. Franklin County Daniel Q. Gale
9th Regiment M.M. Moniteau County F.W. Hickox
10th Regiment M.M. Cooper County Andrew P. McKee
11th Regiment M.M. Cooper County John Fessler
12th Regiment M.M. Greene County Hosea G. Mullings
13th Regiment M.M. Greene County Jacob Hursh
14th Regiment M.M. Livingston County Robert S. Moore
15th Regiment M.M. Jefferson County Anton Yerger
16th Regiment M.M. Audrain County Winfield S. Wood
William E. Jones
17th Regiment M.M. Polk & Cedar Counties James J. Akard
18th Regiment M.M. Dallas & Laclede Counties Milton Burch
19th Regiment M.M. Webster, Douglas, Wright, Texas, Ozark, & Howell Counties John S. Coleman
20th Regiment M.M. Lawrence, Newton, McDonald, & Barry Counties John M. Filler
21st Regiment M.M. Nodaway County Josiah Coleman
22nd Regiment M.M. Clay County James M. Jones
23rd Regiment M.M. Mississippi County ———
24th Regiment M.M. Iron County William T. Leeper Note:  Leeper, a prominent Missouri State Militia captain during the war as well as Radical Unionist candidate for Congress in 1864, was commonly referred to as “Colonel Leeper” in the post-war period.  He was quite controversial and has in modern times been the target of revisionist historical writings in southeast Missouri that assert he lied about being a colonel.  However his appointment at that rank and as senior commanding officer of the 24th Missouri Militia Regiment on 23 June 1865 is easily verified through the 1865 Missouri Adjutant General’s Report as well as through personal and regimental records at the Missouri State Archives.
25th Regiment M.M. Cole County Herman L. Bruns
26th Regiment M.M. Miller & Camden Counties T.J. Babcoke
27th Regiment M.M. Knox County Jacob Pugh
28th Regiment M.M. Adair County J.B. Dodson
29th Regiment M.M. Linn County Marion Cave
30th Regiment M.M. Andrew County William P. Hobson
31st Regiment M.M. Grundy County Henry V. Stall
32nd Regiment M.M. Holt County Geo. W. Kelly (Lt. Col.)
33rd Regiment M.M. Atchison County George Steck (Lt. Col.)
34th Regiment M.M. Gentry County C.G. Comstock (Lt. Col.)
35th Regiment M.M. Mercer County David M. King
36th Regiment M.M. Carroll County Daniel Hoover (Lt. Col.)
37th Regiment M.M. Putnam County James B. Harper
38th Regiment M.M. Clinton County H.L. Rogers
39th Regiment M.M. Cape Girardeau County Geo. F. Thilenues
40th Regiment M.M. St. Louis City N. Schittner
41st Regiment M.M. St. Louis City Christian Ploeser
42nd Regiment M.M. St. Louis City Ezra O. English
43rd Regiment M.M. St. Louis City T. Niederweiser
44th Regiment M.M. St. Louis City James Blood
45th Regiment M.M. St. Louis City John McFall
46th Regiment M.M. St. Louis City Henry Hildebrand
47th Regiment M.M. St. Louis City E.C. Harrington
48th Regiment M.M. St. Louis City Phil H. Murphy
49th Regiment M.M. St. Louis City Wm. D. Bowen
50th Regiment M.M. Pacific Railroad Joseph B. Wilde (Lt. Col.)
51st Regiment M.M. St. Louis County R.C. Allen
52nd Regiment M.M. Colored, St. Louis Frank Robinson
53rd Regiment M.M. Macon County Dennis C. McKay
54th Regiment M.M. DeKalb County Levi Pritchard (Lt. Col.)
55th Regiment M.M. Gasconade County W.Q. Dallmeyer
56th Regiment M.M. Harrison County John W. Moore
57th Regiment M.M. Boone County Thomas J. Sutton (Lt. Col.)
58th Regiment M.M. Lafayette County James C. McGinnis
59th Regiment M.M. Clark County John H. Cox (Lt. Col.)
60th Regiment M.M. Platte County Wm. J. Fitzgerald
61st Regiment M.M. Pike County Robert McElroy
Pat. F. Lonergan
62nd Regiment M.M. Randolph County A.F. Denny
63rd Regiment M.M. St. Charles County Fred. Weineben
64th Regiment M.M. Lincoln County A.C. Marsh
65th Regiment M.M. Marion County J.T.K. Hayward
66th Regiment M.M. Lewis County Robert Carrick
67th Regiment M.M. Scotland & Schuyler Counties E.A. Kutzner
68th Regiment M.M. Shelby County George Lair (Lt. Col.)
69th Regiment M.M. Ralls County John A. Lennon
70th Regiment M.M. Crawford & Phelps Counties A.A. Harrison
71st Regiment M.M. Monroe County E.G.B. McNutt
72nd Regiment M.M. Daviess County Joseph H. McGee
73rd Regiment M.M. Montgomery County L.A. Thompson
74th Regiment M.M. Benton County Richard H. Melton
75th Regiment M.M. Callaway County J.J.P. Johnson
76th Regiment M.M. Chariton County Peter R. Dolman
77th Regiment M.M. Johnson County ———
78th Regiment M.M. Morgan County ———
79th Regiment M.M. Sullivan County Asahael Jones (Lt. Col.)
80th Regiment M.M. Saline County Benj. H. Wilson
81st Regiment M.M. St. Louis H.F. Vohlkamp
82nd Regiment M.M. St. Louis Francis Romer
83rd Regiment M.M. Bollinger County ———
84th Regiment M.M. Perry County Thomas Hooss (Adj.)
National Guard Regiment St. Louis H. Kleinschmidt
INDEPENDENT BATTALIONS
1st Battalion M.M. Christian, Stone, & Taney Counties S.C. McCullah (Maj.)
2nd Battalion M.M. Dade, Jasper, & Barton Counties James M. Smith (Maj.)
3rd Battalion M.M. St. Louis William A. Steele (Maj.)
5th Battalion M.M. Caldwell County John G. Pierce (Adj.)
6th Battalion M.M. Worth County Adam Wall (Maj.)
Benton Barracks Battalion St. Louis John W. McHarg (Maj.)
INDEPENDENT COMPANIES
Fletcher Guards Middletown, Montgomery County S.W. Hammack (Capt.)
Clark County Ind. Co. Clark County D.A. Day (Capt.)

Source: Annual Report of the Adjutant General of Missouri for the Year Ending December 31, 1865. (Jefferson City, Mo.: Emory S. Foster, Public Printer, 1866), pp. 635-685. Spellings of names in the above chart remain unchanged from the original document.

Provisional Enrolled Militia

PROVISIONAL ENROLLED MILITIA

County Origins of Specified Units

by Kirby Ross

Also by this author:

James O. Broadhead: Ardent Unionist, Unrepentant Slaveholder by Kirby Ross

Autobiography of Samuel S. Hildebrand
by Kirby Ross, Samuel S. Hildebrand, James W. Evans, A. Wendell Keith

available at Amazon.com

The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy

By Charley Hester, Edited by Kirby Ross

available at Amazon.com

Few if any of the many types of militia that existed in Missouri are as misunderstood and mis-categorized as this organization.  The Provisional Enrolled Militia was formed in mid-1864 and was made up of 62 independent companies (56 of which are identified below).  Because of its name, the Provisional Enrolled Militia is often confused as being a part of the Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia, but there was absolutely no connection between the two.

The Provisional Companies were formed by county committees that handpicked the men that joined the ranks.  As they were formed, the primary duty of these units was to maintain law and order in their localities.

See also: Federal Militia in Missouri by Kirby Ross

1. Home Guard 1861

2. Six-Month Militia 1861

3. Missouri State Militia 1861-1865

4.Enrolled Missouri Militia 1862-1865

5. Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia 1863-1865

6. Provisional Enrolled Militia (G.O. #107) 1864-1865

7. Missouri Militia (G.O. #3) 1865

8. Missouri Militia (State Convention) 1865-late 19th century

COUNTY COMMANDING OFFICER DATE INTO SERVICE COMMENTS
Adair County Capt. Hiram B. Foster Aug. 1864
Andrew County Capt. John B. Majors ??
Caldwell County Capt. W.F. Tilson Sept. 1864
Camden County Capt. Henry G. Bollinger Sept. 1864
Camden County Capt. Sayles Brown ??
Carroll County Capt. Daniel Hoover Dec. 1864
Clark County Capt. D.A. Day Nov. 1864
Clay County Capt. Wm. G. Garth Aug. 1864
Cole County Capt. Andrew J. Green Sept. 1864 While serving as captain in the Cole County Provisional Enrolled Militia, Andrew Green was also serving as lieutenant colonel in the 42nd Enrolled Missouri Militia.
Cooper County Capt. H. Shoemaker Aug. 1864
Cooper County Capt. R.B. Newman ??
Crawford County Capt. W.H. Ferguson Aug. 1864
Crawford County See Phelps county
Dallas County Capt. Noah Bray Aug. 1864
DeKalb County Capt. John Pinger Aug. 1864
Franklin County Capt. Lucius C. Frazer Sept. 1864
Franklin County Capt. Andrew Fink Sept. 1864
Franklin County Capt. Frederick Steines Sept. 1864
Franklin County Capt. Elias Boyd Oct. 1864 Organized by refugees.
Franklin County Capt. B.E. Anderson Jan. 1865
Gentry County Capt. James Castor July 1864
Gentry County Capt. John F. Mason July 1864
Grundy County Capt. George A. Spickard July 1864
Grundy County Capt. E.L. Winters ??
Hickory County 1st Lt. Wm. L. McCaslen Jan. 1865
Iron County Capt. Morgan Mace ?? Also included troops from Madison County and probably from Wayne County
Laclede County Capt. D.A.W. Morehouse Sept. 1864
Lafayette County Capt. George W. Bingham ?? Also included troops from Saline County
Lincoln County Capt. Dedrick Wehde Oct. 1864
Linn County Capt. Robert W. Holland Aug. 1864 Also included troops from Macon County
Macon County Capt. Isaac P. Rallston Sept. 1864
Macon County Troops from this county also combined with men from Linn County to fill out Capt. Holland’s company (see above)
Maries County Capt. Samuel Parpam Aug. 1864
Miller County Capt. John Long Aug. 1864
Miller County Capt. Thos. J. Babcoke Jan. 1865
Moniteau County Capt. A.B. Hale Sept. 1864
Moniteau County Capt. J.F. Hume Sept. 1864 While serving as captain in the Moniteau County Provisonal Enrolled Militia, J.F. Hume was also serving as major in the 43rd Enrolled Missouri Militia.
Moniteau County Capt. John R. Legg Sept. 1864
Moniteau County Capt. Henry Pwiehaus Sept. 1864
Moniteau County Capt. E.P. Renshaw Sept. 1864
Monroe County Capt. E.G.B. McNutt Dec. 1864
Monroe County Capt. Lewis P. Corrothers ?? Also included troops from Shelby County
Montgomery County Capt. John Kendrick July 1864
Morgan County Capt. A.J. Hart ??
Osage County Capt. Adam Miller Aug. 1864 While serving as captain in the Osage County Provisonal Enrolled Militia, Adam Miller was also serving as lieutenant colonel in the 28th Enrolled Missouri Militia.
Phelps County (?) Capt. Abraham Johnson ?? The specific county this company originated in is uncertain.  Capt. Johnson’s Provisonal Enrolled Militia Company was detailed from the 63rd Enrolled Missouri Militia, which consisted of men from Phelps, Crawford and Pulaski counties. Johnson’s PEM company came from one of those counties, or a combination of them.
Platte County Capt. Edward Schelsky Aug. 1864
Pulaski County See Phelps county
Ralls County Capt. John F. McNeil Oct. 1864
Ralls County Capt. John A. Lennon Nov. 1864
Randolph County Capt. Charles F. Mayo Sept. 1864
Ray County Capt. Martin T. Real ??
St. Charles County Capt. F.W. Gatzweller Sept. 1864
Saline County See Lafayette county
Shelby County See Monroe County
Scotland County Capt. John l. Morris ??
Stone County Capt. George E. Gaddy Sept. 1864
Sullivan County Capt. Henry D. Johnson ??
Washington County Capt. J.A.G. Palmer Aug. 1864
Washington County Capt. A.J. Harris Sept. 1864
Washington County Capt. John A. Harris ??
Source:  Annual Report of the Adjutant General of Missouri for the Year Ending December 31, 1865 (Jefferson City, Mo.: Emory S. Foster, Public Printer, 1866), pp. 629-632

Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia

PROVISIONAL ENROLLED MISSOURI MILITIA
County Origins of Specified Units
by Kirby Ross

Also by this author:

James O. Broadhead: Ardent Unionist, Unrepentant Slaveholder by Kirby Ross

Autobiography of Samuel S. Hildebrand
by Kirby Ross, Samuel S. Hildebrand, James W. Evans, A. Wendell Keith

available at Amazon.com

The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy

By Charley Hester, Edited by Kirby Ross

available at Amazon.com


Within months of the creation of the Enrolled Missouri Militia it became evident to the Union command in St. Louis that the use of part-time soldiers was not the answer to addressing the rebellion in the state.  Consequently it was decided to detail “picked men” from the EMM into a new, full-time organization.  The result was the Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia (aka the Detailed Militia).

One independent PEMM company and eleven PEMM regiments were formed in the different regions of Missouri.  All of these units, along with the EMM regiments and counties from which they were drawn, are listed below.1

See also: Federal Militia in Missouri by Kirby Ross

1. Home Guard 1861

2. Six-Month Militia 1861

3. Missouri State Militia 1861-1865

4. Enrolled Missouri Militia 1862-1865

5. Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia 1863-1865

6. Provisional Enrolled Militia (G.O. #107) 1864-1865

7. Missouri Militia (G.O. #3) 1865

8. Missouri Militia (State Convention) 1865-late 19th century

PRIMARY                                    EMM UNITS                                                   COUNTIES

REGIMENT                  OPERATIONAL AREA                  DRAWN FROM                                     DRAWN FROM COMMANDNG OFFICER

1st PEMM          Northeast Missouri         27th EMM                                         St. Charles County    Col. Joseph B. Douglass

46th EMM                                          Howard County

“                                                    Randolph County

49th EMM                                          Pike County

61st EMM                                          Boone County

62nd EMM                                         Macon County

“                                                    Linn County

67th EMM                                          Montgomery County

75th EMM                                          St. Charles County

Callaway Independent EMM            Callaway County

1st Battalion EMM                            Pike County

2nd PEMM         Northeast Missouri        29th EMM                                         Scotland County    Col. Edward A. Kutzer

37th EMM                                          Lincoln County

45th EMM                                          Putnam County

50th EMM                                          Knox County

“                                                    Adair County

53rd EMM                                          Ralls County

59th EMM                                          Warren County

62nd EMM                                          Macon County

“                                                    Linn County

66th EMM                                          Sullivan County

69th EMM                                          Clark County

“                                                    Lewis County

70th EMM                                          Monroe County

“                                                    Shelby County

3rd PEMM         Northwest Missouri        25th EMM                                          Buchanan County    Col. William Heron

31st EMM                                           Gentry County           Col. Bennett Pike

36th EMM                                          Nodaway County

39th EMM                                          Platte County

41st EMM                                           Andrew County

57th EMM                                          Harrison County

58th EMM                                          Atchison County

“                                                    Holt County

4th PEMM         Northwest Missouri        25th EMM                                          Buchanan County    Col. John B. Hale

30th EMM                                          Grundy County

31st EMM                                           Gentry County

33rd EMM                                          Daviess County

“                                                    Caldwell County

35th EMM                                          Chariton County

44th EMM                                          Mercer County

48th EMM                                          Clay County

“                                                    Clinton County

51st EMM                                           Ray County

57th EMM                                          Harrison County

65th EMM                                          Carroll County

“                                                    Livingston County

Mercer Independent EMM               Mercer County

5th PEMM         West Central Missouri    40th EMM                                          Pettis County    Col. Henry Neill

60th EMM                                          Osage Valley

71st EMM                                           Lafayette County

“                                                    Saline County

77th EMM                                          Jackson County

6th PEMM         Southwest Missouri        26th EMM                                          Polk County        Col. Henry Sheppard

72nd EMM                                          Greene County    Col. F. S. Jones

“                                                    Christian County

73rd EMM                                          Laclede County

“                                                    Douglas County

“                                                    Dallas County

74th EMM                                          Lawrence County

“                                                    Webster County

Kelly’s Independent   Southwest Missouri  26th EMM                                        Polk County        Capt. Morgan Kelly

PEMM company

Note: Was operating as an indepedent PEMM company in the summer of 1863, but was integrated into the 6th PEMM as Company I on September 6.

7th PEMM         Southwest Missouri        26th EMM                                          Polk County        Col. John D. Allen

72nd EMM                                          Greene County

“                                                    Christian County

73rd EMM                                          Laclede County

“                                                    Douglas County

“                                                    Dallas County

76th EMM                                          Lawrence

8th PEMM         Southeast Missouri         32nd EMM                                        Washington Co.        Col. William H. McLane

56th EMM                                          Cape Girardeau County

64th EMM                                          Perry County

68th EMM                                          Iron County

“                                                    Wayne County

“                                                    Madison County

78th EMM                                          Ste. Genevieve County

Bollinger Independent EMM           Bollinger County

9th PEMM         Central/East Central        28th EMM                                          Osage County        Col. Thomas L. Crawford

Missouri                             34th EMM                                         Gasconade County

42nd EMM                                          Cole County

43rd EMM                                          Moniteau County

47th EMM                                          Camden County

52nd EMM                                          Cooper County

Maries Independent EMM              Maries County

10th PEMM 2 St. Louis                         1st thru 16th EMM                              St. Louis                Col. C. D. Wolf (10 days)

11th PEMM 2 St. Louis                         1st thru 16th EMM                              St. Louis                Col. John Knapp (1 day)

Col. Henry H. Catherwood (6 days)


1 Report of the Committee of the House of Representatives of the Twenty-Second General Assembly of the State of Missouri, Appointed to Investigate the Conduct and Management of the Militia (Jefferson City, Mo.: W.A. Curry, Public Printer, 1864), pp. 224-233; Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Missouri, December 15, 1862 (St. Louis: Adjutant General’s Office, 1862), pp. 11-12

2 Intended to replace U. S. Volunteers stationed at New Madrid in southeast Missouri. There were limited desertions in the 10th PEMM and mass desertions and mutiny in the 11th PEMM. For more on this story, see “The St. Louis Mutiny of the Provisionals”.


Enrolled Missouri Militia

ENROLLED MISSOURI MILITIA

County Origins of Specified Units

by Kirby Ross

Also by this author:

James O. Broadhead: Ardent Unionist, Unrepentant Slaveholder by Kirby Ross

Autobiography of Samuel S. Hildebrand
by Kirby Ross, Samuel S. Hildebrand, James W. Evans, A. Wendell Keith

available at Amazon.com

The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy

By Charley Hester, Edited by Kirby Ross

available at Amazon.com

Given the general lack of information available on the Federal Enrolled Militia, in conducting research on the Civil War in Missouri a historian might tend to come across mention of a particular EMM unit—either by the name of its commander or its numerical designation—and have no idea where that unit might have been organized and based.  The following table provides for quick number/name/locale cross-referencing of units formed by the end 1862 as well as the number of men enrolled in those particular units at that time.  Note a dozen or so additional EMM units were formed after 1862 and are not included in this list.1
See also: Federal Militia in Missouri by Kirby Ross

1. Home Guard 1861

2. Six-Month Militia 1861

3. Missouri State Militia 1861-1865

4. Enrolled Missouri Militia 1862-1865

5. Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia 1863-1865

6. Provisional Enrolled Militia (G.O. #107) 1864-1865

7. Missouri Militia (G.O. #3) 1865

8. Missouri Militia (State Convention) 1865-late 19th century

Regiment Where Organized Colonel Strength
1 St. Louis

©Kirby Ross

www.civilwarstlouis.com

©Kirby Ross

www.civilwarstlouis.com

©Kirby Ross

www.civilwarstlouis.com

©Kirby Ross

William P. Fenn 565
2 E. Stafford 565
3 N. Schittner 921
4 C. D. Wolf 927
5 F. T. Boyle 606
6 Thomas Richeson 817
7 George E. Leighton 581
8 Jno. Knapp 742
9 J. M. Krum 603
10 E. H. E. Jameson 811
11 William. Cuddy 792
12 William. Bailey 824
13 B. M. Million 845
16 M. W. Warne 752
17 C. L. Tucker 712
22 Thomas Miller, Jr. 1,471
23 Pacific Railroad George R. Taylor 890
24 St. Louis Arsenal A. R. Buffington 520
25 Buchanan County Jno. Severance 723
26 Polk County J. W. Johnson 593
27 St. Charles County Benj. Emmons 884
28 Osage County L. Zevely 760
29 Scotland County E. A. Kutzner 657
30 Grundy County J. H. Shanklin 469
31 Gentry County M. Craner 624
32 Washington County T. J. Whitely 607
33 Davis & Caldwell Counties William S. Brown 628
34 Gasconade County J. O. Sitton 787
35 Chariton County W. E. Moberly 706
36 Nodaway County W. J. W. Bickett 575
37 Lincoln County C. W. Parker 754
38 Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad J. T. K. Hayward 633
39 Platte County J. A. Price 621
40 Pettis County R. R. Spedden 620
41 Andrew County William Heron 571
42 Cole County H. L. Burns (Lt. Col.) 818
43 Moniteau County F. W. Hickox 810
44 Mercer County Willam M. Rodgers 681
45 Putnam County William A. Shelton 622
46 Howard & Randolph Counties Thomas J. Bartholow 759
47 Camden County H. A. Massey 677
48 Clay & Clinton Counties James H. Moss 667
49 Pike County G. W. Anderson 734
50 Knox & Adair Counties S. W. Wirt 734
51 Ray County A. J. Barr 506
52 Cooper County William Pope 598
53 Ralls County Corwin C. Tinker 595
54 Washington County2 Daniel Q. Gale 786
55 Franklin County A. W. Maupin 636
56 Cape Girardeau County W. H. McLane 676
57 Harrison County D. J. Heaston 535
58 Atchison & Holt Counties Bennett Pike 580
59 Warren County Jno. E. Hutton 636
60 Osage Valley A. C. Marvin 720
61 Boone County J. B. Douglass 587
62 Macon & Linn Counties R. J. Elberman 687
63 Phelps, Crawford & Pulaski Counties J. E. Davis 705
64 Perry County R. M. Brewer 732
65 Carroll & Livingston Counties J. B. Hale 500
66 Sullivan County O. P. Phillips 549
67 Montgomery County James Kettle 432
68 Iron, Wayne, & Madison Counties J. Lindsay 840
69 Clark & Lewis Counties 713
70 Monroe & Shelby Counties W. B. Okeson 513
71 Lafayette & Saline Counties Henry Neill 527
72 Greene & Christian Counties H. Sheppard 700
73 Laclede, Douglas, & Dallas Counties R. Palmer 830
74 Lawrence & Webster Counties M. Boyd 699
75 St. Charles County 676
1st Batt. Pike County G.W. Anderson3 505
Batt. Howard County B. Reeves (Major) 445
Batt. St. Louis Policemen J. E. D. Couzins (Major) 167
©Kirby Ross Totals: 48,733

NOTES:

1Source: Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Missouri, December 15, 1862 (St. Louis: Adjutant General’s Office, 1862), pp. 11-12.  Name spellings are left as they were in the original document.

2The original 1862 report stated this was a Franklin County unit, which was in error—this was actually a Washington County regiment.  See, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of Missouri For 1864 (Jefferson City, Mo.: W.A. Curry, Public Printer, 1865), p. 310

3The original 1862 report did not have information on the commanding officer of this unit.  Copies of letters from Colonel George W. Anderson that are in my possession show he led both the 49th Regiment EMM and the 1st Battalion EMM.

Federal Militia

Federal Militia

in Missouri

by Kirby Ross

Introduction

In studying the Civil War in Missouri nothing is more confusing than sorting out the various hodge-podge of militia units that fought on the Federal side. A general statement regarding a generic militia unit in a military report, newspaper article, diary, magazine, book, etc., should rightly leave the reader scratching his or her head.

Too many historians and writers on the war in Missouri tend to lump “the militia” into one broad category. Being apprised of specific instances of prominent, institutionally undisciplined behavior by the troops and/or leadership of one particular militia organization all too often results in unsubstantiated and unprovable claims that other militia organizations were of the same ilk. Such broad oversimplifications give the appearance of falling into one of two categories: 1) at best, the writer has failed to do their homework; or, 2) at worst, the writer is allowing an agenda to supercede objective historical accuracy. This is certainly not to say that specific militia organizations never engaged in wrongful conduct—without a doubt, many if not all of them had troops that crossed the line, just as many soldiers in a prolonged armed conflict are prone to do. What is being communicated is that there were different types of militia in Missouri during the war, and the quality and discipline of each unit was as varied and diverse as the ways in which those units came into existence.

The following listing, while not necessarily complete, provides brief profiles of the most prominent militia organizations that existed in Missouri during the War Between the States.

1. Home Guard 1861

See also: HOME GUARD: County Origins of Specified Units

On June 11, 1861, the commander of the Department of the West, Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, was ordered by the Department of War to enlist “such loyal citizens” of Missouri as he thought proper to allow those individuals to protect their homes and neighborhoods from the state’s pro-Southern element. With the formational authority being provided by the United States government as opposed to the secessionist state government, this national-level involvement in localized community defense efforts was unique in the course of the Civil War.

Just under 20,000 men served in what came to be known as the Home Guard, filling a total of 241 companies in 6 regiments and 22 battalions. According to a post-war Congressional report on the various military organizations that were created in Missouri, “the Home Guard consisted of two classes:

“(1) Those who were organized for their own protection and the preservation of peace in their own neighborhoods, and were armed by the United States but were to receive neither pay, clothing, nor rations, and,

“(2) Those who were organized, armed, and equipped for more active local service, for which service it was understood they would have a valid claim for pay.” These latter units were called into service by Federal military authorities in Missouri after recruitment quotas for U.S. Volunteers were reached and additional manpower was needed to deal with the deteriorating state of affairs.

By the end of 1861 a very confused situation had arisen in that different rules were governing the individual units—some companies were being mustered in on condition that they serve only in Missouri, while others that were actively serving never actually mustered in. In addition, there were units that had been formed without any underlying legal authority whatsoever. To resolve matters the Union command commenced disbanding these organizations in December, while a few had already “relieved themselves from duty,” to provide for their families after coming to the realization there was no chance of obtaining payment for their services.

With the Confederate-supporting state government having been ousted from the capital by the summer of 1861, the newly installed Unionist government began assuming responsibility for local defense by creating several organizations to fill the niche served by the Home Guard, including the Six-month Militia in late 1861 and the Enrolled Missouri Militia in mid-1862.

2. Six-Month Militia 1861

In the face of Federal control over community defense in Missouri and the structural deficiencies associated with the Home Guard, on August 24, 1861, the newly installed Unionist governor of Missouri, Hamilton Gamble, issued a proclamation calling into service 42,000 militia “to protect the lives and property of the citizens of the State.” Falling far short of its goals, just over 6,000 men signed up for six-month enlistments into five regiments, eleven battalions, and ten independent companies in the following weeks.

Assuming the primary role in local defense from the disbanding Home Guard, the Six-month Militia performed duty primarily in “scouring their counties in search of rebel camps and rendezvous, and acting as scouts and guides to the various bodies of volunteers then in the State.” After a few months the great expense in maintaining this force was deemed to be without a corresponding benefit and the governor ordered it dismantled in January 1862. Its duties were subsequently filled in large part by the Missouri State Militia that was being brought into existence at this time.

3. Missouri State Militia 1861-1865

Coming to grips with the financial realities of fielding large numbers of men to defend the state, Governor Hamilton Gamble developed a plan that shifted the cost to the national government while at the same time allowing him to maintain personal control of the force himself. Meeting with President Abraham Lincoln in the fall of 1861, an agreement was finalized on November 6 wherein a force called the Missouri State Militia was created that was “armed, equipped, clothed, subsisted, transported, and paid by the United States,” but at the same time was not subjected to duty outside of Missouri except in “the immediate defense of the State.” Orders were issued out of the War Department the next day formalizing this agreement, which was further sanctioned by an act of Congress.

Gamble appointed the field officers of this organization, and had the power to remove them at his discretion. The MSM leadership reported to the senior U.S. military officers in the state, who were also given commissions in the MSM to bridge a military chain of command that reached directly to Washington D.C. Consequently the precise nature of this entity, according to President Lincoln, was that it “is not strictly either ‘State troops’ or ‘United States troops.’ It is a mixed character.”

Initially not having any constraints on the number of troops it could enlist, within months over 13,000 filled the ranks in 14 regiments (each of which had from eight to ten companies), 3 battalions, 2 independent batteries of artillery, and single independent companies of cavalry, infantry, and sappers and miners. Realizing the enlistments would continue to grow, along with the costs associated with them, in February 1862 Congress limited the number of MSM troops to 10,000. This cap was afterward reached through discharges and attrition, and various units were either disbanded or merged until only nine regiments of cavalry and one regiment of infantry were left.

The Missouri State Militia saw hard service during the course of the war and was the primary force that engaged the guerrilla threat in the state. It was also the first line of defense when Confederate regulars made major raids into the state in 1863 and 1864 and suffered heavy losses on those occasions (the 3rd MSM Cavalry played a very critical role in preventing St. Louis from falling to Confederate forces in 1864).

According to Governor Gamble, the force was “found very efficient,” and General John M. Schofield (future General-in-Chief of the Army) found that in drill, discipline, and efficiency “these troops will compare favorably with any volunteer troops which I have seen.” Consequently they were made eligible for the same reenlistment bonuses as mainline U.S. Volunteers in 1864, and were granted Federal pensions after the war.

4. Enrolled Missouri Militia 1862-1865

See also: ENROLLED MISSOURI MILITIA: County Origins of Specified Units

In the summer of 1862, Confederate Colonel Joseph Porter began a recruiting program behind Federal lines in northeast Missouri. As the Unionist population began to become more and more panicked by the Rebel force in its midst and it became evident the newly-formed Missouri State Militia was stretched too thin to be in all places at all times, the powers-that-be sought a solution.

The U.S. Government-funded MSM had quickly reached its cap of 10,000 troops, so additional manpower could not be brought into the field at Federal expense. At the same time, Missouri’s experience in footing the bill on the ill-fated Six-month Militia had provided a costly lesson to the state government and helped it realize that creating another such force was out of the question. A different solution to addressing the wide-spread guerrilla problem would have to be found.

In late July 1862 the plan was unveiled. The solution was not to be had by funding a full-time force that would constantly be in service—instead, the solution was to create a force of part-time citizen soldiers that would only be called up in times of emergency, and only have to be paid during those specific times of call-up. The solution was the Enrolled Missouri Militia.

On July 22 Governor Gamble issued an order directing Brigadier General John Schofield to organize this militia. Acting with haste, that same day General Schofield issued his own order directing every able bodied man in the state to report immediately to the nearest military outpost to enroll and be sworn into the new militia organization.

The net effect was that tens of thousands of fence-sitting men of military age were brought into the military fold. At the same time, thousands of other fence-sitters that were quietly supporting the South were forced to make a decision whether to serve in a Federal unit, or to flee the state and enlist in the Confederate Army. While many men did pursue the latter course of action, over 52,000 others remained behind to form the militia force that eventually reached 85 regiments, 16 battalions, and 33 independent companies.

On average, most men in the EMM served only a few weeks of active duty over the course of the next two and a half years. Given the nature of the organization—which naturally included disloyal men, men that would not otherwise have been qualified for service, and men that had little desire to serve—the EMM was destined for controversy.

Many of the troops called to duty used their positions for their own financial gain, or to settle personal scores with enemies (prompting occasional references to it in the Union press as being the “Enraged Militia”). Nonetheless the Enrolled Militia did fill a Unionist need by freeing up the MSM and other frontline U.S. troops for duty in the field while it conducted local patrols and garrisoned towns.

Veterans of the EMM were not eligible for Federal pensions after the conclusion of the war.

5. Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia 1863-1865

See also: PROVISIONAL ENROLLED MISSOURI MILITIA: County Origins of Specified Units

By early 1863, with the temporary abatement of the guerrilla crisis it was decided that the bulk of the EMM companies in active service would be relieved of duty and the men sent home to resume civilian pursuits. In their place an offshoot of the EMM was created with the object to “1) repress any attempt at insurrection; 2) prevent any combinations for rebellion against the Government; and 3) maintain the laws of the State.” (italics from the original)

This new force, the Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia, was formed under the authority of the EMM and the military status of the men that served in it was the same as the original force with the exception that it would be a full-time organization. As the thinking went, a reduced force of full-time troops would be as effective as a larger force of part-time troops.

The PEMM began organizing in May 1863 by detailing picked men from the individual EMM regiments (this force was most commonly referred to as the “Detailed Militia”). In order that the personnel could concentrate on the job at hand and not have the distractions that marred the original EMM, the troops chosen for the PEMM were those “who could most easily be spared from their ordinary avocations, having but few if any others dependent upon their labor for support” and would be “commanded by judiciously selected officers.” While the state was responsible for paying them, their clothing, camp and garrison equipage, and medical supplies were provided by the United States.

Eleven regiments and one independent company were formed, which were placed under the overall command of General Schofield who referred to them as being “a real addition to the effective force in the department.” Because of the nature of their service, veterans of the PEMM were eligible for Federal pensions after the war.

The PEMM was marred by self-destructive political infighting between the Conservative Unionist governor, Hamilton Gamble, and large numbers of Radical Unionist troops that were detailed to it. Because of this, most of the regiments were disbanded to prevent them from having any influence over the November 1863 judicial elections. Two regiments remained in service until the end of the conflict after being converted to U.S. Volunteer cavalry regiments in 1864.

6. Provisional Enrolled Militia (G.O. #107) 1864-1865

See also: PROVISIONAL ENROLLED MILITIA: County Origins of Specified Units

Not to be confused with the Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia. Brought into existence on June 28, 1864, via General Order No. 107 issued by the senior commander of the Department of the Missouri, Major General William S. Rosecrans, this organization was created to address a new wave of guerrilla activity that began overwhelming the state in mid-1864. Commonly referred to as “Order 107 Militia” the organization was intended “to provide for local defense against bands of bushwhackers and other disturbers of the public peace, and for the maintenance of law and order more effectually than could be done by calling out the Enrolled Militia, as well as to engage all good citizens in the work.”

This was truly a grass-roots organization as residents of the individual counties were required to hold meetings to choose and organize one or two companies of “about 100 men each, selected for courage, energy, and willingness to serve for the protection of your respective counties.” The men chosen were to be detailed from the Enrolled Militia (although in actual practice volunteers were also accepted) and were to be led by “the best officers selected and recommended by the proper Enrolled Militia colonels and brigadier-generals of the districts in which they belong.”

The sixty-two companies that were formed under Order 107 differed from the Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia in three major respects—they were organized as independent companies as opposed to being but one company in a larger regiment; their enlisted personnel were chosen by county committees as opposed to EMM officers; and their duty was intended to be temporary and local along the lines of the regular EMM, as opposed to permanent and regional as in the PEMM (consequently, unlike the PEMM, veterans of the Provisional Companies were not eligible for post-war Federal pensions).

7. Missouri Militia (G.O. #3) 1865

See also: MISSOURI MILITIA (G. O. #3): County Origins of Specified Units

In anticipation of the disbanding of the Enrolled Missouri Militia scheduled to take place on March 12, 1865, as well as the ongoing expirations of enlistments of most of the troops in the Missouri State Militia, the present commanding general of the Department of the Missouri, Major General Grenville Dodge, sought to create a replacement force that “would be more effective and available, and at the same time less expensive to the State.” The result was the Missouri Militia, a creation of individual independent companies to be provisioned by the U.S. government and paid by the counties in question and the disloyal citizens that resided therein.

On January 30, 1865, the newly installed governor, Thomas Fletcher, caused to be issued General Order #3 providing for the Missouri Militia. Sixty-one companies were formed, with a charge that was more law-enforcement oriented than military. According to the formational order, it was organized for active service “for the purpose of repressing lawlessness and to secure safety of life and property to all good citizens, and to strengthen the hands of legal justice by enabling the officers of the law to execute its processes and judgments.”

In April the state’s civil authority created a second Missouri Militia organization that was to be based on regiments (as stated, the present MM was based on independent companies), causing two different Missouri Militias to be operating at the same time. With the Confederate surrender at Appomattox a few days later and the general cessation of hostilities in the following weeks, the Order #3 Missouri Militia quickly ran into insurmountable funding problems. In late June and early July Governor Fletcher caused to be issued a series of orders dismantling it, “in consequence of the refusal of the United States Government to issue subsistence. . . . and the inability, for want of appropriations, of the State to subsist them, and the necessity for employing that class of troops no longer existing. . . .”

8. Missouri Militia (State Convention) 1865-late 19th century

See also: MISSOURI MILITIA (State Convention): County Origins of Specified Units

In the waning days of the war the State Convention adopted an ordinance requiring a state militia force to organize into platoons, companies, regiments, and brigades (marking a shift from creation by military fiat to creation by civil authority). Created on April 8, 1865, this version of the Missouri Militia survived long after hostilities finally ended and was the primary force that addressed the lawless element that engulfed post-war Missouri. Eighty-four regiments and six battalions were formed.

For additional reading, see: Report of the Committee of the House of Representatives of the Twenty-second General Assembly of the State of Missouri Appointed to Investigate the Conduct and Management of the Militia (Jefferson City, MO: W. A. Curry, Public Printer, 1864); Organization and Status of Missouri Troops In Service During the Civil War (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902); Joseph A. Mudd, With Porter in North Missouri (Washington: The National Publishing Co., 1909)

John Brooks Henderson Author of 13th Amendment

JOHN BROOKS HENDERSON

Author of The Thirteenth Amendment Abolishing

Slavery in the United States

introduced and transcribed by Kirby Ross

Introduction by Kirby Ross:

Contemporary historians of Civil War Missouri have long been generally preoccupied with telling the stories of the same individuals and events over and over again.  Overlooked in the process have been key Missouri war-era figures, some of whom achieved greatness not only in the state, but also in the nation as a whole.  One such person was Pike County’s John B. Henderson, whose actions in the 1860s continue to reverberate into the 21st century.

Born in 1826 and orphaned before he was ten years old, Henderson was “bound out” to a farmer until his eighteenth birthday.  Enduring first-hand a life of involuntary servitude under a master, he overcame his circumstances and as he grew to maturity taught himself the law.  By the time he was age 20 he was a practicing attorney and by age 22 a state legislator.  In the course of the next dozen years Henderson served another term in the General Assembly, was appointed state court judge as well as inspector general and colonel of militia, and amassed a personal fortune, primarily in the speculation of land but also through banking and road construction interests.  He played a major role on the side of the Union during the Rebellion and was credited by Thomas L. Snead, one Missouri’s foremost Confederates, as being “the most conspicuous opponent of Secession” that Missouri produced.  Henderson’s actions in the final days of the conflict and the months immediately thereafter prompted one of his peers to admit “I envy him that fame which couples his name” regarding his most important achievement, and caused a politician by the name of John F. Kennedy to use words such as “high courage,” “sense of honor,” and “integrity,” in discussing him almost 100 years later.

Despite this, Henderson has been strangely forgotten, as has his role in authoring and shepherding through Congress the most important addition to the United States Constitution in the past 200 years.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as

a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have

been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States,

or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Prior to Henderson’s writing of these words Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which acted to free slaves in Confederate-held areas but left those in United States controlled areas in bondage.  Not being enforceable where it was in effect, the intent of the Emancipation Proclamation was essentially moral.  It was also intended to prepare the country for what was to come.  That what was to come soon emerged from John Brooks Henderson of Pike County, Missouri.  And while Lincoln’s profound words in his Proclamation electrified a nation, Henderson’s words did something that Lincoln’s did not.

Henderson’s words freed a race.


The following biographical profile of Henderson was written by Floyd C. Shoemaker (1886-1972) and first appeared in his 1918 book, Missouri’s Hall of Fame: Lives of Eminent Missourians.  Shoemaker was the head of the State Historical Society of Missouri from 1915 through 1960.  In the course of his tenure at that institution he oversaw the publishing of 45 volumes of the Missouri Historical Review, edited an ongoing series of newspaper articles entitled “This Week in Missouri History,” and wrote, edited, or supervised the creation of over 90 other historical publications.


JOHN BROOKS HENDERSON

Author of The Thirteenth Amendment Abolishing

Slavery in the United States

by Floyd C. Shoemaker

Transcribed and submitted by Kirby Ross

From Missouri’s Hall of Fame: Lives of Eminent Missourians, 1918

From orphan to statesman is the career of some of America’s greatest men.  This country is the land of opportunity.  To him who labors and studies with care, greater prospects of success are found in the United States than in any other nation.  Here men are given a chance.  If they fail it is usually their own fault.  Among those who took advantage of their opportunity, is John Brooks Henderson—lawyer and statesman.

Born in Virginia on November 16, 1826, John Brooks Henderson came of southern parentage.  His father and mother moved to Missouri in 1832 and both died before John was ten years old.  They left him small means with which to educate himself.  He attended the common schools of Lincoln county, Missouri, and was a good student.  He earned his first money teaching school, but his ambition was to be a lawyer.

He was admitted to the bar in 1848 and began his practice of law in Louisiana, Missouri, the following year.  He lived in Louisiana until 1861 and built up a fine law practice.

At the early age of twenty-one years he was elected to represent Pike county in the Missouri Legislature and was again elected in 1856.  In 1860 he was a candidate for Congress but was defeated by the more experienced and older politician, James S. Rollins.

Up to this time John Brooks Henderson had been a Democrat.  Altho born and reared in the South, he opposed slavery.  At the outbreak of the Civil War he became a Republican and gave his services to the Union.  He was elected to the Missouri State Convention in St. Louis in 1861 and was one of the leading Unionists in that body.  The same year he was appointed brigadier-general in the Missouri Militia and labored for the Union cause in the five Northeast Missouri counties in his district.  He was appointed United States Senator in 1862 and was elected to that body from Missouri in 1863.  His term expired on March 4, 1869, when he was succeeded by that other well known and patriotic statesman, Carl Schurz.

On retiring from the Senate he made his home in St. Louis.  In 1872 he was a candidate for Governor of Missouri, but being a Republican, was defeated.  He was also defeated in 1872 for the office of United States Senator from Missouri.  He served as Assistant United States District Attorney in 1875 by appointment of President Grant, and in 1884 was president of the National Republican Convention.

He retired from the practice of law in 1887 and the following year moved to Washington, D.C., where he lived until his death on April 12, 1913.  While he lived in Washington he held several honorary positions and was a favorite in social circles in his advanced age.

As a lawyer, Senator Henderson was one of the ablest and most widely known members of the Missouri Bar.  He was successful, able and honest.  He always charged a client a high fee, having begun this practice as a young man.  He regarded his services as valuable and he impressed this point on people by his charge.  They were few, however, who criticized this practice, because his clients knew that they could rely upon him.  Altho his opponents were frequently of the highest ability, he was their equal in the courts of the land.  He always studied a case thoroly, read all the books and records bearing on it, and then usually obtained a verdict in his favor.  He was not a good jury lawyer and did not enjoy trying to arouse sympathy or enthusiasm by appeals of oratory.  He was not an orator but a cool logical speaker.  He did not move men by humor and pathos but by facts.  This is one reason why he confined his practice to the higher courts, where logic and not sympathy is supreme.

Successful as he was as a lawyer, Senator Henderson will live in history as a statesman.  There is this similarity, however, between his career as a lawyer and as a statesman—he always influenced his fellow-men by statements of facts, and was always guided by principles of honesty.  Altho his services to the state and nation as a statesman were performed during a period of only eleven years, they left a permanent impression on the laws of this country.  He served two terms in the Legislature of Missouri and during these four years he was active in framing railroad and banking laws for the state, some of which are the foundations of our present system of laws on these subjects.

His career as a United States Senator, covering seven years, would fill a volume if all were written.  He was one of the leaders in the United States Senate and was a member of a number of important committees.  He was instrumental in having adopted the general policy of making peace treaties with the Indian tribes over the nation.  He was also able to have the National Government reimburse the State of Missouri for war expenditures.  His most conspicuous piece of legislation was the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery in this country.  Senator Henderson wrote this amendment and introduced it in the United States Senate.

He was also one of the advocates of the clause in the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which stated that the right to vote should not be denied on account of race, color, or previous conditions of servitude.

Perhaps his most unpopular act as a statesman was when he voted for the acquittal of President Andrew Johnson on the impeachment charges which had been preferred against him.  Henderson voted for his acquittal and Johnson was not convicted.  This act of Henderson’s cost him re-election to the United States Senate and ended his public career in Missouri.  History, however, has endorsed the unpopular stand that was taken by Missouri’s United States Senator.

John Brooks Henderson does not rank with the greatest men Missouri has produced.  His career as a public man was short.  His influence on political conditions in Missouri was short lived.  Belonging to the opposite political party in control in Missouri, his opportunity for service was limited.  His removal to Washington D.C., ended his public career.  During these few years, however, he achieved much.  As the author of the Thirteenth Amendment alone his name will be remembered.  To this single distinction will be added his patriotic stand for the Union in 1861, his leadership in the United States Senate on many public questions, and his high position as a lawyer in Missouri.

Pike county, Missouri has been the home of many eminent men and not least of these is John Brooks Henderson.

James O Broadhead by Kirby Ross

Posted December 6, 2002

Autobiography of Samuel S. Hildebrand
by Kirby Ross, Samuel S. Hildebrand, James W. Evans, A. Wendell Keith

available at Amazon.com

The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy

By Charley Hester, Edited by Kirby Ross

available for pre-order at Amazon.com

Civil War St. Louis contributing author Kirby Ross published in North & South magazine, Vol 6, issue 7

The Burning of Doniphan by Kirby Ross

(Vol 6, Issue 7 of North & South mails to subscribers October 21st; on sale in stores November 11th)

JAMES O. BROADHEAD

ARDENT UNIONIST, UNREPENTANT SLAVEHOLDER

by Kirby Ross

While serious students of Missouri Civil War history readily recognize the name James O. Broadhead, it is usually in regard to his seven-month tenure as Provost Marshal General of the Department of the Missouri.  His prior very key role in holding Missouri in the Union is otherwise generally overlooked and he himself forgotten—this even though it was once said of him “his powers were almost absolute.”1 Despite his leading position among Missouri Unionists, he was a proud Southerner and well into the Civil War continued to cling to the notion that slavery should be preserved.  As a slaveholder at the dawn of hostilities he once proclaimed, “I am willing to go as far as any living man to protect the institution of slavery in the State of Missouri.  I have no prejudice against the institution.  I have been raised with the institution, and I know something of it.”2 Even as he was being assigned in 1863 to the position of Provost Marshal General—a military command that encompassed Missouri, Arkansas, Indian Territory, Kansas, and southern Iowa—he maintained this mind-set and was reported to have gone so far as to assert that “every damned Abolitionist in the country should be hung.”3

Despite these extreme sentiments and the fact he grew up in Virginia, few men doubted Broadhead’s loyalty to the Union as the war found its way to Missouri.  After the Rebellion was over an ex-Confederate Congressman referred to Broadhead as having been “a trusted counsellor of Mr. Lincoln.”  And an observer on the other side of the conflict later noted, “No man…was more stalwart in his Unionism, or took a more active part when war came, in supporting the Federal Government than did James O. Broadhead.”4

For those that might be unsure about his priorities Broadhead explained, “I am a slave owner myself, but I am not willing to sacrifice other interests to the slave interest….”  Emphasizing the nature of the interests he was willing to place over and above his slave interests, Broadhead also offered words that familiarly echoed ones once uttered by his more famous cousin, Patrick Henry: “Who would not be willing to meet these calamities to preserve the Union and Missouri in the Union and secure to ourselves and our posterity such a destiny as most assuredly awaits us.  That man who does not know when to die is not fit to live; and what better time to offer up our lives than in behalf of such a cause?”5

To understand the paradox of Broadhead, one must look far back into his ancestry and his birthplace.  “Born at the South,” Broadhead once said, “I think I know something of my duty to the South as well as to the Constitution of my country.”  As a native son of Charlottesville, Virginia, it was said by one of his contemporaries that he “imbibed in his youth and early manhood the spirit which actuated the fathers of the Republic.”  Another acquaintance made a similar observation in noting that Broadhead “grew to manhood in an atmosphere created by eminent statesmen and permeated by a love of country, a patriotic devotion to public duty, and a full recognition of the obligation which rests upon the citizen.”6

This “spirit” and “atmosphere” created by eminent statesmen radiated from Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, who also hailed from Charlottesville.  Furthermore, not only was Broadhead a cousin of Patrick Henry but also of Dolley Madison.  In his formative years he was a frequent guest in her house where the host of the manor was James Madison, the “Father of the U.S. Constitution.”  Young James Broadhead’s “personal acquaintance and relations with ex-President Madison served to foster still further these virtues” of love of country and patriotic devotion to it.7

Broadhead’s ties to the Founding Fathers ran deeper still, however.  His father Achilles Broadhead was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to survey the grounds that became the University of Virginia.8 In an even more powerful connection to Jefferson, Dabney Carr, the brother of James’s grandfather Garland Carr, was the beloved childhood friend of Jefferson.  This relationship ultimately evolved from friendship to kinship upon the marriage of Broadhead’s Uncle Dabney to Martha Jefferson, the third President’s sister.  When Dabney died he was the first person to be laid to rest in the new burial grounds of Monticello.  Jefferson interred the body so it would one day be directly at his own side and then placed a headstone over Dabney’s remains that contained the inscription “To His Virtue, Good Sense, Learning and Friendship this stone is dedicated by Thomas Jefferson, who of all men living loved him most.”  After the burial, Jefferson took the Carr children into his household and raised them as his own.9

Completing the atmosphere that so-compelled slaveholder James Overton Broadhead to fight for the very cause that ultimately resulted in the extinction of the “peculiar institution,” Broadhead was also distantly related by marriage to Martha Washington and Mary Todd Lincoln.10


Having completed studies in Red Hills at the classical school of his uncle, Dr. Francis Carr, Broadhead thereafter entered the University of Virginia in 1836 at age 16.  When in 1837 most of his immediate family removed to St. Charles County, Missouri, James remained behind and taught at a private school near Baltimore before joining them out west a year later.  Upon his arrival the scholarly aristocrat joined the employ of the Hon. Edward Bates as a tutor for his children.11

Bates, a prominent attorney as well as nationally recognized Whig politician, reversed roles and soon took Broadhead on as student of his own in the study of law.  By 1842 Broadhead was licensed as an attorney and had moved to Pike County.  Within three more years Broadhead was following in his mentor’s footsteps and was active in state politics as a Whig.  At the age of 26 he was elected to be a delegate to Missouri’s second constitutional convention.  The following year he was sent by Pike County to the state house of representatives, and four years afterward to the state senate.12

Shortly before the Civil War began, Broadhead moved from Pike to St. Louis where he entered into a law partnership with Fidelio C. Sharp, an affiliation that by 1873 grew into “the largest legal practice of any firm, not only in Missouri, but in the West.”13 Then in 1860 Edward Bates, now a Republican, was a candidate for the presidency of the United States.  Strongly backed by newspaperman Horace Greeley, Bates was thought in some quarters to have a good chance at gaining the party nomination.  Instead, Abraham Lincoln was chosen to be the standard-bearer but promptly appointed Bates to be his Attorney General after the general election.14

Broadhead’s own politics began to evolve around this time, although he remained committed to the institution of slavery.  Shortly after the election he admitted, “it is true I voted for Lincoln—and yet I am not exactly a Republican, certainly not a Black Republican….”  Asserting “Lincoln is himself an honest man and a patriot,” Broadhead attributed his support of the Illinoisan to be a consequence of Lincoln’s pro-business economic platform and his advocacy for a strong government, as well as his Free-soil stance that would leave slavery alone where it existed (the Emancipation Proclamation was still far off and unforeseen).  Broadhead did state abhorrence for the fringe groups of the Party—the Red Republicans (labor agitators) and the “fanatical” Black Republicans (Abolitionists), a body that he claimed “is the smallest class.”  All a very interesting perspective given that the Republican Party of 1860 that Broadhead was involved in and spoke of is now seen in a significantly different light in the hindsight of modern times and through the intervening prism of the American Civil War.15

After moving to St. Louis Broadhead began to associate closely with U.S. Congressman Frank Blair, who was a leading opponent of secession in Missouri.  As early as 1859 Blair urged Broadhead to run for the Missouri Supreme Court and advised him he could help deliver at least 10,000 votes.  Although this entreaty was not accepted, Broadhead’s relationship with Blair continued to expand and ultimately developed to the point where “Broadhead was his right hand, his chief lieutenant.”  So close were the two that one day Blair would ask Broadhead to give the nominating speech at a national convention when he ran for President.  Broadhead would also serve as his pallbearer several years after that.16

As Blair rallied his supporters, in February 1861 he was instrumental in forming the Committee of Safety, whose “purpose was to serve as the executive committee of the Union party.”  Besides Blair, five other men were selected for the Committee, and among their ranks was James Broadhead, who was appointed secretary of the group.  Under the auspices of this organization an armed force of Loyalists was recruited in the city and within a short time several regiments were mobilized.17

A couple of weeks after he joined the Committee of Safety, running on a campaign slogan of “the Union at any cost” Broadhead was also elected to serve as a delegate to the State Convention assembled to decide the question of whether Missouri should secede from the Union.18 As a leader of the Unconditional Unionist, on March 14, 1861, he addressed the group.  By now Broadhead was also a proponent of the belief that secession would result in economic disaster for the state.  Furthermore, should Missouri leave the Union the Fugitive Slave Act would be abrogated—an act that legally required free states to assist in the return of escaped slaves to their owners.  Surrounded on three sides by what would be a foreign country if the secessionists were successful, slaves in Missouri would readily find freedom in Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois after secession just as easily as if they made their way all the way to Canada before secession.19

In his address to the Convention Broadhead observed that Missouri stood directly along the route between the eastern United States and western United States.  He stated that “efforts have been made for the purpose of connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean, by means of a railroad, in order that the wealth of the Indies may be poured into the lap of this country of ours.  And Missouri stands in the pathway of nations; over her soil this pathway must run, just as inevitably as fate.  And do you suppose that the accumulated interest of the East and the West, and I may say the world, will ever submit to have an interdict placed upon that pathway?”  In dramatic fashion Broadhead was arguing that even if the Deep South were allowed to remove itself from the Union, geographic positioning made Missouri different than those states.  Consequently, as Broadhead opined, “I say, then, gentlemen of the Convention, that Missouri cannot go out of the Union if she would; and I think I know what I say when I speak it, that she has not the power to go out of the Union if she would.”20

Several weeks after the March session of the Convention concluded, Abraham Lincoln issued orders that effectively federalized the paramilitary forces raised by the Committee of Safety, thus allowing them to operate under color of authority as U.S. Volunteers.  Now permitted to recruit up to 10,000 troops, additional loyal citizens of St. Louis were brought into another umbrella organization known as the United States Reserve Corps.  Thomas William Sweeny of the Regular Army was placed in command of the five regiments of the Reserve Corps, with James Broadhead assigned to his staff at the rank of major.21

The President also issued orders for the U.S. military in St. Louis to consult closely with the Committee of Safety and to go so far as to proclaim martial law in the city if deemed necessary by the members of the Committee.  Lincoln specifically referred to Broadhead by name in this order.22 One historian later elaborated on the extraordinary influence of the Safety Committee—“Into its hands was given absolute authority in all matters concerning the Union cause in St. Louis….  The Committee became the central medium of advice, information, and direction of the Union activities of the City, and a little later, throughout the State of Missouri.”23

The Committee was not lax in exercising its considerable power in the course of the compulsory military consultations.  When the U.S. general commanding in Missouri, William S. Harney, did not act according to their desires the Committee petitioned Washington and saw to it that he was removed and replaced by Nathaniel Lyon, a much more aggressive officer.24

With Federal authorities concerned about the creation of the Southern-sympathizing Camp Jackson on the outskirts of St. Louis in early May, Lyon asked leave of the Committee for permission to close it down.  Upon receiving their acquiescence, with Secretary Broadhead voting guardedly in favor of the plan, on May 10 Lyon surrounded the military encampment and took its occupants prisoner.  Marching them through the streets of St. Louis, a crowd began to gather along the route.  In the course of events one shot was fired, then another, and very quickly a general maelstrom swept across the area.  When the smoke cleared at least twenty-eight men had lost their lives and many more were wounded.25

While not commenting on the deaths that resulted from this affair, Broadhead did discern a marked shift in the balance of power in the city that resulted from the dispersal of the camp.  Writing to an acquaintance eleven days later Broadhead said the action “operated like a poultice—the inflammation has been drawn out of the great numbers of men [in St. Louis] who were heretofore rampant secessionists.”26

With events happening very quickly in Missouri, Broadhead expanded his Union-supporting activities.  Simultaneous to his service as a major in the Reserve Corps and delegate to the State Convention, he was also appointed by Bates to serve as Assistant United States Attorney.  In that latter position Broadhead was party to a decision made in concert with Attorney General Bates to pursue prosecutions for treason, but only in extreme cases and only when the chances of a conviction were certain.  The treason card was not to be played precipitately.27 One case Broadhead did bring forward—in fact it was the first treason indictment he drew up—was against Governor Claiborne F. Jackson.  This charge was the consequence of a search warrant Broadhead executed that resulted in the seizure of a letter written by Jackson on April 28, 1861, that spoke freely about plans for taking Missouri out of the Union.  Writing a confidential communication to a friend, on May 21 Broadhead discussed the development:  “we have a warrant out for Jackson for treason, but it will not be served yet—perhaps not at all—if he makes the proper settlement.”  (This may very well mark the only time in United States history that a sitting governor has been indicted for treason.)28

A settlement to Broadhead’s liking remained elusive as the situation deteriorated further over the next few weeks.  All finally came to a climax on June 11 in a meeting at the Planter’s House in St. Louis between General Lyon, Governor Jackson, and Jackson’s head of militia, General Sterling Price.  When the negotiations reached an impasse, Lyon rose to his feet and angrily exited the room thundering “This means war!” on his way out.  Whether Broadhead was now ready to serve his warrant is unknown, since Jackson and Price immediately returned to the capital at Jefferson City, gathered their allies, packed the state records, and promptly proceeded on a journey west and then south that saw a large part of the elected Missouri government spend the remainder of the war in exile.29

Afterward, the State Convention reassembled to address the absence of a governing body in Jefferson City.  James Broadhead was appointed chair of a committee formed to consider the status of the state government and to recommend a course of action regarding it.  Broadhead seized upon language the now-absent Governor and General Assembly (legislature) had given force of law when they enacted the bill that created the Convention.  Passed by a very overwhelming margin of 30-2 in the senate and 105-8 in the house of representatives, Section 5 of that statute specifically gave the Convention delegates the power “to adopt such measures for vindicating the sovereignty of the State and the protection of its institutions as shall appear to them to be demanded.”30 Wrote Broadhead on the authority granted, “If the Convention is to be limited in its action by the provisions of the act of the General Assembly, it is difficult to perceive how language could have been used which would have vested it with greater powers.”31

In taking full advantage of the legislature’s legal authorization allowing the Convention to adopt measures that appeared to be needed to protect the state’s institutions, Broadhead issued a report that recommended, among other things, that the offices of governor and lieutenant governor be declared vacated, as well as the General Assembly.  This recommendation was ultimately accepted by a two to one margin by the whole of the Convention, which then promptly appointed Edward Bates’ brother-in-law Hamilton Gamble to fill the position of Provisional Governor.  The Convention thereupon proceeded to act as a legislative body until new elections could be held.32

So went James Broadhead’s very major and very forgotten actions in those first days and weeks of the war in Missouri.  Thirteen years after the close of hostilities one writer summed up his role by stating, “looking back at the critical condition of the government in the early part of 1861, the importance of these prompt proceedings assume immense proportions.  What Mr. Broadhead accomplished in the preservation of the Union . . . can never be fully estimated.33

His activities that followed, important though they might have been in the scheme of events, were almost anti-climactic compared to what had preceded them.  Broadhead spent 1862 serving on the military staff of Provisional Governor Gamble as Judge Advocate General, at the rank of colonel.  He also continued in the employ of Edward Bates where he received a promotion from Assistant U.S. Attorney to U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, where he served from November 1861 through August 1862.34

The following year he was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry Regiment, a Pike County unit.  He was then detached from the regiment and assigned to the post of Provost Marshal General for the Department of the Missouri from June 1863 through January 1864.  In this position he ironically wielded far more power than his commanding officer in the Third M.S.M. (who happened to be Edward Bates’ cousin and law partner).  While his wife’s brothers—John and Caleb Dorsey of Pike County—and their Confederate activities occasionally bedeviled him in his position as PMG, his Conservative Unionist policies offered relative moderation towards the non-combatant slaveholding and Southern-oriented citizenry of the state, as well as extreme aggravation to his Radical Unionist political opponents that desired sterner action on his part.35

After the war Broadhead continued his association with Frank Blair, and together they pursued an effort to repeal the onerous restrictions placed upon ex-Confederates in Missouri.  It was said of Broadhead “he had taken a bold stand against the provisions of the Drake Constitution, which not only destroyed the citizenship, but prevented many from pursuing their vocations as a means of earning their daily bread.  He was equally outspoken in denouncing the reconstruction acts of Congress as revolutionary.”36 In 1868 and 1872 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and in 1875 played a leading role in the Missouri Constitutional Convention.  The following year he was appointed special counsel for the U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis and assisted in the prosecution of the so-called “Whisky Ring”—a scandal that reached directly into the White House.  That same year he was the Missouri delegation’s favorite son choice for President of the United States at the Democratic National Convention.  Two years later he helped found the American Bar Association and was elected to be that organization’s first president.37

In 1882 Broadhead successfully ran for the United States Congress, and, after serving one term, was appointed a special claims commissioner by Grover Cleveland.  Broadhead spent his sunset years as Minister to Switzerland from 1893 through 1897.  Finally retiring at the age of 78 years old, he returned home to St. Louis where he passed away on August 7, 1898.38

© 2002 by Kirby Ross

All Rights Reserved


1In Memoriam. James Overton Broadhead (St. Louis: Legal Publishing Company 1899) 42

2Samuel B. Harding, “Missouri Party Struggles in the Civil War Period,” American Historical Association Annual Report For the Year 1900 I (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office 1901) 93; Journal and Proceedings of the Missouri State Convention, March 1861 (St. Louis: George Knapp & Co., Printers and Binders 1861) 122.

3St. Louis Democrat, 2 June 1863, p. 1; St. Louis Democrat, 10 June 1863, p. 1.  See also The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, 1880-1901) Ser. 1, Vol. LIII, p. 582 (hereinafter cited as Official Records).  The Democrat was a Radical Unionist newspaper very strongly opposed to the appointment of Conservative Unionist Broadhead as PMG.  The Official Records correspondence was a direct reflection of that newspaper’s reporting.  Whether Broadhead actually said these particular words is problematic and thus far no definitive support has been located elsewhere.

4Harding, 93; Thomas L. Snead, The Fight For Missouri (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons 1886) 88

5Missouri State Convention, March 1861, 122-123; In Memoriam, 41-42.  For Broadhead’s relationship to Patrick Henry, see Howard L. Conard and William Hyde, eds., Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis I (New York: The Southern History Company 1899) 241; Garland Carr Broadhead, “Carrs, Winstons and Barretts,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (April 1898) 442; Garland Carr Broadhead, “The Family of Achilles Broadhead,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (October 1895) 212; Garland Carr Broadhead, “Carr Family,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (October 1895) 208-211; Garland Carr Broadhead “Carr Family,” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (April 1898) 440-441.  Robert Douthat Meade, Patrick Henry: Patriot in the Making (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company 1957) 23, 40, 53, 64, 65; Henry Mayer, A Son of Thunder: Patrick Henry and the American Republic (New York: Franklin Watts 1986) 24, 40, 47.  Patrick Henry was the grandson of Isaac Winston and Mary Dabney Winston, making him the first cousin of Broadhead’s maternal grandmother Mary Winston Carr.

6Conard and Hyde, 241; In Memoriam, 13, 30, 84; Missouri State Convention, March 1861, 122

7Conard and Hyde, 241; In Memoriam, 13, 84.  See also, Katharine Anthony, Dolly Madison: Her Life and Times (New York: Doubleday & Company Inc. 1949) 5; Ralph Ketcham, James Madison: A Biography (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia 1990) 376-377.  Like Patrick Henry and James Broadhead, Dolley Madison was a direct descendant of Isaac Winston and Mary Dabney Winston.  Broadhead’s great-grandfather, Colonel William “Langloo” Winston, was a brother of Lucy Winston Coles, Dolley Madison’s grandmother.  See, “Carrs, Winstons and Barretts”; “The Family of Achilles Broadhead”; “Carr Family” Oct. 1895; “Carr Family” Apr. 1898.

8Plat of Land (A. Broadhead), 15 Nov. 1825, Accession #RG-5/3/1.002, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.

9Rev. Edgar Woods, Albemarle County in Virginia (Charlottesville: The Michie Company 1901) 160-161; “Carrs, Winstons and Barretts”; “The Family of Achilles Broadhead”; “Carr Family” Oct. 1895; “Carr Family” Apr. 1898; Thomas Fleming, The Man From Monticello (New York: William Morrow and Company 1969) 8, 12, 22-23; William Howard Adams, Jefferson’s Monticello (New York: Abbeville Press 1983) 259; Willard Sterne Randall, Thomas Jefferson: A Life (New York: Henry Holt and Company 1993) 90, 176

10See Conard and Hyde, 386; “Carrs, Winstons and Barretts”; Mark Freeman, 20 Mar. 2002, “Thomas Carr of Caroline and Louisa Co., Va.,” http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~markfreeman/carr_lou.html

11In Memoriam, 21; William E. Parrish, “James Overton Broadhead,” American National Biography III (New York: Oxford University Press 1999) 579; “Hon. James O. Broadhead,” The United States Biographical Dictionary Missouri Volume (Kansas City: Press of Ramsey, Millett & Hudson 1878) 434-435; St. Louis: the Future Great City (St. Louis: C.R. Barnes 1876) 636-637

12In Memoriam, 21-22, 33; American National Biography, 579; United States Biographical Dictionary, 435.  See also John Vollmer Mering, The Whig Party in Missouri (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press 1967)

13“Hon. James O. Broadhead,” The Century Magazine III (August, 1873) 2

14Parrish, American National Biography, 329-330; History of St. Charles, Montgomery and Warren Counties, Missouri (St. Louis: National Historical Company 1885) 207; Perry McCandles, A History of Missouri II (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press 1972) 280.  See also Marvin R. Cain, Lincoln’s Attorney General Edward Bates of Missouri (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press 1965)

15“Fragments of the Broadhead Collection,” MHS, Glimpses of the Past, 2, 4 (March 1935) 49-51

16Ibid.; In Memoriam, 45; William E. Parrish, Frank Blair: Lincoln’s Conservative (Columbia: University of Missouri Press 1998) 254

17Lieutenant-Colonel James O. Broadhead, “Early Events of the War in Missouri,” War Papers and Personal Reminiscences—Missouri (St. Louis: Becktold & Co. 1892) 4-5, 8, 9-12, 18-19; United States Biographical Dictionary, 435-436; Walter Harrington Ryle, Missouri: Union or Secession (Nashville: George Peabody College For Teachers 1931) 206

18Robert J. Rombauer, The Union Cause in St. Louis in 1861 (St. Louis: Press of Nixon-Jones Printing Co. 1909) 191; Conard and Hyde, 241

19For Broadhead’s position on the economic issue, see Missouri State Convention, March 1861, p. 122-123.  For a concise presentation of the Unionist economic argument, see Ryle, 208-209.

20Missouri State Convention, March 1861, 122-123

21Official Records, Ser. 1, Vol. 1, p. 675; United States Biographical Dictionary, p. 436; War Papers and Personal Reminiscences, 5; Adjutant General’s Report of Missouri State Militia For the Year 1861 (St. Louis: George Knapp & Co., Printers and Binders 1862) 6; James O. Broadhead, “St. Louis During the War,” James O. Broadhead Papers, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis; “General Sweeny’s: A Museum of Civil War History,” 15 Nov. 2002, http://www.civilwarmuseum.com/gensweeny.html

22Official Records, Ser. 1, Vol. 1, p. 675

23Ryle, 206

24United States Biographical Dictionary, 436; William E. Parrish, A History of Missouri 1860-1875 (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press 1973) 10-11

25Ibid.; Parrish, A History of Missouri 1860-1875, 12-14; War Papers and Personal Reminiscences, 19-22; James Peckham, Gen. Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri in 1861 (New York: American News Company, Publisher 1866) 140-141

26“Fragments of the Broadhead Collection,” 57-58

27James O. Broadhead correspondence to Edward Bates, 4 Apr. 1862, James O. Broadhead Papers, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis; Official Records, Ser. 2, Vol. I, p. 277; Louis S. Gerteis, Civil War St. Louis (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas 2001) 169

28War Papers and Personal Reminiscences, 22-26; “Fragments of the Broadhead Collection,” 58

29Parrish, A History of Missouri 1860-1875, 22-23

30 Journal of the Missouri State Convention, July 1861 (St. Louis: George Knapp & Co., Printers and Binders 1861) 5, 9-10; W.F. Switzler, Illustrated History of Missouri From 1541 to 1877 (Saint Louis: C.R. Barns, Editor and Publisher 1879) 322; Eugene Morrow Violette, A History Of Missouri (Cape Girardeau, MO: Ramfre Press 1960 reprint, 1918) 328; Louisiana (Mo.) Journal, 1 Aug. 1861, p. 2

31Missouri State Convention, July 1861, 10

32Missouri State Convention, July 1861, 5-12, 17-18, 20-22, 25

33United States Biographical Dictionary, 436

34Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Missouri for 1862 (St. Louis 1862) 3; Gerteis, 269; In Memoriam, 42

35United States Biographical Dictionary, 436; In Memoriam, 42

36In Memoriam, 44; See, William E. Parrish, Missouri Under Radical Rule, 1865-1870 (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press 1965) 58, 78, 84, 88, 248, 305, 315; Parrish, Frank Blair: Lincoln’s Conservative, 236, 241, 245, 251

37Biographical Dictionary of the United States, 436-437; “Broadhead, James Overton,” 29 May 2000, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/

biodisplay.pl?index=B000848

38 Ibid.