Home Guard 1861


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

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)