Missouri's importance has been greatly overlooked by many when it comes to its role in the Civil War when at the start of the war most of the fighting actually happened here. In 1861, of the 157 engagements and battles listed in the Army Register, 66 were in Missouri (over 42%), 31 in VA, 28 in WV, 13 in KY, and the other 19 among NM, FL, TN, SC, MD, NC, and TX. Missouri saw more action than VA and WV combined in 1861.
Battle of Blackwater River aka Battle of Milford,
Johnson County, Missouri
December 19, 1861 Civil War Northeast of Warrensburg,
North of Knob Noster, MO
Milford, a name derived from the old Davis mill and the ford hard by, making a compound word of mill and ford, which was commonly called for several years the mill ford until custom christened it Milford, with the accent on the first syllable. This place is frequently called Kirkpatrick's Mill, in honor of Wm. Kirkpatrick who came here about 1850. He was born on June 7, 1802, and died at this place on January 26, 1862. He was a native of Tennessee.
Valley City (earlier Gallaher Mills; then Kirkpatrick's Mill; then Milford; then Grover)
This name which replaced Grover (q.v.) was adopted in 1888 when a new post office was established near the old townsite. Named for its location in a valley. (James Greer; Map 1930; Postal Guide 1888-1904)
Johnson, Bernice E. "Place Names In Six Of The West Central Counties Of Missouri." M.A. thesis., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1933.
By Joanne C. Eakin
This capture of southern soldiers was the largest to ever take place during the Civil War in Missouri. These raw recruits were headed for "Price's Army." Reports differ as to the actual number of prisoners taken that December 1861, day, some say 600, other state over 1300. Joanne Eakin has compiled a list of 736 men from National Archives files. Many references to the event. Soft-cover, 35 pages, indexed.
Missouri's importance has been greatly overlooked by many when it comes to its role in the Civil War when at the start of the war most of the fighting actually happened here. In 1861, of the 157 engagements and battles listed in the Army Register, 66 were in Missouri (over 42%), 31 in VA, 28 in WV, 13 in KY, and the other 19 among NM, FL, TN, SC, MD, NC, and TX. Missouri saw more action than VA and WV combined in 1861. It is because of this lack of focus that we have compiled the following listing of the battles fought in Missouri. The primary reference to this list is taken from "A Compendium of the War of the War of the Rebellion", by Frederick Dyer and hope not to overlook any action. If there are other battles to be added please let us know about the references and we will incorporate them in future revisions of this listing. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write THE MISSOURI COMMANDERY OF MOLLUS, 302 W. Springfield Ave., Union, MO 63084. We hope this list will help educate others on the history and importance of Missouri in the Civil War.
December 19, 1861 – Action at Blackwater Creek involving Indiana’s 8th, 18th, 22nd, and 24th Infantries, Iowa’s 1st Cavalry and 8th Infantry, Kansas’ 1st Infantry, Missouri’s 1st, 2nd, and 7th Cavalries and Battery “F” of the 1st through 4th Missouri Cavalries (Companies B, C, & D).
Another Rebel Camp Broken Up
Surrender of the Rebel Forces
Capture of Arms and Equipages
St. Louis, Missouri 20th (December 1861).
Further information from the west was received to the effect that in addition to the expedition of Gen. Pope against the enemy at and near Clinton (Missouri) another part of his forces, under Col. Davis and Major Marshall surprised another camp of rebels on the afternoon of the 19th (December), near Milford, a little north (northeast) of Warrensburg (Missouri).
A brisk skirmish ensued, when the rebels, finding themselves surrounded, surrendered.
Col. Davis took 1300 prisoners, including three colonels, 17 captains, 100 stands of arms, 65 wagons, 1000 horses, and large quantities of tents, baggage, and supplies.
Our loss was two killed and eight wounded. The rebel loss is not known.
Information from Glasgow (Missouri) states that our troops captured about two tons of powder buried on Claib Jackson’s farm.
Maj. Hubbard captured 60 rebels a day or since in Johnson County (Missouri).
The troops in Kansas have been stirring during the past week, and the news is expected from them daily.
Claib Jacks was in a Columbus (Missouri) Wednesday and has issued a proclamation calling on the people of Missouri to furnish Jeff Thompson 20,000 men and augment Price’s force to 60,000.
HISTORY OF FIRST IOWA CAVALRY
Prelude to the Battle at Blackwater
Northeast of Warrensburg, Missouri
On the 14th (Dec. 1861)the battalion, with the exception of the greater portions of Companies B and G, who had been ordered out on the 12th as a scouting party, marched in command of Major Torrence to join General Pope s forces at Sedalia, in an expedition for the purpose of intercepting a number of large bodies of recruits on their way to join the rebel army under General Price at Osceola, the county seat of St. Clair county. It arrived at Sedalia about twelve M. of the 15th.
General Pope s forces consisted of two brigades, numbering about four thousand men, infantry, cavalry and artillery. The first brigade was commanded by Colonel Jefferson C. Davis, Twenty-Second Indiana Infantry, and the second by Colonel (afterward Major General) Fred Steele, Eighth Iowa Infantry. The command marched on the afternoon of the 15th in a southerly direction, on the road leading to Warsaw, in order to deceive the enemy as to the destination of the expedition. The march was continued on this road for a distance of eleven miles. On the 16th the line of march was changed to the west, and after marching about twenty-three miles the command camped at a place on Post Oak creek, between two roads leading from Warrensburg, the county seat of Johnson county, to Clinton, the county seat of Henry county one road leading by the way of Post Oak and Cornelia, and the other by way of Chilhowee. Many prisoners were brought in during the day.
Just as the battalion had arrived in camp, it was ordered out to the town of Chilhowee, about five miles distant. Here the advance guard, under command of Sergeant J. H. Springer, Company I, captured the enemy s pickets. Arriving in the town it was ascertained that 1,500 of the enemy were in camp about five miles distant.
Major Torrence sent a dispatch to General Pope informing him of the facts and requested that reinforcements be sent him. Five hundred men, with two sections of the Missouri Light Artillery, were ordered out. Upon the arrival of the reinforcements, the march was continued all night, arriving at the little town of Rose Hill, in the southeastern portion of Johnson county, about four A. M. on the 17th. Here information was received that the enemy, with a train of twelve wagons, had passed through this place at about eleven o clock on the previous night. At seven A. M., the pursuit was continued in a southerly direction all day, and frequent skirmishes occurred. On arriving at Grand river it was ascertained that 3, 000 of the enemy had camped there the previous night; crossing the river at daylight, they were intending to reach Price s army at Osceola during the day. At dark the command countermarched. Marching all night, it halted about four A. M. of the 18th for rest and feed."
Having received orders from General Pope, the detachment marched for Warrensburgh, arriving at that place at four p. M. the same day. The entire force was in camp at this place. From Warrensburg, the command marched at eight A. M, Thursday, December 19th, in an easterly direction by the way of Knob Noster to Sedalia. It was while on this march that intelligence was received of a large rebel force in camp on Black river, opposite the mouth of Clear forks, about twelve miles distant to the north. A small force was ordered out, the camp found, and the engagement of Blackwater ensued.
BATTLE OF BLACKWATER.
The first battle in which any portion of the regiment was engaged occurred on Thursday, the 19th of December, 1861, on Blackwater river, opposite the mouth of Clear forks, near the little town of Milford, situated in the northeastern portion of Johnson County, Missouri.
The names given this engagement are "Blackwater," "Milford" and " Kirkpatricks Mills. " At this time Companies A, D, F and I, with small detachments of Companies B and G the larger portions of B and G, as before noted, having been sent out on the 12th on scouting duty, were not present with the command at this time. Three hundred and fifty men of the First Iowa Cavalry, under command of Major Torrence, and two companies, D and, seventy-five men, of the Fourth United States Cavalry, under command of Lieutenants Gordon and Amory respectively, with a section of the Missouri Light Artillery, all under the command of Colonel Jefferson C. Davis, of the Twenty-Second Indiana Infantry Volunteers, attacked and captured a rebel camp numbering 1,300 men, infantry and cavalry, with all the camp equipage, under Colonels Robinson, McGoffin and Alexander, recruits from northern Missouri on their way to join the rebel army. The following is a brief description of the engagement and result.
As our force approached the enemys pickets, stationed at some little distance from a bridge over Blackwater River, an attack was made and a running fight ensued. On arriving at the bridge it was found to be well guarded by an additional force and quite a skirmish took place. Here we lost one man killed and two or three wounded. The bridge, however, was soon in our possession, and the running fight continued, until at three p. M. "we were right upon their camp and received a full volley from the enemy. Their camp being located in the woody bottomland, covered with underbrush, and as the First Iowa were armed with only pistols and sabers, it could be of no service in such a locality, so was ordered to withdraw and form in line a short distance from the woods. A short, sharp fight ensued between the United States Cavalry, who were armed with carbines, and the enemy. After which a party bearing a flag of truce appeared advancing from the woods toward the command. This party was met by a party sent out by Major Torrence. The following account of the interview had with the enemy and the subsequent surrender is taken from the diary of Lieutenant D. A. Kerr, Adjutant of the battalion, who was present at the time.
When the parties met the enemy enquired, Under what flag are you fighting?" Reply "Under the flag of the United States the stars and stripes. Enemy We fight under the flag of the Confederate States," and then they returned to their camp. About ten minutes afterward another party bearing a flag of truce appeared and was met as before. They asked for an hour to decide whether or not to surrender. Colonel Davis replied: Not one minute, and depend upon it we will spill the last drop of blood before we are through. We do not wish to sacrifice the lives of our men without it is necessary, but I demand immediate and unconditional surrender."
The interview closed and the party returned to camp. In a few minutes, the party returned, accompanied by Colonel Robinson, the commander of the rebel force. Advancing, he said: "Sir, I surrender to you my command, with all my transportation, and hope you will treat us as prisoners of war." Colonel Davis replied, c I hope you will find us gentlemen as well as soldiers. The enemy soon afterward marched out and formed in line, and we passed by and presented arms. We returned to camp that night with 1,195 prisoners, men, and officers, among whom were Colonels Robinson, McGoffin and Alexander. Seventy-three wagons, five hundred horses and mules, eleven hundred rifles and shotguns, one hundred pistols, besides a large quantity of commissary stores, ammunition, etc., were captured. A portion of their cavalry escaped. Captain McQueen with a detachment of Company A pursued them for some miles and succeeded in taking five of them, prisoners.
In this engagement the enemy acknowledged a loss of five killed; a number of wounded unknown. Our loss was one man killed and eight wounded, seven belonging to Company D, Fourth Regiment United States Cavalry, and one belonging to the Twenty-Sixth Regiment Indiana Infantry, who had in some manner procured a mule and joined the expedition to " see the fun. "He saw it." Brigade Surgeon Brodie and Surgeon M. B. Cochran, who were on duty with the battalion, were present and cared for the wounded.
The circumstances which led to this engagement and capture of the rebel force is thus related by Adjutant D. A. Kerr. On the afternoon of the 19th, while on the march, the First Iowa Cavalry having the rear, a negro came running up and informed Major Torrence that " Dar was more dan a thousand rebs in de bend of Black ribber." Major Torrence, after listening to his story, questioned him closely and was convinced the man was telling the truth, and with Adjutant Kerr accompanied the negro to General Pope in the advance. General Pope, upon being informed of the facts, replied, "Oh yes, another G## D##### ni#### story. There is no rebel force within forty miles of this place." The Major with some of the others suggested that, as the information might be correct, they thought it advisable to send a small force out and if they were there to capture them. To which the General replied, "Well, if you want to go, you can go and make d d fools of yourselves. " It was decided to go, and the General ordered out a small cavalry force, with a section of the Missouri Light Artillery, under the command of Brigade Commander Colonel Jeff. C. Davis. The cavalry was immediately ordered to the front and left on a brisk trot with the artillery following. The command returned to camp about midnight, with all the prisoners and captured property, Colonel Davis and Major Torrence reporting at headquarters. General Pope was greatly pleased with the result of the expedition and complimented both officers and men for such an overwhelming success. This brilliant little exploit was the occasion which caused the promotion of Pope to a Major General, and Jeff. C. Davis to a Brigadier, while Major Torrence, the prime mover and the real commander of the expedition, remained a Major of the First Cavalry.
General Pope, in his report to Major General Halleck of the
engagement of Blackwater, and of the expedition, says "The forces under Colonel Davis behaved with great gallantry and been performed with cheerfulness and alacrity."
On the next day (20th), the prisoners being guarded by the infantry, the command marched for Otterville by the way of Sedalia, Georgetown, Farmers City and Smithton, camping near Otterville on the 21st. From this place, the prisoners were sent to St. Louis. The battalion remained in camp at Otterville, (Companies B and G in the meantime having arrived from Syracuse,) until December 29th, at which time Companies A, F, G, and I marched for Booneville, arriving at that place on the 30th. Booneville is a flourishing town, situated on the south side of the Missouri river, in Cooper county.
December 19, 1861: Pope routs the rebels at Blackwater Creek
John Pope was born on March 16th 1822 in Louisville, Kentucky. His father served as a judge in Illinois Territory and knew Abraham Lincoln when he worked as a lawyer.
Pope graduated from US Military Academy in 1842 and became a career army officer. He fought in the Mexican-American War during which time he was given the temporary rank of captain. However, Pope spent a great deal of his time as a topographical officer mapping out Florida and New Mexico. Prior to the American Civil War, Pope’s main task was his involvement in the planning for a railway that was to cross America.
Pope’s family connection to the Lincoln’s was seen when Lincoln was voted President. Pope was one of just four officers selected to escort the President-elect to Washington DC.
Shortly after the American Civil War broke out in April 1861, Pope was put in charge of Illinois volunteers with the rank of Brigadier General (June 1861).
Pope fought successfully in Missouri and along the Mississippi River – all part of the Western Theatre of the American Civil War. The overall commander of the Western Theatre was Major General John Frémont. He did not get on with Pope and there is little doubt that Pope used his connections in Washington to try to get Frémont relieved of his command. There is also littler doubt that Frémont knew what Pope was trying to do. It was hardly a recipe for military success – yet Pope was successful both militarily and in his attempt to get Frémont removed from his command – he was succeeded by Major General Henry Halleck.
Pope achieved a victory at Blackwater, Missouri, that resulted in the Confederates in the region retreating and the capture of 1,200 prisoners-of-war. Suitably impressed with this achievement, Halleck appointed Pope to command the Army of the Mississippi in February 1862.
Early Postoffices.-Simpson township contains one small village which at first was known as Milford, taking its name from a ford across the Blackwater near the Davis mill and was the first post office. Later the village was known as Grover and now appears on the map as Valley City. Merchants who kept store here from time to time during the early days were J. Greer, William Kirkpatrick, Ed. A. Strickland, C. Potlett, J. Soister, John Strickland, William Tolbert, William C. Cook, T. M. McDonald and Edward Blake. The voting precinct was here until 1873, when the new township was created when the voting place of Simpson township was changed to Lynn schoolhouse.
A post office was established at Milford about 1850, but after the Civil War, the name was changed to Grover, in honor of Col. Benjamin W. Grover, an officer who was mortally wounded in the battle of Lexington, Missouri. During the Civil War, the office was discontinued and re-established in 1870 and lasted till general rural service. William Kirkpatrick, William Cook, and Thomas McDonald were early postmasters here.
Simpson post office was established on January 16, 1880, at the residence of R. H. Wood in the northeast part of section 29 and Mrs. Sarah D. Wood served as postmistress until the office was discontinued in 1881.
The earliest road in the township was from Knob Noster to Independence and crossed Blackwater at the old Davis mill and then continued westward.
Skirmish at Blackwater Creek
Following the Siege of Lexington, Missouri the secessionist Missouri State Guard withdrew to the southwest portion of Missouri. Some Southern recruiters such as Colonel Franklin S. Robertson remained, attempting to fill their regiments. Robertson, a store owner in Saline County, Missouri born in Kentucky had been granted his commission by Major GeneralSterling Price at Lexington.
Robertson collected his recruits at Grand Pass where they elected officers. On December 16, 1861, the 750 men began their March south. The plan was to first link up with Colonel J.J. Clarkson’s recruits near Warrensburg, Missouri before proceeding south to General Price. They were unable to merge with Clarkson but they were joined by Colonel Ebenezer Magoffin, who was on parole after being captured while attempting to recruit his own regiment. Magoffin is notable as the brother of Kentucky Governor Beriah Magoffin.
General Pope learned on the evening of December 18 that Robertson’s force would be camped at Milford.
Early the next morning Pope’s force marched toward Knob Noster, Missouri. Pope ordered Colonel Jefferson C. Davis’s brigade to the Blackwater bridge where he was to force the bridge. Simultaneously a battalion of the 2nd Missouri Cavalry (“Merrill’s Horse”) moved northeast to complete the envelopment.
Realizing his guardsmen were in a precarious position, Robertson formed a firing line of approximately 250 men while Colonel Magoffin was detailed with several dozen men to take possession of the bridge before the Federals arrived.
It was insufficient. Colonel Davis ordered three companies of the 4th United States Cavalry forward under Lieutenant Charles Copley Amory, with the 1st Iowa Cavalry in support. Amory dismounted his men and gave two volleys to the bridge’s defenders causing them to waver. Amory ordered a charge and the defenders fled. The now mounted force pursued, encountering some casualties at they made contact with the second line. They held their positions as the infantry came up and the envelopment was completed. Robertson's men recognized their predicament and requested a brief truce before surrendering.
Federal casualties were exceedingly light, two killed and eight wounded. General Pope claimed the capture of “1,300 men…three colonels (Robinson, Alexander, and Magoffin)…one lieutenant-colonel (Robinson), one major (Harris), and 51 commissioned company officers” and “About 500 horses and mules, 73 wagons heavily loaded with powder, lead, tents, subsistence stores, and supplies of various kind, also 1,000 stands of arms.”However, this appears to be overstated as records indicate “684 guardsmen and several civilians” eventually reached the prison.
The engagement resulted in the capture of a full, newly-recruited Missouri State Guard regiment, hampering future Confederate recruiting in the region.
Franklin Robertson’s military career did not recover, and he re-entered service as a captain after the exchange at Vicksburg in the summer of 1862.
Other notables captured
Among the 684 known prisoners marched to Sedalia and carried by rail to St. Louis were several other notables: Ebenezer Magoffin, William Goff Caples, and Bartholomew W. Keown. All three would die before the close of the war.
Of national interest, a Missouri military tribunal convicted Ebenezer Magoffin of violating his parole and sentenced him to be executed. Lincoln, sensitive to Kentucky politics, intervened on his behalf requesting a review. Before any final disposition could be made, Magoffin and several dozen inmates tunneled out of Alton Prison and escaped. He was killed near the end of the war while intervening in a bar fight in southern Arkansas.
The other two were of more interest to Missourians. William Goff Caples was a fiery secessionist minister and president of the Missouri Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. After six weeks confinement he gave his oath and eventually moderated his politics. He even became supervisor of the telegraph guard for a stretch near Glasgow. In an ironic twist, he was killed there by an artillery shell from Jo Shelby's bombardment on October 15, 1864.
Bartholomew W. Keown (also referred to as Keon or McKeown) was a South Carolinian who had become the sheriff of Benton County, Missouri. It was alleged that in this capacity he obtained detailed information about the Benton County Home Guard (Unionist) regiment and relayed it to the secessionist militia in Warsaw who launched a successful attack, the battle of Cole Camp (1861). He died of disease in Alton Prison before he could be tried.
- Aimone, Alan C. and Barbara A.,A Guide-Index to the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies, 1993, White Mane Publishing, ISBN 0-942597-38-9 Vol. 5, page 95 notes that “Most of the published and unpublished accounts date this skirmish as Dec. 19, rather than Dec. 18 as given in the reports of Halleck and Pope.”
- Anders, Leslie, "The Blackwater Incident," Missouri Historical Review, LXXXVIII, No. 4, July 1994, page 420-3
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 8, pages 39-40
- Anders, Leslie, "The Blackwater Incident," Missouri Historical Review, LXXXVIII, No. 4, July 1994, page 422
- Daniel, Larry J. & Bock, Lynn N., Island No. 10: Struggle for the Mississippi Valley, University of Alabama Press, 1996, page 159
- Anders, Leslie, "The Blackwater Incident," Missouri Historical Review, LXXXVIII, No. 4, July 1994, pages 423-6
- Anders, Leslie, "The Blackwater Incident," Missouri Historical Review, LXXXVIII, No. 4, July 1994, pages 424-
This civilian knife has a wooden handle; the label on the scabbard reads “Secesh knife taken from a rebel after a skirmish near Kirkpatrick’s Mill, Johnson County, Mo., Dec. 18, 1861. Presented by R. M. Littler, Co. B 2nd Iowa Inf.”
The knife was taken at the skirmish at Milford, Missouri, also known as the skirmish at Blackwater Creek, just west(ed. north is correct) of Knob Noster, Johnson County, Missouri. The skirmish occurred on December 19, 1861, between Union forces under the command of General John Pope and Confederate forces under the command of Colonel Franklin Robertson. The Confederate forces were camped at Milford on recruiting duty when they were surrounded and captured by the 4th U. S. Cavalry, supported by the 1st Iowa Cavalry and the 2nd Missouri Cavalry (“Merrill’s Horse”). The Union forces captured over 750 Confederates and considerable supplies and equipment while suffering very light casualties.
The 2nd Brigade (of which the 2nd Iowa Infantry was a part) did not engage in the skirmish, but was held in reserve.
Image Courtesy Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield; WICR 30475
COL. CHARLES B. ALEXANDER
is a native of Breckinridge County, Ky., and a son of Charles B. and Elizabeth (Wilson) Alexander, the former a native of Loudoun County, Va., and the latter from the vicinity of Wheeling, Va. His father’s family were: John, who died at Uniontown, Ky.; Elizabeth(Mrs. William Hoffman), of Lake County, Cal.; Mary (Mrs. John D. Stevens), Yolo County, Cal.; Armstead M., who died in Breckinridge County, Ann, who was drowned in the Sacramento River, California; Charles B., the subject; Julia, who died in Breckinridge County. The family moved to Kentucky and settled in Breckinridge County in 1818, and to Booneville, Cooper CO., Mo., in 1848. Col. Alexander was educated at a Catholic School in Breckinridge County; he left school at the age of fourteen years, and escorted his three sisters to Cooper County, Mo., where his father had already moved. When the gold fever broke out in 1849, Col. Alexander, in company with others, crossed the plains with an ox-team, being four and a half months on the road. Their route as very nearly that afterward of the Union Pacific Railroad. He remained in California a little more than three years, and in 1853 returned home from San Francisco, via the Isthmus of Panama, thence to New York. En route home he passed through Cincinnati, and there for the first time in his life heard “Woman’s Rights” discussed by Lucy Stone and Mrs. Jenkins. In 1854 Col. Alexander made another trip to California and took with him a drove of 350 head of cattle, proceeding by the same route of his first trip. Arriving in the Sacramento Valley he sold his cattle to the miners to good advantage. This was among the earliest ventures in the cattle trade of the West, now grown to gigantic proportions. He continued in the cattle trade for three years, selling mostly to the miners, and doing a large business. After his return from California the second time, he bought a farm in Cooper County, Mo., and under the firm of Majors, Russell & Waddill, took a freight contract during the Mormon difficulties, when Albert Sidney Johnston was Governor of Utah, and the Government was sending large amounts of military stores overland to Salt Lake City. When the war broke out in 1861 Col. Alexander joined the Confederate army, under Gen. Sterling Price. He served as Captain at the battles of Booneville and Springfield, Mo., and at Lexington was promoted to Colonel of a regiment of troops from Cooper, Pettis and Saline Counties. He was captured with 600 raw recruits, mostly unarmed, at Blackwater, Mo., and kept a prisoner of war at various places; finally at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor, until after the seven days’ fighting before Richmond, when he was exchanged. He was then sent to the Trans-Mississippi Department, where he remained until the close of the war. The war left him, like thousands of others, with few earthly possessions, but his untiring energy is rapidly bringing him out of the poverty in which the war left him. Col. Alexander was married, June 14, 1866, to Mrs. Mary F. Jackson, daughter of Mrs. S. B. Lewis, who was a daughter of Charles Brent, a merchant of Paris, Bourbon Co., Ky. Mrs. Alexander’s family were among the pioneers of Kentucky; her grandparents, the Lewises, came from Delaware, and settled in the central part of the State when it was only a district. Col. Isaac Baker, a cousin of her father, was in the Regular Army, and senior Colonel at the battle of New Orleans; Judge Joshua Baker, also a cousin, and still living in Louisiana, is the oldest living graduate of West Point.
United States General Henry Halleck, in charge of Federal forces in Missouri, published a decree today threatening execution to any citizen caught burning bridges, damaging railroad tracks or molesting telegraph wire. The threat flies in the face of all military etiquette and rules of warfare that is recognized by all civilized nations.
General Halleck has been emboldened after his recent victory at Blackwater Creek where 4,000 men under Brigadier General John Pope attacked a greatly outnumbered regiment of Confederates, capturing, killing, and wounding more than 680.
After the siege of Lexington, Missouri, the Missouri State Guard under Major General Sterling Price withdrew southward, eluding pursuing Federal forces. Colonel Franklin S. Robertson, a store owner from Saline County, remained behind to recruit volunteers for the Confederate cause. Having gathered 750 volunteers, the men elected officers in Grand Pass, then began marching south, following General Price, on December 16. They were to connect with Colonel J.J. Clarkson’s recruits near Warrensburg before completing their march to General Price. Along the way, their ranks were increased by one important man, Ebenezer Magoffin, brother to Kentucky Governor, Beriah Magoffin, who has recently been forced to side with the Union. Ebenezer was putting a great deal at risk joining the men on their march, as he was on parole after being captured for signing up recruits similar to the ones he was marching with.
Before they could reach Price, or even Clarkson, the new regiment was stopped at Blackwater Bridge by a brigade under the command of the ironically named Colonel Jefferson C. Davis. Recognizing the danger, Robertson set up a firing line of 250 men while Colonel Magoffin took several dozen men forward to take the bridge. Davis sent three companies of the 4th United States Cavalry forward with Lieutenant Charles Copley Amory in command along with the 1st Iowa Cavalry in support. The cavalry first dismounted and fired into the men at the bridge, who began to waiver. The cavalrymen then mounted their horses and charged across the bridge, sending the Confederate forces running into the firing line Robertson had set up. These men had little time to fire at the cavalry, who were right behind their comrades, and the resulting melee ended in a surrender of the Confederate forces.
Though fewer than 800 Confederates were involved in the entire skirmish, General Pope claimed 1,500 prisoners and even more left dead on the field.
This latest defeat is disheartening to the Southern cause in Missouri, but by far an end. Strikes at such places as Shawnee Mound and Hudson, Missouri have shown the Confederate raiders capable of striking deep into Union territory. General Halleck, apparently feeling he is now invulnerable to the rules of war, seems to feel that his victories are to be respected, while those of his enemy are to be punished with death. If he is to begin executing prisoners for proper military actions, then the South may just do the same. If this happens, affairs such as the one at Blackwater may turn far more bloody, where men who believe they will be killed even if they surrender will instead fight to the last man, and brave soldiers of both sides will die in useless effusions of blood.
California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences, Volume 16, Number 12, 27 December 186
Col. Jeff. Davis and Major Marshall's commands surprised the rebel camp at Warrensburg, Mo., on the 20th, and captured thirteen hundred prisoners, inlcuding three Colonels, seventeen Captains, 1,000 stand of arms, 1,000 horses, and full camp equipage. Our loss was but two killed and eight wounded. This is regarded as the most brilliant exploit of the war. Major Hubbard, of the Ist Missouri Cavalry, captured over 60 rebels a day or two since, together with a large amount of baggage. Gen. Pope and his assistants are determined to rid Missouri of rebels. A battle between Pope's army and Price is expected every day.
Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River (Valley City) or captured near Warrensburg, Missouri and few other interesting stories
Adam, Robert – Conscript POW, Chariton Co. Missouri. Captured October 27, 1864 in Johnson Co., Missouri and was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison where he died December 14, 1864 of Rubella.
Albert, William – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Applegate, James S – Sgt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Ashby, Danl. L. – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Ashby, James – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Baker, Larius – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois, Prison.
Ballentine, D. C. – Corp. M.S.G., Captured at the Battl of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Ballwood, Jas. J – 1st Lt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Barnes, Allen – Corp. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Barnes, Jas. F – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December, 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Barnes, Thomas B – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Barr, John N – Capt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton Illinois, Prison. He was elected 1st Lt. in the second company raised at Brunswick, May 10, 1861 at the beginning of the war.
Beatty, Jasper N – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Boley, William – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Buxton, John – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Campbell, George – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Campbell, Jos. A – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Cavanaugh, David – 2nd Lt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Churchill, William – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Cotney, Jesse – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, sent to the Alton Illinois, Prison.
Cross, Milton – Capt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Crowder, John – 2nd Lt. Missouri State Guard. Officer in the second company raised at Brunswick, May 10, 1861. Also 4th Mo. Inf.
Ehrat, Christian – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Ehrat, Francis – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Goin, James G - Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Goins, Zachariah – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Gordon, George – 2nd Lt., Williams Regiment, I Company, surrendered May 1865 Shreveport, La. Buried 1877 Keytesville City Cemetery.
Hampton, Oscar L – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton Illinois Prison.
Harper, Goodrich W – Corp. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Harper, Wm. R – Sgt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Hazelwood, Jas. L - 3 Lt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to Alton, Illinois Prison.
He was very active in raising volunteers for the State or Confederate service. In the spring of 1861 he was commissioned adjutant general of General Clark’s division of the Missouri State Guard, and served the battles of Wilson’s Creek, Dry Wood and Lexington. At the meeting of the State Legislature in Neosho in October 1861, he was the first man nominated for the Confederate congress from Missouri; he continued to represent this district until the final evacuation of Richmond by Lee. During his absence from Missouri his property in Brunswick was all destroyed. He returned to Brunswick in 1867 and returned to his Law practice serving his community and state.
Houston, James M – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to Alton, Illinois Prison.
Hutchinson, F.Y. – 2nd Lt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to Alton, Illinois Prison.
Hutchinson, Richard T – 2nd Lt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Jackson, Abbott H _ Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Jackson, Lee – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Jacobs, John - Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Johnson, Samuel. T – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Ketron, Robert S – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Laird, D. C. – Company G, Second Missouri Cavalry. Shanks’ Cav., attended the Ex-Confederate Association of Missouri reunion held at Moberly, Mo. 1881. Keytesville address. U. C. V. Price Camp NO 710, Keytesville, Mo. 1902.
Leonard, John – Citizen. Murdered by the Union Putnam County MSM 1864. He was seventeen years old; it was claimed that he was a guide for a squad of bushwhackers. He was arrested by militia soldiers stationed at Brunswick and taken to the Grand River. Having broken the winter ice they thrust the boy under by force and killed him.
Litteral, Adam W – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December, 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Long, James – Private, Missouri State Guard, Company B. Enlisted October 10, 1861 in the third company raised in the neighborhood of Salisbury. Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Marsh, Joseph N – 1st Lt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Outcalt, Chas. F – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
at Moberly, Mo. 1881. Salisbury address. Pvt. Parks Pindalls S.S. B Company, surrendered May 1865 Shreveport, La.
Patterson, J. O. – Third Lieutenant, Missouri State Guard. Enlisted May 10, 1861 in the first company raised in Brunswick.
Payne, Frank – Second corporal, Missouri State Guard, Company B. Enlisted October 10, 1861 in the third company raised in the neighborhood of Salisbury. Franklin Payne born March 1837 wounded at Pea Ridge, Ark. under the command of Col. W. S. Hyde March 7, 1862 age 26. Died Feb. 19, 1863 buried in the Keytesville City Cemetery.
Payne, James F. – Private, Missouri State Guard, Company B. Enlisted in the third company raised in the neighborhood of Salisbury. Served throughout the war in General Price’s army and was wounded once.
Payne, J. M. – Private, Missouri State Guard, Company B. Enlisted October 10, 1861 in the third company raised in the neighborhood of Salisbury. Pvt., Williams Regiment, Company J, surrendered May 1865 Shreveport, La.
Pearson, C. F. – Captain, A.Q.M. Surrendered Shreveport, La. on and around June 5 – 9th, 1865.
Peery, Jasper M. – In 1861 he joined the Southern State Guard, and after that term of service became a captain in the Confederate army under General Price, and served until the close of the war. He was sent as a delegate from Chariton County to the State Convention, which nominated Claiborne Jackson for Missouri’s Governor 1860. Before the war he was a steamer captain and owner of a ship that ran weekly packet between St. Louis and Brunswick. The steamer was a large passenger packet,
Price, Arthur – Citizen. Father of Captain John Arthur Price. He was a farmer five miles north of Salisbury and was killed by Union soldiers and his body fed to hogs on the farm.
Stout, Lorenzo D – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton Illinois, Prison.
Thrailkill, John – Major CSA, Captain, Guerrilla, Partisan Ranger, Bushwhacker. He rode with Captain Bill Anderson and Captain William Quantrill. On September 20, 1864 John Thrailkill, George Todd rode into Keytesville with a force of sixty-five men as counted by the citizens. The commander of Union forces Second Lt. Anthony Pleyer surrendered the town and courthouse with twenty-five Chariton County militia. During the surrender Sheriff Robert Carman and William Young a citizen were marched out a short distance from the town and shot. The county courthouse was burnt on this day.
Tyre, Perry – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Tyre, Wm. H – Corp. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Vaughn, G. – Pvt., Williams Regiment, E Company, surrendered May 1865 Shreveport, La.
Venable, Alfred – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Venable, Benjamin W – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison. Listed with Searcy’s Bn. S. S. Co. C.
Warden, John C – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Warren, Jackson J – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Watkins, Boyd C – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Watson, Geo. W – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison. Watts, James – Chariton Co. MO. Co. K, 3re Inf. Died at Marion, Mississippi in 1862.
Watts, Wm. B. Jr. – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Wilkie, Lafayette R – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Wilkie, Wm. N _ Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Winslow, Edwin M – Pvt. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
Zea, Peter M – Corp. M.S.G., Captured at the Battle of Blackwater River, Milford, Missouri, December 19, 1861, was sent to the Alton, Illinois Prison.
The Skirmish at Blackwater Creek on December 19th 1861 took place in central Missouri, and is also known as the Skirmish at Milford.
Confederate Colonel Franklin S Robertson a store owner in Saline County, Missouri was recruiting to fill out a Confederate regiment after being commissioned by Major General Sterling Prince. Union Brigadier General John Pope who was in command of the District of Central Missouri was set on quashing the Confederates working in Missouri and end southern recruiting
Robertson rounded up his recruits and on December 16th 1861 took his 750 men and marched them south. They were going to meet up with other recruits near Warrensburg, Missouri. They were to join up with Price. Robertson and his men camped on December 18th 1861 near Milford, Missouri. Pope learning of the encampment moved to encircle them by sending Union Colonel Jefferson C Davis’ brigade to the Blackwater Bridge and the 2nd Missouri Cavalry around them to the northeast
Finding himself surrounded on December 19th 1861, Robertson formed a line, and ordered his men to take the bridge before the Union troops could hold it. When fired on the new recruits holding the bridge fled. The 4th United States Cavalry, 2ndMissouri Cavalry and 1st Iowa Cavalry chased them into Robertson’s line, where the Confederates surrendered.
Civil War Love Letters: August 3, 1861 (Warrensburg/Lexington, Missouri)
3, August 2011
August 3d 1861
My Dear Molly -
I promised when I returned from our expedition to write again, but time has not permitted so far. We all got back however safe & sound but footsore, weary & dirty as sweeps
This at once changed the character of our expedition, as they had scouted the whole country within a circuit of 80 miles, & had found several secession camps which they wished us to assist in breaking up. Some eight of their number were missing, about whom they were very anxious, as this had ascertained that the reports brought to us were all too true, & that there were five or six ambushes already planted for our friend's destruction. Well, we all started at 4 o.c. next morning in good spirits hoping to catch the enemy napping as now the tables were slightly turned. They did not expect us - the arrival of the Regulars as they call us was a surprise to them all - We got along quietly for over 6 miles to where the first ambush had been at Davis Creek, where a long bridge & a thick brush gave them an enormous advantage. We soon found however that they were not there. They had either left, or did not expect us so early our scouts & skirmishes had crossed the creek at half a dozen places above & below & hoped to surround them, but no the birds were flown. We started on Monday afternoon expecting to make 16 miles before camping - but it proved so hot that when three miles out, we had to camp until Sundown when we started again & made 7 more miles - Thermometer about 120 in the sun & no shade to be had - We all suffered dreadfully for water camped at 10 o.clock by a spring in the open prairie having in the meantime met a mounted company composed of the friends & neighbors of the men we were convoying
We had not gone over a mile however & were just gaining the open prairie when our advance guard sighted them. Our mounted friends immediately engaged them while we double quicked uphill, in time to see a pretty running skirmish, but too far off to join in. Whenever they got sight of us they galloped off at top of their speed, leaving one for the dead (a Mr. Fleming) on the field. We got his arms but not his horse, & carried him home some half mile off - left him there, with two bad wounds in or about his chest. Now all was excitement. The principal camp being 4 miles ahead & our scouts reporting mounted men galloping in that direction from all points of the prairie & woods - We also heard that the 8 missing men were prisoners there so forward to the rescue was the cry.
On our way there we came suddenly on two or three squads & nearly surprised them at a Blacksmith shop but again they got away with one horse & one mule killed & two men wounded - This only whetted our appetite for what was to come, & with fresh vigor, we pushed forward our two companies of 150 men being spread sometimes out in a line a mile long & again closed into a solid square around our wagons, with our 40 or 50 Horsemen galloping every were back & forth, East, West, North & South. We, at last, found their whereabouts in a deep ravine on "Tarboe Creek" where a thick brush, several houses Orchards, Fences &c protected & hid them completely, There was again some sharp shooting on both sides, their guns, however, did not reach us, while our bullets at near half a mile distance whistled around their heads savagely, & rumor says we killed two more. Now again all our efforts were first directed toward surrounding them & in fifteen minutes more we would have done so. Our center where was comp D, was in an open meadow with no protection, & only two hundred yards off them, laying down flat to fire, aim & load again then at a word rising running forward 20 yards or less, & again down flat in the grass. Comp K in a wheat field advancing under cover of the little ricks that were scattered all over it & our cavalry in the timber right & left crossing the creek -
At this point, they ran again, but so quietly & under such close cover that we did not know it for perhaps ten minutes, when we at once made a rush surrounded the houses & got two prisoners with their arms & horses, all grimy with dust sweat & gunpowder, (as we also were) We found also that in their haste they had lost all their prisoners & seven of them now came into us. The other they had put out as a target for us to shoot at in the woods & on the road had run the other way & we feared would be caught again. He had first taken refuge in one of the houses but when looking out at a window towards us, Capt. Tannahill saw him & fired at him breaking the window & the glass wounded one of the young ladies of the house cutting her cheek slightly. This compliment scared him & he ran again three miles got home got another horse & came & met us some hours after.
We now searched the houses, the negroes, as usual giving us every assistance & information when their owners were not bye. We only found the Prisoners &c aforesaid & ten saddles besides several buckets of ice water & pans of Ice Milk prepared for & partly drank by secession lips. As we had had none for hours this we greedily drank at sight. (fearing no poison) We meddled with nothing else, though the Ladies were very insulting & again & again cautioned us to let nothing stick to our fingers, suggesting that the plentiful supply of Crinoline to be seen in the closets would be useful to some of us when in the course of the day it would be our turn to run - Acting very bravely, one especially Miss Atkinson (whose cheek was wounded) talking & acting like a heroine, & when leaving with our prisoners she came towards them, & to one rather young & goodlooking, whom we suppose to be her sweetheart, "She said", "Jemmy be firm let them do what they please, but never take the Oath, if you do I never want to see you again & to the other she said & you too Mr. Taylor but ere we had gone 100 yards, she could not help screaming & crying. When some of the rearguard, not witnesses of the former scene asked her what was the matter, She said "You are taking "My friends”! "My friends"!! My dear friends!!!” & all this with such eloquent gestures & abandon, that it was too pitiful to look at, she evidently never expected to see them again? We could give her no hope, & most came away sorrowful, many with a tear in their eye, for the first time awakened to the full horrors of civil war –
But so evanescent are human emotions, that ere ten minutes were elapsed, we were all ten times more steeled & bent on exterminating or driving the Rebels from our soil, & so we ran, skirmishing occasionally until 4 o.c. in the afternoon when arriving at a Union settlement, we could hear or see no more of them, & so we concluded to dine, but the inhabitants would not let us cook We must rest in the shade & be waited on with water, whiskey, milk, peach brandy everything they had was ours, & within an hour every house produced such baskets & buckets of fricasseed chicken & ham, cornbread & biscuits, potatoes & bacon, butter & buttermilk churned for our use, that we felt ourselves, all kings, princes, Soldiers, American Citizens
Here we found them all anxiety both our Regimental friends & the citizens whether friends or foes, for Madame Rumor, had magnified our exploits, & also the killed & wounded on both sides - (we had none) our opponents only six, of which either 3 or 4 were killed, & she further affirmed that secesh would gather, & were gathering from far & wide to cut us off as we returned. So when after our forced march we reached town we found two more companies, coming to our assistance at their best pace, with Col White & Major Fischer at their head - & what joyful reception we got, & what a relief to the secesh of Lexington who had already commenced fleeing from town with their household goods - expecting our friends here to shell & burn the town if we suffered. We had already run & fought if fighting it can be called, such a neck or nothing race as it was occasionally over 18 miles, but there was still another camp in the woods, two miles off, that we wished to see before dark, & for this, we started, but our scouts soon came in & reported them gone, & the camp was broken up, so we marched two miles more to Hazlehill in Johnson Co. another Union settlement, to overawe which this Camp was formed. Here again, we were in clover & enjoyed ourselves very well up to nine o'clock - After a sound sleep, we next morning bade goodbye to our Johnson Co. & Hazlehill friends, & started on a forced march at 4 o.c. A.M. for Lexington which we reached after many stoppages & some alarm but no further adventures, at Eight o'clock in the evening, as I said before footsore, weary & dirty
The Union men had also been moving their families across the River.
So all parties combined to give us a triumphal march to the boats, & immediately went to condole & attend to our crippled men in the Wagons, whom they supposed wounded, & would not believe otherwise, even our repeated assurances of nobody hurt would not satisfy them until they saw their sore feet & we all limped aboard -
Our boat and us next night went up the river fifteen miles, to look after more flags, Secesh & powder - We had a hard night of it underarms - but found nothing save two prisoners - Got back safely last night,
Our boat looked rather queer, with breastworks formed of mattrasses strung around in the Pilothouse & on the guards, & cordwood piled on the main deck for us to lay behind & shoot over but we did not need them
My Oppossom Rug has proved a Godsend & I am in more robust health than ever with its aid - My feet will be all right by tomorrow & ready for another trip. We expect aid here directly & then we hope to run the gauntlet to St. Louis all safe
You speak of Mr. McPheeters being tanned in yours of the 22d which I received when I returned on Wednesday night the 31st - Well we are all pretty much tanned, & this trip has not improved our color any, when in sight of the enemy we shifted our Havelocks in our pockets, as they would have made such good marks to shoot at, before this they had done good service
I am glad to hear you received that old letter & hope the other missing ones may yet come to hand. A Soldiers letter if sent by the proper channel requires no stamp & I sent my first so, but now I send by mail, or by hand of a friend, & so save delays -
Tell Alex not to scold Sally too much, I excused her or will do, after I’ve caught her some night, this fall as I hope too, & hear a long story from her & perhaps give as long a one in return -
I am glad to hear of Williams's early return but has he not gone out to the Iron Mountain since. I saw something in the Republican - that looks much like it - I hope not. I cant see a word in your papers about our regiment - though there are letters from all the others - We feel neglected - I have just got the August Harper this morning. I’ve not cut it yet, but will when I close this tiresome yarn. I write so fast that I fear you will wish me to read it for you when I return, & so dose me with my own vanity & egotism never mind I haint said a word of myself yet. I'll tell you all that face to face, & then it won't raise up in judgment against, or I will refer you, as I did the Colonel to Capt Hurd- who eulogized me so - that I ran away I do wish I was alongside you this letter has taken up but a short time, compared with what the subject would have claimed in conversation. I do wish to be home too, but we are quite in the dark - Know nothing as to all movements in the future even for half a day - We can't leave until government reinforces us strongly - I also look to the time when I can read again with you - & you must not think that these letters require even an effort or exertion. I can sit & rest & refresh myself as I write, as well as if I read or loaf - I feel safe, shielded & protected by your prayers - I think I know why no presentiments of bullets ever crossed my mind - I don't think the secesh own one that can hurt me now - but goodbye –
God bless you, Give my love to all & believe me
Yours sincerely James E. Love
This metal snuff box contains a .58 caliber Minie ball removed from the shoulder of Confederate Colonel Jeremiah Vardeman Cockrell.
Born in May 1832 near Warrensburg, Missouri, Jeremiah Cockrell joined the Missouri State Guard when the Civil War began and served as an officer in the 8th Division at the battles of Carthage, Wilson’s Creek and Lexington. He was commissioned a captain in the 5th Missouri Battalion in early 1862 but retired when that unit was reorganized. Appointed a colonel of a partisan ranger regiment, Cockrell led his men at the fierce Battle of Lone Jack, Missouri in August 1862, but was not reelected when that unit reorganized. He then recruited Confederate soldiers and accompanied General Sterling Price on his raid through Missouri in 1864. Cockrell was wounded in the arm during a skirmish in Jasper County, Missouri. Following the war, he moved to Texas but was unable to use his arm for years until the Minie ball was finally removed. He then kept the bullet in the snuff box as a souvenir until his death on March 18, 1915.
Snuff boxes were made from a wide variety of materials, including precious metals. Elaborate snuff boxes indicated either the owner’s high rank in society or the high regard in which a presenter held the recipient.
Since tobacco had a tendency to dry out, the boxes were designed to hold generally a one day supply of finely ground tobacco, which, depending on moisture content, could be either sniffed or put between the lip and gum.
Images Courtesy Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield; WICR 30122 & 30123
Christmas Boxes in Camp 1861, Harper's Weekly
Union Refugees from Western Missouri Coming into St.Louis
Title: Pipe bowl of Confederate POW Corporal David C. Balentine Pipe bowl link
Description: Corporal David C. Balentine, of Brunswick, Chariton County, joined General Sterling Price's Missouri State Guard in late 1861, and was assigned to Colonel F. S. Robinson's 3rd Infantry. Balentine and the other raw, unarmed recruits bivouacked at the junction of Blackwater River and Clear Creek in Johnson County, where they were subsequently captured by a Federal force and sent to Alton Prison in Illinois. The prisoners were first sent to the Gratiot Street Prison in St. Louis before being transferred. This clay pipe bowl inscribed with Balentine's name is also marked "McDowell's College," the common name for the medical college that the Federals confiscated and turned into Gratiot Street Prison. Gratiot was one of several St. Louis prisons, including the Myrtle Street Prison and the Chestnut Street Prison, that held Confederate prisoners, spies, guerrillas, women and other civilians, and even Union soldiers accused of crimes.
Rebel Flag Captured by John A. Landis of The First Iowa Cavalry at the Battle of Blackwater Missouri. Additional provenance for this significant war trophy is cited in a book called The Third Reunion of the Landis-Landes Family: Held at Perkasie Park, Perkasie, Bucks County, Pa., August 16, 1952, compiled nearly 60 years ago. A listing of “Children of Henry and Catherine Johnston Landis” of whom the eldest son, John A. Landis, is recorded matter-of-factly as having Captured a Rebel flag at the Battle of Blackwater, Mo. (p 47). John A. Landis (1835-1915) was born in Xenia, Ohio, and was living in Martinsburg, Iowa when he enlisted in Company I., 1st Iowa Cavalry on June 13, 1861. Landis was soon transferred to the field and staff as a regimental Quartermaster on Oct. 7.
The raw regiment was then split up by battalion and engaged in combing the porous region of central and western Missouri for Southern sympathizers, recruits, and bushwhackers. On Dec. 18, 1861 a column of five companies of the 1st Iowa together with two companies of the 4th US Cavalry under the overall command of Col. J.C. Davis of Indiana came upon a local who informed the blue troopers that there was more than a thousand rebs in the bend of the Black River near Milford. Col. Davis “marched promptly and vigorously with the forces under his command” and late in the afternoon ran into Confederate pickets guarding a “long narrow bridge” over a “deep, impassible stream.” Across the bridge in wooded bottomland was a large Confederate camp “numbering in all 1300 men.”
Led by the detachment of the 4th US Cavalry supported by the five companies of the 1st Iowa the Federals quickly drove in the startled pickets and then formed to attack the bridge. Lieut. Gordon, Company D. 4th US Cavalry, commanded the charge and with utmost gallantry and vigor, carried the bridge in fine style, and immediately formed his company on the opposite side to charge the riled camp. A body of Confederates managed to let loose with one determined volley causing the only Federal casualties of the day, one man killed and eight wounded all from Co. D. Stunned by the impetuous attack the inexperienced Confederate colonel promptly surrendered his command convinced, correctly so, that he was both outnumbered and cut-off. The haul of prisoners included 3 colonels, 52 commissioned officers and over 1100 enlisted men, all raw Missouri recruits bound for Sterling Price’s army.
The inventory of captured war material was considerable, about 500 horses and mules, 73 wagons heavily loaded with powder, lead, tents, subsistence stores…and also 1,000 stands of arms with at least one slightly used First Pattern Confederate National Flag that came into the possession of Quartermaster John Landis. Maj. Torrence, who commanded the 1st Iowa Cavalry battalion, never submitted a formal report and the regiment received no accolades for the action known alternatively as Black Water or Milford. Landis mustered out of 1st Iowa Cavalry in April 1862 and shortly afterward was commissioned in the newly raised 18th Iowa Infantry as capt. of Company D. Capt. Landis' younger brother, David Landis, was in the same company and wrote a wartime diary offered in this sale as lot 78.
The war ended for Captain Landis on January 8, 1863, when he was severely wounded during a sharp action in defense of Springfield, Missouri. Landis had voluntarily taken command of a field piece “placed in a very exposed position.” The attacking Southerners charged the gun in overwhelming numbers, killing the horses and driving back the support; captured it after a hard and bloody contest… The wounded officer was hospitalized in St. Louis and resigned from the army on Feb. 28, 1863. At some point after the war, Land is and his family crossed the Great Plains and settled in the Washington Territory. He remarried in 1906. Capt. Landis died on April 26, 1915, and was buried in Oakwood Hill Cemetery, Tacoma, WA.