jrbakerjr  Genealogy   


A Chapter in the History of the War

====Between the States====





Page One: Chapters  1-11
Page Two : Chapters 12-22
Page Three: Chapters 23-32
Page Four: Appendix
Complete Book - Transcribed
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Chapters 1 - 11 On This Page

Note: Footnotes are in Parentheses





A Chapter in the History of the War

====Between the States====












To the Missouri Confederate this book is lovingly and gratefully dedicated.

He braved incredible difficulties and dangers for the opportunity to enlist in the struggle for liberty.

He did his duty in camp, on the march, in battle.

He repined not at hunger, thirst and nakedness.

He hated oppression, cruelty and cowardice.

He gloried in the traditions of his State and his people.

He never forgot that Missouri is the sweetest word ever uttered.

He, in the rosy dawn of youth, threw in the balance life, friends, fortune, and everything that could make the future safe, comfortable and desirable; in the sober evening of his life, in plenty or in want, in sympathy or in obloquy, every heartbeat registers a new approval of the self-consecration made in the hour when wild enthusiasm fired his mind.

He has kept the faith.


































































I write this little narrative because it is a modest, and r believe a truthful,  contribution to the history of my native State; because the results created by the energy and skill of the chief actor ought to be recorded; because his character, embracing the highest ideals of honor and duty, deserves the tribute-and a greater one than I can render-and because no other on the fast diminishing list of those who followed him has accepted the task. I regret that the work was not undertaken when they were living who could give valuable information not now attainable and when my own facilities for its prosecution were better. My official and editorial duties have for years consumed at least twelve hours' time every day, and other matters have frequently encroached upon the two or three hours each evening allotted to this work.


As far as I have been able to ascertain, Colonel Porter made but one official report, and that was of the engagement at Hartville, Southwest Missouri, where he received his death wound. The official reports of the Federal officers were generally fairly accurate as to the movements of their own troops and the relation of events from their own point of view. As a rule, the newspaper accounts of the operations in Missouri were prodigies of untruth. To get as near the truth as possible, to gather up the missing links in the chain of facts that dropped out of memory, to make sure of facts which I think I remember and to learn of occurrences beyond my range of vision, I addressed letters of inquiry to every known survivor, Confederate and Federal. The responses, in their number and interest manifested, were surprising and exceedingly gratifying. To stimulate the recollection of the writers on certain incidents, especially concerning proper names, and to reconcile conflicting statements, made necessary an extended and painstaking correspondence. All this had to be done before the serious treatment of the work was taken up, and this involved at times inconvenient delay.


The most unsatisfactory feature of the whole undertaking is the failure of my efforts to obtain the names of Porter's men. With almost ceaseless marching and fighting it was impossible to make a muster roll, and I never heard that one was attempted. There are six survivors of my company. Including the commander, Captain Penny, there were either twenty-one or twenty-two members. My memory is very clear about this, yet I could only recall fourteen names. One of the survivors has added one; another three, one of which I rejected. All efforts through correspondence and advertisements in newspapers to find the missing four or five names have been unsuccessful. The same proportion of success has been attained in a very few instances and in some of the companies the failure has been total. The name of every man who participated in Colonel Porter's remarkable campaign in North Missouri ought to be preserved. The inability to give them detracts from the historical value of this narrative.


The faults in arrangement and weakness of expression are due in some measure to haste in the preparation of the manuscript after the collection of the material. This was made on the representation of many comrades and not a few former foes that if they were to read of the events they helped to create forty-seven years ago the narration must be put before them quickly. The justice of this appeal dispels what vanity I might feel by the expenditure of labor and care on details.

Hyattsville, Maryland, September 10, 1909.



The decade of years preceding the War between the North and the South was a period of great political excitement in Missouri. Thomas Hart Benton, able, patriotic, egotistic, dictatorial, had, after refusing to be governed by the instructions of the Legislature embodied in the Jackson resolutions, failed of election for a sixth term in the United States Senate. Two years later he was elected from the St. Louis district a member of the Thirty-third Congress and before its expiration he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Senate; strong enough to prevent the re-election of David R. Atchison and to cause a vacancy in that line for two  years. In 1856 he was one of three candidates for governor of the State, and received less than one-fourth of the votes cast. At the following session of. the legislature he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Senate in his own line, the term of Henry S. Geyer being about to expire, and also to fill the vacancy in the line of Barton. In all these contests the discussions of the questions at issue were characterized by a strength and a bitterness I never before, or since, equaled. Benton's three score and ten years had not weakened the grasp of his great intellect nor had they cooled the fire of his personal resentments.


At every step he met foes worthy of his skill and courage. James S. Green and John B. Henderson were his intellectual peers; then David R. Atchison, John B. Clark, Trusten Polk, James H. Birch and Robert M. Stewart, the giants in ::Missouri politics; of great ability, resourceful and vigilant were Lewis Vital Bogy, Claiborne Fox Jackson, Robert E. Acock, William Claude Jones, John Forbes Benjamin, Ferdinand Kennett, George Webb, Houston and Carty Wells. Benton's chief lieutenants were able; resolute and devoted. Frank Blair and B. Gratz Brown, Kentuckians and cousins, were men who despised 'popular applause, laughed at disaster and gained courage in defeat. With John D. Stevenson, Charles Sims, Thomas A. King, George W. Miller and Charles Jones, they fought a magnificent battle and lost. The Whig party in its last days numbered in its ranks the ablest men of its whole life in Missouri, James Sidney Rollins, Samuel Caruthers, Mordecai Oliver, Thomas L. Anderson, James Overton Brodhead, Robert C. Ewing, Robert A. Hatcher, Charles H. Hardin, Nathaniel W. Watkins, James Winston, William Newland and others. The fight of these men to maintain the life of their party and the bitter war between the Benton and the anti-Benton Democrats had not ceased before the Kansas troubles set the whole State afire.


The sentiment of the people on the question of slavery might, to this generation, seem peculiar. In 1827 Senators Barton and Benton with about twenty leaders of the two political parties, representing every district in the State, held a secret meeting to consider how to get rid of slavery. The action at this meeting was unanimous. Resolutions were drawn up, printed and distributed among those present. These in the shape of memorials were to be placed before the people all over the State on the same day, just preceding the next election, through all the candidates for office in each political party who were to urge the people to sign them. The members were certain that their combination had the power to succeed in their purpose.


The details were to be completed before the day agreed upon and until then the whole matter would be a deep secret. Before the day arrived it was widely published in the newspapers that Arthur Tappan, a prominent merchant of New York, the founder of the Emancipator and the Journal of Commerce, and the first president of the Antislavery Society, had entertained at his table some negro men and had permitted them to ride with his daughters in his carriage.


This incident raised so great a storm of indignation that the memorials never saw the light. The majority of the slaveholders of Missouri were opposed to slavery, but they contended that it was a matter for their own settlement and they deeply resented outside interference. They would settle it in their own way and at their own time. Congress, influenced by antislavery sentiment, had treated Missouri unjustly at its admission as a State of the Union and, in consequence, William Clark, the Virginian, who for seven years had filled with eminent success the office of governor of the Territory, was defeated for governor of the State by Alexander McNair, the Pennsylvanian, by a majority of 4,000, in a total vote of 9,000, because the latter was a more outspoken advocate of slavery.


In the settlement of the Territory of Kansas the development of its industries was secondary to the struggle to determine its political future. The country was intensely interested in the progress of this movement, but Western Missouri was the storm center of excitement. To offset and check the steady growth of bona fide settlements by citizens of Missouri and other Southern States the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society, incorporated by the legislature of that State with a capital limited to $5,000,000, as stated by Eli Thayer, the author of the bill to incorporate, sent men to Kansas instead of families. A prominent church in Brooklyn was turned by its pastor into a bazaar for raising money to buy Sharpe's rifles to make Kansas a free State.


The plow marks the path to civilization, but the rifle is a more effective agent for the immediate settlement of issues. The first election in the Territory was held in 1854 and a pro-slavery delegate, J. W. Whitefield, a native of Tennessee, was elected and served through the Thirty-fourth Congress without protest. Massachusetts men arrived one day and voted the next, but more Missourians arrived the same day and voted. The following March a large number of Missourians went over, and finding they had three hundred men more than were needed to carry Lawrence, that number rode twelve miles farther and carried another precinct for members of the Territorial legislature. David R. Atchison, the president pro tempore of the United States Senate, said in urging Missourians to vote in Kansas, "If men a thousand miles off can send men to abolitionize Kansas, how much is it the duty of those who live within a day's journey of the Territory, and whose peace and property depend on the result, to meet and !lend young men over the border to vote."


The church-provided rifle won. The blood it spilled, guilty and innocent, Stimulated the appetite of revenge for ten years. Kansan, murder, rapine, are words of the same length and, according to Missourians, the second and third were found in the tracks of the first. There is abundant free-state evidence that armed men who balked not at the crimes of assassination, arson and robbery were arrayed against the majority and that the majority lost. When these operations were carried across the line into Southeast Missouri, Governor Stewart, a native of New York, who had no love for the South, ordered General Daniel Y. Frost, of the State militia, to drive out the invaders. Frost found General Harney with United States soldiers already on the scene of disorder. The Kansas terrorist, finding himself threatened by a superior force of Federal and Missouri troops, disbanded his followers and abandoned the field of his activity. A year later the same terrorist and others still more bloodthirsty came with United States commissions in their pockets and at the head of regularly enlisted troops, and did work which paled their former crimes into insignificance. As against United States soldiers and as United States soldiers their work was the same, their instruments-the bullet, the rope, the torch the same and through it all the stimulus was plunder. In the meantime General Frost left on the scene of "the deserted and charred remains of once happy homes" three companies of rangers and one of artillery under command of Lieutenant Colonel John S. Bowen and order was maintained for a time.


The division in the ranks of the Democratic party, resulting in the naming of two candidates for the Presidency, produced great excitement and great bitterness in Missouri. These sentiments were increased by the apprehension of disaster following the very probable election of Lincoln. In 1856 no electoral ticket for Fremont was named in Missouri. Benton's organ, the Missouri Democrat, was somewhat favorable to Fremont, but Benton announced that he would support Buchanan against his own son-in-law, and the Democrat placed the Democratic electoral ticket at the head of its editorial page. Still the election of Fremont was considered very probable. General D. M. Frost was a member of the State Senate in 1855 and he introduced in that body a bill to provide for raising a volunteer force of fifty thousand men to be used in "preventing our Northern and Southern brethren from flying at each other's throats, as they will probably do it the next Presidential election in 1856, or passing that, then certainly in 1860, unless the border States take action such as this to keep the peace."  A change of less than fifty thousand votes in Pennsylvania and Illinois in his favor would have given Fremont the Presidency.


Missourians generally believed that the election of Fremont meant civil war. They were sure that the election of Lincoln did. At the August election, 1860, for State officers, James B. Gardenhire, the Republican candidate for governor, received six thousand votes while his associate for lieutenant governor, James Lindsay, received two thousand more. That there were so many "enemies to the State" inside of the State was a matter of surprise and deep mortification to the people. The people of today have but little conception of the intensity of political sentiment of that day. The general resentment was increased by the fact that Edward Bates, a native of Virginia and long resident in St. Jamis, a man of high character, brother of the second governor of the State, was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President, and also that at the Presidential Election in November the Republican vote amounted to

seventeen thousand-more than double the number cast in the preceding August.. While not unexpected, the hoisting of the National Republican ticket by the Missouri Democrat

caused great indignation. An incident, illustrating the temper of the people of St. Louis, I give from memory, not having the opportunity to verify it. A day or two after the ticket appeared some employee in the mechanical department of the paper inserted the word "Black," so as to make the line read, "The National Black Republican Ticket."


The whole edition was worked off before discovery, to the amusement of the Republican, the Douglas Democratic organ, and the Bulletin, the Breckinridge Democratic paper. The next day an offer of a reward for the discovery of the offender appeared in the editorial columns of the Democrat. An element in the North, respectable in numbers and character, opposed war upon sovereign States. Edward Everett, of Massachusetts, late candidate for Vice President on the ticket with John Bell, of Tennessee, nominated on a platform of the "Constitution of the country, the union of the States and the enforcement of the laws," said in Faneuil Hall, Boston, February 2d: "To expect to hold fifteen States in the Union by force is preposterous. The idea of a civil war accompanied, as it would be, by a servile insurrection, is too monstrous to be. entertained for a moment. If our sister States must leave us, in the name of Heaven let them go in peace." Similar sentiments were voiced by men of character and influence in New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, but Missourians knew current political history too well to misinterpret the purpose of the dominant party. They knew how little respect it had for the rights of States and for law. They knew that fourteen of the seventeen Northern States had on their statute books laws intended to nullify an act of Congress and which were in violation of the Constitution of the United States. They knew, too, that the most adroit leaders of the dominant party believed war was necessary for the perpetuation of power, and party was above law, above Constitution, above country, above everything.


Governor Stewart, a Northern man, in his retiring message placed all the blame for the condition of affairs upon the North. If the Cotton States persisted in secession they should go in peace. Missouri should take "all proper measures to secure the just acknowledgment and protection of our rights, and in the final failure of this, a resort to the last painful remedy of separation." Yet he stood for the Union and when war came he gave it his support and welcomed its "greater severity." His course and that of other Democrats whose party affiliations had been with the Southern wing of the party, and who in the crisis renounced their associations, many of them with the new born zeal of the convert, forgetting humanity in their exercise of military authority, was a potent agency in the creation and maintenance of the hate that fired both sides.


Claiborne F. Jackson possessed the full vigor of mature manhood when he delivered his inaugural address as governor of Missouri. He was graceful in deportment, dignified and courteous among men, a born Democrat, strong in oratory, courageous in discussion and action, well read in political history, resourceful and strong in affairs. He loved the Union, but he loved more the South which gave him birth, and more than all, he loved Missouri, for forty years his home. His address was a comprehensive and forceful analysis of the situation. Like Governor Stewart, in his final message, he placed the whole responsibility for the impending dissolution upon the North; like him he hoped for the preservation of the Union under proper guarantees, but unlike Stewart, who declared that in the separation, Missouri's place was in the Union, Jackson asserted that the duty and interest of Missouri pointed to the South. The two messages created a profound impression, as did the letter of Lieutenant Governor Reynolds, given to the public the day the legislature convened. This was an able review of the situation and an appeal to the legislature for energetic measures to protect the constitutional rights of the State.


Among other propositions he exposed the sophistry of those who, like President Buchanan, contended that while there was no power to coerce a sovereign State, there was power to compel the citizens of a seceded State to obey the laws of the United States. "In our system," he said, "a State is its people, citizens compose that people, and to use force against citizens acting by State authority is to coerce the State and to wage war against it. To levy tribute, molest commerce, or hold fortresses, are as much acts of war as to bombard a city. "l Thomas Caute Reynolds was of South Carolina birth and Virginia ancestry. In the campaign of slander, considered so necessary in that day, it was said that his accident of birth was his boast and chief claim for consideration.  Nothing was farther from the truth. He was a man of great ability, a pleasing and forceful speaker, stronger in action than discussion, of uncommon good sense and prudence, of passionless judgment, indefatigable industry, stern integrity, conciliatory in disposition and manner, inflexible in principle and courageous in every thought and act. The most learned man in the State, Latin, Greek and three or four living languages were as familiar to him as his mother tongue. Skillful in diplomacy through education and through experience gained abroad, there was none fitter to swell the tide of secession.


In 1859 or 1860 Eugene Longuemare established the St. Louis Bulletin. It was a vigorous exponent of the Southern view of national politics. In the gubernatorial election of 1860, under the management of Thomas L. Snead, it opposed Jackson and Reynolds because they supported Douglas and was the active agency in the nomination of Hancock Jackson and Mosby Monroe Parsons. When after their election, Jackson and Reynolds demonstrated their loyalty to the South, the Bulletin became their champion. In February of 1861 Moritz Niedner acquired its ownership, changed its name to the State Journal and placed J. W. Tucker, a South Carolinian, in editorial control. In the brightest and best periods of journalism in Missouri Chambers and Paschall on the Republican and Gratz Brown 'Fight for Missouri, by Thomas. L. Snead. on the Democrat--nothing ever equaled the strength and literary style of its editorials, which nearly monopolized its pages every morning. It appealed to the extreme Southern sentiment in Missouri. Its purpose was to drive out the reason of one element by the display of an ever changing panorama of wrongs and tyranny, and of the other by the vitrol of invective to their decuticled persons. Some of its strongest editorials were poems-gems of

thought and masterpieces of diction. I remember one. Its inspiration was the reputed utterance of Mr. Lincoln that "It might be necessary to put the foot down firmly" and it was a fearful and pathetic denunciation of tyranny and inhumanity.


In the new alignment of parties there were Secessionists, Conditional Union men, the largest division, and the Unconditional Union men, the smallest division. The last had cast its vote for Lincoln under the name of Republicans. As it numbered barely more than a tenth Of the voters in the State and was composed mainly of Germans in St. Louis, many of them ignorant of our laws and theory of government, and accustomed to autocratic rule, it was deemed politic to discard for the time the old name for the new. The scheme of the leaders was to use the mailed hand of war to build up party power, by exerting sufficient force, from within and without the State, to overawe the Conditional Union men and by stimulating excesses to more surely break old party affiliations. Frank Blair cared little for party names. With him principle was everything. He was for the Union and was opposed to slavery-in Missouri-for economic reasons. He was willing to cooperate with the extremists because the success of the Union cause in Missouri demanded vigorous and relentless war, but he was not willing for it to be made the asset of any political party.


"Give us a country first," he said, "we can see about the party afterward." His word was law until the forces he had created were strong enough to sweep him aside. Perhaps it is true to say that no man was more responsible for the reign of madness in Missouri than Frank Blair. Certain it is that when the armies disbanded he, almost alone, broke its domination at great sacrifice and at great personal risk. Fateful events followed quickly.. Frank Blair and Captain Lyon were drilling the German political campaign Wide Awakes into Home Guards. Lyon was a native of Connecticut, had gone from West Point into the army twenty years before the war and had served with credit in the Florida and Mexican wars. Politically he was an earnest

Democrat until near the middle fifties, when he became saturated with anti-slavery fanaticism and from that time his hatred of Southern people was unbounded. In, energy, grasp of the situation and bravery he was the equal of Blair. Blair respected law; Lyon respected the law that served  his purpose. From the day he reached St. Louis with his company of regulars-about the first of February-until the clash of war came there was not an hour of calm in the city or State.


Among the Irish of St. Louis there was a large proportion of educated, intelligent, enthusiastic young men-the best blood of that isle of romance and poetry-whose hatred of the Home Guards was intensified by the antipathy of race and religion. These filled the ranks of the Minute Men under the leadership of Duke, Greene, Quinlan, Champion and McCoy. The rising sun on the day of Lincoln's inauguration revealed a rebel flag flying over the headquarters of the Minute Men. Angry crowds threatened, but there were men beneath it who hoped that blood would be spilled in the attempt to lower it. Had there been, the intention was to seize the arsenal, into which would have poured Frost's brigade, nearly every Irishman in the city and hundreds of other enthusiastic young men. The disappointment on one side and the derision heaped upon the other, in consequence of this incident, added much to the bitterness

of the factions.


The effort of Lyon-earnestly and ably seconded by Blair-was the assumption of military power in Missouri by the displacement of General Harney. Conciliation was Harney's policy. Lyon hated conciliation. The Union as it had existed was not the Union he wished preserved and perpetuated. The coveted power was gained and its exercise was able, energetic and tyrannical.


On the 17th of April Governor Jackson responded defiantly to the demand of four regiments of infantry under the first call for troops by President Lincoln. "Not one man will the State of Missouri furnish to carry on such an unholy crusade." On the 10th of May Camp Jackson-the point of a week's instruction for the militia ordered under the law-was captured and the slaughter of prisoners and citizens was Missouri's baptism of blood in civil war.


On the 11th of June there was an interview, at the Planters' House in St. Louis, between General Lyon and Blair and Governor Jackson and General Price. The interview had been arranged and Governor Jackson courteously informed General Lyon of his presence at the hotel and invited him to the proposed meeting. Lyon replied that the meeting would take place at the arsenal; Jackson answered that if there were a meeting it would be held at the Planters'. The proposition submitted by the governor was: "That I would disband the State Guard and break up its organization; that I would disarm all the companies which had been armed by the State; that I would pledge myself not to attempt to organize the militia under the

'Military Bill; that no arms or other munitions of war should be brought into the St.ate; that I would protect all citizens equally in all their rights, regardless of their political opinions; that I would suppress all insurrectionary movements within the State; that I would repel all attempts to invade it from whatever quarter and by whomsoever made; and that I 'Would thus maintain a strict neutrality in the present unhappy contest, and preserve the peace of the State. And I further proposed that I would, if necessary, invoke the assistance of the United States troops to carry out these pledges. All this I proposed to do upon condition that the Federal Government would undertake to disarm the Home Guards, which it has illegally organized and armed throughout the State, and pledge itself not to occupy with its troops any locality not occupied by them at this time."


his proclamation the next day Governor Jackson stated that nothing but. the most earnest desire to avert the horrors of civil war in the State could have tempted him to propose these humiliating terms. The interview lasted several hours and was terminated by Lyon-who had nearly monopolized the discussion-with the declaration: ''Rather than concede to the State of Missouri for one single instant the right to dictate to my Government in any matter however unimportant, I would see you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and every man, woman and child in the State, dead and buried. This means war." He strode out of the room "rattling his spurs and clanking his sabre."


Referring to this interview, the capture of Camp Jackson and other notable events of that day, Professor Samuel B. Harding, University of Indiana, in his "Missouri Party Struggles in the Civil War Period," says, page 95, that while their effect upon opinion was no doubt great, politically they were a mistake. "At all events the policy of 'Thorough,' anticipating attacks and over-riding nice distinctions of law and constitutionality, had for its effects the conversion to secession of men like Sterling Price-the president of the convention, and one of the best and most popular men in Missouri-and the complete surrender of the legislature to Governor Jackson's designs."


Governor Jackson and his party reached Jefferson City at two o'clock in the morning of June 12, and by daybreak his proclamation calling into active service the Militia of the State to the number of fifty thousand to repel invasion and to protect the lives, liberties and property of the citizens, was passing through the press. War had begun. Amid all the preparation for the conflict the rabid press began the cry for blood. All over the State cruelties and outrages upon Union people were manufactured and forwarded regularly. The publication of these letters produced the same effect upon the sentiment in Missouri as the imaginary experiences of the mythical hordes of refugees from rebel fiends in the South did upon that of a more

extended area, and were the beginnings of a method of feeding popular frenzy which ended with the exploits of "visiting Statesmen" of a later date.


The ignorant, who knew not that Washington was a rebel and that through rebellion this country gained its autonomy, were taught to believe that rebellion was the most odious and inexcusable of crimes and that every man who did not openly endorse inhuman methods of warfare was a rebel whose life and property were of right forfeited. But there were thousands of Missourians, the elite of the State; the pillars of its social fabric, who knew what rebellion meant, who knew that the blood of rebels coursed through their veins and who, loving the Union and desiring peace, stood ready, if peaceful measures failed, to declare themselves rebels as their forefathers had done, and to meet as their ancestors had met, the issue of that declaration with the last dollar, the last drop of blood. "Rebellion!" said Judah P. Benjamin, in taking leave of the United States Senate when Louisiana seceded, "the very word is a confession; an avowal of tyranny, outrage and oppression. It is taken from the despot's code, and has no terror for other than slavish souls. When, sir, did millions of people, as a single

man, rise in organized, deliberate, unimpassioned rebellion against justice, truth and honor? Traitors! Treason! ay, sir, the people of the South imitate the glory in such treason as glowed in the soul of Hampden; just such treason as leaped in living flame from the impassioned lips of Henry; just such treason as encircles with a sacred halo the undying name of Washington.ll1


This foreword is not intended as a treatment of the situation in Missouri during the period under consideration. No single event is mentioned that did not tend to substitute passion for reason. For foul' years and more there was a maelstrom of resentment and hate in the heart of every Missourian. This had been growing for ten years and there was nothing like it, before or since, in this country. Only among the mountaineers of East Tennessee was there a weak imitation of its intensity. A knowledge of the extent of this sentiment and its horrid ferocity is necessary for an appreciation of the difficulties encountered by Colonel Porter and of the endurance, courage and skill that enabled him to harass, for more than half a year in Northeast Missouri, a vigilant and active foe, twenty times superior 'in numbers and a hundred times superior in equipment and to draw from that territory five thousand Confederate soldiers

whose record left no stain on the proud name of their State.






Had there been a spark of selfishness in the character of Joseph Chrisman Porter, he would have turned a deaf ear to the call to arms. No man had more interest in the preservation of peace. No man's future seemed brighter. On the dial of his life the hand stood at the two score mark. Vigor quickened every impulse of brain and muscle. He was a tiller of the soil and it had responded generously to his industry. A beautiful home grew up and it was filled with the romping tumult of nine bright and happy children. A cultured and loyal woman was queen there. The flowers, the waving com, the trees, the birds, spoke of peace, of nature, of God; and everywhere were contentment and happiness. Troops of friends surrounded him, among them his aged father, who had carefully taught him the precepts of duty. But the demon of war came.


The History of Lewis County rendered scant justice to the Confederates who operated in Northeast Missouri, but it could only speak in praise of Colonel Porter's military efficiency: "On the morning of the 5th of July, Judge Martin E. Green set out on horseback from his farm for Canton, carrying on his arm a basket of cherries for a friend in town. A mile or so from the place he was informed of the presence of Federal troops under Palmer and, turning about, he rode straight for the secession camp at Horse Shoe Bend. A few days after his arrival he was elected colonel of the battalion or regiment. Captain Joe O. Porter was chosen lieutenant-colonel; both officers were not regularly commissioned until later. No better selections

for commanding could have been made than those of Colonels Green and Porter. Although both were farmers and without actual military experience, neither having ever put a squadron in the field, yet they seemed from the first at home in their new vocation. The occasion brought them forth. These quiet farmers developed into military leaders, with real genius and strong ability and, had not both fallen by Federal bullets, would have come out of the war with the stars of major-generals. Green became a brigadier, renowned for his strong good sense, deliberation and steadfastness of purpose, as well as for his calm bravery and other manly qualities. The war. brought to notice no braver, better soldier than Joe Porter. With an indomitable will and courage, he combined energy, sagacity and dash, the elements which make the true and successful soldier to an uncommon degree."


Colonel Porter participated in all the battles and movements of the regiment in Northeast Missouri and Northwestern Arkansas. General Thomas A. Harris, commanding the Second Division of the Missouri State Guard, in his report to General Price, referring to the field fortification at Lexington, says: "None contributed more to the zealous and efficient prosecution of the work than Lieutenant- Colonel Porter of Colonel Green's regiment, who, although severely wounded in the head by a ball, continued to afford the most untiring example to the men by his zeal and self-sacrificing services." And of his division in the siege and capture he mentions for gallant and distinguished services Colonel Green, Lieutenant-Colonels Brace Hull

and Porter. Hull, of Lincoln County, like Porter, had been wounded in the head. After the bloody battle of Elkhorn Tavern, or Pea Ridge or Monroe County. and afterwards one of the supreme judges of the State. as it is commonly called, where he successfully conducted an important movement under orders from General Green, Colonel Porter was selected by General Price, with a number of other brave and skillful officers, for the work of recruiting men in North Missouri. It was not to his liking, but a thought of self never entered his mind and he never hesitated in obeying an order. He reached his home in the early part of April and, after a few days, spent with his family, began preparations for the work entrusted to him.


With the exception of his large circle of relatives his neighbors were Union men of a very pronounced type and the territory of his proposed operations was garrisoned with Federal troops. Secrecy, judgment, continued activity and skill were necessary to success, and Colonel Porter made the completest use of these instruments. His presence first became known outside of his friends and adherents on the 17th of June, when with forty-three men in the Western part of Marion County, he captured a detachment of Colonel Lipscomb's regiment of State militia taking the equipments and paroling the men not to re-enter the service until exchanged. From then until his death wound there was no more rest.






As previously stated, the proclamation of· Governor Jackson calling out the Missouri State Guard for six months' service to repel Federal invasion, was issued Wednesday, June 12, 1861. I was in St. Louis at the time and well remember the great excitement it caused. I reached home early in the afternoon of Saturday and found Lieutenant John Q. Burbridge, of the Louisiana military company, and afterwards commanding a brigade in the Confederate army, drilling a squad. He had come to Millwood for volunteers and I immediately enlisted and left next morning for the seat of active operations.  At the expiration of the service I did not enlist, as many did, in the Confederate army, but preferred, for physical reasons, to enjoy a respite of a month or so at home. Lincoln County, for the first year of the war, was tolerably quiet. There were Union and Confederate meetings, great political enthusiasm and fierce discussions, but there was a spirit of tolerance which gave what it demanded the right to hold and to express political opinions. The militia officers were my friends and the friends of my relatives who were, without exception, intensely Southern in  sentiment. However, before the spring of 1862 had well set in, the signs of the times seemed to indicate that the safest place for me was in the Confederate army. The revelation was not altogether unpleasant, and I resolved to take the first opportunity to travel the path that led to duty. It was much longer in coming than I expected. I made many wild-goose chases into western Pike and Ralls and eastern Montgomery and Audrain following reports that here or there might be found the nucleus of a

company that could escape to the Confederate lines. Every man to whom I had been directed had the same answer: "There is nothing of the kind in this neighborhood. Your informant must have referred to some other man of my name." One afternoon, about the middle of June, sitting with Jim Reeds in front of the store of Joseph S. Wells in Nineveh, now Olney, I told of my unsuccessful efforts. Reeds was a prosperous farmer who lived one and a half miles northeast of that village.


"You might have been," he said, "on the right track. You might have been talking to the neighborhood guide whose duty it was to show you the camp. The trouble was you were unknown and you didn't have the credentials." "What kind of credentials are required?"

"The current password, the sign of recognition and such other signs as may be called for."

"Where can these signs and the password be had?"

"I can give them to you. I am the guide for this end of Lincoln County."

 "Let me have them."

He imparted them with minuteness and care, but I have long forgotten them. At the end of the lesson he said: "I have given you the secret work because I know it to be safe to do 80, and it may be useful to you hereafter. You can at this time get into a camp without it. There is a recruiting camp within two miles of where we are sitting. If you come up Wednesday morning I can take you to it." "Wednesday-day after tomorrow-will be the 18th, just a year and three days after I enlisted in the Missouri State Guard. I shall be on time."


The camp was about one and a half miles west of Nineveh in a pretty forest belonging to General John South, a fine old gentleman past three score, whose name was a true index to his political sentiment. When we reached the sentry I was struck with his youthful appearance. I afterwards learned his name was Joseph N. Haley and his age sixteen. I should have guessed it two or three years less. He was a quiet, modest boy, always obliging, always in a good humor, and careful in the performance of every duty. Captain Sylvester B. Penny-Wes Penny as he was commonly called-whose acquaintance I had made on the march to Price's army a year before, was in command. I had scarcely spoken to him before up came Green Berry Rector; who, extending his hand, said: "Aloysius, you didn't expect to find me here."

"I did not, Green. In fact, you are the last person I expected to see in this company. How did you happen to be here?"

"Oh, I have been thinking about it a long time."

"Why did you not tell me of your intentions"

"My mind was only made up right lately about the war and what I ought to do and I preferred to work out- the whole thing myself without any persuasion or influence, and if I have made a mistake nobody can be blamed but me."

Green was born in the house in which his great grandfather, Noah Rector, a soldier of the Revolution, died eight years later at the age of one hundred and two. It stands a mile west of south of where I was born-he the older by one year. We had never attended the same school and had never been playmates. His associates were few. Except his blind old ancestor and his mother he had never known a near relative. His world had been very small, but his modest, cheerful demeanor gave no sign of yearnings for a larger. His morals were above reproach. He was intelligent and his education was better than his sphere and his opportunities. He had a rich vein of quiet humor and a quick appreciation of the grotesque. He had never talked

of the war and I never knew how he regarded it. Two of his distant relatives of the same name were in the Federal militia and all the others were of pronounced Union sentiment.

I assured him of my gratification in seeing him a Confederate soldier and said I knew we should be good friends.


There were Mose Beck, of near Truxton, and Davis Whiteside, of above Auburn, whom I knew; Sam Minor, of near Prairieville; Bob South, of Price's Branch, nephew of General South and a connection of Captain Penny, and Ben Vansel, of Middletown, whom I did not know. I remained about an hour and made arrangements for joining the Company the following Tuesday, June 24, when the camp would be, as Captain Penny informed me, nearly two miles farther west. Three or four days were spent at the latter camp; a few scouting expeditions at night, and several interviews with Jim Reeds and Jim Ricks, both very active local agents, the latter especially enthusiastic, filling in the time. I was surprised one afternoon to see Frank

McAtee, of near Madisonville, Ralls County, ride into camp. His parents, like mine, were natives of Maryland, and had, some years before, with their two daughters and three sons lived a mile east of my father's. I kept up my acquaintance with them in Ralls County and knew them to be enthusiastic in the cause of the South. It took Frank a day and a half to reach our camp. At Madisonville he ran into a detachment of militia commanded by his former music teacher, Lieutenant Jeff Mayhall, of New London. Frank was a sleek talker and he easily convinced his inquisitors that he was on the way to visit relatives in Pike County. Thomas M. Robey, who had grown up to a little past the middle of his teens in my neighborhood, came into camp the

next morning and that night we left for a camp about six miles east of Middletown, and not far from the present village of Marling.


Sunrise revealed the fact that the camp was most pleasantly located. Presently the captain suggested a short walk. Out of hearing of the camp he said: "I am going home and shall be gone four or five days. A few recruits I think I can get and some other matters will take that long and I wish to bid my parents and sisters farewell, because I'm in for the war. Matters will be safe here for a week and maybe for a much longer time. I don't think I'll get away with enough men to justify two commissioned officers; so I want you to be first sergeant and I'd better appoint you now, so that you can have charge while I am absent."

"Captain, I propose .to work in harness, but I'd much rather not be an officer of any kind. The idea of commanding men older than myself is exceedingly distasteful to me. Appoint Mose Beck; he is the oldest man in the company. At least, he and Vansel are the oldest men. Ben and I have struck up quite a liking for each other, but I think Mose better suited for the position. He is a man of good judgment, of undoubted bravery and, yourself excepted, I'd rather follow his lead in battle or in the march than that of any man likely to be in the company."

"If I appoint him will you agree to do the clerical work and all the duties except commanding?"

"Most willingly."

"That will be the arrangement, then."


Ben Vansel left for his home a few miles away shortly after the captain, to remain as long as the camp was here, but he returned for an hour or so each day. The good people of the neighborhood kept us plentifully supplied with everything good to eat, and further to show their good will, gave a dancing party at Mrs. Show's in our honor. It was a very pleasant affair. Of all the ladies present I only remember one and she a very pretty one Miss Lulu Whiteside, now of Denison, Texas, the wife of J. W. Fike, a gallant Confederate soldier--her uncle, John

Bowles, I met shortly afterwards as a lieutenant under Porter. Among the young men invited to meet us were Tom Moore and Henry and Jim Lovelace, who informed us that they were going to join our company. The two brothers I had never heard of, nor had I ever seen Tom Moore, but his father's brother, a rich farmer of my neighborhood, deceased ten years, had married a relative of mine. All three proved to be the very best material. Mrs. Show's oldest son, Morgan, was much in evidence at the dance. I was glad to hear him say, in reply to a

question from Vansel, that he would not join our company. He was a member of my company in the six months' service a year before. He was a brave soldier, but a bad man; quarrelsome and utterly reckless-the black sheep of the family. Some fifteen years after the war he killed his brother, Parren, in a family quarrel and while on bail was killed by another brother--Marshall Show, who is now a preacher in Virginia.


When Captain Penny returned he brought with him Arthur W. Clayton, Andrew Nolan and four or five others. Not one of the six survivors remembers how many of these men there were, their names or anything about them. Nor does anyone remember Clayton or Nolan being in our company except Sam Minor who sends their names along with Morgan Show. I know that Sam is mistaken as to Show.


The guide for this locality was Chapell Gregory, who lived just over the line in Pike County and about two and one-half miles southwest of Louisville in Lincoln County, the father of J. S. R. Gregory, a prominent farmer of Lincoln County, living three miles northeast of Louisville and known over the three counties as "Doc" Gregory. Mr. Gregory was seventy or more years of age, but active and vigorous. He was almost as well known as his son, was, like him, an intelligent, educated man of scrupulous honesty and of intense political convictions. Between eight o'clock in the evening and three in 'the morning we made thirty or thirty-five miles and camped until next night near Madisonville, and about three miles from the home of Samuel McAtee. Frank, who had left his bed in the early hours of the morning a few days before and sneaked away on his father's best horse, claimed to be too tired to leave camp. I rode over to Mr. McAtee's, chatted an hour with his two charming daughters, Miss Lizzie, now deceased, and Miss Rose, now Mrs. Thiehoff, of Hunnewell, Shelby County, a widow with seven sons, three daughters and two sons-in-law, all strong in the inherited political faith. On my departure Mr. McAtee accompanied me to the front gate. In a serious tone he said the loss of his best horse' was an embarrassment and that if misfortune came to Frank, to whom he looked to take his place, in all probability before many years, the blow would be terrible. "But," he added brightly and almost triumphantly, "looking at it right, it's only my share, and I give it freely. Tell Frank his father expects him to act the man."


The next guide took us to about six miles west of Palmyra and at sunrise we went into camp in the edge of a pretty forest. At nine o'clock, after 'a refreshing .sleep, Captain Penny directed Ben Vansel and me to go t() the nearest house and get breakfast for the men; the guide had told him, he said, that the man's name was Young and that he was all right. The distance was only one-fourth of a mile, but we mounted our horses, as much for safety as for convenience. The house stood on open, level ground and for two miles or more the view was unobstructed. 'The road past the front gate was wide and showed sign of much travel. Hitching on either side of the gate we entered the house and Mr. Young soon made his appearance. He appeared about sixty years old---strong physically and mentally.

"Mr. Young>"


"Are you related to John Young who visited the vicinity of Millwood during the winter?"

"He is my son."

"Where is he now?"

"He's not at home."

"Mr. Young, there are twenty-two of us in the woods a short distance from here on our way to the Confederate army. I am directed by our Captain to ask you for a breakfast to take to the camp."

"You can't get anything here. I have almost been eaten out of house and home by the Federal militia, and if it were known that I fed bushwhackers they wouldn't leave me a horse, a hog or a chicken."

"I enlisted in the army a year ago, and I have learned to obey orders no matter how disagreeable they are to me. I am ordered to get a breakfast for twenty-two men."

"I am not responsible for your orders. I have to be responsible for what I do. Your horses are hitched in the main road that leads to Palmyra. The Federal militia pass here every day. If I were to furnish the breakfast it would take an hour or more to cook it. The Federals will very likely be along while you are here, and if they do there will be trouble for me. :My sentiments are known to them and I have been accused more than once of harboring bushwhackers."

"Such an accident would give us more trouble than it would give you, but we've got to risk it. We haven't had anything to eat since yesterday morning; and without that reason we'd have to take the risk. It's orders. I don't wish to prolong this interview, Mr. Young. You are an old man; I am. a boy. Don't make me say to you what I have never said to my superior in age, and what I hope I shall never say."

"I have no control of your language."

"Mr. Young, I have told you in respectful language what we came here for. Now you force me to tell you that you will have to furnish what we ask, and for your sake and for our sake, please let there be no unnecessary delay about it."

"You have the power to enforce your demands and there is nothing for me to do but to submit."

At this Mrs. Young and her two daughters, who had been interested listeners, left the room and presently Mr. Young began a pleasant run of conversation. We suspected all along the sly old fellow had been fishing for some evidence of coercion. After much less delay than we expected the announcement came that the breakfast was ready. We found two large baskets filled almost to the handles-ample breakfast for fifty hungry men. Mrs. Young admonished us to return the baskets as some other hungry boys might come along. Miss Young said they had taken the liberty to put in some delicacies which they hoped the boys would enjoy. The ladies insisted on helping us with the baskets. In doing this the younger one whispered to me: "Don't mind papa; come back twice a day as long as you stay here."


When we had passed out of hearing I asked Ben if he had received a parting message. "Yes, Miss Young told me she hoped this breakfast would nerve us to kill troops of Yankees."

I remember the details of this incident clearly, but what I remember best about it is the number of men I gave as wanting breakfast. My memory is not clear as to whether the twenty-two included one or two guides. It is possible that the guide of the preceding night had gone out and returned with the guide of the coming night. If one guide, the membership of our company, including one recruit received after joining Porter, was twenty-two; if two guides, twenty-one.


We broke camp at nine o'clock in the evening and with a guide who knew every inch of the way, every path, every tree, made an easy run of twenty-five miles to the camp of Colonel Joseph C. Porter on the North Fabius, not many miles from Monticello, the county town of Lewis County. The guide had so arranged that breakfast found us in heavy timber and that the camp was reached an hour after sunrise. It was Wednesday, July 9. The contents of Mr. Young's baskets sufficed for two meals and a generous luncheon, which we now consumed. While the boys were spreading blankets for a much needed sleep, Captain Penny, with me accompanying, reported to the colonel. Colonel Porter was about five feet, ten inches high and rather slender. His eyes were blue-gray; countenance most agreeable and voice low and musical. He received us courteously and pleasantly. His conversation never drifted away from the commonplace.

I scanned every feature, every tone, look and play of muscle. If our company should remain with him any great while I should like to know his capacity as a leader. The effort was nearly fruitless. There was repose that might indicate reserve power and there was an occasional gleam of the eye as if to read one's very thought. I remembered reading of a rich woman with an idolatrous love for pearls, but whose short wearing rendered them dull and lusterless. Then they would be passed to another woman whose wearing would restore their natural health and vigor. Was this a man whose association would dull or brighten the human pearl ¥ Something told me that he would brighten it and bring out all its energy and endurance. But we should see. Captain Penny explained that he wished to act with the regiment for a while and if in a reasonable time it could join the army in Arkansas, which was much desired by our men, we would with what recruits we could gather constitute one of its companies. In the meantime he would ask for his squad what consideration the colonel could give it, on the field or on the scout, and he felt that he could personally guarantee the confidence would not be misplaced. I could see that Colonel Porter was impressed with the Captain's earnest, modest demeanor. We then terminated the interview, which had lasted about twenty minutes, and returned to our fellows.





Shortly before noon the next day Captain Penny told me that Colonel Porter wished us to take a ride with him.

"What's up?"

"I don't know."

Knowing that Captain Penny, while a very prudent man, was always ready for anything necessary to be done, no matter how desperate, I debated while saddling up whether his reply referred to the whole subject or only to the details. It was a beautiful day--one of warm sunshine, of invigorating air gently fanned by the wind, of sweet scented leaves dancing on the boughs of giant hickory, elm and walnut trees-never a greater inspiration for the daring reconnaissance, the rollicking gallop over a picket or the wild dash in the face of superior numbers. My imagination reveled on these scenes and I wondered if they were as funny as the actors loved to paint them.

"Colonel, shall I get my gun?" when we reached the spot where he was awaiting us.

"No, only our side arms and we'll not be likely to need them. There are no Federals nearer than Palmyra and unless the situation changes from what it was an hour ago we shall not be disturbed. A good friend of mine, two miles down the road, insists on my dining with him today."

Our gait was a slow walk. I paid but little attention to the froth of conversation which preceded the taking up of a serious subject. The words of the Colonel as we rode past the camp sentinel completely filled my thoughts. How could he know the situation in Palmyra an hour ago, or three hours ago, if  "an hour ago" was a convenience of expression? What could be accomplished with one line of communication? and how was it possible to establish and maintain a sufficient number to be worth the while? When we reached the road where three could comfortably ride abreast Colonel Porter began to tell of his plans.


"I want everyone of my men to know what is expected of him. Mudd, when I asked you yesterday if you had seen service you told me you were on Bloody Hill at Wilson's Creek. Then you know what Missourians will do, and I am sure you, Captain, know equally as well. There are thousands and thousands of men in North Missouri whose ancestors fought at Long Island, at Saratoga and King's :Mountain; the sons and the grandsons of the men who fought with Jackson at New Orleans, with Gentry in the Everglades; the men and the sons of the men who marched  and fought with Doniphan and Price in New and Old Mexico. They are the material for the making of the finest soldiers in the world. What the Missourians did at

Bloody Hill they will do, whenever necessary, anywhere.


The great majority of these are ready, when the opportunity comes, to join the Confederate army: I want everyone of them, and if I am spared I am going to get everyone of them. The magnitude of this work is appalling. I did not ask for this detail, nor did I say aught against it because and r think I can say it without undue egotism-I felt that I could accomplish its purpose as well as any that were named and better than some. In truth, though, this. detail was very distasteful to me. The intense vigilance and the fearful hardship of the life I do not mind, but there are two reasons why this business is extremely distasteful to me. As you know the cry of every Union newspaper in the State is for blood, and their readers join in it. Rebels and guerrillas are the mildest terms they apply to us; they call us assassins, cut-throats, incendiaries, robbers, horse thieves and everything that is vile and despicable. They call upon the Federal troops and the militia to shoot us down on capture. It is reported that my namesake, Judge Gilchrist Porter, has given instructions to grand juries in his circuit to indict every Confederate soldier who impresses a horse in the day time as a highway robber and if the impressment is done at night the indictment must be that of a ·horse-thief.


Now, no soldier knows what the fortune of war has in store for him. If I am captured and shot like a dog, in the minds of my Union neighbors--most of my neighbors are Union men-and of the Union people in the State my name will be regarded as that of a criminal. It will take years, possibly, to remove that impression and those years will be years of suffering and reproach for my family. Another reason is that I should hate to die in a little skirmish. I hope to live through this war. I have much to live for and life is sweet to me. If I have to lay down my life I wish to do it in a great battle. It is a soldier's duty to obey orders, and I have never questioned one. ."When I came from the army last April I went to an old man in Knox County whom I had known well for many years. He is a stay-at-home man, keeps his opinions to himself, but I knew him to be intensely devoted to the cause of the South. Moreover he is a man of the strictest integrity and I can rely upon him in anything he engages to do. I told what I expected to accomplish and what cooperation I must have to achieve success. When he proffered his assistance I explained the danger of the position I wished him to take and was much impressed with his answer. He said he considered it a sin, bordering on suicide, for a man to go into danger unless it was necessary; if it was necessary no man, understanding his duty to God and his country, could refuse to go into danger without sin.


His own work he said would be measured only by his ability. He is one of the best of my men. As mapped out between us he was to acquaint himself fully with the roads, paths, streams, woods, fields, and prairies, especially their appearance at night, of as much of his immediate neighborhood and beyond as he could cover; select, with my assistance or suggestion, other men to do likewise with adjoining territories, preference being given to elderly men as less liable to suspicion. These men are known to me and to each other as guides. Then there are couriers whose duty it is to bring information. There are more of these, as wherever practicable they live not over five miles apart, so that the relays are short enough to allow rapid riding and in the event of meeting Federals or the militia to avert suspicion by being not very far from home. Some of the guides and some of the couriers are called organizers, but they are what might be termed recruiting agents. Each man's duties and his location are known to all the others. They have signs and passwords which are changed at stated periods."


"Mudd," said Captain Penny, "you remember Jim Reeds gave you the sign and password before he brought you into our camp?"


"In this way," Colonel Porter resumed, "I have something more than the eastern half of North Missouri, excepting St. Charles County and nearly all of Lincoln and Warren Counties, covered by trustworthy and efficient agents. I can travel from Clark to Chariton or from Putnam to Lincoln or Pike, by easy stages or by a furious march of day and night, and never be without a guide who knows every foot of the way, even when it is too dark to see your hand before you. If I have a bout with the Federals on the Iowa line, in three or four days our people on the Missouri river would have a correct account of it. This is necessary because the papers describe every battle as a Federal victory and their accounts of my movements are calculated to discourage our enlistments.


"In every locality I can learn where needed supplies may be had. In a certain corn crib, so many feet from the door, is a quantity of lead, powder and percussion caps brought out from Hannibal in the bottom of a capacious pair of saddle-bags topped over by a number of small packages, such as tea, rice, candy, spool thread, and the like, by some decrepit old farmer whose honest face was proof against suspicion of deceit. Almost invariably there would be a quart bottle of the best whisky half hidden beneath the other goods and, when it was discovered by the Federal picket, the sly old fellow would say, 'I'm sorry you found that, but since you have, take a pull. Touch it lightly, it'!! got to last me until I go back to town and I don't know when that will be,' all the while hoping they will drink enough to become intoxicated. In the bottom of the feed trough of a certain stall, apparently used but really unused,

in a certain stable is another lot of ammunition, and so on. At every point, if I need one horse or a. dozen, I can get the best without the loss of an hour's time. You see we have the best horses in the State-far superior to those of the Federal cavalry. Whenever practicable I get horses and all other supplies from Southern men."

"Well, whenever possible, I'd get them from Union men," said Captain Penny. "I believe in treating them as their militia treats our people. Of course I except their house burnings and murders of defenseless citizens; but when it comes to property I'm in favor of meting out to them the same measure they mete out to us. A great many Union men are Union men only because the property of Union men is safer in this State than the property of Southern men. I consider it a base sentiment to put property before principle."


"Captain, it's not safe, it's not just, to judge the motives of any man."

"1 know that. No man, I think, is less apt to judge any one individual than I. To judge men in the abstract is different. Even so, what am I to think of a man who tells me that were it not for his property in slaves he wouldn't be a Union man? Again there are prominent men in my county-and in nearly every county in the State whose attitude in politics is responsible for much of the secession sentiment, and now when the pinch comes they desert the cause and leave the men they once led to bear the grievous oppression of a militia made reckless and

irresponsible by the cry of blood that is heard all over the State. John B. Henderson is more responsible than any man in Pike County for the solidifying and the intensifying of the support of the South in our part of the State, and where do you find him today? Pike County sent him to the legislature in 1848, when he was not yet twenty-two years old. Dick Wommack, of Lincoln County, was a member in 1848; four years ago he was likewise a member and was seeking election for another term. In a speech at Auburn I heard him say that although the Jackson resolutions passed the House of Representatives by nearly two to one and the Senate by nearly four to one, it was his opinion that had it not been for the efforts of Claib Jackson in the Senate and Henderson in the House, they would not have been adopted without some toning down in their declaration in favor of the South. Wommack himself was a very earnest supporter of the Jackson resolutions, and now he is a captain of the militia. Then again, the Federals are not only impressing very liberal amounts of supplies from Southern men, but they are assessing upon them payments of money. General Halleck assessed and collected last winter from Southern men of a certain neighborhood nearly $12,000 in cash and that same kind of robbery is going on in many other parts of the State! If we live off the Southern men we help to make them the prey of friends and foe."


"There is a good deal in what you say, but I cannot bring myself to think as you do about it. When the Federal Government with its unlimited resources pounces down on some Southern man of moderate means and takes a horse or two, a fat beef or two, a liberal share of his wheat, corn and hay and repeats the visitation in a few months, the contention is that he is punished for his crimes. This is an outrage on law, on humanity. It makes crime in conviction of public duty which until now was nowhere in this land considered a crime. The exigencies of war may seem in the minds of some to call for this course of action. This view is wrong. War must supersede law to some extent, but this function should be confined to the narrowest

limits. The law does not permit me to take a man's horse, or his com, without his consent, yet I must sometimes do it, or else the purpose which I was sent here to accomplish will fail. If I apply this necessary procedure to the property of Union men exclusively, I virtually constitute myself a judicial tribunal and declare the personal opinion of Union men a crime. I cannot do that. To my mind the Union man and the secessionist are equally entitled to their opinions and, other things being equal, equally entitled to respect and immunity from oppression. The fact that the Federal forces in Missouri go far beyond military necessity in the oppression of Southern men is no reason why I should similarly oppress Union men. To the cause of the South I shall cheerfully give everything I possess, my last dollar, my life if the fate of battle so decrees, but I shall not give my conscience, my self-respect. There are dishonest Union men and I despise them; the great majority of the Union men are honest in their convictions. I accord to them the same freedom of choice and the same right to choose as I demand for myself. The majority of the people of this State are on the side of the South. On moral and intellectual lines the division of sentiment is sharp, and I am proud to know that the best blood of Missouri-which is the best in the world-is on our side. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but exceptions only demonstrate its force. I shall do nothing to bring the blush of shame to this proud people. Every act of mine shall conform to the high standard of honor maintained by the Confederate soldier, from the general in command to the humblest private. Suppose we reason on a lower plane. What good can be accomplished by the gratification of the brutal passions of man ~ Have the militia gained anything by their house-burnings, robberies and murders ~ If they have gained one man, that man is a curse to them. On the contrary, they have helped me materially in recruiting for the Confederate army. If a Southern man believes his life safer in the Confederate army than at home he'll go to the army. Could we gain a single recruit by imitating the conduct of the militia ~ Not one. To us it would be a losing game, all around. The purpose of war is to destroy armies, not non-combatants, women and children, and he who thinks differently does not understand war. My quartermaster and my commissary are instructed to give scrip, whenever possible, for everything I take. If the Confederacy establishes itself-and there can be no reasonable doubt on that score-this scrip will, I think, be redeemed. If the South is conquered this is worthless and everything I take will practically be contributed. It is not just or fair to make a man contribute to a: cause he does not approve of. It is just and fair to expect or require--to put it a little stronger-the Southern man to contribute to the support of the Confederate army. It is putting a part of the proceeds of his labor against our hardships and the risk of our lives. I cannot always confine my assessments to Southern men, but I do so whenever possible, and I think I am right.


"As I said, in every locality I know where to get what I want. I also am told in every locality how many men are ready for me. These are disposed of according to what is best under the circumstances. If there are only a few, with a chance for more, and it is safe to do so, I leave them to complete the work; if conditions are different I take them with me. I enrolled a hundred and ten men in Callaway County the other day. They made good selection of officers and they will take care of themselves, see to things generally and take a suitable opportunity to get across the Missouri river and reach the Confederate lines in safety and, if possible, without meeting any hostile force on the way. I adopt this plan whenever practicable. I do not want too many men with me. A large number would be too heavy a burden on the people and would place a great many more difficulties in the way of our success than the advantage occasionally to be derived from it would be worth. You must remember that with the exception of a few who saw service last year my men are entirely undrilled. If you think but a moment you will see that it is impossible for my men to receive any practice or instruction in the drill. This is a very serious disadvantage and the disadvantage is serious in proportion to our numbers. You know very well that a company of well drilled soldiers will, all other things being equal, easily drive a regiment of undrilled men off the field. The Federal troops in the State, the militia and even the home guards are immeasurably superior to my men in this respect. Did I not have the supremest confidence in the courage of my men, I should never meet the enemy in North Missouri. "The question as to whether I should fight at all or not has been carefully considered. My lieutenant-Colonel, Frisby H. McCullough, whom yon have not seen and who is seldom with the ,command, being actively and successfully engaged in recruiting, thinks we ought not to fight.


He is the most fearless of men, the most honorable and the gentlest. He views with horror the possibility of exposing peaceful communities to the vengeance of the militia, who are bloodthirsty only when dealing with unarmed men. I possess the same sentiment. He thinks that much of the unnecessary cruelty of war can be prevented by a policy of declining battle. I wish I could think so, because the idea of a bush fight or a small skirmish is very distasteful to me. I cannot, however, agree with Colonel McCullough as to the' effect of battle upon the brutality of the militia. In a few cases his apprehensions might be correct, but in a majority I believe a dread of battle would have a restraining effect. You know bloodthirsty men are

generally cowards. I have heard it said, though I don't know whether truthfully or not, that last September the Federal officer in command at Boonville, learning of the Confederate approach, arrested a number of citizens, held them as hostages against the attack; and his threat of placing the prisoners on the breastworks being communicated to the attacking force, caused it to withdraw from certain victory. So you see brutality and cowardice not infrequently go together. The Boonville commander's stratagem would be a favorite with our Missouri militia if it were practicable in the conditions here, but it is not practicable.


Were there not a single Confederate soldier or a guerrilla or a bushwhacker in Missouri the murdering, robbing and house-burning would go on just the same; in a diminished degree here and there, maybe, but elsewhere making amends for lost time. There are some independent companies, claiming to be Confederates, but without any authority whatever, making war upon Federal soldiers, militia and Home Guards and, if certain reports are true, upon Union men in this State. I regret this very much, but, if I am correctly informed, the men who organized and are leading these companies with such reckless disregard of consequences would be at home today, peacefully attending to their affairs had not they or their families been the victims of inhuman cruelty of the militia. I don't know what I might do if I were treated as they are said to have been treated, but 1 like to think that nothing could induce me to violate the amenities of war. As far as I have been able to judge the Federal troops coming into this State, except from Kansas, have been disposed to respect the laws of war. 1 am sorry to Bay that the Missouri militia, with some honorable exceptions, are a disgrace to the State. 1 believe they need but little incentive to outrage humanity on any and every occasion.


"1 propose to give battle whenever the circumstances are favorable, because I am satisfied that in doing so I shall greatly stimulate enlistments. I have another reason for occasionally-and perhaps much oftener than occasionally giving battle. The greater activity I display the more Federals I shall keep from the front. I believe that with 1,000 men-say five of us with an average of 200 each-we can keep at least 5,000 Federals scattered in Missouri and at the same time keep squads and companies continually going to the Confederate lines. In speaking of fighting when the circumstances are favorable, I do not mean that we shall have the advantage in numbers. We shall generally-perhaps always be outnumbered and sometimes greatly outnumbered. Nothing can be gained by attacking a smaller force and but little by engaging an equal force, and I prefer to avoid such engagements. In fighting our numbers or half our numbers there is always a possibility of losing as many men as in fighting twice our numbers, and I am not going to throw one man's life away."

The last ten words were spoken in a low tone and so slowly and earnestly that we were greatly impressed. I felt that Colonel Porter was a man to be followed anywhere with

unquestioning loyalty.


"Colonel, I think," said Captain Penny, "it the highest duty of an officer to be as careful of the lives of his men as of his own."

"It is. To sacrifice a man is murder and murder is as much a crime for a general as for a private. Apart from moral considerations it is practically-mathematically, I might say-a mistake. My conscience shall be clear of that crime and my judgment clear of that blunder. I once read of an unsentimental man who, having lost his wife, declared that he would rather three of his best cows had died. I confess I had rather lose every horse in .my command than one man. Neither shall I sacrifice a horse. In fighting I shall always choose my ground. If I cannot choose my ground I shall not fight."

"Think there might not come a time when you'd have to fight without being able to choose the ground?" asked Captain Penny.

"Such a thing is not impossible, but it is very improbable. Of course, no precaution can absolutely prevent accident, but with my watchers everywhere--on whom I rely implicitly- I feel that our chances of being surprised by the Federals are not more than one to the thousand. If we are surprised and the conditions are not favorable we can get out just about as well as we could in a defeat. I know my limitations and I believe there are few who can bring men out of a defeat any better than I. Without this belief I should never attack, nor allow an attack by, a force three or four times as large as mine."

"Without being obliged," asked Captain Penny, "would you fight a force of Federals-I am not referring to State militia now- still, some of them will fight-would you fight a force of Federals four times as large as yours?"

"Certainly; expect to do it many a time. I should not willingly do it with a thousand men. I may say I should not do it at all with a thousand. With my present numbers I should, and I think it would be good generalship. However, I should be sure, as an old farmer friend used to say, that 'the sign was right.' I should lure the enemy on; leave what we would consider unmistakable evidence of demoralization.


A pious looking farmer on the roadside would happen to be doing some work in his front yard. He would strengthen the impression already formed of our situation, and he would say that by actual count he found our number to be whatever I thought advisable. If the force is large he will magnify my number two, three or four times. If the force is small he will reduce my number half or thereabouts and say that I am hourly expecting a junction with some other Confederate, to be definitely named as occasion requires. If there is a bridge near where I intend to fight, our rear guard would pretend to be trying to tear it up or to fire it as the enemy comes in sight. Then, at the proper time, pretend to have just discovered the enemy's presence; mount and bring them in, all unsuspicious of what awaits them, as my men-the best horsemen in the world -know so well how to do. A volley into the advance guard; no bullets wasted; a shift of position, say half a mile nearer, and another volley; then steady work if the enemy wants it, but always keeping our weakness of numbers hid; shoot to hit, and our men know what firearms were made for; and if we don't do some damage to a thousand Federals, I am the worst mistaken man that ever lived in Missouri.


Whatever the issue of the battle, the commanding officer will realize that the rebels are no mean foe and there will be a loud call upon General Schofield for re-enforcements. This call will be all the louder if, when he thinks we are surrounded, we double on our tracks, ride six or eight miles at night down the bed of a stream, go singly twenty or thirty yards apart through heavy timber or thick bushes, strike a road, make thirty or forty miles at a furious gait and give a Federal troop a dozen volleys for breakfast. We will do all these things, and more, if I am spared; but I don't like the business, and when I enroll for the Confederate service the last man I can get, I shall gladly leave this field and join the main army."

There was a slight tone of sadness in the Colonel's words. He was silent for a while, then looking up pleasantly, remarked that our host might be annoyed by our tardiness and quickened the pace.


I had seen but little of life. Until my enlistment at the call of Governor Jackson, home and college had been my world. A lack of physical tone manifested in irregular, and sometimes prolonged, periods of bodily weakness, begun in poring over hooks and ended by a residence in the delightful Cumbri valley, State of Vera Cruz, in the time of Maximilian, perceptibly narrowed the opportunities of that little world and weakened confidence in my ability to measure men. In spite of this diffidence I said here is a man I can trust with my life; meek but unyielding, gentle but persistent, modest but self-reliant, mild but enthusiastic, unselfish but determined, kind but fierce in duty, charitable but exacting in the demands of public good, cool but responsive to the appeal of passion, preferring repose but ready for superhuman action, loving peace but walking resolutely before the Juggernaut of war. Under his vigilant, directing care there would always be a conservation of resources; nothing wasted, and, least of all, human effort and human life. Nothing would ever be done for the advancement

of personal fame, but everything for the success and the glory of the Cause.


A small clearing in the forest, enclosed by a low rail fence with a log cabin near the road, marked the end of our ride. As we dismounted a middle-aged, white-faced blonde, hatless and coatless, with a strange but rich voice, with unexpected courtesy and grace, bade us welcome and escorted us to seats in the shade of a spreading oak. Near by and under the huge branches of the same tree stood the ~ table, the appointment of which-the immaculate cloth, the dainty dishes, the product of excellent cookery--strongly contrasted with the surroundings. I had never before seen a native of England and here was a Yorkshireman, as I found by inquiry made at the first opportune moment. He possessed some education and was facile in conversation. His ready fund of anecdote, expression in quaint idiom and broad dialect, provided amusement and entertainment. The subjects and trend of his remarks gave no clew to his views on the political situation. My unconcern about that point precluded the most casual questioning and Captain Penny appeared equally indifferent. Our host's allusions to the war were altogether personal. He was evidently a sincere friend and admirer of Colonel Porter and his hospitable attentions to Captain Penny and myself were a tribute to that friendship. His wife, a plain looking, quiet woman, with motherly good nature showing in every feature, in every movement, attired in a neat brown calico dress, sunbonnet of same material and blue gingham apron, added real pleasure to the occasion. The names of these two people have faded out of my memory, but not the picture of contentment and peace outlined by them, their log cabin and their little clearing in the woods.





I have a dim recollection that we changed camp in the next two days--perhaps twice; but there were no events of interest enough to be retained in memory. Frank McAtee writes me that Minor Winn, of Marion County, whom he had known in Hannibal, came into camp and joined our company. I cannot recall the circumstance and but little connected with him; Joe Haley and Sam Minor remember him well. On Saturday morning John Young-the only son of him from whom four days before Ben Vansel and I persuaded a good breakfast-told me of an exciting scout the night before. "We ran into the Federals," he said, "before we knew it. It was so dark that you couldn't see your horse's head. It was a regular mix-up. We knew they were Federals by the way they talked. The revolvers cracked pretty lively for a few minutes. We did what damage we could in a hurry and then got away. I am pretty sure I got one fellow;

I ran my pistol arm between his horse's ears and to where he ought to be and let drive. It was too dark to see whether he fell or not, and when the sergeant said 'Come,' we came."

"Anybody hurt?"

"A few scratches and two horses wounded."

An hour later when a squad of Captain Cain's company came in it reported that our own men had furnished both sides of the mix-up and that the casualties were about equal. Early Sunday morning we broke camp and made a fairly rapid march northward. By noon twenty miles or more had been traversed when Colonel Porter called a halt and gave minute instruction for the work before us. We were within about two miles of Memphis, which we were going to take. The column when re-formed would be in four sections. The first, second and third sections would at the signal make a dead run and reach the north, west and east entrances to the town, respectively; ours, the fourth, would close up the south road. Sentries would be posted to stop all egress, and the remaining men would report in front of the court-house for assignment to duty. This duty would be the bringing to the court-house of every man in Memphis for parole; or, if the militia company be found at its armory or under arms, to attack it at once. The last mile would be made rapidly and in absolute silence. These directions were carried out to the letter, without a hitch and with great rapidity. There was a wooden bridge over a ditch across the road, not far from the town; here John Young was stationed to see that no one rode across it for fear the noise would give the alarm. When our company reached it, John, in a bantering way, said, "Boys, you are going to see the elephant." I reminded him that some of us had already seen it.


The surprise was complete. We had the town in our grasp and were ready for business before any of the inhabitants knew there was an armed rebel in Scotland County. The boys were much amused at the astonishment shown by the people. Our first work was done at the armory, where we got about a hundred muskets, in fine order, with cartridge boxes and much ammunition. We also secured a number of Federal uniforms. A blouse fell to me, which I wore only for comfort. My share also included a musket, accoutrements and a quantity of cartridges. The gathering in of the male population for paroling had already begun. Of all military duties· arrests were to me the most disagreeable. The fourth man I brought in kept telling me what a good Southern man he was. I stood it silently as long as my little stock of patience lasted when I blurted out, very rudely, I am afraid, "Keep your sentiments to yourself; they are nothing to me. I am only obeying orders-very distasteful orders--and one man is just the same to me as another man." My prisoner seemed much crestfallen and uttered not another word. The next place visited was perhaps the most pretentious home in the town. A young lady was standing on the porch; a very pretty brunette, modest, but easy in manner, dignified yet courteous. I don't recall why I made no arrest here, but I do remember that I was so attracted by the beauty and the behavior of her who stood before me that I did what I did on no other occasion that day: Ask the name and political sentiments of the people. In a low musical voice came the answer, "The name is Smoot and we are Southern." This lady still resides in Memphis and she is the wife of Dr. J. E. Parish.


On the way from the Smoot residence to the square for further orders, I noticed a number of our boys in front of a white-washed frame of one story, or perhaps a story and a half, and went up to discover the cause of the excitement. In the short space between the house and fence were three women and just outside the gate stood half a dozen or more boys giggling at and occasionally replying to, the talk of the virago, some of which was rather far from being refined. She was the oldest and coarsest looking of the sisters. She showered upon the boys and upon everything Southern all the maledictions in her knowledge. To a particularly furious expression Sam Minor made a witty reply which so incensed her that she let loose a horrid volley. Captain Penny was passing and heard what she said. He was a modest man, to whom anything coarse or vulgar was unbearable. He rode up to the fence and said, "Madam, aren't you ashamed to use such language?" Without a word she picked up a heavy barrel stave and flung it with tremendous force and great precision, striking the captain squarely in the breast and almost knocking him out of his seat. As soon as he recovered his breath he turned his horse and rode away. "I wish I'd killed the hell-hound. If I had a pistol I'd done it, too."


Of all present I knew only Sam Minor. There was one, the oldest in the squad, who seemed to take the matter seriously. He here put in with: ''I've a great mind to kill you. The likes of you ought to be killed for the decency of the community."

"You cowardly son of a --, you are afraid to shoot at a woman."

"Am I? Well, here goes," bringing his revolver to a level and cocking it.

I was almost sure he was bluffing but I couldn't risk the possibility of an act that would disgrace our command. With a bound I was on him and in the next moment he was disarmed. The ease with which he was handled convinced me that he intended no harm. The woman deluged me with abuse for my interference and I politely informed her that I had business elsewhere. The second of these sisters is not now living. Her husband, at the breaking out of the war, was glad to escape the environment of his home and enlist in the Federal army. He was killed at the battle of Blakely in Alabama, which was fought after both Lee and Johnston had surrendered. The other two sisters disappeared, and no one knows whether they are living or dead.


Before I could get my orders after leaving the scene of the little tempest a man came to Colonel Porter showing in his face subdued excitement and timidity. He was leading a horse and was accompanied by a physician on horseback. He at once told what he wanted. "Are you Colonel Porter?"


"Colonel, I have come to town in a great hurry for a doctor. My wife is momentarily expecting to be sick and I am anxious to get back without unnecessary delay. Your sentries let me in when I explained my business, but they wouldn't let me out."

"They are instructed to let everybody in but to let nobody out. What is your name and where do you live?"

The answer to this I have partly if not entirely forgotten, and I have failed to get the slightest clew to what would supply the missing link in the chain. I have a dim recollection that the name was something like Parsons or Harper, that he lived two or three miles northeast of the town and that the physician's name was Sanders. The colonel, with a piercing gaze, asked bluntly, but not unkindly, "What is your politics?"

The very life blood seemed to leave his veins. His face assumed an ashy whiteness and for a moment motion and sensation were paralyzed; then his eye sought the earth as if he hoped it might open and hide him from some awful fate. Only a moment and self-control came, but it was the effect of the resignation of despair. In a manly tone, not lacking in courtesy and quiet dignity, he said, "I am a Union man."

It seemed that the next word would be, "Now bring the hangman's noose," but there he stood awaiting with breathless interest the colonel's answer. Presently it came.

"And I believe an honest man. If I let you go will you give me your word of honor-I don't ask your oath-that you will give no information about me for three days t"

"That is as little as you could ask. It is-perfectly fair. I willingly give my word and I shall keep it."

"I believe you will. Doctor, have you given your parole today for the same purpose?"


"Orderly, see that these men are passed out of our lines."

In all my life I never saw a deeper gratitude depicted on a human countenance. With both hands he gave the colonel's extended hand a long embrace, saying, "Colonel Porter, I shall never forget your kindness to me this day."

"It gives me more pleasure than it does you. I hope the madam will have a fortunate time."


The little group of Memphians present heard this interview with amazement. Perhaps they might have been willing for a whole hour to admit that, after all, the terrible rebel chief had a heart and soul. Everybody brought to the court-house was required to take an oath not to give information for forty-eight hours and in addition every militiaman and suspected militiaman

was paroled not to take up arms against the Confederate States during the war unless exchanged. It is not probable that a single militiaman escaped parole, as there were men to indicate them who were well acquainted with the entire membership. One of these men was particularly officious and it seemed to us that he was extremely imprudent. He was so reckless in his remarks that some of us thought he must have been under the influence of liquor. When Captain Dawson was brought in this man said to Colonel Porter, "Don't you ever let him come back here again. He's a bad man. He's very brutal and tyrannical in dealing with Southern men."


There were no more orders for me and I strolled about a bit. I have no idea how Memphis looks now, as the three hours spent there on that beautiful Sunday afternoon were the occasion of my first and only visit. The impression then was of a pretty village filled with the pleasant homes of intelligent people. A thousand thoughts on the happiness of peace and the diabolism of war surged up to be dispelled by the commonplace philosophy, "It has to be." I had not been on the street long before I saw that something was wrong with Stacy's men. They were hot after  somebody and they seemed to be trying to hide their purpose as much as possible. I heard one whisper to another, "Have we got him yet?"

"No, damn his murderous soul; but it will be hell with him when we do get him."

"Who is he?" I inquired of the first man, 'but he gave me a searching look and, with his companion, moved off without a word. I learned afterward that the object of their wrath was Dr. Wm. Aylward and that they got him.


I returned to temporary headquarters and saw Captain William Dawson, the commander of the militia company, and his captors, who had just arrived from the captain's home, a mile or so out of town. After the sergeant had turned him in he detailed to me the incident of his capture. "Oh, he's true grit. He met us at the door with his pistol and opened fire 80 unexpectedly that it threw us into some confusion and our one or two shots went wild. I think his sight must be bad because he missed every time and yet he was perfectly cool. He had emptied his revolver and ran to the bottom of his garden before we got down to business. There a bullet in his neck halted him and he surrendered. When we started off he asked to be allowed to go by the house and bid his wife good-by. His wife was a handsome woman and everything was nice about his home. After bidding her farewell he said, 'I never expect to see you again, but I'm going to die like a man.~ He thinks we are going to kill him and he is as glum as you please, but he keeps a stiff upper lip."


Generally the attitude of the people of Memphis to us was rather sullen. Frank McAtee says a young lady whom he described as beautiful carne out of a handsome house as he was passing and gave him half a pie, which he accepted with thanks and a keen appetite. I had a more pleasant but not so profitable experience in the same line. While passing in front of the Lovell hotel, then kept by Mr. Lovell's daughter, Mrs. Martha Cox, the latter came out and asked me to invite about twenty-I forget the exact number-of the boys to dinner, with the statement that more could take their places when they had finished. One long table occupied nearly all of the apace of the dining room, from which a. door opened directly on the street. The seats around the table were quickly filled. While preparing to enjoy the inviting spread some of the boys were telling of the capture of the armory of the militia. :Mrs. Cox's oldest

daughter, a bright little girl in her tenth year, was an attentive listener and she interrupted with, "You didn't get their flag."

"Oh, yes, we did."

"You didn't get the great big United States flag, because they don't keep it there."

"No, we didn't find it."

"I know where it is. I'll show you where it is."

"Now, Virginia," said her mother, "behave yourself."

"I'll show you where it is," persisted the child, .,'1 want you to take it. I don't like the Union soldiers. You are the men I like." .

"Virginia, you'll only get us into more trouble."

"Come on, I'll show you where it is," and' she darted out.

Sure enough, it was found where the little enthusiast said it was kept. She was the first to enter the hotel on our return. She danced up to her mother in great glee, saying:

"Mama, they've got it"

Mrs. Cox had only a smile of approval for the little rebel.

We who had gone out found our places filled and had to wait for some time. I finally secured a place at the table, but in less than a minute the word was given at the door to "fall in."

I arose and thanked Mrs. Cox for her kindness. "Do you have to go now ? Can't you stay long enough to get your dinner?"

"We have to obey orders, and the orders are to fall in. I see that some of the men are already mounted."

"Are you going to have a battle?"

"I cannot say. We never know what we are going into."

"Really? Well, I hope no harm will come to you all."


Mrs. Cox was a woman of very pleasing appearance and demeanor. She died many years ago. She had four children, William A., aged eleven years, now living in the State of Washington; Virginia B., aged nine, now in an institution for the blind in St. Louis; George A., aged seven, living in Missouri, and Mary L., aged four, now the wife of Mr. Zack T. Work, Livingston, Montana. Mrs. Wark, always called Mollie, says the first event in her memory is that she was sitting on a, fence beside Grandpa Lovell, singing a rebel song, and soldiers telling her grandfather to make her stop singing that song, but that she only sang the louder. A little later one is that her mother was making a quilt border with red and white cloth, which looked

to her so much like, a rebel flag that she hoisted it out of a second-story window, where the soldiers saw and captured it. When they discovered what it was they returned it to her

mother. Little Virginia was nearly blind when she piloted us to the flag, but I was not aware of the fact, so bright looking was she and active in all her movements. It appears that her expertness was only manifested in places with which she was familiar and that her memory of locales and the position of objects was remarkable. She is now only just able to distinguish day from night.


The Rebellion Record, volume 5, page 40, says : "July 13 a party of rebel guerrillas entered Memphis, Mo., captured the militia troops stationed there, drove out the Union men, and robbed the stores."  An editorial in the Missouri Democrat (now the St. Louis Globe-Democrat) of August 1, 1862, denouncing "the murder of Dr. W. W. Aylward," goes on to say: "Our informant states that there was a general pillage in the town of Memphis of whatever the banditti wanted, money, clothing, arms, etc. Some of the citizens were kept prisoners for a few hours in the court-house. The clerk was obliged to give up the possession of his office and all the indictments on file for horse stealing and similar crimes were tom up in his presence. These and many other particulars of III kindred nature are narrated to us by a gentleman of the highest respectability, himself personally cognizant of many of the facts by presence on the spot. The number of Porter's band that entered Memphis was, by careful count, one hundred and sixty-nine."


The gentleman quoted was as short on veracity as he was said to be long on respectability. If indictments were torn up - which I do not believe - they were indictments for political offenses, for in that day some of the courts were willing' instruments of military rigor. It seems incredible that a provost guard in the short time of a hurried occupation of a county town could find the indictments or any other special papers among the records without the connivance of the clerk in charge. Again, consider the absolute futility of destroying an indictment when a new one could be speedily had where conviction was probable. But everything went in those days. The only papers worth while destroying were the bonds forced from citizens because of Southern sympathy. There was no pillaging or robbing. It was right to take the military property of the Federal militia, and even something of that was returned. Beyond this not a thing was taken except ammunition from the store of a man reported to us as a Southern sympathizer. Jacob Baxter of our command went to an acquaintance who kept a store then and does now, Mr. A. P. Patterson, and told him that he must have all the ammunition in his store. Mr. Patterson unlocked the door and gave what was required. While the estimate of our number was only exaggerated one-third, instead of fourfold or more, as was commonly done, it was next to impossible for anybody in Memphis to make a "careful count."


The "Vindication of General McNeil," a long letter written to the New York Times, December 10, 1862, by William R. Strachan, published in the Palmyra: Courier and copied by authority of the War Department into the "War of the Rebellion," series I, volume 22, part 1, page 861, says: "Porter, at the head of several thousand of these guerrillas, went into Memphis, also not garrisoned, seized a Dr. Aylward, the prominent Union man of that community, and hung him, with a halter made of hickory bark, until he was dead."

"Several thousand of these guerrillas" and "a halter made of hickory bark" show the fertile imagination of the ex-provost marshal and his indifference to facts upon which to base a vindication. Fan.cy a guerrilla using a hickory-bark halter-and in a country where that material was scarce and rope plentiful. A  prominent citizen of Memphis who well remembers our

occupation of the town writes, in answer to my inquiry of what the people thought our behavior there, "Colonel Porter's men acted very kindly to all, so far as I know, except the taking of Captain York's saddle, which was returned."

The naming of the Federal officer is probably wrong. Captain York was mortally wounded in an engagement between Colonels Porter and Lipscomb two weeks before the occupation of Memphis.


In the Memphis Democrat of July 2, 1908, Mr. Patterson, giving some of his recollections of our visit, mentions this incident: "A wounded Federal captain, whose name I have forgotten, was staying with Thomas Richardson, a merchant living here. The captain had a fine military saddle and outfit and word came to me that one of Colonel Porter's men had taken the captain's saddle. I at once turned to Colonel Porter and told him the circumstance. He spoke to one of his soldiers and told him to go down to the house and guard it until he left, and also to have the saddle returned. The guard remained there till Porter left the town, and the saddle was returned. Colonel Porter left Memphis about 6 p. m., and went to Henry Downing's farm, eight miles west of Memphis." The error in this statement is the hour of our evacuation. We left Memphis not later than four o'clock in the afternoon. It is said that some of the Memphians are still sore over their arrests. The only regret I have concerning the events of that day is my harsh language to the individual who persisted in describing how good a Southern man he was.





The hanging of Dr. Aylward during the night following our capture of Memphis was editorially branded by the Missouri Democrat "as foul a piece of assassination as ever was committed by Mexican bandits," and every other bloodthirsty organ in the State of :Missouri echoed this ferocity of expression. The same papers copied with intense approval the communication of Colonel Glover to :Major Benjamin, dated April 10, 1862, at Edina, the concluding paragraph of which reads: ":My instructions are not to bring in these fellows," referring to Bushwhackers, which term were made to cover everything Confederate, authorized or unauthorized, "if they can be induced to run, and, if the men are instructed, they can make them run," and hundreds of morsels like this: "We captured and killed one Francis Taylor, a guerrilla and thief of the worst sort," in the report of Captain Leeper to Colonel Woodson, of the Third Missouri Cavalry, which is found in "War of the Rebellion," series I, volume 21, page 684.


Colonel H. S. Lipscomb, of the Eleventh Missouri Militia, started from Shelbina, April 2, 1862, with military supplies and an escort bound for Shelbyville. Near Salt River he was attacked by Stacy, and two of his men and a citizen who had been overtaken by the escort and was riding by the side of the colonel were killed. Later in the day Stacy himself was attacked, two of his men killed-one after being thrown from his horse and surrendering. These facts are gathered from the History of Shelby County, and this extract, page 129, tells the sequel: "Captain John F. Benjamin was almost beside himself with rage and excitement. He had a room full of Confederate prisoners in the Sheriff's office upstairs in the court-house. The most of these, if not all of them, had not been regularly enlisted and mustered into the Confederate service as regular soldiers, but were partisan rangers. Benjamin declared he would shoot three of these men instanter in retaliation for the three Unionists killed that day. Among the prisoners was one Rowland Harvey (alias 'Jones' or 'Major Jones', of Clark County. A few days before this he had been captured near Elliottsville, on Salt River, by a scouting party of the Eleventh Missouri State Militia, led by Benjamin himself. Harvey was a lieutenant of a band of Confederate partisans of which Marion Marmaduke, of this county, was captain.


Captain Benjamin selected Harvey as the first victim. He was an elderly man, and it is believed was a reputable citizen. But now he was given a hard fate and a short shrift. It is said that the guard opened the door of the prison room and pulled out Harvey as a fancier thrusts his hand in a coop and pulls out a chicken. He was hurried downstairs, taken out into the stockade, southeast corner of the yard, and tied to one of the palisades with a new rope before he realized what was being done. He seemed to think the proceedings were intended merely to frighten him. In two minutes a file of soldiers was before him, and he was looking into the muzzles of six Austrian rifles. The command 'fire!' was given-there was a crash of guns-and in an instant the unfortunate man was a corpse. He could not fall to the ground, for he was lashed to the palisade, but his limbs gave way and his head dropped on his breast, while his body hung limp and twisted. By Benjamin's order the body was taken down by some Confederate sympathizers and carried into an old log building in the rear of J. B. Marmaduke's store, on the southwest corner of the square. Here it was prepared for burial and interred by the same class of citizens in the Shelbyville cemetery, where its ashes yet lie. Another prisoner captured at the same time with Harvey was John Wesley Sigler, a young man of Shelbyville. He had a close call. Benjamin selected him for the next victim from among the now terror stricken prisoners huddled together in the Sheriff's office; but now more rational-minded men interposed and better counsels prevailed.


It was urged that it would be better to wait and see what the result of Donahue's and Holliday's scout would be-maybe they would exterminate the band that had done the murderous

work. Wait and see. This was done, and soon came Donahue bearing in a wagon the corpses of Carnehan and Bradley, and these were tumbled into the room where Harvey lay, all

ghastly and gory. Then Benjamin's wrath was mollified and no one else was shot." William Carnehan was the man killed in the fight and James Bradley was the man killed after capture. They were both citizens of Shelby County. J. B. Threlkeld, now of Shelbina, who had enlisted in Captain Preston Adams' company of Colonel Green's regiment, been in the battles of that regiment, including the capture of Lexington, and left General Price's winter quarters the latter part of December with Lieutenant Oliver Sparks, bearing dispatches to several recruiting officers in North Missouri, was captured with seven others by Benjamin's men and put in prison at Shelbyville. He saw Harvey shot.


He says, "Benjamin then came to the prison, had a man named Dockton and myself called up and told us that because we were the only men he had as prisoners that had been in the Southern army he was going to send Lieutenant Donahue and thirty men after Stacy and if they did not succeed in killing two men, as soon as they returned he was going to take us out and shoot us as he did Harvey. They caught and killed Carnehan and Bradley, so Benjamin came to prison that night and released us from a death sentence by telling us what had happened. A few days after he had Harvey shot, Benjamin went to St. Louis, leaving in command his first lieutenant, who was a worse man than Benjamin. There were eighteen of us in a room ten by fourteen feet. You know we were crowded. There was a young man from north of Palmyra and he and 1 were great chums.


One day we got to joshing one of the guards. The fellow got mad and reported us to the lieutenant, who came with two more guards and told them "I put you here to guard these prisoners and if they say a word to you shoot them down; if you don't you are not the boys I take you to be."

My chum told one of the men, who must have weighed over two hundred pounds, that he didn't look like a man who would shoot another for talking. He stuck his bayonet in my chum's thigh. It was a nasty wound. I told him he was a damned coward to do such a thing. He cocked his gun, put it to his shoulder and swore he would shoot me. I told him a coward would not shoot a white man in the face. I then told him that if he and I lived through the war and met after it I would remind him of that day. We met in 1868 and I made my word good."


An extract from page 731 of the history before quoted: "His"-referring to Colonel John M. Glover, commanding the Third Missouri Cavalry-"men were instructed to enforce Halleck's and Schofield's orders against bushwhackers and to shoot them down, and they obeyed with alacrity. Glover's troops penetrated into Adair, Scotland, Clark, Lewis and Shelby Counties and killed seven men who were accused of bushwhacking. The names of some of these were William A. Marks, a relative of Colonel Martin E. Green; 1 William Musgrove, William Ewing, Standiford."


An extract from pages 732-3: "On the 8th of June a scouting party of the Eleventh Missouri State Militia, commanded by Captain W. W. Lair, made a prisoner of Major John L. Owen, who lived near Monroe City, in Marion County, and shot him. Owen had been a major in the Missouri State Guard under General Price. He had taken part in the fight at Monroe City, when he burned the depot, some cars, and destroyed other property amounting to about $25,000. Returning home in December, 1861, he found an indictment for treason hanging over him, and so he could not come in and surrender. He continued to hide out until he was captured. He was found in a patch of brush near his residence early in the morning. Near him lay his blankets and a revolver. Captain Collier and the Shelby County company made him prisoner and took him to his family. Here they assured his wife they would take him to Palmyra and would not harm him. Half a mile from his house they set him on a log against a fence and put eight bullets through him-caliber 54. The shooting was done by the immediate orders of Captain Collier, although Captain Lair was present.


These officers are now both residents of Shelbyville, and Captain Collier states that when he left Palmyra he had strict orders to enforce the terms of General Schofield's 'Orders No. 18,' enjoining the 'utmost vigilance in hunting down and destroying' all bushwhackers and marauders, who, the order said, 'when caught in arms, engaged in their unlawful warfare,' were to be shot down 'on the spot.' The action of Captains Lair and Collier was approved by their superior officers, but condemned by very many people who regarded the killing of Owen as an atrocious murder. It was said that he did not come within the purview of Schofield's order in that he was not engaged in 'unlawful warfare' at the time of his capture, and that he was unarmed. Three or four members of Collier's company have assured the writer that Owen did have a pistol near him whim captured, which he admitted was his, and this was construed to be the same as if he was 'in arms.'"


Captain Collier was easily surfeited by the work which whetted the appetite of the average Missouri militia officer. Referring to the ten prisoners shot at Macon City, September 26, 1862, the history says, page 734: "Edward Riggs was a young man. He was captured during the campaign against Porter, and confined for a time at Shelbyville, which Captain Collier commanded the post. McNeil gave Collier order to shoot him, but Collier postponed the carrying out of the order some days until a letter from the proper authorities 'came, notifying him that his resignation (which he had previously sent in) was accepted and he was out of the service. McNeil (Collier?) turned Riggs over to his successor, Captain Lampkins, informing him of the circumstances, but Lampkins said, 'Well, nobody has given me any orders to shoot him;' and so he turned him over to somebody else, and so at last he fell into the hands of Merrill. It cannot now and here be stated why these men were shot.


(They were Dr. A. C. Rowe, Elbert Hamilton, William Searcy, J. A. Wysong, J. H. Fox, David Bell, John H. Oldham, James H. Hall, Frank E. Drake and Edward Riggs. The last two were citizens of Shelby County. James Gentry had been sentenced, but a night or so previous to the day set for his execution he made his escape from the prison where he was confined and got safely away. He was then and still Is a citizen of Shelby County.)


General Merrill stated at the time and still declares that 'each of them had for the third time been captured while' engaged in the robbing and assassination of his own neighbors, and therefore the most depraved and dangerous of the band.' It was further alleged that 'all of them had twice, some of them three, and others had four times made solemn oath to bear faithful allegiance to the Federal Government, to never take up arms in behalf of the rebel cause, but in all respects to deport themselves as true and loyal citizens of the United States.' It was further charged that 'every man of them had perjured himself as often as he had subscribed to this oath, and at the same time, his hands were red with repeated murders.' For the sake of General Merrill and all those who were responsible for the execution of these prisoners, it is supposed that these charges and allegations were sustained by abundant proof. Surely unless they were, the general could never have been so cruel as to consent to their execution."


The administration of military affairs in Missouri was characterized by much vigor, but more ferocity. The instructions were, "Exterminate the rascals;" "Kill every prisoner who runs and if he doesn't run, make him run," and many others of the same meaning. A convenient excuse was: He violated his parole, he robbed, he murdered. The very men who gave these ferocious instructions to their subordinates were denounced by the rabid press of Missouri as "too lenient" and petitions went to the government, some of them at the instance of members of Congress, for the removal of General Schofield and the appointment of a general who would treat the rebels with "greater severity."


This movement was not altogether inspired by an insatiable thirst for blood. Political power was the purpose to be attained and conditions seemed to indicate that confiscation, the bullet and the torch were the surest means. Whoever has the time and the opportunity to search the records can ascertain how many reports of officers of Federal militia in Missouri there are describing the shooting of prisoners. Without special investigation I have seen many. In addition to this ghastly list there is a longer one-much longer-and on it are the names of citizens all over the State of Missouri who sympathized with the South and who, for such sentiments, were killed by the militia. In my native county of Lincoln I can recall twelve names, all reputable citizens, ten of them men of education, culture and high social standing. One of these I knew from my infancy.


His only son, my intimate companion for years, against his father's sentiment and against the sentiment of his every associate, espoused the Union cause and entered the Federal army, from which he never returned. The father had never done an overt act against the Government. When taken from his home at night he said to the officer in charge, "If you think I was concerned in the Long Arm prairie business," referring to a recent skirmish a few miles north of his home, "and will give me time I can prove to your satisfaction that I was not." "You are going to be shot," was the only answer. These lamentable occurrences were not the slightest justification for the murder of a prisoner by a Confederate, but they put a demon in the heart of many a Missourian who hitherto had never harbored a cruel thought.


I am willing that every killing of a prisoner by any command claiming, rightfully or wrongfully, to be a Confederate shall be termed murder. If the other side claim that the killing of prisoners is a punishment for the crime of rebellion the concern is not mine. Right people will rightly judge. I abhor the law of retaliation. Colonel Porter abhorred it. General Lee abhorred it. Captain Tom Stacy was a man of many admirable traits.


He was warm-hearted and generous. He went into a storm of bullets to relieve an enemy to whose appeals his comrades had turned deaf ears, and laid down his life in the act. He was as brave as Richard Coeur de Lion, as gentle as a woman and as vindictive as a savage. If one of his men were captured and killed he murdered the man who did it if he could catch him, or, failing him, the nearest man that he could catch to the man who did it. Two of his men were captured and killed.


(Dr. William Aylward lived about nine miles northeast of Memphis, and was. farming and' selling goods when the war broke out. He was assistant surgeon of Colonel Moore's command while it lay at Athens in Clark County, and at other points in 1861. He afterwards moved to Memphis and began the business* of keeping a hotel. He was a stanch Union man and a great hater of those who sympathized with the Southern cause. He was also a politician who was very outspoken and even abusive in expressing his sentiments and was extremely excitable. He was charged by his enemies with cruelly mistreating some prisoners which Colonel McNeil's forces had captured in a skirmish near Downing in Schuyler County.—History of Scotland County, page 521.)


Dr. Aylward said on the street in Memphis on Saturday, July 12, 1862, that he had bayoneted these two rebels. Aylward was a passionate man, thoroughly saturated with rebelphobia and fond of boasting of what he had done or would do to the sympathizer. It is not believed that he did what he boasted of doing. It may be that he never said he bayoneted the two men. Whether he said it, or said it not, a then resident of Memphis asserted that he did say it and told the circumstances of his saying it to a member of Stacy's company. One of the two men who were captured and killed had a brother and the other had a cousin in Stacy's company. These two were resolute men,· and the killing of a brother and a cousin, under the circumstances, was not calculated to make them less resolute. Every member of Stacy's command was a resolute man, and Stacy himself was a resolute man. The editorial to which reference was made at the beginning of the chapter continues: "He was a prisoner in the hands of Porter's band, at a dwelling or farm house about seven miles west of Memphis, which is the county seat of Scotland County. He was in the house and in bed, the house guarded by guerrillas. At midnight or later, a. squad entered the house, required him to get up and dress, on the pretense that Porter wanted to see him at his camp near by. He was hurried in dressing, with oaths and curses. His hands were pinioned behind him. In passing out he asked the owner of the house to go with him, but one of the party held a pistol to his head and forbade him to stir. Outside the door the victim was heard ejaculating prayers for a minute, but his words ceased in a gurgle of gagging or  strangulation. Next morning his body was found in a wheat field a short distance off, where it had been thrown with the mark of the rope about his neck, which, however, was not broken. Traces on a tree indicated that he had been suspended there, but there is uncertainty whether his life was taken at the door of the house, when he was led out, or by strangulation in hanging. His pockets were rifled.


"Dr. Aylward was a man of intelligence and respectability-obnoxious to the guerrillas on account alone of his active and determined loyalty."

The capture of Memphis was so quietly made and its occupation so free of noise that many of its inhabitants were ignorant of the situation until they were invited to proceed under guard to the court-house. Dr. Aylward was in a house in town, whether in his own house or a neighbor's is unknown to us, and whether he saw any of our men before leaving the house is also unknown. When he came out he asked a member of Stacy's company, Mr. W. S. Griffith, now living in Butler, Missouri:

"What men are these?"

"Who are you?"

":My name is Aylward."

"You are the man we want. We are Captain Stacy's company, of Colonel Porter's command. I'll take you to Captain Stacy."


When Griffith, with his prisoner, reported to Stacy, he was ordered not to take Aylward to the court-house, but to guard him and to keep quiet about the matter until we went into camp after evacuating Memphis. At the camp on the Downing farm Stacy and Griffith took Aylward to Colonel Porter and were told by him to select a suitable guard for the night. Stacy selected as guards the brother and the cousin of the two men who were captured and killed. He did not tell them why they were selected. The telling was not necessary; they were good guessers, and Stacy knew that they would guess right. The next morning the guards reported that the prisoner had "escaped in the darkness of the night." Mr. Griffith says that when he heard what the guard reported he had his opinion as to how he escaped, and he heard afterwards that Aylward had been found in a ditch with his neck broken.


It is unfortunate that Aylward's alleged conversation was carried to Stacy's men. His execution on evidence so insufficient was unfortunate and inexcusable. It is regrettable that the affair happened during the time Stacy's company was a part of Colonel Porter's command. It is one of the infirmities of human nature that excesses are followed by excesses in retaliation. It was so in the dawn of history; it will be so in its twilight. War breaks down many of the obstacles that hedge this savage impulse in the hearts of men, and their restoration in the consequent peace is a process of years. During the war a Union man murdered without the slightest provocation a Southern man in my native village in the northwestern part of Lincoln County, and went unwhipt of justice. Fifteen years later the murderer on very slight provocation was himself murdered. A trial jury was hard to find. The sheriff, a gallant Confederate officer, went into the southeastern part of the county and summoned every man to be a witness in the case of Blank, indicted for the murder of Blank, and every man protested that he knew nothing of the circumstances of the homicide. "Then," said the wily sheriff, "you are the very man I want as a juror, and you can't disqualify yourself." A very large panel was summoned. At the trial so many disqualified themselves on the oath that their minds were made up, past all possibility of change, that the judge accosted one of them-an intelligent and prominent farmer of Clark township, :Mr. Bart Pollard with the inquiry if his opinion were based on his knowledge of the facts in the' case. "No, sir; I know nothing of the facts."

"How, then, can you swear that your mind is made up and cannot be changed by the testimony?"

"Well, your honor, I don't care anything about the testimony. When I heard that Blank was killed, I said, 'Justice was done; he ought to have been killed twenty-five years ago.'" The

.defendant was acquitted and nineteen-twentieths of the people of the county approved the verdict.





The time between the hanging of Aylward and the engagement at Vassar Hill was filled by leisurely marching thither and hither, scouting to learn how the affair of Sunday had whetted the temper of the enemy, considerable rest and the business that Colonel Porter always had in hand. A small squad under Lieutenant Wills had a lively experience. At the end of a lane was a much larger force of Federals. The back track was hurriedly taken when it was found that the other end of the lane was occupied by a force which; while smaller, was several times too large to be attacked. The boys bolted the fence and struck across the open field. They were all riding race horses, but that did not prevent the vigorous use of both whip and spur. The lieutenant rode the prettiest and most active and high-spirited animal lover saw-a dapple-sorrel mare, which tried to keep her head in the clouds. She led the others, and coming to a narrow lane between two high rail fences she arose without apparent effort and sailed over both, to the amazement of the boys and the lieutenant as well. Wills said he could only  account for the wonderful feat by the supposition that having never before been under fire she was intensely frightened at the hail of the bullets. The severe run was the only mishap to the squad.


Late Monday afternoon we resumed the march after an hour's rest, but went eastwardly instead of westwardly, as we. had done in the afternoon. Captain Penny headed the column

and I was riding on his left. We had gone about two miles and were in a lane when I called the captain's attention to a number of horsemen a hundred yards ahead of us, and by drawing our bridle reins brought the column to a halt. The gathering darkness made doubtful the identity of the force and prevented a satisfactory estimate of its number. The outline of a farm house was visible and in front of it the troop were standing partly dismounted. We had been marching silently, as was our custom, and in the stillness we heard one of them voicing our own perplexity by saying, HI wonder who those men are." A little streak of physical cowardice developed in me when I happened to think that, heading the column, I would be in direct line of a volley should the force in front be Federal and our status be discovered, and in order to give the man behind me a chance I rode carelessly to the fence as if in an ordinary breaking-of-ranks movement. Then realizing that in the light of my experience the position I had vacated was the safer one, an equal streak of moral cowardice kept me from returning. Many a man has gone to danger and to death through moral cowardice. Only a few near the head of the column knew the reason of the halt.


Colonel Porter came forward to discover the trouble. On his order I rode half the distance between us and the unknown and called out:

"Whose command are you?"

"Whose command are you?"

"Captain Penny's."

"We are Captain Cain's."

"We wanted to know whether or not you were Federals before we came down on you."

"And we wanted to be sure you were Federals before we let drive at you."

Captain Cain had finished the business of his scout in less than the expected time and was making for the point where he knew our next camp would be.


We encamped about eight o'clock. It was here that Mr. A. P. Patterson, the brother-in-law of Captain Dawson, accompanied by the Rev. H. P. S. Willis, a Presbyterian minister, visited Colonel Porter in behalf of the captain's release. The two had been acquainted with Colonel Porter for some years. In a communication to the Memphis Democrat, Mr. Patterson says: "On Monday, July 14-, next day after Colonel Porter left Memphis, Mr. Dawson suggested that I should go and see Colonel Porter and try to effect his release, so Rev. Willis and myself started up to Porter's camp about five o'clock p. m. Porter was then, I think, at Cherry Grove Springs, about seventeen or eighteen miles west of Memphis. Seven miles west of Memphis Jacob Miller, a picket guard, fell in with us and promised to take us into camp, as we would reach the camp after dark. We arrived at the camp about ten o'clock and were shown to the tree under which Colonel Porter was lying. We at once stated our business, and that was to effect Captain Dawson's release. Porter told us he would exchange him for any Confederate. prisoners. We told him there were none nearer than Palmyra, and from this we drew the inference that there was little chance for his release. I then expressed a desire to see Captain Dawson.


Porter ordered a soldier to bring him. The soldier went and said to Dawson, when he had roused him, 'Captain Dawson, the colonel wants to see you !' As these were the same words

he had heard the previous night spoken to Dr. Aylward, and about the same time of the night, no doubt the captain thought he realized the significance of the words, 'the colonel wants

to see you.' In a few minutes the guard brought him t<l the tree under which we were sitting. Captain Dawson told Colonel Porter that he had no apologies to make for shooting at his men and no favors to ask. Porter looked at him and said, 'Captain Dawson, I have no charges against you, sir, except that you are a Federal soldier; your shooting at my men was a brave act and I honor you for it.'


( If conditions were reversed~ and a Confederate soldier were to  empty his revolver at a Missouri Federal Militia squad and fall to escape, how long would be live after capture?)


Dawson then  went back to his bed on the ground. * * * W. G. Downing, who now lives in Montana, and who was then a boy at the home of his father, Henry Downing, relates a little incident which occurred the morning Colonel Porter left the Downing farm. Mr. Downing greeted Captain Dawson, and "asked him if he wished to send any word to his family. He

said, 'No, except that if I have to die, I will die like a man.'

As Dr. Aylward had disappeared, be expected that he would go the same way. Colonel Porter assured me that Captain Dawson would not be hurt. It has been said that it was rumored next morning that Dr. Aylward had escaped, and that Porter never knew any better. That is a mistake, as what follows will show. I had promised Mrs. Aylward before leaving Memphis that I would make inquiry about Dr. Aylward. About the last thing before leaving Colonel Porter I said, 'Colonel Porter, I promised Mrs. Aylward that I would make inquiry in reference to Dr. Aylward.' He hesitated n. moment, and then said, 'He is where he will never disturb anybody else.'

I understood what that meant and dropped the subject at once, and I often wonder at my temerity for asking the question under the circumstances. The cowed condition of the people at that time was a phenomenon that is hard to account for. On our way up to Porter's camp and back we did not meet anybody on the road except the picket, who piloted us in, and no one in Memphis knew that Dr. Aylward was hung till we returned Tuesday morning."


Nevertheless, it is true that Colonel Porter did not know, when he was talking to Mr. Patterson, that Dr. Aylward had been hung, but evidently, like Mr. Griffith, "he had his opinion" about his escape. Mr. Patterson and Mr. Willie after leaving our camp, spent the night with a Baptist minister, the Rev. Mr. Lyon, who lived on the road a short distance from our camp. On Friday morning .Colonel John McNeil, with three or four of his officers, were in Memphis and stopped at the Tull Hotel. This was before Captain Dawson reached home. Mr. Patterson called on him to procure an exchange for Captain Dawson. McNeil's reply was, "No, 1 am going to fence this county with fire."


The next day there was a drizzling rain and nearly all day Wednesday there was a steady, but not very heavy, downpour. We were camped the whole day in the woods near a farm house. In the afternoon 1 called to see Colonel Porter, but neither he nor any other officer was in. Captain Dawson, his guard and one or two loungers were the occupants of the room. I took a seat on the captain's bench and about three feet from him, and engaged in small talk with the boys. Captain Dawson was as gloomy looking and as taciturn as he had been since his capture. After I had been sitting there nearly an hour I became conscious that he was scanning my face. Presently he asked in a low tone, in which he could not. quite conceal his intense feeling, "What are they going to do with me?"

"Going to parole you in a day or two."

"Will they?" and in spite of himself he manifested an increased interest.

"Yes; heard Colonel Porter say so. What did you think we were going to do to you?"

"1 didn't know."


He relapsed into silence and did his best to maintain his appearance of stolid indifference, but 1 could plainly see that a load had been lifted from his heart. His silence didn't last over five minutes and he began an extended, and what I thought a very pleasant, conversation by asking my name. When I told him he said there were Mudds in Scotland County-·very  respectable people-but they were all Union men.

"I have heard of them, but 1 never saw any of them. I was never in Scotland County before last Sunday and I suppose you were not overmuch pleased to see me, or rather, us, then,"-he enjoyed the joke more than I expected.

"They are from Kentucky while my family is from Maryland, whence the Kentucky families emigrated seventy-five years ago. There are several Kentucky families of my name in Lincoln County but only one is Union."

I said this to show a friendly feeling more than anything else and my willingness to talk seemed to please him. His personality as revealed in our talk was much more agreeable than I had supposed. I felt that he had been unjustly represented to Colonel Porter. Before I left him I assured him he need have no fear concerning his treatment by Colonel Porter. It is my recollection that Captain Dawson was paroled on Thursday afternoon, July 17. Of all the comrades in communication with me, two or three say either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning, but the great majority say, unhesitatingly, Thursday afternoon.





When we were ready to ride out of camp about the middle of the forenoon of Friday, July 18, Colonel Porter directed a close order to the companies and, sitting on his horse in easy hearing of every man, told us the Federals were following us. He did not know their strength, but he would know inside of an hour. If they push us too closely and they don't outnumber us more than five to one we shall try their mettle. "I am not going to fight," he continued, "without choosing the ground, and what I wish you particularly to understand is that I am not going to risk the life of one of you uselessly. I'd run to death every horse in the command other than lose one man. I can get all the horses I want; I cannot get all the men I want." He then began an appeal to the patriotism, the courage and the fortitude of the men. His harangue was short-but I think I never before heard such eloquence. It was the eloquence of intense earnestness for duty, for love of country, of home, of the great State that gave us birth, of its institutions and its traditions. It stirred the hearts of his hearers as they were never stirred before. There was no demonstration, no applause; the men silently filed down the road in the order assigned for the march, but everyone felt that he could follow his leader and that his leader could go anywhere.


The march was fairly rapid. Colonel Porter must have obtained satisfactory information within five or six miles after leaving camp. At the bridge over the Fabius Creek, which crossed the road in a heavily wooded locality, a guard was left to tole the Federals in. They were directed to make believe they were trying to tear up the bridge and then to fly down the road as if the furies were after them. We went about two, or perhaps two and a half, miles farther, crossing a mile or so of bottom land with little timber and into the dense woods on the hill. We found an ideal spot for our horses, hitched them, left a sufficient guard and came back to where thick hushes skirted the road's edge. I was, I think, the end man on the right. .We were instructed to lie down and keep so quiet that our volley would be the first danger signal to the Federal advance. We on the extreme right were to fire the first shot as soon as the head of the advance column reached our front and immediate firing was to run down our line to the left as far as necessary. The program was carried out to the letter. I was so fatigued that I asked Ben Vansel to rouse me in time should I fall asleep. It didn't seem very long before I was awakened by the sound of firing down the road whence we had come.


Our rear guard dashed by and on to where a sentry had been stationed a third of a mile beyond our position to guide to our corral and, after hitching horses, to our line. Less than a minute later, it seemed, the Federal advance guard galloped into sight. When the foremost men reached our spot our guns gave the signal and the others down the line, ready since the enemy came in sight, responded so quickly that the firing seemed done at one command. The surprised guard melted away under our fire. Muskets and double barrel shot guns are dreadful weapons in the hands of men who know how to shoot, and the distance was only ten feet. The History of Shelby County says, page 744: "Out of twenty-one men of his advance guard all but one were killed' or wounded." This is not quite correct. Three men at the head of the guard were left in their saddles. They halted momentarily at our fire; the leader-a handsome young fellow, who I lately learned was Sergeant Edward P. Kelsey, now living in Jersey City-gave us a searching look and, without a word or command, drove spur and with his two comrades went flying down the road away from the main body. In the safety zone they found a dim road which led them out of our range back to their command.


The word was now passed along for us to noiselessly change our position to a new one with same relation to the road and half a mile northward where we could again strike the enemy unawares. The same instructions as to firing were given and we were directed to string out the line so that in single file the men would be from six to ten feet apart. The first volley was, as before, to be delivered on signal, but all subsequent firing was to be done only by order. We did not go the expected distance and consequently the second surprise was not equal to the first; but the new position was an ideal on~, as it enabled us to give the attacking force a much exaggerated idea of our strength. While we were shifting our position a man came out of

the wood from our left and began telling the three or four who gathered around him of an exciting adventure. I learned that his name was Durkee. I had seen him on the march riding a fine dapple gray mare. He and an inseparable companion whose name I have forgotten were the most notable men of the whole command; six feet or more, perfect form, classic features, refined in manner and conversation. Durkee was genial and companionable; his friend was retiring and taciturn almost to melancholy. They were members of Captain Caldwell's company. Durkee was on the rear guard to tole the enemy in. His mare was severely wounded, became obstinate and refused to move. With bit and spur he managed to get her to the edge of the road where he was made the target of the enemy's advance guard.


Captain James E'. Mason, commanding Company I, Merrill Horse, now living at Athens, Michigan, writes me: "I remember I was in the advance guard. We come on to Porter's rear guard and charged them as they were about to tear up the bridge. We did not wait for the main command to come lip, but charged them after they left the .bridge. I remember seeing the man on the gray horse. Several of the boys fired at him; I was about to fire at him· when he threw up his hands and cried, 'Don't shoot, I surrender.' I passed on, leaving him for those in the rear to take care of, but I learned afterwards that he made into the brush and escaped."

We had scarcely taken our new position before we delivered another volley with some effect into the advance led by Captain Mason. He says: "When we were fired upon at the angle of the road Stillson's horse fell on him and he was taken prisoner. My horse was hit at the same time in the jaw and, becoming" unmanageable, ran into the woods to the left. I returned to the command in time to participate in the several charges that we made to dislodge your command after our main command came up. With Rogers' command we had, if I remember correctly, about three hundred men. Our estimate of your number was about seven hundred."


The battle was on now in earnest. The enemy made charge after charge with a persistency and a pluck that was surprising to us. After each repulse they gave us, at about one hundred yards distance, a furious fire from their carbines, but as, under orders, we immediately dropped to the ground after each charge the bullets rattled and snipped the twigs four of five feet above us. We did not respond to these volleys. We had always to be economical with our ammunition. Colonel Porter had laid particular stress upon his order not to fire, excepting our first two volleys, which were done on signal, until he gave the command. He only gave the command to fire' when the Federals were right on us. The order was minutely obeyed with one exception.


One of our boys, down the line out of my sight, losing his head, fired too soon and, when the Federal was about to ride him down, had an empty gun in his hand. This he clubbed and striking his assailant a powerful blow on the neck, killed him. Not one of our company was touched, and from our position  I could see none of our men killed or wounded. Near the

close of the action Captain 'Stacy, whose company was stationed farther down our left, passed along the road in our front and in a few minutes passed back. I saw that he was wounded in the breast and I thought I could see that he was done for. Comrade W. S. Griffith, of Butler, Missouri, who was shot in the thigh during the enemy's fourth charge and was thought

to be mortally wounded, as the hemorrhage, 80 profuse that it caused him to faint four times, was ascribed to the severing of the femoral artery, writes: "Captain Stacy's wound was

three-fourths of an inch from the left nipple. When he was shot he had a hand spike in hand prying a dead horse off the leg of a Federal who was begging us to roll the horse off him.

He and I lay on the same pallet until we started. He told me we had to die, as the doctor said we could not be saved. I knew but little of the battle after I was shot. When we got  ready to start Dr. Marshall and another man helped me on a horse, leaving Stacy still on the pallet. They rode on either side of me, holding me on until we reached the Fabius River, which we swam. I was then laid in a wagon and hauled all night to near Sharpsburg, in Marion County. Here my brother took charge of me. My father and mother met him and they hid me in the woods for weeks. I was attended by Dr. Rhodes, of Warren, who died twenty-five years ago, and who had fifteen years ago, and now, maybe, a son practicing medicine in Warren. Stacy was raised in Miller township. Marion County, near Hannibal. He left a wife, who was a :Miss Sparks, and two small children. The Sparks who was killed in the battle was no kin to Mrs. Stacy. We had twenty men in our company. We had no lieutenant, as we wanted to get enough men for a full company first, but I heard that William Hilleary acted as captain after Stacy's death. He lived near Warren, :Marion County." Sam Griffith was a good soldier in the days when good soldiers were needed, and he is a good man today.


In one of the intervals between the charges of the enemy a Federal soldier was heard piteously crying for water. Frank McAtee had a; canteen with a little water in it, and he went 'in the direction of the voice, followed by Sam Minor. They found the man, carried him to the shade of a tree, and Frank gave him his last drop of water. The grateful enemy asked them to relieve him of his jacket. They were about to comply when the bugle sounded another charge. Hastily turning the man on his side, they split the jacket from neck to tail and made tracks for their places in line. Just before our last volley Andrew Nolan and Sam Minor each picked a Federal soldier to shoot. When they fired both Federals fell. That night when cartridges were drawn Sam found two in his musket, showing that he did not fire at the enemy in the last volley, as he supposed. He says he is glad that he does not know that he ever killed a man.

There is some difference of opinion as to the number of times the Merrill Horse charged us. According to the best information I can get from the survivors who fought on either side it was seven times, and my own recollection is that it was not less than that number. Some little time after the last charge their bugler sounded "rally" loud and long. I remember wondering to myself if they would ever get enough. I was willing that they should feel that they had enough. Suppose in the charge they were about to make they should discover our weakness in numbers? If so, there would be a hot time and a bad quarter of an hour for us. The ludicrous side of it came up and I must have smiled. Ben Vansel sharply accosted me.

"Mudd, what are you laughing at?"

"Am I laughing? Well, not very heartily. I was thinking. Ben, hear that bugle sounding 'rally' They must be coming again, and as they are so much longer about it than heretofore, they are going to make this the most desperate charge of all. Suppose they were to find out how few men we have, wouldn't there be fun?--not for us. Ben, I'm not slow of foot and I have the swiftest horse in the command. You know what that means "when it becomes necessary to get away."


But the Federals had enough. After a little while we advanced one or two hundred yards and waited a half or three-quarters of an hour. Finding there would be no further attack we retraced our steps over the battlefield, picked up a number of sabers and revolvers, released Stillson from his uncomfortable position, holding him as a prisoner, attended to our two severely wounded men, and made for our horses to continue our march. We had in this engagement one hundred and twenty-five men. The History of Scotland County, page 534, says our "loss was two dead, Frank Peake and a man named Sparks, and Captain Stacy was wounded and died at Bible Grove two days after the battle." This information was given to the historian by Mr. William Purvis, who then lived and yet lives three fourths of a mile southwest of the ground and was there the next day. It is correct as far as it goes. In addition to this statement, Sam Griffith was severely wounded thought then to be mortally-Lucian B. Durkee had three or four slight wounds, received while toling the enemy in, and two or three others received wounds too slight to interfere with duty. Sparks was a boy seventeen years old. He was shot in the forehead and died in his father's arms.


Major Clopper's official report as given in The War of the Rebellion, series I, volume 13, page 163, is:


SIR: I beg leave to report that yesterday I encountered Porter's forces conjoined with Dunn's, at 12 m., and fought and routed them after a desperate and severe fight of several hours. They had an ambush well planned and drew my advance guard into it, in which my men suffered severely. :My killed and wounded amounted to eighty-three men, forty-five of which belonged to my battalion, Merrill Horse; the balance, thirty-eight, to Major Rogers' battalion, Eleventh Missouri State Militia. Among the wounded of my officers are Captain Harker, slightly; Lieutenant Gregory, Lieutenant Potter and Lieutenant Robinson. I cannot find adequate tenus to express the heroic manner in which my command stood the galling and destructive fire poured upon them by the concealed assassins. I have not time to make an official or detailed report of the action; but will do so upon the first favorable opportunity.

Colonel McNeil joined me last night with sixty-seven men. The enemy's is variously estimated at from four hundred to six hundred men. Have now halted for the purpose of burying the dead and taking care of the sick. Will pursue the enemy at 11 a. ill. this date.

They are whipped and in full flight. The forced marches I have been compelled to make and the bad condition of the roads and constant rainy weather have had the effect of exhausting my horses and men. The enemy were well concealed in dense underbrush and I must give them credit for fighting well. They will not meet me on fair ground.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major Commanding Battalion Merrill Horse.


Colonel Comdg. Saint Louis Division, Saint Louis, Mo.


"Porter's forces, conjoined with Dunn's," is a good one. We could with equal propriety say we fought "Clopper's forces, conjoined with Mason's." If Major Clopper ever made the promised detailed report it has never come to light; nor has any report from Major Rogers. Possibly the reason why Major Clopper omitted to state our securing a prisoner after the battle was over was that it wouldn't look well beside "fought and routed them." Still, considering the "temper of the times," it was a very fair report.


Mr. D. G. Harrington, a prominent ranchman of Bennett, Colorado, then a sergeant in Company H, Merrill Horse, writes: "About the 17th or 18th of July we were joined by another battalion and left Sand Mill or Sand Hill with over five hundred and fifty men after Porter and Poindexter and fought them a few miles from Memphis, where we lost something like thirteen killed and twenty-nine wounded. Estimated loss of the enemy, thirty-seven killed and forty-three wounded." Mr. Harrington gives a very interesting account of his battalion of Merrill Horse in Missouri, but a part of it has no relation to our command.


Captain George H. Rowell, of Battle Creek, Michigan, historian of his battalion. to whom I am indebted for a full and, according to my recollection, very accurate account of so much of Merrill Horse history as relates to this narrative and also for his great patience in helping to straighten out the kinks in the recollections of both of us, writes: "You ask for a fun report of the doings of our grand old regiment during that memorable campaign. This is hard to give, as the regiment was divided into several detachments when the order was given to take the field against Porter; one detachment at Columbia, which was the headquarters of the regiment; another, Companies H and C, under command of Major John Y. Clopper; another at Glasgow, under command of Major O. B. Hunt, and another at Fayette, under command of Captain James E. Mason.


The regiment was composed of troops from different States: Companies H and I from Battle Creek, Michigan; A and B from Michigan and St. Louis; C, G and K from Cincinnati, and D. E and F from North Missouri. Two companies were afterwards joined, but not until after the Porter campaign. Major Clopper's command was stationed at Sturgeon, on the North Missouri Railroad, and when the order was given to take the field against Porter the Fayette detachment was ordered to Clopper, and with four companies strong we took the field. I had just been promoted from second to first lieutenant, First Sergeant Jasper L. Gregory succeeding me as second. The command of the company devolved upon me, as the captain was. absent, sick. On the 18th of July we encountered the enemy a few miles from the village of Memphis. We had been reinforced by a company of State militia, but the Merrill Horse engaged were three

companies, 0, H and I, with possibly a few belonging to Company A.


About two and a half miles from where we encountered the enemy in force and in ambush we came to the forks of the road, and, not knowing where the enemy were, Clopper divided his command, sending me to the right with my company and six citizen guides, while he himself with the major part of his command took the left-hand fork. The road was densely wooded for a mile or more, but when coming to a small stream we found a few scouts from the enemy standing on the bridge, which were immediately charged by my advance guard, and a regular steeplechase ensued over the fourth of a mile or more of bottom land, destitute of timber, between stream and wooded hills beyond, where the enemy lay in ambush waiting and hoping for our destruction. My advance were already in the woods engaged with the enemy and had suffered some casualties, and Edward D. Stillson was captured.


Ascertaining the position of the enemy in the thick bush, I at once charged him mounted with the full company, but could not dislodge him; charged him once more mounted, and in retiring determined to dismount the company and fight as infantry. At this juncture Major Clopper came up with his command and, seeing where the enemy were, ordered me to wheel and charge again, but I, understanding the difficulties, said,

'Major, for God's sake don't order these mounted companies in there again; it will be nothing but slaughter in the thick brush.' His only answer was, 'Wheel about and charge!' which I did, he, Clopper, ordering two other companies which had come up with him to charge with me, also the company of militia before mentioned. The result was a slaughter. Killed in Company H, Edward Funnell and Miles R. Sherman; severely wounded, Second Lieutenant Jasper L. Gregory, First Sergeant Edward P. Kelsey, Corporal Joseph C. Lewis, Privates Adelbert Monroe, James H. Harper and some others slightly. Killed in Company I, Privates Walker and Hines; wounded, First Lieutenant John 'Robinson, First Sergeant Lucian B. Potter and several others whose names I do not remember. Several killed and wounded in other companies of the command, including those from the company of State militia. Our killed and wounded in the Merrill Horse, about forty; don't know the number in the militia. It was a drawn battle, the enemy hastily leaving the field as soon as the opportunity offered. I should judge the fight lasted about two hours, and closed about four o'clock in the afternoon."


Captain Rowell's statement coincides very nearly with my recollection. From his point of view it is as near the truth as is possible after so many years. He says he kept no diary and that his memory at the age of seventy-seven is defective, but evidently his memory is defective only about recent events-an infirmity which annoys all the relics of those stirring days. He gives the effective force under Major Clopper as two hundred and eighty men, which I am satisfied is a very fair estimate. He underestimated the numerical strength of Major Rogers' battalion, which he calls a company, and' there is something strange about his opinion of it. He says: "I feel that neither you nor I know accurately about its numbers. It is but little consequence anyhow; the Merrill Horse did the fighting except one volley fired by this militia company. I was close to this company when they formed in line in front of your ambush and I am positive they would not have numbered over fifty, and would swear my impressions were a less number. To me that militia company is a good deal of a myth.• They appeared on the scone that morning for the first time; they made one appearance during the fight and then vanished into nothingness. I never heard of them before or after."


Major Rogers dismounted his battalion. I did not catch sight of his men during the action, they being too far to the left of my station to be seen through the thick brush. In talking with the boys who faced the infantry, as we called them, I found that they had a very contemptuous opinion of their opponents and if I remember correctly-and the scant notes I made shortly after the affair bear me out two volleys, if not one, sufficed for them. I cannot account for the fact that our boys and a competent Federal officer should have the same identical opinion concerning this battalion, except as to numerical strength and both be wrong. When I began collecting material for this work and came across Major Clopper's official report I was astonished to find that he gave Major Rogers' loss as thirty-eight and his own only forty-five. The testimony of those living near the battlefield confirms the correctness of this total. Be it as it may, Captain Rowell is right when he says Merrill Horse did the fighting. The others were not a factor in the engagement.


Lieutenant Gregory corroborates Captain Rowell's statement. He had been on picket duty all Thursday night and instead of breakfast next morning he spent an hour in sleep. In his dreams he saw a battle brought about in which he received a severe but not fatal wound! He says that at a house opposite the mill-he being with the advance-a boy cried out, "Hurry up, they are going to hang father." It is very probable that the boy was acting under our instructions. We didn't scruple using such means to deceive, and didn't believe it any harm to mislead

the enemy at every turn. At the overtaking of Durkee and when the latter offered to surrender, "Kelsey," the lieutenant writes, "said, 'We take no prisoners,' and attempted to shoot him, but his revolver wouldn't go and the man slid off his horse and got into the woods." If this remark was made by Kelsey-and Durkee said a remark of this kind was made-it was made by Sergeant Kelsey, who died at Lansing some years ago, and not by Sergeant Edward P. Kelsey, now of Jersey City, because the latter led the advance guard and had passed Durkee before he offered to surrender. Sergeant William Bouton, now of St. Louis, who has given me much valued information, writes: "A little of the story of the fight as I saw it; I carried the guidon on that day---a most useless office"'. A guidon is useless in bushwhacking or guerrilla fighting. The advance guard of about ten men was led by Sergeant E. P, Kelsey. E. D. Stillson, who was taken prisoner, and Ed. Funnell, who was killed, were in the advance. More damage was done in that first volley to our company than by all the rest, and our company suffered more than any other on that account. When your picket was driven


(Such dreams were common during the war. In the fitful slumber between the hours of sentry duty the night before the battle of Wilson's Creek I dreamed that the enemy poured upon us at sunrise and In the bloody battle that followed I received a minie ball In the center of my forehead. I am the least superstitious person In the world and from my Infancy have been a hardened infidel as to unlucky days, events and signs, but In spite of every effort I could not shake off the impression, The first part of my dream came true; that was a coincidence, Would the second part also prove to be a coincidence? Not necessarily I reasoned, Every man near me was shot down and that, I reasoned, lessened my chances of being shot, but for two hours or more In the riot of carnage that spot in my forehead actually pained me. After a While the bullet came, but It split the sole of my shoe and the pain in my forehead wore away.)


in and the advance rushed headlong after them the company followed at a trot. When we had crossed the causeway and reached the little log house on the left of the road both sections

of the advance met. We moved up the road at a walk mounted. When the head of the column drew your fire there was a halt. About a dozen men in front dismounted without orders, took

cover as best they could, where they could see something, and used their carbines in a way that compelled my admiration, as it did yours. You can credit that less than a dozen men for

part had to hold horses'-with all the effective shooting that came from our side. I was at the middle of the company, had that guidon to hold, and could see nothing. Some of your bullets made fine music, and one came near enough so that I felt its breath. Company I came up soon in column of fours.  The lieutenant in command, who had been a sergeant in the regular army, led them alongside of us in the small brush at the left of the road. I am sorry I cannot recall his name, for he was a good fellow and got wounded at the head of his company." [Second Lieutenant Lucien B. Potter was the only wounded commissioned officer in Company.]


"Other companies came up one at a time. One company attempted to pass farther to the left, among the tall brush, but it was too thick for them to keep in ranks and they fell into disorder.

At last came our gallant major. He had not sweated his horse trying to be first at the fight. Soon his bugler sounded 'recall' and we fell back to the little log house. I was near enough to a group of officers discussing plans to hear the lieutenant of Company I beg the major to dismount his men and enter the brush before he got to your position; advance, creep, if necessary, and give his men some chance to fight. He would not take the advice. He had a plan of his own. He formed us in column and marched us slowly down that hill (no reb could make him run). 'Right turn!' along the edge of the marsh. 'Fours left wheel!' Halt!' 'Front!' and we sat there with our backs to the brush and our faces to the open marsh in that sunny afternoon. By and by some stragglers came-there will always be stragglers from the best of troop&-and told us that the rebs had gone. Then I was part of a detail sent over the ground to see if there were any wounded or any ,dead still there, or any property which we could bring off. I knew a good deal more of the character of the ground then than I had learned before. There was one butternut shot through the back whom Porter had failed to take along."


In a later letter Captain Rowell says : ''We retired leisurely from the wooded eminence to the bottom lands. This was done to collect our forces, which were much scattered, and it was here that the 'rally' was sounded to call our forces together. It was while congregated in the bottoms referred to that our outposts reported that the enemy had left. I do not think that either hostile force was anxious to renew the engagement; I know that we were not, and from the alacrity with which you mounted and left the field without bidding us good-by I infer you were of the same opinion."


The History of Scotland County, which is generally very unfair to the Confederate side, says, page 520: ''In this engagement there were eighteen Union soldiers killed outright, and five died within a few days from the effects of their wounds, making twenty-three in all, and all these were buried on the Maggard place, near where they fell. Some of them were disinterred and moved away by their friends, and the balance, thirteen in number, were afterwards taken up by order of the Government and interred in the National Cemetery at Keokuk, Iowa. * * * * The Confederate loss was small, as they fought on the defensive from a concealed position, and fled as soon as they were likely to be driven out into an open field fight. The discrepancy

between the estimates of the strength of Porter's forces, as made by the neighbors in the vicinity of the fight, is somewhat amusing. The estimate of the Union sympathizers is that given in the foregoing report (Major Clopper's), while the friends of Porter estimate his strength at less than one hundred and fifty men. But the writer is satisfied that the persons making this low estimate did not see Dunn's command at all. The Unionists lost thirteen horses killed, and a few others that were wounded and ran away, while the rebels had only two horses killed. William Purvis, who removed· the dead horses from the field the day after the battle, relates that thirteen days after the fight he found a horse belonging to one of the Union soldiers, in

a deep ravine near by. The horse was reined up and was as poor as a skeleton, having had nothing on which to subsist during that time, but the leaves of the trees and the moisture caused by the dews. He took the horse to Memphis, and the letters which he found in the saddle bags enabled him to find the owner who was among the wounded then at the hospital at that place."


As for the likelihood of being "driven out into an open field fight," there never was the slightest danger of that and besides there was no open field as far as we could see in our rear, and we had no intention of being driven forward toward the enemy where there was an open field. Under the circumstances it was better for us to wait, and we waited. The idea of anybody estimating our strength by seeing us and not seeing "Dunn's command :at all," is ridiculous. :My relations with Colonel Porter were such that I knew exactly how many men we had all the time. We had a hundred and twenty-five men in this engagement and I am positive that this figure will not miss the number actually engaged over two either way. The History of Shelby County, page 744, says: "The Federals-Merrill Horse-charged repeatedly, without avail, and if Rogers had not come up when he did, with the Eleventh, which he dismounted and put into the brush, they would have been driven from the field." As it was, Porter retreated. The Federal loss in this engagement was not far from thirty killed and mortally wounded, and perhaps seventy-five severely and slightly wounded. Merrill Horse lost ten men killed and four officers and thirty-one men wounded. The Eleventh Missouri State Militia lost fourteen killed and twenty-four wounded. Among the killed was a Mr. Shelton, of Palmyra, and Captain Sells, of Newark, was badly wounded. Porter's loss was six killed, three mortally wounded, and ten wounded left on the field.


Among the mortally wounded was Captain Tom Stacy, who died a few days afterwards. His wound was through the bowels, and he suffered intensely. He was taken to a house not far away and visited by some of the Federal soldiery, who did not abuse him or mistreat him. His wife and family lived in this county at the time. His widow, now a Mrs. Saunders, resides in the western part of the county. After the fight at Pierce's Mill, Colonel Porter moved westward a few miles, thence south through Paulville, in the eastern part of Adair County; thence southeast into Knox County, passing through Novelty, four miles east of Locust Hill, at noon on Saturday, July 19, having fought a battle and 'made a march of sixty-five miles in less than twenty-four hours".  Many of his men were from Marion County, and some of them are yet alive who retain vivid remembrances of this almost unprecedented experience. It must be borne in mind, too, that for nearly a week previously it had rained almost constantly."


The Eleventh Missouri State Militia was partly recruited in Shelby County, and John F. Benjamin, one of its majors, was a resident of Shelbyville. We had only two men killed, one mortally wounded, and we took every wounded man from the field.


The Missouri Democrat of July 25, under several heavy headlines, one of which is "The Rebels Routed and Scattered," says: "On the 18th inst. Major John Y. Clopper, in command of a detachment of Merrill Horse, about three hundred strong, and a detachment of Major Rogers's battalion, Eleventh Missouri State Militia, about one hundred strong, attacked and after a very severe fight entirely routed Porter and Dunn's combined bands of guerrillas, six hundred strong. The fight took place near Memphis, and was brought on by a small advance guard being fired upon by the enemy, who were concealed in a heavy brush and timber across the road, where they had halted and chosen the ground for their fight. They were immediately attacked by Major Clopper, and after a desperate conflict were completely driven from the field, leaving a large number of their dead and wounded on the ground. The severity of the fight is well illustrated by the fact that five successive charges across the open ground on the concealed enemy were repulsed and the sixth, resulting in a hand to hand struggle, in which one man of the Merrill Horse was killed by a blow with the stock of a musket across the back of the neck, breaking his neck. At the time the messenger left the ground all of our killed and wounded and missing had been found, amounting to eighty-three, and twenty-seven dead guerrillas had been discovered upon the field, yet the search among the thick brush for the dead and the wounded of the enemy had just commenced."


Major Clopper was, I think, generally considered by his superiors to be a good officer. General Schofield, in a dispatch to McNeil, dated July 11, says: "Major Clopper, of Merrill Horse, with about 400 men, is ordered to cooperate with you. He will reach Macon City Monday night. He is a fine officer and has an excellent battalion. He must not  be trammeled by being placed under command of an incompetent officer. If you think it desirable to increase his force, send a battalion of Colonel Lipscomb's regiment, under command of one of the majors. This, I think; would be the better course in any case." 


('War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 13, page 467.)


In his general report of operations in Missouri from April 10 to November 20, in speaking of a number of officers who "showed on numerous occasions gallant and officer-like qualities,"

General Schofield mentions Majors Clopper, Hunt and Caldwell.


Notwithstanding this, Major Clopper made a botch of it at Vassar Hill. He sacrificed the lives of brave men to no purpose. Had he acted on the advice of Captain Rowell we would have mounted our horses earlier than we did. Desiring to know whether his subordinates held my view, I addressed a number of them on the subject. Mr. D. G. Harrington, who carries fifteen wounds and seven scars from lead for which I may have been responsible, and who cherishes no hard feelings and can shake the hand of him who wore the gray as well as of him who wore the blue-a sentiment that does him honor--thinks it unbecoming to criticize the ability of his officers. Sergeant Bouton says: "I was not in the confidence of Colonel Merrill and don't know what h~ thought of the major previous to the fight at Memphis. I don't know what sort of racket was worked by which his desirable absence was secured. I know he left us between the 28th of July and the 6th of August, and I did not hear that anybody cried. A printed muster roll of Company H, made during October or November, 1862, shows that his connection with the regimental staff had not been severed at that time. They began to muster in colored troops soon after that, but I never heard, until your first letter made the statement, that he ever became colonel of anything." Lieutenant Gregory says: "When Major Clopper ordered mounted men to charge in ambush I think he did not show good judgment." Captain Rowell

says: "The general consensus of opinion in the regiment was that Clopper's management was bad, and that he uselessly sacrificed good men without understanding the position of the.


('War of the Rebellion, Series I. Volume IS, page 14.)


enemy. We here understood that he died several years ago." One week after the battle of Vassar Hill Colonel Merrill sent the following to Major Clopper: "Effect a junction with Shaffer and attack them before they unite. Do not delay too much in the matter. Pay more attention to your advance guard; make them more watchful and keep them better in hand, 80 that they do not dash in on the moment unsupported. If you find the enemy in brush or thick timber dismount and fight them on foot. Artillery would only cause enemy to scatter. I want them exterminated. Do not let your movement be too much delayed. If the enemy wants Renick, let them have it. Don't put too much faith in stories of conductors or scared runaways."


I call this engagement the battle of Vassar Hill because it is commonly so called in Scotland County. The place has been called Vassar Hill since its first settlement by a man' named Vassar. Philip Purvis owned and occupied it at the time of the battle. Colonel Porter called it the battle of Oak Ridge and many of .our boys know it by that name. This designation is appropriate but not distinctive or local. The Federals call it the battle of Pierce's Mill. The mill is about a mile and a half northwest of' the battle field. The Jacob Maggard farm, where the Federal soldiers were buried, was a mile and a half northeast of the battle field.


(War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 13, page 511.)





The horses of our company were nearest the road. The prisoner was brought up, furnished with a horse, and as I had already mounted, Colonel Porter directed that he be turned over to me. Telling him to follow me, I took a position on the road near the opening in the bushes through which the regiment would have to pass. Stillson was on my left. In the five minutes which elapsed before the head of the column came in sight I took a physical and mental inventory of the man: Anywhere from twenty-one to twenty-six years old; five feet, ten inches; one hundred and seventy-five pounds; full face, piercing but pleasant eyes, honest countenance, expression indicating force of character. Yank, if we are thrown together any length of time, we shall be friends and I am glad we've got you; your presence will be a divertissement in camp and on the march. When the regiment was riding in twos past US he was all attention.

When the last man had passed I directed him to "fall in."

He looked up in astonishment. "Are they all of you?"

"All; that is," apparently correcting myself, "all that are with us today."

"Great God I How'd you come to whip us?"

"We always come to whip the Federals. It's a habit we've got into."

"Do you know how many men we had?"


"There are five hundred men in our battalion of Merrill Horse, and with us was a battalion of militia numbering, I think, about four hundred men. You haven't over a hundred and fifty."

"Not that many. 'We had a hundred and twenty-five men in the battle and that is the number which we are now following, our losses not quite equaling the number of camp guards. The remainder of our men-and we've got a plenty to give your men all the trouble you want-are not with us just now, but we may join them in a day or two."

I was sure that he over-estimated the number of his men, but I did not tell him so. In my younger days I delighted in nothing so much as teasing other people. I chaffed him unmercifully in reply to his every inquiry as to how we got the better of the fight and he seemed to be sorely puzzled. Presently he turned squarely on me; his earnest gaze aroused my sympathy and made me sorry for my levity.

"Will you answer me an honest question?"


"Were you ever under fire before?"


"Well, I never was. I want to know if we didn't fight well?"

"I know," said I, "exactly how you feel about it. :My first battle was at Carthage, the fifth of July, last year. After it was over I was curious to know if it was really a battle. Our first lieutenant had served through the :Mexican war. I asked him how it compared with the battles he had gone through and he said it was bigger than any fought by Taylor or Scott. Then I knew I had been in a battle. Now you wish to how if your men stood up to the racket. Well, let your mind be easy on that point. Your men fought well. Veterans would not have done any better; in fact, not always so well."

"Well, how is it, then, that you whipped us?"

"Because your commander is a fool."

"I thought Major Clopper was a very good man."

"I didn't mean to say that he is a fool. I should not have used that term. What I meant is: He does not understand this business, and we do."

He did not quite catch my meaning, but I gave no further explanation. I was heartily ashamed of myself for the word I used in speaking of his major and told him so.

"Oh, I understand that," he said. "How many men did you lose?"

"Two men killed, two men severely wounded, perhaps mortally; one or two slightly wounded."

"That all?"'

"I think that's all. That's all I saw and I think I saw all our loss. Our company was in the thickest of it and we  hadn't a man touched."

"Did you know what our loss was?"

"No, but from what I saw of the field after your men left it I am sure it was heavy."

"Really ¥ How many men do you think we lost?"

"I do not know."

"Do you think we lost fifty?"

"I should say you lost more than fifty. Possibly you had as many as fifty men killed. At any rate, I am sure your killed and wounded amounted to more than fifty."

"I cannot account for it."

I could. I was on the point of enlightening him when I saw the impropriety of giving information that might be used with advantage by the enemy. So I said: "Did you ever figure on the relative merit of quality and quantity?"

"I don't know what you are trying to get at."

"Don't you acknowledge that one Southern soldier is equal to two Northern soldiers '"

"I do not. I should rather say that one Northern soldier is equal to two Southern soldiers."

"Did you ever see it demonstrated, or hear of it?"

"No, but Northern men are better physically. This comes of their more bracing climate and their habits of life: Labor on the one side, leisure on the other."

"That is a matter governed by facts of which I am inclined to think that neither you nor I have a clear conception. of, naturally, the Northern soldier is better than the Southern soldier, or the Southern soldier is better than the Northern soldier, there must be a reason for it. I don't care to go into that discussion now, but the point I wish to make is that the more principle there is behind the soldier the better soldier he is, and here we have all the advantage.

Again, we are defending our homes and our property; you are invading and despoiling."

"I don't agree that you have the principle on your side. I contend that the principle is with us. The difference between invasion and defence is so small that it is not worth considering."

As I was. only leading up to a question, I did not press the point.

"Do you know," I said, "that the newspapers and the Federal commanders of districts in Missouri are responsible for the reckless manner in which the Confederates or, as you term them, the guerrillas and bushwhackers, fight?"

"In what way.~" .

"By continually crying for blood, confiscation, the torch, no quarter for armed rebels, traitors, robbers, thieves, marauders, murderers, assassins, cut-throats, sneaks, cowards. Is that line of policy calculated to make passionate men observe the rules of civilized warfare ~ Did you ever hear of us paroling a prisoner?"

"No, I never heard of your taking a prisoner before now."

"Don't you know that we and every other body of rebel cut-throats always lose prisoners?"


"Don't you believe what the papers say of us?"

"There are a great many wild statements made, but I should hate to believe all of them are true."

"What do you expect we'll do to you?"

"I'll answer that question plainly and honestly. When my dead horse pinned me to the ground I called upon our men to relieve me. I know they heard me but no one came. On second thought I didn't blame them. The rain of bullets was terrible."

I was about to interrupt him here to say that the rain of bullets was terrible only from his side, which fired a hundred bullets to our one, that our bullets were fired not for moral but for physical effect, but I restrained myself.


''In a slight lull in the firing the idea came to me to ask your men and I did. Presently a large man came with a stout stick. As he bent over me I got a good view of him. He seemed about thirty; had coarse black hair that hung over his shoulders, black mustache, coal-black eyes and rosy face. What I noticed particularly was a long black ostrich feather in his hat. His kind words of sympathy and musical voice strongly contrasted with his fierce look."

"Do you know that that man has been denounced in the papers as the blood-thirstiest cut-throat and murderer in North Missouri, and that, as a matter of fact, his .ready, unerring

revolver has carried terror into many a Federal squad?"

"Who is he?"

"Captain Stacy."

"Well, I know he's one of the gentlest men I ever met, and I'm sure one of the bravest. When he was trying to pry my horse up the storm of bullets was particularly furious. I don't see how it could have been greater, and yet he did not bat an eye. He made a great effort to lift my horse, but could not, and he dropped the stick and walked off. As he did not say anything in going, I thought he would come back but he did not."

"Possibly that was when he was shot."

"Was he shot 1"

"Yes, and I'm afraid past recovery."


"I'm sorry to hear that. Well, as I was saying, and in reply to your question, I was much impressed by his manner. Again, when we were waiting in the road for your men to pass I carefully scanned the countenance of every man. I may not be the best judge, but I said to myself these men are not murderers. I am willing to trust you; I am willing to trust every man I saw, ride past me. You can't make me believe I am not safe in the' hands of your men."

In drawing this out of him I had no other motive than idle curiosity. I was not satisfied as to whether he was telling the truth or using diplomacy to make the best of what he thought a bad situation. I afterwards knew that he meant every word he said. At this point in our conversation the Middle Fabius was reached. It was a mile or two above the ford on the Memphis and Kirksville road. The stream here was perhaps ordinarily fordable, but now it was swollen by recent rains. It  was narrow enough to be spanned by a fallen tree, over which Colonel Porter walked. Others, carrying our little stores of ammunition, walked over on the log. I noticed Frank McAtee with a large pair of saddle bags over his shoulder carrying full seventy-five pounds of ammunition. He was seventeen years old, small for his age, and the load seemed heavy for the ticklish passage, but Frank was active, sure of foot, and got over bravely. It was not safe to walk the log, and lead one's horse. When Stillson and I, bringing up the rear, came to the Fabius three-fourths of the men were on the opposite shore and the stream was full of swimming horses and their riders and the remainder were preparing for the plunge. The situation was of some interest to me. I had heard it said that some horses were incapable of swimming. I knew that some men were, and I was  one of them. I also knew that Charlie had never been in swimming water. I was ashamed to ask anybody to lead my horse while I walked the log, and besides the prisoner had to be looked after. There was no alternative, the trial had to be made. I found courage in the thought that Charlie had never failed me in anything, and he wouldn't be Charlie if he failed me now. And he did not. Stillson enjoyed the incident as much as anybody. The crossing was made without accident and with but little delay.


Captain Tom Stacy had been left at Bible Grove, where he died two days later. Every wounded man, except Sam Griffith, was able to swim over unaided. Even with the help of two  comrades it was a nervy thing for Sam to attempt, weak and faint as he was from loss of blood, but he had the necessary nerve and more. Our gait had been a moderate trot, but now we quickened it considerably in order to reach a suitable place for feeding before dark. It was half an hour to sunset when we drew up in an ideal spot for a meeting had the enemy been

hot on our trail. The word was passed around that we should have a hard night's march and therefore horses must: be unsaddled. and well rubbed down; further, that a load of corn would be in camp by sundown. The prisoner was assigned to two guards for the night  as soon as the camp was reached. After the unsaddling about a dozen of us crowded. around him.


"Boys," said I, "this is Mr. Edward D. Stillson, of Battle Creek, Michigan, late of Company I, Merrill Horse, but now of Colonel Porter's regiment, Confederate States Army."

"How do you do, Mr. Stillson?" said Jim Lovelace, bowing low with mock gravity. "Welcome to Missouri. May you never leave it. Hungry? We'll have supper in a minute maybe."

Very few in the crowd were in the humor for jollying. Myself excepted, not one had ever before seen a Federal soldier made prisoner. They were hot and resentful over the vile epithets heaped upon us by the press and the soldiery and over the threats to hang us on the nearest tree or to shoot us down like dogs on capture and they proposed to tell this prisoner what they thought of it. Half a dozen or more began, but that was a waste of words and all dropped out except the most forceful and fluent talker.


"What did you want to come to Missouri for? Did Missourians ever interfere with the people of Michigan? Why can't you let us alone? There's not a county in the State which has not been a scene of murders, robberies, house burning and other infamous crimes by the cowardly, bloodthirsty militia. Is it the purpose of your people to come here and continue the horrible work ?"

After a little more on this line the speaker gave a ten minutes analysis of the Southern view of what led to the war and of the present attitude of the two parties in the struggle. It was a fair presentation of facts, but was made with so much feeling that invective almost obscured argument. Had it been an interesting discourse upon a nonirritating subject, Stillson could not have given it a more respectful attention.


"Men," he replied, "I admit the justice of a good deal of what you say. But the points you make and which I admit cut but little figure in the case as we view it. For the sake of argument I might admit much more and still the case as we view it would be but little affected. If as you say the North was more responsible for slavery than the South, ought I be deprived of my voice in the disposition of the issue as it exists now because my ancestors or the ancestors of my neighbor did wrong? But to put it more directly: If, as you say, sentiment of the North is a menace to the institutions of the South and we are wrong in that, are we still wrong when, in an issue which overshadows that issue, which overshadows all issues, we stand for what we believe to be the best for us, the best for you, the best for the whole country! We are for the Union of all the States. The preservation of the Union is regarded as our highest duty and the only test of patriotism. It is worth all the sacrifice we can make. We are willing to give to it our last man and our last dollar. It is not a war of conquest, it is not a war of hate, not a war of section against section; it is a war for the preservation of the Union. For the sake of peace we are willing to surrender everything but the Union, and we will never surrender that. You men make a grievous mistake if you think the North will ever consent to the disruption of the Union. This war can have only one ending; we have the men and the resources, and we are bound to win."


I was then an intense partisan of the South; I am today. Stillson's words gave me an impression of the people of the North different from what I had before and they were the beginning of that change in sentiment that has made me equally a partisan of every section of this country. I believe I was the only listener who noted what he said. The others seemed to note only how he said it. They only saw a manly man, earnest, sincere, respectful, yet yielding nothing.

"Damn a man," said the ringleader, "who won't stand up for his own side. Yank, do you play cards?"

"Euchre is about the only game I play."

"Who's got a deck?"

Everybody but me, who was an indifferent player, made a rush to get in the game with the Yank. The ringleader with a series of vigorous but good-natured kicks and cuffs narrowed the list to the requisite three, appropriating to himself the partnership with the Yank. One of the guards insisted that by virtue of his position he had the right to a hand in the game.

"Get out;" said the ringleader, "you ain't a circumstance:"

"If I can't play I'll take the prisoner over to the other end of the· camp."

"Scat, you are no guard. Whoever heard of a guard without a gun?"

"Bill and I haven't got our guns, we are responsible for the prisoner."

"Well, if you are responsible, you stand behind Henry and let Bill stand behind Jack and see that they don't cheat the Yank. And remember that the first duty of a Southern gentleman is hospitality; so after the game you go up to Captain Hickerson's restaurant and bring him a tenderloin steak cooked rare, with truffles and two bottles of claret - don't forget the claret, the Yank is no Puritan I bet you-and if you can tote it bring me an extra bottle."

The good nature of these remarks appeared to greatly amuse Stillson. In a moment, however, he became more sober and said:

":Men, there is one more word that I want to say. You spoke of the behavior of the militia of this State. I know but little of your local conditions, but I should hang my head with shame if I ever heard of Michigan men being guilty of an inhuman act."

"Put it thar," said the ringleader, affecting the backwoods pronunciation, and extending his hand. Stillson took it readily but winced with the severity of its grip.


The game was a spirited one. The four men were well matched. Stillson made two or three adroit plays that gave him and the ringleader the first five points.

"Two Confeds let a Yank beat 'em. Well, I'd sneak out of sight ii a Yank beat me at anything-even running. Boys, suppose the Yank was as slick with his gun as he is with his cards, wouldn't he be an ugly customer?"

The word to saddle horses was passed along.

"Yank," said the ringleader, "I am sorry to break up this pleasant game. I don't know when I had a better one."

"I have enjoyed it, myself, I assure you."

"I say, Yank, can you ride a horse?"

"Of course I can."

"If I ask you that question tomorrow morning I'm not sure you will give me the same answer."

"Why not?"

"Because you are going to ride tonight as you never rode before."


"That's what I said. See any signs of camping?"



"Had your breakfast ?"


"Had your dinner ?"


"Had your supped?"


"Think you'll get your breakfast tomorrow morning?"

"I hope so."

"Say 'No' if you want to guess right."

"What ?"

"Now, Yank, don't worry. I don't know when it will be, but you'll get the first bite that comes to this gang if I have to go hungry."





The twilight had deepened perceptibly before we resumed the march. In half an hour the gait was struck which, with two interruptions of about ten minutes each for changing guides, was maintained until sunrise-a rapid swinging trot. The darkness was impenetrable. No sound was heard except the monotonous, muffled stroke of the horses' feet upon the cushioned ground and the low but audible signals, at intervals, between the men of each company to prevent straggling. Stillson caught the spirit and in the same tone he would, when he thought it necessary, cry out, "Guards!"  and the answer, from a few feet away, would be, "Here!"

After a suitable time it would be, "Yank!", "Here."

These sounds were so weird that Tom Moore called out: "Whip-poor-will," and received a sharp reprimand from Captain Penny for the unnecessary noise.


Major Clopper in his official report has as an excuse for not starting on our pursuit until near noon Saturday that "the forced marches I have been compelled to make and the bad condition of the roads and constant rainy weather have had the effect of exhausting my horses and men."

The weather must have been kinder to us. The roads were in a fair condition for travel; soft enough to deaden the noise from the horses' feet and generally firm enough to maintain a good, easy footing. While our march was not "forced" by Major Clopper, we did not creep. I do not think it an exaggeration to say that with the exception of less than a dozen no better horses than ours could have been found anywhere. For ten years the hardy native horses had been improved by the best blood of Kentucky. And the men ~ Well, they rode their own horses, they knew how to ride, they wasted few bullets and they laughed at fatigue  and hunger.


Colonel Switzler in his History of Missouri, page 413, Bays we "retreated South, and in less than twenty-four hours were at Novelty, Knox County, sixty-four miles distant."

On the same page, in speaking of the general features of the campaign, he says, "we come to the extraordinary pursuit of, and brilliant skirmishes and bloody fights with, the partisan

bands of secessionists led by Colonel J o. C. Porter."

Colonel Switzler was an estimable gentleman; from my first acquaintance with him in 1871, to the date of his death he was a valued friend, but the accuracy of his historical statements

is impaired somewhat by the intensity of his sentiment during the war. This criticism has reference to his statement on the same page that we "were driven from ambush" at Pierce's Mill,

and almost every statement about Colonel Porter's transactions. However, he was much fairer than the majority, and he always aimed to be fair. Whether we were near Novelty, sixty-four miles distant, or not I do not know, as it was impossible for us to tell whether we were going in a straight line or not, but we were without doubt making good time. Shortly after sunrise

guides were changed with but little time lost and scarcely a break in our gait. The word was passed down the line for the men to get what sleep they could by relays in each company, the sleepers to be watched. to prevent unconscious drawing of the rein and consequent dropping out of ranks, and that there would be no halt during the day. And on we went.


About an hour, or possibly two hours, before daybreak Sunday morning we left the road-we were only a few miles south or southeast of Newark-and went up a short but rather steep incline into the thick bushes. Without unsaddling we threw ourselves upon the ground and for an hour or two slept the sleep 'of the just. In scaling the hill Davis Whiteside was forcibly dismounted by a grapevine, and when he arose, so dense was the darkness, he was unable to find his horse. We went only a few yards further. At daylight Davis found the animal standing by the hanging vine. We were well on our way before sunrise; so that, except at Vassar Hill, there was' practically no stop from daylight Friday until eight o'clock Sunday morning. We halted for three hours at a most suitable place for a rest or a fight--a point the colonel never overlooked. It was in the vicinity of Whaley's :Mill and about three miles east of

Colonel Porter's home. Here we had breakfast and a good feed for our horses.

"Yank," said the ringleader to Stillson, "I haven't had the chance to talk with you for a couple of days. How are you, anyhow?"

"All right, but tired."

"Tired? Really? What's the matter, been sick lately?"

"Oh no, just a little tired."

"Tired of what? Anybody been treating you bad?"

"No, but it strikes me you've been moving since I've been with you."

"Call that moving? Well, if you stay with us many days longer you may see moving that is. moving. But the funny part is that our little ride should make anybody tired. See the boys dancing over there? They aren't tired. Come over here, boys, and cheer up the Yank."

"Durn your dancing," said Jack, "the Yank's got to play euchre; I want revenge."

"You won't get it then. Don't you see there are twenty men dying to play cards with the Yank ? Yank and I can beat any two in camp, but I'm going to drop out. Let the other fellows have a chance. I say, Yank, you are going, to get your breakfast in about an hour-call it dinner if you like, or supper if you prefer. Now I want to give you a pointer that may be of help to you sometimes. You aren't hungry, I know-had your breakfast Friday morning, so you said-but it's kind of uncertain when you'll get breakfast again. What I want you to do is to eat enough to last a week if the grub holds out, and I guess it will. 'Twont hurt you. We all do it. There ain't a man in camp that can't make out with one meal a week when necessary."

"What's that you are telling me?"

"The straight truth. See any of our boys grabbing for grub to cook for themselves, I want you to try it. I don't want you to go away from us feeling that we didn't treat you the best we knew how."

"I shall certainly not do that, and I shall remember your suggestion."


Leaving twenty or thirty of the boys dancing around the card players Captain Penny and I went to call upon the colonel. We found him alone, Captain Marks having just quit him.

"Pretty little fight, Colonel," said Captain Penny.

"Wasn't it a good one? Didn't we do them up nicely'

Now, Captain, you see the force of what I told you ten days ago about fighting four times our numbers. There were perhaps more than three to one. The prisoner tells me that they had nearly eight to one, but he's mistaken. If they had five to one the outcome would have been the same. You now begin to see why I do not want many men with me."

"Think it necessary to ride so hard to get away from the force we met Friday?"

"Pm not getting away from them. I'd rather give them another turn than to get away from them at this price. No; on second thought I'll take that back. I don't see that anything could be gained by giving them a second lesson even were it as good as the first. However, I am not making this ride to get away from them. I have two reasons for it. Without the situation changes before I leave here I shall make a roundabout run to some miles beyond Florida. If my arrangements connect at two or three points the business for which I deflect from a nearly straight line can be done with only a few minutes' delay at each point and - the run will be about a forty hours' one. I shall stay over in that neighborhood a day or two, perhaps two or

three days, owing to what changes I may find in the condition of recruiting from that already reported. If two or three days, the Federals will surely find out where we are and perhaps they will do so in a shorter time. At present they are as ignorant of our whereabouts as the Missouri militia men are of moral law. The main reason I made this rapid march is that it is a good object lesson. It may teach the Federals that they must put a regiment into each county to stop me from recruiting in North Missouri."


"Colonel," I said, "I heard the boys laughing at one of our men who lost his head and fired before orders were given. He had no time to reload before the Federal was on him. In his excitement he brained the horseman with his clubbed musket. The next disobedience of orders might not result so fortunately. Don't you think it would be a good plan to take us into battle, sometimes at least, with unloaded guns and let us stand several volleys before loading? It would be hard on raw men but it would be, I think, the best discipline for them."

"I do think it a good plan and I shall adopt it wherever practicable."

An escort now came up to accompany the colonel on a visit to his home and we took our leave. We found Stillson apparently trying his best to obey the instructions of the ringleader to eat enough to last a week and without any delay we proceeded to do likewise. The meal was an excellent one for the occasion.


The commissary had furnished us plentifully with fat side bacon, ground coffee, flour and salt. Slices from the first were either fried or scorched in the flame at the end of a hazel switch; the coffee was boiled without too much water and the other ingredients were mixed with water and cooked, bannock fashion, on a griddle. The cooking was not the best, as none of our boys could have made fame, or even wages, as a chef; but the delightful air, the beautiful landscape, the scent of the walnut leaves, the boisterous good nature of the boys, our rapid transit and several other things, had whetted our appetites and made the repast a most inviting one.

"If you don't eat hearty, Yank, we'll think you don't like us," said the ringleader.

"I do like you and, by your criterion, I'm proving it."

When the word came to saddle our horses knew what was expected of them, and we knew they were ready. Sunday night, all day Monday, all night Monday night, with but few short stops, the furious ride was continued until sunrise Tuesday morning, when it was ended by the fight at Florida.





It was just light enough to distinguish the outline of the covered wooden bridge across the North Fork of the Salt River when we reached it about four o'clock in the morning of Tuesday, July 22, after what, had it not been for three stops of about twenty minutes each, would have been a continuous run of thirty>-three hours. If a single inhabitant of the little village of Florida, the birthplace of Mark Twain, had ended his peaceful slumber he made no sign. We passed through rapidly and noiselessly. The South Fork of Salt River by the road is about a mile from the North Fork and, like the latter, was at that day spanned by an old wooden bridge boarded up on the sides and covered up by a shingled 1'00£. The village is somewhat nearer the North Fork. Instead of crossing the bridge we went to the ford above, watered our horses and bearing off up the narrow valley a hundred yards, dismounted for a short encampment.


Colonel Porter sent Captain Hickerson, the commissary, with a guard of three or four men back to the village for supplies. It was just sunrise when the commissary and rear guards met on the street, and almost immediately they were fired upon by a detachment of Major Caldwell's battalion of the Third Iowa Cavalry. Captain Hickerson's horse was wounded slightly and in the excitement following the surprise young Fowler, of Captain Stacy's company, was captured. Our men gave a hurried volley and came down on the run. Colonel Porter ordered a rapid move on foot against the enemy and directed Captain Penny to take twenty well mounted men and harrass their flank and rear.

"Mudd, you have the best horse in the regiment. Come on."

"Captain, my horse struck lame about an hour ago, and I find a patch of skin knocked off his fore ankle."

"Well, you and Vansel and McAtee fall in with the men on foot."

I had exaggerated the lameness a trifle. I had never been under fire on horseback and the idea didn't impress me· very pleasantly, but my main objection was my solicitude for Charlie. I had petted him from the day he was born. We understood each other so well and were such good friends. I was afraid I would lose my patriotism if he were killed. Captain Penny with our company, less the three, galloped up the main road, and we took a short cut through the woods on a double quick. Some man up the line suggested that, "Like as not, Captain Penny will strike those fellows before we get there."

"Let us see, then," answered his neighbor, "that he doesn't."


And the race began. Our three had lost a little time on account of Captain Penny's detail and we had to bring up the rear. The wooded hill was a little heavy, but we soon scaled it and reaching the flat made a dead run toward the enemy. They had hastily formed on the far side of a narrow street or alley, in the edge of the village next to our line of approach. The head of our column struck their right and our rear had to run across to take position on their left. Their fire was a little sharp, but from our point we could not see that any damage was done.

A rail fence ran perpendicularly to the line of battle and we had to cross it to take our place. One or two bounded over it; the next man jerked off the rider and leaped over, followed by two or three. Then one tugged at the stake as if to make a gap for an easy passage, but concluding he hadn't time, sprang over and on. A man was standing by watching the maneuvers in a fever of impatience. Judging by his wrinkled features and the color of his hair and ten days' growth of beard he was between sixty-five and seventy years old. The map of Ireland was written all over his face. I had seen him in camp, but I have forgotten his name if I ever knew it. He was a good card player, and expert jig dancer; considering his age, not bad on a song,

and his droll wit and unfailing good humor made him popular with everybody. He had a white clay pipe in his mouth, the stem not over two inches long and at which he puffed vigorously. Seeing that the indecision of the men as to whether they would jump over the fence or lay down a gap was wasting valuable time, he took the pipe out of his mouth, emitted a huge expectoration and blurted out: "Tear the fence all to hill."


While at the fence it was told us that the Federals had called out to us not to shoot, that they belonged to our command and then immediately :fired a volley into us, killing Captain Marks, our quartermaster. I was too far away to hear this from the enemy and after the engagement made considerable inquiry, but could :find nobody who knew the report to be true. True or false, it caused some demoralization among a part of our men. At the fence McAtee became separated from us and went to about the center. He was only a few steps away from Captain Marks when he was shot. The captain died instantly, the bullet striking him near the center of the forehead. He was a good officer and a very estimable gentleman; quiet, dignified, clean of speech and gentle. I have forgotten where his home was.


Our right extended six or eight feet beyond their left and very near the home of Dr. Johnson, showing that we outnumbered then slightly. Ben Vansel was the end man and I the next. To our left was a company of which no member was known to Ben or myself. Somehow I got the impression that it was from the Blackfoot country in Boone County, but I had no opportunity to verify its correctness. The enemy's fire was fierce, but the men on our left were not firing and Ben commented on it, wonderingly.


Before he finished speaking, two young ladies ran out of a house near by-that of Dr. Johnson-right into the thickest of the flying bullets, waving their handkerchiefs and shouted in enthusiastic excitement: "Hurrah for Jeff Davis! Give it to 'em, my brave boys; give it to 'em."

It was a novel and inspiring sight. Ben and I stopped to enjoy it a while. The Blackfoot men seemed amused but did not heed the exhortation.

The two girls were Miss Lucy Young, the daughter of the Rev. John F. Young, who lived adjoining Dr. Johnson on the east, and Miss Sue Johnson, sister of Dr. Johnson. Both have been dead many years, but Miss Young has a sister, Miss Lizzie Young, still living in Florida.


A low rail fence was in front of us. Forty feet distant and a little obliquely to my left stood the end man of the Federals. I never knew that I had killed a man. Here was a chance. The impulse seized me much to my amazement. He had a rosy face, blue eyes, pleasant countenance, six feet high, well built and erect. Perhaps he was the favorite or only son of his parents-perhaps of a widowed mother. I brought up all these things to drive off the impulse, but it wouldn't go. I might have driven it away had not that white horn button, an inch in diameter, holding together the


(This was a mistake. Hon. C. C. Turner, presiding Justice of the Boone Court, sends me forty-two names, Including his own as a partial list of the Blackfoot Rangers, under command of Captain Frost and Lieutenant Bowles. and say they joined Porter "about July 26." Comrade C. B. Hance, city treasurer of Los Angeles, California, sends seven names, Including his own as having gone from the vicinity of Renick, Randolph County, to John Frost's company In Boone County. This list includes one name In the list of forty-two. He mentions the same Incidents as Judge Turner, but does not give the date on which the company Joined Porter. I well remember the date. It was the morning of Sunday, July 21. Until the receipt of this Information I did not know that the Blackfoot Rangers and Captain Frost's company were the same. The names are given in Appendix K. So the Blackfoot Rangers were not In the engagement at Florida, and I have failed to learn the Identity of the company I thought was the Blackfoot.)


waistband of his trousers, mocked me. It seemed to laugh at me and say: "You can't."

Grasping the slender fence stake in my left hand to give a firm rest to the barrel of my musket, I took a careful sight, saying: "Ben, watch me drive that fellow's breeches button clear

through him."

Ben's gun was a carbine. He lowered it and stood watching me. As I was about to pull trigger the man next! me ran up, snatched my arm from its rest, saying: "They are our men."

Loosening his hold, without saying a word, I quickly recovered my gun rest and aim. He repeated his maneuver and I 'brine. He played his act the third time, asserting more and more vehemently that they were our men. I became furious. Knocking him sprawling with my clenched fist, I yelled out: "I don't care a damn if they are; they are shooting at us and I'm going to shoot at them. Don't you see," addressing his fellows, "that while those men are in their shirt sleeves everyone of them has on pale blue trousers? How many of our men have on pale blue trousers?"

This seem to them to be reasonable and a number of them began firing.


A young lady ran out of the house of a Mr. Wilkerson in our front, and mounting the stile around which our bullets were raining, shouted: "They are running like dogs; give it to them, boys." This was Miss Vena A. Riddle, who taught in the school near by, though she seemed too young for a teacher. We soon found that she was right and that the enemy were running. As soon as I could I caught my aim, but by this time their whole line was in rapid retreat. I fired at my man and missed him. He and four or five others ran in the direction of where there were eight good horses hitched to a fence. The main body had gone obliquely to our left. I suggested to Ben that we head off the little squad and get the horses. He readily agreed and we jumped over the low fence, scaled two high board fences that marked two right-angle boundaries of the yard of Mr. Wilkerson's home, and which we could have avoided by bearing to the left, which course, however, would have thrown us in the line of a hot fire. When the Federals saw we were running to intercept them they evidently thought we were the advance of a larger force and they  turned sharply to the left and quickly joined the flying main body. This left the field clear for Ben and me, and we thought surely the Blackfoot men would stop firing, at least in our direction, but they poured another volley into us and the bullets whistled uncomfortably close to our ears.


"Ben, I don't believe I want those horses--at the price."

"I'm sure I don't."

We went back faster than we came. When we got to Our place in line Ben said: "Do you know why our men fired on us?"

"No, do you?"

"Yes, it was because you have on that Federal blouse."

"Sure enough; that comes of being caught with stolen goods. This blouse and: this musket belong to the Memphis militia. The blouse is more comfortable for hot weather than my coat. I ought to have pulled it off before coming, as I did at the fight last Friday, but I forgot it. I shall be more careful and wear it only in camp or on the march hereafter."

"I tell you what I think," said Ben.

"What 1"

"That there are a number of girls in this village that would like mighty well to be boys now. I bet you they'd make the Yankees see sights."

"Wasn't it fine, Ben' I saw Mrs. Sharp do the same thing at Wilson's Creek last year, but I was too' far away to take it all in. These were young tots beside her, but they had the spirit all right. I should like to take each one by the hand and tell them so."

"Of course, a boy like you would."

"Why not ?"

"Mudd, it was too bad that fellow jerked your arm away. I knew you could do what you said. When you put your eye down the barrel it was as still as death."

"Ben, I don't think I ever missed a target in my life. Bull now that it's over, I'm glad that the Blackfoot did pull my arm away. I don't know him but I'm going to look him up and tell him I'm glad he did it. I don't wish to know that I have killed a human being. I can not account for my desire to shoot the Federal. Had I succeeded, I feel that I should never forgive myself. Ben, I'm awfully ashamed for losing my temper and using the language I did. You can count all the oaths I ever let slip on the fingers of one hand. I think it an abominable habit. Think, too, of swearing when bullets are flying around you. 1 knew a man, the first lieutenant of the Callaway Guards, Company A of my regiment, at Wilson's Creek last August, who couldn't speak a sentence without four or five oaths. He had his right side to the Federals, his right arm raised over his head grasping his sword, the oaths rolling off his tongue, when a cannon ball struck him just below the armpit, cutting him nearly in two. l It was a fearful sight."


Miss Riddle, now postmistress at Huntington, Ralls County, writes: "1 was teaching at Florida and boarding at Mr. Wilkerson's. Very early in the morning 1 was awakened by Mrs. Wilkerson, who said there was trouble in town. Mr. Wilkerson had gone out to ascertain the cause


(The same ball decapitated Issac Terrill and wounded three men. Terrill and I made all the cartridges used by our regiment that day. Each contained nine bullets. There were Issued to each man a hundred cartridges and a gallon of bullets, with: orders to pour down a handful after ramming the cartridge home.)


of the alarm. Swift horsemen seemed to be going up and down the main street. We went into the garden for a while, but the 'zip, zip' of the minie balls over our heads convinced  us that the house was a better place. It was all so unexpected - so sudden that I do not think I am capable of giving a correct account; not an entire one, at least. Two Federals walked through our open hallway and one fired out eastward. I think it must have been at our boys, who were trying to get the horses hitched at the hoard fence south of Dr. Goodier's place." Miss Riddle is mistaken in this. The firing was at Captain Hickerson's commissary guard. The horses were left undisturbed until the action was over."

Ben Vansel and I made the first attempt to get them and failed.] I tried to take in the situation. I put my head out of my window but drew it in when a clothes line a few feet away was cut in two by a minie ball. Presently I thought I saw signs of the Federals giving away and I ran out to the stile and told the boys that the Federals were running. It was said that I used a swear sword, but that was an exaggeration. It was with me as if we had escaped a horrible death. We were right between the two fires. I heard Lieutenant Hartman say, 'Come on, I am your friend,' and immediately after he fired, and I think he killed Captain Marks. I think it was the next year that Hartman came through Florida on some business. He wished to get his dinner and have his horse fed, but he failed to get either. Shortly after the battle I saw a man without a coat and he seemed to be sick. I asked a friend to give him a coat, hut he was afraid of being charged with 'aiding and abetting rebels,' so I bought the coat and presented it to the coatless one. Lucy told me that she saw the Yankees retreating, many of them two on a horse. One of your men named Baker was shot in the jaw and too badly hurt to travel, and there was one wounded Federal left on the ground. We took the two to the church and treated them both alike, taking delicacies and flowers every day. Baker had to be fed principally on soup. - Uncle Robert Goodier had charge of them and attended them day and night, but the ladies visited them several times each day.


One day the Federals came and made Baker take the oath. I asked him if he were going to keep it. He said, 'Yes, I'm going to keep it. I'm going to be loyal to the Union until I am able to ride. I shall then change my allegiance, as the United States laws recognizes my right to do, swear fealty to the Confederacy and fight 'em again. Had they paroled me I should have kept it until exchanged.' The older boys used to teach two little fellows about four years old, named Dolph Johnson and Brit Hickman, to climb the fence and cry 'Hurrah for Jess Davis' whenever the Federal soldiers came through, which was sometimes daily. Captain Marks and young Fowler were buried in the graveyard on the Florida hills and my brother thinks the citizens afterwards placed a monument on the captain's grave. Lucy Young and I were dear friends and so were Lucy and Sue Johnson. My parents were natives of Virginia, but I am

proud of my native State-Missouri."

Miss Lizzie Young writes: "What you have written about the girls in the fight here is correct, as that is the way I have always heard it. I was small at that time, being younger than my sister, although I remember the morning of the fight quite well. Captain Marks was killed in my father's orchard; also one man wounded there, but I have forgotten his name. One wounded Federal was found in Dr. Goodier's henhouse. The wounded rebel was taken to our home, but in the afternoon both men were taken to the church and cared for by the citizens until able to be moved.


Several persons now living here remember the fight, but they were quite young. Two old ladies are still here, Mrs. Jane Goss and Mrs. N. J. Davidson. The younger ones have all married except myself. They are M. A. Violette, Mrs. Mary B. Vandeventer, Mrs. Sallie C. Richart and Mrs. B. D. Pollard. The picture of my sister is a poor copy of one taken eleven years after the battle. I could not find the original. She was a strong rebel. She gave Captain Hickerson a small silk rebel flag when he was taking breakfast at my father's, just after the battle. The Federals killed young Fowler just beyond the school house when they began to retreat. He and Captain Marks are buried here."

One of the captains inquired of Colonel Porter if the retreating enemy should be followed.

"No, if we engaged their whole force I don't care to pursue them; nothing could be gained by it. If we fought only the advance, the remainder may come up and if they do they will find us ready. We couldn't catch them on foot and it would take too much time to get our horses."

We were ordered to take position behind the church and the school house and keep well out of sight of the road by which the Federals retreated and on which they would be likely to appear in the event of another attack. Half an hour later pickets were sent out and we were directed to break ranks and return to camp. I loitered a little and presently I noticed a crowd that seemed· to be under some excitement. I went into it and found it was hemming in two Federal prisoners just sent in by Captain Penny and I soon learned the cause of the trouble. When young Fowler was captured he was put tinder our fire and when the Federals started to retreat a revolver was rammed into his face and he was shot!.to dead in full sight of his two brothers. The two Fowlers were in a frenzy of passion and were demanding that the prisoners be immediately hung in retaliation.


Their friends resolutely joined in the demand and nearly every one present voiced his approval. Fate seemed black for the prisoners. One of them, Samuel Creek, of Company F, vouchsafed not a word. He was the coolest and apparently the most unconcerned man on the ground. He was a good looking, well built young man of about twenty-five years. His eye moved slowly over the crowd of angry men, but his pulse never quickened and the color in his face never dimmed. The other prisoner, Robert E. Dunlap, was Creek's opposite in shape and temperament. Three inches taller, he weighed less; hatchet face and eagle nose. Angular and awkward, he was a bundle of nerves. His quick glance shot' here and there with an intensity painful to witness. He seemed to take in everything done, said and even thought. He was talking to save his neck. His face, white with emotion, bespoke intelligence and kindness and when he turned his handsome blue-gray eye full upon you' his earnest appeal for mercy-not craven but manly-stirred your deepest sympathy. All in vain. He might as well have tried to stem the hurricane by whistling against it. Young Fowler was a model boy; his two brothers were handsome, intelligent, educated and popular. Stacy's men had one will in this matter and it was for vengeance. Dunlap's knees shook and his voice faltered, but with a powerful effort he controlled his momentary weakness and continued his desperate fight for his life.


"Men," he said, "I can't blame you for how you feel in this matter. I admit you have the right to retaliate. The laws of war justify it. But is it fair? I tell you, men, it is hard for US to suffer death for the crime of another man. Neither of us had anything to do with the murder of the prisoner. I abhor such a crime. My record in the army has been an honorable one. ,I have never done a thing I should be ashamed for any of you to know. Now, men, put yourselves in our places: How would you like to suffer a disgraceful death for something for which you are not

responsible? My last appeal to you is that if you will retaliate on us, shoot us, don't hang us." Since then I have heard the great orators and actors of the country; have witnessed the most exciting events of the Confederate and Federal Congresses; listened to the pleas of famous advocates in notable trials, but I have never witnessed a more dramatic incident; I never heard a more forceful  appeal. But Dunlap's talk. was still the whisper against the tornado.


The growing cry for vengeance was hushed by the approach of Colonel Porter. Edging his way into the crowd he asked the cause of the excitement. One of the Fowlers told him. He turned sharply on Dunlap. "What is the name of the man who killed Fowler?"

"Lieutenant Hartman."

"Did you see him do it?"

"Yes, sir; just as he gave the command to retreat he drew his revolver and shot the prisoner."

"What command do you belong to?"

"The Third Iowa Cavalry."

"Major Caldwell's battalion?"

"Yes, sir."

"Where is Major Caldwell?"

"He was at Paris yesterday."

"I'll find him. I know Major Caldwell. He is a good soldier and a gentleman. I'll send him a flag of truce this afternoon and demand of him the surrender of Lieutenant Hartman. I shall hold you two men as hostages for the delivery of Hartman. If that is refused, we will then string you up. But I know Major Caldwell will do what is right. He is an honorable man:"

That settled it. Creek's countenance showed the same unconcern. The drawn lines in Dunlap's face relaxed; his breathing became easy. The high tension was broken. He spoke not a word, but his eye told his gratitude. He peered anxiously into many faces as if searching for sympathy. He got it, but there was no revelation that he recognized the fact.


There was something in Colonel Porter's manner which told me the affair was settled for good. The next morning but one it was reported that the flag of truce brought back the news that Lieutenant Hartman had been wounded in the engagement and that he had died. I learned a little later from fountain head that no flag of truce had left our command, but I kept the information to myself. Lieutenant Cravin Hartman served until the end of the war, despised and hated by his own men and brother officers. One of the latter writes me that "it was reported and generally believed that Lieutenant Hartman died with his feet about one yard off of and above the ground, which was quite appropriate, some place in Arkansas." Another writes to the same effect. Two or three years after the war I was told by a Federal Captain who had been my schoolmate and who knew Hartman in the army, that he was satisfied Hartman was killed by his own men. He was sure that they would have shot him in battle if the opportunity had come for it to be done without detection. Lieutenant Stidger is now living in Colorado. Samuel Creek is now a respected citizen of Fairfield, Iowa. Dunlap died two years ago in Keosauqua, Iowa. Their names were given-I had forgotten them-by Captain B. F. Crail, county surveyor, Fairfield, Iowa, who was a sergeant in the action in Florida. He also informed me that Sergeant Lewis G. Balding was the name of the man I drew bead upon-that is, he was "the man who stood on the extreme left." Sergeant Balding was killed October 23, 1864, in an engagement at Big Blue, Missouri. Captain Crail has given me information concerning this and other affairs that I could get nowhere else.


Captain Penny finding that he could accomplish nothing without exposing his men to our fire, so close were the lines of battle, held off and waited. When the break came he galloped into the retreating column. The Federals were getting away rapidly, but they were not demoralized. Sergeant Crail and his men made matters interesting for a little while. The horses of :Mose Beck and Bob South  were shot. Next to Captain Penny, Bob was the largest man in the company. His fall shook him up so that a severe fever set in, which rendered him unfit for service for a long time. He was much attached to his horse, a fine animal which he had raised from a colt, and his worry over its loss probably aggravated his illness. Of this incident Captain Crail writes: "You 'had eight of our men prisoners the same time you took Creek and Dunlap. I took six of them from you before you got them into camp. Who was the captain who took them ~ He had one of the men on the horse behind him. The captain caught Kirkpatrick by the left ankle and threw him off his horse when it was running at full gallop. There were two of my men on one horse (Henderson and Bristow) who, when I passed them, stopped their horse, jumped off him, in place of turning him around, and ran to the rear. I followed Creek to within forty feet of your camp." The Federal report is:



Paris, Mo., July 22, 1862,-11 A. M.

Sun: At daylight this morning Joe Porter, with his whole force, three hundred strong, come into Florida from the north, and encountered fifty of my men there. After fighting nearly an hour my men retreated. Our killed, wounded and missing number twenty-six. The enemy's loss in killed will greatly exceed ours. I can maintain my position here, but I have not sufficient force to hold the town and pursue. I cannot tell at this hour whether Porter will return north, continue south, or remain on Salt River. I go to Florida at once with one hundred men. I would

suggest that a force three hundred strong be sent out to Florida at once.



Major Third Iowa Cavalry.

Cal.. LEWIS MERRILL, Saint Louis, Mo.


Major of Third Iowa Cavalry


This report gives fifty as the number of the Federal force. Captain Crail in a letter to me says there were twenty men of his company, F, and two sergeants under Lieutenant Hartman, and the same number of Company G under command of Lieutenant Stidger. Hartman, being senior officer, was in command. If Major Caldwell made his report on his own knowledge, the number must be taken out of controversy: It was fifty. But if his report was based on information obtained from Lieutenant Hartman it is entitled to no credence whatever. The veracity and integrity of Major Caldwell has never been questioned. The same can be said of Captain Crail. With him, however, it is a matter of recollection after forty-six: years, and my  recollection differs from his. It seems to be as fresh in my memory as if it were done yesterday that the head of our column, which became our left, struck the right of the enemy evenly;

that we reached the line of battle by a movement similar to that of a spoke in a wheel making the one-fourth of a revolution; that I was the end man but one on our right, and that our line overlapped theirs less than ten feet. We had between ninety and ninety-five men engaged on foot. The official report says "our killed, wounded and missing number twenty-six." Captain Crail says that they had twenty six men wounded and none killed. Considering the two missing--captured by us-there is a discrepancy, but that is a small matter. I am sure the captain: is right about the loss in killed. They could not have had a man killed without the fact being discovered by us. Our loss was two killed-Captain John Marks, killed in battle, and Fowler,

killed while a prisoner--and two wounded, not seriously a man named Baker and the name of the other not remembered. Had not nearly a third of our men kept their fire, being mistaken as to the identity of the Federals, their loss would, have been much heavier.


The Fulton Telegraph gave this account of the affair: On Tuesday morning, July 22, at daybreak, Lieutenants Stidger and Hartman with :fifty men of the Third Iowa Cavalry encountered the guerrilla Porter and his band, three hundred strong, at Florida, in Monroe County, and after fighting nearly one hour were obliged to retire. Out of Lieutenant Stidger's squad of twelve men there were three missing-Henry Grogen, supposed killed; R. Dunlap and Wm. Miller. Wounded and brought in-Joseph Brinnergar, in the arm; David Miller, in the head; William Clark, in the hip. Of Lieutenant Hartman's squad, missing-Garnett, Fuller, the two Kirkpatricks, Henderson, Mineely, Lindsay, Carpenter, W. T. Bristow, (formerly compositor in this office), Long, Fletcher and Creek. Wounded and brought in-First Sergeant Baldwin, in the arm; Corporals Jones, Palmer and Hem; McBurney, the two Orndorffs, severely, and Charles "Davis.

Our men fought desperately.





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