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 First Regiment

Missouri State Militia Cavalry

Operations 1865

 

 

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Date National Events Regional Events Overall Organization Reports or Correspondence Related to the First Missouri State Militia Cavalry
1865

January 11 

       

Near Lexington

Colonel: I have the honor to report that on yesterday a small detachment of my company under command of Corporal Lauchner ran onto two bushwhackers on the Sni, about seven miles southwest of Lexington.  One of them was the notorious Mart Rider.  They captured both of their horses, and supposed wounded rider, as his overcoat, which he threw in running through the brush, had a bullet hole in it.  The horses are both badly wounded.  WM. Meredith, Captain, First Missouri State Militia Cavalry, Comdg. Station (WR LX: 485)

Report of Capt. William Meredith, First Missouri State Militia Cavalry.  Yesterday guerrillas made their appearance at lawyer Green's on south edge of town, fired into the house, and left, going south on Greenton road.  lieutenant Williams, with fifteen men, went in pursuit.  Came up with them five miles from town.  Guerrillas charged on advance, but were repulsed.  Fell back stubbornly, and would form and fight at every suitable place; run as soon as our boys would charge on them.  a running fight was kept up for one mile.  Our boys ran out of ammunition and returned to camp.  The enemy were going in direction of Greenton.  There were fifteen in the squad that we had the fight with.  another squad on the old Independence road.  I hear of them in small squads in different directions.  Quantrill reported with 100 men in bottom below Waverly.  No casualties on our side.  WM. Meredith Captain, Commanding, &c. (WR LX: 34)

Col. James McFerran:  We have just had a fight with bushwhackers near town.  There seems to be a consolidated force said to be commanded by Jackson.  Send me some ammunition, as we are nearly out.  Wm. Meredith, Captain, Commanding.  (WR LX: 489)

 

12-15         

Scout from Camp Grover to Texas Prairie 

Sir:  By your direction I left Cap Grover at 2 a. m. on the 12th instant, with ninety two men of the First and Seventh Missouri state Militia, and lieutenants Berry and Phillips, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry, and one wagon and team, with ammunition for Captain Meredith, first Missouri State Militia Cavalry.  I arrived at Lexington at 11 o'clock same day, fed and rested there until 2 o'clock same day, then started in direction of Greenton, and after traveling three miles in that direction i divided my command and sent one-half the force, under Lieutenant Berry, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry, in the direction of Wellington, with orders to scout the brush thoroughly as far west as Wellington, and report to me at Greenton the following evening.  I with the other portion of the command scouted the brush northwest and south of Greenton thoroughly.  I came upon two guerrillas near the guerrilla Rider's house.  They made their escape by taking to the brush.  Met two others in the road near Tucker's Mill.  They made their escape similarly.  The morning of the 14th i divided my command into four detachments and scoured the brush thoroughly from near the Snibar Post-Office.  Struck the trail of eight guerrillas and followed them into the brush south of Texas Prairie to a house where Clifton's and Watson's wives live.  There they scattered and took to the brush in the Sni Hills.  Found two horses at said house, one U. S. horse and one mare.  Mare supposed to be contra band.  Brought them into camp with me on the 15th.  On this day turned them over to the proper authorities. Milton Burris, Captain Company I, First Cavalry Missouri State Militia(WR LX: 39)

 

18-22         

Scout from Warrensburg to Snibar Hills  

Colonel: I have the honor to report to you that, in compliance with Special Orders, No. 14, dated headquarters post Warrensburg, Mo., January 18, 1865, I marched from Camp Grover on the 18th instant with forty men of the First and Seventh Cavalry Missouri State Militia.  I camped on the headwaters of Black water, twenty miles northwest of this place.  On the morning of the 19th we resumed the march by the way of Chapel Hill.  We there entered the Snibar Hills, in la Fayette County, Mo.  I there divided my command, placing lieutenant Daly in command of the detachment of Seventh Cavalry Missouri State Militia.  We scouted through the Snibar Hills visited a number of families who generally report having seen small bands of marauders roving through the country who occasionally call on them for something to eat.  The people say that they are forced to cook for them.  From thence we passed to Greenton Valley and camped.  On the morning of the 20th we scouted through the valley in the direction of Greenton.  Lieutenant Daly with his command went to Greenton.  I continued west of Greenton and went within five miles of Wellington.  We there turned back and went by the way of Greenton and camped in the vicinity.  On the morning of the 21st we started in the direction of the Snibar Hills.  We scouted through the timber of the valley; also through the Snibar Hills.  We camped two miles north of Chapel Hill.  We saw five guerrillas and considerable if sign.  There are families in that part of the country who come under the purview of my order, but owing to the scarcity of horses and wagons and the inclemency of the weather I failed to bring them to the headquarters.  On the morning of the 22d we started for this post.  We arrived at camp late in the evening.  Daniel Shumate, Second Lieut. Co. I, 1st Cav. Mo. State Militia, Commanding Detachment.

 

28        

February Orders

Captain: The colonel commanding directs that on Wednesday morning, February 1, you will start from your command a scout of all your available cavalry to act upon the following basis:  The move to begin on Wednesday morning next, February 1, 1865, and continue five days; a force of fifty men to move from Warrensburg to Tabo, Lafayette County, to patrol the creek.  a column will at the same time move from Warrensburg and pass east of Columbus and to the vicinity of Wagon and Buck Knobs, throwing out a flaking party to Renick Mills.  all the available cavalry will move from Pleasant Hill to the left and a little south of Buck Knob.  The balance of Colonel Harding's cavalry in the fourth Sub-District will be thrown toward Wellington.  Colonel Harding will also press in as much infantry as he can into the Snibar Hills and vicinity of Chapel Hill, to scour the brush and hills.  Your force will move from Lexington to Greenton Valley.  all officers connected with the move will be advised of the plan, to prevent any mishaps.  To insure recognition, let the party who hails ask, "Who comes there?"  answer, "America."  The party hailed then asks, "Who are you?" Answer, "dodge."  You will report fully the result of your co-operation immediately on return of the scout.  You will also instruct the officers in charge to ascertain the names of all families belonging to bushwhackers, their aiders and abettors, and report their names, age, and number of each sex.  A. R. Conklin, Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.  (WR LX: 669-670)

Comdg. Officer First Cav. Missouri State Militia:  The colonel commanding directs that you detail Captain Burris and fifty men to move on the morning of Wednesday, February 1, 1865 (scout to continue five days), east of Columbus and to the vicinity of Wagon and Buck Knob.  The balance of Colonel Harding will also press [as large] a number of his infantry as possible into the Snibar Hills and vicinity of chapel Hill.  a force will also move from Lexington to Greenton Balley.  all officers connected with this move will be advised of the plan, to prevent any mishaps.  to insure recognition, let the party who hails ask, "Who comes there?" Answer, "America."  The party hailed then asks, "Who are you?" Answer, "Dodge."  You will report fully the result of your co-operation immediately on return of this scout.  You will also instruct the officer in charge to ascertain the names of all families belonging to bushwhackers, their aiders and abettors, and report their names, age, and number of each sex.  A. R. Conklin, Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General. (WR LX: 670)

First Lieut. Benton Miller.  Lieutenant: On the receipt of this communication you will take all your available mounted men and proceed to Pleasant Hill, where you will report to Captain Goodbrake, and join with him in a combined scout, which will commence on Wednesday morning and last about five days.  If you find it necessary, one of your wagons may go with you as far as Pleasant Hill.  After the scout is finished you will be ordered to proceed to Saint Louis, via Warrensburg, to be mustered out, and while I do not wish your men or the citizens to know this, you may quietly so arrange your affairs that on your return from the scout the men you take with you can remain at Pleasant Hill until the balance of your company can be ordered to join you there.  I enclose a rough map which indicates the country over which the scout is to be made.  On Wednesday morning (to-morrow) a part of cavalry will move from Lexington into the Greenton valley; cavalry from Independence toward Lisbon and scout down the river toward Wellington.  Infantry moves today from Independence to the Seminary near Pink Hill, and tomorrow night will go secretly into the Snibar Hills in the chapel Hill region.  One party of cavalry will leave Warrensburg tomorrow morning and operate in the vicinity of Tabo, another will pass east of Columbus and operate around the east, north of Buck Knob and Wagon knob.  You are to move up to the south and a little west of Buck Knob and scour the region thoroughly, taking such course and direction from thence as circumstances may require.  To avoid mishaps the following watchword will be given: hailing party, "Who goes there?" answer, "America." The party hailed then asks, "Who are you?" Answer, "Dodge".  I hope you will have the chance of avenging the death of your two men.  If Captain Goodbrake should not take command of the party you will telegraph to me from Pleasant Hill the fact of your return from the scout and what you have accomplished.  Show this communication to him.  Chester Harding, Jr., Colonel Forty-third Missouri Volunteers, Comdg. Sub-District (WR LX 696-697)

 

31 Congress Approves Thirteenth Amendment Abolishing Slavery      
February 1-5         

Scout from Warrensburg to Wagon Knob, Big Grove, Greenton, and Texas Prairie

Captain:  I have the honor to report to you that, in compliance with proper orders, I have started from Camp Grover on the morning of the 1st of February, 1865, with thirty-eight men, for five days' scout.  I moved in the direction of Columbus, and near that place i divided my force and sent eighteen men, under command of lieutenant Phillips, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry, to the vicinity of Renick Mills, to camp in that vicinity, and on the 2d to meet me near Wagon Knob.  I, with twenty men, moved in the direction of Wagon Knob and camped on the head of James' Branch.  On the 2d instant 1 met Lieutenant Phillips near Wagon Knob.  I there divided the force as before and sent lieutenant Phillips to scout in the vicinity of Buck Knob, and to meet me at a certain point south of Wagon Knob.  I went through the head of Big Grove and passed on to near the head of Tabo Creek and camped.  On the morning of the 3d instant I divided my force again and sent eight men with Sergeant Kelly, company L, First Missouri State Militia Cavalry, to scout through the head of the Big Grove and meet me near the Wagon Knob.  I, with ten men, moved in the direction of Greenton and Tucker's Mill.  Near that place I visited the house of the bushwhacker Rider, and found his family to consist of his wife Alice and six children; one boy ten years old, one boy nine years old, one boy seven years old, one girl six years old, one girl four years old and one girl two years old.  I went from there to Texas Prairie and visited the family of Welch.  He and two sons are in the brush.  I found his wife Mary and four children; one boy twelve years old, one girl ten years old, one boy seven years old, and one boy five years old.  I then started in the direction of Chapel Hill and soon found a trail of two guerrillas.  I followed them until late in the evening and came up with them at one Widow Cobb's in the south edge of Texas Prairie.  They were just about ready to leave when I came in sight.  I charged on them.  My animal being faster than those of my men, I alone was able to get in easy range of them.  I wounded one of them.  They saved themselves by reaching some scattering brush, and the dusk of the evening prevented us from getting both of them.  I camped that night in that vicinity, and next morning passed Buck Knob and joined Lieutenant Phillips and Sergeant Kelly south of Wagon Knob.  Being satisfied that there were more bushwhackers in the direction of Tucker's Mill, I moved my whole force under cover of the Wagon Knob and concealed my horses and left a guard with them.  I divided my men into three parties--nine men with myself, nine men with Lieutenant Phillips, and eight men with Sergeant Kelly, Company L First Missouri State Militia Cavalry--and moved in the direction of Tucker's Mill, myself in the center, Lieutenant Phillips on my right, and Kelly on my left.  After proceeding some two miles I came upon thick brush and completely surprised them and fired a volley into them at a distance of about forty paces while they were standing in a close circle around a small fire.  What damage was done them I am unable to state, but am satisfied that several of them were wounded.  i captured all of their horses and equipments, six in number, and two Sharps carbines.  The brush being very thick I was unable to follow them after they were dismounted.  I camped that night, the 4th, near Wagon Knob, on the 5th returned to camp with all of my captured property.  Milton Burris, Captain Company I, First Missouri State Militia Cavalry.  (WR LX: 86-7)

 

      Old members mustered out February and March   

General McNeil: I have ordered company of First Missouri State Militia Cavalry now at Pleasant Hill, whose term of service has expired, to Warrensburg for muster out.  Other companies will have to go in a few days.  I guard the stage with infantry as far as Lee's Summit, but must soon leave the other half of the road unguarded unless I have more men.  No disturbance since Saturday, and this morning's mail will be sent.  They will go regardless hereafter.  Chester Harding Colonel, &c. (LX: 1256)

 

March 4 Lincoln inaugurated for second term      
12         

Recruits consolidated to a Battalion of 2 Companies.   Near Lone Jack

I returned last night after an absence of eight days.  I have been at Pleasant Hill, Independence, Kansas City, and Lexington.  Our Cavalry I find everywhere inefficient.  This is partly from the approaching muster out of most of the officers and men, and more from a want of horses and cavalry equipment.  They are neither cavalry nor infantry. . . John McNeil Brigadier-General, commanding (WR LX: 1184)

 

20-22       

 

Scout from Lexington  

Captain:  I have the honor to submit the following report to you:  In compliance with your instructions, on the morning of the 20th instant I marched from this post in command of eighteen men of my company.  I took the Georgetown road as far as the Tabo Church, twelve miles east of this post.  I there found a trail of six bushwhackers going west.  I took the trail and followed it as far as Joel Ewing's.  Night came on and I camped.  During the night a heavy rain fell and put out the trail.  I took the direction, however, and soon came to the Widow Demastus', and there found that five guerrillas had just left there, going west.  a young looking woman said to be the widow of the guerrilla Wilhite, who was killed a year ago, made a great effort to make me believe that the party that had just left there had gone east.  The mud was very deep, however, and it was very plain that they had all gone west, the same way that they came in.  I took the track, and in half a mile I met five other guerrillas going east.  I was within about 300 yards of them when i saw them.  They discovered me at the same time.  It was something over a mile to the timber; nothing in the way but two fences and deep mud.  A desperate race for life or death ensued.  They got to the timber 75 or 100 yards ahead of us.  There were several shots fired, and i thought we wounded one man.  They then separated and we followed three of them five or six hours.  They kept in the bush only a short distance ahead of us.  We ran our horses down and were compelled to give up the chase.  We rested our horses and moved out to a suitable place to camp.  On the 22d I scouted the country south of Wellington, and became satisfied that the guerrillas had gone into the Snibar Hills, and owing to the jaded condition of our horses I thougth it altogether impracticable to follow them, and consequently I came in one day sooner than I was ordered.  Arriving in Lexington late in the evening of the 19th from a hard march, that being the day you were ordered to start me on this scout, and meeting with guerrillas at the point I did, rendered it impracticable for me to make the connection with the troops from Warrensburg as instructed by you.  I would earnestly recommend the banishment of the widow Demastus, with her family, the Widow Silhite included.  She makes that her home.  She lives half a mile west of the Columbus road, four miles north of Chatam Ewing's, near Mr. Powell's, who lives on the Columbus road.  Daniel Shumate, Second Lieut. Company I, First Missouri State Militia Cavalry  (WR LX: 148)

 

April 1 Battle of Five Forks      
9 Lee Surrenders at Appomattox      
14-15 Lincoln Shot at Ford's Theater dies the next day      
18 Joseph Johnston Surrenders to Sherman      
19        

Consolidation at Pleasant Hill

Colonel Harding, Lexington, Mo.: Three companies of troops have arrived here: company a, Third Cavalry Missouri State Militia; company M, consolidated detachment, First Cavalry Missouri state Militia, and company B, consolidated detachment. First Cavalry Missouri State Militia.  My scouts have just arrived from Sni Hill.  One guerrilla killed.  They bring six horses and cavalry equipments captured.  H. F. Peery, Captain Company B, First Cavalry Missouri State Militia.  (WR LX: 133)

 

21        

General McNeil: I have ordered one of the companies at Pleasant Hill to scout up to Dover, another to Greenton, and leave the other with Wyckoff, who is now at Lee's Summit, to escort the mail, and scout actively in conjunction with the infantry at the bridges and near the fords and section of railroad where work is going on.  I anticipate no trouble to mail or railroad.  What will become of the company fifty-second Infantry mustered in and on duty? I see by orders that the regiment cannot be raised.  Chester Harding, jr., Colonel, &c.

 

 28        

Marshall, Mo

Captain: In pursuance of Special Orders, No. 77, dated headquarters Fourth Sub-District, District of Central Missouri, Lexington, Mo., April 24, 1865, I have the honor to report that I marched with my command from Greenton valley, Lafayette County, Mo., on the 25th instant and arrived at this station on the afternoon of the 27th instant.  I had the country scouted thoroughly on each side of the road from Greenton Valley to this place.  I had sent out two scouts this morning and will send out the third one this evening.  I most respectfully ask for instructions in regard to my operations in this part of the district.  James D. Eads, Capt. Company M, 1st Cav. Missouri State Militia, Comdg. Station. (WR LX: 236-7)

 

29        

District Commanders: No more banishment of citizens can be made.  Orders received prohibit it.  G. M Dodge, Major-General (WR LX: 244).

 

      Unit Reorganization as of April 30, 1865, District of Central Missouri:  

Lee's Summit (one company), Capt. John Wyckoff;   Pleasant Hill (one company) Capt. Henry F. Peery;   and "In the field"  (one company) Capt. James D. Eads.    (WR LX: 270).  

Total men in the Department of Missouri at this time was 28,877 of which 17,812 were cavalry.

 

May 1        

Captain: I have the honor to report that since I have been stationed here I have kept the men of my command constantly scouting out every day and night, only on muster day, April 30, when I had them all in to be mustered.  I have to-day about 100 men in the brush, and will keep every efficient or available man in the brush until we kill or drive out every bushwhacker and murderer who infests this country.  The men who are out are on the trail of a band of twelve bushwhackers, and I hear of fifteen within three miles of arrow Rock who took dinner at a Mrs. Scripture's, and her son went off with them.  I shall endeavor to call on her soon.  James D. Eads, Capt. Company M, First Cav. Missouri State Milita, Comdg. Station.  (WR LX: 286-7)

 

     

 

Affair Near Pleasant Hill 

Sir: I have the honor to report to you that our neighborhood was visited on Thursday night last by a band of guerrillas, ten in number.  Of the number three were known to be Sy Porter, Bill Reynolds, and Dave Pool.  They killed a citizen by the name of Richard Conner, and a discharged soldier whose name was john G. Harper.  I with ten men followed their trail to the Snibar Hills, but failed to overtake them.  Ben F. Johnson, Lieutenant, Commanding Station, Pleasant Hill, Mo.  (WR LX: 254)

 

7   General Dodge issues a amnesty for guerrillas in Missouri    
10   William Clark Quantrill wounded  near Taylorville,     

Scout in Saline, La Fayette, and Cooper Counties

Captain: I have the honor to report that I have had my entire available force scouting in Saline, La Fayette, and cooper Counties.  I was in the saddle three days in command in person.  On the morning of the 8th instant I struck their trail east of Brownsville, and followed them down to Napton's Bridge.  There nineteen of the rascals crossed.  We followed them till about 4 p. m. when about three miles east of Jonesburg, Mo., we dispersed them, but found no picked horses or stolen goods.  I divided my men after them, some of them going toward the mouth of the La Mine River, others of the guerrillas making toward Saline city.  My men are still after them.  I am of the opinion that the largest number of the rebels went south of Boonville and will strike the Missouri River about Jolly's Bottom.  I shall give them no rest in this county while horseflesh is able to move and men to ride.  I likewise Have the infantry moving to the best advantage.  My cavalry have marched sixteen miles each day; that is, made an average each man sixteen miles.  There are but few bushwhackers in this county.  James D. Eads, Capt. Company M, 1st Cav. Missouri State Militia, Comdg Station.

 

21   David Pool, guerrilla surrenders at Lexington, Mo.    
26   Kirby Smith surrenders in Trans-Mississippi    
29 President Johnson issues pardon and amnesty for rebels      
June 7   William Clark Quantrill dies in Louisville, Kentucky    
10   Guerrillas who rode with Clement and Jim Anderson surrender    

July 12

    Remainder of First Regiment MSM Cavalry Mustered Out   
20        

Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, Saint Louis, Mo.: direct the discharge of all troops that can possibly be dispensed with in your military division, and especially reduce the cavalry force as much as possible.  U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General.

 

         

 

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