Vol. IV, No. 4, Spring 1991 / Vol. V, No. 1, Summer 1991



Outpost: The 1862 Summer of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Weydemeyer



Biographical material for Joseph Weydemeyer follows George Lipsitz, "Joseph Weydemeyer: St. Louis' Marxist County Auditor," St. Louis Magazine, July, 1984, 36-38; and Karl Obermann, Joseph Weydemeyer: Pioneer of American Socialism, New York: International Publishers, 1947. The Weydemeyer dispatches are in the Joseph Weydemeyer Papers, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis.
Excerpted from the field reports and edited by Robert Flanders and John F. Bradbury, Jr.

The interior Ozarks, with its formidable terrain, few roads, and frequent high water, made military campaigning difficult. It protected Arkansas from sustained campaigning by Union forces who instead attacked across the Springfield Plain of southwest Missouri, thus going around the most difficult topography.

The supply line for this attenuated strategy was the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad from St. Louis to Rolla, thence along the Military Road (usually called the Wire Road for its telegraph wire) to Springfield and beyond. A more or less static line of defensive positions protected this supply route, including forts at Rolla and Springfield; a fort at Pilot Knob, railhead of the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad; and manned outposts to the south and west of these fortifications.

Two such outposts were at Houston, on the Big Piney River in Texas County and, subsequently, at Salem on the prairie of Dent County. These battalion-sized posts were commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Weydemeyer of St. Louis, excerpts from whose dispatches from July to September, 1862, follow.

Weydemeyer was a German immigrant, a"Forty Eighter," whose participation as a socialist in the losing cause of the 1848 rebellion had forced him to flee his native land. Settling in New York City, he was active in the developing labor movement there. He was a member of the German Communist League, knew both Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels, and subscribed to their ideals.

Weydemeyer was a well-educated and literate man. In New York he edited two German-language journals aimed at working class immigrants, and worked as a surveyor in the design of Central Park. Convinced that slavery undercut the cause of free labor, he became an ardent abolitionist, and adopted the (for the time) radical notion that blacks and whites should unite against the exploitation of both slaveowners and industrial capitalists. He led labor opposition to the Kansan-Nebraska Act of 1854 because it tacitly permitted the expansion of slave territory; and he supported Lincoln for president in 1860.

With the outbreak of war Weydemeyer volunteered to General John C. Fremont, then in New York, who was gathering a staff to take to St. Louis where he was to become Commander-in-Chief of the Department of the West, i.e., the trans-Mississippi. St. Louis with its large German population, almost all Unionist anti-slave, attracted Weydemeyer. He was appointed Captain of Artillery in Fremont's staff. When all Fremont's officers were demobilized in November, 1861, Weydemeyer was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of Missouri Volunteer Artillery. In the summer of 1862 he took command of an outpost at Houston, 54 miles south of Rolla (or, as Weydemeyer put it, "54 miles from civilization"). Shortly the post was moved to Salem, much nearer to the divisional headquarters at Rolla, and with a better road.

Though the Ozarks inhibited the operations of large military forces, it abetted those of small, mounted Confederate guerrilla forces organized across southern Missouri and northern Arkansas to harass Union posts and prey on Union supply trains. They recruited among that part of the population that was Confederate leaning, foraged from the rest (though sometimes paying with Confederate money of dubious value), and terrorized Union men. The Ozarks thus became the scene of a classic, brutal, guerrilla war.

It was this war that Weydemeyer faced. Though little in his training as a Prussian artillery officer had prepared him for it, he understood military command and operations better than many of his native-born fellows (their lassitude and incompetence annoyed him).

Joseph Weydemeyer, Civil War photo.
Courtesy Museum Fur Deutsche Geschichte, Berlin; and Steven Rowan, St. Louis.

[29]

Both Houston and Salem were strategic locations, the one on the Big Piney Fork of Gasconade, the other on the Salem Prairie. Both were in areas of relatively prosperous farms and many Union people. Weydemeyer was fearful that the guerrilla leader Coleman might approach under cover of the rugged, forested hinterland just beyond with its sympathetic Confederate population, to attack his small command (two or three companies, including cavalry with ill-shod horses) with overwhelming force.

Both Houston and Salem were just over the divide from the headwaters of the southward-flow-ing Current-Jack' s Fork Rivers system, an especially deep and rugged country centering in Shannon, Carter, and Ripley Counties, Missouri. In Arkansas, Current River flowed through Pocahontas, Lawrence County, a Confederate post. The Current River country was, to Weydemeyer, especially dangerous guerrilla territory from which he feared attack and into which he sent search-and-destroy sorties.

On one such sortie the Confederate leader Joshua Chilton, former state senator from Shannon County, was captured, then "shot while trying to escape," a cavalry euphemism connoting prisoner execution. It was a common fate for unmounted prisoners, a convention with which Weydemeyer was not comfortable. He personally inspected the site of the Chilton shooting.

Weydemeyer fretted about inadequate intelligence. He battled incompetent and dishonest local doctors. He espoused the cause of an AWOL private whose absence was "for the cause of love." He sought to protect civilians who were "good" Unionists, but was coldly hostile to the rebel "secesh." He was concerned with efficiency, and exhibited a strong sense of stewardship over the resources of men, material, and money under his command. No evidence of his socialist idealogy is apparent in his dispatches. They do reveal passionate patriotism and a sense of humanity and social justice--altogether, middle-class values that a host of German immigrant intellectuals, tradesmen, artisans, and other burghers brought to the United States.

Weydemeyer wrote exhaustive dispatches. Clerk copies of his Houston and Salem reports occupy more than eighty ledger pages. He wrote English very well indeed--better than most native-born Americans of his generation--though syntax oddities betray a lingering foreignness. The only foreign words in the dispatches are French--the military term "on the 'qui vive'," i.e. on the double. He does use some American vernacular: "a heap of letters," and "them" for "those." But he wearied of paper work and pled for a clerk"who could write English."

Weydemeyer was almost painfully correct and devoted to his duty. Thus when a revolt occurred in his command in September it unnerved him. A mutiny had broken out among Missouri Volunteer units in St. Louis over a length of enlistment question.

It was spread by inflammatory newspaper accounts and finally infected his outpost. The embarrassment and strain were too much to bear, and he went to hospital in St. Louis, never to return to the Ozarks backwoods. Later in the war he performed staff and garrison duties in the St. Louis area, and subesquently became Auditor of St. Louis County.

Weydemeyer's life ended abruptly in the St. Louis cholera epidemic of 1866. He was forty-nine years old.

RBF

The Weydemeyer Dispatches

Editor's Note: The following are excerpted from a clerk's ledger book holograph copy of the originals. Some spelling irregularities have been standardized. Otherwise, OzarksWatch has sought to render the material so as to exhibit its original character. After the opening, Weydemeyer's characteristic formal signature has been omitted.

Maj. Frank J. White A.Adj.Gen. U.S. Military Post

St. Louis Division Houston, M[issouri]
July 17, 1862

Sir!



...Of the enemy we have to oppose, we have as yet not very reliable information. Coleman's men stated to be about 450-500 are scattered over the whole district, robbing, marauding, and driving out Union men. According to a report, which I got to day, they were ordered to meet tomorrow on a certain place either in this [Texas] or Dent County, and then they will be reinforced by McBryde [sic], attack this place on Sunday or Monday. It is very difficult, to engage good spies, as the best men for this purpose are too well known among the rebels .... Some scouts, whom I sent out, have not yet returned; I will then ascertain a little more about the before mentioned report .... Most respectfully

Your obed[ien]t servant

J. Weydemeyer, Lt. Col.

Comdg Post
Lt. Col. W.C. Gantt

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Post

Houston, Missouri

Rolla, Missouri

July 19, 1862



Sir!

Your favor of the 18th inst. was received last night, and I am glad to hear, that you dispatched already the second company of cavalry. Coleman is in the field again and collecting his force at or near the Mountain Store, about the corner of Texas, Wright, Douglas & Howell C[ounties], 22 miles distant from this post. I have reports from different sides to that effect, and my scouts went near to that place. The force he can dispose of now is stated from 4-600 men.

[30]

It is true he was sick and guarded by his retainers, if not at the residence of Dr. Balls, so at least in the neighborhood of it; but on Thursday already an attack on this place was intended. Why this project was given up, I do not know; perhaps Coleman was timely informed of the reinforcement of my command. As soon as Comp F arrives, I will send the whole force of cavalry after Coleman, and support it with infantry and artillery when necessary.

Today Lt. Agnew arrived with a train of Commissary, Quartermaster, & Ordinance stores, so that now we are well provided with ammunition ....

I am very dissatisfied with our Post Surgeon, a private physician, Dr. Nobel Barron, whose services I contracted for....He was...the only physician on the Union side in this town; but I have very little confidence in his medical capacity, and he is not able to make a right return or keep books, as it has to be done according to regulations. A post like this, 54 miles outside of the civilized world should certainly have a good physician ....
Lt. Col. W.C. Gantt

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Post

Houston, Missouri

Rolla, Missouri

July 24, 1862



Sir!

...Capt. Call camped the 19th at Salem, the 20th at Casto Valley [northern Shannon County]. Breaking camp on the 21st with daylight at the house of a certain Mr. Riley Sen. Two men were discovered on horseback, who tried to run away. One of them was killed; on his body was found a safeguard from the Provost Marshal of this post (not the present Provost Marshal), and his clothing consisted partly of goods taken from a robbed sutler; he turned out to be a son of the above named Riley Sen. who reported himself here yesterday, but was released today after being placed under bond, as nothing definite could be proved against him. The same day Capt. Call marched into Spring Valley where Capt. Jess Orchard was said to be encamped with his band; but finding no such encampment he divided his force into small squads to scout the district. One of the squads came up with a small party, who took to their heels, were fired at, two of them supposed to be killed; the squad brought in two horses and two worthless guns. Another squad came up with three men and supposes to have killed two.

Capt. Call found that Orchard had divided his force, one part to Jacks Fork, he himself with the other part to Current River--(later information said that Orchard went to the Mountain Store). Capt. Call's horses being very lame for want of shoeing he gave up pursuing and marched to this post ....

Col. Hy [Henry] Almstedt U.S. Military Post

Comdg 2nd Reg[iment] Art[illery]

M[issouri] Vol[unteers]

Houston, M[issouri]

St. Louis, M[issouri]

July 26, 1862



Colonel!

Lt. Roetter returned last Saturday and brought along a heap of letters to the great satisfaction of the whole command....How will the clothing account of the men be settled? Will any reduction of prices be allowed or has the regular price to be charged for that worthless stuff which was settled upon the men by the Quartermaster Department? Please inform me immediately ....

We are informed, that Herm. Ruthmeier, Artificer of Comp[any] F who deserted from Rolla, gave up himself by his own free will, and is now kept as a prisoner in Fort No. 4 [at St. Louis]. The cause of his desertion was love, as I understand, and if you think it compatible with the interest of the service, I beg you, to send him back to his company. His reputation as a soldier was good up to the time of his desertion .... Yesterday I sent out 110 horses accompanied by one gun under Lt. Waldschmidt against Coleman, who was said to be encamped some twenty miles from here near the Mountain Store....If the distance was not too long, I should have taken along one of our heavy companies; but so I was afraid to expose this place too much; besides the movements of infantry are too slow, to surprise an enemy like these bushwhackers ....

U.S. Military Post
Postmaster at Rolla

Houston, M[issouri]

August 11, 1862

Sir!

You are hereby politely requested, to deliver after this date all letters and other mail matters received for the detachment of the 2nd Reg[iment] Art[illery] M[issouri] Vol[unteers] now stationed at Houston, M[issouri] to the commander of the detachment of the same regiment in camp near Rolla, as this post will be vacated.

Col. J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla Division

Houston, M[issouri]

August 11, 1862



Colonel!

...Coleman's force is given now as to be about 1500 strong, but only 1/3 of them badly armed and shoed. He is said to have recrossed the Arkansas line, where further reinforcements very likely will join him, as scattering parties are reported yet from all parts of the country, partly intending to join the rebels, partly hiding to evade drafting.

The order to evacuate this post created distress among the Union people of the town and neighborhood, as was to be expected. In order [for] them to remove their families, I will order Capt. Bradway to remain here with his company for eight days longer. Recruiting for the new regiments here is going on swiftly; I hope I will take along two companies to Salem, to dispatch them from there to Rolla. Instructions for the organization of the militia are wanting yet and very much needed.

[31]

Please send orders to Salem, M[issouri] what is to be done, if the train now at my disposition should be found insufficient to load the whole commissary and quartermaster stores at this post ....

Colonel J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Commanding Rolla Division

Salem, Missouri

August 15, 1862



Colonel!

...Lieutenant Prickett returned...without having come up with Coleman. He reports Coleman and Johnson to be consolidated and from 12-1500 strong and at present 12-15 miles south of Thomasville [Oregon County]. He further reports, that he could have completely surprised and routed them, but that Comp[any] E would not stand, that is the non-com-missioned officers of the company said, they would not. With the comparative strength of the two parties I should have considered such an attempt rather injudicious and Sergeant Granger, who commanded the detachment of Comp[any] E was in my opinion entirely right to oppose it ....

Lt. Prickett brought in five prisoners, seven horses, and eleven guns. One of the prisoners ran away on the march hither on a place, where thick brushwork closed in the road. He was shot at, but nevertheless made good his escape ....

As the valley of the Current River, from the head of which this place is only a few miles distant, is one of the best cultivated districts in this part of the state, and as its products are mainly used for the support of the rebel cause, I would wish you order me to take all forage, cattle, provisions, etc. from there, what [sic] is not immediately necessary for the subsistence of the remaining families. To the few Union people in this way at least the value of a movable property will be saved, while the rebels will be deprived of the means to sustain themselves in the district. To execute this order at least one more company of cavalry will be needed ....
Col. Hy [Henry] Almstedt

U.S. Military Post

Commanding 2nd Regiment

Salem, Missouri

Artillery
Missouri Volunteers

August 17, 1862

St. Louis


Colonel!

...It is very often much writing and copying to be done at this post, and it is a great drawback to me, that I cannot find among the companies under my command an able man to assist me as a clerk. You will do me a great favor of detailing one from another company. I hope to hear of you with the first opportunity.

[Weydemeyer Dispatch Fragment;

no addressee, no date]

I found it getting impossible to engage reliable spies to proceed south through Coleman's lines, and the best men and those most acquainted with the country are at the same time too well known among the rebels and had to run already for their lives. By and by I may be more successful but in the meantime we are exposed here to any rush from the south quite unwamed from afar.
Lt. A. Roetter

Salem, M[issouri]

Post Commiss[ary]

U.S. Military Post Salem, M[issouri]

Agt [Adjutant]

August 20, 1862



Sir!

You are hereby informed, that I will after this day accept no more hard bread for the troops stationed at this post, while they are able to bake their own bread. The Army Regulations can by no means be understood in that way, that it should be optional with the Commissary Department to furnish to the troops what it likes to, while the facilities for the one kind of provisions are at least as good as for the other one.
Lt. A. Roetter

Salem, M[issouri]

Post Quartermaster

U.S. Military Post Salem, M[issouri]

& Commiss[ary] Agt.

August 20, 1862



Sir!

For the future we will be able to procure sufficient beef from the country, to provide for the requirements of the troops at this post. You are therefore requested, to inform the beef contractor that his services are not anymore required here.

Col. J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla Division

Salem, M[issouri]

August 20, 1862



Colonel!

...Information brought in by a reliable man to day leaves no doubt, that the whole story about the secession camp on Black River is without a particle of truth. There is no secession camp left in this part of the state, but small parties are constantly moving either north or south. This afternoon a farmer living about 12 miles to the east came in, complaining, that his horse had been stolen by a party of about six, and at the same time another one came in from the west 10 miles distant, whose home was approached by another party, the strength of which he could not give, as he fled for his life at the appearance of the first ones. The first mentioned informer reported further that Col. Boyd started with 1500 men from Greenville in search of Coleman ....

Col. J. M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla Division

Salem, M[issouri]

August 23, 1862

[32]

Colonel!

..I ordered for to morrow a scouting party of 50 down into the valley of the Current River. Capt. Bradway reports, that Coleman has been ordered to Little Rock ....

Please inform me what compensation I am authorized to allow to a guide, who knows every path through the woods, every meeting and hiding place of the rebels, and whose services should be secured for the whole time we have to stay here. It is a very intelligent man, who lost all his property by this rebellion.

I have been placed in the disagreable necessity to order Lt. Ost Comp C 2nd Regiment Artillery Missouri Volunteers, under arrest and to suspend him from duty as he showed himself entirely unable to lead his company in good order ....
Col. Hy Almstedt

U.S. Military Post Salem, M[issouri]

Comdg 2nd Reg Art Mo Vol

August 23, 1862



Yesterday the company was ordered out as a working party, and he to lead her to the place; but he could not bring her up in good order, only 8 followed him, the balance laid down under some tree, till I ordered them forward personally
Maj. A.J. Gallup

Rolla, M[issouri]

Comdg Post

U.S. Military Post Salem, M[issouri]

August 26, 1862

Dear Sir!

Enclosed you will please find requisition for musket cones, which I hope you will fill as soon as possible.

I have mounted eleven men of the heavy artillery companies, but can not provide them with adequate weapons. Even the drivers of our guns and caissons have not yet been armed with revolvers and are nearly defenseless, if it should come to close quarters. Is there any possibility, to provide the necessary number of revolvers or small rifles, please let me know and I will forward the requisition. I will thank you for some Adam's revolver cartridges, if there are any.
Col. J.M. Glover

Rolla, Missouri

Comdg

U.S. Military Post Salem, M[issouri]

August 26, 1862

Colonel!

...I am not provided...with the right kind of muster rolls, and therefore cannot muster again, before you take the trouble to furnish them. I need fifteen, if a staff muster roll has to be made out, although I am the only staff officer here; twelve, if no staff rolls are required from here ....

The guide, I spoke of, cannot furnish his own horse, as it was taken from him by the rebels long ago. His subsistence will be furnished by secessionists and southern sympathizers, as I will keep him steady at work; we also will find always contraband horses enough in the country, not to put the Government to any expenses. Said guide did already valuable to the country by bringing information to Col. [Powell] Clayton 5th Kans[as] Cav[alry] that one of his companies was surrounded by the rebels in the valley of the Current River and thereby rescuing her. $2.- is in my opinion not too much for a faithful guide, although he cannot furnish his own horse and subsistence, and I trust you will not object to that allowence [sic] under those circumstances.

I have got no news from the south or from rebels lately. Lt. Reed whom I sent to the Current River with 50 men--Capt. Bradway being sore from the march--did not yet return ....

When we took forage or cattle from known rebels, the men being in the southern army, we did give no receipts till now, but turned them over to the Provost Marshall, who will duly account for it. In many cases it is even not possible to give a receipt. So we confiscated a few days ago about 25 heads of cattle from a farm, the former owner of which died in the prison at Alton, [Illinois] while the present owner (son of the first owner) is in the southern army, the farm entirely left to the care of two negro women with about two dozen small children, the male slaves very likely having been carried off to the South. Where it can be done, we will give receipts in future in the prescribed form; but if we have to take only so much as needed for our own subsistence, we have to leave to our enemies the most valuable means to carry on the war. If only ordered to do so we can send to Rolla a whole drove of cattle in a short time ....
Col. J.M. Glover

Rolla Division

Comdg

U.S. Military Post Salem, M[issouri]

August 28, 1862

[33]



Colonel!

A certain B.F. Callahan, a private in Comp[any] A, Col[onel] Warmoth's regiment, reported yesterday that a certain Ephraim Laney of Watkins Township, Dent C[ounty] who was last year with Col. Freeman but since took the oath, had run off again during this last excitement and very likely did persuade others to run away, and besides described him as a very dangerous character. Last night I therefore sent out a squad of cavalry to bring in said E. Laney, which they did without any difficulty. Laney utterly denies that he did run away after he had taken the oath or did leave his house for more than one night after the excitement set in, and gave the names of his next neighbors to testify in his favor. I found himself crippled on one leg, so that the law could not effect him in any way and therefore could give him no cause to run away. I ordered Capt. Bland of Col. Warmoth' s regiment who will start to Rolla to day to take him along to the first camping place, have the main witness, a reliable Union man who lives on the road, examined, and if his testimony is in favor of Laney, to release him. Callahan did not show himself today and very likely will join Capt. Bland' s command on the road. If Laney has to be released, Callahan has to be arrested for making a false report. I gave Capt. Bland orders to that effect; he will report to you.

It is reported to me by "Col" John Holt, member of the late State Convention, that a certain Wilson, who was appointed by the U.S. as Postmaster in Harrison's Settlement, Watkins Townsh[ip], Dent C[ounty], went south immediately after the militia law was issued, and persuaded others to accompany him. Afterwards his wife found out, that postmasters are exempted, mounted a horse and brought him back home, where he now enjoys the privilege of his undeserved position. What is to be done with him?...

Col. J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla Division

Salem, M[issouri]

August 29, 1862





Clerk's copy of a Weydemeyer dispatch. Courtesy Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis.
[34]

Colonel!

Lt. H. Reed returned yesterday with his detachment after a very successful expedition down the Current River to Jack's Fork. He secured some of the worst and most dangerous characters in the whole district, among them the late State Senator Joshua Chilton, the "King of Shannon C[ounty]" as they call him, and who did more to induce men to join the Southern army, than perhaps any other man in this whole state....A good many contraband and some U.S. horses were brought in also; three men who were met in arms, and one, who tried to run away, when ordered to halt; were killed....According to the reports of Lieutenant Reed as well as of the guide it will be easy to secure from the Current River valley alone a thousand head of good cattle, if only a force of about three hundred cavalry can be employed to make a clean sweep through it. To take a part of the cattle...would have the effect to drive the balance into the woods.

The news our guide could collect of the whereabouts of Coleman differ in so far, that according to one (secesh report) he was cashiered and superseded by a certain Cpt. White, who was last year with Jeff Thompson; that according to the other one he is at or near Batesville on the southside of the White River. A Union man who was a prisoner with Coleman, when it became known, that Colonel Boyd was after him, said that Coleman went then through the different camps, addressing his men in such a way, as to impress upon them, that everyone had to take care of himself, as they were pursuit [sic] by the enemy and every one only provided with two rounds of ammunition. He is now reported 2500 strong, but can according to the best calculations have no more than 15-1800, of whom only 400 are armed and provided with two rounds each. Certain [it] is, that no hostile force of any considerable strength'is to be found within sixty miles of this post at present ....

Colonel J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla Division

Salem, M[issouri]

August 19, 1862



Colonel!

The train from Houston with the balance of commissary stores...came in to day ....

Capt[ain] Lennon returned this afternoon from a three days scout, bringing in some confiscated ox teams & wagons. He has to rest to morrow, to get his horses shoed, so that Capt[ain] Black cannot start with the detachment before the day after to morrow.

To carry out your orders he will march from here to the Big Piney and so return to Rolla on a circuit way....I would like to keep Capt[ain] Black here, as he is now thoroughly acquainted with the country and the people, but for action he needs a fresh company at his disposition....When the bands of North Missouri are dispersed, we may expect a new rush of rebels to the south, and Salem is situated just on the thoroughfare to the Current River. Capt[ain] Lennon brought information of a band of three hundred now assembled on the Black River with the intention to await Coleman's return. He got this information from a man, who was made prisoner by the rebels and who says, that they were partly from St. Louis C[ounty] and well armed.

I send this letter by an express rider, who is bound to return the same day; we are waiting here for your orders & instructions.

Dr. A. Carr, Dr. A. Howell,

U.S. Military Post

Dr. A.J. Hudspeth

Salem, Missouri

August 30, 1862



Gents!

It has come to my knowledge, that you have made out a certain number of certificates of disability for military service without due authority for such transactions.

In regard to this matter instructions have been received at these headquarters from the Commander of the Division to that effect, that

,,Certificates of disability must be made by surgeons in the regular or volunteer service of the U.S. or militia service of one of the United States, or by a citizen surgeon, who is employed by contract to examine recruits; all certificates made by any other surgeon are worthless. Surgeons authorized to give certificates are paid by the Government for their services, and cannot charge the persons examined anything. Money paid by persons for certificates issued by surgeons not authorized to issue them, can be collected from the surgeons to whom it was paid, and applied to the hospital fund.,,

Let me also make this remark to you: as you did charge nothing for the examination, but $1 for the certificate of disability, you of course were interested to discharge as many as possible, and not a few, to whom you issued certificates of disability, were on a second examination by our post surgeon found entirely able for service. The collected Dollar therefore appears here more in the light of a bribe than a fee.

Furthermore your certificates are signed all in one handwriting and must for that reason be considered as fraudulent and valueless, even if all other conditions were fulfilled. For those reasons you are hereby politely requested to refund to the Commander of this Post every Dollar so collected, between now and the 5th day of September a.c., and are notified,that in case you should not comply with this request, so much of your property will be confiscated, as required to cover the amount of money so collected and the expenses of confiscation.

Dr. A. Cart in whose handwriting said certificates have been made out, will take care, that this letter is only communicated to his colleagues, for whom he underwent the trouble to sign their names.

Col. J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla Division

Salem, Missouri

August 30, 1862

[35]

Colonel!

Referring to my communication of yesterday .... The prisoners were delivered this forenoon to Capt. Avery for transportation to Rolla but soon after they had started report came in that one of them, James Gallian, when about a mile distant had tried to run and was shot dead I ordered the officer of the day to take a couple of men with pick axes and spades to the spot to bury the man and ascertain the facts as far as possible. Very soon after that, Lt. __ came in and reported, that about one and one-half miles farther the balance of the prisoners had found their end in the same way I went out myself immediately; Galian [sic] was buried already on the spot, where he was found some 25-30 yards to the right of the road, shot through the head. One mile and one-half farther I found also to the right of the road about thirty yards distant two of the dead prisoners near together, then about sixty yards distant in the same direction a third one and last about two hundred yards distafit in an opening of the woods the former Judge and Senator Joshua Chilton. The three mentioned before were Alexander Chilton, William Chilton, and Henry Smith. Jackson Heron, the sixth prisoner, very likely escaped; we could at least find his body nowhere, and a farmer living in the neighborhood had seen a man run past his house about the same time, the shots were fired.

The examination of the ground convinced me, that the dead were laying on the same places, where they were killed, a small pool of blood under them no other traces near,-----evidence enough that they were not dragged from one place to another. In regard to the character of the prisoners I wrote you already, and nobody doubts, that they fully deserved their fate. I have to say nothing more about Joshua Chilton, the Senator.

In the possession of Alexander Chilton a government saddle and two government horses were found. He was known as a waylayer, assisted in robbing trains, killing stragglers, and continued this trade with more eagerness yet, since he took the oath of allegiance to the U.S.

William Chilton served in Price's army and continued to be a rebel afterwards, never took the oath.

Henry Smith, one of the most desperate characters was accused of the murder of Worthington, was a

worthy member of Coleman's band and robbed twice the store of William Copeland in Bamesville [later Ellington] Reynolds C[ount]y, M[issouri].

James Gallian is heard bragging of having murdered a man on the road, of whom he took horse, equipment, and $80 in money; was a regular horse thief.

Enclosed please find copies of a correspondence which I had with the Subsistence Department....I did not require them, to send me any flour to Salem, as I suppose, that I can draw my whole supply from the country, but I protest and still protest against feeding the men with the pilot bread [hard tack], when soft bread can be had, and I refuse positively to receive any hard bread instead of flour without positive orders of you to the contrary. We builded here as good a bake oven, as you can find anywhere, and I consider it unjust to dispute to the men the benefit of it; it is that not the way [sic] to keep them in good spirits.

Please inform me what is to be done with men who call here, to enroll their names in the militia. Such men drop in occasionally from other counties where they were retained by circumstances beyond their power ....

Col. J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Commdg. Rolla Division

Salem, Missouri

August 31, 1862



Colonel!

In his report of the 12th instant Lt. A.F. Prickett, Company F 3rd M[issouri] Cay [alry], who had been in command of a recoinntering party sent out by Capt. Bradway then commander of Post Houston made the following statement:

Friday noon I fel [sic] and one Mr. Riley

a good Union man and a militia. Where the boys destroyed four beehives and contents. The rober [sic] I could not find. Saturday noon fed at one Mr. Thomas, a Union man, where the boys stole all the tin cups the lady had. The quartermaster paid her for them.

I did not mention those shameful acts in my report on that expedition, as I intended to have first the matter thoroughly investigated. Removal of the Post from Houston and the separation of Company E and F prevented an investigation to be carried on by myself; ! ordered therefore the commanders of the resp[ective] companies to take the necessary testimonies, which I now lay before you. In my opinion Lt. Prickett is guilty of a gross neglect of duty, if the statements made by members of Company E will be proved true; but he is not under my command anymore, I do not intend to bring charges against him, leaving it entirely to you, to proceed in this matter.

We have in our Post hospital some sick men .... Will you allow me, to send them to Rolla with the first opportunity to be transferred to a Regimental Hospital at St. Louis? Our premises are not large here and those men occupy rooms, which may be wanted for others.

Col. J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla Division

Salem, M[issouri]

September 2, 1862

[36]

Colonel!

Capt. Bland of Col. Warmoth's regiment reported to me the day before he left, that about fifteen miles from here to the east two boys, H[enr]y Kitchen and James Marten, were hiding in the woods well armed, to avoid drafting, and that they had sworn to kill any man, before entering the service of the U.S.; and furthermore, that other rebels had been seen in that neighborhood. On the 31 st ult[imate] I therefore sent out a squad of fifteen cavalry under Corp[oral] Brace Comp[any] E who brought in the boys the next day; but instead of finding them in the woods, they found them quietly in bed, and instead of skulking from the service, they found them eager to join the army, if only their father (they being half-brothers) would give his permit, both being underage. The family is of known loyalty, another brother lately joined the militia in Washington C[ounty], and it is no doubt, that Capt. Bland has been imposed upon, and we also through him. His informer is a son-in-law of old Marten and now in Warmoth's regiment; he is not on good terms with his parents & brothers-in-law and tried to take his vengeance in this way. I do not know his name but Capt. Bland will; he should be attended to.

To day I sent out fifty horses under Serg. Granger, Capt. Bradway being unwell again and Lieut. Reed sick in the hospital, as a reconnoitering party down to Spring Valley, to return by Houston. There are a good many rumors in circulation about Coleman's forces, but none of them has yet been confirmed by following events.

As soon as this party returns, it is my intention to pay you a visit in Rolla, if you do not object, and to have a personal interview with you in regard to further arrangements ....

Enclosed I sent Charges & Specifications against Sergeant Jacob DreierofComp[any] C 2nd Reg[iment] Art[illery] M[issouri] Vol[unteers]. His conduct is one of the bitter fruits of the former Reserve Corp organization ....
Col. H[enr]y Almstedt

U.S. Military Post

Comdg 2nd Reg[iment]

Salem, Missouri

Art[illery]
M[issouri] Vol[unteers]

September 3, 1862

St. Louis, Mo.


Colonel!

D.d. August 221 got again a copy of the General Order from our Reg[imental] Headquarters, but no answer on any of my letters, not even an acknowledgement of their receipt. I ask information

in regard to the appointment Lieut. Schaerff, I wrote for instructions in regard to the settlement of the clothing account, I sent in the resignation of Lieut. Ost and afterwards copy of charges against him, I recommended 1 st Sergeant Holland for examination, but do not know if any of those letters ever reached you. If you can arrange it to come over to Rolla [the] end of this or in the first days of next week I would like to have a personal interview with you ....

Enclosed you ]will[ find copies of charges against Pvt. John Banndorf of Comp[any] L, and against Serg. Jacob Dreier of Comp[any] C ....

If you do not need Lt. Schaerff in St. Louis, please order him to his company; I need his services very much. Lt. Holzbom is a good officer, but his imperfect knowledge of the english language prevents him to become a good adjutant ....

[P.S.] September 4, I will be in Rolla Sunday, if nothing happens....I expect also to meet my wife at Rolla.

1st Lieut. J.G. White A.A.A.Gen.

Rolla Div[ision]

U.S. Military Post

Salem, M[issouri]

September 4, 1862



Sir!

...I have got no news yet from the scouting party, which I sent down to Spring Valley on monday; so that it seems, that they did not meet an enemy of any important strength so far .... Most respectfully J. Weydemeyer

P.Scr. This moment I get information, that a company of Coleman's men about 40 strong under Capt. H[enr]y Pays were encamped on the Little Piney River in the site of Crowe's station the day before yesterday, moving north. I recommand [sic] them to your attention and care.

Col. J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla District

Salem, M[issouri]

September 15, 1862

[37]

Colonel!

...Up to this moment I have no news of the detachment under Capt. Howland; other news, which came in, leave no doubt that the country is full of smaller bands. Houston was visited on the 8th inst[ant[ and the two following days by three different companies, the first of forty men under Capt. Sam Dar-don of Phelps C[ount]y who came in the direction from West Plains. The name of the captain, who made his appearance the second day could not be ascertained. His company had about the same strength of 40 men and belongs to a regiment not yet fully organized, which is stationed at West Plains; they committed depredations of the worst kind, and took Judge Forth, a very peaceable fat man, but strong Unionist, as prisoner along. On the third day Capt. Torpan came in with 25-40 men. He formerly resided about 8 miles west of Houston near Elk Creek, and all his men hail from the same neighborhood. His company belongs to the regiment of Col. Wingo, stationed at Spring River Mills below Thomasville ....

According to what could be ascertained from rebels coming into Houston, they seem not yet to be fully prepared to march against any post occupied by our troops, but hope to be so very soon. I am satisfied...that there is no immediate danger for this post from a regular attack by any of those bands or any combination of them; but I am not strong enough to secure the place against a possible nightly surprise. Naturally the town is open from all sides; to confine the entrances on certain main roads I have made an abatis on the whole circuit. With my present force of infantry I cannot advance the pickets beyond this abatis, and I cannot make these pickets stronger than three men each; their distant from camp is not more than 500 yards the nearest and 800 yards the remotest. A nightly attack on those pickets will leave us scarcely sufficient time to get ready for the fight. With a strong force I would be enabled to post Grand Guards at a distance of one or two miles according to circumstances, strong enough to parry the first shock. One or two troopers with each one of them would be sufficient to form the connecting link with the main force. Then all the other cavalry can permanently be used for scouting or for whatever other purposes their services might be wanted.

Now to a certain measure my whole command has to act as Grand Guard, has to be permanently on the "qui vive," what [sic] may be done for a short time, but not for long a period, as the men will be tired by it and become indifferent...night before last at about dusk one of the pickets was fired at by a party of five, who made good their escape.

But there is yet another cause which induces me, to ask for reinforcements. I told you already about the trouble in our regiment in regard to the Reserve Corp Question. Last night I got a copy of the following answer, which Brig. Gen. Scofield sent to Lt. Henry Almstedt, Commdg our regiment: [the Schofield material was omitted in the original] This answer is not the least the appeased the unruly spirit of our men, which is again & again stirred up by editorials and correspondences of the different St. Louis papers. To keep it down, I might need assistance, although I hope, it will not come to that extremity; but should the men be foiled in the hope awakened in them by the above answer, to be soon ordered back to St. Louis, an outbreak might come at last.

If you send the 99th Illinois, it will find here just the same opportunities to drill, as at Rolla, connected with a healthier climate and splendid water ....
Col. H[enr]y Almstedt

U.S. Military Post

Comdg 2nd Reg[iment]

Salem, M[issouri]

Art[illery]
M[issouri] Vol[unteers]

Sept[ember] 15, 1862



Colonel!

...Col. Glover, Comdg Rolla Division offered me, to send the 99th Illin[ois] Reg[iment] to this place as reinforcement, which offer I of course accepted. I hope, we will then very soon be relieved entirely. After the mutineers of Capt. Krausneck's company have been released unconditional[1]y by the Provost Marshal in St. Louis, it could not be expected, that the men of other regiments would be afraid of the consequences of similar acts. The German papers proceed in their old course and improve of the situation. Doubtless you saw the correspondence to the "Westliche Post" from"Camp Hamilton," the author of which should be found out if possible, and severely punished. Here it is supposed that Bergemann of Comp[any] L is the manufacturer of that masterpiece.

If the companies begin to take possession of the forts, I hope you will take care, that they will be so distributed that every one of them is as far from home as possible...then perhaps they will regret the easy and pleasant time they enjoyed in the country and get tired of the Reserve Corps service as they are now tired of the Volunteer service, mainly influenced by a miserable set of homesick fellows.

Col. J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla Division

Salem, Missouri

September 16, 1862



Colonel!

...two men B.F. Hubbes and Nimrod Gains came in, who both reside about eight miles south of here and were scared away by stories told them in regard to the destination of the new levy, which should be sent directly to Virginia etc. They ran south to Arkansas about six weeks ago to a small place in the neighborhood of Batesville, Huckrun as they pronounce it, and returned from there Monday before last, after they had been convinced that they would be impressed the service there as well as here.

The horses of the cavalry are badly worn down, and more than half of their number need shoeing. Not a horseshoe is at this post and none could be had at Rolla, when I was there. I hear, that since a supply has been received there, and Cpt. Owen promised me, to ship some hither immediately, but did not do it yet.

Col. J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla Division

Salem, M[issouri]

Sept[ember] 18, 1862



Colonel!

...the scouting party, which I sent out yesterday found the trails of a big rebel force about 3. miles south of this place. It must have been divided into two parties, each one about 300 strong. One of them returned on the West Plains Road, the other one turned over to the Houston Road, on which they were met by a boy about noon beyond the Dry Pigeon Creek about 16 miles distant. We expected another visit last night, had pickets advanced about three miles, but were not disturbed. If only our horses were shoed, we would follow up them parties ....

Col. J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla Division

Salem, M[issouri]

Sept[ember] 19, 1862

[38]

Colonel!

...Yesterday a foraging party, which I sent out in a southern direction, reported to have met some of the enemies pickets about two miles distant from town. Judging that a heavier force must be in marching distance, I ordered the balance of cavalry out and followed myself with two companies and one gun, but no further traces of the enemy were discovered. To day a family moved in from the upper end of the Spring Valley about 10 miles north of Jack's Fork, and stated, that no hostile force of any consideration was to be found in that district. On the other hand the appearance of about 600 men on horseback in our immediate vicinity leaves no doubt, that the country is not free. The more conflicting the different statements are, the more the necessity impresses itself upon my mind, to send out a strong reconnoitering party to come at the real condition of things ....

Col. Bailey

U.S. Military

Comdg 99th Ill[inois]

Post Salem, M[issonri]

Reg[iment]
Salem, M[issouri]

Sept[ember] 19, 1862



Colonel!

I have just been informed, that some of your men killed geese near the West Plains Road. Those geese belonged to a Union man Simmons, who saw three of them carded away. I hope, you will investigate the matter and take care, that Mr. Simmons will be paid for his loss. I heard of other depredations committed by your men in this neighborhood....Being confident, that you will take the necessary measures, to prevent such acts in future, I will not proceed in the matter at present.

Col. J.M. Glover

U.S. Military Post

Comdg Rolla Division

Salem, M[issouri]

Sept[ember] 21, 1862



Colonel!

...I do not know, to what extent I can dispose of the assistance of the 99th. IfI take my two companies and myself the command of the expedition [to Houston], Col. Bailey of course has to take command of the Post, and then I am afraid of some confusion, as he is entirely a "green hand," and his officers seem to be all as green as he is. In regard to guard duty, none of them seems to have ever looked at the "Army Regulations." I will be very thankful to you, if you will send me orders and instructions in regard to that expedition.

In case the 99th should here be relieved by another regiment,...I hope, you will relieve me of command of the Post, to avoid every conflict of authority.

Yesterday the Cuba mail was robbed about four miles from this place. Capt. Howland took that road to day and will report to you, if he found any traces of the robbers.

Yesterday Lt. Reed with 30 horses accompanied the Provost Marshal to a secesh settlement about 15 miles west, to drive in cattle for the post. They returned to day with about thirty heads, most of the cattle in that district having been bought up for Mr. Smith, the government contractor. I informed you already some weeks ago that Mr. Smith was acting in that way, giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the government with [the] government's money.

In regard to the Reserve Corps Question, I do not reason with my men, as I consider it useless or worse. I treat them as soldiers, and insist upon, that they do their duty as soldiers, may they consider themselves a Reserve Corps or Volunteers. Should they refuse to do their duty, they will do so at their own peril. What I hear of Maj. Wilkins, things look worse with the detachment at Rolla than here, and I guess, you will see the first trouble there. I had the sentences of the court martial already at roll call; they made undoubtedly a wholesome impression, but the men will never forget, how lenient the bulk of the mutineers has been treated. I would like to see our prisoners in the fort tried as soon as possible.

Again two runaways reported themselves here, I placed them under bond of resp[ectively] 500 and 1000 Dollars ....

Col. H[enr]y Almstedt

U.S. Military Post

Comdg

Salem, M[issouri]

2nd Missouri Artillery

September 24, 1862



Colonel!

Enclosed you will please find Descriptive Roll of Nic. Schuby, Private of Comp[any] C who deserted, while with ali escort of a train from Rolla hither .... Please have him arrested immediately and punished with all severity, the laws allows, as it is necessary, to set some examples....Some days since I have been reinforced here by a green Ill[inois] Reg[imen]t. It is quite an anomaly, that I hold the command of the Post while a Colonel is with his regiment in town, and it makes my position somewhat difficult ....

[39]


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