History of Greene County, Missouri

R. I. Holcombe, Editing Historian

Chapter 13
From 1864 to the Close of the Civil War

1864. — Miscellaneous County Court Proceedings — Organization of Federal Troops at Springfield — Historical Sketches of Batteries H, I, and K, 2d Missouri Artillery — The 2d Arkansas — Flag Presentation — Addresses of Misses Mohizer and Phelps and Replies of Cols. Phelps and Cameron — The 16th Missouri Cavalry — Number of Men and in What Regiments in the Federal Service from Greene County, January 1 — Guerilla Raids Through the County —Killing of Joseph Cooper by Bill Anderson's Band — The Federal Raids and Jay-Hawkers — Murders and Misdeeds of All Sorts — O, War! War! — Murder of James M. Thompson — The Union League — Gen. Sanborn's Administration — The Political Canvass of 1864 — "Bloody-Bones" Kelso — His Election to Congress — The November Election — "Come on with Your Draft " — Other Events of 1864 — Time of the Price Raid, etc. 1865. — Miscellaneous — "Richmond Has Fallen!" — The War Over — Tragedies, Murders, etc. — Military Executions During the War — The Case of the Confederate Lieutenant Brownlee.


The following proceedings of the county court, and the acts of other public officials during the year 1864, have been derived from Mr. A. F. Ingram's "Chronology," published in the Patriot-Advertiser in the spring of 1878. [463]

January 4 — R. A. C. Mack was appointed county clerk, vice W. P. Davis, resigned. — J. W. D. L. F. Mack was appointed temporary county attorney. — The collector and treasurer were authorized to receive Union military bonds for county revenue, and for principal and interest on road, canal, and school bonds.

January 6 — Mrs. Fairchilds was allowed $15 by the county court for finding, in Stone county, and preserving, the records of the circuit court of this county. — J. W. Mack was appointed deputy county clerk.

April 4 — Benj. Kite took his seat as a county justice, vice J. W. Gray, and was made presiding justice until the next general election.

April 5 — T. A. Reed, collector of the revenue for 1861, entered on a final settlement, and was indebted in the sum of $16,909.64, and credited $16,409.64.

April 14 — R. A. C. Mack was appointed, by the county court, local military agent for the county for one year, to collect claims for widows, orphans and disabled soldiers of Missouri in the service of the United States; said Mack to be paid $150, and give bond in the sum of $500.

May 27 — A county tax of 40 cents on the $100 was levied for current expense, and a poll tax of $2 for years 1862-3.

July 18 — A. M. Julian, collector, receipted for tax books of 1862-3, amounting to $12,406.60, no taxes having heretofore been levied and collected for these years.

August 1 — The Assessor's books for 1862-3, made this year, showed 3,677 names.

August 16. — A special term of the county court met for the purpose of considering the propriety of levying and raising a bounty for encouraging soldiers to enlist in the United States service, but owing to the financial condition of the county, nothing was done.

November 28 — James Abbott, treasurer elect, not being a free holder, and therefore ineligible, A. F. Ingram was appointed treasurer for two years, by the county court. Mr. Ingram's bond was fixed at $80,000.


During the winter of 1863-4 a number of companies and regiments for the Federal service were organized at Springfield, and many of their members were from this county. By this time the able-bodied men of the county had learned that they might expect to be in active service the greater portion of time, if they remained at their homes, as militia men, and that it were as well that they entered the regular U. S. service at once and for good. There was no real peace to be found at home unless it was fought for! The Confederate sympathizers were few, but were full of trouble, and even many of them entered the U. S. service as a choice of evils. [464]


Three batteries of the 2d Missouri Artillery Regiment were among the military organizations perfected at Springfield during this period. They became known as Batteries H, I, and K, and were commanded respectively at the first by Capt. W. C. Montgomery, Capt. S. H. Julian, and Capt. W. P. Davis. Montgomery and Julian commanded their batteries through the war; Davis died, and was succeeded by Ephraim Confare, who resigned in June, 1864, and then Edward S. Rowland became captain. Brief histories of these batteries, composed as they were partly of Greene county men, may not be regarded as inappropriate in this volume.

Battery H was organized as a company of heavy artillery, at Springfield, December 4, 1863, under command of Captain W. C. Montgomery. Left February. 3, 1864, and proceeded via Rolla and St. Louis to New Madrid, Missouri. April 27, 1864, it was ordered to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Remained there until May 3, 1864, when it was ordered to St. Louis, Missouri, to be equipped as a battery of field artillery, arriving at St. Louis, Missouri, May 8, 1864, where it remained until September 21, 1864, when it was ordered to Pilot Knob, Missouri. Was in the battle at that place September 26 and 27, 1864. Lost traveling forge, battery wagon, baggage wagon, eighteen mules and twelve horses; then abandoned caissons and camp property, and marched to Leesburg, on the Pacific Railroad, distance, seventy-five miles. Was in the engagement at that place, September 30, 1864; marched from Leesburg October 5, 1864, to Rolla, Missouri; from there with General McNeil's command to Jefferson City, Missouri. October 8 was ordered with a division of cavalry in pursuit of General Price. Was engaged during several days with the enemy at Russellville, California and Boonville, Missouri. October 17 marched on to Lexington, Missouri, and then towards Independence, Missouri. In the suburbs of that city came up with the enemy, took position, fired about twelve rounds, when the enemy retreated. The same night left with General McNeil's command, on the Little Santa Fe road. Was engaged in the battle of the Big Blue. After the enemy marched towards Fort Scott, Kansas, in pursuit, was engaged at Marais-des-Cygnes and Osage river, then went into Fort Scott, Kansas, for rations and forage. October 27, one section of the battery, under command of Lieutenant Smiley, marched with General Sanborn's brigade to Newtonia, Missouri, and was engaged with the enemy at that place. The remaining section, under command of Captain Montgomery, returned to Warrensburg, Missouri—distance, ninety-three miles—as part of an escort to prisoners and other captured property. From Warrensburg it was ordered to St. Louis, Missouri; Lieutenant Smiley's section joining it at that point. Battery marched, during the whole. raid of Price into Missouri, about twelve hundred miles, and expended seventeen hundred rounds of ammunition. Loss, four men killed, ten captured, three missing and six wounded; twenty-five horses killed and fifteen captured. [465]

January 1, 1865, this company was in winter quarters at Franklin, Missouri, where it remained until June 11, when, in accordance with instructions from the headquarters of the army, it was mounted and equipped as cavalry, and, with other batteries of the regiment, ordered to Omaha, Nebraska, where it arrived June 20, leaving that point July 1, 1865, as a portion of the right column, Powder river Indian expedition. During the different engagements on Powder river with the Indians, this company lost three men killed. Company returned to St. Louis November 11, and was mustered out of service November 20, 1865.

Battery I was organized at Springfield, December 28, 1863, as a company of heavy artillery. Left Springfield February 3, 1864, and proceeded to New Madrid, Missouri, via Rolla and St. Louis. Was stationed at that place until June 9, when it was ordered to St. Louis, to be equipped as a light battery. Remained at St. Louis until October 4, 1864, when it was ordered to Franklin, Missouri, and attached to Brigadier General Pike's division, E. M. M; from that point left for Washington and Hermann, arriving there October 25, 1864. On the 9th of November, 1864, the battery was ordered to St. Louis, and then to Paducah, Kentucky. Left that place November 27, 1864, and was attached to Major General Smith's division, 16th Army Corps.

While on a scout in Osceola county, Ark., April 7, 1864, a detachment of this battery under Lieut. Lazarus J. Phillips, was surrounded and surprised by a stronger force of Confederates. A hot fight resulted, in which Lieut. Phillips, Sergt. Hanley, and five privates of this battery were killed, but the Confederates were defeated with a severer loss. Lieut. Phillips' detachment was making this scout on foot at the time, and was surrounded in a swamp. [466]

In December the battery was ordered to Tennessee. It guarded the rear of the army when it fell back from Franklin to Nashville. At the battle of Nashville, December 15-17, 1864, it was actively engaged the last two days, during which it fired 22,000 pounds of ammunition; lost five men wounded, ten horses killed, and had every gun struck, repeatedly. It followed Hood to the Tennessee river, and was stationed at Eastport for a time.

January 1st, 1865, this company was stationed at Johnsonville, Tennessee, doing garrison duty until the latter part of June, when it was ordered to St. Louis, and was mustered out of service August 23, 1865.

Battery K was organized at Springfield, January 14, 1864, as a company of heavy artillery. February 3, 1864, it proceeded to New Madrid, Missouri, where it remained until May 7, when it was ordered to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and then, May 10, to St. Louis, Missouri, to be equipped to a battery of light artillery. Remained at St. Louis until October 11, 1864, when it embarked on the steamer Stephen Decatur, and proceeded to Jefferson City, Missouri, and from there, October 19, via Pacific Railroad, to Lamine bridge, where it was stationed until November 15, 1864, when it was ordered to Franklin, Missouri, to go into winter quarters.

January 1st, 1865, this company was in winter quarters at Franklin, Missouri, where it remained until June 11th, 1865, when it was mounted and equipped as cavalry, and, with other batteries of the regiment, was ordered to Omaha, Nebraska territory, where it arrived June 20th, and left July 1st as a portion of the right column, Powder river Indian expedition. September 1st and 5th this company lost five men, killed by the Indians on Powder river. Company returned to St. Louis, Missouri, November 11th, and was mustered out of service November 25, 1865. [467]


The organization of this regiment was completed at Springfield in March, 1864, having been recruited the previous winter and fall, at Springfield, Cassville, and other points in the Southwest. A citizen of Greene, Col. John E. Phelps afterward brevet brigadier a son of Hon. John S. Phelps, who had seen service almost constantly since the battle of Wilson's Creek, was commissioned colonel of the regiment March 18th. Other Greene county men in the 2d Arkansas were Pleasant G. Potter, regimental commissary, and the following members of Company A: Wm. D. Moore, 2d lieutenant; privates, James M. Beall, Wm. McElhany, John Mills, James M. Mills, and Anthony Myers. Company E, privates, Peyton Gwinn and Samuel Gwinn. Company F, Private John F. G. Cleburne. Company M, Capt. G. W. Moore, 2d lieutenant, James P. Philips, Sergt. Geo. W. Moore, Private Rufus Alredge. Sutler, J. L. French. The 2d Arkansas was of course mainly composed of loyal Arkansans, who had either escaped the Confederate conscription laws or deserted the Confederate army. Their homes were chiefly in Northwestern Arkansas, and they were known as "Mountain Feds," or "Boomers." The regiment was engaged in many severe skirmishes in Arkansas, and all of the important battles of Price's raid, and was finally mustered out of service August 20, 1865.


Just before the 2d Arkansas left Springfield for "the front," the ladies of the city, through Miss Mohizer, presented Col. John E Phelps with an elegant sword. At the same time Miss Mary Phelps, (now Mrs. Montgomery) for her mother—who was also the mother of the colonel of the regiment—presented the regiment with a beautiful standard, now preserved in the capital at Little Rock.

The addresses of the ladies and the responses of the officers on this occasion are deemed worthy of publication, and are herewith given.


My friends, we meet today to perform a duty that is unusually pleasant, being nothing less than the rendering honor to one who especially deserves it.

I need not speak of the bravery or patriotism of Col. Phelps; they are too well known to all present to need comment or encomium from me. He is one of those whom all true men know how to honor. One who embodied his principle in his life; who does not consider himself too good to die, if necessary, in defence of a government under whose protection he has obtained all that he has of good, and which he loves with an undying affection. One who is fighting, not for opinions, but principles; not for abolition or slavery—not for the black race or the white— not for union or disunion—but for the rights of man. Such a man is Col. Phelps, and as such I tender this sword to his acceptance, in the name of the ladies of Springfield. May it never be drawn from its scabbard save in the cause of truth and right, and its blade be always as free from the breath of dishonor as now. [468]


Miss, I accept the present, and return my respectful thanks to the ladies for the honor conferred upon me. I cannot find words to express my feelings on this occasion. It is an event in one's life that can never be forgotten. I am made the recipient of a tribute paid only by a grateful community to eminent men for the greatest services. The ladies of Springfield, the pride and ornament of my home, bestow the same mark upon me, and you condescend to present the rich testimonial to make the honor greater still. I am and will ever be proud of the favor received, but whether I should not bow under its weight, I do not know. Methinks, however, that it is a mark of those ladies' and your friendship, and encouragement to those deeds which it is generally meant to reward. As such only could I accept it, under promise that this sword, drawn in defence of a distracted country, shall never be sheathed until Union is restored and peace once more reigns supreme over all the States, when each fireside is again made happy by the return of all of us to our homes, or the consolation that we have fallen in defence of a noble cause. Once more, ladies and Miss, I thank you.


Officers and men of the 2d Arkansas Cavalry, in the name of my mother, I present you with this banner of liberty. Some restless, deluded spirits, blindly seeking for what they call their rights in robbing you, have made it necessary for you to defend your homes and families. When you look on this beautiful banner, and see the eagle and thirteen stars, remember it as an emblem for which our forefathers fought—remember the constitution which they made—press it to your bosoms, and raise your hearts to the great God above, and beg His assistance in its defence.

This beautiful country is now torn by strife and discord, but you brave men have volunteered your services, nay, even your lives, in her defence; you nobly stand forth to fight and die for her. Our country is now seeking, with the blood of many of her most gallant sons; but, ah! she is not dead; though trampled and bleeding, she raises her drooping head and calls on you, brave men, to rally round her banner and avenge her fallen sons.

Take this emblem of liberty, bear it high and teach the traitor to tremble and cower at its sight. Ever keep it as a sign of protection to the widow, the orphan and the grey-haired father.

"To your homes you never may return,
Ne'r press again your loved one in your arms;
O'er your lone graves our faithful hearts will yearn,
Then cheer up, boys, cheer up,
Such death hath no alarms."

Go forth, and remember the dear ones at home will watch and pray. Let "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable," ever be your motto. [469]


On behalf of my Colonel, I thank your mother for this pretty and appropriate present—this priceless product of that love which is purely patriotic and maternal. My language is utterly inadequate to a faithful expression of the gratitude due from the recipient of this most legitimate offering, of that most exalted sentiment; but, on his behalf, I accept it with obligations stronger even than those imposed upon the Spartan boys. On behalf of his subaltern officers I thank her for the interest she is taking in the present success of his regiment—for the high hopes which she entertains of its future, and for his noble character and exemplary deportment. We will vie with each other in practicing his many manly virtues, and in supporting him in the enforcement of that thorough and exact discipline by which he may ere long, fully realize her most fond anticipations. On behalf of the enlisted men, I further thank her for the generous liberality with which she has, in very many instances, provided for their distressed and destitute families, for the untiring energy which has marked her continued labor's in favor of the sick and wounded, and for her encouraging sympathy by which many unfortunate soldiers have been sustained and comforted; and on their behalf I pledge her their gratitude, and a more cheerful submission to the vicissitudes of the service in which they are employed, they will, whenever opportunity offers, more than redeem the obligations imposed by this ceremony. Should dangers ever threaten this beautiful standard, the memories of this hour, having become the memories of the past, will exert a stirring power in making valiant men.

We will remember, how of yore
Our fathers did this ensign bear.
They did create, we must restore.
Like them, we must endure and dare.

On behalf of my country, I thank your mother for her self-sacrificing devotion to its service—exemplified by her quiet and uncomplaining submission to the many and great sacrifices which she has been required to make. First, in separating from many with whom she had been associated for years on terms of intimate friendship, and in yielding up the accumulations of a life of industry and frugality to the enemies of good government. And finally in sacrificing to the hazard of war, not only a husband whose superior wisdom and experience, as well as his gallant services in the field, were of incalculable value to the government, but, also, an only son, whose military career will yet adorn a page in American history. [470]


In August of this year the 6th Provisional regiment of militia was changed by order of the commander-in-chief to the 16th regiment of cavalry, Missouri Volunteers. As many of the members of this regiment were from Greene county, and still live here, a brief sketch of its operations may not be altogether void of interest. Its colonel was John F. McMahan; lieut. col., Roswell K. Hart, and its last three majors were John B. Waddill, John Small, and James L. Rush. The following brief history of this regiment is by Maj. John B. Waddill:

The regiment, composed of twelve companies, with an aggregate of more than eleven hundred men, was mustered into the United States service in August, 1864, to date back to November 1, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel John F. McMahan commanding, afterwards promoted to Colonel. The various companies were stationed in Greene, Christian, Ozark, Douglas, Webster, Laclede and Texas counties, doing much to restore quiet to the country and exterminate bushwhackers.

In the latter part of 1864 this regiment composed a part of Brevet Major-General Sanborn's command, and participated in the pursuit of General Price, and bore an honorable part in every engagement from Jefferson City until the enemy was driven from the State; being in the advance at Boonville, on the extreme right of the advance at Independence, and also at the battle of the Big Blue, where it made a brilliant saber charge upon an overwhelming number of the enemy, at that time falling back from Westport.

After the enemy was expelled from the State, the regiment again returned to the District of Southwest Missouri, and was judiciously distributed among the counties above named, for the purpose of suppressing lawlessness and preserving order. Company K, in Texas county, was very valuable to that section of country, operating against the marauders then infesting the Rolla district and the line of communication between Rolla and Springfield, killing some forty-five of the most desperate outlaws and driving out the balance. The entire regiment was mustered out of service June 30, 1865.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
John B. Waddill.
Late Major 16th Regmen Cavalry, Missouri Volunteers.

The 7th Provisional Regiment became the 15th Mo. Cavalry, Col. John D. Allen commanding.


By the 1st of January, 1864, there had enlisted from Greene county, in the Missouri volunteer regiments of the Federal army, 840 men. In the Missouri State Militia there had enlisted 406 men. In regiments from other States, 141 men, making the total number of men from this county, who had joined the regular Federal service up to that date, 1,387. These men had joined the regiments named below to the number given. [471]



No. Enlisted


No. Enlisted

2d Missouri Infantry


2d Missouri Artillery


15th Missouri Infantry


1st Missouri Cavalry


17th Missouri Infantry


2d Missouri Cavalry


24th Missouri Infantry


6th Missouri Cavalry


27th Missouri Infantry


8th Missouri Cavalry


1st Missouri Artillery


11th Missouri Cavalry




No. Enlisted


No. Enlisted

4th Cavalry, M. S. M.


8th Cavalry M. S. M.


14th Cavalry, M. S. M.






No. Enlisted


No. Enlisted

In Illinois Regiments


In Iowa Regiment


In Kansas Regiments


In Arkansas Regiments



During the year 1863 roving bands of confederate guerillas passed through the county from time, but did no serious damage to life and property. In this year, 1864, however, some of these gangs did grievous mischief. Houses were plundered, and two or three burned and there were a few tragedies. In June two federal soldiers, belonging to the infantry, were killed on the wire road not far from the Wilson's Creek battle ground. They were sick or foot sore and had straggled behind from their command, which had been engaged in guarding a train from Cassville to Springfield. It seemed that they had been taken out into the woods and shot, and one of the bodies had a heavy bruise on the temple, causing one of the eyes to start from its socket. Their boots were taken from their feet. As some of Col. Sid Jackman's men were known to be in the neighborhood at the time, it was supposed that they had killed these men.


In the early spring Bill Anderson's, band of guerillas passed through the northwest part of this county on its way from Texas (where it had wintered), to the counties along the Missouri river. Anderson, as is generally known, was one of the most bloody villains the war produced—and it produced, a great many. He asked no quarter and he gave none. He was never known to spare but one federal soldier or ex-federal that fell into his hands. Withal he was one of the most fearless and desperate fighters that ever lived. [472]

Three miles from Cave Springs lived Joseph Cooper, a young man, perhaps 21 years of age. Mr. Cooper was a Union man, but not a soldier; he had served a brief time in the enrolled militia, but his services were of an unimportant character. The majority of Anderson's men were dressed in blue uniform, and easily imposed themselves on Mr. Cooper as Federal soldiers. They secured his services as a guide, and took him up into Polk county, a short distance from the county line, and killed him. The body was not found for five or six days afterward, and when discovered was only recognized by the clothes. It is reported to have received mutilation of such a horrible and revolting character as not to be described.

Other raids were made from time to time by small squads of Freeman's, Jackman's, Carter's and other bands, but the operations, so far as this county was concerned, were chiefly confined to stealing horses, and robbing citizens indiscriminately, without regard to age, sex, or political opinions. These raids were uniformly made in the night-time, the raiders lying in the bushes by day, or traveling along sequestered roads and by-paths.


The Confederate guerillas and bushwhackers did not have a monopoly of all the raiding and plundering and burning and killing in this county and throughout Southwest Missouri. There were numbers of men in the Federal service who were guilty of atrocities for which there was hardly any adequate earthly punishment. Bands of them rode about through the country, and pouncing unawares upon some harmless Confederate sympathizer plundered him without remorse and sometimes shot him without mercy. Sometimes these villains called up men out of their beds and slew them in the presence of their terror-stricken families, and then put the torch to their homes. O War! War!


During the fall of this year, October 5th, a most atrocious murder was perpetrated near Springfield. The victim was a Mr. James M. Thompson, a well-to-do, respectable citizen, living a few miles south of town. Mr. Thompson had taken the oath of loyalty, but was at heart, perhaps, what was known as a "Southern sympathizer." However his politics had nothing to do with his murder. He was killed for his money, presumably. Mr. Thompson was a stock-dealer and had recently returned from Ft. Leavenworth and St. Louis, whither he had gone to dispose of some cattle. After returning to this county he told his wife that he would go to Springfield and withdraw what money he had in the hands of a certain party there. His money, or the greater part of it, is believed to have been in his possession at the time of his murder. He started for his home on horse-back unattended, "but hame never came he." A mile or so from town he was fired upon by some parties in ambush and killed. [473]

Who the perpetrators of this murder were will perhaps never be certainly known. Gen. John B. Sanborn, in command of the district, with headquarters at Springfield, instructed his subordinates to find the guilty parties if possible, and strong circumstantial evidence was developed against certain parties living south of the James. In a letter to the writer Gen. Sanborn says: "The circumstantial evidence was, in my judgment, conclusive as to the parties who killed James Thompson, but I do not now remember their names. They lived south of the James. When I left I gave their names and the names of the witnesses to Col. Fyan [then prosecuting attorney]. Col. Henry Sheppard knew the men toward whom all the evidence pointed. I did not order them before a commission, for the reason that prejudice ran so high, and the evidence was wholly circumstantial. I expected to have one of the parties turn State's evidence in time, and, as the parties were in good standing, I had decided that I would not proceed until the evidence was conclusive.

Mr. Thompson was a good citizen and an honorable man, and the people of the county who knew him greatly deplored his loss. His widow was killed in the dreadful cyclone that visited the country in April, 1880.

Mr. Thompson was one of the oldest citizens of the county. His father, Edward Thompson, settled in 1829, a little south of the James, on what afterward came to be known as the John Caldwell farm. His relatives have their suspicions as to who are his murderers, but it is best not to give their opinion at this time.


The secret political order called the Union League had an existence and flourished in Greene county during this year. While its avowed objects were the "aiding and abetting by all honorable means of the Federal government in its efforts to put down the rebellion," these purposes were prostituted to the worst uses, and the order was often used for the ratification of private revenges, the wreaking of personal malice, and the perpetration of crime—all in the name of "loyalty." [474]

In Springfield the Union League had a strong lodge, whose character during this year became at times lawless, turbulent, fanatical, and Jacobinical. Some of the members were almost insane in their "loyalty." It being a Presidential year added to the already intense excitement. The League declared for Lincoln and Johnson, and some of the members in their zeal went so far as to say that any man who voted for McClellan was an enemy to his country, a sympathizer with treason, and it would be only an exercise of great mercy if he were not taken out and shot. Some of these fanatics, four years before, had desired to hang everybody that wanted to vote for Lincoln, and now wished to hang everybody that desired to vote against him!

From a reliable source, a former member of the League, it is learned that at one meeting it was proposed that a number of prominent McClellan men be "removed " for the good of the cause, as they were said to be "obstructionists in the way of putting down the rebellion and punishing traitors," and it was agreed that all such obstacles ought to be displaced, and that the end would justify the means. Among those named as proper subjects for "removal" were Col. John S. Phelps, Col. F. S. Jones, Hon. D. C. Dade and Hon. M. J. Hubble. Happily other sensible members of the League denounced all such sanguinary and incendiary schemes and schemers, and nothing serious came of them. Gen. Sanborn was often roundly denounced by some of the extra-loyalists for his conservatism and care of the rights of all, "secesh" and Union citizens alike, and that officer was often put to his wits to keep in proper subjection some of the Leaguers without a resort to the most violent means.


Among all of the Federal military commanders at Springfield, Gen. John B. Sanborn seems now to be most kindly remembered. His administration of affairs was at a most critical period, in 1864-5, when the passions of men were most violently inflamed by the war, and they were the most difficult of control. The soldiery had become accustomed to scenes of violence and disorder, and the citizens were as hard to manage as the soldiers. Some loyalists were fanatical, some secessionists were desperate. Oftentimes the general was assailed by extreme radical Union men for his protection of the persons and property of "rebels" from those who wished to "vex the Midianites," to spoil them and spare not, and again the Confederate partisans would denounce him for his unrelenting pursuit of bushwhackers, who were rendering so much property insecure, and so many lives unsafe. [475]

But Gen Sanborn kept steadily on his course of repressing and repelling the violent of both factions, of protecting the good and punishing the bad, and with a wise conservatism so managed affairs that at last all but the most disreputable endorsed him, and to-day he is given great praise by men of all parties and former shades of opinion.


Amid all the turmoil of the war the political canvass of 1864 went on as usual, except that it was largely one-sided. The Republicans of the count had grown in four years from 42 to hundreds, and the Democratic party was well nigh extinct. It was a "Presidental year," too. Gen. George B. McClellan and Hon. Geo. H. Pendleton were the candidates of the Democratic party, and Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson were the nominees of the Republican party for President and Vice President. Both the Republican and the Democratic candidate for Presidential elector from this district were from Greene county. Hon. H. J. Lindenbower was the Lincoln candidate for elector and Hon. Dabney C. Dade was his opponent on the McClellan ticket.

There were four candidates for Congress in this district. Col. S. H. Boyd, the then incumbent, and Capt. John R. Kelso, of the 8th Cavalry M. S. M., were running as Radical Republicans; Martin J. Hubble, of this county, was voted for by the Democrats or McClellan men, while Dr. P. B. Larimore, of Bolivar, as frequently before, was an "independent " candidate. There were full tickets in the field for minor officers.

A very exciting contest was that for Congressman, the fight being really between Boyd and Kelso. Boyd was well known throughout the district, but his opponent had only come into public notice after the war. Capt. Kelso was a singular man. He was an old resident of Missouri, and by occupation a school teacher. By his own efforts he had acquired a first-class education, and it is said of him that, besides being master of the exact sciences, he spoke five languages with extraordinary fluency. Before the war Capt. Kelso had lived in Polk county. Upon the breaking out of the troubles he took the Union side and in the summer of 1861 was made major of the Dallas County Home Guards. Afterwards he was a 1st lieutenant in Richardson's 14th M. S. M., and was transferred to the 8th M. S. M., in which he became captain of Company M.

From all accounts Kelso was a desperate fighter, and a desperate man. He did a great deal of scouting service for the Federal army throughout Southern and Southwest Missouri and Northern Arkansas, and experienced numerous exciting and perilous adventures. He was fanatical in his Unionism, held all Confederates to be traitors, guilty of treason and deserving death. It is said of him that he killed many a man without cause. Stories are told of him that make him appear a Raw-Head-and-Bloody-Bones sort of fellow, fit only to be denominated a monster, and entitled only to execration. Doubtless some of these stories are exaggerations, but the fact remains that Kelso was a "bad man, " and hold human life in very cheap estimation. In this day Capt. Kelso would have been called a "crank." Much learning had made him mad. He was a transcendentalist and was well versed in all the dogmas of the schools of modern thought. It is said that he always carried a book of some sort in his saddle pockets, and frequently engaged in the study of mental philosophy and the subtleties of metaphysics while lying in the brush by the roadside waiting, to "get the drop" on a "rebel." He believed in diet and plenty of exercise as brain-producing elements, practiced them himself, and forced his wife and daughter to adopt the Bloomer costume.

But with all of his whims and failings, Kelso had hosts of friends and admirers, especially among the soldiers, and succeeded to Congress over his competitors by a handsome plurality. He found time to make a canvass of the district, and, though it was charged that questionable means were used to elect him, and though his seat was contested by Col. Boyd, there were many who rejoiced at his success, and he retained his place in Congress to the end of the term.


The following was the result of the November election in this county this year, in the aggregate, it not being possible to give the vote by townships and military commands:

For President. - For the Lincoln electors, 2223; for the McClellan electors, 346. Republican majority, 1877.
For Congress. - S. H. Boyd (Rep.), 1129; John R. Kelso (Rep.), 995; M. J. Hubble (Dem.), 228; P. B. Larimore (Ind.),1. [477]
For State Senator.—J. W. D..L. F. Mack (Rep.), 1146; J. M. Moore (Ind.), 674.
For the Constitutional Convention, 1651; against, 302.
For Delegates to Con. Convention.—John A. Mack, 1543; R. L. Childers, 1485.
For Representatives in State Legislature.— T. A. Reed, 972 ; S. W. Headlee, 1359 ; Green B. Phillips, 334;. C. Cannefax, 277; Chas. B. Owen, 282.
For County Treasurer.—James M. Abbott, 933; no opposition .
For Sheriff.— John A. Patterson, 1325; H. Matlock, 215.
For Circuit Attorney. —John R. Cox, 871; J. F. Hardin, 305; James M. Morehouse, 7.
For Coroner. —James F. Brown, 37; P. C. Beal, 16; J. C. Pilger, 12.
For County Justice. —Benjamin Kite, 1055; Joseph Rountree, 195.

Every township in the county went Republican. Pond Creek cast 90 votes for Lincoln; not one for a Democratic candidate. What a change in the political complexion of the county had occurred in four years, on account of the war, the Gamble oath and Federal bayonets! Though. it must not be inferred that there was any military interference in this election in this county.


In the fall of this year the Federal Administration decided upon ordering a universal draft. While the matter was under discussion a telegram was sent to Gov. Bramlette, of Kentucky, advising him of the step that was about to be taken, and asking him how he thought it would affect his State. To this the Governor replied: "Come on with your draft; it won't hurt us. Kentucky's quota is full, on both sides!" Greene county might have made a similar response; her quota was "full"—and, indeed, running over a little on one side—and almost, if not quite, full on the other. While there was great ado in the so-called "loyal" States over the draft, and in many districts, extremely patriotic, there were great deficiencies, and substitutes and exemptions were in most extraordinary demand, Greene county, away down in Southwest Missouri, up to December 19, 1864, had furnished to the Union army all the men demanded of her and a surplus of 392 besides! The 4th congressional district, 21 counties in this part of the State, had a surplus of 2,455 men over its quota. [478]

In the Confederate army, too, Greene county was well represented, and by right its quota was full on that side—save that the Confederate authorities had ordered a universal draft through all of the Confederate States, of which, it was claimed, Missouri was one, under the Neosho ordinance of secession.


Throughout the year 1864 Greene county was under military occupation by the Federal troops, who were to be found in every quarter at any time. They passed up and down the wire road to and from Cassville and Rolla, from time to time, as they were wanted in Northwestern Arkansas or in the Army of Tennessee. Every few days a military train of some sort passed through the county. Sometimes a train would consist of artillery and ammunition therefor, from field pieces to 32-pounders; sometimes it would contain provisions and forage; sometimes ammunition; sometimes sick and wounded; sometimes nothing but empty wagons.

Troops, too, were constantly arriving, and departing, infantry, cavalry and artillery. The wire road was kept hot by the feet of tramping soldiers. Every road in the county, too, was traversed by scouting parties of cavalry that roamed about to keep the country clear of bushwhackers and marauders, but sometimes themselves turned bushwhackers and marauders.

At the time when Gen. Price made his celebrated raid into Missouri, in the latter part of September of this year, there was great excitement at Springfield. Gen. Sanborn was in command of the post at the time, and he was at once ordered to the front. He took with him the 2d Arkansas, the 15th and 16th Missouri cavalry, and some other troops and went to Jefferson City, which place he successfully defended from the attacks of Gen. Price, and then, when the latter went westward, followed him, and was engaged in all the important battles of the great "raid" which resulted so disastrously for the Confederates. During the progress of this raid there was great uneasiness felt at Springfield lest the Confederates should somehow and sometime soon come upon the town and capture it. Sharp lookouts were kept upon all the roads leading to town, and pickets were extra vigilant far out in the interior and everywhere.

September 25, a newspaper, called the Missouri Patriot, was established at Springfield by A. F. Ingram. The Patriot succeeded the Missourian. It was Republican in politics. [479]


On the 14th of January Hosea G. Mullings was appointed by Governor Fletcher brigadier-general of the militia in the room of Gen. Holland, whose commission was revoked January 12, 1865.

On the 20th of January Capt. J. T. Hubbard was appointed provost marshal of Springfield in the room of Col. J. M. Richardson, re- signed. There was a force of Federal troops in and about the city, and a strong provost guard was necessary for the preservation of good order.

January 21 the Radicals held a large meeting in Springfield to celebrate the passage of the emancipation ordinance by the State convention note. The ordinance was passed January 11, by a vote of 60 to 4. The delegate from this county, Hon. John A. Mack, voted for it. The four negative votes were cast by Hon. S. A. Gilbert, of Platte Thos. B. Harris, of Callaway, Wm. A. Morton, of Clay, and Wm. F. Switzler, of Boone. In 1860 the number of slaves in this county was 1,677, but by this time there were probably not move than 500, the remainder having "gone off with the war," as it was expressed.

The troops at Springfield made several scouting expeditions throughout the county during this winter, but with no important results. A few bushwhackers were encountered and some of them killed. Only one or two were killed in this county, however. No quarter was shown on either side during these raids. Sometimes the scouts were extended down into Boone, Marion and other counties in Arkansas.

In March a census of the county was taken, which showed the population to be as follows: White, 12,829; colored, 584; refugees, 476; total, 13,899. Five years before the population had been: Whites, 11,509; slaves, 1,677; total, 13,186. The county therefore showed an increase of 713 in five years, notwithstanding the casualties of war.

The early spring of this year was unusually wet and cold, and the season was backward and unpropitious, but, notwithstanding, the few farmers in the county began to plow and sow, although it was not certain but that another should reap. The news from the chief seats of war and all the signs of the times, indicated that the war would soon be over, but these signs and tokens had all appeared before, and many had been deceived thereby. Not until the middle of May and the 1st of June was planting finished in this county. [480]


About the 1st of April news came to Springfield that Lee's army in Virginia was in a bad way. April 9, four years, lacking three days, from the capture of Ft. Sumter by the Confederates, Gen. Lee surrendered to Gen. Grant at Appomattox. A few days previously Richmond had been occupied by the Federal troops, and on the night of the 10th of April the Union people of the county had a grand celebration at Springfield, which was participated in by soldiers and citizens. The town was illuminated, a salute of 200 guns from the forts was fired, and orders were issued that any sober man found on the streets after 9 o'clock should be fined, and forced to drink a liberal portion of his fine!

The hearts of the Southern sympathizers of the county now sank heavy. It was now plainly evident that a bad investment had been made when stock was taken in the Confederacy; for it was clearly apparent that defeat, utter and complete and overwhelming, would soon overtake those who followed in the stars and bars. The Confederate people of the county became resigned to the inevitable, and waited patiently for the end.


And the end soon came. A few days after Lee had surrendered to Grant, Gen. Joe Johnston's army surrendered to Gen. Sherman, and May 13, Kirby Smith's Trans-Mississippi Army, except a portion of Shelby's brigade and some other Missourians, gave up to Canby. Gen. Price, Gen. Shelby, and certain other Confederate Missourians to the number of 500 or more went to Mexico for awhile. Very soon thereafter the Confederate soldiers began to return to their Missouri homes. Many passed through this county, and a few lived here. In most instances the vanquished men in gray were allowed to return to their homes in peace, but occasionally some brute or brutes in blue who shamed the name of soldiers insulted and abused them; and rarely, but yet sometimes, the returned "rebel" was made to leave the country, or taken out and shot, in retaliation, as alleged, for some outrage perpetrated by bushwhackers or regular Confederates during the war. Happily there were not many enormities of this sort perpetrated on returned Confederates in this county, and in no instance was any man murdered solely because he had been a Confederate soldier. [481]


This history is nothing if it is not impartial and faithful, and although it is painful to set down and record certain events, it is better to do so than to ignore them, and make pretense that they never occurred. Some horrid crimes were perpetrated in this county during the civil war. There was scarcely a settlement in which one or more atrocious murders were not perpetrated to blacken the page of its history. So far as reliable particulars of these enormities have been obtained these atrocities have been noted and will be found in the township histories, or in the general history. Where no particulars could be learned, it would not have been of either interest or profit to mention them.


From time to time during the war military executions took place at Springfield, the subjects uniformly being Federal soldiers, guilty of murder, robbery, desertion, and the like. Two soldiers were shot in 1868 near the Fulbright spring for desertion to the enemy.

In 1864, a soldier belonging to the regular army murdered a half crazy citizen out on the Fayetteville road for his money. He was tried by court martial, sentenced to be shot, and executed out South of town, near the residence of Mrs. Owen. He died "game" enough to delight the most misanthropic admirer of indifference to death. Being taken out of jail, he assisted in placing in the wagon his coffin, on which he rode carelessly enough to the place of execution. Being placed in position to be shot, he took "the position of a soldier" in front of a stake or post, head erect, heels on a line, little fingers extended along the seams of his pants, and crazing with steady gaze fairly in the faces of his executioners. The officer in command of the firing party gave the word, "Make ready—take aim"—the doomed man raised his right arm and pointed to his heart with a suggestive motion, as if he said, "aim here"—then, "Fire!" Six muskets crashed, and the soldier did not drop suddenly, but sank slowly down by the post, his heart split into fragments and his breast torn all to pieces.

One member of the 4th M. S. M. was shot for deserting to Sid. Jackman and engaging in bushwhacking. He was executed over north of town, near where North Springfield now is. [482]


In 1863 a Confederate guerilla or bushwhacker (although he may have been a regular Confederate) named Charles Brownlee, was tried and convicted by a military commission at Boonville of being engaged in murder, robbery, and burning houses in which people were living at the time. These offenses were committed in Moniteau and Cooper counties. Brownlee himself lived in Moniteau. The commission that tried Brownlee sentenced him to be shot, and Gen. Schofield, then in command of the department of Missouri, approved both finding and sentence, but before the latter could be executed, Brownlee, who was confined in the Boonville jail, made his escape, it was said through the efforts of his sweetheart, and got safely away into Arkansas, where he joined the Confederate army, becoming a lieutenant.

In the early spring of 1865 (some say March, some say April, some say May), Brownlee was making his way up into Central Missouri from Arkansas, and passed through Greene county. Up in Polk county he was captured by a scouting party and brought to Springfield. Here he was recognized by some of the officers who had tried him at Boonville, as Brownlee, the bushwhacker, etc. A telegram was sent at once to St. Louis, to Gen. G. M. Dodge, asking him what disposition should be made of the prisoner. Promptly came the answer: "Carry out the sentence of the commission and shoot him." Another telegram was sent, explaining matters, but back came the answer; "Shoot him at once; he is not a regular Confederate soldier."

Brownlee himself prepared a written appeal to Gen. Sanborn, asking that his sentence might be commuted to banishment during the war. This paper was afterwards printed and copies of it circulated through the county. It was a very piteous supplication for clemency, and moved many a sentimental Southern woman to tears. Of course it was not in Gen. Sanborn's power to grant the commutation asked for, but it is doubtful that if, even had he been invested with the authority, he would have done so, since he refused to recommend him to the clemency of Gen. Dodge, saying, "I shoot my own murderers and robbers and house-burners, and I can't show any favors to the enemy's rascals that I won't grant to my own." [483]

Lieut. Brownlee (the fact that he held a commission in the Confederate army is denied) was taken out south of town, and shot the next day after Dodge sent back the fatal message on the 10th of May. Whether he died bravely or how he died, cannot now be learned, as there seems to be no one now living in the county who was present at the execution, or at least will admit it.

There are those, even among the ex-Federal officers, who knew all the facts of Brownlee's case, who think the ends of justice would have been satisfied had Brownlee's sentence been mitigated or commuted to banishment or life imprisonment, or even imprisonment for a term of years. Many of the ex-Confederate sympathizers do not hesitate to denounce the execution as a "military murder." [484]

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