Charles C. Rainwater Papers

Charles C. Rainwater and his wife Sarah Hannah Fowler lived in Cole Camp, Missouri in 1860.1 Rainwater worked as a general merchant until the outbreak of the War. He enlisted in the Missouri State Guard, serving until March 25, 1862. He subsequently joined the Confederate 5th Missouri Infantry, which organized in Fort Smith, Arkansas and consisted mostly of Missouri State Guardsmen.

Rainwater joined John S. Marmaduke’s expedition into Missouri in January 1863. Marmaduke hoped an assault into Missouri would alleviate pressure on Northwest Arkansas, by diverging the attention of Union troops under Brigadier General James Blunt in the region. His goal was to quickly strike Union positions, causing the Federal forces to withdraw back into Missouri to protect their rear and flank. Marmaduke’s expedition resulted in several engagements including the Battle of Springfield on January 8, 1863 and Battle of Hartville on January 11, 1863. Rainwater was wounded at the Battle of Hartville. He asked Dr. T. R. Ferguson, a surgeon, to write one of Sarah’s relatives, informing them that he survived the battle and hoped to be home soon. Ferguson tried to reassure Sarah in the letter, “not to be troubled about him. Just keep yourself as one of your sex should. trust in the Lord and do good and he shall bring it to pass, for the Righteous shall have the desire of there harts.”2

Rainwater was appointed ordnance officer on Marmaduke’s staff in 1863. In late April, Rainwater wrote Sarah while in Bloomfield, Missouri. He reported numerous engagements and skirmishes involving the 5th Missouri Infantry, including the Battle of Cape Girardeau on April 16, 1863. The 5th Missouri Infantry took an active part in the defense of Vicksburg, and was captured when the city fell on July 4, 1863.3 After being exchange, the Regiment was assigned to General Cockrell’s Brigade and consolidated with the 3rd Regiment.

Throughout the war Rainwater was wounded several times. He was described as a cheerful, brave and unselfish comrade, but injury prone. His extensive injuries caused him permanent physical damage. On February 17, 1864, Rainwater applied for permanent disability from the Army of the Confederate States due to epilepsy and paralysis from gunshot wounds.

We do hereby certify that we have carefully examined this officer and find him permanently disabled and cannot perform duty in any branch of the Military Service because of Gun shot Wound to the head producing symptoms of epilepsy also Gun shot Wound of the left hip – the ball yet remaining – producing parolysis and incapacitating him from riding on horseback

Medical Certificate of Disability, February 17, 1864

Rainwater was injured again on June 6, 1864 at Ditch Bayou, Arkansas. Marmaduke cited Rainwater for his gallant conduct in his report of the Battle of Lake Chicot. His injuries, however, disabled him from further combat service. Rainwater served for the remainder of the war on General Joseph Shelby’s staff. After the War, Charles and Sarah moved to St. Louis, where they lived a comfortable and prosperous life until Charles died in 1902.


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  1. 1860 United States Federal Census; Census Place: Township 43 Range 21, Benton, Missouri; Roll: M653_607; Page: 418; Image: 422; Family History Library Film: 803607
  2. T. R. Ferguson Letter to Daniel Fowler. Jan. 20, 1863. Rainwater and Fowler Family Papers, 1863-1869, R227, The STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY of MISSOURI RESEARCH CENTER – ROLLA.
  3. “5th Regiment, Missouri Infantry”, CONFEDERATE MISSOURI TROOPS, National Parks Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System,