Samuel K. Hall

In 1822, Samuel K. Hall was born in New York.1 In October 1862, he enlisted in the 7th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry and became Adjunct General.2 The 7th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry was a consolidated regiment of the Black Hawk Cavalry and unattached companies. The regiment participated in the skirmish at Lone Jack, Missouri, on August 15–16, 1862, and continued to pursue Gen. John T. Coffee through Southwest Missouri, and into Arkansas.3

Hall wrote to “Harris” regarding individual soldiers and generals receiving praise in the press for their glory and valor. He explained his frustration that there was no mention of the 7th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry as a whole. Hall did think very highly of Col. James Phillips though and described him as “being most excusably ambitious, nothing mortifies him more than for other men to reap the reward of his labor and never even give his own men, much less their Col., the credit. I know this without ever hearing a murmur from his lips.”4 Hall goes into great detail about the events that transpired at the Battle of Lone Jack and the mistakes he believed the commanding officers made.

The Battle of Lone Jack, Missouri, was a long skirmish of many advances, retreats, and counter-attacks by both the Union and Confederate forces. The Confederates had been on a recruiting expedition and were between Lone Jack and Independence, Missouri, around August 15, 1862. Col. James Totten sent Maj. Emory Foster with 800 men to stop the oncoming enemy from meeting up with reinforcements from the south.5 The opposing units converged in Lone Jack and combat ensued. The Confederate soldiers killed the Union commander in charge of the Federals, Maj. Emory S. Foster, and forced his successor Capt. Milton H. Brawner to retreat back to Sedalia, Missouri.6 The victory was short-lived for the Rebels because a larger Union force was fast approaching.

While the 7th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry was stationed at Calhoun, Missouri, Hall reported that upon Gen. Fitz-Henry Warren’s arrival following his “fruitless pursuit of Coffee and his gang” he spoke with Gen. Totten and made several severe criticisms regarding the course of action that had been pursued.7 As the unit left Calhoun, they marched on to Osceola, Missouri, instead of Lexington, Missouri, which Hall believed would have been the better pursuit and more advantageous for capturing Gen. Coffee. The men had not expected to be gone on such a long march and found themselves without many necessities like extra clothing and food.

To Sum up, on the 16 the enemy was in Jackson Co about 4000 strong. on the 17 & 18 all the troops in Clinton & adjoining posts fell back on Sedalia destroying what supplies they could not bring away two or three days were lost in the march towards Lexington on the 19 & 20 An old farmer remarked at Oceola that if the design had really been to “let Coffee out,” the movement would have been pricisely as it was.

Samuel K. Hall letter to Harris—Sept 12, 1862

Hall survived the war and moved with his wife, Massie Dickson Hall, and their family for a brief time to Colorado. Hall worked as a smelter in Colorado, while his wife and daughter kept house.8 The Halls eventually moved to Washington, D.C., where Hall worked as a watchman until he died in December 1913. Samuel K. Hall is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.9

Contributed by the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

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  1. 1900 United States Federal Census; Census Place: Washington, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T623_162; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 88.
  2. “Samuel K. Hall, 7th Regiment Cavalry M.S.M., Missouri State Archives, Soldiers’ Records: War of 1812 – World War I, Record of Service Card, Civil War, 1861-1865,|/archives/AdjutantGeneral/Civil_War/ServiceCards/s841/0414.tif&Fln=S140632.pdf
  3. Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, V.III (1908), p.1307-1308,
  4. S.K Hall Letter to Harris, September 12, 1862, Camp Totten, Springfield, MO, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Republic, Missouri.
  5. A.L. Webber, History and Directory of Cass County, Missouri (Harrisonville, MO: The Cass County Leader, 1908), 134.
  6. “CWSAC Battle Summaries: Lone Jack”, Heritage Preservation Services, National Park Services,
  7. S.K. Hall Letter to Harris, September 12, 1862, Camp Totten, Springfield, MO, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Republic, Missouri.
  8. 1880 United States Federal Census, Census Place: Leadville, Lake, Colorado; Roll: 91; Family History Film: 1254091; Page: 345D; Enumeration District: 75; Image: 0292.
  9. “ Samuel Kellogg Hall”, Find A Grave,