Andrew Tinkham’s Drawing of Springfield, Missouri, 1861 Image courtesy of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Andrew Tinkham enlisted May 25, 1861, as a private in Company F of the First Kansas Infantry, which was organized at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, between May 20 and June 3, 1861. Unlike other volunteer troops which fought at Wilson’s Creek, the […]
Collections in the Christian Category
On August 17, 1861 Missouri Governor Hamilton R. Gamble ordered a proclamation establishing the Missouri State Militia for defense of the State against guerrilla activity. Gamble soon realized the need for additional troops, and on July 22, 1862 he issued General Order Number 29 organizing the Enrolled Missouri Militia (EMM). General Colley B. Holland assumed command of the 4th Military district, consisting of the counties in southwest Missouri, on October 30, 1862. Based in Springfield, Missouri, roughly 2,500 men reported for duty, operating under the jurisdiction of the State of Missouri. Holland’s documented all activities related to his command in the enrolled Missouri Militia order book for the 4th Military District in Southwest Missouri, from November 1862 through May 1863. His reports cover the Battles of Springfield and Hartville and also include details about depredation in Southwest Missouri and the extensive guerrilla activity that took place in the region.
James H. Wiswell was a teenage solider in the Union Army from Vermont. Wiswell enlisted in Company C, 4th US Cavalry, and served in Kansas and Missouri. He fought under the command of General Nathan Lyon and participated in the Battles of Dug Springs and Wilson’s Creek in 1861. His letter to his sister Naomi revealed the conditions of military life and the toll the defeat at Wilson’s Creek had on his company.
The Mack Collection offers valuable insight into the lives of Union sympathizers in the Ozarks. In many ways, their experiences are typical of Southern Unionists, though their home in Missouri placed them squarely in a border region. The war was bitter and personal for the Mack family. Their experiences as refugees and those who fighting guerrillas in the 1st Arkansas Cavalry (U.S.) hardened their feelings towards Confederate sympathizers. As Radical Republicans, the Macks entered the political arena only to find themselves at odds with fellow Unionists.
Regrettably, the Mack collection contains only half of the correspondence between the family members. The surviving letters were written to those serving in the army. While the soldier’s responses are missing, the existing letters provide researchers with a unique perspective on the civilian experience in southwest Missouri.
John H. Utz served under General Sterling Price, and participated in the Battles of Lexington and Pea Ridge. Utz returned home after his “six months service” was up, and took the oath of allegiance to the Union sometime in 1862. He married Sarah Elizabeth (“Sallie”) Duncan in February 1863, and their first child was born in July 1864. In the fall of 1864, Utz attempted to join Sterling Price in his expedition through Missouri, which resulted in his imprisonment.
The John H. Utz collection is a series of sixty plus letters compiled by his descendents. The letters were self-published by the family in Biographical Sketches of the Bartlett Marshall Duncan and Henry Utz Families. Very limited copies of the book are available to the public, and the letters in the collection are reproduced as they were printed in the book. This collection depicts Utz experiences as a prisoner of war from 1864 through 1865
The Ozias Ruark collection contains correspondence and a diary detailing the service of a captain in the 8th Missouri State Militia Cavalry. Throughout his diary, Ruark comments on four underlying themes: the impact of the war on civilians, foraging, engagements with guerrillas and the daily routine of camp life. He also notes weather, towns and the Ozarks landscape. Ruark’s perspective as a soldier provides a valuable portrait of military life in the region.