Three reports outlining use, value and transfer of equipment for the 16th Missouri Cavalry. The regiment was organized from the 6th Enrolled Missouri Militia and attached to the District of Southwest Missouri. They scouted and patrolled routes across the Ozarks.
Collections in the Newton Category
Captain Asbury C. Bradford kept this journal of enrolled soldiers, equipment and actions of Company E, 2nd Regiment, 8th Division, Missouri State Guard. The 2nd Regiment was organized in July 1861, and this journal documents activities from August through November 1861. Bradford also kept a few journal entries about troop movement and activities of the MSG, along with sketches of the Battles of Wilson’s Creek and Dry Wood.
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.
This extraordinary diary contains entries written by both Union and Confederate soldiers. It originally belonged to George Falconer, enrolled in Col J. J. Clarkson’s Confederate Cavalry. During the Battle of Locust Grove, 3 July 1862, Falconer was taken prisoner, and Maj. Albert Ellithorpe, Indian Home Guards, 1st Kansas Infantry, captured the diary. Most of the entries are written by Ellithorpe, who described engagements with Confederate soldiers, Kansas politicians and bushwhackers. Ellithorpe participated in several battles including Locust Grove, Cane Hill, Prairie Grove and a smaller engagement with Thomas Livingston’s bushwhackers.
The Isely Family Papers contain correspondence and other documents dating from the late 1850s through the 1930s. A significant portion of the collection consists of letters written during the Civil War between Christian H. Isely and his wife, Marie Elizabeth “Eliza” Dubach. Christian served in the 2nd Kansas Cavalry and they traveled throughout Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma; which was then Indian Territory. During the war, Eliza went to live with Christian’s parents in Ohio, rather than stay with her father in Willow Dale, Kansas, due to the unstable conditions in the Kansas-Missouri border region. The Isely’s were a profoundly religious family and their correspondences depict the deeply rooted connection between religion and political convictions and how their beliefs often divided their family.
John Henry filed a lawsuit against 26 men after the war, claiming they imprisoned him for a month in October 1862. The men held him against his will for his loyalties to the Union. Eventually Henry was able to escape from the men, and he asked for $20,000 in damages. The defendants denied having taken part in the Henry’s imprisonment and harassment. The final verdict of the case is unknown, but it represents the vicious nature of guerrilla warfare in Missouri.
Lyman Gibson Bennett enlisted in the 36th Illinois Infantry in 1861. Prior to the War he trained as a surveyor and civil engineer, working for the railroad. The military utilized Bennett’s skills as a cartographer, and assigned him to survey battlefields, road systems, and fortifications. Bennett’s diaries document his daily duties as both a soldier and an engineer for the military. His regiment participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge, which he describes in vivid detail. Bennett was discharged from the military in August 1864.
In 1865, Bennett joined the engineering department of General Samuel R. Curtis as a civilian. He mapped the 1864 battlefields of Sterling Price’s Missouri Expedition. Bennett was then assigned to survey fortifications in Nebraska and Colorado, and eventually served as an engineering officer on the Powder River Expedition of 1865. Bennett’s diaries provide colorful insight to his perception of the Ozarks and its inhabitants.
The Missouri General Assembly met at the Newton County Courthouse in Neosho, Missouri on October 21, 1861 to formally secede from the Union. Legislators passed Missouri’s ordinance of secession on October 28, dissolving all political ties between the State of Missouri and the United States of America. The legality of the assembly, and thus, its resolutions, hinges on the presence of a quorum. This Senate Journal is the only surviving evidence from the Neosho convention, and it does not include a roll of members present.
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.
The Peter Wellington Alexander papers contain a significant collection of documents from Thomas C. Hindman’s military service from 1862-1863. Hindman assumed command of the Trans-Mississippi District on May 31, 1862, and his papers cover actions in southern Missouri, Arkansas, and the Indian Territory; including battles at Newtonia, Missouri and Cane Hill and Prairie Grove, Arkansas. The collection consists of military orders, telegrams, correspondence, military reports and other documents.
The Stirman Davidson Collection is a spirited group of letters written to Rebecca Stirman Davidson, of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The bulk of the letters are from her brother Erasmus “Ras” Stirman, while serving in the Civil War. The letters tell the story of Erasmus service in the Confederate Army, his fears and doubts about winning the War, and leading his company of sharpshooters into certain death. Erasmus loved meeting new women, and his letters to Rebecca are full of candor and humor, often telling a larger tale of the social and cultural customs of the era to which he opportunistically flaunted. Erasmus’ successes in the military, coupled with his family’s access to political and societal privilege, combine to tell a wonderful story of upper class life in the Civil War of the Ozarks.
The Southwest Missouri Medical Society organized to encourage the development and unity of the medical profession in the region. They hoped to restrict the practice of medicine to educated and properly qualified men, develop talent, and stimulated study and inquiry in the field of medicine. The group organized in May 1874, holding bi-annual meetings in the spring and fall. The group’s membership consisted of physicians from Carthage, Springfield, Neosho and beyond. At their meetings, members presented unusual cases and papers on medical techniques. The group then discussed these cases, best practices, and ethical issues surrounding each topic. The meeting minuets for the Southwest Missouri Medical Society not only document the organization of physicians and medical practitioners in region, but the development of medical practices and thinking in the years after the Civil War.
In March 1866, Elisha Estes and John Kelly filed a lawsuit against James Hamilton for theft of $467.50 worth of personal property during in 1863. The final verdict of the case is unknown, case represents the various types of depredation committed throughout the region and how civilians were left to recover their losses in the post-war time period.
The Tallman and Brown families lived in Miller County, Missouri, and kept correspondence with family members during the war. The principal correspondents were John, Martha, and Matthew Tallman who wrote to their brother, Jeremiah, while he served in the 1st Missouri Light Artillery, and John D. Brown, of the same regiment, who wrote to his sister, Hannah M. Brown. This collection of letters is the result of the marriage of Jeremiah W. Tallman and Hannah M. Brown. The collection spans from 1860-1865 and covers a variety of topics from family relations, conditions in the military camps, wartime communication, the economy, and life after the war.
Thomas L. Snead was a soldier and a politician during the Civil War. He served under both Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson and Sterling Price. In 1886, he wrote The Fight for Missouri which chronicles the events in Missouri from the 1860 elections to the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. The Thomas Snead collection consists of several letters written about The Fight for Missouri. Most of these letters contain praise for Snead’s accomplishments, and note his ability to write a full and unbiased history of the events that unfolded. This collection is a valuable compendium to The Fight for Missouri, providing interesting insight to Missouri soldiers and politicians as they reflect on the war 20 years later.
The Murray Collection contains 16 letters detailing the activities of the 20th Iowa Infantry as they marched through the Ozarks. The letters are addressed to Thomas Murray from his brother William Murray and his cousin, Thomas Murray, serving in the 20th Iowa. William wrote the bulk of the wartime letters, offering his perspective of the Ozarks and the events that unfolded in the region. The 20th Iowa marched through St. Louis, Rolla, and Springfield. They camped at Newtonia in early October 1862. William reported to his brother about the 1862 Battle of Newtonia that took place there only a few days before his arrival. In December of 1862, the 20th Iowa then participated in the Battle of Prairie Grove in Arkansas. William was severely wounded in the Battle, and died shortly after. The collection contains three post-war letters, in which Thomas inquires about his brother’s grave in Arkansas. Thomas Murray continued to write his cousin, as the 20th Iowa traveled to Mississippi and participated in the Siege of the Vicksburg.
The Thomas R. Livingston Collection consists of three civil law suits related to the estate of the notorious Confederate soldier. These suits include depositions from several of Livingston’s friends and family members. Livingston and his band of Confederates conducted raids throughout the Ozarks to contest the Union’s control of the region. Livingston was known for committing acts of arson, murder, robbery, and disrupting Union supply lines. His ruthless tactics outraged Union officials and civilians. Before the War, Livingston had been a successful and prominent business man. He owned a general store, hotel, saloon, real estate in three counties, and actively traded livestock. His assets were sought as restitution for his actions.
The 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry was one of the earliest African-American regiments organized during the Civil War. This regimental order book documents correspondences, general orders and special orders between 1863 and 1864. During this period the 1st Kansas Colored was stationed in southeastern Kansas, southwestern Missouri, western Arkansas, and Indian Territory, Oklahoma.
In October 1862, Soldiers from the regiment engaged Rebel troops at the Battle of Island Mound in Bates County, MO. This skirmish earned them the distinction of the first African-American troops from a northern state to see action as soldiers. The 1st Kansas Colored became seasoned veterans by the end of the war, participating in several battles and engagements. On December 13, 1864, the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry was re-designated as the 79th U.S. Colored Troops.