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.
Collections in the Webster Category
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.