Collections in the Wright Category

1856 Slave Bill of Sale – Purchased by Kindred Rose

On May 7, 1856, John and Joseph McMahan, administers of James McMahan’s estate in Wright County, sold an African American slave named Henry to Kindred Rose, a resident of Greene County. Rose purchased the nineteen year old slave for $2,025. The McMahan’s claimed Henry to be “sound, sensible, healthy and a slave for life.”

Charles C. Rainwater Papers

Charles C. Rainwater and his wife Sarah Hannah Fowler lived in Cole Camp, Missouri in 1860. Rainwater joined the Confederate 5th Missouri Infantry and fought under John S. Marmaduke during his 1863 Missouri Expedition. He was wounded at the Battle of Hartville on January 11, 1863, and appointed ordinance officer on Marmaduke’s Staff. Rainwater was severely injured during his service and received permanent disability from the Confederate Army for the wounds he received during combat. After the War, Rainwater and his wife had a prosperous life in St. Louis until his death in 1902.

The Enrolled Missouri Militia, 4th Military District, Order Book

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.

Isely Family Papers

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.

The Lyman Gibson Bennett Collection

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.

William H. Kesler Papers

William H. Kesler joined the 3rd Missouri Cavalry in the late fall of 1861. Kesler saw action at Halltown and Mount Zion Church in northern Missouri. Most of his time in the Army, though, was spent near Rolla and Pilot Knob, Missouri. Kesler corresponded with his sisters back in Illinois noting camp life, combat, and the effect President Lincoln’s assassination had on him and the other soldiers.