1862 War Events in Monroe County


A very special thanks to Civil War historian Bruce Nichols at mapmaker3@aol.com for researching and creating our event listings!


 Union Depredations

Location: Near Hunnewell, in southeast Shelby or northeast Monroe County

Date: 20 Jul 1862

Sources: Columbia, Boone County, "Missouri Statesman" of 1 Aug 1862 and Griffin Frost's "Camp and Prison Journal" originally published in 1867 and recently reprinted by Camp Pope Bookshop, Iowa City, IA, p. 296

Description: Some Company C troopers of 11th Cav MSM from Hudson demanded dinner at a house not far from Salt River then vandalized the house. Next they took James Lasley, James or Joel Ridgeway, and James Price about 100 yards from the house and shot and stabbed them to death. The newspaper version quotes the militiamen to say they were fired upon from ambush and shot their captives when they tried to escape during the excitement. The 1860 MO Census index shows Lasley families in north-central Monroe County and Ridgways in northwest Monroe County and other nearby places.     

Skirmish at Florida

Location: Florida, east Monroe County

Date: 22 Jul 1862

Sources:  "O.R." series 1, vol. 13, pp. 172-3; Dyer's "Compendium," vol. 2, p. 802;         Mudd, "With Porter in North MO," pp. 118-134; 1884 History of Monroe County, p. 236;

1887 History of Lewis County, p. 119; 1911 History of Adair County, p. 95;        "Chronicles of Monroe County," 1993; Broadfoot, "Supplement to the 'O.R.'" part 2, vol. 19, 3rd Iowa Cav, p. 211

Description: This fight took place when COL Joseph Chrisman Porter made a move to take his recruits south to Arkansas.  With 90 to 95 Porter fought with Major Henry Clay

Caldwell and 44 troopers of 3rd Iowa Cavalry.  At daylight on 22 July Porter's men entered the village of Florida and there fought the Federals for about an hour. During the Union retreat, LT Cravin Hartman shot and killed a captured, southern youth and later COL Porter had difficulty dissuading his men from killing two Federals they had captured.  The southerners later paroled the two and the Iowa cavalry in return paroled and released two captive Rebels they held.  Casualties from this fight were for the Union 22 or 26 wounded and for the Rebels two killed (including CPT John Marks) and about four wounded.

 Skirmish at Botts or Boles Farm

Location: near Florida and Santa Fe

Dates: 23 or 24 Jul 1862

Sources: Dyer's "Compendium," vol. 2, p. 802; Brownlee, "Gray Ghosts of the Confederacy," 1957, p. 86; Broadfoot, "Supplement to the 'O.R.'" part 2, vol. 19, 3rd Iowa Cav, pp. 195-6; 1887 History of Lewis County, pp. 117-8; 1911 History of Adair County, p. 95

Description: In this fight Porter's force pushed through Caldwell's force of 124 Iowans  causing casualties of one dead and nine wounded (including CPT Benjamin F. Crail) among the Federals and one or two killed among the Rebels.

Skirmishes near Santa Fe

Location: southeast Monroe County

Dates: 24 and 25 Jul 1862

Sources: Broadfoot, " Supplement to the 'O.R.'" part 2, vol. 19, 3rd Iowa

Cav, p. 210; Dyer's "Compendium," vol. 2, p. 802; Mudd, "With Porter in North MO," pp. 149-158; "Chronicles of Monroe County," 1993

Description: Here again, Major Caldwell with about 80 of his 3rd Iowa Cavalry this time fought against several hundred of COL Porter's men in thick brush losing two dead and thirteen wounded compared to unspecified southern losses.  In one of  these engagements COL Porter had his men lie down and hold their fire until  the Federals were almost upon them and then directed them to fire practically  into the northern troopers' faces, defeating the Union dismounted attack.  In Broadfoot an Iowan wrote of the 25 July fight, "after a short engagement in which we found the enemy too strong to drive from his position, and night coming on, we retired in hope he wound follow us to more open ground, which he did not..."  After this series of skirmishes against the outnumbered 3rd  Iowa Cavalry COL Porter led his men south along the Auxvasse Creek into north Callaway County where they were joined by other Rebel Recruiting commands and  where they were defeated by a larger Union force and retreated back to the  north. 

Guerrilla Raid

Location: Paris

Dates: evening of 30 July 1862

Sources: 1884 History of Monroe County, p. 235; 1887 History of Lewis County, pp. 121-2; newspaper account in Columbia "Missouri Stateman," 1 Aug 1862

Description: COL Joseph C. Porter sent Joe Thompson with a portion of Porter's command to raid the county seat town of Paris.  The southern irregulars cut down the flag pole, arrested county officials and some other citizens noted for northern sympathy, cleaned out a store or two, seized some supplies, and released a man who had been jailed for murder.  Later that night, Porter himself with his command of about 400 entered town for about an hour and then all the Rebels left before the Union pursuit could close in.

 Mandatory Enrollment Date in New Enrolled Missouri Militia

Location: Statewide

Date: early August 1862

Sources: newspaper "Daily Missouri Democrat" of 4 August 1862 and Hamilton, "The EMM," "Missouri Historical Review," July 1975, pp. 417-9

Description: The mandatory enrollment of all able-bodied MO men age 18 to 45 across the state to begin MO's emergency home guard army called Enrolled Missouri Militia created uproar across the state.  Hundreds of new men across northeast MO rushed to join Rebel COL Joseph C. Porter's Rebel recruiting command and elsewhere others joined either southern recruiters or guerrilla bands.  Many men left the state and hundreds hid out in the countryside to escape having to go to county seats and enroll in the northern militia.  Tens of thousands of Missouri men did enroll as ordered including a number of Monroe County men into the 70th Enrolled Missouri Militia Regiment.  Missouri Union officials, worried by both the presence in the state of dozens of Rebel recruiters and guerrilla bands and the removal of many Union troops to hotter war fronts, were able to field a cheap, untrained army capable of little else than self-defense.  This amateur army of seventy-some-odd regiments managed to assist the few remaining regular Yankee troops in defending the state against Rebel onslaught throughout the rest of the war. 


Location: near Paris

Date: about 25 Aug 1862

Sources: "O.R." series 1, vol. 13, p. 597 and the 1887 History of Lewis County, p. 138

Description: In this action, 1LT A. A. Piper and sixty troopers of Merrill’s Horse (2nd MO Cav) attacked and routed 200 irregular fighters led by COL Porter, killing and wounding several of the Rebels at no Union loss.  The troopers pursued the southerners until they scattered then returned to the abandoned Rebel camp and ate the dinner the southern men had prepared before they were surprised. COL Porter changed his mind about taking his men south with their defeat in late July in north Callaway County and the large influx of new recruits who joined his ranks because of the mandatory enrollment in the EMM in early August.  Porter remained in northeast MO until autumn, bedeviling Union hopes and avoiding defeat at Union hands time after time.

 Patrol with Skirmishes

Location: Along the border of Monroe and Ralls Counties

Dates: about 29 to 30 Aug 1862

Source: Broadfoot, "Supplement to the 'O.R.'" part 2, vol. 35, 11th Cav MSM (Union), pp. 698-9.

Description: Major Isham B. Dodson with parts of Company B and C, 11th Cav MSM from their station at Shelbyville, south Shelby County, rode to Florida where they joined Brigadier General John McNeil's Union column and scouted along the Monroe/Ralls County border killing several Rebel bushwhackers and taking "some contraband property."  Near Cincinnati, northwest Ralls County, twelve of the troopers along the Salt River ran into a camp of Rebel CPT Washington McDaniel and chased his men about three miles, killing one and wounding one.  Other parts of 11th Cav MSM on this patrol also chased some Rebels, wounding a few and capturing horses and firearms. 

Capture of Rebel Recruiter COL Poindexter

Location: in Randolph Co.

Date: about 1 Sep 1862

Source: 1886 History of Livingston County, MO, p. 783

Description: Confederate Colonel J. A. Poindexter, who had earlier this season recruited hundreds of area southern men into southern service, was captured about this time by local Enrolled Missouri Militia troops (probably of 35th or 46th EMM Regiments).  This source states that Poindexter had been wandering alone in the woods of Randolph County for several days, and, indeed, Union troops had broken up his recruiting command in hard campaigning earlier.


Location: Somewhere in Monroe County

Date: 16 Sep 1862

Source: Dyer's "Compendium" vol. 2, p. 804

Description: In this mysterious battle, elements of Union 3rd Cav MSM Regiment fought unidentified enemies in a fire fight somewhere in Monroe County on this date.

 Guerrilla Depredations

Location: near Hunnewell, in southeast Shelby County

Date: about 20 Sep 1862

Source: weekly newspaper of Brunswick, southeast Chariton County, the "Central City and Brunswicker" of 2 Oct 1862 quoting an earlier issue of the "Palmyra Courier" of Marion County.

Description: Unidentified guerrillas abducted a northern sympathizer named Perkins near the Salt River railroad bridge near Hunnewell by passing themselves as Enrolled Missouri Militia.  They took Perkins away and no trace of the man was ever found, although one area southerner later told another that the guerrillas hung Perkins and buried his body in the Salt River bottom.  Union troops searched the bottom but could never find any clue. 

Blatant Prosouthern Activities of Two Local Ladies

Location: Monroe County

Date: mid to late September 1862

Sources: "O.R." series 2, vol. 5, p. 78; Farthing, "Chronicles of Monroe County," 1904 as reprinted in 1997, pp. 29-30; Missouri Chapter of United Daughters of the Confederacy,

"Reminiscences," about 1913, pp. 149-183

Description: Misses Mildred Elizabeth "Lizzie" Powell and Margaret "Maggie" Creath of Monroe County used a rented carriage to travel from Monroe County to Hannibal, Marion County, and purchased 50,000 percussion caps for guerrillas or Rebel recruits of the area.  These young women also traveled bedecked in "rebel colors" and wearing pistols traveled in the company of guerrilla or Rebel recruiter CPT Clay Price giving speeches in support of the Confederacy around Monroe County.  Union authorities in the area had no choice but to arrest the attractive but spirited pair in late September and placed them in a form of house arrest at Elder Creath's home.  They were permitted this form of parole provided they "abstain from writing and talking treason" and no guards were placed over them provided they follow those directions.  Later, Miss Powell was permitted to remain at liberty provided she remain in the town of Hannibal.  Eventually, the pair was banished from the state probably in 1863 when that became a favorite method of handling troublesome southern citizens in Missouri.


Location: somewhere in Monroe County

Date: 27 or 28 Sep 1862 

Sources: "O.R." vol. 13, p. 682; and both the St. Louis daily newspapers, "Daily Missouri Democrat" and "Daily Missouri Republican"  both of 30 Sep 1862

Description: At this time somewhere in Monroe County, Major Richard G. Woodson led part of his 10th Cav MSM to attack and disperse two Rebel recruiting companies led in part by Elliott D. Major.  The Union cavalry evidently had no casualties but they captured Major and thirteen other southerners along with horses, weapons, and camp equipment. 

Movement of Large Body of Rebels

Location:  in southwest Shelby County

Date: 29 Sep 1862

Source: "O.R." series 1, vol. 13, p. 689

Description: Source quotes a Union military report in this area to say that about 250 Rebel recruits or guerrillas were seen riding south in the vicinity of Otter Creek south of

Clarence in southwest Shelby County heading toward Monroe County.  What particularly concerned area Union leaders was the part of the report that said the southerners were wearing white hat bands, which was the standard recognition symbol of the newly formed Union Enrolled Missouri Militia who were beginning their service in civilian clothes and lacked uniforms.  Obviously, somebody informed area southerners of this fact, and this body of Rebels was using this recognition symbol to pass through unsuspecting northern patrols. 


Location: somewhere in Monroe County

Date: 4 Oct 1862

Source: Dyer's "Compendium"

Description: Cryptic reference which tells us only that elements of 3rd Cav MSM fought somebody somewhere in Monroe County this date and no casualties were indicated. 

Guerrilla Depredations and Skirmish

Location: east of Paris, east Monroe County

Date: about 8 or 9 October 1862

Source: St. Louis "Daily Missouri Republican" of 17 Oct 1862

Description: This newspaper article narrates how four or five guerrillas or Rebel recruits robbed W. K. Nugent at his home four miles east of Paris of a horse and clothing probably because they had no other way of procuring these items.  Later that same night, a very indignant Mr. Nugent walked to Paris and returned with twenty militiamen of CPT W. E. Fowkes' Company C of the local 70th EMM who tracked the raiders to the home of noted southern sympathizer Worden P. Wills, where they recovered Nugent's stolen property and arrested two of the raiders, James W. Greening and a Wallace.  The following night CPT H. H. Fields with part of his local Company B of 70th EMM captured eight more of the southern irregulars nearby.  These men had evidently been recruits in COL Joseph C. Porter's large southern recruiting command that signed up so many southern men in this region. 

Guerillas Surrender

Location: at Paris in Monroe County and Mexico in Audrain County

Dates: mid-October through 17 October 1862

Sources: "O.R." series 1, vol. 13, p. 754; and Mudd, "With Porter in North Missouri," 1909, pp. 312-2.

Description: About 75 southerners surrendered in both towns with "arms and contraband property."  The "contraband" was probably horses and other items taken by force by these Rebels from rural families of all sympathies.  The prisoners told their captors that many other men were still in the brush showing interest in surrendering, too.  Eakins' book "Missouri Prisoners of War," published from the National Archives records in 1995 shows that among these surrendering on this occasion was CPT Benjamin J. White and CPT James S. Wilson both of COL Joseph Porter's command. White showed up at Paris and Wilson surrendered at Mexico.  Mudd in his memoir wrote that it was COL Porter's idea to have some of his men surrender as a feint to draw attention of the area Union troops away from his main body so the remainder could slip away on their long trek to join the Rebel army in Arkansas.  COL Porter did eventually reach Confederate lines with some of his troops so if this deliberate surrender of 75 was his plan, it seemed to work.

 Commutation of Death Sentence of Elliott D. Major

Location: Monroe County

Date: 27 Oct 1862

Source: "O.R." series 2, vol. 4, p. 657.

Description:  “At the earnest request of many Union men in Monroe County and vicinity Monroe County's Elliot D. Major's recent death sentence by a military tribunal at St. Louis was commuted to imprisonment in the Alton military prison for the duration of the war.


Location:  at Isaac Coppage home in central Monroe County

Date: 31 Oct 1862

Sources: "O.R." series 1, vol. 13, p. 781; newspaper, "Daily Missouri Republican," 8 Nov 1862; Dyer, "Compendium," vol. 2, p. 805; Eakins, "MO POW's," 1995, Williams entry; Peterson, McGee, and others, "Price's Lieutenants," 1995, p. 182.

Description: 2LT H. W. Gleason with fourteen members of Monroe County members of 70th EMM Regiment surrounded CPT John S. Williams and nine or ten of his Rebels in the Isaac Coppage home in central Monroe County without the southerners being aware the militiamen were there.  Before Williams' men discovered it, one of the most daring of the EMM crept into an entrance of the house and ran back out carrying most of the Rebel firearms they had carelessly stacked inside the door.  This ruined any hopes the Rebels may have had to resist and after a brief show of resistance they quickly surrendered without bloodshed.  The EMM had previously captured two other Rebels.  

Union Troops Disposition

Location: in the Monroe County area

Date: 20 Nov 1862

Source: "O.R." series 1, vol. 13, pp. 810-1.

Description: This Union troop disposition report stated that: at Paris were stationed COL Edwin Smart and nine companies of his 10th Cav MSM Regiment (who would be redesignated in February 1863 as the "New" 3rd Cav MSM to replace the "Old" 3rd Cav MSM which was broken up and its men redistributed to the 6th and 7th Cav MSM Regiments); at Hudson, southeast Shelby County, were stationed COL W. P. Robinson and nine companies of his 23rd MO Infantry Regiment.

 Terrorism by Southern Sympathizers

Location: in Monroe County

Date: about 13 Dec 1862

Source: "O.R." series 1, vol. 22, part 1, p. 831.

Description: Several southerners in Monroe County (John Forsyth, John Vaughn, David Wooldridge, a Gilmore, a Gonell, a Beauchamp, Hiram Powell, Jacob Cox, William Bridgeford, and Charles Browning were suspected) left a threatening letter for their northern sympathizer neighbor John H. Holdsworth about 13 December 1862.  The letter signed by "Monroe County Avengers" told Holdsworth to leave the county by January 1 or his property would be burned.  Holdsworth took the letter to the Northeast District Headquarters of the Union army at Warrenton, Warren County, where the Union authorities stated that if anything happened to Holdsworth or his property they would hold the men listed above as personally responsible.  It is not known what came of this threat.

 Union Troops Disposition

Location: in Monroe County area

Date: 31 Dec 1862

Source: "O.R." series 1, vol. 22, part 1, pp. 893-4.

Description: Evidently with the departure of most of the Confederate recruiters in autumn 1862 and the capture or surrender of many of their recruits at that time, the Union army cut back its troops in the Monroe County area.  The Union army troop disposition report of this date lists only Company I of 2nd Cav MSM  under Captain Albert G. Priest at Shelbyville, in south Shelby County on active duty at that time.  Of course, the Monroe County portion of the 70th EMM Regiment was still available at their civilian pursuits around the county and could theoretically be mobilized on short notice in case some threat materialized in the area.