Battle of Vassar Hill
Colonial Porter called it the
Battle of Oak Ridge.
Vassar Hill project: While doing a digital photo survey pre2002, of the Florida Cem, Monroe Co, MO, and reviewing old histories I became interested in Porter's skirmish with Union troops stationed at Florida....which led to an interest in the Battle of Vassar Hill, along the Middle Fabius River just north of Bible Grove, Scotland Co, MO, followed by his 'furious ride' which came through Florida a few days after Vassar Hill. This page became a rough draft of notes started about 2002, regarding the battle and a few days before and after the battle, since I could find very little accumulated information. After observing the bridge across the North Fabby at the battle location, I speculated that the battle line described in the histories might be incorrect, and did not run south up the present road from the bridge location, but instead followed an older, abandoned road off to the SE of the bridge. Last worked on in 2004/05, the battle line speculation was put on a on old Angelfire webpage, in case some academic had valid information on the battle location, or some future researcher took up the battle quest. In May 2009, the pages was reviewed/revisited. By 2009, there were maps and reference books online not present in 2004, so searchers may find many other resources available. Basically I uploaded my notes to jump state others interested in Vassar Hill and/or to have them add information to the page.
Joseph Mudd was there with Porter, a must read
available at Google Books. Chapter 8, "The Battle of Vassar Hill" is
copies at the end of the page.
Battle of Vassar Hill, standard view/report:
Speculation: the battle line was along the river
bottom and hill interface/edge running toward the SE from the Fabius River
bridge area, and not along the present road to Bible Grove, as
commonly thought. Mudd's running description of the battle line and
the Federal description stating the mill was 1.5 miles NW of the battle area
does not support the Vassar Road valley directly south and only a few hundred
yards away as being the location of the battle line. (2004/bz)
Iowaz Index Page
Iowaz Photo Hosting Site
Scotland Co, MO, Photo Folder
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Updates: 2008May24, page reworked and moved from old 2004 Angelfire site host to Lunar host; 2009Nov29, Henry Couch tree/burial added; 2011Sep07, Budd tree & pic added. 2011Dec20, pic/info added for Capt. Tom Stacey, supplied by a gg/gson. 2012Jun01, Union soldier Samuel Creek, captured/released at Florida.MO, note from ggg/son added; 2015Jun02, pic of Phillip Purvis & wf. Matilda Stice added, supplied by relative.
Photo folder with some Scotland.Co.MO material to
include the Vassar Hill, Bible Grove, Memphis area.
There are pics around the Pierce's Mill bridge area where the battle line would have started. The area is denuded of woody plants now. In 1862 there would have been trees, shrubs....woodland on the hills, along the streams. The battle line offered heavy cover which Porter's men utilized.
Joseph Aloysius Mudd (1842-1916). In 1861 Mudd was from Millwood, Lincoln Co, MO. Mudd rode with Porter and became a CSA surgeon. Mudd wrote his living history about riding with Porter and was on the battle line at the Battle of Vassar Hill. Mudd was a medical student in St. Louis at the time the war broke out. June 15, 1861, age 19, he joined the Missouri State Guard. Mudd was in the Battle of Wilson's Creek on Aug 10, 1861, under Sterling Price. Mudd left the guard after his term ended in late 1861and returned to his medical studies at St. L. By early 1862, Mudd like many southern sympathizers in Missouri felt safer in the Confederate army, but they often had to 'escape' the Union control of an area to link up with the Confederate army. In June 1862, Mudd after several attempts finally linked up with Capt. Sylvester Penny in Lincoln Co, who was recruiting for Porter. By July 9, 1862, Mudd with his group arrived at Porter's camp near Monticello, on the North Fabius river. Mudd knew Porter from the Wilson's Creek battle. Captain Penny was killed July 28, 1862, at the Battle of Moore's Mill, and after that battle Penny's company requested from Porter to ride for Arkansas. Mudd, however went back to Lincoln Co, then struck out for Bryantown, MD, where he lived with his uncle George Mudd and continued medical studies at the the U. of Maryland. Mudd completed his medical work in 1864, then rejoined the CSA and was an assistant surgeon at Howard's Grove Hospital near Richmond on the Mechanicsville Turnpike until the war was over. In 1909, Mudd published, 'With Porter in North Missouri.'
Overview & time-line of Joseph Porter
Just before to just after Vassar Hill
Locations of interest to Porter's movements during the days of Vassar Hill.
Joseph Chrisman Porter
Born: September 12, 1819, Jassamine Co, KY
Died: February 18, 1863)
Parents: James & Rebecca Chrisman Porter. Moved KY to Marion Co, MO in about 1828. Family was Presbytertian.
Joseph: Attended Marion 'College,' a young men's German communal style school at Philadelphia, fifteen miles NW of Hannibal.
Married: In 1844, married in Marion Co, MO, Mary Ann Marshal (died abt. 1867 in Arkansas).
Before the Civil War:
Joseph moved from Marion Co to Knox Co, MO, about 1845, after marriage. In 1849, Joseph and his brother James William Porter, went with the early NEMO groups to the gold fields in California. Most of the '49's returned back to Missouri within a year to two. After returning to MO, Joseph and James Porter were successful in farming and raising livestock together. James William Porter was born 1827 in KY. James married in 1853, Carolina Marshal, sister of Joseph's wife Mary Ann Marshal). In 1857, Joseph Porter moved a farm about 5mi E. of Newark in Lewis Co, MO. His Newark home apparently would be burned by Federals.
Joseph Chrisman Porter, 1819/KY-1863/Ark.
Porter, Joseph Chrisman, b.
Sept 12, 1819, Jasamine Co, KY, d. Feb 18, 1863, Batesville, Independence Co, NE
Married April 8 1844, in Marion Co, MO, Mary Ann Elizabeth Marshal, b. Jul 6, 1823, Albemarle Co, VA, d. Mar 1872, DeWitt, Ark.
1. Sara Rebecca, Sep 16, 1845, Lewis Co, MO, d. Palmyra, Marion Co, MO
2. Joseph Ira, Feb 9, 1848, Marion Co, MO, d. Nov 24, 1921, Stuttgart, Ark..
3. Mary Ann, Jun 9, 1849-?
4. Columbia Almyra, Apr 23, 1853-
5. Margaret Ella, Apr 20, 1855-
6. James Willis, Aug 31, 1857-
7. George William, Sept 11, 1860, Lewis Co, MO-Oct 27, 188
Porter, James W. (brother who
rode under Joseph Porter's command),
b. Nov 18, 1827, Jasmine Co, KY, d. Dewitt, Ark.
Wife Eliz. C. Marshal (sister of Joseph wife.
1. Charles W. Porter, 18957-1884
2. Arthur R. Porter, 1860-
3. Joseph C. Porter, 1862-
4. Sarah Mabel Porter, 1866-1908
Second wife of James, Culpernia Musgrave, -1920
James Porter, served under his brother Joseph.
Parents of Joseph and James Porter.
Thomas Porter and Rebecca Chrisman(1802-1840)
1. John William Porter, b. Frankfort, KY, d. KY, wife Mary Runyon (had chidlren)
2. Wm. Pike Porter, 1815-
3. Samuel Porter
4. Joseph Chrisman Porter, 1819-1863.
5. John Piercel Porter, 1821-.
6. James W. Porter, b. Nov 18, 1827, Jasmine Co, KY, d. Dewitt, Ark..
7. Mary Love Porter, May 14, 1834, Marion Co, MO-Dec 10, 1910, Newark, Knox Co, MO, married Jan 20, 1853, in Marion Co, MO, Jeremiah Russell Myers, 1824-1910, had nine children.
1861, As the Civil War was close, Missouri's population was predominately pro-southern as many families came through the southern migration routes. They were not heading for succession but supporting the right to do so. The mainly German population in the St. L and northern route migration families were Federal supporters. Missouri was the most diversified culture of any state in the country at the time of the civil war. Neighbors often were supporting opposite sides. Hard feelings and violence were up close and personal throughout the state, plus the Federal troops from IL, IA, WI would be immediately send by Lincoln into Missouri to get control of the rivers, rails, roads, towns and to chase down any organized southern sympathizers, troops and militia.
April 20, 1861, the U.S.
Arsenal at Liberty, MO, west of Kansas City was seized.
First official Civil War action in
Missouri did not leave the Union. Claiborne Fox Jackson was the governor (Confederate). Gen. Sterling Price commanded the Missouri State Guard (Confederate). The Federals were in control of Missouri by late summer of 1861. Gov. Jackson and Gen Price retreated to Arkansas and set up an exiled government where Jackson added a Missouri star to the the confederate flag. All through the Civil War, Missouri was controlled by the Federals and divided into military district, i.e. martial law. Pro-southern resentment was strong. Anti-federal defiance and action took place in Missouri throughout the Civil War. Missouri Civil War experience was totally unique from any other state.
The Porter families had strong southern sympathies due to their ancestry. They were living in an area of NEMO where many Pennsylvania German's with northern sympathies had settled after the collapse of the Marion City/Marion College project due to flooding in the late 1830's. The Porter families may also have been harassed by neighbors making their stand with the Confederate's even stronger. Joseph and James Porter joined the Confederate ranks by late summer of 1861 and were with Col. Martin E. Green in the attack on the arsenal at Lexington, MO. Joseph Porter had no military experience at this time but was quickly elected Lt. Colonel in the Missouri State Guard, due to his ability of leadership. At Lexington Joseph stayed at his command even with a series wound from a musket ball that glanced off his skull. Joseph and James Porter were at the Missouri 'battles' of Athens, Shelbina, Lexington, Elkhorn Tavern (Pea Ridge, Mar 1862.) James Porter would remain under his brother Joseph during the Missouri campaign, being his close partner and second in command.
Winter 1861-1862: Price sent several leaders/groups back into Missouri to recruit volunteers for his army in exile in Arkansas. The southern loss in March 1862, at the Battle at Pea Ridge resulted in Federal control of northern Arkansas and all of Missouri. Price and his 5000 man Missouri Guardsmen had been under Gen Earl Van Dorn. They enlisted in the Confederate Army and were dispatched to Mississippi to prepare to attack the Union in Tennessee.
In Missouri, local conflict was escalating, resulting from martial law and neighbor vs neighbor hard-feelings. As pro-southern harassment increased many men felt safer in the Confederate forces, however it was difficult to get south due to Federal patrols, especially on the Missouri River belt. The result was increased guerilla bushwhacking and sabotage action.
Spring 1862: Gen. Sterling Price (a former MO governor) before leaving Ark. for Mississippi, assigned Col. Joseph Porter to return from Arkansas into NEMO to recruit Confederate Army volunteers, plus to contact and establish a network of southern sympathizing informants and to establish locations/families for supply drops and weapon cashes.
The Federals, such as Porter's main adversary John McNeil, generally did not recognize the local southern NEMO families and soldiers as legal combatants, dealing with them more as criminals and traitors. The immunities and authority of southern leaning Missouri recruits and civilians was often inconsistently observed to the point of executions, hangings, burning farms, etc. The Federals got control of NEMO very quickly at the opening of the Civil War conflict sending in troops from Iowa, Wisc, Illinois to control roads, rivers, rails, major towns. Most of the southern activities in NEMO were small band guerrilla operations or harassment of Federal troops or defensives moves when trailed and attacked. However, there were numerous 'battles' between rather small numbers of troops compared to the big battles involving thousands which would be coming in the eastern states.
May 1, 1862, skirmish at the Salt River crossing at
Florida, Monroe Co, MO
June 17, 1862: Porter, in command of forty-three mounted men, found a Union regiment at New Market, Warren Twp, Marion Co, MO. In the ensuing fight, four Federals were captured, their weapons and horses taken. They were then released after taking an oath not to 'take up arms against the Confederacy, which was common practice on both sides during the first months in Missouri, when small groups met and captured a few men on the opposite side.
Late June, 1862, recruiting continues: Porter left New Market, riding northward through the western part of Marion Co, eastern Knox Co, the western edge Lewis County, to near Sulphur Springs around Colony in Knox County. By this time Porter had recruited nearly 200 men. From the Colony area, Porter rode northward toward Memphis, Scotland Co, picking up more recruits, while being a threat to the Union 'Home Guards' at Memphis. From Scotland Co, Porter rode into Schuyler Co, to pick up a company of men under Capt. Bill Dunn.
July 10, 1862, Porter felt his network of contacts and locations was in place and that he had enough recruits to expose them to battle when the time and terrain was right. Battle would train and give confidence, encourage recruiting, draw Federals away from the Missouri River blockade so small units of recruits could make it south to the Confederate Army in Arkansas. Porter's tactics were to remain on the move, to fight from cover, to be able to scatter and re-group his riders/command at a later time and place.
The Federals responded to Porter's recruiting. Col. Henry S. Lipscomb and other Union troops marched toward Colony on reports of Porter being there and pick up his trail . The Federals caught up with Porter at Cherry Grove, Schuyler Co, just below the Iowa boarder. The Union with superiors numbers were reported as attacking and routing Porter's recruits southward. Casualties were minor on both sides. Porter as was his style was likely not routed by the Federals, but just rapidly retreated, out-riding his opponents with superiors horses, riding skills and terrain management. Ten miles west of Newark in Lewis.Co, Porter dispersed his men. Retaining about 75 riders, he camped near his home, close to Newark in Lewis.Co. for awhile, recruiting more local men.
July 13, 1862, Sunday: Leaving camp on the North Fabuis (Fabby) River in Lewis Co, Porter divided about 125 riders into four columns (groups/units) two miles south of Memphis, Scotland Co, MO. Porter converged of Memphis from four directions, posted guards to seal off and control the town, then formed up at the courthouse square. Porter took command of the Federal position and supplies, gaining about a hundred muskets (long guns) with cartridge boxes, ammunition, some uniforms, etc. The adult males in town were taken to the courthouse square and sworn not to give any information to the Federals for two days. Some records as indictments for horse theft were destroyed in the courthouse. Mudd's and other's account of Memphis give more details, often written with bias leanings one way or the other.
Scotland Co, Missouri, 1876
of Shelby Co, MO, states; “Most conceded that
Col. Porter’s purpose for capturing Memphis, MO. was to seize Dr. Wm. Aylward, a
prominent Union man of the community.” Aylward was captured at Memphis during the day by
Capt. Tom Stacy's riders and confined in a house the night of July 13. Waking Alyward at
night and removing him from the house, apparently to see Porter, guards claimed that he escaped.
Witnesses told of hearing the sounds of Aylward being strangled and his body was
found the next day, with marks consistent with hanging. Hanging by troops
or mobs often amounted to death by strangulation and not death by the neck
Capt. Tom Stacy: (Thomas Hart Benton Stasey/Stacy) Stacy's command (riders) had joined Porter before Memphis. Stacy could be considered a true guerilla style combatant. In the Civil War, Stacy would have been called a bushwacker, and often looked down upon by many historians who have never been in combat or had their homes, property, families violated. Mudd stated “if one of his (Stacy's) men were captured and killed he murdered (killed) the man who did it if he could catch him, or, failing him, the nearest man he could catch to the one who did it." Porter's men often referred to Stacy's company as "the chain gang,'' with reference to 'the criminals.'
Pic/info summary from gg/gson:
Tom Stasey grew up on a farm a few miles west of the Hannibal, Marion.Co.MO
Farming in Shelby.Co.MO when the Civil War started.
Died at the log home of Rudolph March in Bible Grove, days after Vassar Hill.
His wife retrieved body & returned it to her parents farm (Orson & Margaret Sparks) for burial nearby.
Was buried on Young Farm (NW1/4, Sec35, T57N, R8W), a mi N of Sharpsburg Cem, Marion.Co.MO.
Stacy found and arrested Dr. Wm. Aylward while in Memphis. Aylward had a reputation of mistreating Confederate prisoners captured earlier at a skirmish at Downing a few miles west of Memphis. Aylward openly bragged about what he had done and would do to southern sympathizers. Stacy had been advised while in Memphis that Alyward had bayoneted and killed two of Stacy's men that were taken prisoner.
Courthouse, Memphis, Scotland Co, MO. Built 1856, burned 1907 and present courthouse built.
Afternoon of Sunday, July 13, 1862
After a few hours in Memphis, Porter, with 125+/- mounted men, headed to a camp eight miles west of Memphis, at the Henry H. Downing farm.
Night of Sunday, July 13, 1862
In camp the night after leaving Memphis, Porter apparently advised Stacy to 'select' appropriate guards to watch Aylward over the night time. Stacy assigned the brother and a first cousin of the men Alyward had claimed to have bayoneted. The next day Alyward was found in a nearby field dead from 'strangulation' (hanging).
The 'execution' of Aylward was generally credited to Capt. Stacy, but Porter is quoted as saying to a Union sympathizer before Aylward's body was found, "He (Alyward) is where he will never disturb anybody else." Only a few days after Memphis, Capt. Tom Stacy would be die from wounds at the Battle of Vassar Hill, a few miles SxSW of Memphis.
From Monday, July 14, 1862 to Friday,
July 18, 1862
Porter spent the next several days resting but on the move, training his men and getting a feel for how the Federals were reacting to the capture of Memphis.
Col. Lewis Merrill, commander of the NEMO military district. Regular army; 1844 West Point. Had detachments of Union Troops in county seats, major villages, transportation centers and key points throughout NEMO, plus groups assigned to keep order and to hunt down guerilla actions.
John McNeil, from his post in Newark, had sent Maj. John Y. Clopper's Merrill Horse (Calvary) consisting of Co.'s C, H, I, of about 300 men to pursue Porter. The Union Calvary was approaching Memphis by the morning of Friday, July 18, 1862.
Major John Y. Clopper
After Memphis Porter became aware that Clopper was trailing and hunting him. By the end of the week his network of local resident southern contacts had advised him of various Federal positions and movements. Looking for Porter's riders was a 280 man Federal detachment composed of Maj. John Y. Clopper's battalion of the 2nd Missouri Calvary (the Merrill Horse) and a detachment under Maj. John B. Rogers of the 11th MO State Militia. Major Clopper was in command of all the Federal riders.
Friday morning, July 18, 1862, Porter assembled his 125 riders, gave them the 'orders of the day' and rode to the Pierce's Mill area 2mi NxNE of Bible Grove in Scotland Co, on the Middle Fabius River. Porter had heard of Federals were patrolling the area, riding out of Memphis. Porter left a small detachment at the wooden bridge a few hundred yards downstream of the Pierce's Mill area. Clopper had sent an advanced scouting 'guard' of 21 riders to pick up and keep on Porters trail.
Porter took the main body of his riders across the bottomland trail to the southwest. Porter's men stabled their horses in the hill timber, leaving a guard on them. The Confederates then returned back down to the bottom land/hill edge trail where they concealed themselves in a battle line on the southern side of the bottomland trail in the thick woody shrubs, ground cover vegetation and small trees found typically along edges of trails, streams, fields.
Porter's orders were to allow the lead Federal riders of the patrol to reach the end of his line before firing and then only after his order. Then if the Federal patrol retreated, his men would move quickly by foot down the trail toward the bridge (closer), again taking concealed positions use the same technique if another attack came.
The Federal advanced scouts saw the 'bait' troops left at the bridge and followed them when they galloped off down the trail to the SE leading the Federal scouts toward Porter's troops concealed in the trail brush. Porter's men were ordered to hold their fire until the range was very close, thus increasing the accuracy of each volley. Clopper's Federal mounted advanced guard of 21 men had 18 killed or wounded during the initial fighting on the trail.
Speculated battle line.
Porter knew after the initial advanced guard ambush, that the main Federal body would shortly be coming down the trail from the bridge so he had ordered his men down the trail closer to the bridge (northward), instructing them to again let the Federal reach the southern end of the battle line before firing on them from concealment. More of Clopper's Federal riders arrived and followed the same route down the trail as the Federal advanced guard. Porter's men did not get set up as close to the bridge as wanted and the Confederate second volley was not as effective as their first surprise volley. Clopper's men retreated back to the bridge area as the entire Federal force arrived. Porter's men moved up on higher ground but still in the brush above the trail. Clopper's riders would make 6-8 attacks down the trail with the same tactics and results. Porter's men would stay on the ground in concealment, firing blackpowder muskets, shotguns, revolvers, at close range. The Federals when fired upon would fall back up to a hundred yards and ineffectively return fire at the concealed position of the Confederates.
Mudd stated Clopper's force upon arrival, and later when Major Rogers arrived with the 11th Missouri State Militia Cavalry of about 100 men, made at least seven charges down the trail as the Confederates moved their position after each charge, always staying in concealment. Later Clopper claimed he had 'driven the enemy from the field,' ending the battle. Mudd however said the Federals fell back, breaking off the engagement leaving Porter in possession battle line along the trail, until the Confederates withdrew. Clopper's tactics of withdrawing and charging numerous times down a trail where the opponent was concealed on foot in heavy brush was a disaster. The results were 10 of Merrill's House and 14 of the 11th MSM Calvary mortally wounded or killed. Merrill's Horse had 24 wounded, the 11th MSM Cavalry had 35 wounded. Mudd stated Porter's loss was perhaps 3 killed and 5 wounded. Other histories give different accounts, as The History of Shelby Co, MO, states Porter had 6 killed, 3 mortally wounded and 10 wounded 'left on the field.' The Federals used Jacob Maggard's farm as a field hospital and buried the dead on the farm until they were later either moved by the government or families of the dead.
The Union would have 18 killed in battle, with another 5 dying of wounds later. Maggard's brick farm house to the north was turned into a Union 'hospital.' Dick Probst and mother reported helped at the Maggard house the night of the battle, and J. M. Jayne heard the battle from the Jayne's home. Confederate men had visited the Jayne's home before the battle, demanding food.
Wm. Purvis removed dead horses from the battle line the next day, Sat, July 19. All killed Union troops were initially buried on the Maggard farm with ten disinterred later by friends and relatives. The remaining thirteen were eventually moved to the Keokuk, IA, National Cem. Porter had two men killed in battle, Frank Peak and a Sparks. Capt. Tom Stacy died from battle wounds two days later at the Bible Grove home of Rudolph March. Porter's losses were comparatively small due to tactics. Porter dismounted his men and deployed them along the brush trail while Clopper's men were ordered to charge, mounted down the trail several times and could easily be shot from stationary cover. Porter also ordered his men to move positions after each charge.
Clopper apparently had believed Porter had 400-600 men, but should have scouted the Confederate's for strength and position. His tactics never changed, making numerous mounted charges against dismounted, concealed men. Clopper should have dismounted his men, taken stock of the battle terrain, attempted ground assaults and outflanking the Confederate position. After about two hours, Clopper broke off attacking and engaging the Confederates basically being routed by marginal tactics on his behalf and good tactics on Porter's.
Merrill Horse had 45 dead and wounded and the 11th MO St. Militia had 38. Porter had 5 wounded and 2 dead (plus later, Tom Stacy) out of about 125 men. Capt. Stacy would die two days later at Bible Grove from a wound to the chest while trying get a dead horse off Stillson, a wounded Federal, during break in the battle.
Maggard's Brick farm house was used as a military hospital
by the Federals after the Battle of Vassar Hill. All Federal
dead were buried on the farm but later moved by family to
local cemeteries or by the government to Keokuk National
Leaving Vassar Hill
Afternoon, Fri, July 18, 1862, Porter's men scoured the battle line for weapons and equipment after the Federals stopped charging and withdrew from the trail. Stillson was freed from under his dead horse, taken captive and would be with Porters men as they rode hard the next few days. Porter quickly began what Mudd called 'that furious ride,' moving all day and night, westward a few miles, then south through Paulsville, in the eastern part of Adair Co., then SE into Knox County. They arrived Sat morning, July 19, 1862, at Whaley's Mill in the southeastern corner of Knox County, stopping to rest the horses and men until noon.
Noon, Sat, July 19, 1862, Porter continues the force ride, passes through the Locust Hill area, near Novelty in Knox Co heading southward. In under 24hrs, Porter's men had fought a battle and ridden 65 miles. They will ride with only short rest stops for the next two days at dawn on Tues, July 22, 1862., they pass quietly through the village of Florida in Monroe Co, MO, the advanced guard waiting at the Salt River ford on the south side. When the man body arrived at the ford on the southern edge of Florida, Porter decided to set up camp for the day on the south side of town near the Salt River. Porter immediately sent a detachment a half mile back into Florida for supplies, but on the way about the time they met their own rear guard they were fired on by the 3rd IA Cavalry of about fifty men who had been stationed at Florida. The Confederate men under attack retreated back south toward the their main force along the Salt River. Porter hearing the shooting ordered a dismounted frontal attack on Union Troops in the town while sending mounted detachments to flank the Union troops, coming in from the sides and rear. In an hour of fighting the Union had 26 wounded and retreated away from the town. Porter loss was 2 wounded and 2 killed, one of which was Fowler, captured at the beginning then shot in the face or executed in view of his two brothers by a Lt. Cravin Hartman. Porter's men wanted to kill the two Union captives that had but Porter stopped that action, indicating he had word Hartman died of wounds over the night, which was not true. Hartman apparently would be killed by his own men in Arkansas as the end of the war neared.
Tues, July 22, 1862, Porter is camped in Florida, Monroe Co, MO, when 60 men of F & G Co.'s of the 3rd IA Vol. Calvary, led by Maj. Henry Clay Caldwell made contact with about 300 of Porter's riders. After about an hour engagement the Federals retreated back to their post at Paris, Monroe Co, MO, with 22 wounded and 2 captured. Porter would move on toward Santa Fe, Monroe Co, MO.
Wed morning July 23, 1862, Porter left Florida and road SW about 20mi through
Monroe Co during the day, advising locals sympathizers to give any Union
following incorrect information on directions and size of force.
Wed night, July 23, 1862, after dark Porter rode back on the same path and by daylight had set up camp.
Thur morning, July 24, 1862, Porter has set up camp on the outskirts of Sante Fe village in SW Monroe Co, and would rest his young riders until about noon the next day. Thur. morning, Porter 'paroled' Stillson from Vassar Hill and the two prisoners from Florida. Which means they were let go with the promise of not to lead Federals back to Porter. Porter's men and Stillson became friendly during the days following Vassar Hill.
Battle of Sante Fe or
Battle of Bott's Bluff or Battle of Widow Bott's Farm
Thur, early afternoon, July 24, 1862, Porter broke camp but within a couple of miles his advanced riders met up with Stillson who advised, because of the way Porter's men treated him, that Federal riders of unknown numbers were close and approaching (about 80 riders of the 3rd IA, under Maj. Caldwell. Just as at Vassar Hill, Porter moved to favorable terrain, stabled the horses and moved his men to a concealed battle line in the brush. Caldwell figured out the general location of Porter and sent Lt. B.F. Crail with 17 men forward to determine Porter's exact location. The Federal's fired some blind volleys as they advanced forward through the brush. When about thirty yards away, Porter's men fired a volley that killed one and wounded ten of the Federals. Porter had one man killed and one wounded. Caldwell not knowing Porter's strength decided to break off the attack.
Thur, afternoon, July 24, 1862, Porter's riders left the Santa Fe area heading southward in the direction of Mexico, MO. Caldwell followed but stopped at Mexico to tend his wounded.
Thur, July 24, 1862, at Bott's farm near Santa Fe, Monroe Co, MO, Maj. Caldwell with 100 riders of the 3rd IA Vol. Cavalry pursued Porter and about 400 Confederate riders into dense brush/undercover on the farm and had one killed, ten wounded. Porter kept riding southward toward Callaway Co, MO with Caldwell following on Porter's trail. Porter would ride all night which was often his usual method of staying unseen, covering large riding distances while wearing down and out riding Federal riders on is trail.
From Sante Fe one can read from various sources regarding Porter's remaining service and life.
Friday dawn, July 25, Porter set up camp in southern Audrain Co, on the
headwater of the South Fork of the Salt River.
August 6, 1862, Battle at Kirksville, Adair Co, MO (pop. about 760 at the time) Porter is routed and heads south toward Arkansas to join up with Price. Battles and skirmishes continues in Missouri until late in 1864.
NEMO 1876 overview map:
Porter Outline and time-line above.
General notes and saved information
for reference use below.
Notes and Information
1860 Census, Pierce's/Pearce's Mill area
1882 History of Scotland Co, Missouri.
Philip Purvis, b. Apr 5, 1812, Bath Co, KY, of English/Irish descent..
In 1819/1820, when Philip was 9y, his parents removed to Ralls Co, MO.
After moving around for sometime, they settled very early in Scotland Co, MO.
Philip farmed all his life, owning one of the best farms in the area.
Matilda Stice Purvis
Born, Nov 12, 1812, of German descent.
Father a Virginian who settled early in Boone Co, KY, who moved to Monroe Co, MO, then Adair Co, MO, and finally to Oregon.
Matilda is the wife of Philip Purvis, mother of William Purvis. The Stice families farmed to the east and near the Vassar Hill farms of Purvis.
Information from a relative, 2015June.
Eliza Purvis was a dau. of Phillip & Matilda Stice Purvis.
Eliza married George Blaine, a neighboring farmer of the Purvis family.
George's family hid in the timber during the Battle of Vasser Hill, while he stayed to guard the farmstead.
George Blaine was never heard from again after the battle
It is thought George was conscripted by the Confederates, and my have died in a Union prison camp by 1865.
Eliza Purvis Blaine died in 1870.
1882 History of Scotland Co, Missouri.
William Purvis, resident of Mt. Pleasant Twp, Scotland Co, MO.
Born Nov 24, 1842, son of Philip and Matilda Stice Purvis.
Sixth of ten children. Worked for his father Philip, until marriage.
On Feb 14, 1861, married Margaret E. Palmer, b. Sept 20, 1840, Richland Co, OH, (dau of Thomas & Eliza M. DeHaven Palmer).
William and Margaret had six children; living in 1882, Wm. A., Elva J., Sarah T., Samantha A.; deceased at age 2y, twins Sinas and Sina.
Abt July 1862, moved to Pierce's Mill, engaging in milling for some time, serving seven month in the MO State Militia..
After milling and the militia, William purchased land near his 1882 residence, living there for nine years before adding more land and moving to his 1882 residence. He is Republican and they are members of the Christian Church.
Battle of Vassar Hill area, T64N, R12W, 1876 plat, Scotland Co, MO,
Email communication regarding Vassar Hill and surname: 2004 to bz/Joan.Longbrake
Daniel Vasser bought land from a Corwin, who appears to have been connect to Jacob Vasser's wife, Mary Ann Corwin. Jacob is my direct line. Daniel Vasser left no will; however, there is an estate record. In that record is a doctor's bill in which there is a note as to several days of treatment including the date of the last visit. Thus assuming that he died on that date. According to history written by family, Daniel was injured while riding a horse. He supposedly was a teamster (horse drawn freight wagon) for the Union in the Civil War; however, have found no evidence of that.
Daniel Vasser was born in Halifax County, Virginia. It appears he moved to
Bedford County, VA, with older siblings after his father died. Per verbal
history of Levi Vasser, Daniel died while his wife was pregnant with the last child.
From Bedford Co, Va. Daniel Vasser came to Hardin County, Ohio, as did the family of his second wife Mary Ann Kearnes. They were married in Bedford Co, VA. Daniel Vasser lived in Bedford Co. VA, for about 7 years then moved to Scotland County, Missouri. After Daniel's death there appeared to be some family discord and two of his sons Jacob and Thomas, moved to Ohio. Thomas served in the Civil War, Jacob did not. The Log cabin that Jacob and Mary Corwin Vassar lived in was occupied by Jacob's eldest son, James Ezra and his wife until it burned around 1925. Old Ezra refused to leave and lived in the produce cellar while his second wife moved in with Grandpa Joe and his wife Bessie Kate.
Sophia Vasser, Daniel Vasser's oldest daughter, married a John Adam Smith. Sophia and John moved to Pike Co, MO, and are buried at Riverview Cem, Louisiana, Pike Co, MO. John Smith worked for the lumber yard in Louisiana. He had on amputated arm but do not know how. One Smith son moved to Hannibal. John Adam Smith b. January 1836 in Germany d. 27 April 1910 in Pike Co. Mo. John's wife, Sophia Vasser, b. 05 Sept 1838 in Hardin county, Ohio d. 29 April 1911. John and Sophia were married Sept 03, 1857 in Scotland Co. Mo.
Children of John and Sophia (Vassar) Smith:
Sarah E. b. 1863 married Samuel Hollanberger 07 Sept 1881
John A. b. 17 Feb 1865 in Pike County, Mo. d. 17 Feb 1911 married Nov 12, 1884, in Louisiana, MO, Mary Frances Briggs who was b. 19 May 1869 and died 22 Jan 1957 in Pike Co. Mo.. One child Minnie May Smith b. 28 Jan 1886 d. 23 Feb 1903 in Pike County, Mo.
Catherine J. b. 1868 d. 27 Sept 1914 married Charles H. Wheeler 25 Sept 1883.
Benjamin F. b. Apr 1872 d. 23 Oct 1918 in Hannibal, Missouri, married Dec 25, 1895, Katie E. Grady who was born 1872 and died 1940. Two children
Perry Smith b. Sept 1897 and Ardella b. Feb 1900 and died 28 July 1903.
Joseph Perry b. 26 May 1876 d. 17 Feb 1920 m. Laura Gibbs 20 May 1897 one child Sophia E. Smith b. May 1898.
Martin b. Feb 1880 married Rosa A. McCallister 07 Oct 1900; one child Opal Smith b. 1902.
Joseph Chrisman Porter (September 12, 1819 - February 18, 1863) was a Confederate Officer in the American War Of Northern Aggression of 1861 and a key leader in the guerilla campaigns in northern Missouri. Colonel Porter formed and commanded The First Northeast Missouri Cavalry, C.S.A., better known to many as Porter's Regiment
One of the main sources for Colonel Porter's history is the monumental book "With Porter In North Missouri" penned by Joseph A. Mudd (see below). Porter's chief adversary, yankee Col. John McNeil, regarded him simply as a guerilla, though clearly Porter's service under General John S. Marmaduke in the Springfield campaign and following, clearly shows he was a fully Commissioned Officer in the Confederate States Army.
EARLY LIFE AND CAREER
Joseph C. Porter was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky, to James and Rebecca Chrisman Porter. The family moved to Marion County, Missouri, in 1828 or 1829, where Porter attended Marion College in Philadelphia, Missouri, and was a member of the Presbyterian Church. About 1844, Porter married Mary Ann E. Marshall (d. DeWitt, AR about two years after the war closed, according to Porter’s sister). They subsequently moved to Knox County, remaining there until 1857, when they moved to Lewis County, and settled five miles east of Newark. Family members assert that only one picture of Porter was known to exist, and it was destroyed when his home was burned, allegedly by yankee soldiers.
On Sunday, July 13, 1862, Porter approached the city of Memphis in four converging columns totalling 125-170 men and captured it with little or no resistance. They first raided the Federal armory, seizing about a hundred muskets with cartridge boxes and ammunition, and several uniforms. They rounded up all adult males, who were taken to the court house to swear not to divulge any information about the raiders for forty-eight hours. Porter freed all militiamen or suspected militiamen to await parole, a fact noted even by the Yankees of his good character. Citizens expressed their sympathies variously; Porter gave safe passage to a physician, an admitted supporter of the yankee, who was anxious to return to his seriously ill wife.
At Memphis, a key incident occurred which would darken Porter’s reputation, and which his detractors see as part of a consistent behavioral pattern which put him and his men beyond the norms of warfare. According to the "History of Shelby County, which is generally sympathetic to Porter, Most conceded that Colonel Porter’s purpose for capturing Memphis, MO. was to seize Dr. Wm. Aylward, a prominent yankee man of the community. Aylward was roused from his bed, and offered some resistance, whereupon he was wounded in the neck. His overnight guards claimed that he thereafter escaped. However, witnesses reported hearing the sounds of a strangling, and his body was found the next day, with marks consistent with hanging or strangulation.
At Memphis, Porter had been joined by Tom Stacy, a Missouri Partisan Ranger. Stacy's company was called "the chain gang" by the other members of Porter's command.
Yankee Colonel (later General) John McNeil pursued Porter, who planned an ambush with perhaps 150 men (though Yakee estimates of his strength ran as much as four times higher). The Battle is called Vassar Hill in the History of Scotland County; Porter himself called it Oak Ridge, and Federal forces called it Pierce’s Mill, after a location 1.5 mi NW of the battlefield. A detachment of Merrill’s Horse, under Major John Y. Clopper, was dispatched by McNeil from Newark against Porter, and attacked him 2 p.m. on Friday, July 18, on the south fork of the Middle Fabius, ten miles south-west of Memphis. Clopper was in the Federal front, and out of 21 men of his advance guard all but one were killed and wounded. The yankees charged repeatedly, to little effect. Only the arrival of reinforcements drove Porter into retreat. yankee casualties were about 30 killed and mortally wounded, and perhaps 75 wounded. Porter's loss was six killed, three mortally wounded, and 10 wounded left on the field. The 23 yankee dead were originally buried on the Jacob Maggard farm, which served as a temporary hospital, 1.5 mi NW of the battlefield.
After the fight, Porter moved westward a few miles, then south through Paulville, in the eastern part of Adair County; thence south-east into Knox County, passing through Novelty, four miles east of Locust Hill, at noon on Saturday, July 19, having fought a battle and made a march of sixty-five miles in less than twenty-four hours.
July 22, 1862: Detachments of F & G Companies (60 men total) of 3rd Iowa Volunteer Cavalry under Major Henry Clay Caldwell encountered Porter with 300 rebels at Florida, in Monroe County, Missouri. The detachment fought outnumbered for one hour & fell back upon the post of Paris, Missouri, with 22 wounded and 2 captured.
July 24, 1862: Major Caldwell and 100 men of his 3rd Iowa Volunteer Cavalry pursued Porter and his 400 men into dense brush near Botts’ farm, near Santa Fe, Missouri. Porter fled and was pursued into Callaway County, Missouri. The Second Battalion suffered 1 killed & 10 wounded.
1913 History of Northeast Missouri, p 616-617
The Civil War
From 1861 to 1865. the period of the Civil war, Scotland county was a place from which many recruits were gotten, both for the Confederacy and for the Union. In those troublous times animosities were engendered that continued for a long time after the end of hostilities. The most troublous event, however, in that period was in 1862. The Federals had some men imprisoned at Memphis who were known to have been in sympathy with the Confederate cause. On the second day of July, 1862, Colonel Joseph C. Porter and his regiment entered Memphis, and caused the Confederates held here to be released. He also took several prisoners from here that were affiliated on the opposite side. From here he proceeded to Henry H. Downing's residence eight miles west of Memphis. Here the execution of Dr. Aylward took place, he being hanged to a tree. Some of Porter's men, who were great admirers of the gallant leader, claim that the Colonel never knew of this execution. After resting there for the night, Porter's command proceeded to Pearce's Mill.
Crossing the bridge near the mill they marched up on the hill on the south side of the creek and entrenched themselves just over the brow of the hill, safe from the view of the road. Colonel Porter had information that a regiment far superior to his own in point of numbers and equipment was in pursuit. The Union regiment was known as Merrill's Horse. While Porter's men were thus entrenched, he sent Lucien Durkee and another man back toward the bridge to decoy the enemy into the trap. They soon came along and wounded Durkee slightly, but he ran into the brush and escaped. When Merrill's Horse ascended Vassar Hill they knew not the fate that was in wait for them. But when they advanced within easy range, Porter's men opened fire, mowing the front rank down as with a giant scythe. Colonel Clopper, the Union commander, ordered a retreat; but after resting they renewed the charge. Seven times they charged on Porter and his men, but were repulsed with heavy losses every time. The Federal losses were eighty-five killed and a large number wounded. Porter lost two men killed and about a half dozen wounded. This battle, which was the only important engagement in Scotland county during the Civil war, is described in detail in a book written by Dr. Joseph A. Mudd, now of Hyattsville, Maryland, who was an officer in Porter's command. The book is entitled, "With Porter in North Missouri," and it seems to be a fair and impartial account of the military activities of that time.
1887 History of Lewis, Clark, Know and Scotland Counties Missouri
The force under Clopper and Rogers dispatched by McNeil from Newark against Porter, attacked him at about noon on Friday, July 18, at Pearce's Mill, on the south fork of the Middle Fabius, ten miles southwest of Memphis. A bloody little engagement resulted. The Confederates were in ambush. Capt. Clopper was in the Federal front, and out of 21 men of his advance guard all but one were killed or wounded. The Federals--Merrill's Horse--charged repeatedly, without avail, and if Rogers had not come up when he did with the Eleventh which he dismounted and put into the brush, they would have been driven from the field.
The Federal loss was 83 men killed and wounded. Merrill's Horse lost 10 men killed and 4 officers and 31 men wounded; the Eleventh Missouri State Militia, 14 killed and 24 wounded. Among the severely wounded was Capt. Sells, of Newark. Porter's loss was 6 killed, 3 mortally wounded, and 10 wounded left on the field. Among the mortally wounded was the bushwhacker chieftain, Capt. Tom Stacy, who died a few days afterward. The fact that Porter and his men were in concealment and well protected, while the Federals were unprotected comparatively and taken unawares, perhaps accounts for the disparity in the losses. The action was the severest of the war in the four counties.
1887 History of Scotland Co, Missouri
War of Rebellion, p517
The first military bodies raised in Scotland County for actual service were those raised in the beginning of the war of the late Rebellion. After this war had commenced, in the Spring of 1861, Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, commanding the Dept. of Missouri issued an order for the people of the State to organize the Militia for the defense and preservation of the Government. In obedience to his order Capt's. Thomas McAlister, ??? Matley and James S. Best each raised a company in Scotland Co, during June, 1861, and took them to Athens, MO to join the militia under Col. David Moore.
1884 account, from the History of Monroe and Shelby County, p. 744
"In his pursuit of Porter, Col. McNeil marched in a north-westerly direction from Palmyra, toward Scotland county. Pushing on past Emerson, he arrived at Newark, Wednesday, July 9. Here he was joined by 257 of Merrill's Horse (Second Missouri Cavalry), under Capt. John Y. Clopper. This force, and a detachment of the Eleventh Missouri State Militia, under Maj. J. B. Rogers, were sent on in direct pursuit of the Confederates, while Col. McNeil waited at Newark for the arrival of his baggage and commissary train from Palmyra, which came in a day or two escorted by 75 men of the Second Missouri State Militia. The Federals were much embarrassed by their trains. Col. Porter had no trains, or not more than two or three common farm wagons. His troops lived off the country, and every man was his own quartermaster and commissary.
"The force under Clopper and Rogers, dispatched by McNeil from Newark against Porter, attacked him at 2 p. m. on Friday, July 18, at Pierce's Mill, on the south fork of the Middle Fabius, ten miles south-west of Memphis. A bloody little engagement resulted. The Confederates were in ambush. Capt. Clopper was in the Federal front, and out of 21 men of his advance (Federal) guard all but one were killed and wounded. The Federals - Merrill's Horse - charged repeatedly, without avail, and if Rogers had not come up when he did, with the Eleventh, which he dismounted and put into the brush, they would have been driven from the field. As it was, Porter retreated.
"The Federal loss in this engagement was not far from 30 killed and mortally wounded, and perhaps 75 severely and slightly wounded. Merrill's Horse lost 10 men killed, and four officers and 31 men wounded. The Eleventh Missouri State Militia lost 14 killed and 24 wounded. Among the killed was a Mr. Shelton, of Palmyra, and Capt. Sells, of Newark, was badly wounded. Porter's loss was six killed, three mortally wounded, and 10 wounded left on the field. Among the mortally wounded was Capt. Tom Stacy, who died a few days afterward. His wound was through the bowels, and he suffered intensely. He was taken to a house not far away and visited by some of the Federal soldiery, who did not abuse him or mistreat him. His wife and family lived in this county at the time. His widow, now a Mrs. Saunders, resides in the western part of the county.
"After the fight at Pierce's Mill, Col. Porter moved westward a few miles, then south through Paulsville, in the eastern part of Adair county; thence south-east into Knox county, passing through...."
The story of the Civil War in northeast Missouri. Second paper. The campaign of General Harris and Colonel Green, Shoemaker, F. C. (Floyd Calvin), b. 1886.
CIVIL WAR IN NORTHEAST MISSOURI. p119 is said to have been spread among the people that "Porter's Coming" and this was sufficient to secure many enlistments. From New Market Porter moved north through western Marion, eastern Knox, and western Lewis county. He recruited about two hundred and rested at Sulphur Springs in Knox county. From here he moved north, threatening Memphis, and gathered recruits in Scotland and Schuyler counties. About four hundred and fifty Federal troops (State Militia) under Colonel H. S. Lipscomb, followed and at Cherry Grove (northeast Schuyler) towards the end of June Porter was defeated. His loss was slight but he at once retreated to a place about ten miles west of Newark, being pursued by Lipscomb. Here Porter scattered his force, keeping only about seventy-five men, and with these as a nucleus went on recruiting. In July, Porter's brother captured Newark and then Monticello fell. The Confederates had become masters of all the western part of Lewis county and were rapidly gaining recruits. The Federals at Canton, LeGrange, Palmyra and even at Hannibal were aroused. Porter left Newark, went north into Scotland, and on July 12, captured Memphis which had been occupied with Federal troops. Before this the forces of Colonel McNeil had started in pursuit of Porter, and on July 9, were at Newark. At Pierce's Mill on the south side of the Middle Fabius, Scotland county, Porter was discovered in ambush on July 18, by Major John Y. Clopper with a part of "Merrill's Horse". After three unsuccessful attempts made to dislodge him Clopper was reinforced by Major Rogers and their united forces finally accomplished this after a desperate resistance by Porter. Porter was really victorious here but retreated south. The Federal loss was heavy, while the Confederate's loss was light. Porter in less than twenty- four hours after this affair was at Novelty, Knox county. This was quite a record march for within that time he had fought a battle and retreated sixty-five miles through a section that had been drenched with rain a week before. McNeil followed Porter to Newark and then returned to Palmyra
120 MISSOURI HISTORICAL REVIEW. acknowledging being baffled by the southern commander. It was at this time that McNeil is reported to have said of Porter: "He runs like a deer, and doubles like a fox." On July 20, Porter was at Whaley's Mill, six miles east of Newark, and from there he marched south past Warren (sixteen miles west of Palmyra) with two hundred men, cross- ed the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad near Monroe Station and rested in Monroe county. On July 22, Porter surprised and defeated a small force of Federal troops near Florida which were under Major H. C. Caldwell of the Third Iowa. From here Porter marched south and on the 23rd crossed the North Missouri railroad and entered Callaway county where his force was increased. He dashed to the heavy timber near Brown's Spring, ten miles north of Fulton. Colonel. Odon Guitar left Jefferson City on July 27th, with two hundred men and two pieces of artillery to attack Porter who was known to be heading for the river with his new recruits. On July 26, Lieutenant-Colonel W. F. Shaffer of "Merrill's Horse" left Columbia with one hundred men and taking Sturgeon joined Major Clopper with one hundred. Major Caldwell with part of the Third Iowa and part of Col- onel J. M. Glover's regiment, left Mexico and these two columns marched to Mt. Zion church. Not finding Porter they entered Callaway on the 28th, and at 2 p. m. heard Guitar's canon four or five miles away at Moore's Mill. Guitar had found Porter first and these two able commanders were engaging in a doubtful battle when the Union reinforcements from Mt. Zion church gave the victory to Guitar. Porter lost many in both killed and wounded here and was very fortunate in not having his entire force captured. General Scofield, Brigadier-General of the Missouri Miitia at St. Louis, at this time issued his order for all the militia of the state to fight Porter as though he were a guerilla. Porter on hearing of this is reported to have said: "I can raise one thousand men in Monroe and Marion counties in twenty-four hours on this issue alone." (The same words are also attributed to this general on hearing of the "Palmyra Massacre ".)
Online thread regarding the Battle of Vassar Hill
--The Rebellion Register: A History of the Principal Persons and Places, Important Dates, Documents and Statistics, Military and Political; Campbell lists the following: MEMPHIS, MO; (Friday), 18 July 1862; skirmish; rebel defeat, but losses heavy on both sides.
--The National Archives Guide Index doesn't list an alternate name for
this incident. The location is stated to be in the northeast corner of the
state. Here's a report from the Official Records, vol. XIX
CAMP NEAR PIERCE'S MILL, (Saturday), July 19, 1862
SIR: I beg leave to report that I yesterday encountered Porter's forces, conjoined with Dunn's, at 12 m., and fought and routed them after a desperate and severe fight of three hours. They had an ambush well planned and drew my advance guard into it, in which my men suffered severely. My killed and wounded amounted to 53 men, 15, of which belonged to my battalion Merrill''s Horse; the balance, 38, to Major Rogers' battalion, Eleventh Missouri State Militia. Among the wounded of my officers are Captain Harker, slightly, Lieutenant Gregory, Lieutenant Potter, and Lieutenant Robinson. I cannot find adequate terms to express the heroic manner in which my command stood the galling and destructive fire poured upon them by the concealed assassins.
I have not time to make an official or detailed report of the action; will do so upon the first favorable opportunity. Colonel McNeil joined me last night with 67 men. The enemy's force (Porter's) is variously estimated at from 400 to 700. I have now halted for the purpose of burying the dead and taking care of the sick. Will pursue the enemy at 11 a.m. this date. They are whipped and in full flight. The forced marches I have been compelled to make and the bad condition of the roads and constant rainy weather have had the effect of exhausting my horses and men. The enemy were well concealed in dense underbrush, and I must give them credit for fighting well. They will not meet me on fair ground. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN Y. CLOPPER, Major, Commanding Battalion Merrill's Horse.
Clopper's report raises more questions than it answers. With a Federal casualty count this high, how does the fighting here rate as a mere skirmish? Even though the Federals occupy the ground afterwards, there is no report of Confederate dead or wounded left on the field. Perhaps there were none. How then can Major Clopper describe his adversaries (the "assassins") as "whipped" and "routed"? How did that come about?
--Most readers of the "official Record" get to eventually, to the victors goes the spoils of writing history. I suspect if the time were available and resources were dug out, that this action really amounted to Clopper riding into a well planned and executed ambush (paraphrasing his words) got whipped and the enemy in typical Missouri fashion disappeared in all directions after achieving their objective i.e. hit the enemy with all you got, stop him, then disappear to fight another day. Its typical western theater fare. Clopper knowing he had been bested put the best face on it he could, "we took our lumps, stood our ground, and the enemy disappeared so we must have routed him." Its important to remember as well that when either side bled and lost the enemy "must have out numbered us" was a common excuse. We'll never know for sure from the Official Record.
--Corporal Henry Couch-- online military service record with the MO Sec'y
of State's website does not indicate that he died as a result of this fight, but
you would know best. Some of those records are a little thin, after all.
Corporal Couch enlisted 5 March 1862 at New London, which must mean in Ralls
County, into Captain Cohen's Company E of the 11th Cavalry Regiment Missouri
State Militia. The single card doesn't even give his age at enlistment, while
many others do.
-- Besides calling this fight "Memphis" and "Vasser Hill" it was also known as "Pierce's" or "Pearce's Mill." John Russell's assessment is right on the money about what happened.
Other sources for this fight include:
--the 1977 history of Scotland County, p. 135;
--the 1911 Adair County history, p. 95;
--the 1887 Lewis County history, p. 118;
--Moore's "The Rebellion Record" vol. 5 of 12, p. 558;
--Mudd's "With Porter in North Missouri," pp. 82-112;
--the newspaper "Daily MO Democrat" of St. Louis of 25 Jul 1862;
--the newspaper "Missouri Statesman" of Columbia of 25 Jul 1862.
The "O.R." coverage is actually in series 1, vol. 13, pp. 163-4 (I don't use the roman numerals, since, well, I am not Roman, and neither are most of you). I summarize this fight in my 2004 "Guerrilla Warfare in Civil War Missouri, 1862" on page 132 with conclusions surprisingly like John Russell's. Nice going, John. My endnote also lists most of these sources, too. You can view it via interlibrary loan.
--Back to Corporal
Couch, one of those sources summarized the Union
casualties in the two regiments involved as:
--2nd MO Cav ("Merrill's Horse"): 10 KIA, 35 WIA (note, this is the Union force) (KIA=killed, WIA=wounded)
--11th Cav MSM: 14 KIA, 24 WIA, (note, this is Porter's Confederate force)
so you can see that the corporal was among many lost in that fight. You may call it a battle if you like, as Confederate Colonel Joseph C. Porter had a habit of making every fight he made into a battle for the Yanks. He was gifted.
--Corporal Henry Allen Couch was 58 in 1862 - perhaps a little old to be going for a soldier. He was from Ralls County and came into that county in 1837 from PA. It appears that he took his whole family with him as all of the Couches in the 11th are either sons, or in one case a younger brother. He is the only one that did not survive the Civil War. They managed to get his body back to Ralls Co somehow - Henry Allen Couch is buried in Ralls Co in the Keithley Cemetery with a stone indicating his Civil War service in the 11th.
--Levi Keithley Cem (Keithley Cem #2). sec 3. T55m. R6W. from Center, go N on Rt H, 4 1/2 mi to Rt A, turn west, go 1mi, turn north on gravel road. Stones are on the ground in a field. This is NE of Norton Cem, abt. 1/2 mi. Norton Cem: S3, T55N, R6W, from Center go N on Rt H 4 1/2 mi to Rt A, turn west and go 1 1/2 mi, cem is on the north side of Rt. A.
Levi Keithley Cemetery pics
Couch and Keithley Descendent Trees,
from Salt River Flowage FTM file, bz/2009
Henry Allen Couch, b. 1804/PA, died July 18, 1862/Battle of Vassar Hill, Scotland Co, MO
Descendants of Nathaniel Couch
1 COUCH, Nathaniel b: Abt. 1725 in VA d: Apr 1802 in St. Clair Twp, Allegheny Co, PA Burial: Bethel Pres. Cem, Allegheny Co, PA Number of children: 8 Note 1: 30 Apr 2009 Couch surname last reviewed: Barry Zbornik Hannibal MO email@example.com
.. +UNKNOWN, Abigail b: 1727 Number of children: 8
2 COUCH, Joseph b: 1748 in VA d: Bet. 1837 - 1847 in Allegheny Co, PA (SW corner) Number of children: 2
... +MANNERS, Margaret b: 1750 in PA m: 1779 in Allegheny Co, PA Number of children: 2
. 3 COUCH, William b: 1771 in Upper St. Clair Twp(?), Allegheny Co, PA (SW corner) d: 07 Jun 1839 in Upper St. Clair Twp, Allegheny Co, PA (SW corner) Number of children: 11 Note 4: Twelve children.
..... +WHITMORE, Elizabeth b: Abt. 1775 in PA d: 26 Jan 1853 in Allegheny Co, PA (SW corner)? Number of children: 11 Note 3: Given analogs; Elizabeth, Elisabeth.
... 4 COUCH, Margaret
... 4 COUCH, John b: 1793 in Allegheny Co, PA
... 4 COUCH, Jane b: 1800 in Allegheny Co, PA
... 4 COUCH, Nathan A. b: 1803 in Allegheny Co, PA
... 4 COUCH, Henry Allen b: 1804 in Pittsburg, Upper St. Clair Twp, Allegheny Co, PA d: 18 Jul 1862 in Battle of Vassar Hill, Scotland Co, MO Burial: Keithley Family Cem, sec 3, T55, R6, Center Twp, Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 9 Note 4: 1836 PA to 220a farm, S1/3, sec 36, T56N, R6W, ClayTwp, RallsCoMO. Note 5: 1840 Census; farming, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Note 6: 1850 Census; farming, $300, Spalding/Center area, Ralls Co, MO Note 7: 1860 Census; farming, $2000/700, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Note 8: Built Asher Ford area mill on Salt River near Rt. H. Note 9: Bet. 1839 - 1862 Millwright, built 11 mills for early settlers in Ralls Co. Note 11: 05 Mar 1862 Enrolled at New London, horse $110, healthy, vigorous, accustomed to military duties. Note 12: 11 Mar 1862 Mustered as 58y Corpl, Capt Cohen's Co, MO St. Militia at New London, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 14: Bet. Mar 1852 - Jul 1862 Rode with Co. E, 11th MO State Militia (Federals), age 58, killed at Vassar Hill, Scotland Co, MO. Note 16: 15 Jul Killed in battle at Vassar Hill, Scotland Co, MO; horse & equipment used. Note 17: Death? July 15 reported in Muster Roll or July 18 from history? Note 22: 06 Nov 2009 Burial marker standing, Levi Keithley Cem, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO, bz/11/09.
....... +CARR, Sara Jane b: 1807 in Pittsburg, Allegany Co, PA d: in Spalding area, Ralls Co, MO m: 25 Oct 1824 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Co, PA Number of children: 9
.... 5 COUCH, Margaret b: 27 Mar 1826 in Pittsburg, Allegany Co, PA d: 20 Feb 1884 in Rensselaer area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO Burial: Hydesburg Cem, Ralls Co, MO, no marker. Number of children: 10 Note 6: 1860 Census; milliner, Ralls Co, MO.
........ +ROBERTSON, Thomas M. b: 04 Jan 1826 in Harrisburg, Dauphin Co, PA d: 15 Mar 1911 in Camp Point, Adams Co, IL Burial: Camp Pt. area, Adams Co, IL m: in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 10 Note 3: Abt. 1849 Calif. gold fields; may have gone with NEMO groups. Note 4: 1853 Came to Ralls Co, MO. Note 5: 1860 Census; Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO; plus Perry Couch 21y/MO, Wm. Onstot 19y/IA. Note 6: 1878 Atlas; 42.5a with blacksmith shop, sec 23, T56N, R6W, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Note 10: 1903 Sold farm, moved to center, near son Bent who build him a sm. house. Note 11: 1904 Atlas; 91a, sec 23, T5N, R6W, Ralls Co, MO. Note 12: Bet. 1853 - 1910 Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO, farmed, stock raiser, blacksmith. Note 14: 1910 With dau, Maggie & Leonard Decker, Camp Pt, IL.
...... 6 ROBERTSON, Mary Alice b: 15 Aug 1853 in Spalding area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO d: 21 Jul 1919 in Saline Twp, Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 5 Note 6: 1911 Living Hazzard area, Ralls Co, MO.
.......... +ROLAND, Elliott Barton b: May 1857 in NEMO Number of children: 5
...... 6 ROBERTSON, John P. b: 17 Oct 1854 in Spalding area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO d: 24 Aug 1933 in Hannibal, Marion Co, MO Burial: Salt Lick Cem, Ralls Co, MO, no makrer. Number of children: 4 Note 5: 1920 Census; teamster, Hannibal, MO. Note 7: 1911 Living in Hannibal, MO.
.......... +LEONARD, Josephine b: Jun 1859 in IL d: 04 Jan 1934 in Hannibal, Marion Co, MO Burial: Salt Lick Cem, Ralls Co, MO, no makrer. m: 28 Feb 1880 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 4 Father: LEONARD, William Mother: RILEY, Nancy
...... 6 ROBERTSON, Thomas Benton b: Aug 1856 in Spalding area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 2 Note 3: Called Bent. Note 4: Six children with Lucy. Note 5: 1900 Census; blacksmith with father, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO Note 6: 1911 Living in Center, Ralls Co, MO. Note 7: 1920 Census; with bro/law Leonard Decker, Camp Pt. IL, both widowed.
.......... +UNKNOWN, Lucy A. b: Oct 1878 in KS d: Bef. 1910 m: Abt. 1899 Number of children: 2
...... 6 ROBERTSON, William b: 1859 in Spalding area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MOSpalding area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO d: in TX?
...... 6 ROBERTSON, Annie b: 1861 in Spalding area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO d: 1896 in Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO Burial: Salt Lick Cem, Ralls Co, MO.
...... 6 ROBERTSON, Margaret b: Apr 1864 in Spalding area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO d: 30 Jul 1916 in Fall Creek Twp, Adams Co, IL Number of children: 3 Note 4: Caled Maggie. Note 11: 1911 Living in Camp Point, Adams Co, IL.
.......... +DECKER, Leonard b: Jan 1857 in Germany d: 16 Feb 1945 in Quincy, Adams Co, IL m: 1900 Number of children: 3 Note 4: 1881 Germany to America. Note 6: 1910 Census; farming, Camp Pt. area, Adams Co, IL
...... 6 ROBERTSON, Edwin N. b: Feb 1867 in Spalding area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO d: in Caif. Note 5: 1900 Census; working home farm with father, Ralls Co, MO. Note 8: 1910 Census; working on flower farm, Duarte, Los Angeles Co, CA, with Bert Wilby. Note 11: 1911 Living in CA.
...... 6 ROBERTSON, Ortha J. b: 1868 in Spalding area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO d: 1906 in Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 7
.......... +MEGOWN, Thomas Scott b: 12 Sep 1859 in Ralls Co, MO d: 19 Jul 1934 in Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO m: 14 Feb 1889 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 7 Father: MEGOWN, Samuel Mother: MCCREADY, Julia A. Note 4: Lived with parents. Note 7: 1910 Census; farming, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO.
...... 6 ROBERTSON, Jenny b: Aft. 1868 in Spalding area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO d: in Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO, died young
...... 6 ROBERTSON, Sarah b: Aft. 1869 in Spalding area, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO d: in Clay Twp, Ralls Co, MO, died young.
.... 5 COUCH, Mary b: 17 Mar 1827 in Pittsburg, Allegany Co, PA d: 08 Aug 1862 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Burial: Keithley Cem, SW of the center of sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Number of children: 3
........ +KEITHLEY, Levi b: 15 May 1794 in Warren Co, KY d: 28 Oct 1875 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Burial: Keithley Cem, SW of the center of sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. m: 24 Jun 1858 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 16 Father: KEITHLEY, Jacob Mother: ROLAND, Barbara Note 1: 15 Nov 2009 Keithley, last reviewed, Barry Zbornik, Hannibal MO firstname.lastname@example.org Note 2: Surname analogs; Keithley, Keithly, Keathly. Note 3: 1812 KY to MO, age 18, escorted widow of bro. Abraham back. Note 4: 03 Apr 1815 First marriage, Fannie White, d. 1835, Rall.Co.MO farm, 9 children. Note 5: Abt. 1817 Moved, KY to St. Charles, MO. Note 6: Nov 1818 Entered land, near Ely Springs on Spencer Creek, (now) Pike.Co.MO. Note 7: 1827 Entered final farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 9: 1832 Served Black Hawk War, age 40, under Capt. Matson of Ralls Co. Note 11: 18 Apr 1836 Second marriage, Mary Helen Bell, d. bef 1843, 4 children. Note 12: Abt. 1837 Brick home constructed on Levi Keithley farm. Note 13: 09 Mar 1843 Third marriage, Druzilla Thompson, d. 1858, ? children. Note 14: Census; no Keithley's in Marion or Monroe Co's, MO. Note 15: 24 Jun 1855 Fourth marriage, Mary Couch, d. 1862, 3 children. Note 16: 1860 Census;, farming $2k/2.2, sec 3, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 17: 12 Jun 1863 Fifth marriage, Alcy Hale, d. 1906, no children.
...... 6 KEITHLEY, Benjamin Franklin b: 14 Jul 1859 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. d: 25 Jun 1925 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Norton Cem, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Number of children: 3 Note 5: Farmed on Salt R. bottoms near Asher Bridge, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 7: Weighed 550 lbs.
.......... +COONTZ, Mary Jane b: 23 Jan 1858 in Ralls Co, MO d: 14 Nov 1916 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Norton Cem, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Number of children: 3 Father: COONTZ, Jacob W. Mother: ASHER, Mary Jane
...... 6 KEITHLEY, Margaret Alice b: 17 Aug 1860 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. d: 12 Dec 1940 Number of children: 5 Note 3: Called Maggie.
.......... +ROSSER, William Number of children: 5 Father: ROSSER, Silas Mother: SCHULTZ, Mary Ellen
...... 6 KEITHLEY, Sarah Elizabeth b: 31 Jul 1862 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. d: 19 Aug 1862 in Farm, sec 3, T55n, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO Burial: Speculate Levi Keithley Cem, center of sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 4: Died 11 days after mother Mary nee Couch, likely burial Keithley Cem.
.... 5 COUCH, Henry b: 1830 in Pittsburg, Allegany Co, PA
.... 5 COUCH, James Vernon b: 1832 in Allegheny Co, PA d: 1904 Number of children: 6 Note 5: 1861 Union, Civil War. Note 6: 1860 Census; wagon maker near father Henry on Salt River, T55N, R6W, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 8: 1870 Census; wagon maker, $800/350, Saline.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO.
........ +ROBINSON, Martha G. b: 1843 in KY m: 16 Sep 1856 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 6
...... 6 COUCH, Mary E. b: 1859 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, Benjamin b: in Ralls Co, MO d: 1920 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 8 Note 5: Last Couch to live on the original Henry Couch farmstead. Note 8: 1924 Wife sold Couch farm to Barney Feldcamp.
.......... +MEADOWS, Susan Number of children: 8
...... 6 COUCH, James b: 1862 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, Jane b: 1865 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, David b: 1867 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, Susan b: 1869 in Ralls Co, MO
.... 5 COUCH, William Alexander b: 28 Dec 1834 in Allegheny Co, PA d: 14 Feb 1908 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Salt Lick Cem, Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 6 Note 4: 1861 Union, Civil War. Note 5: 1860 Census; living with Wm. Greathouse, house carpenter, Sidney.PO, Saline.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 6: Aft. 1862 Took over his father's house, Ralls Co, MO. Note 8: 1870 Census; running home farm near Asher Bridge, Clay.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 9: 1870 Census; carpenter, $6k/730, mother remained on home farm.
........ +MEGOWN, Sarah A. b: 01 Jan 1846 in Ralls Co, MO d: 14 Feb 1934 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: ?Madisonville Cem, Ralls Co, MO? not listed in burials. m: 15 May 1867 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 6 Father: MEGOWN, Samuel Mother: MCCREADY, Julia A.
...... 6 COUCH, Iola b: 1869 in Missouri
.......... +HARVEY, Tom
...... 6 COUCH, Mary b: 1871 in Missouri
.......... +SPENNY, Charles H. m: 1897 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, Esther b: 1874 in Missouri
.......... +ALLEN, Unknown
...... 6 COUCH, John E. b: Aug 1876 in Missouri Note 6: Took over his father's house, Ralls Co, MO. Note 7: 1900 Parents, sis/Esther & bro/Ward were living in the house with John.
.......... +JAMISON, Maude
...... 6 COUCH, Margaret b: 1879 in Missouri d: Abt. 1880 in Infancy, Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, Ward H. b: May 1881 in Missouri
.... 5 COUCH, Commodore Perry b: 02 Aug 1837 in Spalding area, Ralls Co, MO d: 07 Jan 1896 in Hannibal, Marion Co, MO Number of children: 7 Note 6: 1860 Census; apprentice bk.smith with Thomas Robertson, Pigeon.Cr.PO, Clay.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 8: 1879 Census; house carpenter, $500/150, Spencer.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO.
........ +ALEXANDER, Louisa b: 27 Aug 1848 in Ralls Co, MO d: 05 Jul 1904 in Hannibal, Marion Co, MO m: 06 Sep 1865 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 7 Father: ALEXANDER, Allen A. Mother: KEITHLEY, Mary Ellen
...... 6 COUCH, Henry A. b: 1866 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, Ulysses G. b: 1868 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, James H. b: 1869 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, William Robert b: 1870 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, Ollie B. b: 1873 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, Colvin M. b: 1875 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 COUCH, Elizabeth A. b: 1879 in Ralls Co, MO
.... 5 COUCH, Sarah Jane b: 1839 in Spalding area, Ralls Co, MO
........ +MEGOWN, Samuel m: 26 Jan 1860 in Ralls Co, MO Father: MEGOWN, Samuel Mother: MCCREADY, Julia A. Note 4: Miller in Monroe Co, MO.
.... 5 COUCH, Elizabeth b: 1843 in Spalding area, Ralls Co, MO
........ +ROBINSON, Benmain J. b: 1839 in KY m: 17 Dec 1863 in NEMO
.... 5 COUCH, Samuel M. b: 1845 in Spalding area, Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 1 Note 7: 1870 Census; farming, Clay.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO.
........ +HOOPER, Deborah Ellen b: 1848 in IN m: 01 Jun 1865 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 1
...... 6 COUCH, Sophronia b: 1868 in Ralls Co, MO? Number of children: 1
.......... +KRAMER, Alan Number of children: 1
... 4 COUCH, James b: 1805 in Allegheny Co, PA
... 4 COUCH, Simon b: 1806 in Allegheny Co, PA Number of children: 4
....... +UNKNOWN, Elizabeth b: 1810 in PA m: 1833 in PA Number of children: 4
.... 5 COUCH, Joseph b: 1831
........ +RANKIN, Sarah Father: RANKIN, John
.... 5 COUCH, Jane b: 1834
.... 5 COUCH, James b: 1839
.... 5 COUCH, Mary b: 1845
... 4 COUCH, Jospeh Harrison b: 18 Mar 1808 in Allegheny Co, PA d: 09 Oct 1886 in Cumming, Warren Co, IA Number of children: 6
....... +FANNING, Juliann b: 1813 in KY d: 26 May 1857 in Cumming, Warren Co, IA m: 24 Jul 1836 in New London, Ralls Co, MO. Number of children: 6
.... 5 COUCH, William Henry b: 07 Sep 1840 in Missouri
.... 5 COUCH, Joseph C. b: 16 Jan 1837 in Missouri
.... 5 COUCH, George Washington b: 20 Dec 1843 in Clinton Co, MO d: 09 Aug 1857 in Cumming, Warren Co, IA Note 4: Twelve children, nine in Booneville, Dallas Co, IA.
........ +DOOLEY, Elizabeth b: 09 Apr 1847 in Sandwich, Ontario, Canada
.... 5 COUCH, Benjamin Franklin b: 1848 in Warren Co, IA
.... 5 COUCH, Laura Ann b: 31 Dec 1847 in Warren Co, IA
.... 5 COUCH, James b: 1853 in Warren Co, IA
... 4 COUCH, David b: 1810 in Allegheny Co, PA
... 4 COUCH, Jacob Whitmore b: 21 Oct 1818 in Allegheny Co, PA d: 20 Jun 1897 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Madisonville Cem, Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 9 Note 6: 1860 Census; farming, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO Note 8: 1870 Census; carpenter, $2680/400, Cincinnatti.PO, Center.Twp, Rall.Co.MO.
....... +MOAK, Isabella Amanda b: 05 Jan 1826 in Pa d: 13 Sep 1902 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Madisonville Cem, Ralls Co, MO m: in PA Number of children: 9
.... 5 COUCH, William b: 1845 in Allegheny Co, PA
.... 5 COUCH, Isabel A. b: 1845 in Allegheny Co, PA
........ +BABB, Peter m: 11 Jun 1865 in Ralls Co, MO
.... 5 COUCH, Mary Ann b: 01 Jan 1851 in Allegheny Co, PA d: 1927 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 9
........ +BOYD, Jason Lee b: 10 Mar 1841 in Ralls Co, MO d: 1925 in Ralls Co, MO m: 10 May 1866 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 9 Father: BOYD, Singleton Wilmer Mother: ELLIS, Nancy Ann Note 1: Fife player, drum corps, civil war.
...... 6 BOYD, Martha A. b: 05 Sep 1869 in Ralls Co, MO d: 02 Jan 1870 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 BOYD, Norah Amanda b: 09 Mar 1871 in Ralls Co, MO d: 31 Oct 1896 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 BOYD, Della F. b: 01 Mar 1873 in Ralls Co, MO d: 23 Aug 1876 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 BOYD, Margaret Belle b: 22 Sep 1875 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 BOYD, Carrie E. b: 08 Mar 1878 in Ralls Co, MO d: 31 Oct 1882 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 BOYD, Arthur Garfield b: 19 Mar 1880 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 BOYD, Roy E. b: 22 Dec 1882 in Ralls Co, MO d: 20 Dec 1955
...... 6 BOYD, Jennie May b: 30 Apr 1885 in Ralls Co, MO
...... 6 BOYD, Richard H. b: 07 Apr 1891 in Ralls Co, MO
.... 5 COUCH, John F. b: 1853 in Allegheny Co, PA
.... 5 COUCH, Harry b: 1855 in Ralls Co, MO
........ +STAPLETON, Elizabeth
.... 5 COUCH, Henry K. b: 1856 in Ralls Co, MO
.... 5 COUCH, Margaret b: 1860 in Ralls Co, MO
........ +HARP, Henry
.... 5 COUCH, Ina b: 1865 in Ralls Co, MO
........ +LAWSON, Samuel
.... 5 COUCH, Laura Edna b: 1866 in Ralls Co, MO
........ +HENDRIX, Max
... 4 COUCH, Bell Sina b: 31 Mar 1826 in Allegheny Co, PA d: 07 Oct 1884 Number of children: 8 Note 6: 1870 Census; widowed, on farm, 7 children, $1k/975, in Cincinnati area, Ralls.Co.MO
....... +WALTER, John b: 01 Feb 1808 in PA d: 17 Feb 1869 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 8 Note 6: 1860 Census; farming/ blacksmith, $800/275, near Levi Keithley, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO
.... 5 WALTER, William b: 1852 in PA
.... 5 WALTER, Elizabeth b: 1854 in PA
.... 5 WALTER, Irwin Fletcher b: 1856 in PA
.... 5 WALTER, Sarah b: 1858 in PA
.... 5 WALTER, Maria B. b: 1859 in Sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: Bef. 1870 in Sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO Burial: Possibly in Levi Keithley Cem as not listed in Norton, Ralls.Co.MO, bz/2009.
.... 5 WALTER, Levi b: 1863 in Sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO
.... 5 WALTER, John b: 1865 in Sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO
.... 5 WALTER, David b: 1868 in Sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO
. 3 COUCH, Nathan b: Bet. 1794 - 1800 in Allegheny Co, PA
2 COUCH, Sarah b: 1760 in VA
2 COUCH, Miriam b: 1762 in VA
2 COUCH, Freelove b: 1764 in VA
2 COUCH, Henry b: 1773 in Washington Co, PA
2 COUCH, Nathan b: Abt. 1774 in Washington Co, PA
2 COUCH, Phillip b: 1776 in Washington Co, PA
2 COUCH, Benjamin b: 15 Jul 1777 in Washington Co, PA (SW area)
Keithley Descendent Tree:
Note: The 4th wife of Levi Keithley, b. 1794, was Mary Couch, b. 1827, dau. of Henry Couch, b. 1804, d. 1862, Battle of Vassar Hill. The Keithley/Couch families went to the Maggard farm just north of the battle area which the federals used as a mustering point for wounded and buried the Federal dead. The families re-claimed Henry's body and returned it to the Keithley family plot about a half mile ExNE of Norton Cemetery in Ralls Co, MO.
Descendants of Levi Keithley
1  KEITHLEY, Levi b: 15 May 1794 in Warren Co, KY d: 28 Oct 1875 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Burial: Keithley Cem, SW of the center of sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Number of children: 16 Note 1: 15 Nov 2009 Keithley, last reviewed, Barry Zbornik, Hannibal MO email@example.com Note 2: Surname analogs; Keithley, Keithly, Keathly. Note 3: 1812 KY to MO, age 18, escorted widow of bro. Abraham back. Note 4: 03 Apr 1815 First marriage, Fannie White, d. 1835, Rall.Co.MO farm, 9 children. Note 5: Abt. 1817 Moved, KY to St. Charles, MO. Note 6: Nov 1818 Entered land, near Ely Springs on Spencer Creek, (now) Pike.Co.MO. Note 7: 1827 Entered final farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 9: 1832 Served Black Hawk War, age 40, under Capt. Matson of Ralls Co. Note 11: 18 Apr 1836 Second marriage, Mary Helen Bell, d. bef 1843, 4 children. Note 12: Abt. 1837 Brick home constructed on Levi Keithley farm. Note 13: 09 Mar 1843 Third marriage, Druzilla Thompson, d. 1858, ? children. Note 14: Census; no Keithley's in Marion or Monroe Co's, MO. Note 15: 24 Jun 1855 Fourth marriage, Mary Couch, d. 1862, 3 children. Note 16: 1860 Census;, farming $2k/2.2, sec 3, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 17: 12 Jun 1863 Fifth marriage, Alcy Hale, d. 1906, no children.
.. +WHITE, Fannie b: 23 Jan 1796 in VA d: 12 Oct 1835 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Burial: Norton Cem, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. m: 03 Apr 1815 in Bowling Green aera, Warren Co, KY Number of children: 9 Father: WHITE, Carter
2 KEITHLEY, Nancy b: 16 Jan 1816 in Warren Co, KY Number of children: 5 Note 4: 1817 Came from Ky to MO, age 1, with parents. Note 6: Moved to Calhoun.Co.IL, near Miss. Riv, after marriage. Note 7: Kept woodyard, selling to steamboats; bought 200a, lost most before death.
... +TURNER, Levi Number of children: 5
. 3 TURNER, Geroge
. 3 TURNER, Margaret
. 3 TURNER, Levi
. 3 TURNER, Gilbert
. 3 TURNER, Edwin
2 KEITHLEY, Martha Jane b: 27 Aug 1817 in Warren Co, KY d: 07 Jan 1877 Burial: Olivet-Center Cem, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO Number of children: 5 Note 1: 2nd wife of James Alexander; they had five children. Note 2: Later in life, couple lived near Hatch, Ralls Co, MO. Note 3: Children buried, Olivet Cem, sec 25, T55N, R6W, Ralls Co, MO.
... +ALEXANDER, James b: 23 Feb 1797 in Lexington area, Fayette Co, KY d: 01 Feb 1876 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 17 Father: ALEXANDER, Francis Note 1: Blacksmith, farmer. Note 2: Abt. 1820 Bourbon Co, KY to Ralls Co, MO.
. 3 ALEXANDER, Alice b: 11 Apr 1851 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 1851 Burial: Olivet Cem, sec 25, T55N, R6W, Ralls Co, MO.
. 3 ALEXANDER, Ferdinand Sudduth b: 20 Dec 1853 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 11 Jun 1943 in Center, Buchanan.Co.MO Burial: Olivet Cem, sec 25, T55N, R6W, Ralls Co, MO. Number of children: 7 Note 1: Hatch postmaster, Ralls Co. Recorder, lived in St. L.
..... +ARMSTONG, Susan James b: Dec 1866 in Ralls Co, MO d: 1940 Number of children: 7
. 3 ALEXANDER, Harriet b: 01 Apr 1855 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 01 Apr 1855 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Olivet Cem, sec 25, T55N, R6W, Ralls Co, MO.
. 3 ALEXANDER, Martha Almira b: 06 Jun 1856 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 14 Jan 1877 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Olivet Cem, sec 25, T55N, R6W, Ralls Co, MO.
. 3  ALEXANDER, Jacob Keithley b: 04 Apr 1858 in Middletown, Montgomery.Co.MO d: 03 Aug 1939 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Grandview Cem, sec 12, T56N, R5W, Clay Twp, Ralls Co, Mo. Number of children: 8 Note 1: J.P. at Huntington when married Anna.
..... +SHULSE, Donna Burial: Norton Cem, with 3 children, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center Twp, Ralls Co, MO. m: in 1886
. *2nd Wife of  ALEXANDER, Jacob Keithley:
..... +BASTIAN, Anna b: 06 May 1885 d: 25 Feb 1969 m: 1907 in Huntington, MO Number of children: 8 Note 1: Postmaster at Huntington when married Jacob.
2 KEITHLEY, Edwin Carron b: 21 Feb 1819 in Elk Springs area, Spencer Twp, Pike Co, MO d: 05 Sep 1885 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Olivet Cem N. of Center, Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 8 Note 6: Small stature, abt 100lb.
... +ALEXANDER, Mary Ellen b: 17 Jun 1828 in Ralls Co, MO d: 17 Sep 1902 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Olivet Cem N. of Center, Ralls Co, MO m: 1846 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO Number of children: 8 Father: ALEXANDER, James Mother: MUSICK, Margaret Ellen
. 3  KEITHLEY, James Alexander b: 19 Aug 1847 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 12 Feb 1931 in Raised by Aunt Polly and Robert Bell as infant, then returned to farm. Burial: Olivet Cem, N. of Center, Ralls.Co.MO Number of children: 5
..... +FLOWEREE, Julia M. b: 16 Oct 1848 in NEMO d: 23 Mar 1894 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Olivet Cem, N.of Center, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO m: 20 Oct 1869 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 5 Father: FLOWEREE, French Mother: NEAL, Mary Elizabeth
. *2nd Wife of  KEITHLEY, James Alexander:
..... +FOWLER, Mary Ellen b: 25 Sep 1848 in Ralls Co, MO d: 20 Jan 1946 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Olivet Cem, N.of Center, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO m: 1895 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 3
. 3  KEITHLEY, Levi Coleman b: 28 Nov 1848 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 19 Nov 1935 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO Burial: Olivet Cem, N.of Center, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO
..... +DODD, Elizabeth Ophelia b: 06 Jan 1851 d: 22 Jun 1924 Burial: Olivet Cem, N.of Center, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO
. *2nd Wife of  KEITHLEY, Levi Coleman:
..... +UNKOWN, Nancy Margaret
. 3 KEITHLEY, Robert Levan b: 24 Feb 1850 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 25 Feb 1923 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Olivet Cem, N.of Center, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO
..... +COONTZ, Mary Jane b: 1846 in Ralls Co, MO d: 1938 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Olivet Cem, N.of Center, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO m: 07 Nov 1875 in Ralls Co, MO Note 3: Called Katie.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Margaret Ann b: 17 Dec 1853 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 16 Mar 1926
..... +CRAWFORD, Thomas W. m: 22 Jan 1876 in Molina, Audrain Co, MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, John Thomas b: 14 Oct 1854 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 1945 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Olivet Cem, N.of Center, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO Note 6: Merchant in Ralls.Co.MO.
..... +ROGERS, Fannie b: 1856 in Ralls Co, MO d: 1937 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Olivet Cem, N.of Center, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO m: 13 Oct 1881 in Center, Ralls Co, MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Lucinca b: 29 Oct 1856 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 21 Apr 1932 Burial: Olivet Cem, N. of Center, Ralls.Co.MO Note 3: Called Lou.
..... +HULSE, Marcus LaFayette Burial: Olivet Cem, N. of Center, Ralls.Co.MO m: 11 Mar 1875 in Center, Ralls Co, MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Frances Jane b: 09 Aug 1859 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 11 Oct 1943 Burial: Vandalia Cem, Ralls/Audrain Co, MO Number of children: 5 Note 3: Called Fannie.
..... +WATERS, Stephen Albert b: 29 Mar 1858 d: 27 Mar 1946 Number of children: 5 Father: WATERS, Nimrod Mother: ALFORD, Mary E.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Dulcena Mae b: 14 Dec 1862 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO d: 22 Apr 1947 in Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO Burial: Olivet Cem N. of Center, Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 7 Note 3: Called Dellie.
..... +BRIGGS, Edwin West b: 01 Aug 1861 in Center, Ralls Co, MO d: 02 Aug 1939 in Center area, Ralls Co, MO Burial: Olivet Cem N. of Center, Ralls Co, MO m: 03 Mar 1886 in Center, Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 7 Father: BRIGGS, John Cook Mother: ELY, Elizabeth N. Note 1: Lived 1+mi SW of Center, Ralls Co, MO.
2 KEITHLEY, Melissa Jane b: 14 Apr 1821 in Eik Springs area, Spencer Twp, Pike Co, MO d: 26 Feb 1885 in Monroe Co, MO Burial: Worland/Jarboe Cem, Monroe Co, MO Number of children: 1
... +HAGAR, John b: 27 Jan 1810 in KY m: 26 Sep 1838 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 1
. 3 HAGAR, Monica Elizabeth b: 26 Feb 1853 in Missouri
2 KEITHLEY, Lousie b: 23 Aug 1823 in Elk Springs area, Spencer Twp, Pike Co, MO Number of children: 11 Note 4: After marriage, farmed near parents, then moved to Monroe Co, MO. Note 6: Lived rest of live in Monroe Co, raised 10 sons, 3 dua's.
... +STONE, Coleman D. Number of children: 11
. 3 STONE, Levi
. 3 STONE, John
. 3 STONE, George
. 3 STONE, Robert
. 3 STONE, Edwin
. 3 STONE, James
. 3 STONE, Coleman
. 3 STONE, Cicero
. 3 STONE, Fannie
..... +ARNOLD, Unkown
. 3 STONE, Emma
..... +MOORE, Unknown
. 3 STONE, Minnie
..... +ARNOLD, Unkown
2 KEITHLEY, Zerelda b: 03 Feb 1826 in Elk Springs area, Spencer Twp, Pike Co, MO d: 11 Feb 1858 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Burial: Keithley Cem, SW of the center of sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 5: Never married. Kept house for father 10-12 yrs before death. Note 9: Died from contracting erysiphelas caring for neice of step-mother. Note 10: Erysipelas- acute inflamation by strep bacterial infection of skin.
2 KEITHLEY, Mary Ellen b: 10 Oct 1828 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Number of children: 6
... +ALEXANDER, Allen A. b: 14 Dec 1818 in KY d: 27 Oct 1854 in Missouri Number of children: 6 Father: ALEXANDER, James Mother: MUSICK, Margaret Ellen
. 3 ALEXANDER, Nancy Jane b: 1845 in Ralls Co, MO
..... +HERMAN, Unknown
. 3 ALEXANDER, Louisa b: 27 Aug 1848 in Ralls Co, MO d: 05 Jul 1904 in Hannibal, Marion Co, MO Number of children: 7
..... +COUCH, Commodore Perry b: 02 Aug 1837 in Spalding area, Ralls Co, MO d: 07 Jan 1896 in Hannibal, Marion Co, MO m: 06 Sep 1865 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 7 Father: COUCH, Henry Allen Mother: CARR, Sara Jane Note 6: 1860 Census; apprentice bk.smith with Thomas Robertson, Pigeon.Cr.PO, Clay.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 8: 1879 Census; house carpenter, $500/150, Spencer.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO.
. 3 ALEXANDER, James A. b: 1851 in Ralls Co, MO Note 1: Called doc, moved west.
. 3 ALEXANDER, Hepson b: 1852 in Ralls Co, MO
. 3 ALEXANDER, Margaret Fannie b: 1855 in Ralls Co, MO d: in KC, MO.
. 3 ALEXANDER, Robert F. b: 1859 in Ralls Co, MO
2 KEITHLEY, Jacob Carter b: 04 Mar 1831 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. d: 24 Jul 1934 Number of children: 9 Note 5: Worked as farm hand & wood yard, saved $50 for H.S. Note 6: 1851 Attended H.S. at West Ely under Daniel Emerson (cousin to Ralph Waldo). Note 7: 1851 Taught school, Hager's Grove, Shelby.Co.MO. Note 8: Bet. 01 Jan 1852 - Jul 1853 Attended Van Renssalear Academy, Ralls.Co.MO, J.P. Finley, Principal. Note 9: Bet. Sep 1853 - Jul 1855 Taught school, Middle Grove, Monroe.Co.MO. Note 10: Bet. Sep 1855 - Apr 1857 Attended Westminister College, Callaway.Co.MO. Note 11: Bet. Sep 1857 - Jul 1860 Taught school, Slater, Saline.Co.MO. Note 12: Bet. 01 Sep 1860 - 04 Mar 1910 Moved to 160a, prairie land, R22, sec 9, near Salt Springs, MO.
... +VAWTER, Jane Neave b: 15 Jan 1831 in Monroe Co, MO d: 04 Mar 1910 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO m: 27 Oct 1857 in Monroe Co, MO Number of children: 9 Father: VAWTER, William Mother: NEAVE, Sarah Note 5: Bet. 1837 - 1855 After mother died, raised, agd 5-18yrs, by uncle Charles Neave in Cincinnati, OH. Note 7: 1855 Returned to father's home in Monroe Co, MO.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Jacob Carter b: 04 Mar 1851 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Irving W. b: 20 Jun 1858 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO
. 3  KEITHLEY, Herbert R. b: 02 Jun 1862 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO
..... +TINKER, Isabel
. *2nd Wife of  KEITHLEY, Herbert R.:
..... +TINKER, Hattie
. 3 KEITHLEY, Flora b: 02 Dec 1863 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Ella R. b: 28 Aug 1866 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO
..... +BUCHANAN, Geroge
. 3 KEITHLEY, Geroge E. b: 20 Dec 1868 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO
..... +TUTTLE, Mary m: 15 Jun 1904
. 3 KEITHLEY, Joseph b: 14 Jan 1871 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO d: 06 Feb 1875 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Stanley b: 16 Sep 1874 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO d: 06 Mar 1876 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Roland Hill b: 01 Jun 1877 in Salt Springs area, Saline.Co.MO
2 KEITHLEY, Robert b: 23 Jan 1834 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. d: 09 Jan 1848 in Farm, sec 3, T55n, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO Burial: Levi Keithley Cem, center sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 4: Died of pneumonia, age 12. Note 5: 1960 Marker found showing age 12ys, by James W. Alexander. Note 6: Nov 2009 Burial marker not found, bz.
*2nd Wife of  KEITHLEY, Levi:
.. +BELL, Helen Mary b: 10 Aug 1811 in Scott Co, KY d: 21 Sep 1841 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. m: 05 Apr 1836 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 4 Father: BELL, Joseph
2 KEITHLEY, John William b: 03 Jan 1837 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Number of children: 14 Note 4: Ten child of Levi, first with Helen Bell. Note 6: Abt. 1842 Kick by horse, broke arm sent to Rensselaer Academy, then taugh school young. Note 7: Elected Ralls Co school commissioner, then Probat Court Judge. Note 9: Prided in being a teacher most of his life.
... +MCKENNIE, Jane m: 22 May 1861 in Springfield, Green.Co.MO Number of children: 14 Father: MCKINNIE, Matthew Mother: UNKNOWN
. 3 KEITHLEY, William R. b: 27 Feb 1862 in Ralls.Co.MO Note 5: Unmarried, lived in Los Angeles, CA.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Irene B. b: 03 Jan 1864 in Ralls.Co.MO Number of children: 1
..... +HUTCHISON, Unknown Number of children: 1
. 3 KEITHLEY, John M. b: 22 Apr 1865 in Ralls.Co.MO Note 5: RR engineer, St. Louis.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Dana B. b: 20 Mar 1867 in Ralls.Co.MO Note 5: Stock trader in Wash. state.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Edward C. b: 16 Apr 1868 in Ralls.Co.MO Note 5: Farmed in Texas.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Albert R. b: 22 Dec 1869 in Ralls.Co.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, George D. b: 29 Jun 1871 in Ralls.Co.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Levi A. b: 16 Aug 1872 in Ralls.Co.MO Note 4: RR engineer, Springfield.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Marvin M. b: 10 Oct 1874 in Ralls.Co.MO Note 4: Engineer in St.Louis.MO.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Elizabeth b: 14 Nov 1876 in Ralls.Co.MO
..... +OKLEY, Unknown Note 4: RR conductor in Fayetteville.Ark.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Rolly T. b: 02 Jun 1879 in Ralls.Co.MO Note 4: RR engineer.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Unkown Son b: 26 Mar 1880 in Ralls.Co.MO d: Mar 1880 in Ralls.Co.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Uknown Dau b: 12 Aug 1881 in Ralls.Co.MO d: Aug 1881 in Ralls.Co.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Helen J. b: 29 Aug 1885 in Ralls.Co.MO Note 4: Stenographer, Springfield.MO.
..... +ELLIS, Unknown
2  KEITHLEY, Joseph Bell b: 14 May 1838 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. d: 26 Apr 1908 in Monroe City, MO Burial: Holy Rosary Cem, Monroe City, Monroe Co, MO Number of children: 9 Note 5: 1862 Union vol; Merrill's Horse Co. Note 6: Would have been at Battle of Vassar Hill where Henry Couch was killed, bz/2009.
... +THOMAS, Anna Elizatbeth b: 03 Jun 1840 in Shelby or Ralls Co. MO d: 01 Oct 1885 m: 30 Oct 1866 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 6 Father: THOMAS, Jack
. 3 KEITHLEY, Joseph Martin b: 31 May 1880 in Ralls Co, MO Note 4: Lived in CO.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Mary Aganes b: 04 Oct 1874 in Ralls Co, MO
..... +GARNETT, William m: 19 Jan 1893
. 3 KEITHLEY, Dora B. b: in Ralls.Co.MO
..... +COONTZ, Charles L. m: 20 Jan 1885 in Ralls Co, MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, John T. b: in Ralls.Co.MO Note 4: Lived in Wyoming.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Levi A. b: in Ralls.Co.MO d: 18 Aug 1955 in Billings, MT
..... +OGLE, Besse m: 21 Sep 1904
. 3 KEITHLEY, Maud b: in Ralls.Co.MO
*2nd Wife of  KEITHLEY, Joseph Bell:
... +PRICE, Elizabeth Ellen m: 05 Sep 1886 Number of children: 3 Note 4: From Cincinnati, Ralls.Co.MO at time of marriage.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Emmet b: in Ralls.Co.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Ann b: in Ralls.Co.MO
. 3 KEITHLEY, Eula b: in Ralls.Co.MO
2 KEITHLEY, Frances Ann b: 01 Dec 1839 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. d: 12 May 1943 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: St. Paul's Cath. Ch. Cem, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Number of children: 8
... +LITTLE, John Walter b: 19 Feb 1833 in Ralls Co, MO d: 16 Jan 1898 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: St. Paul's Cath. Ch. Cem, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. m: 15 Jan 1857 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 8 Father: LITTLE, William H. Mother: GREENWELL, Susan Mary Note 4: Youngest of large family, took over pioneer farm.
. 3 LITTLE, Mary Helen b: 12 Nov 1857 in Ralls Co, MO d: 12 Feb 1936 in Ralls Co, MO
. 3 LITTLE, Susan Alice b: 27 Jun 1859 in Ralls Co, MO d: 07 Aug 1947 in NEMO Burial: St. Paul's Cath. Ch. Cem, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Number of children: 5
..... +COONTZ, John Frazier b: 10 Aug 1850 in Ralls Co, MO d: 03 Jul 1917 in St. Louis, MO Burial: St. Paul's Cath. Ch. Cem, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. m: 07 May 1878 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 5
. 3 LITTLE, William Henry b: 27 Oct 1861 in Ralls Co, MO d: 29 Jan 1900 in Hatch area, Ralls.Co.MO Burial: St. Paul's Cath. Ch. Cem, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO.
..... +DONALLY, Jospehine Ann b: 08 Feb 1858 in Ralls Co, MO d: 22 Sep 1918 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: St.Patrick's Cem, Jonesburg, Warren.Co.MO m: 17 Apr 1882 in Hatch, Ralls.Co.MO Father: DONNALLY, Nathaniel H. Mother: HAGAR, Lousia
. 3 LITTLE, Robert Levi b: 05 Sep 1863 in Ralls Co, MO d: 28 Oct 1922 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 6
..... +GARNETT, Minnie Dandridge b: 21 Feb 1868 in New London, Ralls.Co.MO d: 29 Apr 1951 in Perry, Ralls.Co.MO m: 03 Aug 1886 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 6
. 3 LITTLE, Frances Mary b: 20 Aug 1869 in Ralls Co, MO
..... +KENDRICK, Robert b: 22 Aug 1864 in Missouri d: 07 Nov 1945 in Missouri m: 13 Feb 1889 in Ralls Co, MO
. 3 LITTLE, Bertha Agnes b: 04 Feb 1874 in Ralls Co, MO d: 03 Jul 1972 in Center, Ralls.Co.MO
..... +KAISER, William Joseph b: 1868 in Missouri d: 1948 in Ralls Co, MO m: 27 Jan 1904 in Ralls Co, MO
. 3 LITTLE, Oscar James b: 16 Apr 1876 in Ralls Co, MO d: 30 Aug 1877 in Ralls Co, MO
. 3 LITTLE, Opal Elizabeth b: 15 Nov 1884 in Ralls Co, MO d: 04 Feb 1968 in Ralls Co, MO
2 KEITHLEY, Levi T. b: 08 May 1841 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. d: 1879 Note 6: Aft. 1841 Raised by Aunt Polly and Robert Bell as infant, then returned to farm. Note 8: Abt. 1864 Went to California to live and prospered, never married. Note 11: 1876 Returned to NEMO one time to visit kin.
*3rd Wife of  KEITHLEY, Levi:
.. +THOMPSON, Druzilla America b: 05 Nov 1812 in KY d: 02 Feb 1858 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Burial: Keithley Cem, SW of the center of sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. m: 09 Mar 1843 in Pike Co, MO Note 4: No known children with Levi Keithley. Note 6: 1843 Living with sister Mrs. Martin, Pike.Co.MO at time of marriage to Levi Keithley. Note 11: Cause of death; erysipelas.
*4th Wife of  KEITHLEY, Levi:
.. +COUCH, Mary b: 17 Mar 1827 in Pittsburg, Allegany Co, PA d: 08 Aug 1862 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. Burial: Keithley Cem, SW of the center of sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. m: 24 Jun 1858 in Ralls Co, MO Number of children: 3 Father: COUCH, Henry Allen Mother: CARR, Sara Jane
2 KEITHLEY, Benjamin Franklin b: 14 Jul 1859 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. d: 25 Jun 1925 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Norton Cem, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Number of children: 3 Note 5: Farmed on Salt R. bottoms near Asher Bridge, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 7: Weighed 550 lbs.
... +COONTZ, Mary Jane b: 23 Jan 1858 in Ralls Co, MO d: 14 Nov 1916 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Norton Cem, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Number of children: 3 Father: COONTZ, Jacob W. Mother: ASHER, Mary Jane
. 3 KEITHLEY, Belva F.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Jacob C.
. 3 KEITHLEY, Emma L.
2 KEITHLEY, Margaret Alice b: 17 Aug 1860 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. d: 12 Dec 1940 Number of children: 5 Note 3: Called Maggie.
... +ROSSER, William Number of children: 5 Father: ROSSER, Silas Mother: SCHULTZ, Mary Ellen
. 3 ROSSER, Ethel Number of children: 1
..... +YAGER, Unknown Number of children: 1
. 3 ROSSER, Elmer E.
. 3 ROSSER, Oval A.
. 3 ROSSER, Lester K.
. 3 ROSSER, William F.
2 KEITHLEY, Sarah Elizabeth b: 31 Jul 1862 in Farm, sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls Co, MO. d: 19 Aug 1862 in Farm, sec 3, T55n, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO Burial: Speculate Levi Keithley Cem, center of sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. Note 4: Died 11 days after mother Mary nee Couch, likely burial Keithley Cem.
*5th Wife of  KEITHLEY, Levi:
.. +HALE, Alcy F. b: 23 Nov 1826 in VA d: 01 Jul 1908 in Ralls Co, MO Burial: Keithley Cem, SW of the center of sec 3, T55N, R6W, Center.Twp, Ralls.Co.MO. m: 12 Jul 1863 in Audrain Co, MO Note 3: Given analogs; Alcy, Ailsey. Note 4: No children with Levi. Note 5: Took care of Levi and finished raising his younger children. Note 6: Raised Jacob K, Fred S. & John M. Alexander, after parents died abt 1876.
Daniel 16y and Joseph Budd 18y
Joseph B. Budd, age 18, rode with the Federal Merrill's Horse Regiment and was killed at the Battle of Vassar Hill.
Descendants of Joseph Budd
1 BUDD, Joseph b: 1792 in Fishkill, Duchess.Co.NY d: 02 Jun 1845 in Pierson, Volusia.Co.FL? Number of children: 2 Note 1: 06 Sep 2011 Budd last reviewed; Barry Zbornik Hannibal MO firstname.lastname@example.org
.. +THURMAN, Ruth b: 1801 in Lincoln.Co.KY d: 29 Jun 1878 in Vigo.Co.IN m: 01 Aug 1816 in Bullitt.Co.KY Number of children: 2
2  BUDD, John Moses b: 20 Aug 1817 in Bullitt.Co.KY, mid IN line. d: 09 Apr 1887 in Pleasant Springs, St.Clair.Co, W Central MO Number of children: 15 Note 8: 1850 Census; Linton, Vigo.Co.IN; ElizaJ & 5ch. Note 11: 1860 Census; Morris, Carroll.Co.MO; Eliza & 7ch. Note 14: 1870 Census; Roscoe area, St.Clair.Co.MO Note 17: 1880 Census; Roscoe area, St.Clair.Co.MO; SarahAnn42, Joseph12, Ida10, JohnM5, Lydia3.
.... +SPARKS, Eliza Jane b: 1822 in Shelby.Co.KY d: 1864 in Putnam.Co.MO m: 11 Jan 1838 in Vigo.Co.IN, mid IL border. Number of children: 11 Father: SPARKS, Daniel Mother: GUNN, Jemima Note 22: Cause of death; TB.
... 3 BUDD, Ruth E. b: 1838 in Linton area Vigo.Co.IN
... 3 BUDD, B. E. b: 1839 in Linton area Vigo.Co.IN
... 3 BUDD, Jemima Ann b: 1841 in Linton area Vigo.Co.IN
... 3 BUDD, Joseph B. b: 1844 in Spencer.Co.KY d: Abt. 18 Jul 1862 in Battle of Vassar Hill, age18, S of Memphis, Scotland.Co.MO Note 11: 1862 Civil War; private, 2nd Reg of Merrill's Horse, Union.Army Note 12: Abt. 18 Jul 1862 Killed, 18y, chasing Col. Porter, Battle of Vassar Hill, Scotland.Co.MO.
... 3 BUDD, Daniel W. b: 1846 in Linton area Vigo.Co.IN d: 1862 in Douglas.Co.MO; smallpox, U.Army Note 11: Died from Smallpox, age16, Union Army.
... 3 BUDD, William Walter b: Apr 1848 in Linton area Vigo.Co.IN d: 11 Aug 1915 in Bruner, Christian.Co.MO
... 3 BUDD, Rachel Emily b: 1850 in Linton area Vigo.Co.IN
... 3 BUDD, Samuel Stowers b: 21 Nov 1854 in Linton area Vigo.Co.IN d: 16 Jul 1927 in Kansas City, Wyandotte.Co.KS
... 3 BUDD, Charles Richard b: 06 Feb 1856 in Terre Haute, Vigo.Co.IN d: 08 Apr 1923 in Filley, Cedar.Co.MO Number of children: 2
....... +YOUNG, Margaret b: Nov 1862 in KS or MO d: 18 Jan 1929 in Cedar City, Cedar.Co.MO m: 08 Feb 1881 in Nevada, Vernon.Co.MO Number of children: 2 Father: YOUNG, James Pleasant Mother: BURCH, Lydia Jane
..... 4 BUDD, Three Girls b: in Missouri
..... 4 BUDD, Eight Boys b: in Missouri
... 3 BUDD, John B. b: 1858 in Carroll.Co.MO
... 3 BUDD, James Calvin b: Nov 1860 in Carroll.Co.MO d: 07 Aug 1940 in Independence, Clay.Co.MO
....... +YOUNG, Virginia b: 21 Oct 1867 in Harwood, Vernon.Co.MO d: 14 Jan 1952 in Independence, Clay.Co.MO Father: YOUNG, James Pleasant Mother: BURCH, Lydia Jane
*2nd Wife of  BUDD, John Moses:
.... +DALLAS, Sarah Ann b: 1839 in Missouri d: 20 Feb 1930 in Oyer, St.Clair.Co.MO m: 1866 in Miisssouri Number of children: 4
... 3 BUDD, Joseph Daniel b: 1867 in Roscoe area, St.Clair.Co.MO
... 3 BUDD, Ida Gilbert b: 1869 in Roscoe area, St.Clair.Co.MO
... 3 BUDD, Jonathan John Moses b: 1875 in Roscoe area, St.Clair.Co.MO
... 3 BUDD, Lydia Mae b: Sep 1877 in Kansas
....... +MILLS, Michel b: 1872 in IL
2 BUDD, Mary Ann b: May 1826 in Spencer.Co.KY d: 10 Feb 1867 in Vigo.Co.IN
JACOB & SUSAN MAGGARD FAMILY
By Beverly Jo Spangler Thomas, Nov. 1995
JACOB MAGGARD was born about or before 1782 to Henry and Margaret Maggard in
Sullivan or Davidson County, Tennessee. He married Susan Bright. He lived in
Kentucky a few years and pioneered in Randolph Co, MO, in 1815/1816.
They were among the very first settlers of Randolph County, Missouri.
Maggard children were:
Margaret Maggard - married a William Meyers on March 30,1830
HENRY MAGGARD, born about 1805 - married first Levinia Elizabeth Skinner on March 29, 1832 then Ann Skinner, a cousin to Levinia, on November 30,1844. They moved to Scotland County, Missouri.
Elizabeth Ann Maggard married Ervin Johnson March 2, 1836. They moved to California about 1850.
Mary"Polly" Maggard married James Newton on December 1,1836
Jacob Maggard, Jr. bom about 1815 in Kentucky - married Elizabeth and moved to the West Coast after the Civil War.
Son - no information
Daughter Nancy- no information
Daughter Shannon - no information
The Maggard family apparently were very early settlers in America. Early records show them to have lived in Shenandoah County, Virginia and later in Rockbridge and Washington County, Virginia. From there some of them went over the line into Sullivan County, Tennessee and into eastern Kentucky.
Early Kentucky land records show that the Maggard's settled in the SE section of Kentucky in what is now Latcher, Harlan, Perry and Leslie Counties. Some of them are still living there. The earliest land grants recorded there were given to Samuel and John Maggard in 1814. A few other names after that were David, Randolph, Samuel, Richard, Moses, Isaac, Henry and Jesse. These names are repeated over and over from 1837 through 1921. Heads of Maggard families living in Letcher County, Kentucky in 1850 were: Henry age 29, James age 33, Samuel Sr. age 78, born in Virginia; Rudolph age 50 born in Virginia; Samuel Jr. age 36, Samuel 20, Moses 31, David 45, John H 24, Isaac age 25, James 24, Samuel 24. Living in Perry County Kentucky in 1850 were John Maggard age 53 born in Virginia and Moses Maggard age 27 born in Ohio. This as far as can be ascertained, were all the Maggard families living in Kentucky in 1850.
Jacob Maggard Farm Home
Brick foundation and walls. Built about 1855. A molded box eave and raking cornice form deep returns on the gable ends, where tall corbelled chimneys sit astride the ridge of the roof. Squarish windows are now 212 and have rowlock lintels. The central bay second story is a single leaf entrance, below the doorway has sidelights, corner lights and a multi-light transom. No porch remains intact on this facade. The reinforcing rods which run in both direction through the house are highlighted by star end motifs. A large frame ell with a gable roof projects
Born abt 1815 in Kentucky, Jacob Maggard arrived in Scotland County in 1836 and settled near Pleasant Retreat (three miles SE of this farm). It is unclear who came with Jacob but other Maggard's listed may be related: Susan, b. 1783/TN, was probably his mother and Henry, b. 1804, was probably a brother. In 1841, Jacob married Elizabeth.
A lane leads W off of the county road toward the large house which sits in
a fenced yard and faces S. The township line is 1/8 mile to the S. To the N of
the house is a well and several small frame sheds.
To the rear, N. It is 1-1/2 stories and has entrances to the E & W. On the N is a small frame cellar entrance vestibule. Details of the interior, central hall plan house include a simple stair in the hall with a plain square newel, balusters, and hand rail. A closet with vertical plank door is beneath. This hallway has been updated by application of paneling. Most millwork is mitred and molded. The front sidelights have been altered and partially closed. A wide door rail accents the primary entrance (see photo). In the E parlor, the firebox has been closed up, but the classical mantle remains. To its S is a four door built-in cabinet and to the N is a closet. No built-ins flank the classical mantle in the W first story room. Both fireplaces were later used for stoves.
In 1859 the Maggard family was instrumental in the organization of the McGrady Church and in 1860 in the McAdow Church; both were Cumberland Presbyterian congregations. During the Civil War, the Maggard house was used as a hospital following the Battle of Vassar Hill on July 18, 1862. The site of this battle, which took place between Maj. Clopper's Union forces, 11th Cavalry, Missouri State Militia and Confederate forces under the command of Col. Joe Porter, Reportedly 83 Union forces were killed or wounded. Twenty-three Union fatalities were later buried at the Maggard farm. It is unclear when the farm changed hands or why, but the Jacob Maggard family is not included in the 1870 census.
There is a twenty year gap where no information is known about the house. The next owner was Peter Schell by 1898. He was born in Germany in 1848 and his family included his wife Sylvia (b. 1868 in Iowa), and three sons: Homer, John (1882) and Joseph (1884) all born in Illinois, and a daughter Ellen (Ridge). Peter A. died in 1921 and Sylvia died in 1942. Homer continued to live in the house until c 1975 when he entered a nursing home. The house is now owned by Dean E. Bradley. It is vacant at this time.
'With Porter In North Missouri,' by Joseph Mudd, 1909, an actual account.
THE BATTLE OF VASSAR HILL
p82, When we were ready to ride out of camp about the middle of the forenoon of Friday, July 18, Colonel Porter directed a close order to the companies and, sitting on his horse in easy hearing of every man, told us the Federals were following us. He did not know their strength, but he would know inside of an hour. If they push us too closely and they don't outnumber us more than five to one we shall try their mettle. "I am not going to fight," he continued, "without choosing the ground, and what I wish you particularly to understand is that I am not going to risk the life of one of you uselessly. I'd run to death every horse in the command rather than lose one man. I can get all the horses I want; I cannot get all the men I want." He then began an appeal to the patriotism, the courage and the fortitude of the men. His harangue was short-but I think I never before heard such eloquence. It was the eloquence of intense earnest- ness for duty, for love of country, of home, of the great State that gave us birth, of its institutions and its traditions. It stirred the hearts of his hearers as they were never stirred before. There was no demonstration, no applause; the men silently filed down the road in the order assigned for the march, but every one felt that he could follow his leader and that his leader could go anywhere. The march was fairly rapid. Colonel Porter must have obtained satisfactory information within five or six miles after leaving camp. At the bridge over the Fabius Creek, which crossed the road in a heavily wooded locality, a guard was left to tole the Federals in. They were directed to
p83, make believe they were trying to tear up the bridge and then to fly down the road as if the furies were after them. We went about two, or perhaps two and a half, miles farther, crossing a mile or so of bottom land with little timber and into the dense woods on the hill. We found an ideal spot for our horses, hitched them, left a sufficient guard and came back to where thick bushes skirted the road's edge. I was, I think, the end man on the right. We were instructed to lie down and keep so quiet that our volley would be the first danger signal to the Federal advance. We on the extreme right were to fire the first shot as soon as the head of the advance column reached our front and immediate firing was to run down our line to the left as far as necessary. The program was carried out to the letter. I was so fatigued that I asked Ben Vansel to rouse me in time should I fall asleep. It didn't seem very long before I was awakened by the sound of firing down the road whence we had come. Our rear guard dashed by and on to where a sentry had been stationed a third of a mile beyond our position to guide to our corral and, after hitching horses, to our line. Less than a minute later, it seemed, the Federal advance guard galloped into sight. When the foremost men reached our spot our guns gave the signal and the others down the line, ready since the enemy came in sight, responded so quickly that the firing seemed done at one command. The surprised guard melted away under our fire. Muskets and double barrel shot guns are dreadful weapons in the hands of men who know how to shoot, and the distance was only ten feet. The History of Shelby County says, page 744: "Out of twenty-one men of his advance guard all but one were killed or wounded." This is not quite correct. Three men at the head of the guard were left in their saddles. They halted momentarily at our fire; the leader-a handsome young fellow, who I lately learned was Sergeant Edward P.
p84, Kelsey, now living in Jersey City-gave us a searching look and, without a word or command, drove spur and with his two comrades went flying down the road away from the main body. In the safety zone they found a dim road which led them out of our range back to their command. The word was now passed along for us to noiselessly change our position to a new one with same relation to the road and half a mile northward where we could again strike the enemy unawares. The same instructions as to firing were given and we were directed to string out the line so that in single file the men would be from six to ten feet apart. The first volley was, as before, to be delivered on signal, but all subsequent firing was to be done only by order. We did not go the expected distance and consequently the second surprise was not equal to the first; but the new position was an ideal one, as it enabled us to give the attacking force a much exaggerated idea of our strength. While we were shifting our position a man came out of the wood from our left and began telling the three or four who gathered around him of an exciting adventure. I learned that his name was Durkee. I had seen him on the march riding a fine dapple gray mare. He and an inseparable companion whose name I have forgotten were the most notable men of the whole command; six feet or more, perfect form, classic features, refined in manner and conversation. Durkee was genial and companionable; his friend was retiring and taciturn almost to melancholy. They were members of Captain Caldwell's company. Durkee was on the rear guard to tole the enemy in. His mare was severely wounded, became obstinate and refused to move. With bit and spur he managed to get her to the edge of the road where he was made the target of the enemy's advance guard. Captain James E. Mason, commanding Company I, Merrill Horse, now living at Athens, Michigan, writes me: "I
p85, remember I was in the advance guard. We come on to Porter's rear guard and charged them as they were about to tear up the bridge. We did not wait for the main command to come up, but charged them after they left the bridge. I remember seeing the man on the gray horse. Several of the boys fired at him; I was about to fire at him when he threw up his hands and cried, 'Don't shoot, I surrender.' I passed on, leaving him for those in the rear to take care of, but I learned afterwards that he made into the brush and escaped." We had scarcely taken our new position before we delivered another volley with some effect into the advance led by Captain Mason. He says: "When we were fired upon at the angle of the road Stillson's horse fell on him and he was taken prisoner. My horse was hit at the same time in the jaw and, becoming unmanageable, ran into the woods to the left. I returned to the command in time to participate in the several charges that we made to dislodge your command after our main command came up. With Rogers' command we had, if I remember correctly, about three hundred men (Federals). Our (Federal) estimate of your (confederate) number was about seven hundred." The battle was on now in earnest.
The enemy (Federals) made charge after charge with a persistency and a pluck that was surprising to us. After each repulse they gave us, at about one hundred yards distance, a furious fire from their carbines, but as, under orders, we (Porter's men) immediately dropped to the ground after each charge the bullets rattled and snipped the twigs four of five feet above us. We did not respond to these volleys. We had always to be economical with our ammunition. Colonel Porter had laid particular stress upon his order not to fire, excepting our first two volleys, which were done on signal, until he gave the command. He only gave the command to fire when the Federals were right on us. The order was minutely obeyed with one exception.
p86, One of our boys, down the line out of my sight, losing his head, fired too soon and, when the Federal was about to ride him down, had an empty gun in his hand. This he clubbed and striking his assailant a powerful blow on the neck, killed him. Not one of our company was touched, and from our position I could see none of our men killed or wounded. Near the close of the action Captain Stacy, whose company was stationed farther down our left, passed along the road in our front and in a few minutes passed back. I saw that he was wounded in the breast and I thought I could see that he was done for. Comrade W. S. Griffith, of Butler, Missouri, who was shot in the thigh during the enemy's fourth charge and was thought to be mortally wounded, as the hemorrhage, so profuse that it caused him to faint four times, was ascribed to the severing of the femoral artery, writes: "Captain Stacy's wound was three-fourths of an inch from the left nipple. When he was shot he had a hand spike in hand prying a dead horse off the leg of a Federal who was begging us to roll the horse off him. He and I lay on the same pallet until we started. He told me we had to die, as the doctor said we could not be saved. I knew but little of the battle after I was shot. When we got ready to start Dr. Marshall and another man helped me on a horse, leaving Stacy still on the pallet. They rode on either side of me, holding me on until we reached the Fabius River, which we swam. I was then laid in a wagon and hauled all night to near Sharpsburg, in Marion County. Here my brother took charge of me. My father and mother met him and they hid me in the woods for weeks. I was attended by Dr. Rhodes, of Warren, who died twenty-five years ago, and who had fifteen years ago, and now, maybe, a son practicing medicine in Warren. Stacy was raised in Miller township, Marion County, near Hannibal. He left a wife, who was a Miss Sparks, and two small children. The Sparks who was
p87, killed in the battle was no kin to Mrs. Stacy. We had twenty men in our company. We had no lieutenant, as we wanted to get enough men for a full company first, but I heard that William Hilleary acted as captain after Stacy's death. He lived near Warren, Marion County." Sam Griffith was a good soldier in the days when good soldiers were needed, and he is a good man today. In one of the intervals between the charges of the enemy a Federal soldier was heard piteously crying for water. Frank McAtee had a canteen with a little water in it, and he went in the direction of the voice, followed by Sam Minor. They found the man, carried him to the shade of a tree, and Frank gave him his last drop of water. The grateful enemy asked them to relieve him of his jacket. They were about to comply when the bugle sounded another charge. Hastily turning the man on his side, they split the jacket from neck to tail and made tracks for their places in line. Just before our last volley Andrew Nolan and Sam Minor each picked a Federal soldier to shoot. When they fired both Federals fell. That night when cartridges were drawn Sam found two in his musket, showing that he did not fire at the enemy in the last volley, as he supposed. He says he is glad that he does not know that he ever killed a man. There is some difference of opinion as to the number of times the Merrill Horse charged us. According to the best information I can get from the survivors who fought on either side it was seven times, and my own recollection is that it was not less than that number. Some little time after the last charge their bugler sounded "rally" loud and long. I remember wondering to myself if they would ever get enough. I was willing that they should feel that they had enough. Suppose in the charge they were about to make they should discover our weakness in numbers? If so, there would be a hot time and a bad quarter of an hour for us. The ludicrous side of it
p88 WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI came up and I must have smiled. Ben Vansel sharply accosted me. "Mudd, what are you laughing at?" "Am I laughing ? Well, not very heartily. I was thinking. Ben, hear that bugle sounding 'rally?' They must be coming again, and as they are so much longer about it than heretofore, they are going to make this the most desperate charge of all. Suppose they were to find out how few men we have, wouldn't there be fun ?-not for us. Ben, I'm not slow of foot and I have the swiftest horse in the command. You know what that means when it becomes necessary to get away." But the Federals had enough. After a little while we advanced one or two hundred yards and waited a half or three-quarters of an hour. Finding there would be no further attack we retraced our steps over the battlefield, picked up a number of sabers and revolvers, released Stillson from his uncomfortable position, holding him as a prisoner, attended to our two severely wounded men, and made for our horses to continue our march. We had in this engagement one hundred and twenty-five men. The History of Scotland County, page 534, says our "loss was two dead, Frank Peake and a man named Sparks, and Captain Stacy was wounded and died at Bible Grove two days after the battle." This information was given to the historian by Mr. William Purvis, who then lived and yet lives three- fourths of a mile southwest of the ground and was there the next day. It is correct as far as it goes. In addition to this statement, Sam Griffith was severely wounded- thought then to be mortally--Lucian B. Durkee had three or four slight wounds, received while toling the enemy in, and two or three others received wounds too slight to interfere with duty. Sparks was a boy seventeen years old. He was shot in the forehead and died in his father's arms.
p89, Major Clopper's official report as given in The War of the Rebellion, series I, volume 13, page 163, is: CAMP NEAR PIERCE'S MILL, July 19, 1862 (day after the battle). SIR: I beg leave to report that yesterday I encountered Porter's forces conjoined with Dunn's, at 12 m., and fought and routed them after a desperate and severe fight of several hours. They had an ambush well planned and drew my advance guard into it, in which my men suffered severely. My killed and wounded amounted to eighty-three men, forty-five of which belonged to my battalion, Merrill Horse; the balance, thirty-eight, to Major Rogers' battalion, Eleventh Missouri State Militia. Among the wounded of my officers are Captain Harker, slightly; Lieutenant Gregory, Lieutenant Potter and Lieutenant Robinson. I cannot find adequate terms to express the heroic manner in which my command stood the galling and destructive fire poured upon them by the concealed assassins. I have not time to make an official or detailed report of the action; but will do so upon the first favorable opportunity. Colonel McNeil joined me last night with sixty- seven men. The enemy's is variously estimated at from four hundred to six hundred men. Have now halted for the purpose of burying the dead and taking care of the sick. Will pursue the enemy at 11 a. m. this date. They are whipped and in full flight. The forced marches I have been compelled to make and the bad condi- tion of the roads and constant rainy weather have had the effect of exhausting my horses and men. The enemy were well concealed in dense underbrush and I must give them credit for fighting well. They will not meet me on fair ground. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN Y. CLOPPER, Major Commanding Battalion Merrill Horse. LEWIS MERRILL, Colonel Comdg. Saint Louis Division, Saint Louis, Mo.
p90, "Porter's forces, conjoined with Dunn's," is a good one. We could with equal propriety say we fought "Clopper's forces, conjoined with Mason's." If Major Clopper ever made the promised detailed report it has never come to light; nor has any report from Major Rogers. Possibly the reason why Major Clopper omitted to state our securing a prisoner after the battle was over was that it wouldn't look well beside "fought and routed them." Still, considering the "temper of the times," it was a very fair report. Mr. D. G. Harrington, a prominent ranchman of Bennett, Colorado, then a sergeant in Company H, Merrill Horse, writes: "About the 17th or 18th of July we were joined by another battalion and left Sand Mill or Sand Hill with over five hundred and fifty men after Porter and Poindexter and fought them a few miles from Memphis, where we lost something like thirteen killed and twenty- nine wounded. Estimated loss of the enemy, thirty-seven killed and forty-three wounded." Mr. Harrington gives a very interesting account of his battalion of Merrill Horse in Missouri, but a part of it has no relation to our command. Captain George H. Rowell, of Battle Creek, Michigan, historian of his battalion, to whom I am indebted for a full and, according to my recollection, very accurate account of so much of Merrill Horse history as relates to this narrative and also for his great patience in helping to straighten out the kinks in the recollections of both of us, writes: "You ask for a full report of the doings of our grand old regiment during that memorable campaign. This is hard to give, as the regiment was divided into several detachments when the order was given to take the field against Porter; one detachment at Columbia, which was the headquarters of the regiment; another, Companies H and C, under command of Major John Y. Clopper; another at Glasgow, under command of Major C. B. Hunt, and another at Fayette, under command of Captain James E. Mason. The regiment was composed of troops from different
p91, States: Companies H and I from Battle Creek, Michigan; A and B from Michigan and St. Louis; C, G and K from Cincinnati, and D. E and F from North Missouri. Two companies were afterwards joined, but not until after the Porter campaign. Major Clopper's command was stationed at Sturgeon, on the North Missouri Railroad, and when the order was given to take the field against Porter the Fayette detachment was ordered to Clopper, and with four companies strong we took the field. I had just been promoted from second to first lieutenant, First Sergeant Jasper L. Gregory succeeding me as second. The command of the company devolved upon me, as the captain was absent, sick. On the 18th of July we encountered the enemy a few miles from the village of Memphis. We had been reinforced by a company of State militia, but the Merrill Horse engaged were three companies, C, H and I, with possibly a few belonging to Company A. About two and a half miles from where we encountered the enemy in force and in ambush we came to the forks of the road, and, not knowing where the enemy were, Clopper divided his command, sending me to the right with my company and six citizen guides, while he himself with the major part of his command took the left-hand fork. The road was densely wooded for a mile or more, but when coming to a small stream we found a few scouts from the enemy standing on the bridge, which were immediately charged by my advance guard, and a regular steeplechase ensued over the fourth of a mile or more of bottom land, destitute of timber, between stream and wooded hills beyond, where the enemy lay in ambush waiting and hoping for our destruction. My advance were already in the woods engaged with the enemy and had suffered some casualties, and Edward D. Stillson was captured. Ascertaining the position of the enemy in the thick bush, I at once charged him mounted with the full company, but could not dislodge him; charged him once more mounted, and in retiring determined to dismount the company and fight
p92 as infantry. At this juncture Major Clopper came up with his command and, seeing where the enemy were, ordered me to wheel and charge again, but I, understanding the difficulties, said, 'Major, for God's sake don't order these mounted companies in there again; it will be nothing but slaughter in the thick brush.' His only answer was, 'Wheel about and charge!' which I did, he, Clopper, ordering two other companies which had come up with him to charge with me, also the company of militia before mentioned. The result was a slaughter. Killed in Company H, Edward Funnell and Miles R. Sherman; severely wounded, Second Lieutenant Jasper L. Gregory, First Sergeant Edward P. Kelsey, Corporal Joseph C. Lewis, Privates Adelbert Monroe, James H. Harper and some others slightly. Killed in Company I, Privates Walker and Hines; wounded, First Lieutenant John Robinson, First Sergeant Lucian B. Potter and several others whose names I do not remember. Several killed and wounded in other companies of the command, including those from the company of State militia. Our killed and wounded in the Merrill Horse, about forty; don't know the number in the militia. It was a drawn battle, the enemy hastily leaving the field as soon as the opportunity offered. I should judge the fight lasted about two hours, and closed about four o'clock in the afternoon." Captain Rowell's statement coincides very nearly with my recollection. From his point of view it is as near the truth as is possible after so many years. He says he kept no diary and that his memory at the age of seventy-seven is defective, but evidently his memory is defective only about recent events-an infirmity which annoys all the relics of those stirring days. He gives the effective force under Major Clopper as two hundred and eighty men, which I am satisfied is a very fair estimate. He underestimated the numerical strength of Major Rogers' battalion, which he calls a
p93, company, and there is something strange about his opinion of it. He says: "I feel that neither you nor I know accurately about its numbers. It is but little consequence any- how; the Merrill Horse did the fighting except one volley fired by this militia company. I was close to this company when they formed in line in front of your ambush and I am positive they would not have numbered over fifty, and would swear my impressions were a less number. To me that militia company is a good deal of a myth. They appeared on the scene that morning for the first time; they made one appearance during the fight and then vanished into nothing- ness. I never heard of them before or after." Major Rogers dismounted his battalion. I did not catch sight of his men during the action, they being too far to the left of my station to be seen through the thick brush. In talking with the boys who faced the infantry, as we called them, I found that they had a very contemptuous opinion of their opponents and if I remember correctly--and the scant notes I made shortly after the affair bear me out- two volleys, if not one, sufficed for them. I cannot account for the fact that our boys and a competent Federal officer should have the same identical opinion concerning this battalion, except as to numerical strength and both be wrong. When I began collecting material for this work and came across Major Clopper's official report I was astonished to find that he gave Major Rogers' loss as thirty-eight and his own only forty-five. The testimony of those living near the battlefield confirms the correctness of this total. Be it as it may, Captain Rowell is right when he says Merrill Horse did the fighting. The others were not a factor in the engagement. Lieutenant Gregory corroborates Captain Rowell's statement. He had been on picket duty all Thurs- day night and instead of breakfast next morning he spent an hour in sleep. In his dreams he saw a battle brought about
p94, in which he received a severe but not fatal wound.1 He says that at a house
opposite the mill-he being with the advance-a boy cried out, "Hurry up, they are
going to hang father." It is very probable that the boy was acting under our
instructions. We didn't scruple using such means to deceive, and didn't believe
it any harm to mislead the enemy at every turn. At the overtaking of Durkee and
when the latter offered to surrender, "Kelsey," the lieu- tenant writes, "said,
'We take no prisoners,' and attempted to shoot him, but his revolver wouldn't go
and the man slid off his horse and got into the woods." If this remark was made
by Kelsey-and Durkee said a remark of this kind was made-it was made by Sergeant
Kelsey, who died at Lansing some years ago, and not by Sergeant Edward P.
Kelsey, now of Jersey City, because the latter led the advance guard and had
passed Durkee before he offered to sur- render. Sergeant William Bouton, now of
St. Louis, who has given me much valued information, writes: "A little of the
story of the fight as I saw it; I carried the guidon on that day-a most useless
office. A guidon is useless in bushwhacking or guerrilla fighting. The advance
guard of about ten men was led by Sergeant E. P. Kelsey. E. D. Stillson, who was
taken prisoner, and Ed. Funnell, who was killed, were in the advance. More
damage was done in that first volley to our company than by all the rest, and
our company suffered more than any other on that account. When your picket was
driven 1 Such dreams were common during the war. In the fitful slumber between
the hours of sentry duty the night before the battle of Wilson's Creek I dreamed
that the enemy poured upon us at sunrise and in the bloody battle that followed
I received a minie ball in the center of my forehead. I am the least
superstitious person in the world and from my infancy have been a hardened
infidel as to unlucky days, events and signs, but in spite of every effort I
could not shake off the impression. The first part of my dream came true; that
was a coincidence. Would the second part also prove to be a coincidence? Not
necessarily, I reasoned. Every man near me was shot down and that, I reasoned,
lessened my chances of being shot, but for two hours or more in the riot of
carnage that spot in my forehead actually pained me. After a while the bullet
came, but it split the sole of my shoe and the pain in my forehead wore away.
p95, in and the advance rushed headlong after them the company followed at a trot. When we had crossed the causeway and reached the little log house on the left of the road both sections of the advance met. We moved up the road at a walk mounted. When the head of the column drew your fire there was a halt. About a dozen men in front dismounted without orders, took cover as best they could, where they could see something, and used their carbines in a way that compelled my admiration, as it did yours. You can credit that less than a dozen men- for part had to hold horses-with all the effective shooting that came from our side. I was at the middle of the company, had that guidon to hold, and could see nothing. Some of your bullets made fine music, and one came near enough so that 1 felt its breath. Company I came up soon in column of fours. The lieutenant in command, who had been a sergeant in the regular army, led them alongside of us in the small brush at the left of the road. I am sorry I cannot recall his name, for he was a good fellow and got wounded at the head of his company." [Second Lieutenant Lucien B. Potter was the only wounded commissioned officer in Company I.] "Other companies came up one at a time. One company attempted to pass farther to the left, among the tall brush, but it was too thick for them to keep in ranks and they fell into disorder. At last came our gallant major. He had not sweated his horse trying to be first at the fight. Soon his bugler sounded 'recall' and we fell back to the little log house. I was near enough to a group of officers discussing plans to hear the lieutenant of Company I beg the major to dismount his men and enter the brush before he got to your position; advance, creep, if necessary, and give his men some chance to fight. He would not take the advice. He had a plan of his own. He formed us in column and marched us slowly down that hill (no reb could make him run). 'Right turn!' along the edge of the marsh. 'Fours left wheel!' 'Halt!' 'Front!' and we sat there with our backs to the brush and our faces to
p 96, WITH PORTER IN NORTH MISSOURI the open marsh in that sunny afternoon. By and by some stragglers came-there will always be stragglers from the best of troops-and told us that the rebs had gone. Then I was part of a detail sent over the ground to see if there were any wounded or any dead still there, or any property which we could bring off. I knew a good deal more of the character of the ground then than I had learned before. There was one butternut shot through the back whom Porter had failed to take along." In a later letter Captain Rowell says: "We retired lei- surely from the wooded eminence to the bottom lands. This was done to collect our forces, which were much scattered, and it was here that the 'rally' was sounded to call our forces together. It was while congregated in the bottoms referred to that our outposts reported that the enemy had left. I do not think that either hostile force was anxious to renew the engagement; I know that we were not, and from the alacrity with which you mounted and left the field without bidding us good-by I infer you were of the same opinion." The History of Scotland County, which is generally very unfair to the Confederate side, says, page 520: "In this engagement there were eighteen Union soldiers killed out- right, and five died within a few days from the effects of their wounds, making twenty-three in all, and all these were buried on the Maggard place, near where they fell. Some of them were disinterred and moved away by their friends, and the balance, thirteen in number, were afterwards taken up by order of the Govermnent and interred in the National Cemetery at Keokuk, Iowa. * * * * The Confederate loss was small, as they fought on the defensive from a concealed position, and fled as soon as they were likely to be driven out into an open field fight. The discrepancy between the estimates of the strength of Porter's forces, as made by the neighbors in the vicinity of the fight, is somewhat amusing. The estimate of the Union sympa-
p97, thizers is that given in the foregoing report (Major Clop- per's), while the friends of Porter estimate his strength at less than one hundred and fifty men. But the writer is satisfied that the persons making this low estimate did not see Dunn's command at all. The Unionists lost thirteen horses killed, and a few others that were wounded and ran away, while the rebels had only two horses killed. William Purvis, who removed the dead horses from the field the day after the battle, relates that thirteen days after the fight he found a horse belonging to one of the Union soldiers, in a deep ravine near by. The horse was reined up and was 'as poor as a skeleton,' having had nothing on which to subsist during that time, but the leaves of the trees and the moisture caused by the dews. He took the horse to Memphis, and the letters which he found in the saddle bags enabled him to find the owner who was among the wounded then at the hospital at that place." As for the likelihood of being "driven out into an open field fight," there never was the slightest danger of that and besides there was no open field as far as we could see in our rear, and we had no intention of being driven forward to- ward the enemy where there was an open field. Under the circumstances it was better for us to wait, and we waited. The idea of anybody estimating our strength by seeing us and not seeing "Dunn's command at all," is ridiculous. My relations with Colonel Porter were such that I knew exactly how many men we had all the time. We had a hundred and twenty-five men in this engagement and I am positive that this figure will not miss the number actually engaged over two either way. The History of Shelby County, page 744, says: "The Federals-Merrill Horse-charged repeatedly, without avail, and if Rogers had not come up when he did, with the Eleventh, which he dismounted and put into the brush, they would have been driven from the field. As it was,
p98, Porter retreated. The Federal loss in this engagement was not far from thirty killed and mortally wounded, and per- haps seventy-five severely and slightly wounded. Merrill Horse lost ten men killed and four officers and thirty-one men wounded. The Eleventh Missouri State Militia lost fourteen killed and twenty-four wounded. Among the killed was a Mr. Shelton, of Palmyra, and Captain Sells, of Newark, was badly wounded. Porter's loss was six killed, three mortally wounded, and ten wounded left on the field. Among the mortally wounded was Captain Tom Stacy, who died a few days afterwards. His wound was through the bowels, and he suffered intensely. He was taken to a house not far away and visited by some of the Federal soldiery, who did not abuse him or mistreat him. His wife and family lived in this county at the time. His widow, now a Mrs. Saunders, resides in the western part of the county. After the fight at Pierce's Mill, Colonel Porter moved west- ward a few miles, thence south through Paulville, in the eastern part of Adair County; thence southeast into Knox County, passing through Novelty, four miles east of Locust Hill, at noon on Saturday, July 19, having fought a battle and made a march of sixty-five miles in less than twenty-four hours! Many of his men were from Marion County, and some of them are yet alive who retain vivid remembrances of this almost unprecedented experience. It must be borne in mind, too, that for nearly a week previously it had rained almost constantly." The Eleventh Missouri State Militia was partly recruited in Shelby County, and John F. Benjamin, one of its majors, was a resident of Shelbyville. We had only two men killed, one mortally wounded, and we took every wounded man from the field. The Missouri Democrat of July 25, under several heavy headlines, one of which is "The Rebels Routed and Scattered," says: "On the 18th inst. Major John Y. Clopper,
p 99, in command of a detachment of Merrill Horse, about three hundred strong, and a detachment of Major Rogers's battalion, Eleventh Missouri State Militia, about one hundred strong, attacked and after a very severe fight entirely routed Porter and Dunn's combined bands of guerrillas, six hundred strong. The fight took place near Memphis, and was brought on by a small advance guard being fired upon by the enemy, who were concealed in a heavy brush and timber across the road, where they had halted and chosen the ground for their fight. They were immediately attacked by Major Clopper, and after a desperate conflict were completely driven from the field, leaving a large number of their dead and wounded on the ground. The severity of the fight is well illustrated by the fact that five successive charges across the open ground on the concealed enemy were repulsed and the sixth, resulting in a hand to hand struggle, in which one man of the Merrill Horse was killed by a blow with the stock of a musket across the back of the neck, breaking his neck. At the time the messenger left the ground all of our killed and wounded and missing had been found, amounting to eighty-three, and twenty-seven dead guerrillas had been discovered upon the field, yet the search among the thick brush for the dead and the wounded of the enemy had just commenced." Major Clopper was, I think, generally considered by his superiors to be a good officer. General Schofield, in a dispatch to McNeil, dated July 11, says: "Major Clopper, of Merrill Horse, with about 400 men, is ordered to cooperate with you. He will reach Macon City Monday night. He is a fine officer and has an excellent battalion. He must not be trammeled by being placed under command of an incompetent officer. If you think it desirable to increase his force, send a battalion of Colonel Lipscomb's regiment, under command of one of the majors. This, I think, would be the better course in any case." 1 1 War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 13, page 467.
p100, In his general report of operations in Missouri from April 10 to November 20, in speaking of a number of officers who "showed on numerous occasions gallant and officer-like qualities," General Schofield mentions Majors Clopper, Hunt and Caldwell.1 Notwithstanding this, Major Clopper made a botch of it at Vassar Hill. He sacrificed the lives of brave men to no purpose. Had he acted on the advice of Captain Rowell we would have mounted our horses earlier than we did. Desiring to know whether his subordinates held my view, I ad- dressed a number of them on the subject. Mr. D. G. Harrington, who carries fifteen wounds and seven scars from lead for which I may have been responsible, and who cherishes no hard feelings and can shake the hand of him who wore the gray as well as of him who wore the blue-a sentiment that does him honor-thinks it unbecoming to criticize the ability of his officers. Sergeant Bouton says: "I was not in the confidence of Colonel Merrill and don't know what he thought of the major previous to the fight at Memphis. I don't know what sort of racket was worked by which his desirable absence was secured. I know he left us between the 28th of July and the 6th of August, and I did not hear that anybody cried. A printed muster roll of Company H, made during October or November, 1862, shows that his connection with the regimental staff had not been severed at that time. They began to muster in colored troops soon after that, but I never heard, until your first letter made the statement, that he ever became colonel of anything." Lieutenant Gregory says: "When Major Clopper ordered mounted men to charge in ambush I think he did not show good judgment." Captain Rowell says: "The general consensus of opinion in the regiment was that Clopper's management was bad, and that he uselessly sacrificed good men without understanding the position of the 1 War of the Rebellion, Series. I, Volume 13, page 14.
p101, enemy. We here understood that he died several years ago." One week after the battle of Vassar Hill Colonel Merrill sent the following to Major Clopper: "Effect a junction with Shaffer and attack them before they unite. Do not delay too much in the matter. Pay more attention to your advance guard; make them more watchful and keep them better in hand, so that they do not dash in on the moment unsupported. If you find the enemy in brush or thick timber dismount and fight them on foot. Artillery would only cause enemy to scatter. I want them exterminated. Do not let your movement be too much delayed. If the enemy wants Renick, let them have it. Don't put too much faith in stories of conductors or scared runaways." 1 I call this engagement the battle of Vassar Hill because it is commonly so called in Scotland County. The place has been called Vassar Hill since its first settlement by a man named Vassar. Philip Purvis owned and occupied it at the time of the battle. Colonel Porter called it the battle of Oak Ridge and many of our boys know it by that name. This designation is appropriate but not distinctive or local. The Federals call it the battle of Pierces Mill. The mill is about a mile and a half northwest of the battle field. The Jacob Maggard farm, where the Federal soldiers were buried, was a mile and a half northeast of the battle field. 1 War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 13, page 511.
CHAPTER IX EDWARD D. STILLSON,
p102, (Account of the Battle of Vassar Hill by Federal prisoner Edward D. Stillson) The horses of our company were nearest the road. The prisoner was brought up, furnished with a horse, and as I had already mounted, Colonel Porter directed that he be turned over to me. Telling him to follow me, I took a position on the road near the opening in the bushes through which the regiment would have to pass. Stillson was on my left. In the five minutes which elapsed before the head of the column came in sight I took a physical and mental inventory of the man: Anywhere from twenty-one to twenty- six years old; five feet, ten inches; one hundred and seventy- five pounds; full face, piercing but pleasant eyes, honest countenance, expression indicating force of character. Yank, if we are thrown together any length of time, we shall be friends and I am glad we've got you; your presence will be a divertissement in camp and on the march. When the regiment was riding in twos past us he was all attention. When the last man had passed I directed him to "fall in." He looked up in astonishment. "Are they all of you?" "All; that is," apparently correcting myself, "all that are with us today." "Great God! How'd you come to whip us?" "We always come to whip the Federals. It's a habit we've got into." "Do you know how many men we had ?" "No." "There are five hundred men in our battalion of Merrill Horse, and with us was a battalion of militia numbering, I
p103, think, about four hundred men. You haven't over a hundred and fifty." "Not that many. We had a hundred and twenty-five men in the battle and that is the number which we are now following, our losses not quite equaling the number of camp guards. The remainder of our men--and we've got a plenty to give your men all the trouble you want-are not with us just now, but we may join them in a day or two." I was sure that he over-estimated the number of his men, but I did not tell him so. In my younger days I delighted in nothing so much as teasing other people. I chaffed him unmercifully in reply to his every inquiry as to how we got the better of the fight and he seemed to be sorely puzzled. Presently he turned squarely on me; his earnest gaze aroused my sympathy and made me sorry for my levity. "Will you answer me an honest question?" "Yes." "Were you ever under fire before ?" "Yes." "Well, I never was. I want to know if we didn't fight well ?" "I know," said I, "exactly how you feel about it. My first battle was at Carthage, the fifth of July, last year. After it was over I was curious to know if it was really a battle. Our first lieutenant had served through the Mexican war. I asked him how it compared with the battles he had gone through and he said it was bigger than any fought by Taylor or Scott. Then I knew I had been in a battle. Now you wish to know if your men stood up to the racket. Well, let your mind be easy on that point. Your men fought well. Veterans would not have done any better; in fact, not always so well." "Well, how is it, then, that you whipped us?" "Because your commander is a fool." "I thought Major Clopper was a very good man."
p. 104, "I didn't mean to say that he is a fool. I should not have used that term. What I meant is: He does not understand this business, and we do." He did not quite catch my meaning, but I gave no further explanation. I was heartily ashamed of myself for the word I used in speaking of his major and told him so. "Oh, I understand that," he said. "How many men did you lose?" "Two men killed; two men severely wounded, perhaps mortally; one or two slightly wounded." "That all?" "I think that's all. That's. all I saw and I think I saw all our loss. Our company was in the thickest of it and we hadn't a man touched." "Did you know what our loss was ?" "No, but from what I saw of the field after your men left it I am sure it was heavy." "Really? How many men do you think we lost ?" "I do not know." "Do you think we lost fifty?" "I should say you lost more than fifty. Possibly you had as many as fifty men killed. At any rate I am sure your killed and wounded amounted to more than fifty." "I cannot account for it." I could. I was on the point of enlightening him when I saw the impropriety of giving information that might be used with advantage by the enemy. So I said: "Did you ever figure on the relative merit of quality and quantity ?" "I don't know what you are trying to get at." "Don't you acknowledge that one Southern soldier is equal to two Northern soldiers ?" "I do not. I should rather say that one Northern soldier is equal to two Southern soldiers." "Did you ever see it demonstrated, or hear of it?"
p105, "No, but Northern men are better physically. This comes of their more bracing climate and their habits of life: Labor on the one side, leisure on the other." "That is a matter governed by facts of which I am inclined to think that neither you nor I have a clear conception. If, naturally, the Northern soldier is better than the Southern soldier, or the Southern soldier is better than the Northern soldier, there must be a reason for it. I don't care to go into that discussion now, but the point I wish to make is that the more principle there is behind the soldier the better soldier he is, and here we have all the advantage. Again, we are defending our homes and our property; you are invading and despoiling." "I don't agree that you have the principle on your side. I contend that the principle is with us. The difference between invasion and defense is so small that it is not worth considering." As I was only leading up to a question, I did not press the point. "Do you know," I said, "that the newspapers and the Federal commanders of districts in Missouri are responsible for the reckless manner in which the Confederates or, as you term them, the guerrillas and bushwhackers, fight?" "In what way ? "By continually crying for blood, confiscation, the torch, no quarter for armed rebels, traitors, robbers, thieves, marauders, murderers, assassins, cut-throats, sneaks, cowards. Is that line of policy calculated to make passionate men observe the rules of civilized warfare? Did you ever hear of us paroling a prisoner?" "No, I never heard of your taking a prisoner before now." "Don't you know that we and every other body of rebel cut-throats always lose prisoners ?" "No." "Don't you believe what the papers say of us?"
p106, "There are a great many wild statements made, but I should hate to believe all of them are true." "What do you expect we'll do to you?" "I'll answer that question plainly and honestly. When my dead horse pinned me to the ground I called upon our men to relieve me. I know they heard me but no one came. On second thought I didn't blame them. The rain of bullets was terrible." I was about to interrupt him here to say that the rain of bullets was terrible only from his side, which fired a hundred bullets to our one, that our bullets were fired not for moral but for physical effect, but I restrained myself. "In a slight lull in the firing the idea came to me to ask your men and I did. Presently a large man came with a stout stick. As he bent over me I got a good view of him. He seemed about thirty; had coarse black hair that hung over his shoulders, black mustache, coal-black eyes and rosy face. What I noticed particularly was a long black ostrich feather in his hat. His kind words of sympathy and musical voice strongly contrasted with his fierce look." "Do you know that that man has been denounced in the papers as the blood-thirstiest cut-throat and murderer in North Missouri, and that, as a matter of fact, his ready, un- erring revolver has carried terror into many a Federal squad ?" "Who is he ?" "Captain Stacy." "Well, I know he's one of the gentlest men I ever met, and I'm sure one of the bravest. When he was trying to pry my horse up the storm of bullets was particularly furious. I don't see how it could have been greater, and yet he did not bat an eye. He made a great effort to lift my horse, but could not, and he dropped the stick and walked off. As he did not say anything in going, I thought he would come back but he did not."
p107, "Possibly that was when he was shot." "Was he shot?" "Yes, and I'm afraid past recovery." "I'm sorry to hear that. Well, as I was saying, and in reply to your question, I was much impressed by his manner. Again, when we were waiting in the road for your men to pass I carefully scanned the countenance of every man. I may not be the best judge, but I said to myself these men are not murderers. I am willing to trust you; I am willing to trust every man I saw ride past me. You can't make me believe I am not safe in the hands of your men." In drawing this out of him I had no other motive than idle curiosity. I was not satisfied as to whether he was telling the truth or using diplomacy to make the best of what he thought a bad situation. I afterwards knew that he meant every word he said. At this point in our conversation the Middle Fabius was reached. It was a mile or two above the ford on the Memphis and Kirksville road. The stream here was perhaps ordinarily fordable, but now it was swollen by recent rains. It was narrow enough to be spanned by a fallen tree, over which Colonel Porter walked. Others, carrying our little stores of ammunition, walked over on the log. I noticed Frank McAtee with a large pair of saddle bags over his shoulder carrying full seventy-five pounds of ammunition. He was seventeen years old, small for his age, and the load seemed heavy for the ticklish passage, but Frank was active, sure of foot, and got over bravely. It was not safe to walk the log, and lead one's horse. When Stillson and I, bringing up the rear, came to the Fabius three-fourths of the men were on the opposite shore and the stream was full of swimming horses and their riders and the remainder were pre- paring for the plunge. The situation was of some interest to me. I had heard it said that some horses were incapable of swimming. I knew that some men were, and I was
p108, one of them. I also knew that Charlie had never been in swimming water. I was ashamed to ask anybody to lead my horse while I walked the log, and besides the prisoner had to be looked after. There was no alternative, the trial had to be made. I found courage in the thought that Charlie had never failed me in anything, and he wouldn't be Charlie if he failed me now. And he did not. Stillson enjoyed the incident as much as anybody. The crossing was made with- out accident and with but little delay. Captain Tom Stacy had been left at Bible Grove, where he died two days later. Every wounded man, except Sam Griffith, was able to swim over unaided. Even with the help of two comrades it was a nervy thing for Sam to attempt, weak and faint as he was from loss of blood, but he had the necessary nerve and more. Our gait had been a moderate trot, but now we quickened it considerably in order to reach a suitable place for feed- ing before dark. It was half an hour to sunset when we drew up in an ideal spot for a meeting had the enemy been hot on our trail. The word was passed around that we should have a hard night's march and therefore horses must be unsaddled and well rubbed down; further, that a load of corn would be in camp by sundown. The prisoner was assigned to two guards for the night as soon as the camp was reached. After the unsaddling about a dozen of us crowded around him. "Boys," said I, "this is Mr. Edward D. Stillson, of Battle Creek, Michigan, late of Company I, Merrill Horse, but now of Colonel Porter's regiment, Confederate States Army." "How do you do, Mr. Stillson ?" said Jim Lovelace, bowing low with mock gravity. "Welcome to Missouri. May you never leave it. Hungry? We'll have supper in a minute- maybe." Very few in the crowd were in the humor for jollying. Myself excepted, not one had ever before seen a Federal soldier made prisoner. They were hot and resentful over
p109, the vile epithets heaped upon us by the press and the soldiery and over the threats to hang us on the nearest tree or to shoot us down like dogs on capture and they proposed to tell this prisoner what they thought of it. Half a dozen or more began, but that was a waste of words and all dropped out except the most forceful and fluent talker. "What did you want to come to Missouri for? Did Missourians ever interfere with the people of Michigan ? Why can't you let us alone? There's not a county in the State which has not been a scene of murders, robberies, house- burning and other infamous crimes by the cowardly, blood- thirsty militia. Is it the purpose of your people to come here and continue the horrible work ?" After a little more on this line the speaker gave a ten minutes' analysis of the Southern view of what led to the war and of the present attitude of the two parties in the struggle. It was a fair presentation of facts, but was made with so much feeling that invective almost obscured argument. Had it been an interesting discourse upon a non- irritating subject, Stillson could not have given it a more respectful attention. "Men," he replied, "I admit the justice of a good deal of what you say. But the points you make and which I admit cut but little figure in the case as we view it. For the sake of argument I might admit much more and still the case as we view it would be but little affected. If as you say the North was more responsible for slavery than the South, ought I be deprived of my voice in the disposition of the issue as it exists now because my ancestors or the ancestors of my neighbor did wrong? But to put it more directly: If, as you say, sentiment of the North is a menace to the institutions of the South and we are wrong in that, are we still wrong when, in an issue which overshadows that issue, which overshadows all issues, we stand for what we believe to be the best for us, the best for you, the best for the whole
p110, country? We are for the Union of all the States. The preservation of the Union is regarded as our highest duty and the only test of patriotism. It is worth all the sacrifice we can make. We are willing to give to it our last man and our last dollar. It is not a war of conquest, it is not a war of hate, not a war of section against section; it is a war for the preservation of the Union. For the sake of peace we are willing to surrender everything but the Union, and we will never surrender that. You men make a grievous mistake if you think the North will ever consent to the disruption of the Union. This war can have only one ending; we have the men and the resources, and we are bound to win." I was then an intense partisan of the South; I am today. Stillson's words gave me an impression of the people of the North different from what I had before and they were the beginning of that change in sentiment that has made me equally a partisan of every section of this country. I believe I was the only listener who noted what he said. The others seemed to note only how he said it. They only saw a manly man, earnest, sincere, respectful, yet yielding nothing. "Damn a man," said the ringleader, "who won't stand up for his own side. Yank, do you play cards ?" "Euchre is about the only game I play." "Who's got a deck ?" Everybody but me, who was an indifferent player, made a rush to get in the game with the Yank. The ringleader with a series of vigorous but good-natured kicks and cuffs narrowed the list to the requisite three, appropriating to him- self the partnership with the Yank. One of the guards insisted that by virtue of his position he had the right to a hand in the game. "Get out;" said the ringleader, "you ain't a circumstance." "If I can't play I'll take the prisoner over to the other end of the camp."
p111, "Scat, you are no guard. Whoever heard of a guard without a gun?" "If Bill and I haven't got our guns, we are responsible for the prisoner." "Well, if you are responsible, you stand behind Henry and let Bill stand behind Jack and see that they don't cheat the Yank. And remember that the first duty of a Southern gentleman is hospitality; so after the game you go up to Captain Hickerson's restaurant and bring him a tenderloin steak cooked rare, with truffles and two bottles of claret- don't forget the claret, the Yank is no Puritan I bet you- and if you can tote it bring me an extra bottle." The good nature of these remarks appeared to greatly amuse Stillson. In a moment, however, he became more sober and said: "Men, there is one more word that I want to say. You spoke of the behavior of the militia of this State. I know but little of your local conditions, but I should hang my head with shame if I ever heard of Michigan men being guilty of an inhuman act." "Put it thar," said the ringleader, affecting the backwoods pronunciation, and extending his hand. Stillson took it readily but winced with the severity of its grip. The game was a spirited one. The four men were well matched. Stillson made two or three adroit plays that gave him and the ringleader the first five points. "Two Confeds let a Yank beat'em. Well, Id sneak out of sight if a Yank beat me at anything-even running. Boys, suppose the Yank was as slick with his gun as he is with his cards, wouldn't he be an ugly customer?" The word to saddle horses was passed along. "Yank," said the ringleader, "I am sorry to break up this pleasant game. I don't know when I had a better one." "I have enjoyed it, myself, I assure you." "I say, Yank, can you ride a horse ?"
p112, , "Of course I can." "If I ask you that question tomorrow morning I'm not sure you will give me the same answer." "Why not?" "Because you are going to ride tonight as you never rode before." "Tonight ?" "That's what I said. See any signs of camping ?" "No." "I say, Yank." "Well." "Had your breakfast ?" "Yes." "Had your dinner ?" "Had your supper?" "No." "Think you'll get your breakfast tomorrow morning ?" "I hope so." "Say 'No' if you want to guess right." "What ?" "Now, Yank, don't worry. I don't know when it will be, but you'll get the first bite that comes to this gang if I have to go hungry."
CHAPTER TEN, THAT FURIOUS RIDE
(after the Battle of Vassar Hill)
p113, The twilight had deepened perceptibly before we resumed the march. In half an hour the gait was struck which, with two interruptions of about ten minutes each for changing guides, was maintained until sunrise-a rapid swinging trot. The darkness was impenetrable. No sound was heard except the monotonous, muffled stroke of the horses' feet upon the cushioned ground and the low but audible signals, at intervals, between the men of each company to prevent straggling. Stillson caught the spirit and in the same tone he would, when he thought it necessary, cry out, "Guards!" and the answer, from a few feet away, would be, "Here." After a suitable time it would be, "Yank! " Here." These sounds were so weird that Tom Moore called out: "Whip-poor-will," and received a sharp reprimand from Captain Penny for the unnecessary noise. Major Clopper in his official report has as an excuse for not starting on our pursuit until near noon Saturday that "the forced marches I have been compelled to make and the bad condition of the roads and constant rainy weather have had the effect of exhausting my horses and men." The weather must have been kinder to us. The roads were in a fair condition for travel; soft enough to deaden the noise from the horses' feet and generally firm enough to maintain a good, easy footing. While our march was not "forced" by Major Clopper, we did not creep. I do not think it an exaggeration to say that with the exception of less than a dozen no better horses than ours could have been found anywhere. For ten years the hardy native horses
p114, had been improved by the best blood of Kentucky. And the men ? Well, they rode their own horses, they knew how to ride, they wasted few bullets and they laughed at fatigue and hunger. Colonel Switzler in his History of Missouri, page 413, says we "retreated South, and in less than twenty-four hours were at Novelty, Knox County, sixty-four miles distant." On the same page, in speaking of the general features of the campaign, he says, "we come to the extraordinary pursuit of, and brilliant skirmishes and bloody fights with, the partisan bands of secessionists led by Colonel Jo. C. Porter." Colonel Switzler was an estimable gentleman; from my first acquaintance with him, in 1871, to the date of his death he was a valued friend, but the accuracy of his historical statements is impaired somewhat by the intensity of his sentiment during the war. This criticism has reference to his statement on the same page that we "were driven from ambush" at Pierce's Mill, and almost every statement about Colonel Porter's trans- actions. However, he was much fairer than the majority, and he always aimed to be fair. Whether we were near Novelty, sixty-four miles distant, or not I do not know, as it was impossible for us to tell whether we were going in a straight line or not, but we were without doubt making good time. Shortly after sun- rise guides were changed with but little time lost and scarcely a break in our gait. The word was passed down the line for the men to get what sleep they could by relays in each company, the sleepers to be watched to prevent unconscious drawing of the rein and consequent dropping out of ranks, and that there would be no halt during the day. And on we went. About an hour, or possibly two hours, before daybreak Sunday morning we left the road-we were only a few miles south or southeast of Newark-and went up a short but
p115, rather steep incline into the thick bushes. Without unsaddling we threw ourselves upon the ground and for an hour or two slept the sleep of the just. In scaling the hill Davis Whiteside was forcibly dismounted by a grapevine, and when he arose, so dense was the darkness, he was unable to find his horse. We went only a few yards further. At daylight Davis found the animal standing by the hanging vine. We were well on our way before sunrise; so that, except at Vassar Hill, there was practically no stop from daylight Friday until eight o'clock Sunday morning. We halted for three hours at a most suitable place for a rest or a fight-a point the colonel never overlooked. It was in the vicinity of Whaley's Mill and about three miles east of Colonel Porter's home. Here we had breakfast and a good feed for our horses. "Yank," said the ringleader to Stillson, "I haven't had the chance to talk with you for a couple of days. How are you, anyhow ?" "All right, but tired." "Tired? Really? What's the matter, been sick lately ?" "Oh no, just a little tired." "Tired of what? Anybody been treating you bad?" "No, but it strikes me you've been moving since I've been with you." "Call that moving ? Well, if you stay with us many days longer you may see moving that is moving. But the funny part is that our little ride should make anybody tired. See the boys dancing over there? They aren't tired. Come over here, boys, and cheer up the Yank." "Durn your dancing," said Jack, "the Yank's got to play euchre; I want revenge." "You won't get it then. Don't you see there are twenty men dying to play cards with the Yank? Yank and I can beat any two in camp, but I'm going to drop out. Let the other fellows have a chance. I say, Yank, you are going to
p116, get your breakfast in about an hour-call it dinner if you like, or supper if you prefer. Now I want to give you a pointer that may be of help to you sometimes. You aren't hungry, I know-had your breakfast Friday morning, so you said--but it's kind o' uncertain when you'll get break- fast again. What I want you to do is to eat enough to last a week if the grub holds out, and I guess it will. 'Twont hurt you. We all do it. There ain't a man in camp that can't make out with one meal a week when necessary." "What's that you are telling me ?" "The straight truth. See any of our boys grabbing for grub to cook for themselves? I want you to try it. I don't want you to go away from us feeling that we didn't treat you the best we knew how." "I shall certainly not do that, and I shall remember your suggestion." Leaving twenty or thirty of the boys dancing around the card players Captain Penny and I went to call upon the colonel. We found him alone, Captain Marks having just quit him. "Pretty little fight, Colonel," said Captain Penny. "Wasn't it a good one? Didn't we do them up nicely? Now, Captain, you see the force of what I told you ten days ago about fighting four times our numbers. There were perhaps more than three to one. The prisoner tells me that they had nearly eight to one, but he's mistaken. If they had five to one the outcome would have been the same. You now begin to see why I do not want many men with me." "Think it necessary to ride so hard to get away from the force we met Friday ?" "I'm not getting away from them. I'd rather give them another turn than to get away from them at this price. No; on second thought I'll take that back. I don't see that anything could be gained by giving them a second lesson even were it as good as the first. However, I am not mak-
p117, ing this ride to get away from them. I have two reasons for it. Without the situation changes before I leave here I shall make a roundabout run to some miles beyond Florida. If my arrangements connect at two or three points the business for which I deflect from a nearly straight line can be done with only a few minutes' delay at each point and the run will be about a forty hours' one. I shall stay over in that neighborhood a day or two, perhaps two or three days, owing to what changes I may find in the condition of recruiting from that already reported. If two or three days, the Federals will surely find out where we are and perhaps they will do so in a shorter time. At present they are as ignorant of our whereabouts as the Missouri militia men are of moral law. The main reason I made this rapid march is that it is a good object lesson. It may teach the Federals that they must put a regiment into each county to stop me from recruiting in North Missouri." "Colonel," I said, "I heard the boys laughing at one of our men who lost his head and fired before orders were given. He had no time to reload before the Federal was on him. In his excitement he brained the horseman with his clubbed musket. The next disobedience of orders might not result so fortunately. Don't you think it would be a good plan to take us into battle, sometimes at least, with unloaded guns and let us stand several volleys before loading? It would be hard on raw men but it would be, I think, the best discipline for them." "I do think it a good plan and I shall adopt it wherever practicable." An escort now came up to accompany the colonel on a visit to his home and we took our leave. We found Stillson apparently trying his best to obey the instructions of the ringleader to eat enough to last a week and without any delay we proceeded to do like- wise. The meal was an excellent one for the occasion.
p118, I The commissary had furnished us plentifully with fat side bacon, ground coffee, flour and salt. Slices from the first were either fried or scorched in the flame at the end of a hazel switch; the coffee was boiled without too much water and the other ingredients were mixed with water and cooked, bannock fashion, on a griddle. The cooking was not the best, as none of our boys could have made fame, or even wages, as a chef; but the delightful air, the beautiful landscape, the scent of the walnut leaves, the boisterous good nature of the boys, our rapid transit and several other things, had whetted our appetites and made the repast a most inviting one. "If you don't eat hearty, Yank, we'll think you don't like us," said the ringleader. "I do like you and, by your criterion, I'm proving it." When the word came to saddle our horses knew what was expected of them, and we knew they were ready. Sunday night, all day Monday, all night Monday night, with but few short stops, the furious ride was continued until sunrise Tuesday morning, when it was ended by the fight at Florida.
'With Porter In North Missouri,' by Joseph Mudd, 1909, an actual account.
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