Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11 1860 - 1865


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The war was bitter and personal for the Mack family. Their experiences as refugees and those who fighting guerrillas in the 1st Arkansas Cavalry U. As Radical Republicans, the Macks entered the political arena only to find themselves at odds with fellow Unionists. Regrettably, the Mack collection contains only half of the correspondence between the family members.


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The surviving letters were written to those serving in the army. Dryden noted in his letter about the large band of bushwhackers in Harrisonville, Missouri and how the Union troops along the Missouri-Kansas border retreated to Paola, KS.

Dryden was not tied to either military, although the language he uses in his letter suggests he was a loyal Unionist. John H. In the fall of , Utz attempted to join Sterling Price in his expedition through Missouri, which resulted in his imprisonment. The John H. Utz collection is a series of sixty plus letters compiled by his descendents.

Very limited copies of the book are available to the public, and the letters in the collection are reproduced as they were printed in the book. This collection depicts Utz experiences as a prisoner of war from through John Henry filed a lawsuit against 26 men after the war, claiming they imprisoned him for a month in October The men held him against his will for his loyalties to the Union. The final verdict of the case is unknown, but it represents the vicious nature of guerrilla warfare in Missouri.

John M. Weidemeyer was born January 10, , in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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By , John and his parents moved to Osceola, St. Clair County, Missouri. Weidemeyer married Lelia V.

Crutchfield in , and the couple resided in Osceola until the outbreak of the Civil War in Weidemeyer recorded in his diary and letters to his wife, Lelia, the struggles of military life for a Confederate soldier. He also gave a first-hand account of the raid and burning of Osceola by James H.

The Stern Visitations of War in Cass County – Cass County Public Library

After the war, Weidemeyer rejoined his family in Texas, before moving them to Clinton, Missouri, where they lived the remainder of his life. Weidemeyer died on January 12, , at 77 years old.

John S. Gray enlisted in the 1st Light Artillery Kansas on July 24, In March , Gray wrote a friend in Springfield, Missouri, describing conditions in the area. Gray observed that the threat of guerrilla attacks had diminished greatly. Although a number of Native American soldiers were deserting the Confederate cause and joining the Federals, Gray complained they were of little use to the Union cause. Gray also described how 87 Confederate prisoners escaped from Springfield and headed back to Confederate lines.

Finally, Gray expressed hope that General James G. Blunt would soon be transferred to Missouri. John W. Fisher was born in Virginia, and lived in Westport, Missouri prior to the War. Fisher served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Missouri State Guard. Fisher survived the war, ending his days in a Confederate Veterans home in Harrisonburg, Missouri, in Joseph Dean, a St.

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Louis merchant, traveled through the newly created Kansas Territory in late and early Dean recorded his impressions of the troubled territory in a letter to his sister on February The violence had taken a tremendous toll on the population and its stark results were readily apparent to Dean. Dean was mortally wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, in April McCune, George W. Degraftenried sought five thousand dollars in damages for the alleged transgression against him by the defendants. This was one of several law suits brought against McCune and Messick for crimes they allegedly committed during the Civil War.

All of the cases involving McCune and Messick included imprisonment, destruction of property, false accusations of treason, theft, and abuse. McCune and Messick were Southern supporters and likely participated in guerilla warfare during the Civil War. Joseph H. The 5th Kansas Cavalry was organized on July 12, , and many of its companies were stationed along the Kansas and Missouri border. Trego made several remarks about the poor leadership and judgment of Samuel D. Trego informs his brother that he might be marching south again to protect southern Kansas from invading Missouri and Cherokee soldiers.

This single letter exemplifies many of the hardship that faced civilians in Missouri and Kansas during the Civil War. Lee P. Grey, who was 23 years old in , and lived with his father and four other siblings in Jasper County, Missouri. The Greys owned a small amount of land, which they farmed. Due to its proximity to the Kansas State line, Jasper County experienced a heavy amount of guerrilla warfare between and Most of the towns were destroyed at some point during that period that the county became vastly depopulated.

Grey filed his lawsuit against Dale in July The results of case are unknown, but case represents the wide ranging depredation taking place throughout the Ozarks. Once the war concluded, many civilians spent the post-war years in court filing claims of restitution. The Lizzie Gilmore collection is a series of letters written by Elizabeth C. Gilmore, primarily to her cousins in Crittenden County, Kentucky.

She commented on the fears of living among the war split community of Lebanon and the nature of co-existence. This collection provides a glimpse of life for a Laclede County citizen facing the struggles of war and reconstruction in the Ozarks. Lucy M.


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Garrett of Greenfield, Missouri writes this letter to her brother. She recently learned that her brother had been taken prisoner by Confederate Soldiers, and writes to him about the conditions in Greenfield. She notes the number of bushwhackers in the area, and comments that they were forced to sell their slaves in fear that they would be stolen by Rebels.

The letter indicates while the Garrett family owned slaves, they supported the Union. Lyman Gibson Bennett enlisted in the 36th Illinois Infantry in Prior to the War he trained as a surveyor and civil engineer, working for the railroad. His regiment participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge, which he describes in vivid detail.

Bennett was discharged from the military in August In , Bennett joined the engineering department of General Samuel R. Curtis as a civilian. Bennett was then assigned to survey fortifications in Nebraska and Colorado, and eventually served as an engineering officer on the Powder River Expedition of On July 20, , fifteen men without civil or military authority kidnapped Orange Clark at gunpoint. While their prisoner, Clark was executed. Martha Hood married William B.

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Hood on July 30, The couple had five children and lived in Carthage, Missouri. On July 20, , Martha claimed fifteen men unlawfully detained her husband at gunpoint.

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The men restrained William while Richard Fisher shot him at point blank range with his pistol. He lingered in great misery and bodily pain for eight days until he died on July Martha sued the fifteen men for five thousand dollars in damages to the quality of her life and her ability to raise, cloth, feed and educate her children. The final verdict of the case is unknown, but it represents the vicious nature of warfare that continued after the war in Missouri. Brown discusses the death of neighbors, the local agriculture, economy, and politics, and how former Confederates and Unionist were getting along living post-war.

The Minos Miller letters are a collection of correspondence written by Miller to his mother, Martha Hornaday, in Indiana. Miller served in the 36th Iowa Infantry, and his letters home describe the strange and often life altering events that he experiences in the Arkansas. He wrote his mother about the condition and development of the African American soldiers. Miller participated in the Battle of Helena on July 4, , but spent the remainder of the war in a support capacity.

Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11    1860 - 1865 Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11 1860 - 1865
Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11    1860 - 1865 Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11 1860 - 1865
Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11    1860 - 1865 Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11 1860 - 1865
Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11    1860 - 1865 Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11 1860 - 1865
Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11    1860 - 1865 Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11 1860 - 1865
Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11    1860 - 1865 Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11 1860 - 1865
Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11    1860 - 1865 Caught Between Three Fires: Cass County, Mo., Chaos & Order No. 11 1860 - 1865

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