Linn County Civil War Reports

Back to Military Page

These Civil War Reports were graciously provided by Sandy Berding

JUNE 18-19, 1864.--Descent on Laclede, Mo., and Pursuit of the Raiders. REPORTS.

No. 1.--Brig. Gen. Clinton B. Fisk, U.S. Army, commanding District of North Missouri.
No. 2.--Capt. Eli J. Crandall, Linn County, Missouri, Enrolled Militia.
No. 3.--Lieut. Joseph M. Brown, Eighteenth Missouri Infantry.


No. 1.--Report of Brig. Gen. Clinton B. Fisk, U.S. Army, commanding
District of North Missouri.

SAINT JOSEPH, MO., June 21, 1864.
A gang of guerrillas from Chariton County dashed into Laclede on Saturday and killed 2 citizens and plundered others. Troops from Brookfield, under Captain Crandall, were ordered in pursuit. Three of the guerrillas have been killed, and the stolen property mostly recovered.
Major-General ROSECRANS,
Commanding Department of the Missouri.


No. 2.--Reports of Capt. Eli J. Crandall, Linn County, Missouri, Enrolled Militia.
BROOKFIELD, June 19, 1864.
GENERAL: I find that 16 bushwhackers, under command, it is said, of Captain Holtzclaw, came into Laclede last night about 5 p.m., and arrested the citizens who could be readily found. One man by name of Crowder shot 1 of them, and was instantly killed himself. They also shot a man by name of Jones, a good, loyal man. Our boys were mounted, and went from here, and some went on an engine and drove them out of town in a hurry. Lieutenant Lewis ran them with 25 men until after dark; he then returned to Laclede, and has again left Laclede; at daylight he run them into the timber: a portion, some 4 in number, pressed the mail hack, and put their man who was wounded in it, and also a lot of plunder taken from stores, which our men captured again. The men on the engine shot 1 dead in the hack, and the driver was wounded, and the other 2 cut the harness and left. But 1 of them was shot from the horse, but it was in the edge of the timber. They found the horse, but it was so dark they could not find the man. They will look for him this morning. I am going into the rebel portion of the county where these men sprung up from so suddenly. I will report when I come in from my trip.
General FISK.


BROOKFIELD, June 20, 1864.
GENERAL: I had my whole force out yesterday after those bushwhackers. Lieutenant Lewis, with 40 men, is now after them. They came into Laclede about 5 o'clock in the afternoon and took the town. I think they had at least 50 or 60 prisoners while in town. They then went into the stores of some men and took all the money they could get and what other things they could conveniently carry off. I have the amount, or nearly so; shall have the exact account of all goods, &c., taken sworn to by each of the losers, and shall be ready to make the assessment on their sympathizing friends who feed and harbor them. This will stop bushwhacking. Shall I go ahead with the assessment? I will make full statement to you of losses, and also of assessments, giving the names of all the victims.

We captured 3 horses from the bushwhackers. One of them we killed was a brother of the man who killed Brock; the other was a bad egg by name of Callahan. I have the names of more of them who were in the gang; they live in this and Chariton Counties. We shot the face most off one who got away. He will not live.
General FISK.


BROOKFIELD, June 20, 1864.
GENERAL: Lieutenant Lewis with his men were heard from this morning, still running the bushwhackers: he run into their camp last night and routed them. They had a log house for rendezvous, with bacon and other stores for living, in a place near the forks of Yellow Creek and Grand River. Lieutenant Lewis burned the establishment, provisions, and other plunder, and arrested 2 or 3 men who used to be bushwhacking in 1861, but have since taken the oath. One says he was with the bushwhackers and helped to bushwhack a company of the Seventh Missouri Cavalry at Hurricane Creek, Carroll County, in 1861. They had any amount of bacon and meat and bread, some corn, which had been furnished by somebody. He could not find anybody who had been furnishing either forcibly or voluntarily. Lieutenant Lewis sent the prisoners back and he is still running them south.
General FISK.


Brookfield, June 20, 1864.
GENERAL: On the 18th of this month a band of rebel bushwhackers came into the town of Laclede, Linn County, and robbed several of our Union citizens and shot 2 of them. There were 16 of the bushwhackers, commanded by Holtzclaw, of Howard County. The greater portion of the men composing his company were known to our citizens. They came into the town from the west, and arrested the citizens as they came to them and marched them to the public square. One man (an esteemed soldier) by name of Crowder, shot 1 of the devils through from a window, and the same man turned and shot him (Crowder) dead, through the window, after he was wounded by Crowder. About this time one of the citizens started to run (a Mr. Jones) and was immediately shot by some of the bushwhackers. On their first appearance in town a messenger started immediately for Brookfield and informed Lieutenant Billings, who detailed as many men as he could mount and started with them, and also sent a few soldiers on an engine, with such railroad employés as were at hand to volunteer. They ran the engine to Laclede, and the bushwhackers had loaded their wounded men into the hack that carries the mail from Laclede to Linneus, and had gone west toward Locust Bottoms. Our men who were on the engine followed up the hack, which had some distance to go by the side of the track before they could turn off. When they came within shooting distance they commenced a running fight. The wounded man (James Nave) was killed. The other man in the hack and the driver were both wounded, and the 2 escorts riding on horseback were mortally wounded, 1 of them since killed. The driver was taken back to Laclede, as he was pressed with the hack. The other 2 wounded men have not as yet been found. One had his leg broken and the other had one side of his face torn all to pieces by two charges of buckshot. Lieutenant Lewis has been after them ever since and has returned to-night, after riding some 60 miles in pursuit, and to our surprise they were at 4 p.m. last night within 2 miles of Laclede again. This trip has again proven to me the perfect folly of chasing bushwhackers while the country is full of law-abiding citizens to harbor and feed them. Lieutenant Lewis heard of them from place to place, and from rebels that they had just gone on such a road but a short time before, but after riding in that direction 8 or 10 miles, would hear of them in another direction, but in no instance could he hear who fed them or their horses, Lieutenant Lewis followed the trail of 8 or 10 men across Grand River and stopped at a rebel's house for breakfast, and, after some considerable argument, prevailed upon them to get some, and while they were at this house some one of the men picked up a copy of the New York Day-Book, and noticing some article not particularly pleasing he tore up the copy he had and all the other copies of the same paper found in the room; that was the extent of damage done at that place. At the next place they stopped to inquire for the bushwhackers, and could find out nothing. The same soldier who tore up the Day-Book at the other place saw a copy at this house, and that had to be destroyed. A young man living there said something insulting to one of the soldiers as they were moving off, and the soldier dismounted and knocked the said rebel down, and then mounted and followed his company. This Lieutenant Lewis did not know of at the time. At this house our boys found two loaded guns, and as they knew the men they broke the guns. Our boys then went to the house of a Union man in the neighborhood, and a young lady ran out and met them, and told Lieutenant Lewis that she had just left a house near by, not over a quarter of a mile off, where I think a Bolon lives, and that 6 strange men were there when she left. Lewis immediately went to the house and every person had left the house; it was entirely alone. He could find nothing of them. He looked about and found a revolver, some caps and lead, and 3 or 4 pounds of powder, all of which he has brought in.

He had also got track of another bad man by name of Wingate. He knew from Union people what kind of a man he was, and Lewis also learned that Wingate had bought a new revolver and that he was a dangerous man. This Wingate, on seeing our forces coming, took his revolver and put for the brush. Lewis did not know this, but on coming up to the house, he asked for the revolver and Mrs. Wingate said she knew nothing of it. Lewis told her she must produce the revolver and show them where Wingate was or they would burn the establishment out. They found a man at this place by fame of McDonald, and the lieutenant asked him about rebels, and about where Wingate could be found. The man was very insolent and refused to tell anything. The lieutenant gave orders for a rope to be procured and if this man would not tell about where Win-gate was he should be hung. This frightened him so badly that he told them that Wingate had gone, with his revolver, to the brush, which is just as it was. They searched for arms at this place and found three old rifles and one new U.S. musket, complete, with cartridges, boxes, belts, and all this property was taken and turned over to me.

Lieutenant Lewis and men say this is the extent of damage done, and that no plundering has been allowed on the part of any of the men. I instructed him to go out and catch those bushwhackers, if possible, and to feed his horses and men on rebels and sympathizers, as they were the cause of the present trouble, and must now come into Abraham's bosom, and help to stand the expense of putting down the rebellion and clearing the country of these desperadoes.

I am anxiously waiting to assess the damages on these rebels to pay for the losses of our loyal people at Laclede. I have their bills made out, and their affidavit attached certifying as to their respective losses. Some men, unless they are helped, will be broken up entirely, as they took over $1,000 from one man; and the man Crowder, who was killed, leaves a wife and several children dependent entirely upon charity. The other lady is in rather better circumstances. On one of the bushwhackers found next day they found some $514.80; this was divided before I arrived at Laclede between the ladies who had lost their husbands, by vote of soldiers and citizens.

Those same men are prowling about in this county, and we cannot catch them while they are so well supplied with friends who feed them and keep them posted. I know many who do this, but the evidence is not reliable in Missouri as it comes through a negro source. Those men which our men visited in the edge of Livingston were all noted rebels, and Lieutenant,Colonel Swain knows them to be so, although he regards them as law-abiding citizens. I have expected that his friends might be treated in a way not pleasing to them, they have been so long protected by the Government and have tried to make themselves obnoxious to Union men, falling back on their Paw Paw certificates of enrollment, or their oath of allegiance; all of which they think gives them a license to abuse not only the Government but our soldiers. This kind of endurance has ceased to be a virtue, and the soldiers seem determined to handle them without gloves, and not use any superfluous words. I think we must let all rebels know that we appreciate them in the community and treat them as rebels. You will not find a rebel in the country who is not armed with from one to two navy revolvers. How will it answer for me to disarm all rebels in this county? I would like to do so. When I send my men out I tell them to disarm all bad men. No plundering of private property has been allowed by any of our men. This I am assured by reliable and responsible men who were on this scout. My men would not have gone out of the county had they not been deceived by rebels. The men they came near running into, in the edge of Livingston County, were not the men who visited Laclede in the late raid.

I have organized the people of Bucklin, Saint Catherine, and Laclede into companies for self protection, and I have also organized my old original company (Company G) of the Thirty-eighth Regiment, under Lieutenant Woothly, who hold themselves in readiness to come out at any time. I have sent a scout through Chariton County to-day to guard Mr. Carmon, sheriff of that county, and other Union men who have been here for some days. They dare not go home unless they can keep organized and on a war footing. They have arms and ammunition for putting themselves partly on a war footing. Rebels are perfectly safe, and in many instances heaping insult upon injury on our men and friends. I am satisfied that those of us who are in the service are occupying very delicate positions, as there are so many copperhead politicians in the community who exaggerate every attempt on our part to restore peace and put down bushwhacking. Rebels that I know tell my men I dare not send to them for forage, as they have friends who will see them through; they meaning copperhead Union men, who are so ready to take up their case in their behalf.

Our men, many of them, have left their homes from fear, to fight for their country, leaving their crops planted and going to ruin, as they know they cannot remain at home safe. Then when they go through the country scouting and find the country full of bushwhackers, and at the same time find rebels attending their farms, enjoying the blessing of their homes and protected by the Government, and they through fear of offending somebody go hungry while they have every reason to believe that this class of men are feeding our enemies and we, through their acts, liable to be killed at any moment, I only wonder that more devilment is not committed by them. General Fisk, I trust you will excuse this long, uninteresting document, but I felt it my duty to give you an idea of the feelings of our truly loyal men of this section. While none of us would molest and injure the innocent, and in all cases look upon the ignorant with a great deal of charity, yet we can but look upon those who still insist that they are rebel sympathizers with scorn and contempt. We know that it is this class who are now drawing the life blood out of our glorious Union. There are now 40 Union refugees in town who have left their homes and have been dodging from one place to another to save their lives, ready and willing to take their guns if they can do anything, while their rebel neighbors are at home at peace and making money. Some of the best men of this county are here to-day. I can catch these bushwhackers if they remain here, and can make the rebel sympathizers help to do it, but I must let them know that I regard them as rebels and not as constitutional Union men. I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding.
Comdg. District of North Missouri.


No. 3.--Report of Lieut. Joseph M. Brown, Eighteenth Missouri Infantry.

LACLEDE, MO., June 22, 1864.
GENERAL: I send you this report by Col. I. V. Pratt, being here on recruiting service by the order of Major-General Sherman. I was in the town on the 18th day of this month when the bushwhackers sacked this place. I was in the town hall at the time of attack; marched out upon the public square where all the citizens were under guard. The bushwhackers killed 2 of the best citizens of this place, Jonathan H. Jones, an attorney in this town, and David M. Crowder, a discharged soldier of the First Missouri State Militia, one of the best of citizens. The losses of our merchants are, as near as can be ascertained, as follows: John F. Pershing, $811 in money and goods; Praty & Clarkson, $1,277 in money and goods; Thomas Spencer, $587, mostly all money; J. J. Friend, $445, watches and jewelry; John A. Riggen, $220, a fine mare, revolver, &c.; L. Seymore, $110, money and merchandise; J. L. Reynolds, groceries, $24; Samuel Moore, $100, groceries and liquors; J. M. Brown, fine silver watch, $40; Preston O'Neil, a fine mare, saddle, and bridle, $200.

This is all that I know of at this time. David M. Crowder shot and mortally wounded 1 bushwhacker, by the name of Jim Nave, whom the captain of the thieves sent westward in a hack, but did not make his escape, for a train coming in from Brookfield with some soldiers, they ran the engine, with a few men upon the tender, and overtook the hack, fired upon it, killing Nave and wounding 4 others, 1 of whom was overtaken and shot, making 2 of the gang that lost their lives and 2 more wounded. The man that was pressed to drive the hack was shot through the lungs. The captain is said to be Holtzclaw, of Howard County, in this State, and he made the citizens a short speech in which he said that he visited Laclede for the purpose of hanging some abolitionists, and that if any of his Southern friends were abused, or that any of his men were hurt or killed, or that he was pursued, he would deal with them severely, killing two for one. He also said that he was well posted and knew all that was going on in town and around the country. Now every man in this community has taken the oath and professes that he is loyal to the core, yet this same band is not far from this place at this time, as 1 or 2 are seen at a time every day; but by the time one gets to where they were seen they cannot be found. I have organized the citizens into a company for home defense, but they want ammunition and arms to make any such movement as will benefit the community. Colonel Pratt will give you the details if necessary.
First Lieut., Eighteenth Infantry, Missouri Veteran Vols.
Maj. Gen. W. S. ROSECRANS,
Comdg. Dept. of the Missouri.



MACON, October 17, 1864---4.40 p.m.
Colonel DU BOIS,
Chief of Staff:
Just reported from Brookfield a large force coming from Brunswick toward the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad. Have sent heavy scouting parties out in all directions. The people are greatly excited, but I think they are only bands of guerrillas, thieving and pressing men into the service. We will send telegraph ii' anything turns up.
Colonel Forty-second Missouri.


Of Campaigns, Battles, Engagements, Actions, Combats, Sieges, Skirmishes, Affairs, Reconnoissances, Scouts and Other Military Events Connected with the "War of the Rebellion" During the Period of Actual Hostilities, From April 12, 1861, to May 26, 1866.
Brookfield, Mo. -- Exp. fr Nov. 16-23, 1864
Dyer's Compendium, Pt. 2 (Campaigns etc.)
Battle Index---Missouri

Nov. 16-23 Expedition from Brookfield
Nov. 16-23 Expedition from Brookfield
Jan. 4-16 Expedition from Brookfield
March 3-7 Expedition from Brookfield
March 4 Skirmish, Brookfield
March 7 Skirmish, Brookfield
16-23 Expedition from Brookfield to Brunswick, Keytesville and Salisbury

MISSOURI--62d Enrolled Militia.
Placed on duty in Linn County June 4, 1862. Expedition from Brookfield to Brunswick, Keytesville and Salisbury November 16-23, 1864.
Duty in 8th Military District, Dept. Missouri. At Milan, Mo., June 10, 1864.
Duty in 8th Military District, North Missouri.
Organized at Brookfield, Mo., by authority of Gen. Lyon. Duty at Brookfield, Mo., till August. Mustered out August, 1861.
Maj. H. A. GLEIM,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Sturgeon, Mo.:
MAJOR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communication of the 18th instant, inclosing copy of General Orders, No. 47, from the Department of the Missouri, and requiring a complete list of the Enrolled Missouri Militia in active service in this district, which is hereto appended, detachment Sixty-sixth Regiment, Col. O. P. Phillips, headquarters Milan, 25 men; 66th Provisional Regiment (one company), Capt. Johnson W. Jewett, Milan. MILAN, MO., June 10, 1864.
General C. B. FISK,
Saint Joseph, Mo.:
DEAR SIR: Your kind communication of the 6th instant is at hand, informing me that Capt. Dennis Adams and 40 men have been ordered on duty, &c. Captain Adams has been temporarily absent in Iowa on business, but returned home yesterday, as I am informed, and will, I presume, assume command of the Milan post immediately, pursuant to your order and subject to your directions.

I have this moment dispatched a messenger to Captain Adams, who lives about 8 miles distant, to inform him of his appointment, and that there is a document from headquarters District of North Missouri, on official business, in the post-office here for him. His appointment will give general satisfaction to the loyal element here, though some of his warm friends (Capt. E. L. Webb was one) have aspired to the same position, which was surely their privilege, and for which they should not be blamed. I understand that Captain Jewett and his copperhead friends are making a great effort to get up a petition, or rather a remonstrance, to be sent up to you against the post. The radicals and unconditional Union men of this county sneer at their puny attempts, and utterly repudiate their every effort. But with one not on his guard, they will deceive the very elect, were it possible, with their whining cant and false protestations for the Union. I know them; they can't deceive me. "Actions speak louder than words," and "Straws show which way the wind blows."
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


List of Enrolled Missouri Militia troops on duty within the limits of District of North Missouri at this date, June 23, 1864.

66th E. M. M. (Company F) Capt. E. L. Webb
66th Regiment (one company), Lieut. James Sterling, Milan.
Duty in 8th Military District, Dept. Missouri. At Milan, Mo., June 10, 1864.
Duty in 8th Military District, North Missouri.