Monroe County & the Civil War

War Events in Monroe County

January - July 1864

Civil War historian Bruce Nichols [email protected] “The year 1864 had the heaviest concentration of  activities of the entire Civil War in Monroe County, although the early part of the year was quiet.”



Union Troop Dispositions

Location: Monroe County area

Date: 31 Jan 1864

Source: O.R. series 1, vol. 34, part 2, p. 204.

Description: Two companies of the 1st Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia under Major Lewis P. Miller were at that time garrisoned on active duty at Mexico, Audrain County.  Unbeknownst to Major Miller and those men, the Prov EMM program at that time was just days away from being discontinued.  This was mostly due to the infighting at regional and state level from politics between the northern moderates then in power and the northern radicals who were growing in power.  I recall from my reading that the Prov EMM concept finally folded in February 1864 and those men affected reverted to their previous Enrolled Missouri Militia assignments.


Guerrilla Raid

Location: Allen, east-central Randolph County

Date: night of 27/28 May 1864

Source: "O.R." series 1, vol. 34, part 4, p. 92

Description: Four unidentified guerrillas armed with shotguns and pistols robbed a store in the railroad village of Allen of $175 worth of clothing and then left.  The Union military report of this added the comment that "they did not call for money" implying perhaps that many other raiding guerrillas commonly took money on such occasions.


Public Appearance of Rebel Recruiter

Location: Middle Grove, southwest Monroe County

Date: sometime between 12 and 18 Jun 1864

Source: "O.R." series 1, vol. 34, part 4, p. 492

Description: This Union military report recorded the surprising appearance of notable Confederate Colonel Caleb Perkins in full uniform in the village of Middle Grove.  COL Perkins was one of the most prolific and successful of the Rebel behind-enemy-lines recruiters and managed to recruit hundreds of southern men quietly under the very noses of Union soldiers across Howard, Boone, Randolph, Audrain, Monroe, St. Charles, Pike, Ralls, Lincoln, Warren, Callaway, and Montgomery Counties throughout almost the entire war.  I don't know if Perkins came and went different times from this region throughout 1864, but I know he did finally lead a number of his recruits south to Arkansas as late as early November 1864.  COL Perkins was a careful, deliberate leader, so if he chose to appear in public in uniform I'm sure he calculated that to increase southern confidence in himself and encourage more men to enroll with him.  Kentucky-born Perkins called southeast Randolph County home and began his service to the South in that county with the Missouri State Guard in mid-1861.



Location: Prairie Township, southeast Randolph County

Date: evening of 19 Jun 1864

Source: St. Louis newspaper "Daily Missouri Democrat" of 27 Jun 1864

Description: This article reported Wilhare Sorrell, constable of Prairie Township, refused the approach of guerrillas or Rebel recruiters and fired at them. Their return fire wounded Sorrell in two or three places, but he survived.  Since COL Perkins' home was in Prairie Township, we can speculate that these were some of his men, but that is mere guesswork.


Dispositions of Union EMM Soldiers on Active Duty

Location: Northern Missouri

Date: 23 Jun 1864

Source: "O.R." series 1, vol. 34, part 4, p. 523

Description: This long list of northern Enrolled Missouri Militia units with soldiers on active duty across the breadth of northern MO is notable for our purposes since there are absolutely no EMM troops listed on duty any closer to Monroe County than about 100 men of 38th and 62nd EMM in Linn County and a detachment of 53rd EMM in New London, Ralls County.  Of course, this does take into account the regular soldiers of the Missouri State Militia (MSM) then garrisoned in this region, but perhaps this Monroe County gap gave COL Perkins the encouragement to earlier appear in public in full Confederate uniform.  Increased guerrilla activities across northern MO by this time of the summer caused the Union military to awake to growing danger.  This level of guerrilla activity had not appeared in this part of the state in 1863, but former MO governor and now Confederate Major General Sterling Price then in Arkansas was implementing long-awaited plans to send military forces to MO and liberate the entire state from Union occupation.  The increase in guerrilla activity especially in northeast MO in late June 1864 was a purposeful harbinger of that liberation expected to come within weeks. Another reason no EMM troops were then on duty in Monroe County may have been the strong southern sentiment then growing in confidence in the area.  This undoubtedly was intimidating to the EMM there.


Location of Large Body of Rebels

Location: southeast Monroe County

Date: 28 and 29 Jun 1864

Source: O.R. series 1, vol. 34, part 4, p. 589

Descrption: This Union army report says that COL Dorsey and Bill Myers with from 150 to 300 recruits were then reported at Goodwin's Mill.  I studied the 1860 MO census and noticed several Goodwin households in South Fork Township of the southeast corner of Monroe County and tentatively conclude Goodwin's Mill must be located in that township.


Guerilla Depredations

Location: near Allen, east-central Randolph County

Date: 30 Jun 1864

Source: St. Louis newspaper "Daily Missouri Democrat" of 4 Jul 1864

Description: The article says that six unidentified guerrillas approached Mrs. Armand Price, alleged wife of a Lieutenant in CPT Thomas B. Reed's Company G of the Union 9th Cavalry MSM, and demanded money of her.  When she denied having any money the men struck her, ripped part of her clothing, whipped her with a switch, and before leaving set fire to a building and nearby woods.  If this story is more than war hysteria or propaganda I have my doubts that Rebel recruits would treat a woman of any sympathy with such utter disrespect.  I also wonder if we are reading the entire story.  If this is a true account, I wonder if these attackers could have been hardened bushwhackers.  I find no LT Price listed among the officers of the 9th Cav MSM, although CPT Reed's company seems to have come mostly from Randolph County.


Union Detective's Report of Secret Rebel Locations

Location: Northeast Missouri

Date: 30 Jun 1864:

Source: "O.R." series 1, vol. 34, part 4, pp. 599-600.

Description: Detective T. J. Stauber reported secret Rebel concentrations located as close to Monroe County as near Mexico, Audrain County, and that Confederate irregulars use the Salt River in and near Monroe County as a "line of movement" or a route they use to avoid the Union patrols along the roads.  The Union military in MO used undercover detectives to supplement military reports and those of informants in increasing numbers beginning in 1863, but they still had poor understanding of who was in charge of southern irregular forces and where they were located at given times.  Sometimes such detectives accidentally misled the Union leadership even more with bad information.


Guerrilla Depredations

Location: eastern Randolph County.

Date: early Jul 1864

Sources: St. Louis newspaper accounts in "Daily Missouri Democrat" of 14 and

16 Jul 1864

Description: These accounts told of unidentified guerrillas who raided the village of Allen and nearby farms mostly seizing money.  These raiders took only from people of northern sympathy, taking money from three and a shotgun from one man.  One of the guerrillas gave a speech to the residents of Allen that were present that they would kill any citizens who organized for defense under General Order Number 107. G.O. # 107 organized "citizen guards" for home defense and provided firearms and ammunition to any community that organized itself under these provisions.  In essence, this was a move back toward eventual civil law in that it authorized civilian posses to police their own communities, but it was a blatant anti-guerrilla measure.  The newspaper articles then stated the Allen raiders rode next to the village of Renick to the south but took nothing there because of the large numbers of southern sympathizers in that place.  These articles also provided more about the 30 June robbery and attack of Mrs. Armand Price reported above.  This new information states her attackers did manage to get $100 from her and that they destroyed "a portion of her best clothing."


Guerrilla Raid

Location: Renick, southeast Randolph County

Date: morning 23 Jul 1864

Sources: "O.R." series 1, vol. 41, part 2, p. 367; Albert Castel, "the Life

and Times of William C. Quantrill," 1962, p. 181; Richard Brownlee, "Gray

Ghosts of the Confederacy," 1957, p. 204.

Description: Randolph County native "Bloody Bill" Anderson and his gang of at least 40 guerrillas obviously did not have the same appraisal of Renick being a southern town like the raiders who seemed to spare the place in early July.  This time the raiders robbed stores, set fire to the railroad depot, tore down telegraph lines, and stated their intention to seize the train due in at noon.  Some townswomen secretly rode out three miles and stopped the train so it's crew removed it from harm's way and perhaps saved some lives. A careful study of events reveals that traveling staff officers sent by Rebel Major General Price were giving his directive to Anderson and other guerrilla chieftains that they were to attack Union communications such as railroad and telegraph facilities in order to prepare for Price's coming liberation of the state.


Guerrilla Raid

Location: Allen in east Randolph County

Date: about noon, 23 Jul 1864

Sources: "O.R." series 1, vol. 41, part 1, pp. 124-5; part 2, pp. 364, 367;

Dyer's "Compendium," vol. 2, p. 811; newspaper account in Columbia's

"Missouri Statesman" of 29 Jul 1864: Castel, "Quantrill," p. 181; Brownlee,

"Gray Ghosts," p. 204

Description: Anderson's band or 65 to 100 next rode north to attack the railroad facilities at Allen, but instead were repelled after a sharp fight there with 2LT Ebenezer Knapp and forty troopers of Company G, 17th Illinois Cavalry, who had ridden there from their Glasgow base to receive a weapons shipment from the railroad.  During the hour of shooting, the northern side had one man wounded and a number of horses killed and inflicted losses on their attackers of one killed (a William Marney of Boone County) and about eight wounded.  The raiders left when Union reinforcements arrived from Macon County.  Anderson's men had mentioned their intention of assassinating the telegraph operator and another named man at Allen, and these men promptly left town after the fighting after hearing this news.


Union Operations

Location: Randolph County

Date: 23 & 24 Jul 1864:

Sources: Dyer's "Compendium," vol. 2, p. 811

Description: I suppose Frederick Dyer means by this notation that elements of 17th Ill Cav and 6th Cav MSM operated in Randolph County these two days that LT Knapp's detachment and his reinforcements of 6th Cav MSM from Macon County probed a little ways out from Allen to see what became of "Bloody Bill" Anderson's tempestuous bunch after the Allen attack.


Anderson's Guerrillas

Location: Middle Grove, southwest Monroe County

Date: evening of 25 Jul 1864

Source: "O.R." series 1, vol. 41, part 2, p. 411

Description: A Union army report out of northern Boone County said that as of this evening "Bloody Bill" Anderson's bushwhacker band was in the village of Middle Grove in the southwest corner of Monroe County.  There seems to be no follow up report of violence or damage there, so I wonder if Middle Grove was of mostly southern sympathy then.


Activities of Anderson's Band

Location: in Monroe, Shelby, and Randolph Counties

Dates: 26 to 28 Jul 1864

Sources: "O.R." series 1, vol. 41, part 1, p. 174; part 2, pp. 410, 421, 422,

423, 424, 441, and 445; Dyer's "Compendium," vol. 2, p. 811; 1884 history of

Marion County, p. 539

Description: It appears that Anderson and company were responding to the directives of Confederate staff officers for the MO guerrillas to disrupt Union communication lines preparatory to General Sterling Prices' long-awaited invasion or liberation of the state.  If so, the timing was off, for Price and 11,000 Rebel troops didn't arrive for two more months.  "Bloody Bill" Anderson's band of anywhere from 36 to 100 raiders crossed Monroe County quickly without much notice the night of 25/26 July and the day of 26

July and attacked the railroad installations at Shelbina and Lakenan in south Shelby County later on 26 July.  They burned the long Salt River railroad bridge, and a water tank, and a protective blockhouse near Shelbina, as well as a dwelling and two rows of railroad cars, did the same to more railroad facilities at Lakenan, then turned back southwest and went toward Howard County and roughly the way they came.  The band covered ground quickly, as was Anderson's style, and there is little record of any incidents in Monroe County to mark their passage to Shelby County and back again. However, Union authorities arrested one southern sympathizer who fed the guerrillas the

evening of 26 July and local Union officials put about 200 local "distinguished rebels" to work helping to rebuild the ruined bridge.  The Union military and the railroads were very efficient in repairing such sabotage of the vital rail links here, so the trains were probably only held up a day or three.


Movement of Several Guerrilla Bands

Location: northeast Missouri

Date: 27 & 28 Jul 1864

Source: O.R. series 1, vol. 41, part 2, pp. 424, 441

Description: Other Union military reports from the field told of a band of 100 guerrillas near Sturgeon, north Boone County, and 35 to 40 more both several miles north and south of the village of Hunnewell, southeast Shelby County.  A colonel at Hannibal to the east joined in the hysteria to say that Marion County "is now full of roving bands."  Indeed, the real prospect that former MO governor and now Major General Sterling Price

would soon make good on his promise to return with an army to liberate MO from the northern "tyranny" seemed to encourage more and more young men to take up the guerrilla banner particularly in northeast MO.

Anderson's Band

Location: Milton, east-central Randolph County

Date: 28 Jul 1864

Sources: "O.R." series 1, vol. 41, part 2, p. 441; 1850 census of Huntsville area of Randolph County.

Description: This Yankee military report tells us where Anderson's band left Monroe County on their rapid return trip from attacking the railroad facilities in south Shelby County. Bill and brother and fellow guerrilla Jim Anderson held Randolph County in special regard as their original home, even though they had been living in central Kansas since the mid-1850s.  Their family had been of modest means back then, so "Bloody Bill"  really enjoyed his new status as death-defying devil-may-care raider with old acquaintances.


Guerrilla Depredations

Location: near Swingey Town, Elizabethtown or Indian Creek, northeast Monroe County

Date: last of July 1864

Sources: St. Louis newspaper "Daily Missouri Democrat" of 6 Aug 1864

Description: This newspaper article told how unidentified guerrillas murdered Thomas Spaulding, a northern sympathizer, and attempted to murder another young man nearby, but he was fortunate to escape with only a bullet hole in his hat to show for the experience.


Guerrilla (?) Depredations

Location: south of Paris, Monroe County

Date: evening of 30 Jul 1864

Sources: St. Louis newspaper "Daily Missouri Democrat" of 8 Aug 1864 (Note: This article and the one above may have originally come from the "Paris Mercury" which was a weekly publication throughout the war, or it may have come from one of the other weeklies in the region.)

Description: This article says that an unknown assailant shot at Dr. J. Long near the river bottom south of Paris.  The shooter escaped into the brush and the doctor was unharmed even when his rearing horse broke the saddle girth and dropped the rider to the ground. The article doesn't identify Dr. Long's politics or why someone would take a potshot at him.