REPORT OF THE
COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
TWENTY-SECOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF
APPOINTED TO INVESTIGATE THE CONDUCT AND MANAGEMENT OF
- Published by The State Society of
Transcribed by Kay Clerc-Fakhar
- Page 168
A MAN FROM THE BRUSH
MADE LIEUTENANT-COLONEL OF THE MILITIA OF
Some Conservative Union men Protest against his Appointment. He is not removed
Hon. C. P. JOHNSON,
Chairman Committee, etc.
Sir: We have a Regiment of Enrolled Militia in this county commanded by L. J. RANKIN, a Radical. About a month or two ago, he was commissioned as Colonel; he was before Lieutenant-Colonel, as the Regiment was not full; but filling the Regiment he was promoted to Colonel; and soon after Gov. GAMBLE commissioned Jos. P. HESSER as Lieut. Colonel, with a recommendation for Col. RANKIN, or any of the Captains, Lieutenants, or privates in the Regiment; and there is not an officer or private in the Regiment opposed to Lieutenant Colonel HESSER acting.
Judge C. S. RANKIN, a member of the last Convention and Conservative, also Major J. FLETCHER, a Conservative, said they would have HESSER removed. They represented the case to Gov. GAMBLE, and he promised to remove him; he had them to put it in writing what they said of HESSER, that he was not considered a loyal man; but still HESSER has not been removed, and I see his name sent in to be confirmed by the Legislature. I can get all the loyal men in this county to certify that they consider HESSER a rebel, and have no confidence in his Unionism. I knew HESSER before the war, and at the commencement of it, and I always considered him a rebel; he has laid out from home to avoid the Union soldiers, and he had a brother that died in Jeff. THOMPSON's army. He could not be elected as a Lieutenant in the Company; he ran for both Lieutenant-ships and got but few votes. He was at DeSoto at the raising of a secession flag.
C. C. FLETCHER.
To Capt. FLETCHER,
Colonel 8th Regiment, E.M.M.
I reply to your enquiries. I can state that I wrote to Gov. GAMBLE saying, that Jos. P. HESSER was obnoxious to his Regiment; also stating that I did not consider him loyal. I referred the Governor to Major J. W. FLETCHER and the Hon. C. S. RANKIN. They, as I am informed, approved the charges I made against Mr. HESSER.
I also recommended others for Lieutenant-Colonel and Major, but they were not appointed. I herewith enclose you a remonstrance prepared to send to the Governor, but did not do so, supposing the Governor would act after referring to Major FLETCHER and Hon. C. S. RANKIN.
L. J. RANKIN
To His Excellency H.
Governor State of Missouri
We, the undersigned
officers of the 80th Regiment E.M. M., most respectfully request your Excellency
to revoke the commission of Joseph P. HESSER, as Lieutenant Colonel of the 80th
Regiment E.M.M., for the following reasons:
Charge 1. Disloyalty to the Government;
Charge 2. Being a prominent man in getting up the secession flag to be raised in DeSoto,
Charge 3. Having run for several offices in Company E, and being unanimously defeated each time;
Charge 4. Creating dissatisfaction in the above named company;
Charge 5. For hiding out, at the commencement of the rebellion, from United States soldiers.
Very respectfully, your obedient servants,
L. J. RANKIN,
J. 0. HAMEL, Capt. Adj.
J. T. DAVIS, Capt. Co. B.
Anton YERGER, Capt. Comp. F.
H. HAMEL, 1st Lieut. Co. D.
George WILEY, 2d Lieut. Co. A.
William A. JACKSON, Capt. Co. A.
John VINYARD, 1st Lieut.
W. H. WASHBURN, Capt. Co. E. 80th Reg.
C.H. LEPP, Capt. Co. D.
Henry C. LAHAY, 2d Lieut. Co. D.
W. J. BUXTON, Capt. Co. G.
- Page 182
(From the BROCKMEYER
Committee) Showing how the Militia
were originally intended to be exclusively
loyal-Traitors provided with passes, paroles, safeguards, and thus protected
BELEW'S CREEK P.O.,
I have just seen an
advertisement in the St. Louis Democrat, requesting any persons having
information touching certain enquiries embraced in a resolution passed by the
In answer to the first question, "What is the amount of active service rendered by the same?" I have to state, that it would be a difficult matter at this time to say; because no proper account of the time and service rendered was kept, and also because the service may not come within your definition of the term active." But in order that I may be understood, I will explain how it was rendered, and confine my remarks to the company of which I am a member; prefacing, however, by saying that matters were conducted in nearly the same way throughout the country:
First, then, we were organized in the month of August last, and were ordered to drill twice every week, and after a week or two we were ordered to drill three times every week. This you will admit was a very heavy tax on a laboring man's time, and we were all, without exception, of that class; and the more so, as some of our men had to ride twelve to fifteen miles to the place of drill.
But the service, to which I wish to call your attention, was not drilling, but scouting. It often happened, say once a week, that we were ordered out to scout, and to watch the main roads, the necessity for doing which arose from the fact that [Page 183 begins] numerous bands were about that time making their way through here for the purpose of joining the Southern army. These trips often kept us from home two days and nights; and on one occasion resulted in the dispersal of a band under the command of the notorious Col. BOONE, our men capturing several prisoners, one or two horses and mules, and some arms, and if our numerous scouting did not produce very great results, it was not for want of zeal on our part.
But the loss of time arising from these duties was not all; the results in many cases were that we did not get our wheat sown, and, in consequence, many fields have to lie idle the next year. I am aware, sir, that these services will hardly be thought worth consideration in comparison with those who went into camp for weeks although it may be questioned whether we did not do the State quite as much service as they did.
But I will now proceed to the second query, viz: "In how far and in what manner is the Enrolled Militia armed?" The company which I have the honor to command, consists at present of fifty-five men, exclusive of officers, and I copy from the muster-roll the following statement of the number and description of arms, viz: two old muskets, sixteen shot guns, and five squirrel rifles, which leaves thirty-two men who have no guns at all - a state of things which speaks for itself, and requires no comment from me. There are in this county, seven companies of Enrolled Militia, and I have not heard of any of them receiving arms, with the exception of about one hundred muskets which were sent to the county and distributed among the three first companies. So that I would respectfully represent the necessity for some provision being made in order to make the Militia efficient.
There is also another subject to which I beg leave to call your attention, viz: the great necessity there exists for a uniform sufficiently plain to enable a person to distinguish a militia man at once; a jacket and cap would be sufficient for this purpose, and need only be worn when on duty some such slight uniform might be the means of preventing sad accidents, one of which I will relate: A company of Militia started from Hillsboro (county seat) in pursuit of the remnants of BOONE's band, (to whom I referred in an earlier part of this communication,) and about the same time a party of Schofield Hussars, M.S.M., also went in pursuit; the E.M.M. came to the place where the secesh had camped a short time before and were examining the ground, when the Hussars charged in upon them, shooting right and left; resulting in one of the Enrolled Militia getting his leg badly shattered, (since amputated,) and others with bullet holes in their clothes; all of which would have been prevented if they had had some uniform so that the Hussars could have recognized them as friends instead of enemies.
Your third enquiry, "In how far is the organization complete?" I am not able to answer in as comprehensive a manner as I would wish, not having access to the proper source of information; but I may say that there are enrolled in this county seven companies, averaging, perhaps, sixty or seventy men each; three other companies are added to these from St. Genevieve county, making in all ten companies, which comprise the 78th Regiment, E.M. But if your enquiry is put with a view of ascertaining how many who are subject to military duty have not enrolled, I answer there are a great many, though chiefly men of doubtful loyalty; as a general rule, the loyal men came forward with alacrity; those who, by reason of age or disability could not serve, obtained certificates of exemption, and the others who could serve joined the Militia.
A comparison between the number of men now in the Militia in this county, and the number of men subject to pay poll tax, will give you some approximation to the number who OUGHT to be in the Militia, after leaving a fair margin for those who have joined the opposing armies, and will show that the secesh element is in a majority in this county. Now these men seize every pretext to avoid the enrollment; some obtain fraudulent certificates and some absent themselves altogether. I hear that a better state of affairs is about to be inaugurated; but, in my opinion, all this only tends to show the greater necessity for arming the Militia effectively, so as to keep these traitors in awe, and to show them that the better course is to fall in, and behave themselves. As matters stand at present, the Militia in this county is a source of more contempt than fear to the secesh; for they argue (and I must admit with good reason) “what could these men do in an emergency, one-half poorly armed, and the rest not armed at all?"
In regard to the last enquiry, I will only say, that it is not an evidence of good faith to the loyal men of this section to see so many open and outspoken traitors at liberty; men who have been to and from the Southern army several times; who have taken and broken the oath repeatedly who have been guilty of horse stealing; of tearing down Union flags; of being with guerrilla bands; and yet when loyal men go to arrest them, they produce paroles, passes, safeguards, ad lib.; and the supporter of the Government, from the respect he feels bound to show these papers signed by officers in authority, feels himself powerless to act, and must return mortified and leave the traitors jubilant. As I presume, sir that others more able than myself will respond readily to your call for information on this subject, I will trespass no further on your patience than to remark, that I hope this present session of the Legislature will take this matter in hand, and place the Enrolled Militia in such a state of efficiency as to preclude all hope on the part of traitors of ever again being able to disturb the peace of our noble State.
I remain yours truly,
W. J. BAXTON, Captain Co. K, 78th Reg., E.M.M.
- Page 252
RECRUITING FOR THE FEDERAL
The Committee have not had sufficient time to investigate circumstances, which have come to their knowledge, relative to the obstacles thrown into the way of recruiting for the Federal service. The officers now in the
Under the fear of this Damocles sword suspended over their heads, they are very naturally not inclined to give voluntary information of the misconduct of the same man who can dismiss them summarily, if they should incur his displeasure. The Committee might have summoned them to give testimony under oath; but they would, in all probability, not have obtained a furlough, on the ground that they could not leave their respective posts "without manifest injury to the service," and the disposition of the reigning military authorities was decidedly such as to sustain the belief that this would have been the course adopted by them.
Only in one instance was an
officer "ordered from District Headquarters" to appear before the Committee;
having been summoned by the Conservative member of the Committee for the purpose
of giving a lucid definition of the term "Radical party," we suppose. (Vide testimony of Lieutenant McElwrath.)
The Committee do, therefore, refrain from publishing any information obtained by them which might result in a removal from office of men who have done eminent service to the State, and cannot well be spared for a while yet. Enough can be proved from the official orders to show a disposition to make service in State troops superior to service in the Federal Volunteers.
Explanatory Order No.
When any regiment is organized and the officers commissioned under the State law, and desires to volunteer into the service of the United States for three years or during the war, the Commanding Officer will notify the Adjutant General, and a Mustering Officer of the United
States will be detailed by the proper officer of the United States service to muster the regiment into service. This will extend to fifteen Regiments. The troops organized under the call of the Governor which do not enter the service of the
BY ORDER OF THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. Geo. R. SMITH,
This was decidedly fair on its
face, and could not be otherwise, when General FREMONT would have suppressed
independent "State-Right" troops at once.
[Page 253 begins]
The good faith in which it was given, and expected to be carried out, will appear from the testimony of Col. D. Q. GALE, who was ordered to desist from organizing companies under this order for the Federal service, and was threatened with arrest if he should continue to be patriotically engaged in thus assisting the General Government. The Colonel is not quite positive as to the exact time of this occurrence, but it appears that it took place at a period when the Federal Government had been induced to contemplate the removal of General FREMONT.
Before the Committee,
Daniel Q. GALE, of
I am United States Assessor for the 2d District of Missouri. I have resided in
Question: Do you know of any means used, or orders given, by the Provisional Government, to interfere with or prevent enlistments of Missouri Militia into the service of the
Answer: I was acting Adjutant General under John W. NOELL, immediately after the order appeared to organize the six months' men. I was to organize
Question: (by Mr. DAVIS) Did the order apply to a particular District?
Answer: It was general.
Question: (by Mr. DAVIS) When was that?
Answer: In the Fall of 1861.
Question: Do you know of any orders or acts of the Provisional Government requiring the assistance or use of the E. M. M., or other State military organizations, to re-capture runaway slaves?
Answer: Lt. Colonel WARMOUTH was appointed Brigadier General commanding the E.M.M. of my District, and he issued an order requiring the E.M.M. to assist in executing such writs. A gentleman by the name of SMITH came to me from
In the summer of 1862, when the President made his call for three hundred thousand more Volunteers, under date of July 2,1862; and when Congress limited the number of the " peculiar military force organized by the Provisional Governor of Missouri " (vide General Order No. 1, 1863, cited under the lead of "M.S.M.") to ten thousand, there appeared to be an excess of nearly three thousand men already mustered into service, and the following order was issued at the instance of the Federal Government [Page 254 begins]
General Orders No. 29}
The following communication from the War Department is published for the information of all concerned:
"His Excellency, The GOVERNOR OF MISSOURI,
SIR: It having been
represented at this office, that some three regiments of State Militia have been
raised for service in your State in excess of the numbers authorized by
Congress, I am instructed to inform you, that these extra troops will be
received into the general service of
the United States, provided such is their wish: if they do not desire to come into the general
service, they will be disbanded.
I am sir, etc.,
L. THOMAS, Adjutant General."
To enable the Governor
to comply with the above requirements, the officer commanding each company of
Militia now in service will, without delay, ascertain and report to the Adjutant
General of the State, through the commanding officer of his regiment or
battalion, the officers and the number of men of his company who are willing to
be mustered into the service of the United States as Volunteers for " three
years or during the war."
By order of the Commander-in-Chief. WM. D. WOOD,
The latter part of it
instructed each commander to obtain the sense of his company, battery or
regiment, as to their willingness to enlist in the Federal service. It is true
the order does not state what course would have been pursued by the State
Executive in the event of a company declaring for entering the Federal service:
the order calls simply for information, without pledging the Commander-in-Chief
to any policy at all. The people, however, believed it to be meant as a promise
to transfer such companies as desired it into the Federal Volunteer service; and
under this impression an entire regiment of the Missouri State Militia applied
for this privilege.
The answer returned by the Acting Adjutant General was positive and short --a flat denial. The regiment is in the State service at this hour. The Committee is not aware that any one company has ever been transferred from the State service into the service of the
Hon. C. P.
Chairman of Committee on Militia.
SIR: -The letter from your committee to me, signed by Geo. Smith on your behalf, dated the 6th inst., was received yesterday. You inquire "which companies, battalions or regiments of the M. S. Militia have availed themselves of the benefit of Order 29,
In reply I would state, that so far as I can ascertain from a hasty examination of the records of my office, which were made prior to my assuming charge of it, and from my personal knowledge since that time, no companies, battalions or regiments have intimated their desire to be transferred to the regular Volunteer service of the United States.
Many officers in command of such divisions have at various times expressed their desire to have their commands transferred, but nothing like unanimity of opinion among the enlisted men could ever be obtained, and as the act was necessarily to be a voluntary one upon the part of the latter, but few discharges have been made for that purpose.
I am at a loss to understand what is meant by the closing sentence of the quotation which I make from your letter, as I was not aware that any limit as to the time of such transfer has been made at these Headquarters.
I remain very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. GRAY,
Adjutant Gen. of
- Page 302
TESTIMONY OF JUDGE JAMES W. OWENS,
Circuit Judge of Franklin County
James W. OWENS, of lawful age, being produced, sworn and examined, states, that he
is Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit in the State of Missouri and resides at Washington, Franklin County, Mo.; has resided in said county all his life, and is thirty-three years of age; has been acquainted with Maj. David MURPHY about four years; has known Capt. Andrew FINK, Lieut. RENNER, Geo. BOERGER and John C. HERMAN for about fifteen years all of the above named gentlemen have been, and are yet, unconditionally loyal men; they have been such since the outbreak of the rebellion in Missouri; and all of them have, during the rebellion, served in the military force of the Government in some capacity.
Maj. MURPHY was the first man I heard propose to join the Federal army in response to the call of President Lincoln for 75,000 men, and by his own efforts he recruited in Franklin County, Missouri, about thirty men, and with them went to the St. Louis Arsenal and joined the First Regiment Missouri Volunteer Infantry, then being organized by Col. Frank P. BLAIR, Jr.; they were, I believe, the first men recruited for the Federal service outside of St. Louis County.
Maj. MURPHY was a 1st
Lieutenant in that regiment; he participated in the battles of Boonville and
In September, 1861,
his regiment returned to St. Louis and was reorganized as an Artillery Regiment,
and Maj. MURPHY was commissioned Captain of one of the companies in that
regiment; after that he participated in the battle of Prairie Grove, and for
skill and bravery shown in that battle he was promoted to be a Major of
Artillery. He then went with Gen. HERRON's command to
Sometime about 1st September, 1863, one, James H. BARNES was killed in Franklin County, Mo.; the character of Barnes for loyalty was of the very worst stamp, and in every respect he was considered, by those who knew him, to be a violent and vindictive man; no arrests were made for the killing or other action taken in the matter at the time.
On the 3d Monday in September, 1863, the regular term of the Circuit Court was held in Franklin County, and in my charge to the Grand Jury, in addition to the several laws which it is my duty to call the attention of the Grand Jury to, I called their attention to the fact that it was their duty to make presentments, not only of the matters given them in charge, but of all violations of law which might otherwise come to their knowledge, and this they were bound to do by their oath.
I know of no cause;
and am satisfied, from my knowledge of the facts, that there was no cause for
fear on the part of any person who desired to give information to do so freely;
nor was there so far as I could learn, any attempt to intimidate witnesses from
attending and testifying in the BARNES case, or any other case at that term of
On Tuesday, the second day of the term, a Lieutenant belonging to the 11th Cavalry Missouri Volunteers, with a detail of ten men, came to Union; the Lieutenant came [pg. 303 begins] into the court-room during the sitting of the court, and stated to me that he had an order to arrest certain citizens of Franklin County; and among those named was Capt. Andrew FINK, then a member of the Grand Jury, and Lieut. RENNER a member of the Petit Jury then engaged in the trial of a cause in the court.
I discharged Capt. FINK from the Grand Jury and Lieut. RENNER from the Petit Jury, and had others sworn in their stead. On the same day the Lieutenant showed me his authority for the arrest I read the same; it was an order issued by the Commander of the District of St. Louis, Brig. Gen. STRONG; the substance of the order was that he should take ten men, armed, to Franklin County, and arrest David MURPHY, Capt. Andrew FINK, Lieut. RENNER, and George BOERGER, and bring them to St. Louis, "in irons," and deliver them to the keeper of Myrtle Street prison.
He arrested FINK, RENNER and
BOERGER; MURPHY was not there at that time, but was on his way to
I understand that Maj. MURPHY has been tried by a military commission, and acquitted without offering any evidence whatever in his defense. I never heard or knew what charges, if any, were preferred against HERMAN; nor do I yet know for what he was arrested; he, as well as the others, was known as a Radical emancipationist; they were all active in urging the policy of immediate emancipation.
Capt. FINK, BOERGER,
RENNER and HERMAN belonged to the 55th Regiment E.M.M.
The following part of the testimony refers only partly to the case, but cannot well be detached on account of the cross-examination:
I am acquainted with Col. Daniel Q. GALE, Henry C. EITZEN, Amos W. MAUPIN, and John T. VITT; have known them for twenty years or upwards; they are known as among the most loyal men of Franklin County; are men of influence and have been active in sustaining the Government and were, from the beginning of the war, known and recognized as the leaders and advisers of the unconditional Union men of their county. Daniel Q. GALE was Colonel, and Henry C. EITZEN Lieut. Colonel of the 64th Regiment E. M. M.; Amos W. MAUPIN was Colonel and John T. VITT Lieut. Col. of the 65th Regiment E. M. M. until the latter part of September, 1863, when they were all removed by the Governor.
I never heard of any complaints or dissatisfaction with them on the part of the loyal men of Franklin County; on the contrary, all were perfectly satisfied with them in their respective positions in the Militia, and there was universal dissatisfaction among both officers and men of the Militia at their removal; they, too, were immediate emancipationists, and freely spoke their opinions on that subject; their successors, appointed by the Governor, voted and acted with the party called Conservative.
August KRUMSWICK, who was appointed to succeed Col. MAUPIN, was not a member of the Militia in any capacity. M.D. REESE, who was appointed to succeed Henry C. EITZEN, did not belong to the regiment to which he was appointed, nor to the 55th Regiment. In the spring of 1861, both REESE and KRUMSICK had bad reputation for loyalty among the unconditional Union men of the county.
Cross-examination by Mr. DAVIS.
I further state, that these Colonels and Lieut. Colonels urged immediate emancipation after the passage of the Ordinance of
As to Col. GALE, I did not think that he was as outspoken as he (in my judgment) ought to have been; I never heard him denounce the Provisional Government.
I participated in the Jefferson City Radical Convention and endorsed the resolutions; I was one of the committee drawing them up; I was present at the signing of the John BROWN song at that meeting, and joined in the chorus.
The last of April, 1863, an
order called out the 64th and part of the 55th Regiment E.M.M.; the officers and
men complied with eagerness, and in twenty-four hours they were ready to march.
[page 304 begins]
As far as my knowledge goes, in the Ninth Judicial Circuit quiet is comparatively restored. The only dissatisfaction among the people is the appointment, now and then, of disloyal men to office. I have no knowledge of any charges made against Cols. GALE and MAUPIN, and Lieut. Cols. VITT and EITZEN. Amongst the loyal men of
Question: At the time of the arrest of Maj. MURPHY, was there not martial law declared over all the State?
Answer: At this time there were Provost Marshals established in many counties of the State who arrested civilians, had them tried, and in some instances shot, by court martial.
Question: What were the charges against Maj. MURPHY?
Answer: I understood that MURPHY, FINK, RENNER and BOERGER were charged with the killing of the man BARNES; do not know for what HERMAN was arrested.
Question: State whether if your Grand Jury had indicted them, would you have arrested them?
Answer: I should have issued a writ of habeas corpus in their cases; I have in similar circumstances done it, and the writ has been obeyed by the military authorities.
Question: Has the Governor appointed, with his knowledge, disloyal men to office?
Answer: I do not know what the Governor's knowledge was. If he had enquired of loyal men he could have easily found out the standing of these appointees as to loyalty.
Question: State some such appointments.
Answer: In the counties of Perry and Ste. Genevieve, the loyal men there are universally dissatisfied with the appointment of one D. C. TUTTLE, as Major and Paymaster; and also Mr.
LEAVENWORTH, of Ste. Genevieve County, as Colonel; M. D. REESE and August KRUMSICK, of Franklin County, and Lewis JOHNSON; Lieut. Col. HESSER, of Jefferson County.
- Jas. W.
Present, Messrs. DAVIS and O'BANNON