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near Granny White pike
#1
Greetings!

Some years ago this short article was posted on the website of the Graves family Association. This event was covered in a book (My Brother's Keeper, by Daniel N. Rolph).

I wonder if anyone on the board is familiar with this extraordinary story, and might have further information on it. I am particularly interested in any first hand accounts, or photos of the medal referenced below.

Anything you contribute will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!
Daniel Mallock


AN EXTRAORDINARY BATTLE LINE
On October 15, 1864, Colonel Chester Harding, Jr. of the 43rd MO (US) surrendered the federal garrison at Glasgow, MO. The following day, the 28 federal officer prisoners began a march to the Union outpost at Booneville, MO to be paroled (as required at that time by the Union side). They were escorted by Co. H, 3rd MO Mounted Infantry (CSA), which consisted of 49 men commanded by Lieutenant James W. Graves.​

As any prudent officer would do, Lieutenant Graves sent out an advance guard and also flank guards. Soon he was informed by his sergeant that the advance guard had spotted a hundred men dressed as federal cavalry. The sergeant told him that they were not really federals, but guerrillas, probably belonging to the band of William ("Bloody Bill" ) Anderson.​

Lieutenant Graves fully realized what would happen to his prisoners if they fell into Anderson's hands. He offered to free them and give them some weapons. The federal officers chose to remain with the Confederate soldiers and fight by their side if it came to that.​

Soon some of the guerrillas approached and were met by Lieutenant Graves. They said that they were 300 strong and demanded that the prisoners be handed over to them. Lieutenant Graves indignantly refused, saying that he commanded Confederate soldiers, while Anderson's men were murderers and thieves. He told them to get out of the way or they would be fired on.​

Lieutenant Graves then formed a battle line with 22 of the federal officers now armed and in the center. A Union officer produced a small company flag that he had hidden and received permission to display it next to the Confederate battle flag.​

Forty-nine Confederates and 28 Union officers proceeded down the road. They met no resistance. That night their camp was guarded by both Union and Confederate sentinels.​

The next day they encountered a federal cavalry patrol. Lieutenant Graves had accomplished his mission. His soldierly honor could never have allowed him any thought of giving up his prisoners, even if it meant risking his own life and those of his men.​

Colonel Harding (later a brevet brigadier general) filed an official report commending Lieutenant Graves for his chivalrous behavior. The lieutenant also received the thanks of Union General William Starke Rosecrans.​

The next year the war ended, but it did not end the gratitude of the Union officers whose lives were saved. They searched for the former Lieutenant Graves and found him in Texas. They arranged for him to come to St. Louis, where he was presented with a large gold medal by his former prisoners. On one side of the medal was an inscription referring to that extraordinary day when a battle line of both the blue and the gray joined together against a common enemy.​
Source: Sent by Shirley Becker, from CW Weekly Fireside, probably originally from Chester Harding - Find A Grave: Chester Harding (1827-1875).​
 

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Booner

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#2
When I first read your post, I dismissed it. CSA soldiers arming their captives to repel a guerrilla attack?
But as I thought about it, there is something about it that is triggering a memory. I'm just frustrated that I can't recall it. Perhaps it was something my high school history teacher, Gene Owens, said some 50 years ago. Mr Owens lived in Howard County, and was a member of the Southern Howard County Historical Society. (Glasgow is located in Howard Co. MO).

A little background to the Battle of Glasgow-
CSA Gen. Sterling Price invaded Mo. in the fall of 1864, and spent 3 days in Boonvillle, where he met with Quantrill and Anderson, telling them to go over to the north side of the Mo. River and disrupt transportation and communication facilities to prevent their use by the Federals. In the spring of 1864 Price had sent word to the guerrilla leaders of Mo. to increase their activities, especially in central Mo., in the summer and fall of the year in anticipation of his invasion. As Price left Boonville, he went westward along the southern edge of the Mo. river. A part of his command was detached and laid a short-lived siege to the town of Glasgow, which surrendered on October 15, 1864.
After their meeting with Price, Quantrill went back to his Howard Co. camp around Boonsburro, (about 5 miles s.e. of Glasgow), and Anderson sent most of his command east to attack Danville, Mo., but he, with few of his men stayed in southern Howard County, following Prices army as they headed towards Glasgow. Once the Federal troops surrendered Glasgow, Quantrill quickly moved in to rob the Glasgow bank of several thousand dollars ($20,000+), and Anderson went to the home of Benjamin Lewis to rob him, and nearly beating him to death, before Lewis gave Anderson $5000. (Lewis never recovered from the beating and later died).

After doing a little on-line search regarding the original post, I can't come up with anything that doesn't go back to the original source of Shirley Becker, and I'm sorry the story can't be confirmed. It's true that CSA soldiers had no love loss between themselves and guerrillas. When Boonville surrendered to Price, the local home guard unit was captured and housed in the court house. When Anderson rode into town and found out that the local militia had been captured and just recently been released, his men rode through the town searching for them to gun them down. Supposedly, the did capture and kill the Lt. of the home guard, but the rest of the hoe guard escaped Anderson's men, so their is a grain of truth that could apply to the original post.

Three members of CWT live here in Boonville. Now that the leaves have fallen, I can see the ground where the Union fort, the place where the captured Union soldiers from Glasgow were to be taken to, to receive their pardon, out of my kitchen window. I'll call upon my fellow local members of the Central Missouri Brain Trust, to see if they can add anything to the original post.
@Patrick H
@Boonslick
 

jgoodguy

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#3
When I first read your post, I dismissed it. CSA soldiers arming their captives to repel a guerrilla attack?
But as I thought about it, there is something about it that is triggering a memory. I'm just frustrated that I can't recall it. Perhaps it was something my high school history teacher, Gene Owens, said some 50 years ago. Mr Owens lived in Howard County, and was a member of the Southern Howard County Historical Society. (Glasgow is located in Howard Co. MO).

A little background to the Battle of Glasgow-
CSA Gen. Sterling Price invaded Mo. in the fall of 1864, and spent 3 days in Boonvillle, where he met with Quantrill and Anderson, telling them to go over to the north side of the Mo. River and disrupt transportation and communication facilities to prevent their use by the Federals. In the spring of 1864 Price had sent word to the guerrilla leaders of Mo. to increase their activities, especially in central Mo., in the summer and fall of the year in anticipation of his invasion. As Price left Boonville, he went westward along the southern edge of the Mo. river. A part of his command was detached and laid a short-lived siege to the town of Glasgow, which surrendered on October 15, 1864.
After their meeting with Price, Quantrill went back to his Howard Co. camp around Boonsburro, (about 5 miles s.e. of Glasgow), and Anderson sent most of his command east to attack Danville, Mo., but he, with few of his men stayed in southern Howard County, following Prices army as they headed towards Glasgow. Once the Federal troops surrendered Glasgow, Quantrill quickly moved in to rob the Glasgow bank of several thousand dollars ($20,000+), and Anderson went to the home of Benjamin Lewis to rob him, and nearly beating him to death, before Lewis gave Anderson $5000. (Lewis never recovered from the beating and later died).

After doing a little on-line search regarding the original post, I can't come up with anything that doesn't go back to the original source of Shirley Becker, and I'm sorry the story can't be confirmed. It's true that CSA soldiers had no love loss between themselves and guerrillas. When Boonville surrendered to Price, the local home guard unit was captured and housed in the court house. When Anderson rode into town and found out that the local militia had been captured and just recently been released, his men rode through the town searching for them to gun them down. Supposedly, the did capture and kill the Lt. of the home guard, but the rest of the hoe guard escaped Anderson's men, so their is a grain of truth that could apply to the original post.

Three members of CWT live here in Boonville. Now that the leaves have fallen, I can see the ground where the Union fort, the place where the captured Union soldiers from Glasgow were to be taken to, to receive their pardon, out of my kitchen window. I'll call upon my fellow local members of the Central Missouri Brain Trust, to see if they can add anything to the original post.
@Patrick H
@Boonslick
Pictures?
 
Joined
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Messages
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near Granny White pike
#5
THe author of "my Brothers Keeper" Daniel Rolph states the information came from soldiers diaries and letters. Could very well be true
The only citation is the OR reference which does not substantiate the story, and an obscure story that appears to be unpublished. There are no diaries or letters cited by Mr. Rolph in the edition that I've got. (2002, stackpole)
 
Joined
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#7
Here is the OR reference.

1547157717603.png


Here is the "letter to Lieutenant Graves from General Fisk" which appears in the same OR volume a few pages later.

1547157845149.png


These sources suggest that something good and unusual happened relative to the Union prisoners, and Lt. Graves, but unfortunately doesn't substantiate nor fully support the story itself from the Graves Family Association of several years ago, posted in the OP.
 
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#10
hree members of CWT live here in Boonville. Now that the leaves have fallen, I can see the ground where the Union fort, the place where the captured Union soldiers from Glasgow were to be taken to, to receive their pardon, out of my kitchen window. I'll call upon my fellow local members of the Central Missouri Brain Trust, to see if they can add anything to the original post.
@Patrick H
@Boonslick
It would be better than a 'hog kill'en'. As referenced to The Wild Bunch movie we 3 watched the other night.
 
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#20
Thank you sir, You got a lot of fine replies here. True, or not, or somewhere in between, this is a great story
Totally agree. I'm obliged for everyone's interest and for everybody who weighed in on this.

The purpose of this research mission is to find out as much as possible on this story, then write about it and talk about American unity and its importance in a way similar to the following, which links the battle of Nashville to American unity and character.

https://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm?frm=189546&sec_id=189546
 



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