Research Massachusetts born men in the Missouri State Guard?

UncleBourbon

Private
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Location
Massachusetts
This is incredibly niche and I'll completely understand if nobody has any information, or if there are no examples at all, however curiosity's been eating at me about it so I feel inclined to ask.

Are there any men who were born (and preferably raised) in Massachusetts who went on to serve in the Missouri State Guard during the Civil War?
To explain my interest in this topic, the short version would be that the Missouri State Guard stands out as the most interesting armed formation of the Civil War to me, and I happen to be from Massachusetts.
For a longer answer, the actions of the Missouri State Guard frankly remind me of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. They were an underequipped militia facing down a tyrannical powerhouse and (at first) besting them. The Union's policy in Missouri particularly lends to this feeling, with General Lyon's quote of preferring every "man, woman and child" dead and buried rather than allow the State to govern itself and maintain it's own (neutral) course, with these aforementioned atrocities being followed through with at Camp Jackson and Osceola, to the point where General Henry Halleck protested the Missouri policy to Lincoln, claiming (correctly) that Lyon and Lane's actions had turned Missouri to the Confederacy.
Given Massachusetts was the birthplace of the American Revolution, I would be very interested to know if any Massachusetts born men served in what I would consider the Civil War's "Continental Army", in spite of their native State's stance.
There are numerous Massachusetts born men who went on to serve even as Generals in the Confederacy, so I don't see it as impossible that someone from Massachusetts would move to Missouri, enlist in the State Guard at some point and go on to serve against the Union in the Civil War. However I've been unable to find any examples.

Obviously my views on the Missouri State Guard are only my opinion and can be disagreed with, and I do not wish to derail the thread. However I feel context for the question is necessary to prevent it from seeming completely random and essentially mindless.

Information regarding any individual soldiers of this nature would be immensely appreciated, and general discussion on the subject is welcome.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
This is incredibly niche and I'll completely understand if nobody has any information, or if there are no examples at all, however curiosity's been eating at me about it so I feel inclined to ask.

Are there any men who were born (and preferably raised) in Massachusetts who went on to serve in the Missouri State Guard during the Civil War?
To explain my interest in this topic, the short version would be that the Missouri State Guard stands out as the most interesting armed formation of the Civil War to me, and I happen to be from Massachusetts.
For a longer answer, the actions of the Missouri State Guard frankly remind me of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. They were an underequipped militia facing down a tyrannical powerhouse and (at first) besting them. The Union's policy in Missouri particularly lends to this feeling, with General Lyon's quote of preferring every "man, woman and child" dead and buried rather than allow the State to govern itself and maintain it's own (neutral) course, with these aforementioned atrocities being followed through with at Camp Jackson and Osceola, to the point where General Henry Halleck protested the Missouri policy to Lincoln, claiming (correctly) that Lyon and Lane's actions had turned Missouri to the Confederacy.
Given Massachusetts was the birthplace of the American Revolution, I would be very interested to know if any Massachusetts born men served in what I would consider the Civil War's "Continental Army", in spite of their native State's stance.
There are numerous Massachusetts born men who went on to serve even as Generals in the Confederacy, so I don't see it as impossible that someone from Massachusetts would move to Missouri, enlist in the State Guard at some point and go on to serve against the Union in the Civil War. However I've been unable to find any examples.

Obviously my views on the Missouri State Guard are only my opinion and can be disagreed with, and I do not wish to derail the thread. However I feel context for the question is necessary to prevent it from seeming completely random and essentially mindless.

Information regarding any individual soldiers of this nature would be immensely appreciated, and general discussion on the subject is welcome.
Possibly there were men from Massachusetts in the Missouri State Guard most likely very few. As we know the Confederate Army had Northeners but the Union Army had far more Southeners as in 104k white Southern troops per " Lincoln's Loyalists Union soldiers from the Confederacy" Richard Current North East University Press.
Has for General Lyon we have previous threads on him . Lyon is like other ACW figures a hero or a vilian depending on ones politcal views.
Leftyhunter
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
I know of none off hand but would say it's very possible in very small numbers from 2 ways.

1- the most likely to account for some limited numbers is people Massachusetts born who had settled here prewar.

2 less likely, one sometimes encounters rare instances of someone out of state, who was traveling up or down river when Camp Jackson and the St Louis Massacre occured, and joined out of the excitement going on.
 

Lusty Murfax

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Location
Northwest Missouri
Have to doubt there were many, if any Massachusetts natives serving in the MSG. However, your rationale comparing the motivations of the loyal Missourians to the Revolutionary Massachusetts patriots is compelling. Sad to say the only involvement of Massachusetts natives in Missouri I can think of are the terrorists imported to eastern kansas who robbed, murdered, burned and pillaged through western Missouri from roughly 1856 though the end of the War.
 

UncleBourbon

Private
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Location
Massachusetts
2 less likely, one sometimes encounters rare instances of someone out of state, who was traveling up or down river when Camp Jackson and the St Louis Massacre occured, and joined out of the excitement going on.

Very interesting! Out of curiosity, what are some instances of this that you've come across?

Have to doubt there were many, if any Massachusetts natives serving in the MSG. However, your rationale comparing the motivations of the loyal Missourians to the Revolutionary Massachusetts patriots is compelling. Sad to say the only involvement of Massachusetts natives in Missouri I can think of are the terrorists imported to eastern kansas who robbed, murdered, burned and pillaged through western Missouri from roughly 1856 though the end of the War.

I'm not so much interested in the amount as I am in if there were any examples at all.
I appreciate the comment on my rationale.

On a surprising if not ironic note related to Massachusetts and the Free-Staters, the most vocal anti-War and anti-Union voice from Massachusetts I've come across was the abolitionist friend of John Brown, Lysander Spooner, who asserted the Union goal of the war was not to free the slaves, but to enslave the entirety of the South.
For more on his rationale I'd recommend "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority", his post-war book.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
Very interesting! Out of curiosity, what are some instances of this that you've come across?



I'm not so much interested in the amount as I am in if there were any examples at all.
I appreciate the comment on my rationale.

On a surprising if not ironic note related to Massachusetts and the Free-Staters, the most vocal anti-War and anti-Union voSo looked into it little further, ice from Massachusetts I've come across was the abolitionist friend of John Brown, Lysander Spooner, who asserted the Union goal of the war was not to free the slaves, but to enslave the entirety of the South.
For more on his rationale I'd recommend "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority", his post-war book.
I was doing genealogy years ago and came across 4 Minnesota men had enlisted in a unit on the same day. The four had all enlisted at Canton just days after Camp Jackson. Canton was a Mississippi River port. Interestingly enough 2 of the four went to be listed deserters months later.
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
This is incredibly niche and I'll completely understand if nobody has any information, or if there are no examples at all, however curiosity's been eating at me about it so I feel inclined to ask.

Are there any men who were born (and preferably raised) in Massachusetts who went on to serve in the Missouri State Guard during the Civil War?
To explain my interest in this topic, the short version would be that the Missouri State Guard stands out as the most interesting armed formation of the Civil War to me, and I happen to be from Massachusetts.
For a longer answer, the actions of the Missouri State Guard frankly remind me of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. They were an underequipped militia facing down a tyrannical powerhouse and (at first) besting them. The Union's policy in Missouri particularly lends to this feeling, with General Lyon's quote of preferring every "man, woman and child" dead and buried rather than allow the State to govern itself and maintain it's own (neutral) course, with these aforementioned atrocities being followed through with at Camp Jackson and Osceola, to the point where General Henry Halleck protested the Missouri policy to Lincoln, claiming (correctly) that Lyon and Lane's actions had turned Missouri to the Confederacy.
Given Massachusetts was the birthplace of the American Revolution, I would be very interested to know if any Massachusetts born men served in what I would consider the Civil War's "Continental Army", in spite of their native State's stance.
There are numerous Massachusetts born men who went on to serve even as Generals in the Confederacy, so I don't see it as impossible that someone from Massachusetts would move to Missouri, enlist in the State Guard at some point and go on to serve against the Union in the Civil War. However I've been unable to find any examples.

Obviously my views on the Missouri State Guard are only my opinion and can be disagreed with, and I do not wish to derail the thread. However I feel context for the question is necessary to prevent it from seeming completely random and essentially mindless.

Information regarding any individual soldiers of this nature would be immensely appreciated, and general discussion on the subject is welcome.

You pose an interesting question, one that may not have an answer. I'm not aware that there are any comprehensive records regarding the MSG left in existence, or if there were any to begin with. I seem to remember that there are a few recruiting records, but that they only list the officers of various units down to the company level with no mention of enlisted men. If one realizes how chaotic and how rapidly events happened during the early times of the war, it's understandable why the record keeping didn't keep pace. I like your analogy that likens the MSG to the militia of the AWI. In the early days of 1861, no doubt that there were 1,000's of men who joined the MSG, perhaps even some joined from a far away as Mass., but with no food, clothing or weapons for them, many of these "Sunshine Patriots" returned home. I can fully understand why they did so. Why fight 100's of miles from your home when your family is being threatened at your doorstep?

I would also say that I'm pleased that someone from MA. finds the CW in MO. interesting, as evident in some of the thoughts you've shared. The CW in MO. is very complex; we really were a war within a war, and in my opinion, no other state suffered as much as MO. We had vast number of civilians killed and property destroyed, (by Federal authorities), the numbers which no one can calculate. We had whole parts of our state burned to the ground, (by Federal authorities), which makes Sherman's "March to the Sea" look like child's play. Our state government was overthrown, (by Federal Authorities), to be replaced by radical republicans, who put in place a state constitution which nearly took away all of the rights of a citizen if they could not prove their undivided loyalty to the Union. After the war, we did not go through reconstruction: we didn't need too, we had the Drake constitution, which thankfully was overthrown, (by the population of MO, by this time, the had had enough of Federal Authorities). We are the only state were a representative of the Federal Government (Gen. Lyon), declared war upon, yet we remained in the Union. No other state gave more men as a percentage of it's population to fight in the CW than MO. (+- 110,000 Union, +-40,000 CSA, + unknown how many were guerrilla's). The war totally changed the state; it's population make up, political structure, and economy. It took years to recover.

May I suggest that if you are interested in learning more about the events leading up to and early war period, study the actions of Francis Blair, Jr. The Lincoln administration gave him nearly total control in handling local events here. With the Union dissolving around them, they had other matters to attend to, and Francis Jr. was their local "man on the scene." The Blair family was extremely powerful politically. Francis Blair Sr. was advisor to many presidents going back to the Jackson administration, and was one of the founders of the Republican party. He probably would have run for president if it weren't for his speech impediment. His elder son, Montgomery, was one of Lincoln's cabinet members as Postmaster General, and Francis Jr. was a newly elected congressman from Missouri. Historians often credit Lyon's actions for keeping MO. in the Union. In my opinion, it is Francis Blair Jr. who deserves that credit. He controlled the events, and Lyon, up to a point. When that point was reached, it was the Blair family who pushed for Fremont to take over the military operations in MO., making Lyons the subordinate of Fremont. And as they say, the rest is history.
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
There's quite a bit on MSG personnel. But as rosters take alot of print, and it's a niche subject, it gets expensive.

There's a little niche bookstore in Liberty, Mo. across from the Truman Courthouse called The Blue Grey Bookshop, where I thought I saw a couple of volumes on the MSG. One was regarding the orders and another, I thought, contained their roster. But I think it only covered the officers and not the enlisted men. But I'm more interested in the guerrilla operations in Mo, as you know, so I spent my time going through her books on that subject. I already have most of the books she has, but I did manage to pick a book up about Kate King, Quantrill's girlfriend, mistress, wife. They spend the summer of '64 in a hollow just a couple of miles from here over in Howard county. There was a spring next to their campsite, and someone has dammed up the hollow and now there is a small lake just below their camp. I meant to check it out earlier this spring, but things got a little weird then, so maybe I'll try and check it out this fall.
 

UncleBourbon

Private
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Location
Massachusetts
You pose an interesting question, one that may not have an answer. I'm not aware that there are any comprehensive records regarding the MSG left in existence, or if there were any to begin with. I seem to remember that there are a few recruiting records, but that they only list the officers of various units down to the company level with no mention of enlisted men. If one realizes how chaotic and how rapidly events happened during the early times of the war, it's understandable why the record keeping didn't keep pace. I like your analogy that likens the MSG to the militia of the AWI. In the early days of 1861, no doubt that there were 1,000's of men who joined the MSG, perhaps even some joined from a far away as Mass., but with no food, clothing or weapons for them, many of these "Sunshine Patriots" returned home. I can fully understand why they did so. Why fight 100's of miles from your home when your family is being threatened at your doorstep?

I would also say that I'm pleased that someone from MA. finds the CW in MO. interesting, as evident in some of the thoughts you've shared. The CW in MO. is very complex; we really were a war within a war, and in my opinion, no other state suffered as much as MO. We had vast number of civilians killed and property destroyed, (by Federal authorities), the numbers which no one can calculate. We had whole parts of our state burned to the ground, (by Federal authorities), which makes Sherman's "March to the Sea" look like child's play. Our state government was overthrown, (by Federal Authorities), to be replaced by radical republicans, who put in place a state constitution which nearly took away all of the rights of a citizen if they could not prove their undivided loyalty to the Union. After the war, we did not go through reconstruction: we didn't need too, we had the Drake constitution, which thankfully was overthrown, (by the population of MO, by this time, the had had enough of Federal Authorities). We are the only state were a representative of the Federal Government (Gen. Lyon), declared war upon, yet we remained in the Union. No other state gave more men as a percentage of it's population to fight in the CW than MO. (+- 110,000 Union, +-40,000 CSA, + unknown how many were guerrilla's). The war totally changed the state; it's population make up, political structure, and economy. It took years to recover.

May I suggest that if you are interested in learning more about the events leading up to and early war period, study the actions of Francis Blair, Jr. The Lincoln administration gave him nearly total control in handling local events here. With the Union dissolving around them, they had other matters to attend to, and Francis Jr. was their local "man on the scene." The Blair family was extremely powerful politically. Francis Blair Sr. was advisor to many presidents going back to the Jackson administration, and was one of the founders of the Republican party. He probably would have run for president if it weren't for his speech impediment. His elder son, Montgomery, was one of Lincoln's cabinet members as Postmaster General, and Francis Jr. was a newly elected congressman from Missouri. Historians often credit Lyon's actions for keeping MO. in the Union. In my opinion, it is Francis Blair Jr. who deserves that credit. He controlled the events, and Lyon, up to a point. When that point was reached, it was the Blair family who pushed for Fremont to take over the military operations in MO., making Lyons the subordinate of Fremont. And as they say, the rest is history.

Really well thought out post; thank you for contributing to the thread!

It's honestly the part of the Civil War I'm most interested in. I definitely agree with your sentiments regarding Federal atrocities, as well as the intrigue of Missouri having initially fought as not part of the Confederacy, but as it's own State defending itself against Federal overreach.
In June of last year I went on a cross country road trip from Massachusetts to Colorado and back a separate route, and to make a stop for a Civil War battlefield in Missouri I had to pick between Carthage and Wilson's Creek.
While Carthage held my interest due to it being a pure Guard action and the only time a US Governor led troops in the field (against the United States no less), I ultimately settled on Wilson's Creek due to it's larger scale and being the instance where Lyon was felled.
It was honestly a highlight of my trip and I'm glad to have chosen it.

I'll definitely look into Francis Blair Jr., thank you!
The concept of Lyon keeping Missouri in the Union was always absurd to me, as he and Jim Lane were the men who drove it from the Union in the first place.

There's quite a bit on MSG personnel. But as rosters take alot of print, and it's a niche subject, it gets expensive.

I admit I'm fairly new to accessing and requesting documents. If I were to look for rosters in hopes of seeing Massachusetts listed as the birthplace of MSG volunteers, would you happen to know an ideal place in Missouri to reach out to?
I wont be able to travel in the near future, pandemic aside, and when things start opening up again I'm hoping to acquire documents of not just this but other historical subjects.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
There's books by Joanne Eakin, Donald hale, and Carolyn bartels that deal with some MSG rosters and personal. I haven't seen all of them to know if they list place of birth.

As they are rather niche, without traveling imagine you would have to do some type of inter library loan.

Sterling prices Lts lists officers, but not places of birth, but might be noted in some of the officers notes.
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
Really well thought out post; thank you for contributing to the thread!

It's honestly the part of the Civil War I'm most interested in. I definitely agree with your sentiments regarding Federal atrocities, as well as the intrigue of Missouri having initially fought as not part of the Confederacy, but as it's own State defending itself against Federal overreach.
In June of last year I went on a cross country road trip from Massachusetts to Colorado and back a separate route, and to make a stop for a Civil War battlefield in Missouri I had to pick between Carthage and Wilson's Creek.
While Carthage held my interest due to it being a pure Guard action and the only time a US Governor led troops in the field (against the United States no less), I ultimately settled on Wilson's Creek due to it's larger scale and being the instance where Lyon was felled.
It was honestly a highlight of my trip and I'm glad to have chosen it.

I'll definitely look into Francis Blair Jr., thank you!
The concept of Lyon keeping Missouri in the Union was always absurd to me, as he and Jim Lane were the men who drove it from the Union in the first place.



I admit I'm fairly new to accessing and requesting documents. If I were to look for rosters in hopes of seeing Massachusetts listed as the birthplace of MSG volunteers, would you happen to know an ideal place in Missouri to reach out to?
I wont be able to travel in the near future, pandemic aside, and when things start opening up again I'm hoping to acquire documents of not just this but other historical subjects.

AS for sources for the MSG rosters, I did a short google search and came up with a few books that might help you, but in most cases they were printed by small companies are now out of print. However, since they contain the roster of men in the unit used by genealogist, some of these books were listed on "Family Search" which is part of the Family History Library, which is part of the LDS Church. I would advise you to find one of their libraries in your state and see if the have copies of the books on file. A quick search for your state showed at least four of their libraries.

Sen. James Lane.........
I have nothing good to say about this man, and hold him with the same regards as I do Gen Lyon.
Lane was a freshman Senator from Kansas just as the war was breaking out. He made it to Washington D.C. prior to Lincoln's arrival and, with rumors running rampant that Washington would shortly be attacked, Lane organized a group of fellow Kansan office seekers into a militia-type unit to protect the city. They called themselves something like "The Frontier Guard" and actually camped out in one of the rooms of the Whitehouse for a time, until Lincoln arrived. Lincoln was forever grateful for what his fellow republican, Sen. Lane did, and when new regiments were formed in Kansas, Lane was allowed to name their commanders, something that only the governors of every other state were allowed to do. Lane went back to Kansas, formed a couple of regiments, lead the raid on Osceola, MO. and then returned to Washington to sit in congress.
 
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