Missouri phenomenon ?

archieclement

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#1
I'm not aware of it occurring elsewhere to the degree it does here. But researching the war here anytime confederate forces, whether an army or just recruiters, move into an area their numbers seem to swell as long as they are in that area, but if they move any substantial distance the recruits simply return home.

A big movement like Prices 64 raid, at any given point he may have 2-4000 local recruits, however if he moves 100 miles west, it appears for the most part he has a different 2-4000 recruits and the majority of the previous ones seem to just have returned home. Small movements like confederate recruiters may attract 1-2000 men but as they move away to return to the south the numbers just evaporate. It appears a very small % actually want to fight anywhere other then their home area.

it seems less noticeable with guerrillas maybe because they are more localized to begin with, and perhaps more of a stigma to part time with them?

Not sure if its from Missouri's conditional attitude at the start or the lack of support from the Confederacy at the beginning of the war here. Just wondered if anyone else has noticed this phenomenon and has any thoughts on it.
 
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#2
Recruiting in Missouri by Confederate recruiters or by raids into Missouri from elsewhere, like Arkansas, was a difficult task under the best of circumstances. These recruitment raids were always of course opposed by the Federal forces occupying Missouri. How many other Confederate states tried to recruit under similar circumstances. Maybe Kentucky, but I would say not many others tried it. One problem was that official Confederate recruiters in uniform when in uniform tended to be tried and executed as guerrillas, even with signed orders on them. In one case Lt. Col. Frisby H. McCullough was executed even though he was carrying papers authorizing him to recruit. His trial was neither necessary fair or just, occurring on August 8, 1862. He was executed 15 minutes after the trial ended. These recruiting raids were generally successful, with varying numbers of recruits. It was never enough though.
 
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#3
I'm not aware of it occurring elsewhere to the degree it does here. But researching the war here anytime confederate forces, whether an army or just recruiters, move into an area their numbers seem to swell as long as they are in that area, but if they move any substantial distance the recruits simply return home.

A big movement like Prices 64 raid, at any given point he may have 2-4000 local recruits, however if he moves 100 miles west, it appears for the most part he has a different 2-4000 recruits and the majority of the previous ones seem to just have returned home. Small movements like confederate recruiters may attract 1-2000 men but as they move away to return to the south the numbers just evaporate. It appears a very small % actually want to fight anywhere other then their home area.

it seems less noticeable with guerrillas maybe because they are more localized to begin with, and perhaps more of a stigma to part time with them?

Not sure if its from Missouri's conditional attitude at the start or the lack of support from the Confederacy at the beginning of the war here. Just wondered if anyone else has noticed this phenomenon and has any thoughts on it.
The generaly accepted figure is that approximately 30k Missourians enlisted in the Confederate Army. Per Bruce Nickols at least one Confederate recruiter threatned death to those who would not join his recruiting command.
One would have to research pension records to see when most Confederate Missouri soldiers enlisted. It is possible most enlisted by mid 1862. We know the state of Missouri did provide state pensions to Confederate vets so the statistics are out there
Leftyhunter
 
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#4
Recruiting in Missouri by Confederate recruiters or by raids into Missouri from elsewhere, like Arkansas, was a difficult task under the best of circumstances. These recruitment raids were always of course opposed by the Federal forces occupying Missouri. How many other Confederate states tried to recruit under similar circumstances. Maybe Kentucky, but I would say not many others tried it. One problem was that official Confederate recruiters in uniform when in uniform tended to be tried and executed as guerrillas, even with signed orders on them. In one case Lt. Col. Frisby H. McCullough was executed even though he was carrying papers authorizing him to recruit. His trial was neither necessary fair or just, occurring on August 8, 1862. He was executed 15 minutes after the trial ended. These recruiting raids were generally successful, with varying numbers of recruits. It was never enough though.
Actually the Union Army did receive recruits from deep inside Confederate territory in East Tennessee who relied on "Mountain Pilots such has John Elliss to make their way to Camp Dick Robertson in Kentucky.
The Third North Carolina Mounted Infantry Union under Colonel Kirk did recruit locals and Confederate deserters behind Confederate lines in Western North Carolina. A great book "Kirk's Raiders a notorious band of scoundrels and theives" Matthew Bumgardner Tar Heel Press has more detail about that. So yes the Union also recruitd behind Confederate lines. Plus the Union Navy recruited the 2nd Florida Calvary behind Confederate lines. So two could play the recruiting behind enemy lines game.
Leftyhunter
 
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#5
Recruiting in Missouri by Confederate recruiters or by raids into Missouri from elsewhere, like Arkansas, was a difficult task under the best of circumstances. These recruitment raids were always of course opposed by the Federal forces occupying Missouri. How many other Confederate states tried to recruit under similar circumstances. Maybe Kentucky, but I would say not many others tried it. One problem was that official Confederate recruiters in uniform when in uniform tended to be tried and executed as guerrillas, even with signed orders on them. In one case Lt. Col. Frisby H. McCullough was executed even though he was carrying papers authorizing him to recruit. His trial was neither necessary fair or just, occurring on August 8, 1862. He was executed 15 minutes after the trial ended. These recruiting raids were generally successful, with varying numbers of recruits. It was never enough though.
At least he received a trial. Union treatment of the families of Confederate soldiers and guerrillas is well documented. Every community had Union sympathizers who might denounce a southern family to Union occupation forces. The Army couldn't send them all to Gratiot Prison.
 

AUG

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#6
Usually the trend was that the troops serving farthest away from home saw the lowest desertion rates while those serving in or near their home state saw the highest. In the Army of Northern Virginia, for example, the Virginians tended to desert the most while those from the Deep South or the West saw far fewer desertions. Once Longstreet's Corps - largely consisting of troops from the Deep South and West - was sent to the Western Theater in 1863 it saw some of its highest desertion rates of the war since some men were then closer to home.

Also, some commands were organized with the intention of serving far from home. For example, the men who made up Hood's Texas Brigade were among the first in the state to enlist and were willing to fight in the East. Likewise, Cockrell's Missouri Brigade largely consisted of men from the MSG who volunteered for service in the Confederate Army. They ended up serving east of the Mississippi and saw relatively few desertions except for right after Vicksburg.

I imagine that the men who were less enthusiastic about the war and didn't enlist until later or until conscripted were more likely to desert and didn't like the idea of serving too far from home.


Edit: Okay, I realize what I said in the first paragraph may have sounded contradictory to the point in the OP, but I didn't intend it to be. I was trying to make a comparison in that desertions tend to be higher if troops are serving closer to home, as in the same state or nearby. If they were far out of state and not easily able to return then I think desertions would have been less, however that also depends on the troops and their own willingness to serve.
 
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archieclement

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#7
Usually the trend was that the troops serving farthest away from home saw the lowest desertion rates while those serving in or near their home state saw the highest. In the Army of Northern Virginia, for example, the Virginians tended to desert the most while those from the Deep South or the West saw far fewer desertions. Once Longstreet's Corps -largely consisting of troops from the Deep South and West - was sent to the Western Theater in 1863 it saw some of its highest desertion rates of the war since some men were then closer to home.

Also, some commands were organized with the intention of serving far from home. For example, the men who made up Hood's Texas Brigade were among the first in the state to enlist and were willing to fight in the East. Likewise, Cockrell's Missouri Brigade largely consisted of men from the MSG who volunteered for service in the Confederate Army. They ended up serving east of the Mississippi and saw relatively few desertions except for right after Vicksburg.

I imagine the men who were less enthusiastic about the war, stayed at home and didn't enlist until later or until conscripted were more likely to desert and didn't like the idea of serving too far from home.
That does seem true for them once they are out of the state. However take Lexington, most accounts have Prices numbers swelling to 20,000 shortly after the victory......Sept 29th they start marching south 9 days later they cross osage river and its strength is down to 7000, 13000 apparently went home in 9 days
 

AUG

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#8
That does seem true for them once they are out of the state. However take Lexington, most accounts have Prices numbers swelling to 20,000 shortly after the victory......Sept 29th they start marching south 9 days later they cross osage river and its strength is down to 7000, 13000 apparently went home in 9 days
Yeah, I think the majority of the State Guardmen were only concerned about protecting Missouri if not only their home town and county. That's why I believe the State Guardsmen who volunteered for Confederate service in late '61 to early '62 and made up what became Cockrell's Missouri Brigade were sort of the cream of the crop, in that they were willing to fight farther from home, for the Confederacy, and were probably more enthusiastic about the war. All those who didn't volunteer for Confederate service stayed in the MSG and many later deserted following Pea Ridge.
 

Booner

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#9
I think the first problem MO had was it's failure to arm and equip it's recruits in a timely manor. At the first Battle of Boonville, the MSG fought with squirrel rifles and shotguns. The speed that which the state found itself in a shooting war happened too fast for it to arm and train her army. It never caught up with it's ability to arm her troops until they left the state. At Wilson's Creek, Price had 2,000 + recruits without arms, who were supposed to follow the battle lines and pick up dropped weapons. The same type of thing occurred at Lexington. Can you expect these men to put themselves in harm's way without a way to fight back? Or being fed or sleep out in the open? Or to stay within the state? I feel that many of the early recruits joined as a means to protect their homes, and not fight for the CSA, when that meant the fighting would be out-of-state.

Another problem would be the distance a recruit would have to travel through the state (essentially behind enemy lines where, if caught, would be killed on site), to get to a CSA unit (Northern Arkansas). I have no way to prove this, but I think a significant number of guerrilla's listed as killed by Union authorities were actually CSA recruits travelling southward and caught by Union patrols. When Quantrill attacked Lawrence, he had 100+ CSA recruits with him. Once Q made it back to MO from Lawrence and the great guerrilla hunt began, it was the majority of these recruits who were hunted down and killed, as they didn't know the territory, local hiding places, or supporting civilians as Q's men did. The recruits who took part at Lawrence were from north of the MO river. The same type of problem these recruits had faced, not knowing the territory and friendly supporting locals, would have been the same problem any recruit would have in travelling through the state.
 

Patrick H

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#10
I think the first problem MO had was it's failure to arm and equip it's recruits in a timely manor. At the first Battle of Boonville, the MSG fought with squirrel rifles and shotguns. The speed that which the state found itself in a shooting war happened too fast for it to arm and train her army. It never caught up with it's ability to arm her troops until they left the state. At Wilson's Creek, Price had 2,000 + recruits without arms, who were supposed to follow the battle lines and pick up dropped weapons. The same type of thing occurred at Lexington. Can you expect these men to put themselves in harm's way without a way to fight back? Or being fed or sleep out in the open? Or to stay within the state? I feel that many of the early recruits joined as a means to protect their homes, and not fight for the CSA, when that meant the fighting would be out-of-state.

Another problem would be the distance a recruit would have to travel through the state (essentially behind enemy lines where, if caught, would be killed on site), to get to a CSA unit (Northern Arkansas). I have no way to prove this, but I think a significant number of guerrilla's listed as killed by Union authorities were actually CSA recruits travelling southward and caught by Union patrols. When Quantrill attacked Lawrence, he had 100+ CSA recruits with him. Once Q made it back to MO from Lawrence and the great guerrilla hunt began, it was the majority of these recruits who were hunted down and killed, as they didn't know the territory, local hiding places, or supporting civilians as Q's men did. The recruits who took part at Lawrence were from north of the MO river. The same type of problem these recruits had faced, not knowing the territory and friendly supporting locals, would have been the same problem any recruit would have in travelling through the state.
Good insights, as usual, Booner! Thank you.
 

archieclement

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#11
I always think its odd at Missouri reenactments......The MSG wouldn't have had tents and campfires, they'd be camped in a farmers barn with the farmers daughters bringing em sunday dinners:smile:

My uncle had a barn where on a rafter beam, during the CW they had carved a checkerboard into the beam, and supposedly played with kernals of corn according to family lore. There was multiple cannonballs found on the same farm not far from that barn
 
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Borderruffian

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#12
I think the first problem MO had was it's failure to arm and equip it's recruits in a timely manor. At the first Battle of Boonville, the MSG fought with squirrel rifles and shotguns. The speed that which the state found itself in a shooting war happened too fast for it to arm and train her army. It never caught up with it's ability to arm her troops until they left the state. At Wilson's Creek, Price had 2,000 + recruits without arms, who were supposed to follow the battle lines and pick up dropped weapons. The same type of thing occurred at Lexington. Can you expect these men to put themselves in harm's way without a way to fight back? Or being fed or sleep out in the open? Or to stay within the state? I feel that many of the early recruits joined as a means to protect their homes, and not fight for the CSA, when that meant the fighting would be out-of-state.

Another problem would be the distance a recruit would have to travel through the state (essentially behind enemy lines where, if caught, would be killed on site), to get to a CSA unit (Northern Arkansas). I have no way to prove this, but I think a significant number of guerrilla's listed as killed by Union authorities were actually CSA recruits travelling southward and caught by Union patrols. When Quantrill attacked Lawrence, he had 100+ CSA recruits with him. Once Q made it back to MO from Lawrence and the great guerrilla hunt began, it was the majority of these recruits who were hunted down and killed, as they didn't know the territory, local hiding places, or supporting civilians as Q's men did. The recruits who took part at Lawrence were from north of the MO river. The same type of problem these recruits had faced, not knowing the territory and friendly supporting locals, would have been the same problem any recruit would have in travelling through the state.
I think you've hit on some good points Booner. The fact that most recruit drafts were under armed and under fed or equipped while playing cat and mouse with pursuing federals was a big factor I think. Porter lost a good many after Moores Mill .
I think many found the thinkin more exciting than the doing. At least in 62.
Another factor my have been they just didn't want to leave the state as has been opined
 

AUG

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#13
That does seem true for them once they are out of the state. However take Lexington, most accounts have Prices numbers swelling to 20,000 shortly after the victory......Sept 29th they start marching south 9 days later they cross osage river and its strength is down to 7000, 13000 apparently went home in 9 days
Coming back to this, I wonder how many of those men went on French leave and came back later? That was the case with troops in other armies serving in their home state or otherwise close enough to drop out for some time, return home and then go back to the ranks later. I imagine that was common for MSG or Confederate Missouri troops serving in the state?
 



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