Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Missouri State Guard Again

One last entry about the Missouri State Guard and then I'll move on to a different subject. I need to correct a couple of things I said in my post of November 28 about the pay of Missouri State Guard soldiers during the Civil War.
First, I said that I didn't know how the pay of MSG soldiers compared to that of U.S. soldiers or Confederate soldiers. Apparently, the answer is that MSG soldiers and U.S. soldiers were paid exactly the same. When the Missouri State Guard was created in 1861, its laws specified that soldiers would receive the same pay as soldiers of corresponding rank in the U.S. Army.
Secondly, I said that the clothes of State Guard soldiers were not paid for. That is only partly true, because I have discovered that they were given a clothing allowance of $3.00 per month. Only if the cost of the clothes they had been issued exceeded the total of their monthly allowances were they charged for their clothing upon discharge as I had previously stated. In light of this new information, being required to pay $3.50 for a pair of woolen pants, for example, doesn't seem so bad.
Discharged soldiers were also given a travel allowance at the rate of twenty miles a day and twenty cents a day. I assume that meant, for example, if they had to travel forty miles to get home and it took them two days to get there, they were paid forty cents, but if it took them three days to get there, they were still paid only forty cents; and if they had to travel less than twenty miles, they apparently weren't paid at all.
During November and December of 1861, many of the entries in the Missouri State Guard Letter and Order Book pertained to the anticipated transfer of General Price, commanding the State Guard, and many of his soldiers out of the State Guard and into the Confederate Army. One entry, for instance, instructed officers and soldiers who had claims for expenses incurred in waging war against the United States to prepare those claims so that they could be submitted to the Confederate government for payment when the transfer was finalized, in accordance with the terms of the treaty that Governor Jackson's Missouri state government in exile and the CSA had lately entered into perfecting Missouri's admission to the Confederacy. An interesting entry on December 2 stated that a separate camp was to be established for those soldiers who were going to enter the Confederate Army. Thus those soldiers were removed from the ones who were to remain in the State Guard or who were going to be discharged.

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