Missouri and Ozarks History

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

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I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Battle of Monday Hollow

There are many Civil War skirmishes and even some fairly significant engagements that we know about primarily or only from Union sources. Such an engagement was the so-called Battle of Monday Hollow, although it was actually just a good-sized skirmish, which was fought on October 13, 1861. Monday Hollow, also called Dutch Hollow, was located in Camden County, Missouri, near a small community called Wet Glaize. Another community, now defunct, named Henrytown was also nearby. Today, about the only thing there, I think, is Beulah Church, where a monument to the battle was placed in 2010. Beulah Church is located along Highway 7 that runs between present-day Richland and present-day Camdenton, although neither of those two towns were there during the Civil War. Apparently the road between Rolla and Lebanon ran farther to the north than I-44 does today, and the skirmish took place near where the road to Linn Creek (then the county seat of Camden County) diverged from the Rolla to Lebanon road.
The opposing forces at Monday Hollow were the advance of an expedition under Colonel John B. Wyman and party of about 500 or 600 rebels under Missouri State Guard colonel William W. Summers and/or MSG colonel Myscall Johnson. Wyman was on his way from Rolla to Linn Creek to hook up with other Union forces in central Missouri under General John C. Fremont that were then on their way to southwest Missouri. The rebels were mostly from General M.M. Parsons' 6th Division of the Missouri State Guard, and they were probably on their way home, since most of them were from Camden, Maries, and surrounding counties. After winning the Battle of Lexington, General Sterling Price's Missouri State Guard had started south at the end of September from Lexington, headed for southwest Missouri, and the men under Summers and Johnson had probably left Price during or after the march south.
Learning of Wyman's approach, the rebels drew up in a line of battle on a hillside overlooking the road the Union soldiers would have to pass. A wagon train hauling Union soldiers who had been wounded at Wilson's Creek happened along from the opposite direction (on its way from Springfield to Rolla) and was not allowed to pass. The Southerners and the convalescent Union soldiers reportedly exchanged a few jeers as the rebels waited to launch their attack on the approaching soldiers under Wyman. The rebels supposedly laughed that there would soon be a few more wounded Federals to haul to Rolla.
Meanwhile, Wyman's advance under Major Clark Wright learned of the presence of a Southern force in the area, and Wright sent two companies of cavalry under Captains Theodore Switzler and Bacon Montgomery to engage the enemy until reinforcements could come up. Switzler and Montgomery reportedly came up over the hill from behind the rebels, taking them by total surprise, and putting them to flight. Although outnumbered, the Union soldiers pursued the rebels a number of miles, shooting them down left and right. The number of rebels killed was variously reported at 12, 27, and 39 in the immediate aftermath of the action. A later report upped the estimate to 62, while only one Union soldier was supposedly killed.
That's the Union side, and it may well be true to a large extent. Then again, it may be a considerable exaggeration. But we don't know, because, as far as I know, there is no account of this episode written from the Southern side.


Anonymous Julie F. said...

Thank you for posting this detailed description. I am always looking for more information relating to M.M. Parson's 6th Division and the relating 4th Cavalry Co. I as my family was heavily involved in both as officers and privates. There has been incorrect information published that cites William T. Roberts of Boone county as the 'notorious Bill Roberts secash leader' when in fact, it was not. Bill Roberts was of Camden County and was a brother to my 4x gg grandfather Lt. Col. Sidney R. Roberts Commissary General(also former MO. House of Rep.) and founder of Old Linn Creek, MO, owner of Roberts & Dodson. The Roberts family was one of the most influential families of Camden Co. and Confederate through and through.

July 28, 2014 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger farmcountry said...

Thanks Julie. As I'm sure you know it's tough to find info on the MSG units. There are MSG hospital registers at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis that can be searched by surname online. I have some questions if you can help. Major Wright reported that Bandit Captain William J. Roberts was captured at Linn Creek. As you indicated, I guessed that he was related to the Camden County Roberts family. Can you share more about him? To avoid usurping Larry's blog, please feel free to reply to hartc573@gmail.com.

February 3, 2015 at 11:42 AM  

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