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, February 7, 2014

More on Monday Hollow battle

Last time I wrote about the Battle of Monday Hollow (aka Dutch Hollow, aka Wet Glaize, aka Henrytown)that occurred in Camden County, Missouri, northwest of present-day Richland, on October 13, 1861. I've since done a little more research on this action and have a couple of things to add to what I said last time. One of things I said last time was that the Missouri State Guard force was about 500 strong. A few days after the battle, a St. Louis newspaper placed the number of Missourians at about 800. So, if this source is to be believed, the Union forces, consisting of only two companies, were even more outnumbered than I suggested last time. The total State Guard casualties, according to this same newspaper report, were 63 killed, 40 wounded (many of them mortally wounded), and 40 taken prisoner. In addition, the Federals were said to have captured 30 horses and a good number of rifles and pistols. All this with only the loss of one man killed and a couple of horses killed on the Union side. These latter figures may well be accurate, but I have a little difficulty believing that the Union didn't inflate its count of enemy killed and wounded. That's just the way it was during the Civil War. Each side, the Confederate as well as the Union, tended to exaggerate the other side's losses while downplaying its own casualties.
I said last time that the Missouri troops were apparently under either Colonel William Summers or Colonel Myscall Johnson. Apparently, Summers was a lieutenant colonel and second-in-command in Johnson's regiment, and Johnson was not present at this action, having recently been injured in some sort of accident. At least "accident" is the word the St. Louis newspaper used. Not sure if that means he had been wounded in battle or hurt in some other way. In other words, I'm not sure whether the word "accident" was being used facetiously. At any rate, Col. Summers was in immediate command at this action, and he was one of the ones taken prisoner. I also said last time that these men in Johnson's and/or Summers' command were apparently part of General M.M. Parsons's 1st Division of the Missouri State Guard. I think maybe I was wrong in that assessment. A couple of sources that I've found since I wrote my previous post suggest that Johnson was a colonel in General James McBride's 7th Division. This is probably true, but some of the men involved in the Wet Glaize action still appear to have been part of Parsons's command. So, perhaps the Southern force at Wet Glaize was more or less a mishmash of more than one command.
Also, last time I spelled Johnson's given name as Myscall. This was apparently an error, although I have seen it spelled that way. His full name was John M. Johnson, and the most common spelling for his middle name was seemingly Miscal. Johnson was born in 1827 about ten miles or twelve east of Vienna, Missouri, in what today is Maries County, near a community called Lane's Prairie. He grew up there and at Bloom Garden between Vienna and Lane's Prairie. Both Lane's Prairie and Bloom Garden do not exist today, at least not as anything more than perhaps a cemetery to suggest that a community once existed there. Before the war, Johnson was a farmer, Methodist preacher, lawyer, and one of the more prominent men of his area. After General Price took most of the Missouri State Guard into the Confederate army, Johnson seems to have become a captain in the 10th Missouri Infantry. In 1862, he apparently tried unsuccessfully to raise his own regiment, and after that he seems to have operated somewhat independently and gained a reputation among Union observers as "notorious." In late December of 1863, Colonel R.R. Livingston, commanding the Union post at Batesville, Arkansas, issued a proclamation saying that anyone who would turn himself in and disavow allegiance to the Confederacy would be protected but that anyone caught in arms against the Union who was not dressed in a regular Confederate uniform and otherwise part of the official Confederate army would be executed immediately. Prodded by this proclamation, Johnson turned himself in and was allowed to return to his home in Maries County, Missouri. After the war, he returned to practicing law and became the commissioner of public works and the financial agent for Maries County. In 1872, he and a partner started a newspaper at Vienna, and he was briefly its editor. Johnson died in 1874 of pneumonia.


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