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Confederate “Tales of the War”

In the Trans-Mississippi

Part Five: May 1864–August 1865, End of the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy, with River Operations, Price’s 1864 Missouri Raid, Irregular Operations (1861–1865), and the Confederate Exit to Mexico

Volume VII in our Series "Unwritten Chapters of the Civil War West of the River"

Edited by Michael Banasik and Brenda F. Banasik

In 1885, the St. Louis Missouri Republican began a Saturday series of articles on the Civil War by the participants, from the lowliest private to the most exalted general. Recollections begat more recollections and sometimes rebuttals; small controversies raged, but all with the utmost civility, as the nameplate ("Exchanging Civilities") that appeared above most of the articles would proclaim. The series ran for two years, comprising in all 94 articles, which dealt with all theaters of the war, including the high seas, from both the Northern and Southern perspectives. Being the home of most readers of the Republican, Missouri figures prominently in the series. Due to the number of pieces on Missouri and the Trans-Mississippi, editor Michael Banasik has grouped them by year. Part Five of Confederate "Tales of the War" contains only those articles on the final two years of the war, from the Confederate perspective.

This volume of the “Tales of the War” begins following the Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry, on April 30, 1864, and continues through to the Confederate Exodus to Mexico, covering Price’s 1864 Missouri Raid, as well as Irregular Warfare. In the first chapter, Operations on the Mississippi and White Rivers are presented, including numerous operations against Union shipping on said rivers. Highlights include the Battle of Ditch Bayou (June 6, 1864) and the Capture and Destruction of the Queen City (June 24, 1864) on the White River by General J. O. Shelby. Chapter 1 also notes the beginnings of Price’s 1864 Missouri Raid, as the various cavalry commands recruit in preparation for the expedition.

Chapter 2 fully embraces the Confederate planning for Price’s Raid as well as the infantry operations that supported the raid. Additionally, the Confederate surrender in the Trans-Mississippi is covered, followed by the exit of some Confederates to Mexico. The highlight of the rebel exodus is the little known, or covered, murder of General Mosby M. Parsons, near China, Mexico, in the early morning hours of August 16, 1865.

Chapter 3 is by far the most ambitious of this volume, embracing one of the most extensive diaries kept by any Confederate trooper on Price’s Raid, that has ever been found. Henry Luttrell, of the 10th Missouri Cavalry (CSA), wrote a series of letters, taken form his diary, to the Republican, detailing Price’s Raid from beginning to end. He covered all the major battles, including a special piece just on the Battle of Pilot Knob. Also in this chapter are extensive accounts of Pilot Knob (September 27), Glasgow (October 15), Westport (October 23) and Mine Creek (October 25), to name but a few.

Where Chapter 3 is the most ambitious of this volume, Chapter 4 is the most unusual. When one thinks of guerrilla operations in the Trans-Mississippi, one immediately thinks of William Quantrill and his men. However, in this chapter you will find the names of Charles or Charlie Harrison, Sidney Jackman, James W. Cooper, and August Dolley—hardly well-known guerrillas, with the possible exception of Jackman. Sidney Jackman’s story begins in 1861, and takes the reader though to his death following the war. Of prime interest in the Jackman story is the capture of Union General Thomas Bartholow from his headquarters in Glasgow, Missouri, in April 1863, an episode of the war that has been largely forgotten and untold by Civil War historians.

Also included in this volume are several appendices, with detailed Confederate Orders of Battle for the Battles of Pilot Knob, Glasgow and Westport as well as a detailed Order of Battle for the Army of Missouri as it entered Missouri on September 19, 1864. Other appendices include Extended Comments on a variety of subjects, including the legend surrounding the evacuation of Ft. Davidson, rebel losses at Pilot Knob, Shelby’s Operations on the Iron Mountain Railroad, and M. Jeff Thompson’s Sedalia Expedition, an analysis of rebel losses at Mine Creek, and a summary of Price’s Expedition, detailing the rebel general’s accomplishments, his losses, his captures, and the destruction that his army wrought. As in previous volumes, selected, detailed biographies are presented, with an assortment of correspondence from the principle personalities of the book, plus a detailed index for easy reference.

The publication of Part Five of the “Confederate Tales,” brings to completion the assorted stories of Confederate veterans, as they were printed in the Missouri Republican. In five volumes, a total of 89 pieces on the Trans-Mississippi Civil War by 52 different authors have been gathered together, which probably constitutes the greatest single collection of primary material ever assembled on the Trans-Mississippi to date.

532 pages, 6 x 9 paperback, illustrations, maps, notes, appendices, bibliography, index. (Published 2019; ISBN: 978-1-929919-82-6) $29.95.