Overview of 1860-1865 in Franklin Co., MO as taken from the "History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford, and Gasconade Cos., MO", by Goodspeed, c1888

Published on-line by the MO Commandery of MOLLUS
Go to the Index to the Civil War in Franklin Co., MO

Note: The following is directly from what is printed in Goodspeed. It does not list all the major events in the county or go into great detail, but is a very good overview of the period 1860-1865 in Franklin, Co., MO. It is hoped that pieces in greater detail will be compiled and added to the website on most of the key points found in this overview.

Events Preceding the Civil War.
The forgoing statistics show sufficiently the character of the county politically up to the present time (1888). The most exciting times, and those which "tried men's souls," were connected with the breaking out of the war, in 1861. In 1860, at the presidential election, the vote for the different candidates stood - Lincoln, 494; Bell, 577; Breckenridge, 108; and Douglas, 888. The combined vote against Lincoln was 1,573, and the combined vote against Breckenridge was 1,959, so that, if the combined vote against Breckenridge taken to represent the Union sentiment in the county, it will be seen to have been overwhelmingly strong. However, it was, probably, somewhat more evenly balanced than that. In fact, in the latter part of 1860 and in the early part of 1861, the political caldron was in a state of ferment, and excitement ran very high. Squads were drilling in different parts of the county as early as January, 1861, the secessionists, of course, commencing first, as was generally the case throughout the South. The Legislature of the State had passed a resolution or ordinance, January 16, calling a convention to meet February 28, "to consider the relations between the Government and the United States, the people and Governments of different States, and the Government and people of Missouri;" or, in other words, to determine whether Missouri should secede. An election of delegates to the convention was held in Franklin County, February 22. The secession element in the county was extremely active, and at the court-house in Union took advantage of the absence of some of the leading Republicans, who were at dinner, and organized the meeting by selecting Edward J. Goode, a Southern sympathizer, as chairman, and appointed twelve others of like views as a committee on resolutions. At this juncture the absent Republicans, having heard what was going on, came into the court-house, and, on motion of A. W. Maupin, Asa Breckenridge, E. W. Murphy and E. B. Hammack, were added to the committee. On motion of J. W. Owens, A. W. Maupin was added to the committee. The committee retired, and, while they were considering their resolutions, an immense meeting of citizens from all parts of the county was addressed by William J. Brown, then a member of the Legislature from Franklin County, on the part of the secessionists, and by J. W. Owens, on the part of the Union men. The committee held a stormy meeting, lasting nearly two hours. Upon going into committee it was found the majority was already provided with a set of resolutions, which were ingeniously constructed with the view of deceiving the people, but which really meant secession and disunion. It was found impossible to agree upon a report, and two reports were therefore made to the meeting, the majority report being made by chairman of the committee, and the minority report by A. W. Maupin. This report consisted of a series of ringing resolutions in favor of the Union. When the report of the majority was read Maupin offered the minority report as a substitute. A vote was taken which was so evenly divided that the chairman could not decide which had the majority of votes. A division of the meeting was therefore called for, all of those in favor of Union being required to go to the west side of the court-room, and those in favor of dissolution to the east side. Upon making the division intense excitement reigned in the court-house, and for some time it was difficult to determine which side was in the majority. At this critical juncture James White, and office boy of A. W. Maupin, who was then sheriff of the county, ran down to the sheriff's office, jerked off from the door a small Union flag, and running back upstairs, handed the flag to Sheriff Maupin. Maupin immediately jumped upon a bench, waved the flag, and cried out to the crowd, calling upon all who were in favor of standing by the Union to rally round the flag. Every one instinctively knew what it meant to rally round the flag, and there was a great rush from the rebel to the Union side of the court-room, leaving the rebel element in a hopeless minority. This exposure of their weakness was keenly felt by the secessionists, and occasioned no little excitement. An attempt was made to seize the flag, but unsuccessfully and when the rebel element became convinced that they were beaten and that they could not intimidate those who loved the Union, order was restored and the minority report declared adopted, by at least four to one. This was the first political contest in Franklin County in the great struggle of the next four years. The election came off in due time, and the Union delegates to the State Convention of February 28, were elected: A. W. Maupin, of Franklin County; Charles D. Eitzen, of Gasconade County, and Zachariah Isbell, of Osage County, as members from the Twenty-first Senatorial District, against C. S. Jeffries, of Franklin County, Edward Luster, of Gasconade County, and William Morrow, of Osage County.

It is well to note in this connection that one of the resolutions reported by the minority was to the effect that those in favor of the minority report would stand by the Union, right or wrong, and the secession was no remedy for the evils complained by the secessionists.

First Troops.
Meetings continued to be held in different parts of the county, and the interest in the question of secession remained intense. About the middle of April Union men in the county were advised by F. P. Blair, of St. Louis, that the arsenal there was in danger, and he called upon them to send in troops to its defense. In a few hours a company of men, under command of Capt. David Murphy, were on their way to St. Louis. They took the train at Washington, Mo., and, by arrangements with Conductor Charles White, the train was stopped at Twenty-second Street, and the company alighted from the train, unobserved and virtually stole their way, one by one, until they reached the arsenal, and were the fourth company in the State outside St. Louis to reach the arsenal. A regiment was immediately formed, under authority of Capt. Lyon, and placed under the command of J. W. Owens. This company was for some time secretly drilling with shotguns and rifles, getting ready to aid in the defense of their country. Col. Owens and A. W. Maupin applied in St. Louis, to Capt. Lyon, for muskets and ammunition, ad their application was complied with on the condition that they would be personally responsible. Two hundred and fourteen muskets were sent out by Capt. Lyon to Washington, Mo., on the night of June 11, 1861, and with them were armed two companies, commanded, respectively, by Capt. Wilhelmi and Capt. Maupin. The former company, upon receiving their muskets, immediately took possession of Washington, and the latter marched to Union. Upon approaching the town, Capt. Maupin took the precaution to place guards on every road leading out of Union, and then marched into town, the glistening bayonets of his 100 men making a brilliant spectacle. There were then about ten rebels in Union, and, upon seeing the approach of the "lightning rods," these rebels attempted to make their escape, but found every road closed against them, and were captured on different roads, and brought back into town. They were admonished to desist from all attempts to interfere with the Government in defending its existence. At that time there were seven secession flags flying in the county, but before night every one of them was taken down by the secessionists themselves.

Early War Incidents.
From this time on the county itself was in comparative peace during the war, except during Price's raid, which was made in 1864. Price's army entered the county September 30, and remained in the county until October 4. It consisted of about 16,000 men, and, at a low estimate, the amount of property destroyed, including horses and mules driven away, amounted to $500,000 (in 1864 dollars). The number of men killed by his army was never definitely ascertained, but it was estimated at about sixty (in Franklin County).

Previous to Price's raid there were five men killed in Franklin County by Union soldiers. Morton Bournes was killed by Home Guards for resisting arrest. Benjamin Horine was killed by some troops from Jefferson County. August Dolle killed two of Capt. Maupin's men who had been discharged and were on their way home. He was afterward captured near Rolla, by Union troops, and sent home to be tried; but, upon arriving within the county, he was taken charge of by the militia and killed. Capt. James H. Barnes was taken out in 1863, four miles south of Union, by Capt. Fink's company, and was shot. The troops reported that he was shot in an attempt to escape, but his friends thought that he was murdered. Capt. Murphy and Herman Gehlert were afterward indicted for the killing of Barnes by grand jury in Franklin County, and, on the application of Murphy, the case was transferred to the United States Court in St. Louis. Murphy was discharged upon pleading the constitution of the State of Missouri of 1865, which provided that no soldier should be punished for acts committed in the service of the united States, and Gehlert's indictment was nolle prosequied. But the severest crime committed in Franklin County, during and on account of the war, was the killing of Maj. James Wilson and six of his men, on or near the farm now (in 1888) owned by William H. Bolte, by Tim Reeves' band of soldiers, to whom Maj. Wilson and his men has been turned over by Gen. Sterling Price, and most likely with the knowledge, or at least reasonable ground of suspicion, as to the fate in store for them. While Tim Reeves and his men were never directly punished for this cruel and cowardly murder, yet Maj. Wilson's fate did not go unavenged, for, later, in St. Louis, six rebel soldiers were, by order of Gen. Rosecrans, executed in retaliation for Reeves' crime.

About 600 citizens of Franklin County joined the rebel army, to whom befell the usual fortunes of war. All who returned home, after the cause for which they fought was lost, have accepted the situation with various degrees of gracefulness, and many of them are well satisfied that it was lost, and are good citizens as any in the county.

After the War.
One feature of the "reconstruction period" in Missouri was that quite a number of Individuals in each of many of the counties was indicted for preaching and teaching without taking the oath of loyalty, as required by the Drake constitution. Edward Faltman was indicted for thus preaching, April 1, 1867, and was also for solemnizing the marriage ceremony. Similar indictments were also found against James E. Godby, James McGehee and Greenberry Mitchell. In all these and other similar cases, however, as also was the case with those indicted for teaching without having first taken the oath of loyalty, the indictments were quashed, or the cases nolle prosequied.

Source: "History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford, and Gasconade Cos., MO", by Goodspeed, c1888, p.243-247,260.

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