1861-1865 Missouri Civil War History (Gasconade Co.)

When the Civil War broke out, there were many 48'ers standing in rows in the Union army. Also many of their sons, grownup, fought under the Stars and Stripes. The Union Army had no better, even though sometimes as good, as the German Freedom Fighters. Many of them had been with and served under the leadership of Franz Siegel in the fighting Schleswig-Holstein, Baden-Baden. They knew the smell of gun powder, and it did not scare them. The able General Franz Siegel, with his 'Badenser Artilleristen' left an indelible record on the leaves of history with his fight against the rebels at Carthage, at Wilson's Creek in Missouri, and at Pea Ridge in Arkansas.

Soon after the breaking of the War of the Rebellion, in 1861, Julius Hundhausen raised ten companies of soldiers, who were known as Home Guards. This was in May. Six of these companies were raised in the central and southern parts of the county. Mr. Hundhausen became lietuenant-colonel of this force, Charles C. Manwaring and Costance Riek, captains, and Hermann Schlender, quartermaster. The regiment had charge of railroad bridges from St. Louis to Jefferson City until muster out in 1863. Three months after the organization of the Home Guards they were incorporated into the Fourth Missouri Reserve Corps, under command of Gen. Lyon, George Hussmann, quartermaster, and Dr. J. Feldmann, assistant surgeon. The other officers were the same as in the old organization, except that Capt. Manwaring resigned, and was succeeded by Michael Bauer, Manwaring becoming provost-marshal of the congressional district. After the reserve corps was mustered out, Col. Hundhausen was appointed provost-marshal, with his office in Hermann.

In the spring of 1864, while on a visit to his family, Capt. Manwaring was killed by a party of rebels as he was attempting to arrest one of them. The rebels were pursued, and one of them killed, while the others, abandoning theri horses, made their escape. The horses were sold, and netted the Government $600. Capt. Manwaring lies buried on a high bluff just east of Hermann. In September of 1864 General Sterling Price lead a raid in Missouri which went through Gasconade Co. A militia regiment was organized, of which George Klinge was lieutenant-colonel, and Charles D. Eitzen, captain. This regiment was in several engagements. In 1864, when Sterling Price made his great raid through the State, it was called to reinforce the troops at Rolla and Jefferson City, thus leaving the town of Hermann with but a few defenders. Upon the approach of Price's army from below the town, the women and children took refuge in the caves in the vicinity and upon Graf's Island. The men who were at home, and upon whom the defense of the town devolved, brought to bear the approaching rebels a small piece of artillery, firing upon them as they came in sight and around the bluff below the town. The first shot smashed a rebel cannon and caused the retreat on the part of the raiders, and their approach from another direction. By the time of their second approach the little brass cannon had been moved to another position, and as they advanced it belched forth its contents a second time. Being thus fired upon from different positions, the rebels supposed there was quite a number of pieces of artillery in the town, and their approach was made with great cautiion; but, at length, when it could no longer be used to withstand their approach, it was spiked and thrown into the Missouri River. It was subsequently withdrawn from the river and used on holiday and festive occasions for some years, until, at length, it was burst by an unusually heavy charge of powder. Since then it has been kept in position on Market street, as a memento of the war.


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