Colonel James Alpheus Matthews (Gasconade Co.)

James Alpheus Matthews, was born August 11, 1809 in TN the son of ?. He married Elizabeth McDaniel on December 24, 1829 in ?(TN). Elizabeth was born August 14, 1808 in TN the daughter of ?. They came to Gasconade Co., MO in 1834 along with four brothers and a brother-in-law. They made the trip in a one-horse cart with three children, traded the cart for a cabin, and homesteaded there north of Owensville. Indian and wild animals abounded, and James could often bring down a deer while standing in his cabin door. They paid their taxes in furs, beeswax, and tallow, and were obligated to go to St. Louis to trade and market their produce. The nearest postoffice and blacksmith shop was at Union, Franklin Co., MO thirty miles distant. James was a farmer.

During the Civil War James was a very loyal man and raised the first Missouri Volunteer Regiment of Home Guards for the defense of the Union. He spent over $7,000 of his own means in defense of the Union, besides several thousands of dollars' worth of food and clothing to the Union soldiers of that regiment. He raised and commanded the 2nd Gasconade County Battalion (3 months) of which he was Colonel. This battalion was organized in June, 1861, with a total of 269 men, by authority of Gen. Lyon. It was engaged in guarding bridges on the Pacific Railroad, in scouting, and in various kinds of service until September 4, 1861, when it was disbanded. All of it's members enlisted in the State Militia and into Dallmeyer's Battalion-6 months. In Dallmeyer's Battalion (6 months) - Gasconade County James was again put in command as Colonel, commissioned September 08, 1861, and resigned November 26, 1861 at which time Lt. Col. W. Q. Dallmeyer took command. This battalion was organized in September, 1861, with a total of 570 men, mustered in at Camp Matthews (was this named for Col. Matthews and were was it located?), in Gasconade Co. After remaining in the camp for some time it marched to Chamois, MO, and made that place the base of its operations. Numerous scouts were sent out in search of rebels, but encountered no serious opposition. About December 15, 1861, the command went to Franklin, MO, and there spent the remainder of their term of enlistment in doing guard duty. Although the precise date of the mustering out of this command is not known, it was during the first part of February, 1862.

James died October 8, 1870 and Elisabeth died July 26, 1903. Both are buried in a small cemetery 3 miles north of Owensville, MO, Canaan Twp #2, S9 T42N R5W. His tombstone reads "Commanded a regiment of state troops in the recent rebellion in the U.S. Service, was devoted, patriotic, self sacrificing, was an efficient husband, pious father, and above all a devoted Christian believing foreordination, the predestination and sovereignty of God. He died resigned to the will of the Father, the being who brought him through all his earthly trials". S/1,2,3,4,5

Children of James and Elizabeth (McDaniel) Matthews (twelve total):

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