Wednesday, February 24, 2010

John T. Anderson & James D. Barnes, M. S. M.

I put up this page be cause I found John T. Anderson and James D. Barnes very interesting men, and the report on them sound like it came out of scene of a movie. I tried to find more about them but was unsuccessful. I would like to hear from any of my readers who can shed some light on them. My address can be found in my profile. Please state the title of this page, when answering.

Numbers 2. Report of Colonel John F. Philips, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry.

Camp Grover, near Warrensburg, Mo., July 14, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders received through sub- district headquarters, on the night of the 9th instant I sent Major Houts, of my command, with 150 men, northwest of this place, with instructions to scout the country thoroughly. They went twenty- five miles, and then turning north struck the Missouri River at Wellington. In this march they discovered abundant signs of the presence of guerrillas. This country is a safe covert for these outlaws. It is a complete jungle and a perfect solitude, the adjacent country to the Sni affording forage and rations. Arriving at Wellington about 10 a. m. on Sunday morning, Major Houts learned from a reliable contraband that two guerrillas had been in this town that morning, and her opinion was they had gone to a church- Warder's Church- distant two miles, where a Hardshell was in the habit of preaching to the "Brushers" the unsearchable riches for good whisky and guerrilla warfare. The major, with accustomed promptness, at once detached about fifty men, under command of the intrepid and cool- headed Captain Henslee, Company L, and sent him to this church.

The force approached this church by a narrow road, having to cross a bridge within twenty paces of the building an ascend avery abrupt bank. The captain took the precaution to send forward Sergeant Brassfield with six men, with instructions to dash at all hazards over this bridge up the hill, and passing the church to occupy a position beyond, with a view of intercepting fugitives, and at the same time, by attracting the attention of the congregation, to make a diversion in favor of the main column. The guerrillas were then seven or eight in number, beside some outpost pickets on the Lexington road. The cry of "Feds!" thundered from the audience, and the worthy pastor, who was in the midst of a fervent supplication, found his flock greatly demoralized, and concluded it wasn't worth while to pray any longer under the circumstances.

The guerrillas were on the alert, some at their horses, some in the church, and one, who was to be married- perhaps that very day- to the pastor's daughter, was standing at the window, making love to his inamorata. The guerrillas as quick as thought saw their peril, and with drawn revolvers they began earnest work, with a nerve and determination worthy of a better cause. The captain's whole force was thrown into the work. The women and children screamed with terror, and, rushing wildly from the church, exhibited a method in their madness by throwing themselves in front of the rebel outlaws. Captain H., whose presence of mind is equaled only by his gallantry, rode out an commanded the women to "squat."

They obeyed the summons, and the work of death went bravely on. Five bushwhackers were killed outright, the sixth mortally wounded, and one or two, despite all vigilance, made their escape amid the furor and confusion. Wilhite and Estes were numbered among the slain. These were noted and desperate fellows, and their crimes are as back and infamous as they are numerous. Two horses and equipments were captured by us; five or six Colt navy revolvers. One man, Corporal Cozad, Company L, was wounded in heel and left at Lexington. One horse and equipments lost, belonging to Private James D. Barnes, Company D.

Justice to merit requires me to mention the names of Privates John T. Anderson, Company L, and James D. Barnes, Company D. Anderson was one of the advance who passed by the church. He received three shots through his clothes,one knocking the skin off his nose and one striking the pistol in his hand. He rode right in the midst of the scoundrels, and with great coolness and precision shot right and left, emptying twelve barrels and loading four more, all the while directing the movements of other soldiers around him. Anderson was badly wounded a year ago in a hand to hand fight with Livingston, in Southwest Missouri. Barnes, discovering one of the bushwhackers making his escape, singled him out, charged on him, discharging his rifle flung it aside, and with drawn pistol spurred forward, chasing for half a mile the rebel who was firing back at him; Barnes holding his fire until he drew up on his game, was just in the act of shooting at short range when his horse fell headlong, precipitating the rider over his head with a fearful fall. The horse recovered and ran away after the guerrilla, carrying equipments, &c., all of which was the private property of the soldier, and is lost. Barnes is a mere boy and quite small, but is as bold and dashing a trooper as ever looked an enemy in the face.

From Wellington, Major Houts scoured the country to Lexington, from there to Columbus, Johnson County. Here he ran onto six or seven guerrillas who fled at first fire, and being well mounted, and our horse greatly jaded, they outran us and escaped. The command returned to camp yesterday, 13th instant. Number of miles traveled, 175.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Seventh Cavalry Missouri State Militia.

No comments: