Franklin County Veterans Hall of Honor: The War With Mexico - The Missourian: Features People

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Franklin County Veterans Hall of Honor: The War With Mexico

Because of a conflict over the U.S. and Mexican border, the Mexican government declared war with the United States on April 25 of 1846 and on May 11, 1846, the United States Congress authorized the president to call up 50,000 troops.

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Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 12:00 am | Updated: 10:27 pm, Thu Jun 20, 2013.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed February 2, 1848, which ended the war. The border line was determined and the United States paid Mexico approximately $15,000,000.00 for the current states of California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Most of Franklin County veterans served with Company E of the First Missouri Mounted Infantry. The following information is an account printed in the Franklin County Tribune printed June 2, 1916.

"In view of the fact that there is so much talk of war with Mexico, it will not be inappropriate to give the story of the part played by Franklin County, Missouri, in the struggle of 1846 and 1847. It was a glorious part, well authenticated as any of our country's history. In the early part of May 1846, Governor Edwards issued his requisition for volunteers to join the expedition in Santa Fe. Fort Leavenworth was designated by the governor as the place of rendezvous.

The regiment was to be known technically as the First Regiment of Missouri Volunteers of Cavalry. As soon as Governor Edward's proclamation was received in Union, General A. W. Jefferies began scouring the county on horseback, notifying and urging all who desired to go to war with Mexico to meet in Union on a certain day designated by him. (By a special act to the legislature, approved February 24, 1849, General Jeffries was allowed $150.00 for his services in this matter.)

At the appointed time considerably more than one hundred gathered in Union to join the company. The first matter taken up was the election of a captain. There were two candidates for this position, one was John Hamilton, Sheriff, of the County; the other was John D. Stevenson, a young attorney of Union. Both had strong adherence and some feeling developed between them. When the lineup was made, John D. Stevenson had a large majority. Enough of Hamilton's men then joined Stevenson's men to complete the Company.

Some of Hamilton's friends were so disappointed at his defeat that they preferred to return home rather than follow the lead of any one other than Hamilton. Among the latter was the late Paul Gorg who died in Union a few months ago. The company was organized with one hundred and fourteen officers and men. The company started up the Old State Road a day or two later under most auspices circumstances, except they had no flag whatever.

This deficiency was overcome before night in a manner as admiring and soul-stirring as it was surprising. Captain Stevenson and his company camped during the first night on the State Road west of Union, near the section line between sections 20 and 21, Township 43, Range 3 West. As the cavalry was moving westward it was met by two young ladies on horseback who presented the company with a banner or flag under conditions best told by one of them:

Slater, MO. March 20, 1915 Mr. Clark Brown Union, MO.

Dear Sir: I will gladly give you the information you requested as nearly as my memory permits. Captain Stevenson was coming along the State Road near our place. When sister, Harriet Bridges, and myself met them we presented the "flag" at the little post office of Enon. Captain Stevenson directed that it be received by First Lieutenant Fenton McDaniel. As near as I can remember it was about three by seven feet in size and was made of small breakfast shawls, striped red and blue, which were purchased by us from the small store at Enon, owned by Mr. George Bagby.

Using the red and blue of the shawls with white cloth we worked in the proper number of stars and stripes by hand. We were assisted in our planning by the flag by Mr. John L. Brant. His son, Jacob Brant, was the only volunteer from our neighborhood. The flag we presented to Captain Stevenson was carried by the company until his return to Union one year later. I never saw it again but am told it was worn into shreds. Hoping this will be of interest to you in your work, I remain,

Very Respectfully,

Harriet Goode Bridges.

The writer of the above was Harriet Goode who soon after married James Bridges, a brother of her companion, Harriet Bridges, who married Amos W. Maupin. Mrs. Bridges died a few weeks after writing the above letter. Mrs. Maupin died many years ago. Mrs. Maupin was a sister of Mrs. Julian Bagby of New Haven. It has been related by some of Captain Stevenson's men that no ladies were ever more heartily and sincerely cheered than were those two Franklin County maidens that day in June, 1846.

The company reached Fort Leavenworth and were ustered into the army June 27, 1846. Although the furthest away of any company which went to Fort Leavenworth, it was the fifth one to reach the rendezvous, indicating that it must have been one of the very first companies raised in the State. The regiment of which Franklin County formed an important part was composed of eight companies of 856 men, that were raised from the counties of Jackson, Lafayette, Clay, Saline, Franklin, Cole, Howard and Calloway, and two companies of 250 men from St. Louis, a total of 1106 men.

Alexander W. Doniphan was elected Colonel. After training twice a day for twenty days, one of the most famous marches of all history was begun, which is now known in history as "Doniphan's Expedition." William Cullen Bryant said it was one of the most famous marches of which any mention is made in all time, and there was but one that can even be compared with it in all history. It was mustered in at Fort Leavenworth June 27, 1846 and mustered out at New Orleans June 24, 1847.

During this year the regiment marched more than 6,000 miles through practically an unknown country and received no pay and no word from home, not even an order from the government, or any superior officer whatever, and had to get all their supplies from the Mexicans and had to fight to get what they secured. The regiment won three decisive battles and got back to the United States three days before the year ended. Of the regiment as a whole its most painstaking and careful historian, Wm E. Connally says: "There never was in the services of the United States a regiment of finer material. It was composed of material from the best families of the State. They were young men in the prime of life, equal physically and mentally to every duty of the soldier."

All histories that pretend to give a detailed account of this famous march accord to Franklin County the credit of having the best company in the famous expedition. In one account of the battle of Sacramento is the following passage: "None who saw Captain Stevenson running sideways and backwards in front of his men, keeping them in perfect order and perfect step, but were deeply impressed with its whole demeanor in battle. Stevenson was the ablest Captain and the ablest man in the regiment. His men were the best drilled and the best disciplined of any company in the regiment. The Mexicans were trying to reform back of their first line when Captain Stevenson got his company inside the redoubt. Then he ordered his men to fire for the first time, and the Mexicans fell like pigeons." (See Connelly's "Doniphan's Expedition")

Other eulogies on Franklin County's company in the Mexican War could be given, but this will suffice to give our people some pride in the part taken by our county in the making of our nation. To give a detailed account of their sufferings struggles and triumphs in a march of six thousand miles mostly through hostile and half-civilized tribes, where any people at all were met, would require too much space for a newspaper article.

However, a few incidents to indicate that they were human, and as such had some of humanity's weakness, may be of interest. Private Elias Tourgate, on the 28th of March, 1847 was convicted by a court martial for stealing eight guns and selling them to the Mexicans.

William Bray was running a wagon maker's shop in the western part of the county at the time he joined the company. He was 63 years old, and it is said he had won distinction under Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, but this is denied by some. He was brave even to absolute fearlessness. He was a hard drinker and quarrelsome when drinking. He was the first man fined in our circuit court. It was for fighting, one night while they were encamped near Santa Fe he became very quarrelsome and went to the tent to kill Captain Stevenson. He got past the sentry and was rushing at Stevenson with his knife drawn. Stevenson shot and killed him instantly. Bray died with drawn knife clutched in his hand.

Julius Hundhausen, the bugler of the company, lost his mule on the march. In 1851 he filed a claim for the mule, but heard nothing of it until long after he had given up all thought of getting anything form the government, and moved to Hermann. Forth years after he had put in his claim, he was surprised to receive a government warrant for $60.00 for his mule. I believe all of this company are dead and but one widow of any of the men is yet living in the county. The widow of James Armstrong, who spends part of her time near Elmont, in Boone Township, at the home of her son, the late Gilpin Armstrong."

Veterans that have been verified are as follows:

Alexander, Lemuel

Anderson, George

Arbuckle, Mathew

Armstrong, James

Arnold, Andrew

Bassett, Thomas

Bell, James A.

Bell, John

Bell, William M.

Bowen, William

Brant, Jacob L.

Brown, Benjamin

Brown, William D.

Bryant, William

Butler, Thomas

Caldwell, Nelson D. or D.N.

Campbell, John

Campbell, John S.

Campbell, Moore Milton

Campbell, Sutton F.

Cantley, James

Cantley, Samual G.

Carr, Garland O.

Casper, John

Chuning, Richard

Clark, John

Coleman, John Pues

Cooper, Barnett H.

Cowick, Adam

Davidson, Ansolm L.

Dill, Conrad

Doggett, Jesse

Dollarhide, Henderson

Duncan, Henry

Duncan, William B.

Evans, Isaac

Forsythe, Thomas

Franklin, William

Frederick, John

French, Aaron

French, Josiah T.

Freyschlag, Herman

Frieke, Henry

Gaines, I Cosgrave

Giddings, Napolean B.

**Grigsby, John

Groff T.J. or James T.

Groff, James S.

Hammock, Andrew H.

Hart, Epenetus

Haupt, Gustavus

Heartherly, James

Hendricks, Enos

Heneke, Frederick

Hensley, Ivin H.

Hinkkleman Joseph

Hite, John J.

Hite, Stuart A.

Hodges, Wilson

Hugo, Charles

Hull, Laban

Hundhausen, Julius

Hundhausen, Robert

James, Elisha

Jett, James

Jones, Richard H.

Jones, Stephen Miller

Jones, William M.

Jump, John B.

Kelley, Morgan

Kellner, Louis

King, Clark M.

Lane, Hugh J.

Lane, Simeon

Lemons, Isaac

Lloyd, James T.

Marsh, Charles

Massie, John

Massie, William R.

Matthews, Andrew

May, Robert H.

McCallister, John Clark

McClarney, Robert H.

McClure, Andrew

McDonald, Fenton Goss

McDonald, Wm. R.

McIntire, John Williamson

McIntire, Robert

Miller, James F.

Mitchell, John

Mithell, Volney B.

Moutry, Joseph

Murphy, James M.

Musick, Abraham

Ohl, Theobald

Patton, Robert A.

Pearce, George M.

Perkins, John D.

Phillip (Phillips), Richard

Piper, Alexander

Pohlig (Pollig), William

Pope, Hezekiah

Ramsey, James A.

Rausbottom, Abner

Raymond, Jacob

Reed, Zachariah S.

Richardson, Oliver Perry

Richardson, Scott

Rinehart, Wm.

Roach, John W.

Roach, Rufus

Robertson, John R.

Rule, Preston G.

Schuler, Theodore

Schwallenberg, Stephen H.

Shelton John

Shelton, James H.

Shelton, Leroy C.

Shookman, George W.

Smith, Solomon

Smith, Thomas

*Stevenson, John Dunlap

Taylor, John

Todd, John A.

Tons (Tous), Henry

Tougate, Elias

Tougate, William

Valentine, James

Veiemann, Jacob

Vilet, George

Ware, Mark

Weber, Charles G.

White, James

Whitmier, Isaac E.

Withington, Thomas

Wochner, Nicholas

Woodland, Robert

Disqualified:

Adams, Nicholas

Altum, Jesse

Altum, Thomas

Aslrenn O.H.P.

Bray, Lewis

Bray, William

Campltmer, Henry

Childers, James P.

Decker, John

Esser, Henry

Forsythe, Howard

Goe, Tarlton

Groff, Thomas G.

Harbush, Bernard

Hettenhouse, David

House, Samuel

Housta, John

James, William

Jefferies, Robert A.

King, Mathew C.

Lloyd, James

Manning, Absolom

Parks, Dudley

Sexton, James

Tolling, Ferdinand

Ware, John

Incomplete:

Bruce, Daniel R.

Butts, Edward

Helm, George

Hinkle, Miles Parsons

Lawson, William

Owens, Samuel C.

Penn, George

* Captain John Dunlap Stevenson was born June 8, 1821, and the Company Commander of Company E Franklin County Volunteers during the Mexican War. After the war he became a state representative and state senator representing Franklin County. He moved his family to St. Louis and represented St. Louis County as a state representative. He also held several government occupations with the City of St. Louis. Captain Stevenson went back to active duty during the Civil War first as a colonel and was promoted to major general of volunteers. After the Civil War he returned to his attorney practice. He died January 22, 1897, and is buried at Bellefontaine County Cemetery in St. Louis.

** Captain John Grigsby was born March 3, 1806 in Blount, Tennessee. He became a resident in the late 1830s. He moved to Napa, California, by wagon train in 1845. He was involved in the California Bear Flag Revolt against Mexican rule. At the onset of the Mexican War he was elected captain in his California battalion. He may have also served in the Civil War. According to his family he traveled back to Missouri often and is buried in a small private cemetery near Moselle and has a Military Marker-Died March 9, 1876.

Achilles Whitehead Jefferies was mentioned in the Tribune article and is a matter of interest. An appointment order was found for an A.W. Jefferies dated 1837 where he was appointed to the office of brigadier general of the Second Brigade, Sixth Division of the Missouri Militia. He was appointed by Governor Lilburn Boggs who had been a lawyer in Union, Missouri, in 1836. He was also a Franklin County sheriff twice. No other information can be found on his military career. His name came up during the Civil War period in a situation where six Union soldiers, one of which was Major James Wilson killed by a Confederate Firing Squad. If you have any information on this veteran please contact us.

The following is a list of veterans who declined service by the veteran after reporting for duty. They will not be included on the Hall of Honor list. This information was documented off their military record which includes the notation: "List of Volunteers enrolled in Franklin County, MO. May 19, 1846 by order of G.A. Parson, Adjutant General of Missouri."

Captain Stevenson signs list as "Captain Commanding and Co., 13th Reg't, Second Brig., 6th Division, MO Militia." The Company reported at St. Louis, May 21, 1846, to Robert Campbell, Col, M.M. and A.D.C. to Commander-in-Chief. By him it was reported to Col. Wm. Davenport, First Reg't U.S. Inf., commanding at Jefferson Barracks, for muster into the U.S. service which he declined to do. The Company was detained in St. Louis eight days, per certificate of Col. Campbell, and was paid for eight days service, with clothing, subsistence and travel allowance by the U.S."

Anyone willing to donate pictures, military histories, military uniforms or insignias that you would like to have included and displayed in the Hall of Honor or if any one has service information on the above names or veterans that were inadvertently not on the list please contact us.

The County's Internet site is www.Franklinmo.org. Go to Veterans Hall of Honor and complete the information sheet found there. Other contact information is towilson@franklinmo.net

Phone numbers to call are 636-583-6360 (office) or 636-239-0317 (home).

The mailing address is: Terry O. Wilson, 400 East Main Street, Room 206, Union, MO 63084.

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