Rural Missouri - April 2013 - (Page 36)

Carter was then ordered to advance to Bloomfield, where 2,000 Union troops were headquartered. Their commander, Col. John McNeil, was despised by Southerners as the “Butcher of Palmyra.” This was the largest Union military force in the region and worth capturing or dispersing. But Carter and his men got mired in Mingo Swamp. McNeil and his Union forces led by Col. John McNeil halt Confederate men were gone by the time Carter’s mud-spattered men and horses trudged into Bloomfield. push led by John S. Marduke into southeast Missouri Marmaduke guessed that McNeil and his force would pull back to Ironton or Pilot Knob. He waited at Fredericktown with Col. Joseph Shelby’s Iron Brigade to intercept and attack the Union commander. by Jim Denny Marmaduke’s first raid had forced the Federals to Instead, on April 24, McNeil marched his force withdraw their forces from northwestern Arkansas into Cape Girardeau and took charge of the back to Missouri. defense of the heavily fortified town. Carter Could the general repeat this feat in n April 19, 1863, John S. Marmaduke pursued him to the outskirts of town, southeast Missouri and relieve the prescrossed the border into Missouri on his where he waited for Marmaduke and sure on Vicksburg and Little Rock? second raid of the year. Three and a half Shelby to join him and attack Cape Marmaduke led the largest mounted months earlier, the Confederate general Girardeau. force yet to attempt a led his raiders against Springfield and Marmaduke and Shelby learned of cavalry raid at this stage Hartville. This time, his two columns McNeil’s location at about the same of the Civil War. His were headed toward the opposite end time they received intelligence that two columns comprised of the state. Union Gen. William Vandever had 5,000 Missouri and TexMarmaduke intended to cut a ridden out of Pilot Knob with 5,000 as horsemen. But the swath through southeast Missouri and cavalry headed their way. force was hobbled from capture the Federal posts at Patterson The Iron Brigade beat it out of the outset. and Bloomfield along with a quantity Fredericktown and hurried by forced Some 1,200 men had of arms and horses necessary to fully marches to Cape Girardeau. no arms and 900 lacked mount his entire force. The Mississippi River town was stronghorses. If left behind, they He could then advance toward Pilot ly defended by four earthen forts would likely desert. But Knob and destroy tracks and bridges and artillery emplacements. if they tagged along, along the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Col. John McNeil McNeil had 2,500 soldiers manthey would surely slow Railroad. Or, he could threaten the ning the trenches and reinforcements were the columns until horses and vital Mississippi River base of Cape on the way. Nearby, Federal gunboats arms were obtained Girardeau. Or he could do all of Jim Denny, a Co-Mo Electric member patrolled offshore. for them courtesy of the above. from Lupus, brings the state’s Civil War Marmaduke knew better than to the enemy. A long With Marmaduke rode the history to life in Rural Missouri as we attack such a redoubt. He ordered wagon train also highest hopes of the Western commemorate the sesquicentennial of Shelby to make a feint against the accompanied the Confederacy to help reverse this time in our nation’s history. Order Union works while he led the rest of expedition. a military situation that was Jim’s book, “The Civil War’s First Blood,” the army southward. The first setbecoming increasingly dire. online at Rain poured down in torrents as back occurred Grant was advancing on Vicksthe battle developed. Shelby’s mock near Patterson, burg, Miss., and threatening to attack nearly turned into a full-blown where a garrison of 400 Missouri milicut the South in half. assault as he threw the Iron Brigade tia guarded the town. Col. G. W. CartAnother Union army occupied the Mississippi against Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and er’s Texas troops led the advance and River bastion of Helena, Ark., and seemed poised to Missouri State Militia cavalry units, who squandered the element of surprise by move on Little Rock and seize control of the Arkangave as good as they got. firing on a small Union outpost two miles sas River Valley. As the afternoon wore on, Shelby from town. The noise of small arms With Marmaduke on the rampage in southeast Gen. John S. Marmaduke finally managed to disengage and and artillery fire could be plainly Missouri, Union commanders might have to halt the act as rear guard for the withdrawal heard in Patterson. transfer of thousands of Missouri volunteers to the of Marmaduke’s army. The post commander, Col. Edwin Smart, set fire Vicksburg Campaign and hold back good regiments Most of the raid’s 60 or so casualties occurred durto his store of supplies, mounted his troops and fled to protect valuable assets in the Iron Mountain ing Shelby’s feint. Marmaduke now struggled to get the town in the direction of Pilot Knob. region and along the Mississippi River. his men back to Arkansas. Hot on his heels were the combined forces of Vandever and McNeil. He had to get his men across the rain-swollen St. Francis River at Chalk Bluff or risk losing his whole army. There was no ferry or bridge at this crossing into Arkansas, so a bridge had to be built on very short order. Some desperate engineering produced a “crazy” bridge of lashed-together logs that heaved up and down in the torrential current of the river while thousands of soldiers made their precarious crossing. The Federals were held at bay for hours while this transfer took place. Once the army was across, the crazy bridge was cut and carried away by the flood. No Federals felt inclined to build another bridge and resume the pursuit. After a long slog through more miry swamps on the Arkansas side of the St. Francis River, Marmaduke’s bedraggled raiders eventually reached their ending point, on May 31, 1863, at Jacksonport, Ark. After the raid, Marmaduke’s rising star began to recede. The raid came off as plodding and mismanaged. His superiors lost confidence in him and split his command in half. The raid had accomplished almost nothing. Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign was already well under way by the time Marmaduke crossed back into Arkansas. The Federal regiments held back from Vicksburg to protect southeast Missouri were later engraving courtesy of Jim Denny refashioned into a division of the Army of Arkansas and played a key role in capturing Little Rock, Ark., An engraving from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper depicts the construction of Fort A in Cape Girardeau. The town on Sept. 10, 1863. Among the defeated Confederates along the Mississippi River was an important port for either side to control. In April 1863, Confederate Gen. John S. fleeing southward was John S. Marmaduke. Marmaduke devised a plan to capture the town and push north, but Union forces held off his advances. Marmaduke’s Cape Expedition April 26, 1863 ~ Battle of Cape Giradeau O 36 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - April 2013

Rural Missouri - April 2013
Table of Contents
Companion planting
News Briefs
Operation cooperation
It’s all about redemption
Best of rural Missouri
Hearth and Home
Marmaduke’s Cape expedition
Around Missouri
The soldier’s paper

Rural Missouri - April 2013