Who is Loyal?
by Lynn Morrow
Clarity about who was loyal or not during the Civil War in the Ozarks is a dominant theme in military records. Officers held formal interviews in the local office of the provost marshal. Of course, non-combatants in civilian clothes took great interest in what evidence was presented by either side of the allegations. Some residents took a stance of neutrality much to the chagrin of the more Radical Unionists late in the war. The provost interviews were commonplace and resembled a modern administrative hearing in state government. Which civilians (Union or Rebel sympathizers) sold supplies to mounted militia units on scout in the countryside was often an irritation to the “other side.” Disputes could involve military and civilian courts.
In March 1864, a cause celeb in Rolla erupted over one of the most public places in town, the King Hotel. Union officers regularly patronized the boarding house on Rolla Street, east of the courthouse. In early 1861, carpenter Richard Wade built the two-story, frame building for slaveholder and storekeeper, Solomon King. Wade was “an unconditional Union man,” and in spring 1861 when local leaders chanted for Southern supremacy prior to the arrival of the Union army on the railroad, “had to leave Rolla without getting a settlement from Solomon King.” Richard Wade later returned to his Spring Creek Township farm, living near Edgar Springs, but he also accepted carpentry projects in Rolla. In the face of earlier citizen grumblings about King, military authorities required a $3,000 bond of hotelier King in October 1862.
But, in March 1864, Richard Wade, James Bradford, George Bezoni, and twenty-six others drew up a petition charging Solomon King with disloyalty. They included details that King still owed “eight or nine hundred dollars” to Wade, and submitted their evidence to provost marshal Capt. Isaac Gray. Gray’s report to his superiors said King was “strongly suspected of being an accessory” to the death of Wade’s brother, Robert, in Spring Creek Valley. Capt. Gray told Mayor D. R. Parsons that he took steps to have King’s property confiscated, then wrote to Col. Albert Sigel on March 28th that he would soon forward “more evidence that King harbored bushwhackers since he took the oath of allegiance.” One wonders during the time, if while Wade worked in Rolla, refugees James Bradford and George Bezoni, who shared Wade’s Radical politics, encouraged the affidavit.
James Bradford told Capt. Gray that he had known King, a long-time Spring Creek resident, for thirty-five years. In spring 1861, related Bradford, King came to his house near Licking and “I went with him to Houston, Texas County, he told me on the way that Gov. [Claiborne] Jackson had sent to St. Louis to purchase eighteen thousand dollars’ worth of powder,” and suggested they would find a use for it locally. Bradford continued: “I know Mr. King’s general character well, since the war [I] know him to be a notorious Rebel, have often heard him abuse Federal soldiers …. He had six sons in the Rebel army, and one step son, who was killed in the brush.”
Petitioner Richard W. Wade, who had lived in the neighborhood since 1854 and had held the road overseer office, echoed James Bradford’s accusations. He claimed that in May 1861 – almost three years earlier — King took “two six mule teams of government wagons” to his house. Later, King loaded these wagons with kegs of powder, but disguised them as bacon to take to Wood Rodgers on Big Piney River at the Nathaniel K. Rodgers’ steam mill, where they would distribute the powder to rebels throughout Texas and Phelps Counties. Then, King went to Houston where he made speeches that “induced a great many men to join the Rebel army.” Wade claimed he saw King “harboring Rebels and Bushwhackers frequently at his house” on Spring Creek into summer of 1862. By then, Col. Robert Wooding Rodgers was with the Confederacy in Texas. The memoir of Ai Edgar Asbury wrote that Rodgers, and young attorneys in Houston, W. H. H. Thomas and himself, transported three wagons of powder from Jefferson City to Houston for State Guard use in the Civil War.
Terrill Hefflin piled on to the King attack. Hefflin arrived in Rolla in spring 1863 and settled three miles from town. King, who was managing his hotel at the time, sold “two cows and a pony” to Hefflin, who paid King in Confederate money that he had acquired in an Arkansas stock trade. Terrill said that King charged “Union soldiers two bits a piece for meals, but charged me nothing, believing me to be one of his stripe.” Lastly, Hefflin proclaimed King “to be a deep died Rebel.”
The provost marshal acted – he seized King’s hotel and turned it over to Wade. Although nothing was legally settled in spring 1864, gossip in Rolla fueled the rumors about King’s nefarious powder trip to Big Piney River. Many in Rolla knew that King was one of the first to publicly declare an oath of allegiance to the Union which was printed in a June 1861 newspaper and that locals elected him the same month to serve as a town councilman. The clamor over the hotel may have encouraged the provost marshal’s office to call in citizens to tell what else they knew about suspicious people in their midst. By May 1864, accusatory affidavits by more than a dozen men were being signed in the presence of the provost marshal housed in the courthouse. The commanding officer allowed Wade and militia Lt. Col. and merchant, Homer F. Fellows, to also take possession of King’s four town lots west of the courthouse. Militarily, Rolla was peaceful during spring-summer 1864. But, in this very public dispute, Capt. Gray failed in his quest to obtain government possession of King’s property to allow Richard Wade to occupy it very long. The King investigation must have provided entertainment for many even though a visiting circus performed that summer in Rolla.
Just prior to an assembly of witnesses to interview about the loyalty of those around Rolla and Phelps County, Elijah Perry, a prominent attorney, justice-of-the-peace, election judge, Union officer, president of the Board of Assessors, and wartime state representative from Phelps County wrote to his superior in St. Louis, Col. J. P. Sanderson, provost marshal general. On April 22, 1864, Perry submitted a list of seventy-one men who represented the “leading and influential men of the County of Phelps … men of standing and character.” The list included their occupations and “political views and P.O. addresses.” There was but one “rebel sympathizer” listed in Rolla, lawyer Samuel Williams, then, grist miller Phillip Jackson on Little Piney Creek, and a half-dozen men at St. James.
Perry’s sixty-three Unionists embodied the heart of the Rolla-area private sector economy and professional class. Among them were George Benzoni, E. W. Bishop, Joseph Campbell & Patrick Long, Robert Case, J. A. Dillon, Robert P. Faulkner, H. W. Fellows, C. H. Frost, Warren H. Graves, G. Grayson, William James (of Maramec Iron Works), Solomon King, D. R. Parsons, W. G. Pomeroy, C. P. Walker, Isaac Warmoth, Benj. Wishon, W. C. York, and more. Was York’s current business partner, the wealthy James A. Bates, left off Perry’s list because York had political standing, reputation as a Rolla town founder, and that as a merchant “everyone knew” that he was an ally of merchant Bates? Perhaps. Or, maybe everyone considered Bates a visiting refugee and that his permanent residence lay in Texas County. The obvious irony of course was that the affidavits from Rolla denizens in the Solomon King provost case accused several of Elijah Perry’s Unionists as southern sympathizers, begging the ongoing question, who is loyal? Three days later, Wade filed a complaint in justice-of-the-peace court against Phillip Jackson, one of the admitted “rebel sympathizers” on Perry’s list for stealing his shotgun, powder, shot pouch, and spurs, a case that continued into the fall.
Meanwhile, in spring 1864, residents gave conflicting testimony to the provost marshal that cast serious shadows on Solomon King, James A. Bates, Lindsey L. Coppedge, Isaac Bradford, and several men with inconsistent reputations on both the Union and Confederate sides of the loyalty issue. Settling scores, by whatever means, runs through Civil War histories. But rather than violence, attacks on one’s character and damming accusations that led to financial losses, may be more common than physical assaults. As provost marshal appointments revolved in Rolla, newly arrived officers continued investigations, or launched their own, of allegations identifying “rebel sympathizers.” Furthermore, the army wanted to know who among those who had already supplied goods and services to the army should “not receive pay for forage and materials furnished to the Government” because of their southern sympathies. It grated on some Unionists’ sentiments of loyalty when they saw “sympathizer families” come to Rolla and present a voucher to the provost marshal for cash reimbursement of supplies given to a Union militia on scout. Reputations and money were on the line.
The event that triggered the initial inquisition was Robert W. Wade’s killing near Lindsey Coppedge’s Mill on February 1, 1864. Stone mason Wade had earlier lived near builder Andrew Malcolm in Rolla and likely worked on the new courthouse. Rolla’s Radical Unionists looked to place blame for his homicide. New provost marshal, Capt. Thomas B. Reed, and his assistant, J. C. McCain, conducted interviews in May 1864. The individual sessions concluded with a section in their report about “suspected southern sympathizers.” Another list specifically identified who “in your opinion should not receive pay.” The interrogatories enumerated estimates on the economic worth, land holdings, and family circumstances of distrustful persons. The provost examination of Phelps County property assessments available in the courthouse revealed a pattern of accusations against the same names. Several names not on the “rebel sympathizer” list do show up in the “should not receive pay” category. No explanation for this inconsistency is in the report.
Mechanic Robert M. Peck characterized rebel sympathizer Solomon King owning “about 1,000 acres of land worth $4.00 per acre, house & lot in Rolla on which he resides is worth $4,000.” Peck said he didn’t know the worth of his horses, cattle, and household furniture. On another suspect, L. L. Coppedge “owns a water mill and some land and personal property worth some $10,000. He has a family. Isaac Bradford in Relfe Township has land said to be worth $8,000. Moses Bradford [then in a Confederate prison] resides in same neighborhood and has land and is said to be worth $5,000. He has a family.” Those whom Peck identified as unworthy to receive government pay were Solomon King, Tyree Lingo (who had about 1,500 acres in Roubidoux Township, Texas County), Samuel Williams (lawyer in Rolla who represented southerners in court and contracted as a Phelps County government attorney), merchant and Rolla developer John Webber, Dr. John Hyer (paroled Confederate, then residing in Rolla, managing a drug store near James A. Bates’s residence, and required to report daily to the provost marshal), and F. M. Wishon (Lindsey Coppedge’s son-in-law), who commonly clerked in the Coppedge store on Spring Creek.
The accuser, contractor Richard W. Wade, who had performed recent repairs on the new courthouse where the interviews took place, grieved for his slain brother and was determined to battle the authorities over the future ownership of the King Hotel. Wade accused twenty-two men, primarily residents on Spring Creek and Little Piney Creek, who were complicit or had knowledge of the crime. “L. L. Coppedge [now living in Dillon with the Wishons] with about 500 acres of land well improved, think it is $10.00 per acre, he has a water mill & carding machine, considerable personal property, a wife and 7 children, one married; F. M. Wishon, resides with Coppedge, near Dillon, has considerable property, he has a family; Issac Bradford resides ½ mile from Coppedge’s Mill on Spring Creek has about 600 acres land well improved worth $10.00 per acre, has personal property, wife and 4 children and 2 sons in Rebel army; also has a large farm in Texas County” [where he operated Stephen Taylor’s steam saw mill near Licking to provide plank to the Union army]; and “Solomon King resides 3 miles from Coppedge’s Mill on Spring Creek, has 500 acres land well improved worth $10.00 per acre [Robert Peck’s interview said 1,000 acres worth $4.00 per acre], some personal property, wife and 2 children with him, 6 sons in Rebel army, lately moved to Rolla, town property in Rolla worth $3,000.”
The twenty-two men identified represented a group of well-heeled agriculturalists and millers who occupied the rich farm lands of Spring and Little Piney Creeks and the prairie uplands around Edgar Springs. Most owned acreages from 300 to 600 acres, and included William Arthur, Dr. Robert B. Cowan, Thomas Dennison, John Jackson, John Loftin, Jackson Nichols, Allen Stephens, Lewis Wright, and others. Richard Wade was unequivocal when he concluded, “All of the above named should not receive pay.” Here and elsewhere those who were accused of disloyalty were public men of business and social position; Coppedge, King, and Wishon had all served as election judges for Relfe Township.
George A. Bezoni was even more emphatic in his accusations. Bezoni was a New York Italian, who with his wife and eight children had immigrated to Roubidoux Township in Texas County just before the war and described himself to the census taker as a farmer. Bezoni’s son-in-law, a painter, came, too; George’s brother, John, joined them later. The brothers joined Kansas abolitionist turned Union Lt. Col. S. N. Wood for an enlistment in cavalry duty at the Houston post. After returning home as civilians, in summer 1862, Col. William Coleman’s irregulars led by the Darden brothers, former Rolla merchants, called at Bezoni’s and stole his horse, household effects, and rummaged around until they found and appropriated his hidden guns. The Bezoni family “refugeed” to Rolla and made a formal claim to the army for their loss of $183 in property [$4,816]. By May 1863, the enterprising Bezoni was a Rolla election judge at the county courthouse; he contracted with the county court to bury a pauper; then, he bought two town lots in August 1863, and managed a small store. Bezoni was acting city marshal in May 1864 and soon became the actual town marshal. He assailed the reputations of men of his brief acquaintance who had kinfolk who sided with the Confederacy, or rumored to have. He went on to allege their duplicity in a personal report to the provost marshal.
Like Richard Wade, newcomer Bezoni identified prominent Rolla and countryside dwellers for disloyalty. He started with Tyree Lingo, who “had considerable real estate in Texas County, think it is in the hands of the United States, if not it should be, has a wife & 6 children, were in good circumstances.” Lingo in fact had three farms, his home place of 630 acres, and tenants on two others that totaled another 774 acres. Bezoni had cause to be disgusted by Lingo. A lawyer and farmer, Lingo became a “secession orator” in spring 1861 and helped raise the “rattle snake flag” on the Houston town square. However, in a change of heart, Lingo guided Lt. Col. Eppstein’s militia scout south in July 1862 and suffered the crippling of his horse for which Col. Albert Sigel requested an indemnity for Lingo’s damages.
In October 1862, Lt. Joseph Reed, provost marshal at Waynesville, complained about the “wealthy and influential” Lingo. Although under bond, alleged Reed, Lingo discouraged Union enlistments and “endeavored to frighten men to go South … and conducts villainous schemes [on them] that it is useless to arrest these ignoramuses who are only the dupes of designing scoundrels.” Later in the month, Reed ordered Lingo’s family out of his federal lines to Rolla. He wrote Col. John Glover that the “female members of the family have at all times the utmost bitterness against the Federal Government and Federal officers and soldiers.” In Rolla, Lingo, who had been permitted to sign the official roll of attorneys to practice law in Phelps County, did not shy from the public spotlight, and earned modest income as an attorney for clients at the courthouse. On December 17, 1862, Lingo signed an oath to become a Phelps County election judge and immediately solicited Gov. Hamilton Gamble for a commission as a notary public in Rolla.
Union citizens grumbled to the military about Lingo. In August 1863, Capt. S. R. Squires reported to Gen. Thomas Davies that Lingo was a horse thief and was connected with a stagecoach mail robbery. By October, Maj. O. P. Newberry requested of Gen. Davies a sergeant and ten men to go arrest Lingo “as I am satisfied that a prompt movement will expose a long series of crimes.” Davies asked why not five men and Newberry reported that “five men cannot watch all the parties implicated in this matter.” On October 18th, Newberry had Lingo in the Ft. Wyman prison where he was later transferred to Gratiot Street Prison, St. Louis.
Authorities in St. Louis prepared to try Lingo before a military commission. In January 1864, officers concluded that the expense of paying for so many witnesses to come by train to the trial was too much, so they decided to send Lingo to Capt. Issac Gray, provost marshal in Rolla, to appear for his military trial. Lingo, to pay for his defense, deeded 120 acres northeast of Plato to W. G. Pomeroy to retain legal services. Accused, in part, of horse stealing, witnesses reported that Lingo had turned over a horse to Capt. E. B. Grimes in Rolla. In January 1864, the military commission in Rolla placed Lingo under a steep $5,000 bond, securities guaranteed by James A. Bates, J. B. Vance, and Aaron Von Wormer (later, the bond was transferred to Lingo’s neighbors living in Roubidoux Township, Texas County). Lingo’s parole required that he remain in Rolla unless the provost marshal granted permission to travel. The embattled Lingo resumed attorney work for clients in civilian court. In the end, C. P. Walker, editor and printer for government work, considered Lingo as one of “the biggest Union toads in the puddle,” since Lingo recently “learned to love the constitution.” Walker claimed that Lingo had permanently reformed his position on the Union, a statement that complainant Richard Wade did not accept. Lingo appeared before a judge advocate at a military commission in May 1864, but was not convicted of wrongdoing.
The New Yorker Bezoni continued his appraisal: “Solomon King has a large farm on Spring Creek, also house & lots in Rolla worth about $18,000, farms, etc.; Dr. John Hyer resides in Rolla, has a large farm on Spring Lake [Lake Spring], also a small drug store in Rolla, he is worth about $10,000, has a family in good circumstance; James Addison Bates resides in Rolla, he has town lots & houses and is a partner of Judge William York in goods business, he has a number of farms & steam mills in Texas County, some personal property, he is worth $40,000, has a family in good circumstances; Judge William York resides in Rolla, has a farm 12 miles from Rolla on Springfield Road well improved worth about $5,000, also a portion of Bates in goods business in Rolla worth in all $12,000, family in good circumstance; R. J. McElhaney resides at Springfield, he is a partner of Jaccard & Co., extensive merchants in Springfield & Rolla, has a family in good circumstances, he is worth about $20,000; Warren H. Graves resides in Rolla, has considerable property in Rolla & Springfield, he is partner of Faulkner in the goods business, quite extensive, he is worth about $25,000. I do not know that he has a family.” Bezoni didn’t know much about Graves either, as he was a Republican newspaper publisher and wealthy land agent in Springfield, who lived part time in Rolla. Bezoni ended his accusations with lawyer Samuel Williams, and the merchant James A. McDonald on Roubidoux Creek, father of Pulaski County clerk, W. W. McDonald.
Bezoni’s wealth evaluations were close to the local government tax assessments that the Union army had secured at the courthouse. James A. Bates’ 1860 valuations before he moved to Rolla, totaled over $48,000 [$1,403,322] as the wealthiest man in Texas County. In addition to these twelve rebel sympathizers, Bezoni further listed sixteen men who should not receive pay. His “no pay” additions included Lindsey Coppedge and Col. Henry F. Ormsby, country merchants who had provided Union militias with feed for horses and rest for men at their mill sites.
Onlookers must have rolled their eyes at Bezoni’s inclusion of William C. York and Robert McElhaney, pillars of Unionism. But what Bezoni saw was that York and McElhaney were merchants who did business with people like James A. Bates. Bezoni was well aware of Bates’ kith and kin connections among the Southern sympathizing families and that Bates had signed security bonds for several of them, including one of his sons who had a short stint with the rebels. The New Yorker took the position that Bates’ role of straddling the middle ground of business reliability for Union efforts, but refused to emphatically deny any assistance to southern families, made Bates and those who befriended him all unworthy to participate in commercial profits. Bates and his friends were “guilty” by reason of association.
James Bradford, whom Col. Coleman’s guerrilla band had earlier victimized in Texas County, came forward. He listed fifteen men who had a wide variety of wealth evaluations, but the group was not nearly as affluent as the Spring Creek men; Bradford’s targets lived within a few miles of Licking. He included Joel Sherrill, “about 900 acres land well improved worth $4.00 per acre, some personal property, wife & two children in good circumstances; Spencer Mitchell, Sr., large well improved farm worth $2,500, personal property & wife; Thos. Dennison in Phelps County on the Batesville & Jeff City Road 25 miles from Rolla [on upper Spring Creek] has well improved farm worth $2,000, some personal property, has a wife & 5 children;” and concluded with Moses Freeman, Spencer Mitchell, Jr., William Thornton, and others. He judged the Sherrills, Mitchells, Dennisons, and Thompson Reed unworthy to receive pay for supplies already purchased by Union militias.
Capt. Reed’s summary to Brig. Gen. Odon Guitar preserved Capt. William Monks’ comments. His statement, however, was primarily about Howell County where Monks lived and seven Unionists who were killed there, 1861-62. He named ten men who shouldn’t receive pay for forage given to the Union militias. Monks did confirm four “traitors” on James Bradford’s list – Joel Sherrill, John Nichols, Thos. Dennison, and Spencer Mitchell. Judging from the documents available, it appears that no clear evidence could be marshaled in the accusations of the Radicals. Of interest is that Daniel Chamberlin, artist [photographer], also pointed to several public men who should not receive pay. They included Solomon King, Robert Case, John Webber, Samuel Williams, and Irishman Patrick Long of the firm of “Campbell & Long” in the dry goods business. It is obvious that a common thread in the listing of disloyal, affluent persons included those actively merchandising to the public and to the military. The identity of these commercial men suggests that brisk competition existed for the “government work,” contracts and permits, and that the army tried to spread out the economic opportunities among those who had resources and networks to offer. The army depended upon reliable citizen vendors, especially those in sawmilling commerce who could deliver logs and plank, several of whom had relatives in the Confederacy.
In late March 1864, the provost marshal initiated steps to confiscate King’s hotel and to allow Wade to occupy it. Solomon commenced a legal complaint over the injustice of losing it. The Wade-King conflict illustrates that their differences were about more than loyalty. King turned to attorney and Unionist Elijah Perry for representation.
Court depositions reveal that Wade and King had long-simmering differences. King had a well-developed farm in Spring Creek Valley and he managed a country store. Wade approached him for assistance. First, he signed a promissory note for $61.00 [$1,851] to King on March 8, 1858. A year and a half later, in August 1859, he opened an account at King’s store. Wade purchased domestic items including cloth and thread, shoes and boots, matches and candles, tea and coffee, tobacco and salt, and paper. Bacon, beef, corn, oats, and lard were added to the meet the needs of his family and animals. Wade was still developing his farm and business, thus, King supplied nails, chalk lines, chisels, files, horseshoes, and scythes, and also hauled commodities for Wade in his wagon. Occasionally, Wade paid cash to King’s hired hands. By then, Wade’s purchases reached beyond $500 [$14,618], but King received only partial payments.
Meanwhile, on April 10, 1860, King and Wade signed a contract for Wade to construct a 25 feet x 50 feet barn with 16 feet walls for $200 [$5,847]; that contract was subsequently lost or destroyed. Before Wade had completely finished the barn, King hired him to build a hotel in Rolla that Wade began in May 1860. The hotel building was to be 20 feet x 40 feet. By August 1860, Wade had the building lot prepared and was waiting for King to haul timbers for the sleepers that would support the floor. King delayed, as he was busy with other preoccupations. Wade “kept urging him to be ready to haul to Rolla as I wanted to finish the job as I would be at home during the winter.” King “put me off,” said Wade, until January 1861.
Wade and his hands stayed in Rolla during winter to build the hotel. The construction project added an ell on the rear for a dining room. They built it of rough lumber, “not a plane to be put on it,” as King wanted to finish and paint it himself. Wade and his hands completed the job in late April 1861, but too late for Wade to plant two of his own spring crops. Moreover, complained Wade to the court, his wife and children had to do all the winter work. Being much put upon, Wade wanted damages for their labor. Wade returned home in early May wanting to break more “new ground” for his agricultural improvements. King loaned two yoke of oxen for the work, but retrieved them before Wade had accomplished all the plowing in his fields. Before any further settlement between the two men took place, the Civil War began. Due to the presence of Southern anti-unionists in Rolla, Wade fled the area temporarily. Three years later, Wade brought his accusations of disloyalty and unpaid debts against King, and the hotelier countered with his own suit against Wade.
Plaintiff King’s case went to the Phelps County circuit court. There Judge Van Wormer negotiated with the litigants for arbitration and the court appointed three referees: E. W. Bishop, Andrew Malcolm, and C. H. Frost on March 26, 1864. The Rolla businessmen interviewed witnesses, several of whom were hands who had worked for Wade. They had to take into account Wade’s unsatisfied note to King and his balance at King’s store. The referees rejected Wade’s damages claim for his family’s work in the winter and crops lost in the field, as Wade had no special contract for the hotel and “could have quit at any time or refused to do the work.” Wade did have legitimate charges for work on the hotel. He provided the lumber for the two-story building, its front portico, front door with side lights, windows, blinds, interior stairway, cellar door, and more. The court rendered its judgment on May 26, 1864. The arbitrators concluded on April 8, 1864, that Wade owed $52.39 to King and that the litigants split the court costs. Wade’s denunciations against King to the military quickly faded.
Lastly, the difficulty that faced the beleaguered provost marshal office was illustrated by C. P. Walker’s interview. Maj. Walker of the local Enrolled Missouri Militia (EMM), clerk of the county and circuit court, member of the defunct Board of Assessors for Phelps and Adjoining Counties, and publisher and founder of the local Rolla Express in July 1860 stated, “I do not know of any sympathizers to my personal knowledge.” No one would have known the local population any better than Walker, and in view of his service on the Board of Assessors that had met weekly at the courthouse, his answer was an outright lie. Walker did name five men, “Union citizens killed by bushwhackers,” two in Phelps County and three in Maries County. Walker’s response to whom should not receive pay for “forage and materials furnished the Gov’t” is an astonishing statement: “I know of no one furnishing forage to Gov’t.” This last response was apparently given by the moderate Unionist Walker so that he could “wash his hands” of any involvement in finger-pointing at local residents, even by reputation. The evasiveness of lukewarm Unionists demonstrates the extreme difficulty of a provost marshal residing at Rolla to identify, let alone eradicate, disloyalty.
In June 1864, provost marshal Capt. Thomas Reed reported the results of Maj. C. P. Walker’s interview and thirteen others to Brig. Gen. Odon Guitar. Reed understatedly presented his frustration in his second sentence, “C. P. Walker can furnish the names of no Rebel Sympathizers.” Reed wrote that William Monks and George Bezoni “are now and have always been thoroughly Union. They are two of the best men in the State of Missouri. Not one of the other twelve witnesses classes them as Rebel Sympathizers and yet in all probability every one of the witnesses knows McElhaney and Graves as well if not better than Bezoni does.” A dutiful Capt. Reed avoided making value judgements as to the veracity of those identified as disloyal, but reported what he heard and left any decision-making up to his superior, Gen. Guitar.
Guitar read the report and wrote his superior, Maj. Gen. Rosecrans, commander of the Department of Missouri in St. Louis. First, Guitar said that the petition process preceded his assignment to command the District of Rolla. Guitar’s personal reaction was disgust at the answers of the petitioners. “In my opinion, the patriotism and self-sacrificing devotion of all the petitioners combined will never induce one of them to put his precious carcass in the way of a rebel bullet, their aspersions to the contrary notwithstanding.” Rosecrans agreed. On June 23, 1864, Guitar received a response from St. Louis that authorized him “to convene a military commission for the trial of the petitioners, as in his opinion, have made false and malicious representations.” The door to prosecute perjury was open. Back in Rolla, Gen. Guitar and his staff decided they had more productive work to do in the Ozarks. There is no record of any trial. Interrogation of civilians ceased and Gen. Guitar left Rolla in August. The incoming Rolla command also chose other work to do.
But, the dogged R. W. Wade did not remain quiet. He leveled more charges, this time against Phillip Jackson in civilian court. The defendant appealed to Mayor Daniel Parson’s municipal court, where Jackson claimed that Phelps County inhabitants were prejudiced against him. Jackson’s motion for a change of venue to Crawford County was approved, and Marshal George Bezoni shuffled the requisite paperwork. The case, which relied on witnesses from August 1861, was on Crawford County’s docket for October 1864. But, before the court convened, Wade filed an additional case against Philip Jackson and his comrades in Rolla on September 6, 1864, one that added to his earlier charge that Jackson had stolen property at his house. Wade was not satisfied that the army in Rolla had not initiated any actions against his targeted Southern sympathizers.
The events described by Wade took place three years earlier on the same August 14, 1861, date he claimed Jackson stole his shotgun. Wade alleged that Jackson, John Edgar, and Jackson Nichols, “being armed with guns and pistols in a threatening way,” assaulted him in his house near Edgar Prairie. They “seized and forced him” to accompany them on the public road and through the woods to Salem where they imprisoned him. Wade said that he spent one week in open air “exposed to the heat of the sun” and had to sleep on “the bare ground without anything to protect him from the chilling dews of the night;” his captors allowed him only “scraps of bread and refuse meat” to eat.
Wade’s tormentors then took him to Licking for a day suffering “twenty four hours without food.” The following day, the group traveled to the Big Piney River “through the rain and mud, wading creeks in Texas County” and “compelled him to sleep at night on the bare ground in the mud and water.” On the subsequent day, they traveled seven miles down Big Piney” and “for three days kept him in a certain log pen, without any covering to shelter him from the extreme heat of the sun, or from the rain or from the unhealthy dews of the night.” According to popular wisdom the dews and fogs were the source of malaria and fevers.
The plaintiff’s attorney concluded that Wade’s false imprisonment lasted twelve days from August 14-26, 1861. Wade asked for $5,000 in damages as he was not only “greatly hurt, bruised, exposed and injured in health and endangered in life,” but was also greatly exposed and injured in his credit and business. Elijah Perry notarized his statement for the court. The defendants, after several motions in Phelps County court over the next year, did receive a change of venue to Crawford County. After the war, in October 1866, the Crawford County court refused to hear the case and sent it back to Phelps County. There lawyers and the court issued subpoenas for the November 1866 term. The case file does not appear in the extant records suggesting that, once again, a festering dispute withered and died as time drained personal energy and financing.
Complaints related to the Civil War, like Richard Wade’s, continued in high numbers until the 1880s. Plaintiffs in post-war Missouri sought financial relief hundreds of times for wartime personal and property insults, usually to no avail. Accusers and defenders occasionally argued in the streets of the Ozarks, sometimes with their fists, into the twentieth century.
 The investigation initiated by Richard Wade is in Union Provost Marshal Papers, March 18, 24, and 26, 1864, F1151, Missouri State Archives (hereinafter MSA), and March 1864 in F1610 and F1614, Union Provost Marshal Papers, Two or More Civilians, MSA. This essay is modified from “Bates and Lenox,” a typescript in the State Historical Society of Missouri-Rolla, R1000 Lynn Morrow Papers.
 See My Experience in the War 1861 to 1865 or A Little Autobiography by Ai Edgar Asbury, Berkowitz and Compnay, 1894, SHS-Columbia. Asbury was the 1860 Texas County school commissioner and attended the May 1861 state convention in Jefferson City where he consulted with C. F. Jackson about the powder.
 “Leading and influential men” are in April 22, 1864, Perry letter to Col. Sanderson, Union Provost Marshal Papers, Two or More Civilians, F1612, f. 703, MSA.
 Capt. Stephen H. Darden died on August 13, 1862, while Samuel B. survived, and after the war, returned to Rolla to work and live. The third and youngest brother, James R. Darden was also a local carpenter, but later moved to Kansas. The dollar amounts in brackets are from an inflation calculator and inserted only in selected places for the reader to imagine modern valuations.
 Lingo’s $5,000 bond is listed on Mar. 31, 1864, Roll of Prisoners Received, Union Provost Marshal Papers, Two or More Civilians, F1610, f. 633, MSA.
 Bezoni’s and others’ statements are in Union Provost Marshal Papers, Two or More Civilians, May 1864, F1614, MSA. W. W. McDonald built the antebellum Old Stagecoach Stop, a preservation and heritage tourist site on the Waynesville square.
 Solomon King v. R. W. Wade, abatement, Phelps County circuit court, filed April 9, 1864, MSA.
 Walker and Henry Lick began a newspaper in 1859 in Vienna, but changed its name to the Rolla Express and moved it to Phelps County in 1860. History of Cole, Moniteau, Morgan, Benton, Miller, Maries and Osage Counties, Missouri, Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889, 614. In October 1863, the military arrested Henry Lick for publishing incendiary comments, closed the newspaper, and sent him to Gratiot Prison. The army later released Lick on his promise to not engage in newspaper publishing. Later, C. P. Walker reopened the Rolla Express office (copies are not available), and after the war Lick became a newspaper editor in Springfield, Greene County.
 Wade’s torment is described in R. W. Wade v. Philip Jackson et al, false imprisonment, Phelps County circuit court, filed Sept. 6, 1864, MSA.
Lynn Morrow, M.A., Missouri State University, served as research historian for the Center for Ozarks Studies, managed the historic preservation consulting firm Kalen and Morrow, and administered Missouri’s national model in public records preservation at the Missouri State Archives. Lynn has published widely in the Missouri Historical Review, Gateway Heritage, Missouri Folklore Journal, OzarksWatch, Big Muddy, and in other serials, dictionaries, and anthologies. He co-edited two documentary histories, co-authored Shepherd of the Hills Country: Tourism Transforms the Ozarks, 1880s-1930s (University of Arkansas Press), and edited The Ozarks in Missouri History: Discoveries in an American Region (University of Missouri Press).