Judge Gentry’s 1913 account of the raid on Columbia

 
 

Transcription

In April 1862 a solk flaf was present by the citizens of Columbia to Col. Lewis Merrill, the presentation being in front of the court house, and the presentation speech being made by Dr. John H. Lathrop, of University of Missouri.

In August 1862 Two hundred confederate soldiers dashed into Columbia from the at about two p. m., and stationed guards at the crossings of Broadway and 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th1 streets, while most of the soldiers visited the county jail to release William Rowland, Abraham Rummons and Amos Marney Jr., wgo were there kept prisoners. The federal soldiers were completely taken

Annotations

1 Map of Downtown Columbia in 1869

 

 
 

Transcription

by surprise; they had no sentinels or pickets on duty, and many of the soldiers were walking about town. As there were no telephones, it took time for some of their number to slip away from Broadway and get to the university campus, where the officers and most Merrill’s Horse were. After much delay, the federals gathered their scattered soldiers, mounted their horses and came down 8th and 9th streets at full speed, exchanging shorts with the confederate guards on Broadway, and having a little battle on the main thoroughfares of Columbia. In the mean time, the confederates had released their friends from jail and captured some eighty federal horses that were on pasture just North of Columbia. A young federal captain was at the head of the cavalry that came down 9th street, and he turned his horse so suddenly to the East on reaching Broadway that the horse fell and fell on the captain, injuring him, and causing his pistol to be discharged. The bullet from the pistol struck against the side of the door of the post office, situated in a building immediately East of the Haden building; and it barely missed the head of my father, who was standing in the front door of the post office. The confederates made good their escape by way of the Paris road, taking their released friends with them and also the federal horses. As a result of the exchange of shots on Broadway, a bullet lodged in the frame of one of the doors of the Presbyterian church, situated at the Southeast corner of 10th and Broadway; and another bullet lodged in the front door.

 

 
 

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frame of the court house, then situated at the North end of 8th street, where the old columns now stand. After the battle was over, the federal commander was very angry and said that some Columbia citizens had informed the enemy that no sentinels or pickets were on duty (which probably was true), and he intended to retaliate by burning the town and the university building. Several union men of Columbia tried to dissuade him from such an unwise course, but he said he had determined to do so, and would do so at once. Then Mr. Robert L. Todd1 went to see him, and after talking pleasantly for a few minutes, with no success, Mr. Todd said, “Well, sir, you are to blame for this whole business; you should have had guards out on every road leading into Columbia, and most every other military man in the country would have done so. You have other duties besides speaking on the occasion of a flag presentation. Now, sir, if you set fire to and burn our town and our university, the friends of our town and of our university will kindle a fire under you, and I tremble for you at the result.” This ended all talk about burning the town or the university. As a result of the occupancy of the university ground and building by federal soldiers, the building was damaged in various ways; and many years after that congress appropriated Five thousand dollars to pay for such damages. This money was accepted by the university authorities, and the same was used to pay for the erection of the stone entrance to the campus at the South end of eight street.

Annotations

1 Son of Roger N. Todd, Robert L. To od was the first Alumni of the University of Missouri

 

 
University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law © 2010