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Letter signed John Matthews, St. Louis, to his aunt [Mary Jane Wilson Levering?], October 6, 1864

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Identifier: D05644

Title: Letter signed John Matthews, St. Louis, to his aunt [Mary Jane Wilson Levering?], October 6, 1864


Discusses Price's invasion of Missouri, prices, and mood and conditions in St. Louis and Missouri.

Transcription: St Louis 6th October 1864

My dear Aunt

Your letter of the 18th reached me on 27th Ulto. but the very busy employments usual with me at the end of one & beginning of a new month, and the excitement of the draft & Price’s invasion of Missouri have prevented my reply before now. — Price has been within 30 miles of this City, with forces variously estimated at 15/m — 30.000 & so far as we know has done pretty much as he pleased but where he is now, we (that is the public) are not informed — Our State is in a most wretched condition — The young men are in many parts driven to the brush for safety, & murder, arson & robbery is carried on on a most terrific scale — Their situation, in many neighborhoods, is dreadful. — You may have read about150 Fedl. soldiers having been captured & murdered last week by guerillas headed by “Bill Anderson” — This Anderson was a quiet citizen of one of your Western counties. — His father was taken out & shot by Fedls without trial or known offence. — Some say his mother died from excitement occasioned by it — Others that she & her daughter were with the 100 female prisoners who were confined in a house on the bank of the Mo. River[Missouri River]. — The daughter certainly was. — The River was encroaching on the bank & endangered the house. — The military authorities were informed of this & appealed to for the sake of humanity, to remove them. — They refused, the house fell, & most of them were killed or drowned, his sister being of that number. — Another sister was outraged by the Fedl soldiers before his face. Will you wonder at his desperation? He gives no quarters. — The commander of those he killed had been murdering, burning & robbing of the Citizens & he revenged some of them. Anderson’s history is the same of most of the guerillas — perhaps not so

much injured — perhaps, some only apprehensive of the same injuries. — The practice of the Fedl. troops in the northern part of this State in too many cases seems to be this. — They hear of guerillas — go to the neighborhood, rob every one they meet — kill a good many men, no matter whom & return reporting they had routed the guerillas & killed many — Oh, it is dreadful. — The election is coming on & I fear trouble. — It is whispered we are to have a military governor in the person of Jim Lane, with Genl Curtis in command of the troops — if such should be the case, & I think it will, (except I have no idea of who will be in command) you must not be surprised at my leaving the State — perhaps the U. States —

I enclose a newspaper clip, which will give you some idea of what many respectable men think of affairs. — Combs is not singular in his idea — I have heard it before, as the opinion of many high in the ranks of the opposition & from some of them — God help us, what are we coming to?

I do not recollect if I mentioned the death of your cousin Saml K Wilson[Samuel K. Wilson] — I attended his funeral about 2 months ago. — By a long course of extravagance, he beggared himself, took to drink & has gone —

Genl. Crook is the son of Thomas Crook & my Aunt Betsy (Elizabeth) They were married about 1810 or 12 — I scarcely recollect it though I believe it was celebrated at my father’s house. — Soon after, he (T.C.) bought some land near Dayton, Ohio, where this boy (one of the youngest of his children) was born. — He went to West Point and has been in the army ever since. — I had a letter from Orville yesterday, dated 23/24 Sept/64 He has been more than...

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
St Louis

Dates: 1864-10-06

Type(s): Letter

Maker/Creator: Matthews, John

Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Guerrilla warfare


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