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Letter signed John W. Coshow, Howell, Missouri, to J.W. Allen [James W. Allen], St. Louis, January 30, 1908

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Identifier: D04826

Title: Letter signed John W. Coshow, Howell, Missouri, to J.W. Allen [James W. Allen], St. Louis, January 30, 1908


Contains reminiscences of his journey from St. Charles County, Mo., to Arkansas in the fall of 1864 to join Sterling Price’s army, and account of his experiences in Mexico as a Confederate expatriate.

Transcription: Howell Mo Jan 30” 1908

Capt J. W. Allen

St Louis Mo

Dear sir — I see by the St Louis Republic of Jan 27th your call for Missouri Confederates to assist in compiling a roster of those that served in the Confederate Army — I will do what little I can towards that object — First — In October 1864 — Col. Caleb Dorsey [and] Col. Hull — were recruiting here in St. Charles Co. (and ajoining Counties) I with, between 150 and 200 others joi[ned] their force — and started with the intention of joining Prices army, which was then making its last raid in Mo — the intention of joining Price below Boone[ville][Boonville] was, frustrated by a large body of Federal Caverly [that?] surrounded us in Boone. Co. Mo. Thanks to a big sno[w]storm late in the evening — gave us an oppertunity to slip out and follow down Cedar Creek — and the falling snow obliterated our track, which saved our “bacon” — we succeded in swimming our horses across the Mo river[Missouri River] but not in time to take a hand in the fight at Booneville[Boonville] — then the Federals were between us and Price — so we bore south, through Rolla, and Licking where we met with some troops that had been following Price, after a slight scrap we got through — and reached the Army of Price at Fulton Ark — There the Army was reorganized some was dismounted and put into the Infantry — There Slaybacks Regiment was organized — most all of us, recruited by Dorsey & Hull was put into Slayback Regiment with Caleb Dorsey as Lieut[?] Col two companies Co A. comanded by Ras. Woods of St Charles Co Mo, and Co E. comanded by Miles. Price of Henry Co Mo

Just after the reorganization, I was detailed to Brigade Headquarters, as Orderly to Col. B.F. Gordon — who was then in command of Shelbys Brigade — While Shelby was in command of the Division — It was not genraly known that Shelby was promoted and also BF Gordon was promote[d] to fill Shelbys old place, just before Lees surrender — being at Brigade Headquarters I was aware of the fact, I cannot say for certain, if Shelby and Gordon ever recieved their official promotions but at the time of our disbandment at Corsicana Tex — B. Frank. Gordon was in command of four Regiments and one Battery — to wit — Gordons Regiment — Shanks Regiment — and Collins Battery of four brass cannon — two rifl[es] and two smooth bone — I dont remember the other Brigade and Battery that was under Shelby at the time — I wish some one would inform me what other four Regiments & Battery that was commanded by Shelby, as there was certainly, two Brigades and two Batterys under him — and I do know that one of them was Shelbys old Brigade and Collins Battery — which formed half of our Division — would like very much to get at the other half in some way — I suppose after the Government print comes out I will see who they were — I have often read in papers of writers, wondering, why Price & Shelby went to Mexico, instead of going to Shrieveport[Shreveport] and surrendering as most of our command di[d] I will tell them — Gen Price through it a good Idea — to go to Mexico and get a Grant of land, start a colony and have our families com[e] to us — not nowing if we would be allowed to return to Mo and live again — now that is the reason they went to Mexico...


Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States

Dates: 1908-01-30

Type(s): Letter

Maker/Creator: Coshow, John W., 1847-1927

Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Recruiting and enlistment
Armed Forces


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