The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Monday, May 9, 2011 Volume XIX, Number 222

did ya know?.

Did Ya Know?... The Disabled American Veterans & Auxiliary will be meeting on Tuesday May 17th at 7 pm on the 2nd floor of the Carthage Memorial Hall.

today's laugh


Alabama: Hell Yes, We Have Electricity

Alaska: 11,623 Eskimos Can’t Be Wrong!

Arizona: But It’s A Dry Heat

California: By 30, Our Women Have More Plastic Than Your Honda

Colorado: If You Don’t Ski, Don’t Bother

Connecticut: Like Massachusetts, Only The Kennedy’s Don’t Own It Yet

Delaware: We Really Do Like The Chemicals In Our Water

Florida: Ask Us About Our Grandkids

Georgia: We Put The "Fun" In Fundamentalist Extremism

Idaho: More Than Just Potatoes ... Well Okay, We’re Not, But The Potatoes Are Real Good

Iowa: We Do Amazing Things With Corn

Kansas: First Of The Rectangle States

Louisiana: We’re Not ALL Drunken Cajun Wackos, But That’s Our Tourism Campaign

Maine: We’re Really Cold, But We Have Cheap Lobster

Maryland: If You Can Dream It, We Can Tax It

~Massachusetts: Our Taxes Are Lower Than Sweden’s (For Most Tax Brackets)

Michigan: First Line Of Defense >From The Canadians

Minnesota: 10,000 Lakes... And 10,000,000,000,000 Mosquitoes

Mississippi: Come And Feel Better About Your Own State

Missouri: Your Federal Flood Relief Tax Dollars At Work

Montana: Land Of The Big Sky, The Unabomber, Right-wing Crazies, and Little Else

Nebraska: Ask About Our State Motto Contest

New Hampshire: Go Away And Leave Us Alone

New Jersey: You Want A ##$%##! Motto? I Got Yer ##$%##! Motto Right Here!

North Carolina: Tobacco Is A Vegetable

North Dakota: We Really Are One Of The 50 States!

Ohio: At Least We’re Not Michigan

Oklahoma: Like The Play, Only No Singing

Oregon: Spotted Owl... It’s What’s For Dinner...

Rhode Island: We’re Not REALLY An Island

South Carolina: Remember The Civil War? We Didn’t Actually Surrender

South Dakota: Closer Than North Dakota

Vermont: Yep

Wisconsin: Come Cut The Cheese


A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.

Fined $10 for Stealing.

Lee Doyle, commonly known as Lee Hurt, was arrested late yesterday afternoon by Marshal Stafford for stealing a towel and two plates from a buggy belonging to Mrs. J. S. McFall, who lives in the country. The buggy was standing on Second street when the theft was committed. Doyle was seen near the buggy and was soon under arrest. He returned the goods, pleaded guilty in police court and was fined $10.

A Chicken House Burned.

A chicken house at the farm place of Thos. Ross, five miles south of this city, caught fire this morning and burned to the ground. Two chickens perished in the flames. Several other outbuildings nearby were only prevented from burning by the prompt work of neighbors and passersby who came to the rescue. The fire originated from an effort to smoke out chicken lice.

  Today's Feature

Drury Students at Final

Visioning Meet.

The group of Drury University students that have been working with the city of Carthage and their visioning team to develop a vision for the future of Carthage will be at their final meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall. The students will be presenting visual representations of the communities ideas. There will be a brief graphical presentation to the community. Everyone is encourage to attend.

Kiwanis Club Keeps

Civil War History Alive.

The Carthage Kiwanis Club has published a reprint of the book by Ward L. Schrantz, Jasper County, Missorui, in the Civil War. The book was originally published in 1923. An excerpt is included inside today’s Mornin’ Mail. Schrantz worked as a newspaper man for most of his life and interviewed many local survivors of the Civil War. Many of those personal interviews are in the book.

The books are available at the Powers Museum and the Civil War Museum and other select locations.

EXTRA! Battle of Carthage History Inside.

Jasper County, Missouri, in the Civil War



Days of ‘61

Jasper county at the beginning of 1861, although a new country, was a prosperous and rapidly growing one, checkered with fertile fields and dotted with happy homes. The last census report had given the population as 6,883 of whom 350 were slaves. The largest towns were Carthage and Sarcoxie, the former having about 500 residents and the latter 400. Both of these places had a number of good buildings.

Feelings on the political questions of the day were very strong in Jasper county at this time, three distinct parties being in evidence. There were the unconditional union men-a small minority who favored standing unreservedly for the union. Prominent in this party were Norris C. Hood, Archibald McCoy, Dr. J. M. Stemmons, John Crow, Samuel B. LaForce and others.

Next was the conditional union men whose local leader was Judge John R. Chenault. This party believed in staying with the union unless the northern states tried to force the southern states back into the union by force of arms. In that case the conditional union men were in favor of joining the south. The third party, and the one having the overwhelming majority, was the secessionists, advocating the immediate secession of Missouri from the union to join the states of the confederacy. Leaders in this party was A. J. Fallion, Thomas R. Livingston, C. C. Dawson, Senator James S. Rains and C. C. Cravens.

The pro-slavery party was especially strong in Sarcoxie and this town had always taken the keenest interest in the long political fight which had been waged in the United States between the slavery men mand the rapidly increasing element in favor of the abomlition of this system of involuntary servitude.

In the early spring of 1861 military companies were formed all over the county, and the tramp of drilling men preparing for the struggle that they sensed was coming could be heard in almost every town and village.

During this time a confederate flag, the first to be raised in Missouri, was flying at Sarcoxie. It had been in existence for some weeks prior to the capture of Fort Sumter in April 1861 and when word was received of this first act of the war it was hoisted to the top of a tall pole and floated there, it is said, until in early July. Then the flag was taken down and federal troops passing through the town cut down the flag pole and burned it. Meanwhile important events were transpiring elsewhere.

On May 10 a considerable portion of the Missouri state militia, which had gathered in St. Louis "for training" and which union men believed was meant to seize the St. Louis arsenal for the south, was cap-tured by a strong force of federal volunteers under Captain Nathaniel Lyon. This was the first act of open war in this state. Missouri at once began to arm, the formation of the new military force known as the state guard being begun. After a temporary truce which ended June 11, Lyon, now a general, led a column of federal troops to Boonville where he scattered a hastily assembled force of the state guard on June 17. At the same time he sent a strong force under Brigadier General Thomas W. Sweeny to Springfield to hold that part of the state and to prevent the newly organized state guard from escaping to the south.

Following the Boonville affair, Governor Claiborne F. Jackson started for the south with all the state guard that could be gathered up, and Sweeny at Springfield ordered Col. Franz Sigel and a force of U. S. Volunteers who were in or near the border tier of counties to cut him off.

Sigel left a company of 94 men at Neosho to hold this town against the confederates who were gathering near the Missouri-Arkansas border and with the re-mainder marched to Carthage, camping at the springs, now known as Carter springs, at the east edge of town on the night of July 4. Here he was visited soon after dark by several union citizens who gave him valuable information about the southern forces. The same night Governor Jackson, his army augmented by a strong force from southwest Missouri commanded by General James S. Rains, camped about 18 miles to the north. It seems probable that the company raised in Sarcoxie was with Rains.

Colonel Monroe, quartermaster of General M. M. Parson’s division of the state guard, had been sent on south by his chief to Carthage to obtain subsistence and forage. Just after sundown a mounted man rode up to Parson’s headquarters at the state camp and reported that Monroe at Carthage was menaced by a superior force of federals and asked that reinforcements be sent to him. This was the first intimation that the state guard had that there was an enemy in its front.

Parsons immediately ordered his men to be ready to move at 10 p. m., intending to make a night march to Monroe’s relief. Governor Jackson, however, as soon as he learned of Parsons news and the action he proposed to take, very wisely countermanded the order for a move that night and gave instructions that the entire state army should move south as a unit early the next morning.

A clash between the two forces were now inevitable. Jackson’s object was to make his way to the south where his untrained force could be organized and drilled into shape. Sigel’s object was to destroy or scatter Jackson’s army and in this he probably hoped to be aided by General Lyon who he erroneously thought was following immediately in the governor’s rear.

The union column consisted of nine companies of the Third Missouri Infantry, 550 men; seven companies of the Fifth Missouri Infantry, 400 men, and two batteries of artillery, 4 guns each, 150 men-a total force of 1,100. Col. Sigel was an old German soldier, experienced in war, and many of his men were also veterans..

His soldiers were well trained and disciplined for this period of the war and the infantry was armed with the 69 calibre rifle musket, an efficient weapon.

The union column consisted of nine companies of the Third Missouri Infantry, 550 men; seven companies of the Fifth Missouri Infantry, 400 men, and two bat-teries of artillery, 4 guns each, 150 men-a total force of 1,100.

The armed total (of the State Guard) probably consisted of over 4,000 men, in addition to which there were 2,000 or more unarmed. Few of Jackson’s men had uniforms, most of them going into battle in ordinary civilian dress and some of the officers wearing high "plug" hats.

In the early morning of July 5 Colonel Sigel broke camp at Carthage and marched northward, Monroe’s detachment of the state troops falling back before him. A short distance north of Dry Fork and about eight miles north of Carthage his advance guard was held up by Captain Jo Shelby’s company of the state guard. General Rain’s column had left its camp at 4 a. m. that morning, Governor Jackson riding at its head, and when it came near the enemy, Shelby’s rangers had been pushed out to cover the main body while it formed for action.

Sigel, finding his advance guard checked and sharply engaged, first sent two companies of infantry and two pieces of artillery to support it and then threw his whole force into line of battle except one cannon and one company of infantry which he left to guard his baggage train and protect his rear. The state troops were by now also ready for battle, and Shelby, in accordance with orders, skillfully disengaged his company and fell back to the main line.

The state troops had formed in line on a high ridge of prairie which sloped southward with undulations to the timbered-fringed creek about a mile and a quarter away. Sigel was on the lower ground facing north, and between the two armies were open fields with an occasional fence.

Well to the rear the unarmed men with Governor Jackson were drawn up to give the appearance of a reserve and forming what Shelby called "the line of spectators."

The action began with Sigel’s artillery opening fire with round shot, shell, spherical case shot and grape. Parson’s four brass six-pounders promptly returned the fire and Capt. Bledsoe’s three guns immediately joined in. This artillery duel continued for a short time and then Capt. Guibor’s battery ceased fire on account of a shortage of ammunition. Sigel, not unnaturally considering that these guns had been silenced, prepared to advance with his infantry. However one battery of his own artillery was complaining of a shortage of ammunition by this time and, what was more important, the state guard cavalry both on the left and the right were moving around his flanks in an effort to cut off his line of retreat.

The union commander could no longer think of attack. His task from now on was to extricate his troops from their perilous position and escape from the superior forces which were closing around him. A portion of his artillery shifted fire to the menacing cavalry and the whole federal force began to fall back by successive stages to Dry Fork. Seeing this retirement, the state guard infantry pushed forward all along the line and the cavalry on the flanks continued on its encircling movement.

Just south of Dry Fork, Colonel Sigel stationed Capt. Essig’s battery in such a position as to command the ford. To the left of the battery one company of the Fifth regiment under Capt. Stephani was deployed while two companies of the Third regiment under Captains Dengler and Golmer held the right. Behind these front line companies were two companies of the Fifth regiment under Captain Stark and Meisner in immediate support.

The advancing battle line of the state guard soon came under fire from Sigel’s new position and Bledsoe’s battery at once unlimbered and hotly engaged Essig’s four guns. The infantry pushed on down to the timber skirting the stream in an attempt to cross the movement of course being under a heavy fire.

Passing through the timber, the infantry under O’Kane of Weightman’s brigade, together with the men of Parson’s and Clark’s divisions, found themselves engaged in a brisk fire fight with the federals across the stream, at points the opposing lines being only forty or fifty yards apart. Graves’ and Hurst’s regiments on the right seem not to have been strongly opposed but were unable to find a place to cross the stream for some time. Bledsoe’s battery had a number of men disabled during this part of the action and the infantry on both sides suffered losses in killed and wounded.

The state guard cavalry was meanwhile continuing to push around the union flank and the regiments of Colonels Rives and Brown, which had worked around Sigel’s right, formed behind Buck Branch squarely across his line of retreat. Rain’s cavalry from the west was also closing in. It was high time for Sigel to move.

As Sigel’s column neared Spring river the cavalry of General Rains attempted to close in in front of his advance and prevent him from crossing. It was driven off to the west, however, and Sigel’s rear guard made a brief stand on the high ground north of the stream, beyond where the lower bridge now is, to hold back the State Guard infantry until the union column had had time to cross the river and the valley.

South of the river, on the heights northwest of Carthage, the federals again took position, making sure of their line of retreat by sending Lieut. Col. Wolff and two pieces of artillery to the hills east of town to keep the Mount Vernon road open and to hold back Rives and Brown’s horsemen who were crossing Spring river north of the city. Captain Cramer with two companies of the Fifth regiment was sent at the same time to hold the west side of the town against the cavalry which was working around in that direction.

As Weightman’s brigade crossed Spring river and emerged from the southern edge of the timber it was fired upon by the artillery in the federal positions northwest of the town. Graves’ and Hursts’ regiments were moved to the west to outflank this position and, soon after Sigel again withdrew, entered the town at about the same time as the infantry regiment of Colonel Hughes of Slack’s division. A spirited fight ensued with the federal rear guard which had been ordered to hold the town long enough to give their wearied comrades in the main body a short time to rest. Sheltering themselves behind houses, walls and fences the union soldiers maintained their position for a time then retired fighting to new positions which other units of Sigel’s troops had taken up on the heights east of the city on a ridge southwest of where they had camped at the springs before. This was along where River street now runs.

The three pieces of Bledsoe’s battery, which by now had passed through the city, went into action to answer Sigel’s artillery which was already firing, and a few minutes later two of Captain Guibor’s guns chimed in. The infantry previously engaged in the town, and now reinforced by Parson’s division, advanced to the assault, but Sigel’s main body was already on the move again and after a brief brush in which the attackers suffered some losses his rear guard once more fell back, leaving the ridge to the state troops. Two of Sigel’s wagons were abandoned in the town. Another short stand was made at the edge of the timber two miles farther on and then the tired infantry of the State Guard went into camp in and around Carthage.

But there was no rest for Sigel’s men despite the fact they had already marched over 18 miles and had been in battle for almost twelve hours. Taking advantage of the darkness, Sigel continued his move eastward, putting all the distance he could between him-self and the superior forces of the enemy.

It was well that he did so. Generals Ben McCulloch and Sterling Price, moving up from the south with 3,000 men to assist Jackson, joined the governor the next morning, and Sigel had escaped none too soon.

The company of 94 men that the Union commander had left at Neosho were prisoners, captured by the confederates as they advanced north. Sigel’s total loss during the battle was 13 enlisted men killed and 2 officers and 29 enlisted men wounded.

The official tabulation at Washington gives the southern losses as 35 killed, 125 wounded, 45 captured. Sigel’s report does not mention the taking of any prisoners.

Just Jake Talkin'

With the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War comin’ up, the Kiwanis Club decided it was time to republish the Schrantz book. The last publication was in 1992 and there weren’t many copies left. If you don’t have one, your library is incomplete.

‘Course I like the personal reflections of those who were actually around durin’ the time. Gives ya real feel of what was goin’ on in these parts a hurderd and fifty years ago. (Easier to say than Sesquicentennial.)

On the inside of the Mornin’ Mail today, we printed a good portion of the first chapter of the book, tellin’ about the Battle of Carthage. I see some still don’t want to recognize the battle as the first in the Civil War. Suppose they forget that the Union wasn’t officially in the War until July 4, 1861. Nothin’ like arguin’ about details.

This is some fact, but moslty,

Just Jake Talkin’.

Sponsored by Carthage Printing

Weekly Column


By Samantha Mazzotta

Washing Machines Agitate Owners

Q: Our washing machine is pretty old, and one day when my son was doing laundry the dial made a cracking sound and came off in his hand. Right now we make do by arduously turning the small plastic collar that’s left until the wash cycle comes on. However, only one cycle, "permanent press," works properly (goes all the way from start to finish). Is there any way to fix this, or should I start saving for a new washer? -- Hannah G., Brattleboro, Vt.

A: Unfortunately, I’m not sure exactly what the solution would be. If I had the make and model of the washing machine, I could look up common problems and suggested fixes for that brand. I do know that some replacement parts, like the dial, can be ordered, but if the machine is more than several years old, the part may no longer be available. The single-cycle only problem might be a problem with the wash timer, but again, it’s tough to know how to fix it.

Your best option at the moment is to contact an appliance repair center with the make and model and a description of the problem. A repairman might come out to fully diagnose the issue. If so, ask for any repair estimate in writing before allowing any work to be done.


Q: I picked up an older washer-dryer set for a good price via an online ad. Everything works fine, except that when the clothes are done washing, they seem to have a lot of lint and stuff on them. Most of it comes off in the dryer, but it’s annoying. How can I fix it? -- A Reader, via email

A: Sounds like the washer could have had some kind of lint-trap attachment. Many, many years ago, some upright washers had perforated plastic attachments placed on or near the top of the basin to catch stray lint during the wash and rinse cycles. Contact the person you bought it from and ask if he or she has something like that. You may be able to order the part online as well.

Incidentally, many modern washers still have lint traps. They’re located in out-of-the-way places and are designed to not need cleaning very often. Check the manufacturer’s guide to see if your new washer has a lint trap and for any instructions regarding its maintenance.

Copyright 2011, Heritage Publishing. All rights reserved.