The Civil War in Missouri

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Life of a Home Guard and Enrolled Missouri Militia

Snare Drum of William C. Streetor, 7th EMM (Download 1.2 MB PDF)
Main Idea

  • From the beginning of the war, the protection of innocent civilians from guerrillas and pro-South Missourians was a problem.
  • The Home Guard and then the Enrolled Missouri Militia were created to defend their home regions.

Home Guard

Highlights

  • Created in the summer of 1861 by General Nathaniel Lyon, the Home Guard were supposed to stay at home and go into action only to defend their neighborhoods. Around 15,000 Home Guard were enlisted. 
  • They were armed by the Union government but received no pay unless on active duty. 
  • They wore no uniforms, and only 10,000 troops actually received weapons. The rest used their own. 
  • Camp gear and food were supplied for some when on active duty. 
  • Approximately 241 Home Guard companies were formed, but they were disbanded in late 1861. 

Enrolled Missouri Militia

Highlights

  • In the summer of 1862, the danger from guerrillas and Bushwhackers had become serious. Governor Hamilton Gamble gave General John Schofield permission to organize a force to protect the state.
  • Members of the new militia, known as the Enrolled Missouri Militia (EMM), were meant to stay at home and come into service only when needed in their home areas.
  • The EMM had no uniforms. They were encouraged to provide their own clothing. They also were not given arms. 
  • The EMM soldiers even encountered shortages in food and supplies. In response, the government encouraged EMM soldiers to take things from disloyal citizens. This practice became problematic, as it was often abused. 
  • Because participation in the EMM was compulsory, sometimes people loyal to the Confederacy were made to serve. 

In-Depth

In the summer of 1862, the danger from guerrillas and Bushwhackers had become serious. Governor Hamilton Gamble gave General John Schofield permission to organize a force to protect the state. This force was needed because the already functioning Missouri State Militia was too small in number and too busy to protect all areas of the state. General Schofield issued Order No. 19, declaring that every man in Missouri report for enrollment in the militia. Members of the new militia, known as the Enrolled Missouri Militia (EMM), were meant to stay at home and only come into service when needed in their home areas. 

The EMM had no uniforms. They were encouraged to provide their own clothing. They also were not given arms. One example is the 80th EMM led by Capt. William J. Buxton. He claimed that only 23 of his men had arms, and they varied from squirrel rifles to shotguns. He was left with 32 men who were unarmed. 

The EMM soldiers even encountered shortages in food and supplies. In response, the government encouraged EMM soldiers to take things from disloyal individuals. This practice became problematic, as innocent people were often abused. 

Because participation in the EMM was forced, sometimes people loyal to the Confederacy were made to serve. George Richardson Cruzan described being forced into the EMM, saying, “I and Uncle York were plowing corn and 3 armed men were waiting at the end of the row and said we have to come for you George with orders to put you in the militia. You must go with us to Grand Burnsides.… I said my sympathies are with the South and I won’t serve as a Leut. and hope to be released from service.”

Primary Source

Snare Drum of William C. Streetor, 7th EMM (Download 1.2 MB PDF)