The Civil War in Missouri

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Lieutenant John N. Coudrey

1861-1865
MHM Photographs and Prints

Lieutenant Coudrey was born in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, on July 30, 1839. After his education, and a short stay in Wisconsin, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1858, working as a clerk on a Mississippi River steamboat. On May 8, 1861, he enlisted for three months as a Private in Company K, 3rd U.S. Reserve Corps, U.S. Volunteers. The Reserve Corps were known as the Home Guard because they were not deployable outside of St. Louis without consent. Coudrey was discharged on August 20, 1861, after the expiration of his three month enlistment. He opted not to reenlist in the Reserve Corp as a three-year volunteer. Instead, he mustered into service at Benton Barracks on October 1, 1861, as a 2nd Lt. with the 2nd Missouri Volunteer Cavalry (Military Service Records).Coudrey’s unit was called to repel a Confederate invasion force in southwestern Missouri and fought in Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas for the remainder of the war. Lt. Coudrey distinguished himself at the battle of Kirksville, Missouri, by taking a squad of troopers into the town to draw fire from Confederates hiding in the buildings. The 2nd Cavalry played a crucial role in the battle of Silver Creek and also helped destroy a gang of Confederate Guerillas. Coudrey’s regiment was disbanded and mustered out of service on September 19, 1865.