Infantry Attacked at Glasgow before Westport

About a week before the big cavalry battle at Westport, Daviess County men faced Confederate artillery at Glasgow and were forced to surrender.

About a week before the big cavalry battle at Westport, Daviess County men faced Confederate artillery at Glasgow and were forced to surrender.

In September, 1864, a company of Union infantry was formed in Daviess County under the command of Capt. William F. Flint. This was Company F of the 43rd Missouri Volunteer Infantry (MVI). Overall command was under Col. Chester Harding, Jr., the former State Adjutant General.

The 43rd Regiment had 10 companies. It is reported that six companies were at Glasgow. The regiment was signed up for 12 months but mustered out June 30, 1865, after 10 months service. There were 141 men of Daviess County signed into Company F. Each received a bounty of $100 from the county military tax fund. There were 15 other men in the company that did not get the Daviess County bounty.

In early October, 1864, the regiment was ordered to reinforce the garrison at Jefferson City. The regiment was attacked at Glasgow by Confederate General John B. Clark, Jr., whose forces occupied Boonville. Gen. Clark’s command at Glasgow consisted of his own brigade of cavalry, Marmaduke’s brigade and about 300 men in Gen. Shelby’s Division, commanded by Col. S.L. Jackman. There were about 1,700 men in total, including several pieces of artillery on the Rebel side. The Union force had no cavalry or artillery.

At dawn on Oct. 15, 1864, Gen. Shelby commenced the attack on Glasgow with one piece of artillery firing from the west bank of the Missouri River. Then Shelby opened a hot fire from six pieces of artillery stationed on the east bank of the river on hills south of Glasgow. The east battery was commanded by Major Pratt. The artillery first was directed on the steamer Western Wind, lying at the wharf. It was disabled and abandoned by the Union regiment. Then Shelby turned his big guns on Glasgow City Hall, used by Col. Harding as a commissary depot. Col. Harding’s men were forced to defend Glasgow from rifle pits. The city hall was set on fire. A northeast wind spread the fire to over a dozen houses which were entirely destroyed.

The Confederates completely surrounded Glasgow and had one strong position in the Dunnica House, only 225 yards from the rifle pits. The house was filled with rebel sharpshooters firing from 10 openings that fronted on the rifle pits.
Dr. Vaughan, an old resident of Glasgow, prevailed upon Gen. Clark to cease firing artillery upon the city. Dr. Vaughan volunteered to go to Col. Harding and request his surrender.

The Union had over 30 men killed or wounded and gave up about 1 p.m. Harding’s regiment was disarmed and escorted to Boonville. The Confederates had about an equal number killed or wounded. There were no men from Daviess County killed.

A force of Quantrell’s men, probably including Frank James, participated in the battle. Two days later they robbed the Glasgow, Thomson and Dunnica Bank of $21,000. Quantrell forced W.F. Dunnica to open the bank vault and safe but Dunnica saved $32,000 by having it buried at another location.

A list of the officers and soldiers of Company F is provided. These men were exchanged and were in active duty in the Central Missouri District until the close of war in April, 1865.

Prepared by David Stark