The Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board

Re: Order of Battle for Fagan's Division, 1864

Damon and Jay,

Both Colonels William O. Coleman and Thomas Roe Freeman commanded irregular or partisan ranger regiments recruited from men on both sides of the Missouri and Arkansas border. John Bradbury, Jr. wrote that Coleman was a prominent businessman in Rolla, Phelps Co. MO. before the war and Freeman was an associate judge of Phelps County before the war. The Dent County Historical Society wrote that Freeman also had roots in that county. I was not aware of what became of Coleman postwar, but Freeman moved to Neosho and lived out the rest of his days and left his memoirs in an archive in that area. I seem to recall that there was some discussion some months back in "The Missouri in the Civil War Message Board" of the difficulty some encountered trying to read Freeman's papers from that archive, but you may wish to search that and read those messages for yourself.

Starting in 1862 both regiments either selected as their mission or were assigned the mission of interdicting the tenuous wagon road between the railroad terminal at Rolla and the large Union base at Springfield, MO. The portion of that main supply route in the steep hills of western Phelps County, Mo. and Pulaski County, Mo. was especially vulnerable, and therefore was the choice target area of both these units. Tenuous logistics and the presence of the large Union base at Rolla made it necessary for both regiments to operate in small groups, and they carried on intermittent warfare throughout south-central Missouri with that purpose for most of the war. I am not sure if Coleman's and Freeman's regiments worked together, as the Union military records could hardly distinguish between them, and there is little documentation from the southern side remaining. I can assert that Coleman's and Freeman's regiments were persistent in operating in south-central Missouri, and especially targeting traffic on that main wagon road for most of the war.

James McGhee in his 2008 "Guide to Missouri Confederate Units, 1861-1865" by Univ. of Arkansas Press has information about units both Coleman and Freeman commanded, but I know he had difficulty trying to nail down the precise status of their commands. McGhee included some information about the Arkansas portions and leaders inside these units. Some of their company commanders and other subordinate leaders broke off and operated independently after Price's Raid in their own neighborhoods in the winter of 1864 and 1865 and into the spring of 1865. However, in the winter of 1864-1865 Freeman dispersed his men across a large portion of south Missouri and Arkansas to survive as best as they could until he would summon them again in the spring. Union forces in both the Rolla District and the District of Southwest Missouri had to send some of their better veteran cavalry units to deal with those scattered small groups of Confederates, many of whom were living out of their own homes that winter.

I did not know that Coleman re-entered active Confederate service in 1864 after he was dismissed from the service in 1862. As I read, Coleman in 1862 refused BG McBride's order to bring his unit to camp in order to consolidate his few companies with others, which led to his dismissal. I am aware that through General Shelby's leadership throughout the summer of 1864 in northern Arkansas every effort was made to bring any and all men together and organize them to prepare as much force as possible for Price's Raid in the fall of 1864. Therefore, I am not surprised that Coleman was given another opportunity to lead.

I have scant information on this part, but it seems that one or two of my Weaver ancestors from Birch Tree, south-central Shannon County, Mo. were at some point part of Coleman's regiment, too, and maybe one of them spent time in the Union military prisons in St. Louis.

Bruce Nichols

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List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
46th Arkansas
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Information on Coleman
Re: Information on Coleman
Re: Information on Coleman
Who is Crabtree
Re: Information on Coleman
Re: Information on Coleman
Order of Battle for Fagan's Division, 1864
Re: Order of Battle for Fagan's Division, 1864
Re: Order of Battle for Fagan's Division, 1864
Re: Order of Battle for Fagan's Division, 1864
Re: Order of Battle for Fagan's Division, 1864
Re: Order of Battle for Fagan's Division, 1864
Re: Order of Battle for Fagan's Division, 1864
Re: Order of Battle for Fagan's Division, 1864
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units
Re: List of Arkansas Civil War Confederate units