Bruce try this entry on for size re Crabtree. Note the company and that they are alluded to as recruiters that have a history of depredations. I suspect Crabtree was not a general but more likely a Captain or perhaps Lt. Col or somewhere in between. Time frame is right. Maybe we can tease this one out yet by the company he keeps.
From OR Series 1, Vol 13 pg 461:
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH MISSOURI CAVALRY, Springfield, Mo., July 3, 1862.
Commanding Missouri State Militia, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: I have just returned from an expedition through the eastern portion of the Southwest District and south along White River and the Arkansas line, and having some leisure and information from the rebels I assume the privilege of writing you direct. This course may not be according to the laws of William and Mary, yet, if you approve it, I will occasionally give you a dish of what is going on in the southwest. With this preface I will proceed. The rebel forces under McBride, Schnable, Coleman, Crabtree, Hindman, and Bledsoe are at this time embodied and in camp east of Yellville, Ark. McBride has recently been empowered to consolidated and command all those troops by the authorities of Arkansas. He is now organizing,and has 1,500 men in one camp and 300 at Yellville. They are enforcing the conscript law.and a majority of the citizens north of the Boston Mountains are very indignant and much opposed to the law. Much suffering prevails among them. In my late expedition I drove everything from the eastern portion of the district; captured 60 bad cases, and carried out General Orders, No. 18, in fifteen instances. I learned by a scout in their camps that the rebel force in Arkansas was 30,000 strong, and that they had a movement on hand to advance into Missouri. They intended to attack Cassville with some 6,000 carry,that point, and then concentrate upon Springfield. They say they do not regard the Missouri State Militia, and that this is the key-point to Missouri. They also claim 20,000 men north of Missouri River, who they say are ready to co-operate with them when the sign is right. While the scout was there a messenger arrived from Little Rock and announced to McBride that the rebel forces were successful at Richmond. It gave new life to the rebels. Scout says they are very determined and sanguine of success. McBride also received an order to join the main forces. These forces have been committing unheard of depredations in the various neighborhoods through which they have passed. They have plundered and murdered Upon citizens until forbearance ceases to be a virtue...
...If I have trespassed by writing this communication I beg pardon; if not, I will occasionally drop you a line.
Before I close allow me to rank you for your indulgence and many past favors.
I have the honor to be, general, with they high respect, your most obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Sixth Missouri Cavalry.
From the same volume pg 256, we have this report with a list of confederates captured. Thus I work through that list of names and see if a common unit emerges to tag to the elusive Col Crabtree. Miller county history indicates Crabtree was not a native to Miller or surrounding counties but "came North to Recruit" See history of Crabtree Cave in 2008 History and Stories of Missouri Caves (or some such title) I'll dig out the actual reference if you like but its just a rehash of vocal folklore. This means to me we may be looking for someone from Arkansas or there abouts.
AUGUST 23, 1862.-Skirmish near Wayman's Mill, on Spring Creek, Mo.
Report of Colonel John M. Glover, Third Missouri Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS ROLLA DIVISION,
Rolla, Mo., August 25, 1862.
COLONEL: The expedition under Captain Avery, with 200 men of the Third Missouri Cavalry, sent out on the night of the 22nd instant to intercept the rebel Colonel Crabtree and his 250 or 300 recruits (who killed Lieutenant [John] Heusack, of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, on the 23rd instant), returned last night at 7 p. m. A portion of his force fell in with some 60 of the enemy near Wayman's Mill, 25 miles southwest of this, killing 6, wounding 1 (mortally), and capturing 8 prisoners, 12 horses, and some arms. The most of the latter were destroyed on the ground. The prisoners were turned over to a guard of 12 men, in charge of a sergeant of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, to be conveyed to Fort Wayman. On the way an attempt to escape was made by the prisoners, in which 2 succeeded, 1 was killed, 2 mortally, 1 severely, and 1 slightly, wounded. Two of the wounded have since died, and one of the escaped has since been recaptured. Being first induced to believe that the killing and wounding of the prisoners was a wanton act I had the sergeant and his guard placed in confinement; but, on investigation, I learned from the prisoners themselves that a portion of them did attempt to escape, which resulted in the killing and wounding of those who wee least guilty.
The names of those captured are Robert Barnett, James Scott, Jonathan M. Stork, John B. Walthall (dead), Lieutenant William A. Edwards (dead), Elias Hopman (shot in hip), Edmund B. Dixon (slight saber wounds on head, and nephew of Honorable Thomas Price, of Jefferson City), and John Stephens. One of the men, who died from wounds (saber cuts on face and head) could not be identified. The prisoners were principally from Cole County, Missouri. After the firing on and killing of Lieutenant Heusack beyond Little Perry Crabtree's men scattered, or their chastisement would have been greater.
Colonel, permit me to say I believe my regiment has done more hard work than any cavalry regiment in the United States. My stock are used up. If it be possible I would like them to have some relief from their excessive duties, which, although they have ever been active since our arrival here, have been continuous almost night and day; my available force having been less than that of any division commander in the State, with as great, if not greater, responsibilities than any.
In haste, colonel, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
J. M. GLOVER,
Colonel, Commanding Division.
So at this stage I'm looking for a Capt or Col Crabtree from Arkansas that ran with McBride et al. and has at least 8 names attached, one another officer and at least one purported semi celebrity related to Price. Let me see what I can do. Edmund B Dixon has a SOS card from a reunion in 1883 that is not very helpful but there is a service card that puts him Co B 1st Mo Cav., enlisting in 1861 at Jeff City, Captured and exchanged, Paroled Alexandria LA. He was listed as a native of Nevada, Vernon Co. This fits the OR entry above. There is a reference to R.E. Burnett in the Clinton County History to find. At first blush the best fit I can come up with is Lt Col J.W. Crabtree of Searcy Ark. He is listed as Lt Col, Coleman's Regt Ark Cav. 5'9" Fair, Blue Eyes native of White Co Ark 36 y/o in May 1865. Circumstantial at this stage with lots of loose strings to tie together.