This thread began back in 2011 as a search to find service records for Edward Smarr, and recently a paid researcher at NARA DC found new information that I wanted to share. Â To briefly summarize previous message board posts, John Russell found cards for Edward and Nelson SmarrÂ in the Miscellaneous (Unfiled) Confederate Service Records, which said they were both on a roll of prisoners received and confined at Military Prison in St. Joseph, Missouri by the Distr. Provost Marshall during the month of September 1864, captured September 10, 1864. Trolling throughÂ Missouri Provost Marshall records, the St. Joe prisoner list for September 1864 used to as a basis for reimbursement of jailÂ keeper Enos Craig was found, but did not show either Smarr.
However a DC NARA researcher recently located for me theÂ â€śRoll of Prisoners Received and Confinedâ€ť used by the War Dept. to create the service cards, plus a secondÂ â€śRoll of Prisoners Releasedâ€ťÂ that explains why the Smarrs do not appear on a list of prisoners. Â It is because the date of capture and date of release were both September 10, 1864, indicating they wereÂ â€śreceivedâ€ť but notÂ â€śconfinedâ€ť. Â Edward and Nelson were listed next to each other on both rolls, which read as follows:
RG 109, Entry 199, Roll 4, Sheet 2,Â "Roll of Prisoners Received and Confined at St. Joe, MO prison for Month of September 1864â€ťÂ is the list the two service cards were made from. Â It shows Edward and Nelson Smarr captured September 10,1864, and theÂ â€śWhen Committedâ€ť column left blank for both men.
RG 393, Entry 2635Â â€śRoll of Prisoners Released at Military Prison, St. Joseph, MO during the Month of September 1864â€ťÂ lists both men as being released on September 10, 1864, and again theÂ â€śWhen Committedâ€ť column is blank. Â The remarks for EdwardÂ Smarr wereÂ â€śRebel soldier released by taking amnesty oath by Lt. A. J. Harding, ADPMâ€ť. Â The remarksÂ for Nelson Smarr read differently, and were â€śParoled by taking the oath of allegianceÂ by Lt. A. J. Harding, ADPMâ€ť.Â
So research to determine what unit Edward Smarr was in, and the circumstances of his capture and release continue, no longer in records of incarceration however since they were not incarcerated, but instead directed at finding the amnesty oath for Edward and the oath of allegiance for Nelson, and more importantly the record of Hardingâ€™s deliberations of the circumstances that led him to release them.
Additional fact # 1 - a county history that stated Edward Smarrâ€™s father William Tarlton Taylor Smarr was shot and killed as a civilian on his front porch, also in 1864, month and day not stated. The history states this was done by Union troops because of the southern sympathies of the deceased. Â In researching what the Union was doing in the area of WTT Smarrâ€™s home in 1864, I found a letter from Union Headquarter in Warrensburg, MO written on the same Sept 10, 1864 date as the Smarrs were captured and released which described a â€śreign of terrorâ€ť - that officers under Union Col. B. F. Lazear in Lafayette County were permitting murder of peaceable civilians:
Sept 10, 1864Â
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CENTRAL MISSOURI, â€¨Warrensburg, Mo., September 10, 1864.Â
Lieutenant Colonel B. F. LAZEAR,Â
Commanding Second Sub-District, Lexington, Mo.:Â
COLONEL: The commanding general is informed by Major-General Rosecrans that you troops are causing a reign of terror in La Fayette and Saline Counties, and that it should receive your attention. He is also further informed that their officers are permitting them to rob the people of their property for their own benefit, to murder peaceable citizens, and commit other outrages upon the people, while the pursuit of the bushwhackers is abandoned by loading the troops with the plunder from the country. The meager results reported to these headquarters would seem to confirm this statement. The commanding general directs me to say, that should the investigation, now in progress, prove that any of the people have been plundered by the troops under your command, that the pay of the officers, and, if necessary, of the soldiers, will be stopped and appropriated, so far as it will go, to refund the value of property taken from the people. He directs that you will report fully in relation to these complaints.Â
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,Â
J. H. STEGER,Â
Official Records, Series 1, Vol 41, Part 3, p.144
Additional fact # 2 - Edwardâ€™s motherâ€™s brother (uncle) was named Nelson Smarr. Â Nelson (1817-1888) was 47 years old in 1864 and Edward (1839-1921) was 25. Nelson lived near Hannibal, MO in either Marion or Ralls County from about 1834 until his death in 1888. Â He is on the 1850,1860,1870 and 1880 censuses there and on IRS Tax rolls in the 1860â€™s there. Hannibal was about 160 miles by road from the Smarr home on the Lexington to Warrensburg Road, about four miles south of Mayview and ten miles by road southwest from Higginsville in Lafayette County. Â Given that the roll of prisoners released does not name Nelson as a soldier like it did Edward, that there is no other known record of Nelson being a soldier, it appears he was a civilian when captured with Edward on Sept 10, 1864. So what was Nelson doing in what would seem to be western Missouri (we donâ€™t know for sure where they were captured)? Â A scenario that could explain Nelson being on the other side of Missouri would be the murder of his sisterâ€™s husband William Smarr in Lafayette County in 1864. Â When word of the murder went out to son Edward and brother-in-law Nelson, both could have traveled to the Smarr home and been captured there together.
If any on the message board have any thoughts on the following questions, I would appreciate hearing them:
1) Does anyone think the Smarrs were actually captured and released on the same day? Â It seems unlikely to me unless they were captured at 8AM a block from where PM Harding was processing captured soldiers and civilians, which is unlikely. Â Nelson appears to have been a civilian who livedÂ 200 miles fromÂ St. Joe, MO on the opposite side of the State. Â And Willam TT Smar and Edward lived south of Mayview, 100 miles from St. Joe.
2) Does the differing wording on the release of the two make it appear that Nelson was a civilian? Â In other words, what were â€śamnesty oathsâ€ť for soldiers and â€śoath of allegiancesâ€ť for civilians?
3) Is the following a scenario that would explain the capture of Edward & Nelson? Â Could they have been captured at the Smarr house while responding to the murder of William TT Smarr, and the Union troops brokered a deal at the house that in exchange for not filing charges about the murder and signing an amnesty oath and an oath of allegiance, they would be released. Â Then word was sent to St. Joe District of North Missouri headquarters asking Harding to approve the deal, which he did on Sept 10, 1864, and in fact Edward and Nelson were never actually taken to St. Joe. Â Or if they were taken there, their actual capture date was how every many days it took to get the 100 miles to St. Joe from near Mayview, and not Sept 10. Â To blunt the heat from above in the Union ranks over a civilian murder, the unit that committed the deed certainly had an incentive to cover it up, leaving details like the place of capture and the circumstances.
Pardon the length of the post, but those who gave their time helping me on previous posts would be interested in the new information.