The Bollinger County Light Horse Cavalry

Flag of the Bollinger County [Missouri] Light Horse Cavalry

Cletis Ellinghouse, wrote in his book “Old Wayne”:

“Southeast Missouri’s renowned and railroader, Louis Houck, in his memoirs noted Judge Jackson at the outbreak of the war raised the U.S. flag at the courthouse at Greenville, in defiance of popular sentiment, which strongly favored the Confederacy. It created what Houck called, “a local war.”

It may be significant to note that the Bollinger County Light Horse Cavalry was the first Confederate unit organized in this neighborhood, in mid-March of 1861, which was nearly a month before the South attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12, 1861. It attracted a good number from Wayne [County] including Rufus and Christopher Holmes, respectively a sergeant and second lieutenant, sons of long-time Justice of the Peace John B. Holmes, as well as their cousins in Bollinger County, Joseph and Henry Bennett, privates, sons of Alexander Bennett and his first wife the former Debby Dennis , believed the eldest daughter of early settler John Dennis Sr.”

Glenn Dedmondt in his book “Flags of Civil War Missouri” writes:

“One unusual flag captured by the Freemont Rangers in the fall of 1861, the ensign of a company of the 1’st Cavalry Battalion of General M. Jeff Thompson’s 1’st Division, was made of black silk with a red cross on it.”

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