Botched Attack in Bollinger County

21 Nov 1862, Fri The Perryville Weekly Union (Perryville, Missouri)

The November 21, 1862 edition of the Perryville Weekly Union newspaper carried the story of a Captain Johnson, who resided in Bollinger County, Missouri and was attacked at his home by a Emanuel Grounds, who was accompanied by 14- 15 men.

The attack went badly for Grounds and his men when Captain Johnson met them at the door of his home. Grounds fired his weapon, missing Johnson. Johnson’s weapon found its mark when he returned fire, striking Grounds in the heart and killing him instantly, at which time the rest of Ground’s party scattered, leaving behind horses (one of which was stolen from Judge Conrad) , a mule and other supplies.

The Perryville Union described Grounds as a “Rebel Chief” and the men who accompanied him as “Hell Hounds” and “Guerrilla Thieves.”

A quick research of Emanuel Grounds military status reveals that he was a member of the 8th Missouri Confederate Cavalry Company A, commanded by William Jeffers of Jackson, Missouri. Oddly enough, records do not show Grounds rank when he joined the 8th Missouri Cavalry, CSA. Nor did it show his rank when he left.

Did Grounds, leave the 8th Missouri CSA and strike out on his own like so many Missouri Southerners did as the war progressed?

The Perryville Weekly Union did not provide the first name of Captain Johnson, which makes it difficult to positively identify him or what unit he served under. Searching the U.S. Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database I did find a Captain J.J.P. Johnson of the 1’st U.S. Reserves / Homeguard but when I click on the link for the history of the unit the website simply states “no information available for this unit.”


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