The Kingsville Massacre
Worth Countians in the Civil War
Death is certainly not unusual in time of war; it is a given. But, it has a definite sting
when it affects your own. Many of the men and boys of Worth County, mostly farmers,
joined the Missouri Militia during the course of the Civil War, each for his own purpose.
He could fight for a belief, he could earn a few dollars a month to help his family and, by
joining the Militia rather than the Regular Army, he had an excellent chance of staying
relatively close to home. The counties along and south of the Missouri River were
heavily populated with Confederate sympathizers and, by early 1863, required an ever-
increasing number of Northern troops to contain(?) the depredations of dozens of
guerrilla bands that had overrun the countryside. Military commands were consolidated,
and new companies organized within various regiments. Many were far below optimum
strength and officers were authorized to solicit new recruits, principally from the northern
tiers of counties. In an effort to strengthen Company M, 1st Regiment, M.S.M, recruiters
focused on Gentry County, and what would become Worth County. Thus, a large
number of the company was from this area. Every enrollee could have told a story,
and most would return to tell theirs. Some, however, would not. Z.P. Cadle was
one of them.
Zacharia Preston Cadle enrolled in Company M, 1st Regiment, of the Missouri Militia
Cavalry at Gallatin, Missouri, on 15 June 1863 and was mustered into service at
Lexington, Missouri the following 22 August. Company M, formed almost entirely of
enrollees from Worth and Gentry Counties, was attached to the 1st in July, 1863.
At the time Cadle arrived at Lexington, the officer in charge of Company M was Captain
William McGhee. But, six days later, McGhee was dismissed for incompetency.
Captain Seymour Cobb assumed command of the company, but by December, had been
demoted to the rank of 1st Lt. and the company handed to Captain James Eads, who
remained at the position until mustered out in February, 1865.
On the date Cadle began service, a diminished Company M was already operating against
raiders commanded by William Quantrell and 'Bloody Bill' Anderson, as well as a host of
loosely associated guerrilla bands dominating the area.
As guerrilla warfare progressed in western Missouri, the companies of the 1st were
constantly shuffled to different locations in order to scout, pursue, engage, and in any
other way hinder the movements of, and destroy, the bands. From September, 1863,
Company M was assigned to Lexington, and scouted and skirmished several times in
Lafayette County. From April, M carried out the same duties in Johnson County, being
assigned to Warrensburg. In May, the company was detached to a camp in Holden, to the
west of Warrensburg.
Cadle furnished his own horse and equipment, as Company records show him due pay for
their 'use and risk' several times during his enlistment. On December 30, 1863, he was
granted a furlough to return home, but apparently did not return on time as on 20
February 1864 he was found guilty of being absent without leave and fined one dollar by
a Regimental Court Martial.
'Finding and sentence confirmed. Stoppage of pay will be made by the proper officer of
Company M 1st Cavalry M.S.M. and the prisoner released from confinement and
returned to duty.'
[A possible reason for the leniency shown Cadle, was that he had taken the furlough to be
with his ill son, William. The 14 year-old boy died on 6 January 1864.]
In April, records show that he was on detached duty with Lt. Cobb. And, then, a final
notice, 'killed by guerrillas on the line of the Pacific R.R. on June 12, 1864.'
Military Reports about the
Roster of Company M
Recruits known to be
from Worth County
Dead and Buried victims and
Letter written by Z.P. Cadle
Pension Jane Cadle Pension Requests
Yearly Report-1863 of the 1st Regiment
Yearly Report-1864 of the 1st Regiment
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