Military Reports of the Kingsville Massacre

The following reports were gleaned from Dyer's 'The Compendium of the Rebellion." Additional information can be found in these volumes as well as the "Adjutant General of Missouri Report of 1865." They were searched at:

Headquarters Missouri National Guard
Office of the Adjutant General
1717 Industrial Drive
Jefferson City MO 65101

Warrensburg, Mo., June 12, 1864 - 3:30 p.m.
Captain Rouell,
Pleasant Hill, Mo.:
Troops near Holden had a fight this morning and had 12 men killed. Particulars not known.
E.B. Brown
Brigadier-General of Volunteers

Warrensburg, Mo., June 12, 1864
Colonel Ford,
Kansas City:
Company M, First Missouri State Militia, had a fight this morning near Holden and had 12 men killed. Particulars not known.
E.B. Brown
Brigadier-General, Commanding

Report of Captain Wyckoff, First Missouri State Militia Cavalry

HDQRS. Detach. First Cav., Missouri State Militia
Holden, June 14, 1864

On the morning of June 11, 1864, in obedience to orders, I ordered Captain Eads, Company M, to detail from his command 1 non-commissioned officer and 14 privates of his company for a scout north of Kingsville, who marched at 9 a.m. of the same day under the following order:

Corporal Parman and 14 men of Company M will proceed to scout the country north of Kingsville and along Crawford Fork, and return to camp at 12 m. of the 12th of June, 1864. Provide your men with one day's rations.

John Wyckoff,
Captain, Commanding Detachment.

The following is the report of Corporal Parman:

HDQRS. Co. M, Detach. First Cav., Mo State Militia
Holden, Mo., June 14, 1864

Captain: I have the honor to report to you, in pursuance of your request, movements of the men belonging to Company M, which I had on the scout under my command on the 11th and 12th instant: I moved with my command from camp on Saturday, the 11th instant, at 9 a.m., and proceeded west on the north side of the railroad, travelling some 15 miles; thence turned in a southeast direction, and marched to a point near the railroad some three miles west of Kingsville. Most of the distance marched on this day was in the brush, and saw but little sign of bushwhackers, finding only one trail, which I followed for some distance until we lost it by the parties separating. We camped for a part of the night near a Mrs. Longacre's, about one-half mile north of the railroad. On the morning of the 12th instant I moved with my men in a northeast direction from which I had camped, and had proceeded but a short distance when I discovered a large body of cavalry in my rear some 50 or 75 yards, and on the discovery of the enemy I formed my men in line and challenged the advancing party, who only increased their speed, and at this instant I ordered my men to fire on the enemy, which was done in a very few seconds. By this time my little detachment was entirely surrounded - only a small space toward the brush. By this time the bullets from the enemy's lines were falling like hail among us, and several of my men were killed. I remained in front of my line until the enemy had passed me, even some of them between me and my own lines, at which time I moved with all possible speed to the left, engaged one of the enemy, firing at him twice, when he turned, and, as I was in a helpless condition, my men nearly all killed, I made for camp with all speed possible. I feel satisfied that the enemy had been informed of my position and strength, as he had flanked me on the right and left before he showed himself in my rear. The attacking party was not less than 40 strong, and from the best information I have I think the whole command of the enemy did not fall short of 80 men, and probably 100. The enemy were all dressed in full Federal uniform and had the regular badges worn by our men on their hats and caps; small part of them wearing Federal overcoats.

I learned that the party was commanded by Colonel Yeager, of the rebel army, assisted by Bill Anderson, who is a captain of a guerrilla band. Yeager informed the citizens that he asked no quarter and would give none. I lost in this unfortunate affair 12 of my command, only 2 escaping. The men, after being killed, were stripped of all their outer clothing and everything valuable was taken from their persons, and the enemy scalped 1 man after they had killed and stripped him. The enemy marched from the north during the night, returning toward the Sni Hills after the engagement.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Joseph V. Parman
Corporal, Company M, First Cavalry, Missouri State Militia

Report of Captain Wyckoff

Aside from the report of Corporal Parman, I have followed and crossed the trail of the party at a number of points between where the slaughter occurred and the Sni Hills sufficient to enable me to know that it came from the north and returned to the north as soon as it had done its work of crime. The point of attack is about 8 miles from this camp. On the arrival of Corporal Parman at Kingsville, at which I had 11 of my company under Sergeant Triplett, Captain Duncan mounted his horse and came to this place immediately. We were engaged at inspection of arms when we received the intelligence. I immediately ordered my company to saddle and mount; in twenty minutes had 50 of my company in the saddle and on the march. Captain Eads had marched on receipt of the news with 20 of Company M, who were mounted for a two day's scout at the time of the arrival of Captain Duncan. I came up with Captain Eads at Kingsville, where I found Sergeant Triplett and his squad mounted and in line. He informed me that the enemy came in sight of Kingsville in such force, and the information received from Corporal Parman was such as to make him think best to keep possession of the buildings at that place until he could get assistance from this place. He joined me and we moved to the place of the massacre, where I found the men that had been killed strewn along for about one-half mile, 5 dead on the ground where they had formed their line, the others near the brush and in the brush in front of them, where I am informed they were met by another party that was in ambush and cut them off from the brush. My opinion is, from the fact of the men being shot in the eyes, that 4 of the men surrendered and were afterward shot and stripped of everything valuable and Corporal Ireland scalped.

I immediately ordered a sufficient number of carts from section 114 of Pacific Railroad Company to convey the dead to camp, which was the best and only conveyance to be had in a reasonable time. They were promptly furnished, and the dead gathered and sent to Holden, under Lieutenant Cobb, with orders to give them the best burial in his power, which was done. The dead being gathered, and my scouts called in which I had out to ascertain the course the enemy had taken, in which they had been unsuccessful, I started with 58 enlisted men of my company and 18 men of Company M, Captain Eads and Lieutenant Triplett, in a southern course about 2 miles; came on a trail of about 80 or 100 men bearing southwest, which I followed about 2 miles and ascertained it to be the trail in which they had come in. I turned north and bore around to the east about 5 miles, where we struck the trail going in the direction of Chapel Hill, which soon became [fainter] as when going down, and soon began to scatter and bear west. The trail we followed struck into the Sni Hills, about 3 miles west of the Widow Hill's, where Lewis Spainhowers has lived since early spring. Here we had a short skirmish with them, in which 1 of them was severely if not mortally wounded, instantly falling from his horse. They fired rapidly from the brush. I instantly dismounted 40 men, and deployed them as skirmishers and searched the brush, but they were gone; they had moved in a direction a little north of Lone Jack. It was now night, but as the men were good we marched on, having been joined by about 40 of the Colorado troops, with whom my pickets had a skirmish; but hearing of their fire, and having knowledge of their being in the country, and getting in a position where I could see their commander, gave the signal and soon had things all right; no damage done to either party. We remained together until the moon set. Being within 3 miles of Pleasant Hill we marched there and remained until morning, my men having had nothing to eat since the morning before, but were treated very kindly by the soldiers and officers at that place and furnished with breakfast and forage. June 13, breakfast over, I marched from Pleasant Hill north of east, crossing a number of small streams, the most of the way through brush and woods, very thick, 5 miles south of Lone Jack. Started some guerrillas from an old house in the brush; did not get closer than 400 yards; did not see but 2, though there were more in the party; they ran east. We continued in an easterly direction until we arrived north of a point where the men had been killed on the previous day, turned south, examined the ground and brush with care, and am prepared to give my opinion of the affair at any proper time. Having no rations with us, and none at camp, we returned at 4 p.m. of the 13th of June. At near 11 o'clock received a dispatch from you to send out a scout; at 12 o'clock 25 of Company D and 25 of Company M left this camp under Lieutenants Cobb and Triplett; they are still out.

All of which is respectfully submitted to you.
John Wyckoff,
Captain, Commanding Detachment.


On June 30, Brigadier-General of Volunteers, E.B. Brown submitted a report that said, in part:
'I regret to say that in one instance the loss was in a great measure due to the negligence of the corporal who was in command, through which the lives of the men entrusted in his charge have been wantonly sacrificed.'

No specifics were given. Perhaps to have his 14 men turn and present a challenge in the face of such a large force and firepower was folly. Perhaps to have tried to flee to a better defensive position would have been better. A review of Corporal Parman's military records might shed light on charges made, if any.

As a rule, man-for-man, Federal troops were severely out-gunned. Normally, the troops carried a single-shot rifle and/or revolver, whereas the guerrilla often carried from two to six revolvers plus other assorted weapons. The Militia was caught in the open, and in an ambush such as this, would have used valuable time forming the skirmish line, all while the enemy was closing in great numbers and firing into them as rapidly as possible. The line probably broke almost immediately, the survivors scattering, trying to make a dash for the brush. Although often done, it is uncertain if Corporal Parman had his troops dismount to form the skirmish line.

(Shooting in the eye was a common practice the guerrillas used on captured Federal troops. Both sides had a tendency to immediately execute captured prisoners.)

Corporal Joseph V. Parman was born in KY about 1833. When he moved to Gentry County is unknown, but he was certainly there by about 1857 as his father died there. Joseph V. Parman married Nancy Fitzhugh March 10, 1867, probably in Gentry County. Nancy was born February 08, 1844 in Buchanan Co, MO and probably outlived Joseph, as she died on August 22, 1905 in Ellenorah, MO with notice being made that she was survived by 8 boys and 2 girls. She was buried in the Lone Star Cemetery, in north-east Gentry County.

  • Roster of Company M

  • Recruits known to be from Worth County

  • Dead and Buried victims and burials

  • 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

  • Kingsville Massacre ...Main Page


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