Name: Harriett Shacklett Paymaster of Warwick CWD
Pre-War Profession: Farmer's Wife
Involvements During War Time: From 1861 - 1862, Sympathizer for the Confederacy.
Current Residence: Harrison Township, Scotland County, Missouri, - Married to Major Benjamin Wooley Shacklett with two children, Elizabeth Shacklett, & Mary Shacklett.
Paymaster of Warwick:
The Paymaster within the Civil War Division of Warwick Living History is a title automatically assigned to the Treasurer of Warwick. So, as the Treasurer, I am the Paymaster in the Civil War Division. I am in charge of the Warwick funds and their disbursement. However, the High Council of Warwick actually approves any requests for funds.
Paymaster During the Civil War:
Paymasters within both Armies were responsible for all financial areas. They were generally volunteers who had financial backgrounds. There were 2 Paymaster positions; Paymasters were Officers and were responsible for the approval and disbursement of all money. They also kept track of the financials as well. Paymasters were Staff Officers within Armies, Corps, Battalions, Divisions, and Regiments. The other position was Paymaster Sergeant. Paymaster Sergeants were at the rank of Sergeant or higher, and was responsible for submitting vouchers to the Paymaster for funds. They were also responsible for distributing the monthly pay to all members of their unit. There were multiple Paymaster Sergeants assigned to a Regiment. Each Paymaster Sergeant was assigned to each Company. Most Paymasters and Paymaster Sergeants were Bankers, Accountants, and Bank Clerks; but some were assigned because the Army did not have anywhere else to put them. Paymasters and Paymaster Sergeants were also found in the Navies, and Marines.
As the wife of Major Benjamin W. Shacklett, Commander of the Scotland County Mounted Troop; my main job is the protection of our Children and home. Before the war, I was a normal Missouri Farmerís Wife; I would work the land with my husband, of which we work 85 acres along the banks of Bear Creek. When my husband brought home the animals he shot while hunting, including Deer, Fox, Geese, Squirrel, and the occasional Bobcat, I would finish cleaning them, and cook them. I would take care of the house chores, including cleaning, baking, cooking, wash dirty clothes, and keep the wood-burning stove going. I also took care of our children and made sure they got educated at Hickís School.
After the war started, Ben realized a troop needed to be formed to protect our land, county, state, and rights against the Yankees, so he became friends with Colonel Martin E Green, the Commander of the 1st Cavalry Regiment of the Missouri State Guard. He then gathered his friends, neighbors, and anyone else in Scotland County who wanted to protect our county from the Yankees, and formed the Scotland County Mounted Troop. So, not only did I have to do the same chores that I did before, I also had to protect our farm if any Yankees decided to trespass. With the help from Ben, I learned and became skilled in using a rifle and shotgun. This way I could not only protect our farm, but I could also go hunting for food if I needed to. Luckily, while Ben was gone, I did not have to use this skill against a person. However, on July 20 of 1861, I thought I would have to use it.
One of Richard Butlerís sons, Nathan, had stopped by as he rode home from Memphis in the late afternoon of the 20th, and said that Benís troop was attacked at his camp in Etna by a troop of Yankee invaders calling themselves the Warsaw Greys from Warsaw, Ill. Nathan said that Ben was fine, but the Scotland County boys lost one and had several wounded. Ben and the Scotland County boys moved north toward Arbella. It was a blessing to hear Ben was OK. Not too long after Nathan left, Augusta Miller, the wife of James W Miller, and my friend and neighbor, stopped by. After talking awhile, we agreed that since the war has now come to our county, there will be injured who may need help. Augustaís Grandfather was a Doctor and had taught her a lot about how to care for injuries, so she spent a few days teaching me what she knew. We figured since there is only one Doctor that travels around Northeast Missouri, he could use the help. Especially if a battle would occur. I volunteered our farm to set up a temporary hospital. However, to make sure none of our supplies were taken, if any Yankees would happen to invade our home, Augusta and I hid them under the floor in the two bedrooms. We agreed that we were only going to take care of soldiers of the Missouri State Guard. We enlisted the help of my daughter, Elizabeth. If any wounded would stop at our place, Elizabeth would run to Augustaís house and let her know so she could come over. If the wounded should stop at Augustaís place, she would bring them over in her wagon. We have quite a bit of supplies including, water, whiskey, bandages of various sizes, and a small amount of medical instruments that Augusta had. The only thing we would not do is Amputation. If a soldier was that bad, we would send Elizabeth or one of Augustaís boys to get the Doctor. Augusta also showed Elizabeth and her two older boys, David and Jebadiah how to take care of minor wounds and injuries. Elizabeth wasnít too thrilled to learn this, but we didnít have a choice. We need to prepare for a lot of wounded soldiers. I assured Elizabeth, she did not have to help unless a lot of them showed up. She said she would rather watch the smaller kids like her younger sister, Mary and Augustaís other two younger daughters, but one of Augustaís daughters, Virginia is 8 years old, so she is old enough to take care of the younger children.
Our lives went on as usual except Ben wasnít here. We did get a couple of letters from him which we all enjoyed. I didnít like much what he was saying, about the fighting, but at least it was something. It tells me he is OK. He wrote a letter the day before the attack on his camp, and he sent me one about the attack on his camp at Etna. At least he wasnít attacked by men from Clark County. Ben knows a few people from over there. Our days between July 19 and August 5 of 1861, went on pretty much as normal except Ben and a lot of our friends and neighbors were gone. Most conversations revolved around the different views and positions of subjects (mainly those surrounding which side of the war Missouri should take); in the back of my mind, I pray that the Missouri Congress and the Governor approves for the secession of Missouri and the Confederate Congress approves it. Other topics included, whatís going to happen to our county throughout this war, the fact that the majority of our county is Pro-Stateís Rights, but a few men went over to Clark County and joined some of these Yankee units, we then found out that in Northern and Western Scotland County, a few Yankee units were formed. We could not believe it. We did hear that a couple of them were forced to form or be arrested. People learned early to stay away from the subject of slavery during conversations. Friends and neighbors has different views on the subject, be we all agree that states should have the right to govern themselves. We just donít understand how a President in Washington knows whatís going on in Scotland County considering he has never been here.
Around midday on August 5 of 1861, word was going around that a battle had occurred in Northern Clark County in Athens between Col. Martin E Greenís State Guard (including Benís Scotland County Mounted Troop), and David Mooreís Home Guard units. Not too long after I received word about the Battle of Athens, a few soldiers walked up to our place, wounded, asking for help. They said they were from Capt. Ralph Smithís Monticello Company. As I was getting Elizabeth to let Augusta know we had some wounded, she pulled up in her wagon with 2 more men, an Officer and a soldier. Most of the injuries were caused by their travel and were very minor, some cuts and scrapes that were easily cared for. As I approached Augustaís wagon, I found the Officer was Capt. John Duell from the Scotland County Infantry Company. He had a small bullet wound in his left forearm from what looks like a revolver. Augusta was able to remove the ball with the instruments she had and I washed the wound and dressed it. As I was dressing his wound, he told me about the battle. He said Benís unit was on the right, downstream from Athens and the funny thing about it was the other unit on the right with Ben, was the Wyaconda Company who is commanded by Capt. William Moore, the son of Col. Moore. As I understand it, another son of Col. Moore served in another Missouri State Guard unit. John also had said that after the battle, Col. Green ordered his units to fall back and meet back in Edina to reform. He said in the confusion of battle, some of the State Guard units separated, which is why he was here without the rest of his unit. He did say that Benís unit, the Wyaconda Company, Clark-Lewis Company, Marion County Artillery, and ďGreenís Own MenĒ of Lewis County did stay together because they had company flags to go rally to. I have hopes that Ben and his Scotland County boys stop by on their way to Edina, but itís hard to say which way he is going to get there.
As the day went on, Augusta and I only had to help a couple more injured Missouri State Guardsmen, but no sign of Ben and his unit. Around 5 or 6 in the evening of the 5th, a rider came to our farm, he said he is one of the soldiers from Benís unit. He also said Ben had sent him to check up on us. He said Ben is fine; the troop is on their way to meet back up with Col. Green in Edina. They were riding thru the far Southeast corner of Scotland County, so Ben had him run up to the farm, and he has to ride by himself and meet up with Ben and the Troop in Edina. We gave him something to eat, and he gave me another letter from Ben. I never got a chance to find out who he was. The only thing I knew about him was that he was from Northern Scotland County. He was on his way in about an hour. By bedtime, the wounded we helped was on their way to Edina as well. Augusta and I cleaned everything up as best we could and she went home. I got the kids to bed, but I went outside and sat down out front. Listening to the toads and frogs croaking, and the bugs that were out. I just could not get over what had happened this day. I also got a chance to read Benís letter.
He talked about the Battle at Athens and some other things. He did say word got passed around to the Commanders to meet in Edina to reform, and get additional orders. He also said to be careful and watchful in case the Yankees start going farm to farm and foraging. He wrote that no matter what we heard, the Missouri State Guard did not run away like a bunch of scarred kids; we just retreated looking like we were unorganized to fool the Yankees in thinking they won. Ben wrote that before the battle, Col. Green had told him and another Major, Joseph Porter, in camp, that if they can run the Yankees out of Athens and seize control, that would be wonderful for our cause. But if we were outnumbered and or out equipped, we would back off. He thought that being that close to Iowa, it would be easy for Iowa troops to cross the river, and continually attack. Ben also wrote that he was proud of his boys because when they attacked, it scarred the Yankees to retreat. They hightailed it back across the river and into Iowa. He said they retreated so fast, that within a few minutes, he could not see them anymore. He continued by saying it was the Alexandria Company Mounted Infantry under the command of Maj. Callahan (he retreated first), Capt. Spellman, and Lt. Combs.
The days following August 5, was pretty uneventful. No Yankees came around foraging or any sign of any Yankees at all. The kids and I went back to our daily lives. I still worried about Ben and what he was doing and going thru. On August 11, the kids and I went to Gorin to pick up a few things, and word came that a battle had occurred at Wilsonís Creek, which is near Springfield. Col. Greenís men, including Ben, had been ordered by Major General Sterling Price to meet up with him and other Missouri State Guard units near Wilsonís Creek. They were hoping that a victory in this battle would drive the Yankees out of Missouri for good. They did get the victory, but it did not drive out the Yankees, however, they became less forceful that we belong to the Federalís side. I was also told that Ben and a couple of his men were taken prisoner, but was released within a couple of hours because they were not considered a threat. They even gave them back their weapons. When Ben and his boys met back up with Col. Green, he gave Ben orders to take his unit back to Scotland County.
On August 13, we received a letter from Ben telling us that he was in Camp outside of Moberly with his Unit, and they were on their way back. He said they got new orders after Wilsonís Creek, but he would tell me more when he got home. He also said he did not lose any men at Wilsonís Creek. He asked if I could let some of the wives know they were on their way back. So the next day, the kids and I got in our wagon, and ventured to some of the homes and farms in southern Harrison Township and spoke to some of the wives whoís husbands are in Benís Unit to let them know they are on their way back. We went to some houses in Gorin and Etna, but we did not get to any in northern Scotland County. Ben did not say when they would get back, so I just told them the Unit would be back in the next couple of days.
On the morning of August 15, the kids went off to school, and I started my morning chores. Not too long after I fed the chickens, and gathered the eggs, I heard a bunch of horses coming. I started getting a little scared. All I could think of was that it was a bunch of Yankees coming to steal from us. So I ran to the house and grabbed the shotgun and rifle. I was determined to defend our home as much as I could. As I ran back outside, I looked down the road, and saw a tan colored banner, and read the words ďJefferson DavisĒ on it. Ben and the Scotland County Mounted Troop boys had made it back. I was so excited to see him. I think he was too. He ran his horse as fast as he could up to the house, and jumped off before he even stopped his horse.
We sat down on the front porch, and he dismissed the rest of his Unit so they could get home, as soon as they unloaded Benís belongings. After they left, Ben was more worried about how the farm was doing than telling me about what he had been through. I told him that everything is fine. Since the kids were at school, we decided to let them finish their school day and tell them when they got home that Ben was back. Kind of make it a surprise for them. About that time, the kids were running up the lane to the house. They said a couple of guys from Benís Unit stopped at Hickís School first before going home. So the Teacher let them all leave school. The kids were very excited to see Ben, and I could tell he was too. They wouldnít stop asking about where he had been, and what he did. He said he would talk about his adventures after lunch.
We finished our chores, ate lunch, and gathered in the sitting room. Ben told us about his run in with the Warsaw Greys, the Battle at Athens, his trip down to Wilsonís Creek, and his capture and release. He asked if we got his letters, so I pulled them out of the drawer and showed him. He did say that he got shot during the Battle at Athens, but he did not want us to worry about him, so he didnít say anything about it in his letters. He said it happened when they were pulling back out of Athens. He said, ďAt least it didnít happen until after the battle. I was able to get a few Yankees.Ē He took off his jacket, and showed us the scar. The wound had already healed. He said it did not go very deep, so it healed quickly. He said he did not spend much time with the Doctor. As soon as he got it out and put a bandage on it, Ben was back on his horse and on his way to Edina. He sent the rider to check on us when the Doctor was removing the Minnie Ball. He told us about his new orders from Col. Green. His orders were pretty simple. Once a week, the Scotland County Mounted Troop will reassemble, and patrol the southeastern portion of the county for the day. If they encounter any Home Guard or Federal units, they are to engage them. They can go about their ďnormalĒ lives, but must be ready to reassemble at a moments notice if the Yankees invade Scotland County. Since Ben is the Commander, he made our Farm the Headquarters, so when they go on patrol, everyone would meet at our house. And if they needed to reassemble in a hurry, they would meet at our place as well. The orders stated to continue this until Col. Green sent new orders, or when he comes back to muster out the Unit.
During the months and years following Benís return, our lives went on as close to normal as we could. Ben had contacted the newspaper in Memphis so he could start getting the paper so he could keep up to date on what was going on in the War, which gave all of us something different to read. Like clock-work, every Saturday morning at 6am, Ben and the rest of the Scotland County Mounted Troop formed at our farm, and they rode their patrol throughout southeastern Scotland County, they always go a good reception when they patrolled thru Gorin. They usually got back around 7 or 8 in the evening. They never had any run-ins with any Home Guard units or Yankee troops. It was like they were all too scared to come in our area. They continued this until the end of the war, even after Ben had read in the newspaper that Col. Green had been killed during the Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi on June 27 of 1863. Ben found out that Col. Green had been promoted to General and received command of a Brigade after the Troop left Wilsonís Creek to come home. That Saturday, after receiving the news, when the Troop gathered to form for the patrol, Ben talked to everyone about what they wanted to do. Either continue the patrol, or stop. Ben was very convincing, and got the Troop to continue the patrols until he received word that the War was over.
As for myself, I went about my daily life like I did before the War started. However, Ben and I continued to get updated news about the War, and how it was going for Stateís Rights. Another thing that changed, was that after word got out about what Augusta and I did for the wounded State Guard men, people who got injured or became sick that lived in our area, would come to us to help them instead of waiting for the Doctor to come. Ben was very supportive of this. By Warís end, this had dwindled down until no one came around for help anymore.