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Douglas Niermeyer, Past Commander-in-Chief
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
Austin Augustus King Jr. was born December 5, 1841 in Ray County, Missouri, the son of Austin Augustus King, Sr. and Nancy Harris Roberts. He came from a very prestigious family with a long line of military and political service. This included his father, Austin Augustus King, Sr., a Lawyer and Judge, who also was a Colonel of the Missouri Militia during the Black Hawk War, a Missouri State Representative from 1834 to 1838, a judge presided at the trial of Mormon leaders in Missouri in 1838, and served as Governor of Missouri from 1848 to 1853, and US Representative from Missouri from 1863-1865. A slaveholder and a Democrat, he voted for the amendment to abolish slavery which cost him much in his political career. The town of Kinston in Caldwell County, Missouri is named in his honor. Austin Sr. died April 22, 1870 in St. Louis and is buried in Richmond, Missouri.
Austin Augustus King, Sr.
Governor of Missouri 1848-1853
(Source: C.S. Shoemaker, 1943)
Austin Sr.'s grandfather was John Seiver. John Seiver served as a Colonel of Virginia Militia under Washington in Lord Dunmore's War 1773 - 1774, a Colonel of North Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War, Governor of the State of Franklin 1785-1788, Brigadier General of North Carolina Militia in the 1790s, as a North Carolina State Senator and ratified the Constitution, was a US Representative from North Carolina 1789-1791, first Governor of the State of Tennessee 1796-1809, a North Carolina State Senator 1809-1811, and a US Representative from North Carolina 1811-1815 until his death in 1815.
Austin Jr. was raised in Ray, Caldwell, and Cole Counties, Missouri and on January 12, 1862 in Richmond, Missouri enlisted as a Private in Company B, 3rd Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia (Old). The regiment performed guard line of the North Missouri Railroad and operations in Northeast Missouri against Porter till February 1863, fought at Prairie Jackson, Missouri on April 9, 1862, near Fayetteville, Arkansas, July 15. Moore's Mills, near Fulton, July 24, Greenville July 26, Dallas August 24, Newtonia September 13, Monroe County September 16 and October 4, operations against Marmaduke in Missouri December 31, 1862 to January 25, 1863, and returned to Springfield January 8, 1863. The regiment disbanded February 4, 1863.
There was some crossover between Missouri State Militia units service as Austin also is found enlisting on January 12, 1862 as a Private in Company K, 6th Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia. On March 7, 1862 in Richmond, Missouri, he was promoted to Captain of Company D, 3rd Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia (Old), which he served as until December 31, 1862 and which was the last muster of this regiment. He also is found serving as Captain of Company D, 3rd Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia from March 18, 1862 to March 4, 1863, in which his older brother, Walter King, was it's Colonel. Austin renlisted March 8, 1863 as Major of the 6th Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia and served from March 11, 1863 until he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 13th Missouri Cavalry. He served as Lieutenant Colonel of the 13th Regiment Misouri Cavalry Volunteers from September 19, 1864. His service in the 6th Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia included the pursuit of Coffee, Garden Hollow, near Pineville, August 9, duty at Fort Gibson C. N. and Honey Springs, joining General Blount's Campaign in Indian Nation and Arkansas August and September, Perryville August 26, Scullyville, Arkansas August 30 - 31, Devil's Back Bone September 1, capture of Fort Smith September 1, Horse Creek September 17, march to Springfield, Missouri arriving September 18, operations against Shelby and pursuit to Arkansas River September 22-October 26, Carthage October 2, Neosho October 4, Humansville October 16-17, Bloomfield October 22, Harrisonville October 24, Buffalo Mountain October 24, expedition from Springfield to Huntsville and skirmish November 8-18, expedition from Springfield to Howell, Wright and Oregon Counties November 28-December 13, duty at Springfield and in the District of Southwest Missouri until July, 1865, scouting from Huston December 9 - 19, operations in Northeastern Arkansas January 1 - 30, 1864, Sylamore Creek, Arkansas January 23, Sylamore January 24, scouting from Springfield into ! Northern Arkansas February 23- March 9 (Detachment), near Buffalo City, Arkansas March 1, Bennett's Bayou March 2 (Detachment), scout from Yellville to Buffalo River March 13-26 (Detachment), Richland Creek April 13-14 (Detachment), expedition from Patterson to Bloomfield and Pilot Knob May 16-25 (Detachment), near White Hare June 15 (Company E), operations in Randolph County July 23-24, operations in Ray and Carroll Counties August 12-16 and near Roanoke September 10.
He also participated in operations against Price from September to November 1863. On September 24, Bloody Bill Anderson’s Rangers led a charge on Fayette, Missouri, where a command under Union Major Austin King was stationed. The Federals had built blockhouses north of town and the partisans charged these strong defensive positions three times in an effort to overtake them. It turned out to be a turkey shoot for the Federals. The Rangers, armed only with pistols, never had a chance as they advanced on horseback over open ground to take the blockhouses. The well protected Union soldiers caused a number of Ranger casualties. Seeing his blunder, Anderson reluctantly retreated north towards Glasgow. Thirteen of Anderson’s men were killed and over 30 wounded. The Union casualties were one killed and two wounded. After the battle, Ranger Hamp Watts said that five Ranger bodies were dragged out onto the streets of Fayette where Union soldiers ran rough-shod horses back and forth over their bodies until they were mutilated. The bodies were later dumped in a common grave in a cemetery south of town.
The 13th Regiment Missouri Cavalry Volunteers continued against Price with actions at Glasgow, Missouri, October 15., Little Blue October 21, Lexington October 21, Independence October 22, Mine Creek, Little Osage River, Marias des Cygnes, October 25, Carthage October 26, duty at Rolla until May 1865, operations about Stephenson's Mill March 22-23, 1865 (Detachment), scouting from Waynesville March 29 - April 2 (Detachment), scouting from Rolla April 21 - 27 (Company M), Skirmish, Spring Valley, April 23 (Company M), Skirmish near Waynesvilie May 23 (Detachment), The regiment then moved to Fort Larned, Kansas and was on duty in District of the Plains, operating against Indians, until July 1866. Austin Jr. was promoted to Colonel on July 10, 1865, and served until mustering out on January 11, 1866. The 13th Regiment Missouri Cavalry Volunteers regiment mustered out July 3, 1866.
The following is a detailed report of the regiment's service by Major John E. Mayo from the Missouri Adjutant General Report for Missouri, year ending 1865:
Headquarters 13th Regiment Missouri Cavalry, Volunteers,
Camp Wardwell, C. T. December 10, 1865.
To: Colonel Samuel P. Simpson, Adjutant General of Missouri:
Sir: The regiment now known as the 13th Regiment Missouri Cavalry, Volunteers, existed on the 29th of May, 1864, as a detachment of veterans, reinlisted from the 6th Missouri State Militia, Cavalry, who on that day received at St. Louis, Missouri, their furloughs for thirty days, returning to their rendezvous in St. Louis on the 29th of January, 1864. These men receiver a temporary organization into companies; were officered and equipped for field service. It was not until July 22, 1864, that the organization of the regiment was authorized by orders from Headquarters Department of Missouri, under direction of Colonel E. C. Catherwood, of the 6th Missouri State Militia, Cavalry, but on the day of issue of this order, the detachment was ordered into the field, under command of Colonel Catherwood, to meet an emergency created by guerrilla operations in Caldwell, Ray, Clay, Clinton, and Platte counties, Missouri. During the campaign in these counties, Colonel Catherwood returned to St. Louis to labor in the formation of the regiment, while the detachment, under command of Major Austin A. King, continued in its work of dealing death to ambushed foes. Proceeded to Glasgow, Missouri, to meet in that vicinity the notorious Anderson and his barbarous band; scouting through the counties of Howard, Randolph, Monroe, Callaway, and Chariton, killing in the frequent skirmishes about fifty guerrillas, capturing from the enemy many horses and arms. On the 29th of September, this detachment, with the exception of Captain Mayo and twenty men, who were left at Glasgow, proceeded by boat, with General Fisk, to Jefferson City, and participated in the defense of the capital, against General Price’s last raid into the State. The detachment of twenty men and all the equipments and horses left at Glasgow, fell into the hands of the rebels, by the surrender of the place by General Harding, on the 10th of October, 1864. Captain Mayo (now Major), during the day’s fight, was gallant, repulsing with his detachment about sixty! ! Ray a nd Clay country militiamen, the repeated charges of two rebel regiments, to take a bridge which he was ordered to hold. During these operations along the Missouri River, the ranks of the regiment were being filled in St. Louis by representatives from the various Missouri State Militia regiments, resulting in the following organizations:
Company E, organized August 29th, 1864, A, B, C, D, and F organized September 5, 1864, companies G and H on the 12th, Company I on the 14th , K on the 20th, and L on the 19th of September. These companies, without having a regimental organization, marched on the night of September 26th to meet General Price, then invading the State at the head of the rebel army, and reported to Major General A. J. Smith, at De Soto, Jefferson County, returning under him to St. Louis before the close of the month. Leaving the Meramec bridge October 1st, these companies marched under Colonel Catherwood, arriving in Union on the 5th inst., and spending there days in scouting to the south and west to a distance of forty miles, thence proceeding on the 7th and arriving at Jefferson City on the 10th inst., where they were joined by the detachment under command of Major King; thence, on the 12th inst. to California; on the 13th to Georgetown; on the night of the 13th to Higgins’ farm, and on the 14th to Milkey’s farm. On the 19th of October, at Killpatrick’s Mills, the regiment was assigned to the 2d Brigade of Major General Pleasonton’s cavalry division, and accompanied the same, marching on the 20th, mostly at night, to Lexington; on the 21st to Fire Creek Prarie; on the 22nd to Independence, losing Major W. C. Lefever and two men wounded, and one man killed. At Independence the regiment made a gallant charge upon a division of the enemy, having two guns in position, cut down nearly every man at the battery, capturing the guns and driving the enemy from the ground. In this charge Captain Turner, Lieutenants Ringen and Vanbebber, and seven men were wounded. Marched the same night to Little Santa Fe; thence to the vicinity of Fort Scott, where the enemy had agin formed for battle. On this day the regiment was in the rear, but was brought to the front, reporting only one hundred and fifteen men, the remainder being disabled by the loss of their horses, by exhaustion; with this small force another charge was made upon the ! left of the enemy’s line, using the saber upon the heads of the rebels, who fled in great confusion, closely followed up until the colonel commanding finding himself far in the rear of the enemy’s line and in danger of being flanked, was compelled to fall back. (Portions of the above are extracted from Colonel Catherwood’s official report.) Nine men were wounded in the last engagement.
On the 29th of October the regiment was at Newtonia, where Major Austin A. King assumed command, and returned to Springfield by November 1st, 1864. One hundred and twenty men of the command, the only ones remaining mounted, proceeded under Major King to Cassville, Missouri, Ozark, Linden, and Huntsville, and on the 15th to Rolla, wither the dismounted body had already proceeded on the 9th inst.
Here the close of the year found the main body of the regiment building winter quarters, while several companies were garrisoning outposts within the district. At the beginning of the year 1865, the regiment was stationed at Rolla, Missouri, where it remained building winter quarters, doing outpost and guard duty, scouting, escorting trains, fighting guerrilla bands, and doing much service in resisting lawless depredations, until May 18th. On the 26th of February, the last company M was organized. May 17th, orders were received at regimental headquarters for the regiment to march via Linn Creek and Warrensburg, Missouri, Lawrence, and Fort Riley, Kansas, to Fort Larned, Kansas. In compliance with these orders, the regiment marched on the following day, leaving four companies, F, H, C, and A, still on duty in the district of Rolla, proceeding with much annoyance from storms and scarcity of forage to Fort Riley, where it arrived the 6th of June, and reported at headquarters District of Upper Arkansas, where the following disposition of companies was made: Company L was sent to Republic County, Kansas, and stationed at Salt Marsh; the other seven companies were ordered to report to the commanding officer of the 2d sub-district (Colonel Catherwood), and were assigned to stations as follows: companies B and D to Little Arkansas Crossing, I, K, and M to Cow Creek Station, E and G to Fort Zarat, Kansas, all on the Santa Fe road. Headquarters was established at Council Grove, Kansas. The duties of these companies consisted in escorting mail coaches and trains, and protecting the road against Indian depredations; the duty was severe and constant, and was performed a great portion of the time without forage for the horses, and some times without rations, and until July the men were so destitute of clothing that for several weeks an entire company was excused from duty, owing to the impossibility of their appearing with decency outside the holes they had dug in the banks of the Walnut Creek for their shelter ! from the severe storms and scorching sun of the plains.
Companies A, C, F, and H arrived in the district during the last days of June. C and H were assigned to Fort Zarat, A and F to escort the Butterfield surveying party to Denver, Colorado Territory, from which expedition they returned in September. On June 29th, the regiment suffered the loss of its respected and efficient commander, by the resignation of Colonel E. C. Catherwood, who felt himself mistreated and neglected. Colonel Austin A. King succeeded to the vacancy thus created, on the 10th of July, 1865.
On the last day of July, nine companies stationed in the district were concentrated at Fort Zarat; from thence headquarters of the regiment, with these squadrons, marched under command of Major Mayo, on the 3d and 4th of August to Fort Larned, Colonel King having been ordered to Council Grove to assume command of the 2d sub-district. Upon the arrival of the command at Fort Larned, it was reported to Major General Sanborn, for service in the field in the contemplated expedition against hostile Indian tribes south of the Arkansas River; here they were joined by Company L. The expedition being abandoned, the regiment furnished a detachment of one hundred men, who returned with General Sanborn to the vicinity of the place appointed for an Indian Council, near the confluence of the Arkansas with its little namesake. Colonel King, in pursuance of orders from Sanborn, accompanied by companies B, C, H, and I left Fort Larned August 26th for Fort Riley, to assume command of the 1st sub-district; the companies also left Fort Larned on the 28th for Fort Zarat, under the command of Major Mayo. While Colonel King was at Fort Riley the sub-districts were discontinued, and he received orders to assemble five hundred men of the regiment at Fort Ellsworth, properly equipped, to proceed to Denver, Colorado Territory. The regiment was then equally divided, one half reporting to Major General Elliott, in the district of Kansas, being stationed, A and F at Fort Ellsworth, D and K at Fort Larned, G and M at Fort Lyon, Colorado Territory. Colonel King, with regimental headquarters, and companies B, C, H, and I started from Fort Riley on September 6th, accompanying Brevet Major General Upton, en route for Denver, Colorado Territory. On September 12th companies E and L also started from Fort Zarat, under Major Mayo, marching over trackless prairie to Smoky Hill, to intercept regimental headquarters, which had already preceded them, overtaking the command of the 17th, after marching day and night. This march occupied the ! column u ntil October 2d. The hardships encountered by the troops were of the most discouraging character; as the expedition had been indifferently provided with forage, nearly three-fourths of the march had to be made without the necessary supplies for their horses. Under ordinary circumstances the animals might have subsisted on the extensive meadow lands, but even this was denied, from the fact that the route traversed was almost wholly destitute of grass, resembling a burnt and barren waste, from which even the native buffalo had been driven to search for greener pastures. As a consequence, the number of dismounted men increased every day, while the exhausted beasts were either left to bait the prarie wolf or urged along the rear in the vain hope, excited by glowing reports, of soon reaching a kindlier soil.
The patience of the troops was much tried, also by the poisonous alkali which they were compelled to use during a great portion of the march, and by the lack of wood, of which scarcely any was found between Big Creek, a tributary of the Smokey Hill, and the Pinery, which we struck about sixty miles from Denver. Having arrived at Denver on the 2d of October, the command went into camp, where it remained until October 5th, when the Colonel received orders to send Company I to Fort Garland, where it is now located, companies H and L to Camp Collier, under command of Mayo, and himself to proceed with companies B, C, and E to Camp Wardwell, and there assume command of the post. The necessities of the service brought Company H also to Wardwell. These four companies have for the last two months been actively engaged in protecting the Platte route from Wardwell to eighty miles below, against the frequent assaults by Indians.
Justice to the men serving at the posts demands a statement of the neglect from which they have suffered to such a degree as to task the utmost endurance of human nature. Being located in a bleak desert, accessible at all points to the rough winds in the season of frost and snow, they have up to the present time, been unprovided with quarters of any description, being compelled by the necessities of the climate, to shelter themselves in the low and moist banks of the Platte. Being removed near a hundred miles from the woodlands, no provision has been made up to the present time for fuel, the men being left to battle with the rigors of the season without firs, frequently not even the amount requisite for the preparation of their food. The repeated efforts of Colonel King to correct these evils have this far failed to produce the necessary remedies. It cannot be surprising that the men should be turning longing eyes towards their homes and being anxious to be relieved from a service in which their labors appear to be so little appreciated, and their claims to meet with no attention.
I have the honor to be, Colonel, your obedient servant, John E. Mayo, Major Commanding
After the war, Austin returned to Jefferson City, Missouri where he practiced law and married Dorothea Elizabeth Lisle (born January 6, 1840 in Jefferson City, Missouri, died February 18, 1914 in St. Louis, Missouri). They had four children: Margaretta King (1868 - 1917), married Joseph Warren Pilcher; Ellen King (1870 - 1924); Austin Augustus King III (1872 - 1902), married Anna Hannagan; and Jennie Lisle King (1878-1878). In 1880, the family was listed with residences in Kansas City, Missouri and Wyandotte, Kansas as a lawyer and trader. Austin died in May 30, 1886.
Descendants of Colonel Austin Augustus King Jr., and descendants of his siblings, are eligible for hereditary membership in the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS - founded by Civil War officers on April 15, 1865) and the Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States (founded in 1899 as the auxiliary to the MOLLUS). For more information on either or both organizations, please visit each organization's national website:
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
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Missouri Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
1) Membership Records of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
2) 1866. Muster Recorder from Secretary of State of Missouri; Annual Report of the Adjutant General of Missouri for the Year Ending 1865, pp 383-387, 458-460, and 487-491.
3) Muster Recorder from Secretary of State of Missouri.
4) 1908. Dyer, F.H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Vol III, pp 1304-05, 1307, and 1311.
5) 1943. Shoemaker, F.C. Missouri and Missourians, Volume I, pp 659-662.
6) Congressional Biography of Austin Augustus King (1802 - 1870)
7) Centralia Massacre and Battle Reenactment of September 27, 1864 (http://centralia.missouri.org/massacre/index.html)
Copyright © 2006 Douglas Niermeyer, Missouri Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
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