The Civil War Comes to Washington - Washington, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 33.700 W 091° 00.765
15S E 673143 N 4270008
Quick Description: Next to new train depot in Railroad Heritage Park
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 8/16/2018 5:48:44 AM
Waymark Code: WMYZPK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 1

Long Description:

County of marker: Franklin County
Location of marker: Front St., at foot of Elm St., Railroad Heritage Park, Washington
Erected by Washington Missouri Chamber of commerce; Washington Historical Society; Veterans Hall of Honor, Franklin County, Missouri

Marker Text:

The Civil War
Comes To

Washington Railroad Depot Burns
Confederate General Marmaduke's forces were advancing on Washington as October 1864 approached, with fear and widespread panic among the town's residents. Many citizens crossed the river to evade the advance of confederate troops. The School Sisters of Notre Dame, teaching at Saint Francis Borgia Parish grade school, decided to remain. All the sisters, and girls under their care, dressed in warm clothing and anxiously waited for what was to come. The sisters had confidence the Lord would not forsake them and prayed for His protection. As dawn on the morning of October 2nd several Washington citizens approached the confederate troops, under a white flag, surrendering the community. While the surrendered citizens were not viewed as enemies, the troops did not treat them kindly. Fortunately the sisters, and the female students under their care, were afforded the protection of the general.

After plundering of the town ceased towards evening, a confederate officer brought materials, supplies, and gifts to the sisters. The officer stated he was orphaned as a boy and was educated by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. He had a desire to repay them, and thus had taken money out of his pocket to purchase some of the items. The confederate officer is believed to be Captain Joseph Moore, a Commissary officer with the 1st Arkansas Infantry. Believing some of the gifts had been plundered, the sisters returned as many of the items as possible to the rightful owners in the community.

The main body of Marmaduke's troops left Washington on the evening of October 2nd. Subsequently, a remaining company of confederate soldiers set fire to the railroad depot on the river front. This was a common practice to prohibit further use of the railroad by Union troops. Startled, the sisters at Saint Francis Borgia were greatly alarmed that burning embers from the fire would spread to the convent, located at the northwest corner of Elm and Main Streets. The sisters pumped water on a wooden fence to prevent it from igniting. The building just south of the depot then caught fire while Confederate Captain watched the progression of the depot's destruction. Then some barrels of petroleum ignited, causing an explosion.

At that point, in respect to the pleas of the sisters, the Confederate soldiers dropped their weapons, went to the local firehouse to get equipment, and extinguished the fire so it would not endanger the convent. The confederate soldiers soon left town.

A House Divided
Daniel Quimby Gale was born December 23, 1807 in Amesbury, Essex County, Massachusetts. He studied law in Maine where he met his wife, Elizabeth Swain. Three children were born to the marriage: Daniel Oscar, Sarah, and Elizabeth. Daniel Quimby Gale moved to Union, Missouri in 1834, and later moved to Washington in 1837. He practiced law and served as a Justice of the County Court, County Judge, and Circuit Attorney, United States Assessor, and Circuit Judge. In 1839, Daniel Gale was elected to the first Board of Trustees for Washington, and also served as Postmaster for nine years.

In August 1862, Daniel Gale enrolled into Union service and was appointed the commander of the 54th Enrolled Missouri Militia for almost the whole duration of the Civil War. His command was temporarily suspended during a short period for an investigation of the death of a southern man, James Barnes, by suspected militia volunteers.

His oldest child, Daniel Oscar Quimbly Gale, born in 1831, had loyalties which differed from his father during the Civil War. He joined the Missouri State Guard, a Confederate unit. On May 6, 1861 he joined the 4th Regiment Missouri Infantry at Cole Camp, Benton County, Missouri, and was later commissioned into the Confederate Army on October 23, 1861. Daniel Oscar went on to serve as a Captain and Commissary Officer in Marmaduke's Division of Calvary until the end of the Civil War when he was captured and paroled at Shreveport, Louisiana June 7, 1865. During Price's Raid on Missouri, Daniel Oscar was in Washington and reportedly visited some of his family

Following the Civil War, Daniel Oscar returned to his home in Washington. He died at the age of thirty-five on August 6, 1866 and is buried in Wildey Cemetery, Washington, MO. His father, Daniel Quimbly [sic] Gale lived to the age of eighty-seven, dying on January 7, 1894, and is buried close to his son in Wildey Cemetery.

The River Boats
Washington was established along the banks of the Missouri River because of the benefits provided by this natural waterway. The railroad, which was later built along its shores, made Washington a prosperous community. But during the Civil War, both the river and the railroad made it a target for Confederate advances.

On 28 September 1864 Major General Rosecrans sent communications to Captain Julius Wilhelmi, Adjutant of the 54th Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia and to prominent citizens of Washington, to secure the steam ferry boats and guard them. Further communications instructed the militia to, if necessary, destroy the vessels. The two ferries located on the Washington riverfront wee named Bright Star and Evening Star. However, only Bright Star was docked at the that time. A reply to General Rosecrans confirmed the Bright Star and all skiffs were secured, preventing the Confederates from capturing them and gaining access to the north side of the Missouri River.

Union troops in Washington had a few supplies and were limited in number, and thus unable to repel an attack by the superior sized Confederate force. On October 2nd, an attack on Washington started at daybreak. During the preceding night, an order was given to evacuate militia troops and the civilian population to the north side of the river by the Bright Star and other boats. Not all civilians complied with this order, and a few paid for it with their lives.

The militia troops were ordered to move to the north side of the river, heading toward the St. Charles area. On their way, while passing by South Point, Confederate troops fired upon the militia with one militia soldier wounded. The militia could see the South Point train station burning, as well as the Dubois Creek Bridge.

The 54th Enrolled Missouri Militia returned to Washington on October 5th after the Confederate troops left Washington. The regimental headquarters was then sent to Pacific, Missouri for guard duty of railroads throughout Franklin County.

Both Bright Star and Evening Star survived the Civil War and continued to operate along the Washington river front for many years.

Name of Government Entity or Private Organization that built the monument: Washington Missouri Chamber of commerce; Washington Historical Society; Veterans Hall of Honor, Franklin County, Missouri

Union, Confederate or Other Monument: Other or General Civil War

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Date Installed or Dedicated: Not listed

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