G.A.R. Post: Oliver Morton Post #10 Snohomish, WA
McKINNEY’S COMPANY VOLUNTEER M.S.G.
Disbanded: 12/61- 2/62 (est.)
While no specifics are available pertaining to McKinney’s Co. Missouri State Guard, some general suppositions can be made about it. During the War of The Rebellion Missouri was a North/South border state torn asunder by divided loyalties.
While the state itself remained in the Union, both Federal and Confederate armies contained Missouri units. During the early days of the war southern sympathizers in Missouri formed small, grass roots military groupings (the M.S.G.) whose primary goal was to keep state infrastructure resources- bridges, armories, etc. - out of the hands of the hated invading Yankee tyrants while, hopefully, delivering the state into the Confederacy.
The character of such units likely ranged from fairly professional organizations to marauding gangs of thugs. Most often they were ununiformed, poorly armed, and inadequately trained. McKinney’s Company drawn from the secessionist oriented Boone County, was one of these units.
By February, 1862 such local assemblages had either been disbanded or assimilated into more structured Confederate military units. As this change required Missouri men to broaden their focus beyond local defense, many M.S.G. members chose not to make the transition.
Another group tagged the McKinney’s Blackfoot Rangers (after the Blackfoot region of Boone County) was most likely a later incarnation of McKinney’s unit.
Residence: Inf. Not Avail. Age: 27/28 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 1861 Rank: Pvt.
Discharged: Late 1861 (est.)
Highest Rank: Pvt.
William Wallace Batterton was born 8/11/33 in Rockfork Township, Boone County Missouri to Lemuel and Mary Frances (nee Lynch) Batterton. He had at least three siblings: George W. (b.12/9/37), Ranson “Rance” (b.ca 1839), and Henry S. (b.1842). After the age of 12 William attended school five months in the winter and worked on the family farm during the summer. Around this same age he also worked for one month using a team of oxen to haul logs to a local sawmill. This experience taught him there was “a better and easier way for the future,” so he began attending school eight months a year and, at some point “engaged in teaching for five years.”
On 8/31/58 in Boone County William married Mary A. Winn (b. ca. 1839). One source notes the couple produced twelve children, nine of whom were “living in 1882.” Available documents name the children as follows: Elizabeth “Lizella” (b. ca. 1859), three “unidentified” (b. after 1860), Lenora (b. ca. 1863), Mary E. (b. ca.1865), William B. (b. ca. 1867), Bettie C. (b. ca. 1869). Four additional children were born after 1870. Two were sons George (b. unk.) and Guy (b. unk.) “Unidentified” children likely did not survive.
Living the life of a farmer and /or teacher, in 1859 William was elected first school commissioner of Boone Co. However, in 1861 he was removed from office for refusing to take the “Gamble Oath.” (Hamilton Gamble was the Provisional Governor- a northerner- installed after the rightly elected governor - a southerner - was forced, by Union troops, to flee the state. The oath was to ensure that all elected officials would uphold the US Government and not bear arms against it.) As William obviously had southern leanings, it is likely after his removal from office that he served in the M.S.G.
William appears to have become disenchanted with the rebel cause because he served only one, peripheral, enlistment with the Confederacy. While he took no further “voluntary” part in the War, he (likely sometime in 1863 or early 1864) served in an “involuntary” role. In 1925 William described the experience as follows: “U.S. troops camped close to my house, and ordered me with my wagon and team to help them on a forced march the next morning.
My wife and three small children being alone and exposed to the ravages of war, I offered my wagon and team to them if they would furnish the driver and excuse me. A flat refusal was the result. While on the march about eight hours, the rebels surprised and stampeded our command, killed and wounded over half the men, burned the wagons and supplies, wounded me supposedly mortally, but with great difficulty I was taken home the next day. When I recovered I was so utterly disgusted with such wicked and hazardous warfare that we sold the farm and moved to Nebraska, then neutral territory.
We spent a pleasant year on the farm I bought and, peace being restored (1865) I…hastened back to our natural home in Missouri where I farmed for several years.” Back in Missouri William served another four year term as school superintendent. Also, in 1875 he was elected (Boone) County clerk, an office which he held for 16 years. At the conclusion of his elective career William returned to farming and school teaching for two terms as well as other “activities.”
William and his wife moved to Snohomish County circa 1902. Likely the move was made to be near the families of adult children living in the Puget Sound area. At death Mr. Batterton was noted to have been survived by sons George and Guy as well as four married daughters. Five of the six children were apparently living in western Washington. William W. Batterton, former Civil War soldier died in Snohomish, WA 10/9/27 at the age of 94 years. Mary died later the same month.
Buried at Snohomish G.A.R.
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