Thomas J. Yates in Civil War

When Major McDonald came through north Missouri gathering men for his Company, I, Thomas J. Yates, was among the 400 he mustered, Company B. Regiment 163. On October 1st, 1864, when Major McDonald was gathering forces through north Missouri, he stopped at a place near Elizabethtown (later called Swinkey and now Indian Creek) and took from my father seven horses and his oldest son, me.

With munitions short, I was out two weeks before I obtained a gun. During this time, while our Company was firing on Paris, I was detailed behind to tear down fences, pretending to be preparing the way for a whole regiment and thus keep the enemy from pursuing. There were only 400 in our Company and we were the last brigade to leave Missouri. After maneuvering around, we arrived at Elizabethtown, Arkansas, where General Price was then stationed. We were met there by General Shelby.

The men were then divided into Cavalry and Infantry. The Calvarymen went with General Shelby and the Infantrymen with General Price. I was chosen as a Calvaryman, and was placed under Captain Mason, and was under General Shelby. From Elizabethtown, Arkansas we rode to Paris, Texas where we stayed until the war was over.

When word came that General Lee had surrendered, we went to Waksahatchee, Texas (Dallas south suburb) where General Shelby disbanded. I remember hearing him say "I am not going to surrender, but am going to Mexico, if any of you boys want to go with me, all right Go where you wish. If not, go to Shreveport, Louisiana."

With most of my company I went to Shreveport and surrendered on June 17, 1865, becoming a recognized citizen of the United States again.

From Shreveport, I went to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to get transportation to St. Louis. Came from St. Louis to Monroe City on June 27, 1865 and was met by my father who of course, had not heard from me since my departure.

As a soldier, I never fired a shot nor was I fired at.


Thomas. J Yates (related to all the Yates in Monroe & Swinkey.)

Read times since 12/20/1997