The following is the product of some “ongoing” research and if anyone has anything to contribute it will be most gratefully received: JM
From what I can gather from the records Sam Trollinger was, for at least part of the war, what was known as a "Pilot". A Pilot was a guide for people wishing to go through the Union lines, either north or south. Movement through Reynolds and
Iron County between Pocahontas, Arkansas and occurred daily throughout the war. Mail, dispatches and newspapers were extremely important as was the movement of people. The trail was sometimes known as the "chip road" and also as the "secession railroad". St. Louis
Elihu Sheppard was certain that Sam and some others were responsible for the death of his foreman and blacksmith, he wrote letters to the Provost Marshall General in
as well as giving deposition to the local Provost Marshall in Ironton. In all fairness to the Provost Marshal, it appears they determined that there was not enough evidence to convict Sam of Josiah Morgan's death. He was arrested and held as a political prisoner for some time and was sent to the "old capital prison" in Washington DC . This prison was typically utilized as a holding area for political prisoners and those who were being examined by members of the Provost Marshall Service at the highest level. I have not found any records to indicate what took place in Washington DC nor even if he ever actually made it there. If he made it too DC he most likely was questioned and then sent “South” either banished or exchanged. Washington
On January 8th 1865 1st Lt. William Moran of company E. 50th MO Vol. reported that a scout under Lt. Weddle to Black River killed two men by the names of Samuel Torringer (Trollinger) and James Barton.
Title: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the
Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 48 (Part I)
. War Dept., John Sheldon Moody, Calvin Duvall Cowles, Frederick Caryton Ainsworth, Robert N. Scott, Henry Martyn Lazelle, George Breckenridge Davis, Leslie J. Perry, Joseph William Kirkley United States
Collection: Books: Civil War Official Histories
From the Missouri State Archives, PM records
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Statement of Trollinger that he was arrested, but he does not know why. Trollinger details times he has used a borrowed gun. He claims he is "not certain" about making certain disloyal statements. If he said them, he notes, it was out of ignorance.
Head Quarters St Louis District
Office of Provost Marshal
Samuel Trollinger examined: I was arrested at my own home on the 29th of November 1862, by Capt Jenkison(?) EMM of
. I do not know what I was arrested for as I was arrested last fall and taken to Ironton and detained a prisoner two months and then discharged on taking the oath. I did not enroll my name in the EMM. I had a gun when I was first arrested which was taken from me by the authorities. I have not had a gun of my own since. I borrowed a gun of Jim Barton’s last spring and again in the fall to kill hogs and gobblers. I borrowed it off and on whenever I wanted it. Several persons going to join the Southern army. A good many men coming from the Southern army stopped at my house. I am not certain that I have not violated the oath I took that I know of. I am not certain that I never said I did not value the oath a d—n—if I did, it was through ignorance I intended to enroll Nearly all my neighbors are secesh. I am called a strong Southern rights man I am a Constitutional Union man. I don’t know that I am a secession sympathizer. The militia rob and plunder as the guerillas do. I have not done anything for or against the Reynolds County government. Before being arrested the first time. Ben Talbot and his gang came along. He asked me to join his band. I refused to do it. He then said he would take my horse if I did not go along with him. John Stricklin (my son-in-law) and myself then went along with them. We staid four days and returned home. There was about 20 or 25 of us The band stole five horses while I was with them ?? He Talbot afterwards retured one of them to ? Jarvis Some of my union neighbors blamed me for being instrumental in having their horses stolen. USA
Samuel Trollinger (mark)
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Letter from Col. Thomas J. Whitely that he is sending an affidavit in Trollinger's case. Whitely has no doubt that Morgan was shot and killed by the men mentioned in the affidavit. He thinks the body was burned because human bones were found in ashes.
Head Qtrs 32 Reg. EMM
I hand you herewith an affidavit in the case of Samuel Trollinger whom I sent you a short time since.
There is no doubt but that Morgan was killed by the men mentioned and it is thought the body was burned, as human bones were found afterwards near the place designated by the witness, mixed up ashes and the chared ends of timbers that had been burned on the spot. I may send more testimony in this case.
Tho. J. Whitely
Col. Comm 8
To Major Geo Leighton
P.M. Dist. St Louis MO
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Statement of Robert Gregg partially illegible. Gregg appears to state that Trollinger drew a gun on him and tried to take him prisoner.
Washington Co MO
November 30, 1862
Affidavit in Case of Saml. Trollinger
Robert Gragg of Lawful age being duly sworn on his oath says that some time about the month of August that said Samuel Trolinger at or near his house in Bellevue Township in Washington County met me in road on the edge of the Bush before me as I was riding along this field and I saw his gun at me and he says to me you are my prisoners when I drew my pistol on him and Then he disappeared in the Bush and he further says that he has good reason to believe and does believe that Trolinger had for some time sought an opportunity to take him a prisoner or take his life.
Subscribed and sworn to before
this 30th day of Nov 1862
? Williams JD
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Letter from Col. Thomas J. Whitely regarding the arrest of Trollinger, of
Head Qtrs. Wash. Co. Regt. Militia
Major Geo E. Leighton
PM St Louis
The bearer of this has in charge one Samuel Trollinger of
arrested by the Militia of this county a few days since. He is an old offender having turned guerrilla and thief at the commencement of the rebellion, and continued as such up to the time of his arrest. I am eighteen months ago he was arrested and taken to the Pilot Knob where he was detained a prisoner for two months. He was released on oath and past sins—such as were then known, forgiven. His conduct since as is proven by the affidavit sent shows an utter disregard for the obligations of his oath and alone justifies his arrest. There is other testimony which I am collecting and will forward in a few days. In the mean time I will refer you to J.C. Libby of your city as an important witness in this case. He may be found at the Mt. Vernon Home? Cor.??Myrtle St. Iron County
Tho. J. Whitely
Col. Wash Co Reg Militia
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Statement of Mrs. Lucinda Barger that Trollinger was among the men who came to her home demanding horses, guns, and ammunition. They took a horse from the stable and left. Barger recognized Trollinger's voice, noting she's known him for 15-16 years.
Dec 7th 186
Capt @ ?
Transmits affidavit of Mis Lucindia Barger against Saml. Trollinger This will be sworn as soon as obtained
Mrs. Lucinda S. Bargar wife of H.S. Barger personally appeared before the undersigned a justice of the pease being by me dually sworn says on or about the night of the fifth of August 1862 there came a band of armed men to the residence of H.S. Barger and they demanded of me Horses bridles saddles guns and ammunition and amongst others there was Samuel Trolinger which I knew by his voyes and I have been acquainted with him for the last fifteen or sixteen years and he was here in August 6 1861 with Tolberts company.
When he was here in August 1862 a part of the company came in the house and amongst them was Samuel Trolinger while they was in the house the rest of the company went to the stable and taken a horse out of the stable they said to them that was in the house come on boyes and when Samuel Trolinger left the house he bade me good night and they taken the house and then they went off
Subscribed and sworn
To before me this 4th day of December
AF Garett justice of the peace
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Statement of James C. Libby that he saw Trollinger at a store in
Statement of JC Libby
St Louis Mo
Office Provost MARSHALL
James C. Libby sworn says he stoped at the Mt Vernon House at the
Last Aug or July I was stopping at
Potosi Mo one day a man by the name of Samuel Trollinger came in to the store at . I had learned that Trollinger was to come into Potosi that day so I spoke to 3 or 4 me of my acquaintance that as soon as Trollinger came into the store they /my acquaintances/ were to address me as a paroled prisoner/confederate/. When Trollinger came into the store my friends commenced discussing politics. Trollinger would always agree with me whenever I would say anything in favor of the south-he would remark “that’s so”. After talking awhile Trollinger went out of the house to look after his wagon that he had brought from home/I believe about 25 or so miles from Potosi/? After he had been out some time I went out and as I past him /called him by name/ he said that it would not do to let the people see us talking together He told me to step behind the house and he would meet me in a few minutes I went behind the house and in a few minutes Trolliner came up to me shook me by the hand said that he was glad to meet a good Southern man. In a little while he asked me my name. I told him Potosi Johnston from . Trollinger sayd that he heard of me before. I said to him if I started to go South did he think that I would get through. He said I could that if I could Get away from Arkansas he could help me. He then gave me instructions about reaching his house when I should leave Potosi He also told me what men to take faith in and what man to shun on my way to his house and that if I wanted to stay at his house a while he could secrete me and that he could give me help through to the Southern Army. I asked him if I should be followed by federal troops while leaving the town what should I do. He said that he could raise Enough men to whip 100 federals. I told him that I did not like to put confidence in him as he had taken the oath some time previous to that at the Knob. Trollinger said that he did not care a d… d for the oath. Potosi
He wanted me to come out to his camp and see him /situated about a mile from
/ on his way home. Every Person in that neighborhood knows him to be a “rank secessionist” and a dangerous character. Potosi
Subscribed and sworn to
Before me that 5th day of Dec 63? James C. Libby
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Note from Capt. E. B. Smith to Col. W. D. Wood stating that he he sending the affidavit of Mrs. Lucinda Barger against Trollinger. States others will be forwarded as soon as they can be obtained.
Head Qtrs 32 Regt EMM
Col. W.D. Wood
I send you the affidavit of Mrs. Lucinda Barger against Samuel Trollinger sent up by us last week—others will be forwarded herafter—as soon as they can be obtained
E B. Smith
Capt & Adjt
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Statement of William H. Webb detailing how he was with Trollinger and others in October 1861. He thought they were going for whiskey, but ended up picking up a Union man named Josiah Morgan. Webb was threatened when he tried to leave; Morgan was killed.
Personally appeared before the undersigned a justice of the Peace in and for the county of Iron William H. Webb of lawful age who being duly sworn says, That on or about the First day of October 1861 I was at the house of Joseph Trollinger when Samuel Trollinger, William Trollinger, James Trollinger and Oliver Campbell came by and asked me to go with them to Kaolin? To get some whiskey. I told them I did not like to go, but finally consented. On reaching Kaolin The whiskey was procured and soon after on going to the Blacksmith shop near by I found the men mentioned above having in charge Isaiah Morgan a union man living in the neighborhood.
They moved off with Morgan down the road and not understanding the movement inquired of William Trollinger what it all meant—that I supposed they had only came for whiskey. He replied that they indeed to put him-Morgan-out of the way. I told him I would have nothing to do with it and was about starting back, when Oliver Campbell approached me with a pistol in his hand and said he would blow my brains out if I turned back- I continued with them until we reached the middle barn of E.H. Sheppard when they handed me a gun. I told them I did not want the gun—that they must keep it. I was then told to remain where I was when they all started up the hill. I called to them saying that I was going back, but they made me stay where I was by saying I should go with Morgan. After they had been gone some time I heard the report of three guns. Soon after the men returned without Morgan and we all went down the road. I was told by them that if I ever told any person or hinted what I had learned from them that death would be my portion? And further the desponent sayth not. William Webb
Sworn and subscribed
Before me this 19th day
Of December 1862
Justice of the Peace
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Letter from George E. Leighton to Lt. Col. F. A. Dick that Trollinger, of
Office Prov marshal
Transmits papers of Samuel Trollinger who has violated his oath. communicates that he be held for trial before a military commissioner. Report of persons ?? since last report?
Head Quarters St louis District
Office of Provost Marshal
Provost Marshal General.
Agreeably to requirements of the 4th paragraph of General Order NO. 23, dated “Head Quarters Department of the
” December 1st 1862, I have the honor to report as follows: Missouri
Samuel Trollinger, of
, is the only prisoner now in my charge arrested in St Louis District since the date of my last report. He is charged with violation of oath. The evidence placed in my hands and herewith submitted for your inspection, appears to sustain the charge; and I would respectfully recommend that he be held for trial by military Commission. Iron County
Since my last report I caused the arrest, when after a full investigation on each case-ordered the release of the following named parties:
James O’Brian, charged with assaulting and abusing Guard on gun boat
. Fort Henry
George S. Bradley, formerly a soldier in the rebel army, charged with coming to and residing in this city without reporting himself to the Military Authorities. Feeling that he came here with not bad intent, I ordered his release on oath.
Joseph A.C. Brown and William Cowan, charged with assaulting a soldier of Enrolled militia, because he had been instrumental in the arrest of Cowan on charge of having served in rebel army. The evidence taken in my office did not sustain the charges, and I released the parties unconditionally.
Twenty one prisoners, the greater part of them charged with belonging to rebel bands in South East Missouri arrived from
this morning. An examination of them cannot be made in time for this report, but I will send you charges and their own statements at the earliest day possible. Cape Girardeau County
Your obedient Servant,
St. Louis District
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Statement of Elihu H. Shepard that he has seen Trollinger three times with the Confederate Army and other times with men referred to as guerrillas. Trollinger was with men who stole from Shepard and threatened the life of Josiah Morgan.
Personally appeared before me
This the 8th day of June 1864
Elihu N. Shepard being of lawful age after having been duly sworn depoeth? And saith:
I am acquainted with Samuel Trollinger of Iron County MO That I have seen him three times with men of the So called Confederate Army. That I have seen him at different other times with partys of two three or four of thieves? Who were represented as Guerrilas or Bushwhackers. As I know they answered to that description as they took or stole from me horse, shoes, Bacon, shoeing implements from my Black smith shop. This same party of which said Trollinger was one, threatened Josiah Morgan my blacksmiths life. He was afterward murdered. (the same party supposed to have done it) William Webb was present (of
) When said Trollinger murdered or assisted in the murder of said Josiah Morgan. Caledonia MO
Elihu N. Shepard
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 8th day of June 1864
Thos H Mackensie?
Lt & Asst ??
Witnesses in the above case
Samuel Trolinger Washington Co Mo
William Webb Caledonia, Washington Co Mo
Mrs Roofe Iron Co Mo
Autobiography of Elihu H. Shepard
Pub. by G. Knapp & Co. -
1869 St. Louis, MO
On the Saturday after I had declined the acceptance of a colonel's commission, Captain Benjamin Talbot came to me with about twenty of his men, and offered me the command of his company to go and join General Price at
, saying he would resign in my favor and serve under me in the ranks. He had been under my command in Springfield , where he was a lieutenant and knew me well. He seemed greatly disappointed at not being able to induce me to accept the command, as his company consisted of over one hundred young men enlisted in my neighborhood. Mexico
The next morning (Sunday) he took post in front of a small
, on the south end of my farm, and as the congregation generally rode their best animals there, he seized them as fast as they arrived and in that manner got possession of all the best horses and mules in the vicinity of my farm and factory. Some objected to the proceeding, but he made the usual plea of tyrants, "military necessity", which was the only satisfaction he offered. This was the beginning of a series of robberies which were continued by both parties for the four following years in that vicinity. Baptist Church
The following day he took the horse he had seized to my blacksmith shop in my absence, and compelled my blacksmith to shoe them all with my shoes and nails, and at evening threatened to hang the smith for saying this was "an act of bald robbery". He also took from my store all my ammunition, together with my shot-gun and apparatus.
In order to track Sam I’ve had to look for references to people he was associated with during this time period. A newspaper article mentions Ben Talbot and some of his activities.
In the 12 August 1861 "Daily Missouri Democrat" of
which mentions that he operated with Captain [John D.?] White, (White would later command a regiment known as White’s and subsequently designated as the 3rd Inf., 9th Inf., and 12th Inf.) and a Doctor Wyatt (I believe this Doctor Wyatt to be John H Wyatt (Wiatt) born 1834 who is listed as a farmer in the 1860 St. Louis County census. He shows up as an assistant surgeon for the 3rd Battalion, MO Cav. CSA. At some point is promoted to Major. One very cryptic reference to a John H Wyatt is found in a portion of a federal examination form in the misc. (unfiled papers) in the National Archives. I believe this to be the same man captured during the early part of Price’s 1864 raid.) with 70 to 80 men who on 10 August 1861 [the same day as the Wilson's Creek or Oak Hills battle near Springfield] attacked the town of Potosi. Fourteen local northern home guardsmen fought back and repelled the attack. The article says one guardsman was killed and four wounded while the Rebels lost two dead, three wounded, and two captured. The newspaper said that this band came from the Black River country of St. Louis Reynolds County and that while near murdered some men of northern sympathy. Potosi
The same newspaper but the issue of 21 September 1861 tells how Union Major John B. Gavitt led a battalion of "independent mounted volunteers" and four companies of his 1st Indiana Cavalry rode from Ironton to the Big Black River and routed Talbot's camp, killing at least two, wounding several, and capturing five. A copy of this article is below.
Missouri Democrat" of , 21 September 1861 St. Louis
Black River Fight.
. Camp Talbot
Camp Fremont, Ironton, MO
Sept 19, 1861.
Sept 19, 1861.
Col. J. Thayer, Commanding Post, In obedience to an order from Col. Bland, received on the 18th day of September, and subsequently one from yourself of the same tenor, received on the 16th, I proceeded from Ironton at 10 o’clock on the 19th with my command of four companies of
cavalry, (Capts. Brown, Highman, Clendening and Barter) for the purpose of meeting and defeating our enemies in general, but especially a notorious rebel captain by the name of Benjamin Talbot, who by his acts of violence and disregard of all moral and civil laws, has created a reign of terror throughout all South eastern Missouri. Our first days march was characterized by nothing worthy of your notice. We traveled until 12 o’clock at night, and encamped at a point 25 miles south of this place. Early on the morning of the 17th, we moved still southward to Indiana Big Black River some 15 miles, Here we learned that we were in the vicinity of Talbot’s camp; and after ascertaining the locality from a prisoner whom we had taken, we hastened on our way. It was my first intention to divide my command, so as to attack his camp both in front and rear, but a nearer approach rendered this impossible, as the camp was situated in a valley, much above the ground on which we had been marching, and which was accessible only by a bridle path, which wound around the foot of the hill.
This compelled our whole command to enter the valley at one inlet, leaving the other unguarded, and compelled me to make the attack on one side only. As soon as my troops had all reached the valley, I gave the command to charge which my men did with great alacrity, driving back the pickets of Talbot’s camp, who gave way with firing. I pushed my command forward into the very center of the camp, much to the consternation and surprise of the rebels, who after a short space of time, attempted to rally, when I gave the command to fire, after which, there was one continuous firing five to ten minutes, when the rebels gave way and retreated precipitately into the recesses of the mountain which stood in their rear, and where lost them, owing to the superior knowledge of the country. The killed and wounded on their side must have been very considerable. Two dead bodies were found upon their camp ground, while upon our side we escaped with one horse shot.
The rout of the rebels was complete. We took five prisoners, among them the son of the captain of the company, and a first lieutenant. We captured 31 horses and 61 stand of arms. After pursuing the scattered force of rebels as far as I deemed it prudent, I returned to their camp, gathered their plunder together, (among it the captain’s clothing and papers—a commission in the Southern Army, and various other things (too numerous to mention). I started for
, where I arrived without any opposition, save that of a number of rebels, who had stationed themselves some fifteen miles from this place. As we marched through the valley below, they fired upon us. As they were in a position where I could not charge them, I was compelled to march my men under their fire. All are now here in camp, and while the country is infested with rebels, we are subject to your orders. Camp Fremont
My officers and men all behaved with great gallantry, and are entitled to much credit, this being their first engagement.
Trusting that my action in this matter will meet your approbation?,
I have the honor to remain yours, respectfully,
John S. Gavett, ?? Maj. Comm, Battalion Ind. Mounted Vol.
Here is a report from the O.R. that backs up the newspaper story.
Series 1 - Vol 3 - page 170
SEPTEMBER 12, 1861.-Skirmish at
Black River, Mo.
Report of Major General John C. Fremont, commanding Western Department,
HEADQUARTERS WESTERN DEPARTMENT,
, September 19, 1861. Saint Louis
Major Gavitt, First Indiana Regiment of Cavalry, who was sent out in reconnaissance towards Hardee's position at Greenville, met the enemy's pickets, drove them in, attacked Talbot's camp, killing 2, and took 3 of the enemy prisoners; also captured 60 muskets and 25 horses.
J. C. FREMONT,
 Re: Benjamin Talbot was the brother-in-law of Lucien N Farris. Capt. Benjamin Talbot commanded an independent cavalry company that served with the 1st Division, Missouri State Guard, in southeast
. I find Pvt James C. Talbot, age 28, as having enlisted 10 July 1861 at Missouri in Co A, 1st Cavalry Battalion (James D. White's). The battalion was eventually increased to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Division, Missouri State Guard. There is likewise a record of a Pvt William Talbot, age 22 or 24, that belonged to the same company as James C. Talbot, with the same enlistment date, that transferred to Capt. Ben Talbott's company on 11 August 1861. More will be written about Ben Talbot for another article. Camp Gartman
 “my neighborhood” is most likely everything south to
Centerville, east to Iron Mountain and north to . Potosi
 Probably a little farther south than “the end of my farm” This small
was most likely the Church at Black. Baptist Church
 Both sides of the conflict were doing this. It just depends upon ones perspective on whether it is an “illegal robbery” or of “military necessity”
 Sheppard sometimes refers to him as blacksmith, smith or foreman. His name was Josiah Morgan. Sam and some of his kin killed Morgan for the threats he made. William Webb was a “witness” and appears to have told Sheppard all about the killing. In turn, Sheppard wrote a letter to the Provost Marshall General detailing what Webb apparently had told him. The local Provost at Ironton had Webb brought in and questioned. Webb gave a sworn deposition. I have copies of these documents. We will get to them a little later.