Papers of a commander of a Union cavalry
unit in northeast Missouri during the Civil War, and State Treasurer
of Missouri following the war. The papers consist of personal and
military correspondence and miscellaneous documents, and State
The William Bishop Papers were donated to
the State Historical Society of Missouri by Clayton P. Bishop, Jr. on
December 6, 1991 (SHS Accession No. 2865).
William Bishop was born in Martinsburg,
Virginia, in 1817. By 1846 he had settled in Clark County, Missouri.
Active in the Republican Party, Bishop was a presidential elector for
Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and attended the Presidential inaugural.
A staunch Union supporter, he organized
numerous Home Guard regiments in northeast Missouri during the months
of June and July 1861. All units of what were to become the 1st and
2nd Regiments, Northeast Missouri Home Guards, were recruited by
Bishop or his deputies.
In July 1861, Bishop was authorized to
recruit and command a battalion of cavalry in northeast Missouri.
Colonel Bishop chose Warsaw, Illinois, as the recruiting and training
camp for his unit, which was designated the Black Hawk Battalion. The
unit was then posted to Hudson City (now called Martinsburg),
Missouri, where it was in position to protect the North Missouri and
Hannibal, and St. Joseph Railroads.
Plagued by supply and other administrative
difficulties, political intrigue within the battalion, and conflict
with state authorities, Colonel Bishop was brought before a court
martial in February 1862, and charged with falsifying a muster roll,
neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming an officer, and incompetency. He
pleaded not guilty to all the charges, and though acquitted, lost
command of the battalion. The unit was eventually incorporated into
the 7th Missouri Cavalry. Bishop resigned his commission and was
mustered out of service in April 1862.
Undeterred, Colonel Bishop gathered
support and documentation and traveled to Washington, D.C. in the
spring of 1862 hoping to revive his career with a new command or
political appointment. Failing to procure either, he opened a business
in his hometown of Alexandria, Missouri. He was later appointed Port
Surveyor and Provost Marshall before he was elected State Treasurer in
William Bishop was married to Mary Ann
Lapsley and had six children. He is buried in Kahoka, Missouri.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The Bishop Papers document the personal
and professional life of a prominent citizen of Clark County,
Missouri, and to a lesser extent his family, during the Civil War and
shortly thereafter. The collection consists of three series:
Papers of an Equine Research
Specialist on the staff of the Missouri State Museum and former horse
breeder. The papers consist of research materials gathered for a
history of Missouri livestock, the bulk of which concern horses. A
small quantity of personal papers is included.
The Jack S. Harrison Papers were
loaned to the University of Missouri by the Missouri Department of
Resources and Development on May 22, 1945 (Accession No. 234).
Jack Harrison was born on May 28,
1866 in Audrain County, Missouri. The Harrison family had relocated to
Callaway County, Missouri, from Virginia in 1817. Having been stock
breeders in their native state, the family continued the business in
Missouri. Until 1899 the Harrisons bred horses for racing, show, and
farm work at the Montrose Stock Farm near Auxvasse. Jack Harrison
continued in the family business, showing horses and earning the
reputation as a reliable dealer. He also became an authority on saddle
horses and authored Famous Saddle Horses and Distinguished Horsemen,
which was published in 1933. Mr. Harrison was researching a
comprehensive history of Missouri livestock at the Missouri State
Museum at the time of his death in 1941.