Fred W. Poage
Born: April 16, 1837 or 1840 (disputed) Died: December 3, 1905
Burial: Bentonville Cemetery Place: Bentonville, Benton County, Arkansas
Colonel Joseph C. Porter
Memorial for the ten Palmyra victims. Bixler is in the middle while
Lake is on the very bottom.
Fred is a well worthy addition to the QSCR Members as his background provides a great variety of Kansas-Missouri border war ties with one particular tie to one of the most heinous and controversial actions taken by the Union during the war.
The first thing that jumps out at you when looking over his military cards is marked on the second card you come to. At the bottom is states:
"Belonged to Col. Porter's Com. in N.E. MO."
Yep, for a time, Fred was part of Col. Joseph C. Porter's 1st Northeast Missouri Cavalry! It seems that family members were also a part of Porter's Missouri though information of family cannot be pinpointed. Two more Poages of Lewis County, Missouri, where Fred was from, shows up in the Porter rosters.
Next we go to Fred's time in the 5th Missouri Cavalry. On June 30, 1862, Fred enlisted becoming a member on November 11th of that same year. It was here he landed in Company C. Within Company C, he served with quite a list of Quantrill men. Three of whom were well known in the Quantrill rosters, Andy Hays, William Hays and Allen Prewitt. Another known name in this company surfaces in Jesse James history. John A. M. Rudd who helped nurse Jesse back to health after he was shot during the war. Jesse stayed at the Rudd home where Mrs. Rudd tended to his wound. John Bellamy was a part of C and has went down as a member of Quantrill's guerrillas. Though not a prominent name, Bellamy shows up here and there in Quantrill history. James Beaty, Henry Godfrey, Ed Yantis, Henry Alfter and fellow QSCR Member, Samuel Hays were all recruited by famed Quantrill captain, John Jarrette a mere one week after the raid on Lawrence, Kansas before joining a regular military company. The five men went with Jarrette and joined Quantrill on the journey to Baxter Springs, Kansas before eventually peeling off and enlisting with the 5th.
This last entry of Fred's background is the most surprising and fascinating. It ties in directly to the controversial action referred to earlier in this biography. Fred also served in Company C of Snider's Missouri Battalion Cavalry. It was in this unit he served with two men who have entered border war immortality. Those two men are Morgan Bixler and Eleazer Lake. Those who know the border wars well recognize these names instantly. Bixler and Lake were two of the ten Confederates chosen to be executed in retaliation for the kidnapping of a pro Union carpenter named Andrew Allsman by Col. Joseph Porter. The execution of these ten Confederate soldiers is known as the Palmyra Massacre, carried out by Missouri Union General John McNeil. Here is a source on Palmyra:
Fred's background is one of the best examples of educational variety on the border wars subject. It is stories like his that provide a wider range to learn about and research.