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John A. Poindexter
Personal Information
Born: October 12, 1825(1825-10-12)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: April 14, 1869 (aged 43)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Nickname:
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Confederate States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: Confederate States Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Colonel
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit:
Commands:
Battles: American Civil War
*Siege of Lexington
*Battle of Roan's Tan Yard
*Battle of Pea Ridge
*Battle of Compton's Ferry
Awards:
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}


John A. Poindexter (October 12, 1825 – April 14, 1869) was a colonel in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. He and Joseph C. Porter were the primary recruiting commanders in northern Missouri during 1862.

Early life and career[]

John A. Poindexter was born October 12, 1825, in Montgomery County, Kentucky, to David and Elizabeth (Watts) Poindexter.[1] John married twice, first to Melissa who died, then to Martha K. Hayes in 1857. The 1860 census marks Poindexter as a prosperous trader in Scott County, Kentucky.

Civil War[]

Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Poindexter was commissioned captain of Company A of the 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Division of the Missouri State Guard in June 1861.[2] He and his men held up a train in August. He served at the Siege of Lexington in command of several independent companies.[3] Following the battle he was elected colonel of the 5th Infantry Regiment, Third Division of the Missouri State Guard on September 24, 1861.[4] While recruiting in Howard County, Missouri Poindexter and his regiment were surprised and defeated at the Battle of Roan's Tan Yard on January 7, 1862 scattering his command.[5]

Poindexter next fought in command of a consolidated skeleton of the 4th & 5th Cavalry regiments of the Missouri State Guard at the Battle of Pea Ridge where he was slightly wounded.[6] Following the defeat, Poindexter resumed recruiting in North Missouri while Porter recruited in Northeast Missouri. Poindexter was less successful. After Odon Guitar struck a blow against Porter at Moore's Mill, he turned his attentions to pursuing Poindexter. In August, Guitar's forces succeeded in overrunning and completely scattering Poindexter's command at the Battle of Compton's Ferry. Wounded, Poindexter could only evade capture until September 1 and would never again serve the Confederacy.

Post-capture and death[]

Following his capture, Poindexter was held while Union authorities considered trying and executing him as a guerrilla either by military tribunal or in a civilian court.

SAINT LOUIS, MO., September 9, 1862.

Brig. Gen. LEWIS MERRILL: I think Poindexter had better be tried by military commission. I believe I can secure the execution of a sentence. J. M. SCHOFIELD, Brigadier-General.

[7]

Trans-Mississippi commander Thomas C. Hindman attempted to intervene pointing out that Poindexter was a CSA officer. James Totten replied:

"I understand the facts to be that when arrested he was in citizen's garb, at a private house, and within our lines. If so, he is by the laws of war a spy and should be treated accordingly."

[8]

However, Poindexter eventually publicly disavowed guerrilla warfare and was paroled to his home for the remainder of the war under a bond of $10,000.[9]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,

Saint Louis, Mo., June 15, 1864. General FISK, Saint Joseph, Mo.: I have seen Poindexter, of Randolph, who is under bonds, and written him a note to use his influence in favor of law and order among the rebel sympathizers. Keep the secret and give needful orders to secure him from molestation or outrage. He will do good. W. S. ROSECRANS, Major-General.

[10]

During August, 1864, Poindexter was forced to leave his home fearing both the wrath of Unionists who considered him a bushwacker and Southern sympathizers who considered him a traitor. He sought the protection of Union authorities from both threats.[11]

His health never recovered from his earlier wounds and imprisonment and he died April 14, 1869. He is interred at Antioch Cemetery near Moberly, Missouri.

References[]

  1. "Col. John A. Poindexter", Gloria M. Atwater
  2. Lindberg, McGhee, etc, Sterling Price's Lieutenants, Two Trails Publishing, page 111.
  3. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume LIII, page 438.
  4. Lindberg, McGhee, etc, Sterling Price's Lieutenants, Two Trails Publishing, page 126
  5. Moore, Frank, The Rebellion Record, Volume 4, G.P. Putnam, 1862, pages 25-27, Doc. 10.
  6. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume VIII, page 319.
  7. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series II, Volume IV, page 500
  8. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume XIII, page 647.
  9. "Col. John A. Poindexter", Gloria M. Atwater
  10. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 64, page 397.
  11. "Col. John A. Poindexter", Gloria M. Atwater

External links[]

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