Civil War Veteran: John King Terry

John King Terry :Civil War Veteran

John was farming in Barry Co., Missouri, when the war broke out in 1861. John could obviously see the ‘writing on the wall’ concerning upcoming events and was enrolled on 24 March (near Cassville) of that same year. He was a private in Company “M”, 8th Regiment and Company “H”, 14th Regiment of the Missouri State Militia Cavalry Volunteers. For most of that time he served a company blacksmith. At the time of his discharge on 18 April 1865 he was described as being : “5’11” high…[with] dark hair….and hazel eyes.”

At one point he serve under Captain John Kelso; a federal officer noted in the War of the Rebellion record series as a man who received many field promotions over the course of the conflict. He may be the man in charge when the company John was with recovered the items stolen from his in-laws farm by bushwhackers (see The Box), since Kelso’s reports describe several incidents that may relate to this event. As a lieutenant, Kelso wrote a report dated 25 July 1862 that did mention Company “H” of the 14th Missouri State Militia.
A report of 5 August 1862 by a Captain Milton Burch, 14 Missouri Cavalry noted that Kelso had been put in charge of the Company “H”. Yet another report by Burch, 13 November 1862, contained a report of just one of many instances where Kelso and men pursued rebels through the hills of southwest Missouri.

Following his discharge in 1865, he lived for two years, according to family legend in Newton County, Missouri. The family then returned to Barry Co., Missouri, where they would remain for the rest of their lives. When John went to war, he was the father of one child, William G., who died in September of 1863. His mother, Mary Ann Reed Terry wrote in a letter of 1867 that John “is married…[they] have five children, four boys and one girl. The oldest boy is dead, the next is twins….”

National Archives and Records Center, Washington, D.C. John K. Terry, Private, Application #601.473.Co.H.8th Missouri Militia Cavalry (Volunteers). Case files approved pension applications veterans who served in the Army and Navy in the Civil war…;Records group 15, Records of the Veterans Administration.

War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official records of the United States and Confederate Armies (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1901).

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