War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0487 EARLY EVENTS IN MISSOURI, ETC.

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Captain ABSALOM HICKS, a witness for the defense, being duly sworn testified as follows:

By the PRISONER:

Question. Do you know the prisoner and was he a member of the military company commanded by you?

Answer. I know him; was amember of military company commanded by me.

Question. Did your order himas his superior officer toburn the Sturgeon bridge on the 15th of June, 1861?

Answer. I did, sir.

Question. After you had resigned in December last and returned home did the prisoner ever state to you why he was about to return to Price's army? If so state the reason that he gave.

Answer. Yes; he came tomy house to know how to get a discharge. He stated his object in going out was to settle up his business, get what was due him for time he had served, resign and come home.

Question. How long after that was it before he left for Price's army if he left at all?

Answer. I cannot say.

The prisoner then submitted the following statement:

I became a member of the Sturgeon Invicibles in the spring of 1861 and was commissioned a lieutenant in May, 1861. The time of my enlistment was six months. After battle of Lexington I left the army on furlough on account of sickness and came home near Sturgeon, Mo. Before this time, however, on the 15th of June, 1861, under orders from Captain Hicks, the captain of my company, I assisted in burning the Sturgeon bridge. I believed it to be my duty as a member of the Missouri State Guard. It was not my feelings to do so. I disliked to do so but my obligations I conceived compelled me to do so. Somewhere in December, after Captain Hicks came home, having been informed that I could not resign my place in the army unless I was with the army because my resignation could not be delivered unless carried any myself I started for Price's army then on the Osage for the express purpose to resign my commission and return home. There were about thirty men who had been made up my a man of the name of Stewart who were going to join Price's army, and I started with them. These men (with myself in company with them) were stopped by a man from Price's army at a place called Everett near Rocheport, the man saying that there would be a good many going in a day or two; that they had better wait and all go together. I thought it best for me to wahem though I had no connection whatever with them. I went back home about twenty miles distant, until I was informed by some of the company that they were going to start for Price's army several days afterward, and that he place of meeting was Perche bridge, on the road from Sturgeon to Rocheport. When I got there I supposed that we were starting for Price's army. I had no other idea; but that they went a different road, however, fromt he course. They went to Sturgeon. I went with themto Sturgeon and there I stopped. I had nothing whatever to of with burning the bridges or tearing up the culverts or doing any damage to the railroad. I was opposed to it and had nothing to do with it. I had the misfortune to be with the men who did do it, I trying to return to Price's army for the purpose of resigning and returning home. That is my only offense. As regards the charges and specifications against me, so help me God, I speak the truth. The next morning after the bridges were burnt I went to find the company supposing that they would now go to Price's army. I found nine or ten of the company at Widow Baker's having Mr. Schooler as a prisoner. They informed me that they had a fight and that the men were all scattered. That was the first I knew of the fight. The men failed to go to Price and I went home, and have been about home pretty much since endeavoring to avoid arrest. I have never engaged in bushwhacking nor have I ever shot a gun at a man in my life. I have always aimed to be a law-abiding man and always have endeavored to do my duty as a citizen, and I now declare solemnly that I am entirely guiltless of the charges and specifications against me, except that on the 15th day of June, 1861, under orders of my superior officers I assisted to destroy Sturgeon bridge. I have a wife and two little ones at home who need my presence and protection, and if permitted I shall devote my life hereafter to the quiet pursuits of a good citizen.

A. R. TOMPKINS.