Notes: II. St. Charles and the War of 1812

Notes for William Becknell: II. St. Charles and the War of 1812

Note 1. St. Charles County, Mo., Circuit Court Book A, pp. 103-04 (William Thompson v. Jacob Coons).

Note 2. St. Charles County, Mo., Circuit Court Book A, p. 105 (James Boucher v. Rudolph Haverstick and Henry Haverstick).

Note 3. Thomas McKnight and Robert McKnight v. James Morrison and Jesse Morrison, St. Charles Circuit Court Case Files, Box 12, Folder 9 (Microfilm C54267), Missouri State Archives. In the late 1800s, a later resident of the area reported that in 1811 Becknell had been the first to do ferrying at the Arrow Rock crossing of the Missouri River near Boone’s Lick, although that information is only second-hand, at best. See History of Saline County, Missouri, St. Louis: Missouri Historical Company (1881), p. 475 (citing J.T. Pattison as the information source).

Note 4. On February 17, 1814, a jury returned a verdict for the Morrisons. See St. Charles County, Mo., Circuit Court Book A, pp. 181-82 (Thomas and Robert McKnight v. James and Jesse Morrison). The June 22, 1814 deposition of Becknell may have been taken as part of an appeal. The Morrisons were represented by Rufus Easton.

Note 5. The transition of the militia unit to a federalized military force is murky. Whether the militia became the army unit or the two organizations existed side by side for a brief period is unclear, but there is considerable overlap in personnel. The rank of each militia officer was reduced when he became part of the U.S. Mounted Rangers. For example, Major Daniel Morgan Boone became a captain, Captain James Callaway became a lieutenant, and Lieutenant Prospect K. Robbins became a private.

Note 6. William Becknell, 1 Segt., Captain Daniel M. Boone’s Co. of U.S. Mounted Rangers, Company Muster Roll, May 19-June 30, 1813, Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the War of 1812, Record Group 94: Records of the Adjutant General’s Office 1762-1984, National Archives and Records Administration.

Note 7. Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the War of 1812, Record Group 94: Records of the Adjutant General’s Office 1762-1984, National Archives and Records Administration. This information is a clerk’s transcription of the original rolls, which are not available to the public due to their fragile condition. See Muster Rolls of Volunteer Organizations During the War of 1812, compiled 06/18/1812 – 02/17/1815, Record Group 94: Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1762-1984, National Archives and Records Administration.

Note 8. Deposition of William Becknell, May 4, 1816, James Callaway Papers, Joseph Maher Collection, Missouri History Museum. Both Howard and Callaway would die within a year of their 1814 conversation at Cap au Gris, and what Howard owed Callaway was disputed in a lawsuit between their respective estates.

Note 9. James Callaway to Nancy Callaway, Sept. 25, 1814, James Callaway Papers, Joseph Maher Collection, Missouri History Museum. All of Callaway’s letters in this collection have been published. See Edgar B. Wesley, “James Callaway in the War of 1812,” Missouri Historical Society Collections, Vol. 5, St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society (1927-1928), pp. 38-81.

Note 10. These events have been told by Andrea Myers in greater detail and accompanied by photos and maps on the St. Charles County, Missouri Genealogy Trails website (http://genealogytrails.com/mo/stcharles/mil_captcallaway.htm).

Note 11. Missouri Gazette & Illinois Advertiser, Vol. VII, No. 324 (March 18, 1815), p. 3. The letter’s recipient was probably Colonel William Russell (1758-1825) of the Seventh Infantry Regiment.

Note 12. William Becknell, Ensign, Late Captain James Callaway’s Co. of U.S. Mounted Rangers commanded by 1st Lieut. David Bailey, Company Muster Roll, March 31-June 20, 1815, Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the War of 1812, Record Group 94: Records of the Adjutant General’s Office 1762-1984, National Archives and Records Administration.

Note 13. St. Charles Co., Mo., Deed Book C, pp. 271-72.

Note 14. St. Charles Co., Mo., Deed Book E, pp. 260-61 (deed from William Becknell to John Heath on July 15, 1818).

Note 15. Ibid. (listing William Becknell as resident of Howard County).