Medlar Flower

Military Service

Civil War - Union

Union Flag
 
Hull, William Wesley
On May 25, 1861, William enlisted as Captain of Company H of the Illinois Infantry Volunteers, the same company as his future brother-in-law George Messplay. He mustered out in June, 1864.
 
Mesplay, Charles Branty
In 1865 Charles enlisted at Lebanon, Illinois in Company I, 149th Regiment, Illinois Infantry. His name was listed as Mispley and attained the rank of Corporal. For information regarding this Company see the information under John Lawrence Mesplay. He mustered out on January 27, 1866 in Dalton, Georgia. While in Georgia he married Martha Beard and then moved back to Desoto, Missouri.
 
Mesplay, John Lawrence
At the age of 18 John enlisted for one year in the 149th Regiment of the Illinois Infantry, Company I. He enlisted on February 7, 1865 in Alton, Illinois as John Mispley, where he was described as 5'6" tall, fair complexion, hazel eyes, and brown hair. He was single, a farmer, and his place of residence at the time was listed as Highland, Madison County, Illinois. The muster roll indicates he was on detached service at Charleston, Tennessee for the first three months and then stayed with the regiment the rest of the
Chattanooga
Union soldiers guarding
train at Chattanooga
around 1864
time. The 149th was organized at Camp Butler, Illinois on February 11, 1865, by Colonel William C. Kueffner, and mustered in for one year. On February 14, moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and from there to Chattanooga. They were assigned by Major General Steadman to duty guarding the railroads. On May 1st, they were assigned to Colonel Felix Prince Salm's 2nd Brigade, Second Separate Division, Army of the Cumberland, and on the 2nd, moved to Dalton, Georgia. On July 6th, moved to Atlanta. On the 26th, being assigned to duty in the Fourth Sub-District of District of Allatoona, they were assigned to guard duty in that district. He and the Infantry mustered out in Dalton, Georgia on January 27, 1866, and ordered to Springfield, Illinois for final payment and discharge.
 
Messplay, George Smith
George enlisted May 25, 1861 as a Private with Company H of the 17th Illinois Infantry Volunteers. The regiment saw battle in Fredericktown, Missouri on October 21, 1861, capturing two 6 pounder guns and 200 prisoners. George was discharged on August 6, 1862 at Bolivar, Tennessee.
 
Messplay, James Eugene
Chattanooga
Grand Review 1865
James, living in Fulton County, Illinois, enlisted August 9, 1862 for a period of three years or the duration of the Civil War. His enlistment papers describe him as 5'6" tall, light hair, blue eyes and fair complexion. He mustered into Captain William W. Bishop's Company A, 103rd Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, at Peoria, Illinois. He took part in Sherman's march to the sea and through the Carolinas and was in the Grand Review in Washington D.C. He mustered out at the close of the war in Chicago, Illinois.
 
Misplay, Etienne "Acan"
Acan served in the Civil War as a Private in Captain W.P. Moore's 49th Infantry Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, Co. B. He enlisted for three years on October 12, 1861 at the age of 22 in Waterloo, Illinois. His description was 5'5", blue eyes (sometimes listed as grey), light hair and fair complexion. He was involved in the Battle of Shiloh, April 6 and 7, 1862 and also engaged in the siege of Corinth. On November 10, he participated in the capture of Little Rock, Arkansas. On January 15, 1864, he re-enlisted
Nashville
Union line at Nashville 1864
again along with three-forths of the regiment and mustered in as veteran volunteers, for a period of three years, at Vicksburg, Mississippi. On January 27 they accompanied General Sherman in the Meridian campaign. On December 1, 1864 the unit took part in the battle of Nashville. He mustered out on September 9, 1865 in Paducah, Kentucky. He later applied for a pension in 1887 due to a disease of the eyes. William P. Lee wrote that Acan was known to be a sober man not given to vicious habits and to be honest and upright. He was granted a pension of $4.00 a month. He later applied for further disability due to heart disease, rheumatism, and infirmaties of old age.
 
Thompson, James Clement
James served in the Civil War from October 18, 1864 to October 18, 1865. He was a Private in Co. E, 8th Regiment of the Illinois Infantry. Mustering in at Alton, Illinois, his physical description was as follows; blue eyes,\ dark hair, light complexion, height 5'9". He was honorably discharged in New Orleans, Louisiana. Byron Virgil Thompson, son of Simon R. Ulysses, says that James' two brothers fought for the confederacy but this has not been proven yet.
 
Yarnell, William E.
William served in the 17th Infantry, Company H of the Illinois Infantry Volunteers as a Second Lieutenant.
 

Civil War - Confederate

Confederate Flag
 
William Sullivan Mesplay
William enlisted on July 20, 1862 as a Private in Hunter's Battalion, which later became Burn's Unit. It was renamed Company E, 11th Regiment, Missouri Infantry. He was furloughed for sick on March 12, 1863 for 40 days which was extended to April 30th. He was then sent to St. John's Hospital on a sick furlough on August 23, 1863. He was discharged for disability at Camp Bragg on January 20, 1864.
 
After checking various records of the units with which he served, there does not appear to be any engagements until the units combined with the 11th in July of 1863. The unit waged an attack on Helena, Arkansas, an engagement at Bayou Fourche, Arkansas, an evacuation of Little Rock, and retreat toward Arkadelphia, Arkansas. A possibility does exist that he may have joined the 11th when it fought at Can Hill and Prairie Grove, Arkansas in November of 1862. Muster rolls were never very specific as to where the unit was located at the time of each roll call.
 
William told a story to Opal Mesplay that he was a spy in the service and was caught by the Union and put in prison. He could copy anyone's handwriting and got out by copying one of his cell mate's pardon papers so well that the authorities couldn't tell in wasn't the real thing. All his stock and belongings were taken during the war and his wife and child went to her folks in Arkansas. After the war was over he walked from Missouri to Arkansas to get his family. He got a horse for his wife and baby to ride on and he walked back to Missouri. They had nothing to eat along the way but apples.
 
Jacob F. Richardson
Enlisted with the State Troops, and after serving his time entered the 31st Missouri Infantry, being discharged in 1863 on account of disability.

Spanish American War

William B. Mesplay

World War I

ong March
 
Henry Steven Mesplay
According to Henry's draft registration card, he was tall and slender with blue eyes and light hair. He was working as a machinist helper with the Union Electric in St. Louis. He claimed an exemption since he was married with two children. The family residence was at 7505 Pennsylvania Ave. St. Louis, Missouri.
 
Edward Henry Mesplay
According to Edward's draft registration card, was tall and slender with grey eyes and brown hair. He worked as a laborer for the C. Hoffmeister U. & L. Co. in St. Louis. He claimed an exemption because he had a wife and two children.
 
Andrew Basil Mesplay
According to Andrew's draft card he had grey eyes and grey hair, was of medium height and build. He was 44 when he enlisted on September 12, 1918.
 
Ronald Lee Mesplay
According to Ronald's draft card he had brown hair and eyes. He signed up for the draft at the age of 20 on September 12, 1918. He worked for the American Lead and Zinc Company at the time of his enlistment.
 
William Franklin Mesplay
While preparing to ship out to Europe the war ended. He has a military gravestone with PFC Co. A 90 Infantry, Missouri WWI on it.
 
Fred Mesplay
According to Fred's draft registration card, he was tall, medium build with grey eyes and light hair. He worked as an elevator operator for the Geller-Ward Hasner Hardware Co. in St. Louis. He claimed an exemption because he was married.
 
Victor Edwin Mesplay
At the time of Victor's enlistment he was living at 6104 Ridge with his grandmother in St. Louis. Victor served in the United States Marine Corps from July 1, 1917 to June 15, 1918 as a Private in the 78th company, Co. F 6th Marine. He was killed in action. The area Victor fought in was called Belleau Wood, in Northern France. The Germans were in control of this area and the French troops were nearing exhaustion. The French Marshall contacted General Pershing to have him send in Marines to take back this strategic area. On June 6, the Marines began their assault. Those who survived the battle say that Americans were dying by the hundreds as they ran towards the nests of German machine guns. The fighting went on for 20 days, 24 hours a day. Soldiers who lived through the experience said they did so on "pure nerve". There was lack of water and no hot food. The soldiers survived on raw bacon and potatoes that they dug out of nearby gardens. None of the men were able to change out of their wet uniforms during the battle. Gradually the Marines took over the woods. On June 26 the battle at Belleau Wood was won by the Marines. In all, 1087 Marines, more than half of the men fighting, were killed or severely wounded in the fight. Victor was awarded the World War I Victory Medal with Aisne Battle Clasp, American Expeditionary, one Defensive Sector Clasp, and two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. He is buried in the Aisne-Marine American Cemetery #1764 Belleau Wood, France which is situated directly above the Belleau Wood battlefield. His grandmother received his metals. The July 7-8, 1984 issue of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat indicated that the name Victor E. Mesplay was to be included on a war memorial to be built in Jefferson City, Missouri.
 

In Flanders Fields

by Major John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
 
Flags courtesy of ITA's Flags of All Countries used with permission.