Michael Price, Librarian and Researcher at the Springfield-Greene County Library District, Library Center, was kind enough to share some major information regarding W.O. Coleman, which helps clear up the status and confusion, as to why a Company of Missouri State Guard Cavalry was operating in Lawrence County, and why the Company was composed of men from Arkansas. Mr. Price researched the book, "Sterling Price's Lieutenants" by McGhee. First, Coleman's Regiment consisted of 8 Companies, was formed with 5 Missouri Companies, and 3 companies from Arkansas. The Skirmish occurred on the last day of Official Service for the State of Missouri.
The book also details why the Arkansas Units were released and why Hindman and General McBride, had Coleman Cashiered. Hindman gave Coleman a Commission as a Colonel 3 days after the Skirmish. His official Rank, in the MSG, is also questionable, officially, the MSG reports, referred to as Colonel, as he was the Commander of eight Companies, and officially listed as the Commander of a Regiment. However, I did not see records of Official MSG, promotion/recognition of Official Rank. After receiving the Commission, all Coleman had left was a Battalion of Missouri Cavalry and he signed for a hat, and other records indicate he was a Colonel of the 4th Mo Cav, 7th Division, MSG. He was instructed to recruit 4 more companies of Missouri Cavalry to replace the Arkansas Companies, who were released to returned to Arkansas. Coleman was ordered to recruit 5 Missouri Companies and bring the Regiment to full strength. Hindman also ordered Coleman to report to General McBride, in Northeastern Arkansas. Records indicate that Coleman adamantly and consistently refused. He was finally given an order giving him 3 days to report to McBride. Coleman did not report to McBride and Coleman was Cashiered. The Confederate forces took his remaining companies, and most of them Served in the 10th Missouri (Parson's).
Coleman then recruited an independent command/guerilla force which was around a Battalion size element. Confederate reports, most often referred to it as Coleman's Battalion after he was cashiered and had an independent command, Some reports statements by Coleman after the war, alluded to the fact, that he did not agree with McBride's tactics, and that he did not want to leave Missouri and his family unattended. Coleman made the allegation that the Federals had captured his wife and children, and were holding them hostage at the time, and wanted to use his men to rescue his family. He claimed he ran away at the age of 10 from New York where he was born, that he served during the Mexican war, with a regiment from Mississippi. He reported while on the boat. He claimed the Regiment, later in the war, allowed him to carry a rifle, but in the beginning he did chores around the camp, but proved he was a good shot, and could handle a firearm as good as any member of the regiment.
Coleman claimed to have participated in the Bleeding Kansas Border and Slavery Disputes, He reported that he rose through the ranks, during that time. Coleman reported that is when he met and knew Charles Quantrell (Quantrill) and Charles' Uncle Bill. Coleman seemed to allude frequently that the tactics used in the border war, was what was required to have one the War. Coleman reported in 1911, that Charles Quantrell was alive and well living in Mexico, and was a wealthy man. Coleman also reports that Coleman arranged and engineered Charles' Notably the 46th in 1864, Apparently from the time being cashiered to the Summer of 1864, Coleman appears to have operated his independent band of Missouri Partisan Rangers. One of his men stated that Colonel Coleman was under official Guerrilla authority.