Today's date: December 12, 2017


Walter Robert Poage
Pvt., 42nd Missouri Infantry
1834-1920

In Walter Robert Poage, my 3rd great grandfather was born on 30 October 1834 in Paris, Monroe County, Missouri. His parents were Thomas Goodson Poage (1812-1893) and Mary Marshall Maxey (1815-1853). He had 3 sisters, Eliza, Mary Jane, and Margaret. He had one brother, John.

On February 1, 1855 he married Margaret Malvina Snell (1837-1929) in Perry, Missouri. Her parents were Robert Miller Snell (1793-1870) and Hannah Withers (1801-1870). Margaret had one brother, John. Walter and Margaret had 17 children together, not all surviving to adulthood.

August 14, 1864 Walter enlisted in Company H, 42nd Missouri Infantry as a private. The first few weeks of the regiment found itself engaged against Confederate guerrillas in North Central Missouri, and served along the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad. His military records reveal that in September 1864 he was on duty as an orderly at Battalion Headquarters. In late September, Companies A, C, and H were ordered to Columbia, Missouri during Price's Raid. October 1864 we find him on duty as an acting Sergeant Major. The regiment was sent back to Benton barracks where the officers were given their commissions and the regiment was officially mustered in. The same day the 42nd Missouri embarked on transports for Paducah, where it would report to General Thomas at Nashville. But before reaching Nashville it was sent to Fort Donelson, which was then threatened by a Confederate force, and remained there until late December. This is where we find Walter listed as "absent, sick" at Fort Donelson, Tennessee since December 24, 1864. There, the regiment lost 150 by disease. At the time of discharge Walter had returned to rank of private. The regiment was mustered out in February 1865. He served 6 months, leaving his wife home to tend to the chores, 7 children and was 8 months pregnant with their next child. Walter was tall at 6'3" with blue eyes and dark hair; fair complexion. He was a farmer, much like his family members and neighbors around him.

On his birthday, October 30, 1920 Walter died. He was buried the next day, next to his wife at Greenlawn Cemetery in Perry, Ralls County, Missouri.