Commander: Captain Joseph (Joe) Hart
Hart was an 18-year-old guerrilla chieftain leading a command of men from Gentry and Andrew Counties, Missouri. He was the older brother of Captain John Hart, who was killed in the battle of Wilson’s Creek. Joe Hart was from St. Joseph, Missouri, and organized the first guerrilla band in Clay County, Missouri in 1863. Along with a half dozen of his command he ranged through the country in the neighborhood of the present day Kearney, Missouri. He was killed on July 13, 1863, at the age of 22.
Hart was killed near Spring Hill, 12 miles north of Chillicothe, Missouri with another bushwacker, Joseph Kirk. Other sources claim he was not killed until 1864.
Sources: Missouri Republican, July 15, 1863; Clay, 1885; NWM, 1915; Caldwell,1886; Brownlee; Western Journal of Commerce, July 25, 1863 & May 30, 1863; Trow; Block, Langford, 1999.