8th Regiment Missouri Volunteer Cavalry
8th Regiment Missouri Volunteer Cavalry (August 6, 1862 – July 20, 1865) was a Union Army regiment during the American Civil War. The regiment is best remembered for having committed what has become known as the Huntsville Massacre.
The regiment was first organized starting on August 6th through September 15th, 1862, in Springfield, Missouri. They were immediately attached to the Army of the Frontier and dispatched to Arkansas under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Elias Briggs Baldwin, where they took part in the Battle of Prairie Grove. Following this they were ordered to occupy the town of Huntsville, Arkansas.
On January 10, 1863, nine southern men who had been detained for some days for reasons unknown were ordered executed by Lt. Col. Baldwin, for reasons that still today are unclear. Eight of the men would be killed, with the ninth being left as dead, but surviving. At the time of the incident, most of the regiment had moved on toward the Mississippi River with only a small detachment remaining in Huntsville. Baldwin would later be arrested for the murders and transported back to Springfield for trial, but due to witnesses being displaced or otherwise unable to make the trip to Springfield, and the members of the regiment who were present during the event being on active duty elsewhere, Baldwin was released with the charges dropped and dismissed from the army. It would be the only punishment ever carried out in response to the murders.
By the time Baldwin was arrested, the 8th Regiment was on the move in pursuit of Confederate Major General Sterling Price. The regiment would take part in numerous expeditions in and around Arkansas, and took part in the capture of Little Rock in September 1863. They remained in Little Rock until March 1864, when they were sent to Duvall's Bluff, Arkansas. They spent the remainder of the war securing Arkansas, during which time they engaged Confederate forces and Guerrilla bands in several minor skirmishes, but with no major actions. They mustered out of service on July 20, 1865.