The Union provost marshals’ papers on microfilm at the Missouri State Archives in Jefferson City, some of which are also online at the archives’ website, represent an invaluable source for anyone researching the Civil War in Missouri. The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, available in book form at some regional libraries and also available online, chronicle Civil War battles, troop movements, and correspondence among high-ranking officers, but the provost marshals’ papers are a much more likely source of information about everyday citizens. So, unless one’s ancestor was a prominent soldier during the Civil War, the provost marshals’ papers are probably a more valuable source for the family researcher than the Official Records.

The Union provost marshals’ papers on microfilm at the Missouri State Archives in Jefferson City, some of which are also online at the archives’ website, represent an invaluable source for anyone researching the Civil War in Missouri. The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, available in book form at some regional libraries and also available online, chronicle Civil War battles, troop movements, and correspondence among high-ranking officers, but the provost marshals’ papers are a much more likely source of information about everyday citizens. So, unless one’s ancestor was a prominent soldier during the Civil War, the provost marshals’ papers are probably a more valuable source for the family researcher than the Official Records.  
For instance, in searching through the provost marshals’ papers a couple of years ago, I ran across a letter that touches upon my own family history. It was written on September 23, 1864, by Major J.B. Kaiser, commanding the Union post at Waynesville, Missouri, and addressed to Brigadier-General John McNeil, commanding the Rolla district. In it, Kaiser identified a number of citizens of Pulaski and Texas counties who had supposedly been aiding and harboring bushwhackers and "also conveying news to them by every opportunity they can get."

Read the complete story in the Jan. 19 print edition of the Neosho Daily News.