Date Original



Civil War battlefield correspondence between two Confederate generals - M.M. Parsons and Sterling Price - concerning safe passage for a third, T.W. Steele.

Biographical/Historical Note

Writer of the letter, Brigadier General Mosby Monroe Parsons (1822-1865) commanded the 10th Missouri (aka Steens-Parsons-Picketts Brigade, CSA). Parsons led troops in northwest Arkansas/SW Missouri battles early in the Trans-Mississippi theater - Carthage, Wilson's Creek, Pea Ridge, Prairie Grove and in later campaigns - Little Rock, Helena, Red River, Camden. At war's end, Parsons went to Mexico with several fellow Confederates, including a brother-in-law; he and his companions were killed by Mexican soldiers, giving rise to an international lawsuit. Recipient of the letter, Confederate Major General Sterling Price (1809-1867), was then District Commander for Arkansas. After unsuccessfully challenging Union forces in Arkansas in summer-fall 1863, Price subsequently conducted campaigns in Louisiana, Texas and his home state of Missouri, with mixed results on the battlefield. At the Civil War's end, he took his troops to Mexico for about a year rather than surrender. He died in St. Louis in September 1867 from illness contracted in Mexico. A former Missouri governor, banking official and hero of the U.S.-Mexican War as well as the Confederacy, his funeral was a huge public occasion. The subject of the letter is believed to be Thomas William Steele (1827-1900), an extensive and prosperous land owner in Pulaski and Ashley Counties, who established a multi-generational family of landholders with his wife Elizabeth Little Steele (1835-1919). Steele served with Price south of the Arkansas River during the war. He is referred to as 'Col. Steele' in post-Civil War documents.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area

Arkansas; Missouri





Resource Type



M.M. Parsons letter, SMC.045.007


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

M.M. Parsons letter, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Use and reproduction of images held by the Arkansas State Archives without prior written permission is prohibited. For information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at


United States History