Registered on January 22, 2006 and last updated on August 30, 2008.

River City John
Location: * Omaha City, Nebraska Territory * *
* *
Age: 57
Real life Occupation:
Clubs: NCOWS #L-146
GAF #275

Recent News About Me:

My Chosen Alias (The story behind and how I picked it):

I was born on Friday the 29th of March, 1822 in New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut. I was the third son and the youngest of six surviving children.
My brothers had each joined my father’s shop to learn the printing trade, but as I was indifferent towards learning the work, I was sent west with my eldest sister and her husband when they emigrated to Michigan Territory in 1836.
Here I grew past manhood and led a useful life occupied variously as farmhand, mill hand and then merchant in my Uncle’s many business endeavors. He also taught me early on the use of firearms and their necessity for safety on the frontier and as a precaution against unforeseen business dealings.
It took a score of years to gain the position of General Agent representing our firm’s business affairs in overland freighting and familiarity with commerce on the inland waterways.
Like many I caught the war fever in ‘61 but there was no shortage of younger men to fill the quotas for our county, so I had to wait until the losses of the Peninsula Campaign caused the recruiters to come drumming again to fill the ranks. I was enlisted in Co. ‘F’, 4th Mich. Vol. Regt. on August 23rd, 1862 and joined the regiment encamped at Falmouth, Virginia.
I fought with the regiment from Fredericksburg to Petersburg, made the rank of Corporal, and when the three year boys were sent home in June of ‘64, over 130 of them reenlisted as Veteran Volunteers and they, along with those of us who had not met our three years, plus enough new recruits to bring the regiment up to fighting trim, were all transferred to the Western Department as the Reorganized Fourth Michigan. By this time I had earned a third stripe. We campaigned in Alabama and Tennessee but it was not the stand up fighting like we were used to back east. Mainly lots of patrols chasing guerillas or guarding supply wagons and stores.
It was during this time I came to the attention of our Brigade Quartermaster by making some suggestions for speeding up work while watching stores being unloaded off the river transports. Soon I found myself placed on detached service working with the Army’s contract transports and Navy riverboats operating under Army command. It was work I understood well and it earned me a brevet Lieutenancy, and the experience would prove useful.
In June of ‘65 I accompanied my regiment by transport to New Orleans to prepare to embark for Texas, and here my services again were recommended and I found myself helping to move stores and equipment and maintain warehouse as the Army worked more closely with the Navy for the coastal voyage.
At the suggestion of Commander -------- ---------------, I requested transfer to the Navy and he was kind enough to add an endorsement to accompany it detailing my usefulness to his service. The Commander also forwarded his own request that I be detailed to the same duties but working for the Navy at the port of New Orleans along with a request I be breveted Acting Ensign. My transfer was accepted and the rank was authorized subject to official confirmation, which I never received.
When my old regiment came through New Orleans again on their return north to be mustered out in May of ‘66, I was overtaken with a longing to return home too. Again Commander -------- ---------------- was instrumental in arranging for temporary duty with the Army providing assistance reviewing port facilities and operations with their civilian river transport contracts. I traveled north to St. Louis, and although I had hoped to be posted somewhere farther up the Mississippi, the frontier had shifted westerly therefore the needs of the Army were to take me up the Missouri River.
In St. Louis it was made plain to me that what with the war over the civilian contractors were unwilling to be dictated to any longer by the Army as to how they were to manage their own business, let alone by a solitary ‘deep water’ Ensign, as they called me. I decided I needed to change my tactics.
Introducing myself to the St. Louis agent of Russell, Majors & Waddell, one of the largest of the contract firms and one that had enjoyed a long history of business dealings with the Army, I presented my qualifications along with an explanation of my orders for duty. It did not take much discussion before we agreed to the merit of having me work in cooperation with his firm and thus maintain favorable consideration for future contracts.
I continued upriver as far as Omaha City, Nebraska Territory and reported myself to headquarters of the newly created Department of the Platte. Here I voiced my reservation about not being able to effectively perform my services without the cooperation of the river men and freighting companies, and outlined my proposal to establish a closer working relation with one of the main contractors. The experience gained would earn their confidence and would advance my reputation through their recommendations to other contractors along the riverway.
February of ‘67 found me at Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory, one of the eastern terminus for overland freight for Russell, Majors & Waddell. Here their landing facilities for riverboat transports were well established and I found that I had little to do.
To pass the time I requested to accompany a wagon train of supplies and settlers westward to Ft. Kearny and back along the Nebraska City Cut-Off. This route had dwindled considerably from its prewar importance, and now the new Union Pacific R.R. line was beginning to take even more business away. But there was still traffic traveling west along its rutted path.
I purchased some additional clothing and personal effects more suitable for the journey, and as a precaution, was able to acquire an improved Henry repeating carbine and conversion cylinder for my Remington sidearm that would allow me to use fixed brass cartridges.


My current guns & gear:
1863 Leech & Rigdon .36 revolver
1858 Remington Navy revolver w/
Conversion cylinder
1872 Open Top

1860 Plains rifle, percussion, .50
1866 Improved Henry carbine, Pawnee Indian tacked

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Copyright 1996-2004
Kjell Heilevang aka Marshal Halloway, SASS #3411 Regulator
Email: Phone & Voicemail: 1-620-374-2093

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