Why Do We Support Our Veterans?

confederate, confederate veterans, durham county, north carolina, intolerance, jayhawks, civil war, war between the states, Abraham LincolnAfter the infantile attack on the Durham County, North Carolina Veterans Monument (in which a group of Leftist Extremists toppled a 100+ year old statue commemorating veterans who fought for their community), and the general response from a minority of people in high positions who are seeking to dishonor our veterans by forcing the removal of their monuments, we thought it appropriate to discuss why our veterans still matter. That it’s not just about the 2 second headline or the sanitized version of this complex time period that you might have received back in public school. Below, you’ll read a small collection of reasons why people in our Missouri communities fought (which had very little, if anything at all to do with slavery)…

In May of 1861, the Missouri Legislature convenes at the call of Gov. C.F. Jackson in order to discuss withdrawal from the Union. In response, Federal Captain Nathaniel Lyon and his four regiments of mostly German volunteers demands the surrender of Camp Jackson in St. Louis. A crowd of angry civilians taunt Lyon’s men, and in the resulting confusion, Federal troops open fire. Around 100 men, women and children are wounded, with 24 dead. Enraged, Missouri citizens begin arming for war, with men like Captain Wallace Jackson (of Platte County) raising a company of men to be sworn in as State militia at St. Joseph. (Pgs 310-311 W.M. Paxton’s “Annals of Platte County”, T.L. Snead’s “The Fight for Missouri”, Sean McLachlan’s “Missouri: An Illustrated History”)

In late 1861, state and county officials have refused to take the Federal Oath, and are forcibly removed. W.M. Paxton notes that the military has permitted outlaws to steal without hindrance (near New Market) and that Union troops frequently forage off the people of Platte City. General David Hunter, stationed at Fort Leavenworth, begins his campaign to round up those with Southern Sympathies in Platte County, and orders county leaders to deliver up or drive out the guerrilla leader Silas Gordon – or Hunter would lay waste to the County. When Paxton suggests that he has no power, under the Constitution to do so, Hunter’s reply is “Damn the Constitution!” (Pgs 316-319 W.M. Paxton’s “Annals of Platte County”)

martial law, missouri, civil war, confederate, confederate veterans, confederate monumentsIn retaliation for two federals killed in a recent battle in late 1861, Triplett and Close are taken to Bee Creek to be executed. Triplett is shot, but Close runs into the creek and flounders in the mud. Climbing the opposite side, he is met by a soldier who bayonets him several times and leaves him dead in the mud. Two days later, Paxton passes the scene of this tragedy and sees that someone has used blood to write the letters, “U.S.” on the southwest corner of the bridge. It was about this time that Col. Morgan (Federal) burns Platte City, as well as the courthouse. (Pgs 321-322, W.M. Paxton’s “Annals of Platte County”

In 1863, Platte County is disarmed and left as prey to marauding outlaws. Federal jayhawkers bear forged military orders, search houses, barns and stables for arms, and rob and hang the people. Although the Federal militia is active in suppressing bushwhackers, they seem to give little concern toward thieves and murderers. (Pgs 336 W.M. Paxton’s “Annals of Platte County”)

In August of 1864, Dr. Joseph Walker is met on the road by a group of men from Leavenworth, and taken into the woods and shot. Dr. Thomas L. Thomas, a favorite of Camden Point, and David Gregg, an old and highly esteemed farmer, are also recorded as recently murdered for their Southern Sympathies (Pg. 372-392, W.M. Paxton’s Annals of Platte County”)

It’s reported that Jayhawkers H.H. Moore and H.D. Fisher were “freeing” Missouri slaves so they could take them back to Kansas for cheap labor and work as indentured servants. 1

In a letter to Missouri Congressman Rollins, General George Caleb Bingham wrote in regards to Jennison’s Jayhawks that if “Jennison should be executed, for if he were hung Price would lose thereby the best recruiting officer he ever had.” 2

civil war, confederate, confederate monuments, confederate veterans, support our veterans, Patrick Cleburne, revisionist historyHalleck directed General Pope to drive out Jennison’s Jayhawks as, “They are no better than a band of robbers; they cross the line, rob, steal, plunder and burn whatever they can lay their hands upon. They disgrace the name and uniform of American soldiers and are driving good Union men into the ranks of the secession army.” 3

Near Independence at the farm of Amos Blythe, Federal troops encountered 12 year old Theodore at home. They threatened the boy with hanging if they didn’t tell them what they wanted to know. Theodore managed to escape, and the troops opened fire. He grabbed a gun inside the family home, and ran for the nearby woods. However, the boy was wounded and fell to the ground. He reportedly shot the first federal that came up to him, and wounded two others as they approached. Before he could fire a fourth time, his body was riddled with bullets. 4

In Jackson County, 13 year old John Fox, who had a brother with Quantrill, was shot and killed by Federals while his sister and mother had hold of him and begged for his life. He was charged with feeding his brother. 5

Federals also killed 14 year old James Nicholson because he had two brothers with Price. 35 year old Henry Morris was serving with Col. Upton Hays when Federals rode up to his house and killed his 11 year old son. 6

James C. Horton of Lawrence describes the capture of a guerrilla by the name of Skaggs, who was shot off his horse. A man tied a rope around his neck and drug him through the streets of Lawrence until the body was nude and terribly mutilated. The body was then hanged and further mutilated by cutting it with knives, shooting and throwing rocks, etc. 7

Order Number 11, a response to a guerrilla attack on Lawrence (which was in turn a response to numerous Federal attacks on families throughout the region), was an order that burned numerous homes suspected of giving aid to the South. Women and children were naturally not exempt from this, and suffered greatly through the loss of husbands and fathers who were often killed on their doorsteps, as well as the loss of homes and property (like clothing, bedding, etc) to protect from the elements.

Union men kill 17 year old Al Carter. After shooting him from his saddle, they shot out his eyes and scalped him. 8 (scalping was a brutal practice that was said to have been committed numerous times by federal troops along the Missouri/Kansas border)

Guerrilla leader William Anderson was beheaded and his head attached to a telegraph pole in the town of Richmond.

One year after Appomattox, 4000 comer secessionists were said to have been murdered in southwest Missouri. Supposedly Federals encouraged bands of “regulators” to serve retaliation on former Confederate soldiers who served. 9

After the collapse of a makeshift prison that killed a number of women in Kansas City on August 13, 1863 (which was said to have been intentionally done by federal captors as revenge against southern resistance), John McCorkle writes, “This foul murder was the direct cause of the famous raid on Lawrence, Kansas. We could stand no more. Imagine, if you can, my feelings. A loved sister foully murdered and the widow of a dead brother seriously hurt by a set of men to whom the name assassins, murderers and cutthroats would be a compliment. People abuse us, but, by God, did we not have enough to make us desperate and thirst for revenge? We tried to fight like soldiers, but were declared outlaws, hunted under a ‘Black Flag’ and murdered like beasts. The homes of our friends burned, our aged sires, who dared sympathize with us had been either hung or shot in the presence of their families and all their furniture and provisions loaded in wagons and with our livestock taken to the state of Kansas. The beautiful farming country of Jackson County, Cass County and Johnson County were worse than a desert, and on every hillside stood lone blackened chimneys, sad sentinels and monuments to the memory of our once happy homes. And these outrages had been done by Kansas troops, calling themselves soldiers, but a disgrace to the name soldier. And now our innocent and beautiful girls had been murdered in the most foul, brutal, save and damnable manner.” 10

Also of note is that a black man by the name of John Lobb was said to have served Quantrill and reportedly spied on Lawrence prior to the raid. Quantrill also had a Cherokee Indian, Adam Wilson riding with him. 11

Naturally this is not a complete account of all that occurred during Lincoln’s War. But the reader is encouraged to learn and find out more for themselves about what really went on during this complex and extremely difficult time. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented here, again, the reader is encouraged to read and learn on their own. Perhaps instead of just accepting the thoughts of a biased college professor or a skewed public school textbook, you too will come to understand why so many people continue to want to honor the many sacrifices of a people not so different than us. Their sufferings and stories during a time of deep division and bloody conflict are worth remembering. Because like they say, those who forget history might be tragically condemned to repeat it.

1. Quantrill of Missouri, Petersen (pg. 72)
2. Gray Ghosts of the Confederacy: Guerrilla Warfare in the West, Brownlee (pg. 49)
3. The War of the Rebellion, 1883, Series 1 Volume VIII (pg 507)
4. Quantrill, Harrison Trow, 1923
5. Quantrill and the Border Bars, Connelley 1910
6. Quantrill of Missouri, Petersen (pg 240)
7. Joanne C. Eakin and Donald R. Hale, Branded as Rebels
8. William Gregg Manuscript
9. Quantrill of Missouri, Petersen (pg 423)
10. William Gregg Manuscript
11. Quantrill of Missouri, Petersen (pg 159)

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