Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of the Ozarks region and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written fifteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Bushwhacker Belles, Wicked Women of Missouri, and Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Wild Bill in Springfield

I have written on this blog before about Wild Bill Hickok's shootout on the Springfield square with Dave Tutt shortly after the close of the Civil War, and one chapter in my book entitled Ozarks Gunfights and Other Notorious Incidents is about this episode. However, as many people know but others may not, Wild Bill also spent considerable time in and around Springfield while the war was still going on. He served as a Union scout and spy during the latter part of the war, and General John Sanborn, commanding the Southwest District of Missouri, sent him on missions of reconnaissance and espionage throughout southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. When he was in Springfield, he helped the provost marshal enforce martial law, serving more or less as an MP (although I don't think the abbreviation "MP" was a commonly used term back then). For instance, I know that he testified or gave depositions against the defendants and for the military in at least one or two cases involving minor infractions like illegal liquor sales and was identified as a lawman in at least one of those cases.

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