Then during the Battle of Springfield in January of 1863, several rental homes that Mrs. Stephens owned in the south part of town and which provided her only source of income, were purposely burned by the Federals in order to give the defenders a clearer view of the attacking Confederates.
Permilla Stephens was not immediately compensated for the loss. Left bereft of any means of support, she also encountered difficulty when she applied later in the year to Federal authorities for relief in the form of food and clothing for her kids and herself.
Although Mrs. Stephens was finally approved for aid, her experience could have easily turned her against the Union, one might think. Instead, she continued to support the Union and, after the war, became Springfield's first postmistress.
Labels: John A. Stephens