Missouri and Ozarks History

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

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I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Going South During the Civil War

It was not unusual for Missouri civilians, particularly women, to be banished to the South during the Civil War by Federal authorities for having fed, sheltered, or otherwise aided guerrillas. Occasionally they were banished from the state and sent somewhere other than the South (e.g. northern Illinois), but most of those exiled from Missouri were sent south.
I did not realize it until recently, but it also was not particularly unusual for women to request to be allowed to go south to join their husbands, who were in the Southern army, or to otherwise reunite with their families. In September of 1863 and early October of 1863, for instance, a large number of women from the Springfield, Missouri, area asked to be permitted to go south. Those who had children, of course, also asked passage for their children.
Women who wanted to go south could not just strike out on their own, for at least a couple of reasons. For one thing, it would have been physically dangerous, but also the Federal authorities might have arrested them on suspicion of carrying information to the Southern army. So, they had to apply to Federal officials for permits to go south. The applications were usually granted rather routinely. In fact, if Federal officials in Missouri could have had their way, they would have sent all Southern citizens, including the women, out of the state.
Among the many citizens from the Springfield area asking to go south during the fall of 1863 was one party of seven women and twenty kids. They wanted to go to Fannin County, Texas by way of Forsyth, Missouri. Two of the women were named Snapp (Mary Snapp and Margaret Snapp). The fact that they asked to go by way of Forsyth makes me suspect that were probably related to the Snapps of Bald Knobber fame. (The bald knob where the vigilante group initially met and which gave the group its name was originally called Snapps' Bald. Also Sam Snapp was one of the victims of the Bald Knobbers.) However, I have not tried to do any genealogical research to determine how the two women tied in with the Snapp family of the Forsyth area, if, in fact, they did.


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