Missouri and 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.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Southern Sympathizing Women

I mentioned in recent posts that Southern sympathizing civilians in Missouri, especially women, were often arrested by Federal authorities and sent south during the Civil War and that other Southern sympathizing women requested to be allowed to go south. There were also, of course, a lot of women who were arrested or at least investigated on charges of aiding and abetting guerrillas or otherwise helping the Southern cause but who were ultimately allowed to remain in Missouri. Cynthia and Martha Donald of Hickory County, Missouri, were apparently two of the latter.
On February 18, 1865, an anonymous citizen of Hickory County wrote to General John B. Sanborn, commanding the District of Southwest Missouri headquartered at Springfield, complaining about the Donald women: "There is two familys living in Hickry county by the name of sintha and Martha Donald. there men are in the rebel army. they feed bushwhackers last fall. they feed three some 2 or 3 weeks and will do it again." The writer advised General Sanborn to check with Captain Reeder of the Hickory County unit of the Enrolled Missouri Militia for confirmation of his accusations. Referring to Captain Jacob Cassairt, who commanded a unit of the 8th Missouri State Militia Cavalry stationed at Hermitage, the letter writer also suggested, "Cpt. Hasack at hermitage can pry into it." The letter writer concluded that he would "withhold my name for fear of being bushwhack. I am a radical union man without a doubt."
On February 26, General Sanborn wrote to Cassairt asking him to look into the matter and either confirm or refute the charges against the two Donald women. Cassairt reported to Sanborn on March 9, saying, "I have no doubt their sympathy is with the South at the same time their actions, as far as I have learned, would not justify their banishment from the district." Apparently the case was then dropped, as there appears to be no further record of it.
Source: Union Provost Marshal Papers, Two or More Civilians (online at Mo. State Archives website).
Speaking of the Civil War, my new book entitled The Siege of Lexington, Missouri: The Battle of the Hemp Bales is due to be released almost any day now. Also, I have published a new edition of Other Noted Guerrillas of the Civil War in Missouri, which is available from Amazon and other places. The original edition of the book, published in 2007, was out of print.

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