The St. Louis Massacre (also known as the Camp Jackson Affair ) which occurred on Friday May 10, 1861, in St. Louis, saw members of the Missouri State Guard taken prisoner by Union troops (the majority of which were German immigrants). As the troops were marching the Missourians through the streets, the crowd became enraged and the Union troops began to fire into it, killing 28 civilians, including an infant.
This was Missouri’s “Fort Sumter” and citizens who were once “on the fence” began to quickly choose sides. After the event Germans were looked upon with great suspicion.
The August 31, 1861 issue of Louisville, Kentucky’s “Courier Journal” carried a story on the conditions of Bollinger & Madison counties in Missouri. It also contains a letter from I.R. Hidod, of Company G, Missouri State Guard to his friend, Francis Williams. The letter was a plea from Hidod to Williams to reconsider his position as a Union man and enlist in the ranks of the South. The letter was also a warning as to what would happen if he didn’t.