In post-war Bollinger County, Missouri lawlessness prevailed. It seems with little opportunity many turned to distilling corn liquor or “moonshine”. Before the war it was not illegal to do so but after the war it was considered to be against the law due to the fact that the government did not get “its share” through taxation.
There are several accounts in newspaper archives from throughout the United States about the crackdown on illegal distilleries in the county. It was not uncommon for federal authorities to make appearances and arrests.
It was also not uncommon for the citizens to intervene in the apprehension of moonshiners. Sometimes they were successful, other times not so much. The May 22, 1871 issue of the Chicago Tribune carries the story of an unsuccessful attempt to free prisoners from Federal authorities.Post War Lawlessness in Bollinger County, Missouri Mon, May 22, 1871 – 2 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.com Mon, May 22, 1871 – 2 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.com