Objection to “Decoration Day”

My latest foray of mining local history from newspaper archives is particularly interesting, for several reasons.

The June 27, 1889 Warrensburg Standard “calls out” the Kansas City Globe for getting its facts wrong. Apparently the Globe claimed the prosecutor in Johnson County, Missouri filed criminal charges against an individuals for trying to honor Decoration Day.

According to the Standard, it was not Johnson County in which this event occurred, it was Bollinger County.

The Warrensburg Standard proclaimed:

“The only place in the world so far as we know or believe , where the Copperhead objection to honoring the memory of dead soldiers, has taken the form of a criminal prosecution is in Bollinger County, Missouri.”

The Standard continues…

“The prosecuting attorney of Bollinger County is the chap with a swelled head, and he will know more than he did when he gets through with his little scheme.”

This story jogged my memory a bit about another story I stumbled across recently. One in which Union veterans were charged in Bollinger County, not for honoring Decoration Day, but for discharging their weapons in town while performing a salute.

The July 20th, 1889 edition of the St. Joseph Herald carries a story about the fate of the veterans charged…

“The asinine prosecuting attorney of Bollinger County , who caused the arrests of The Sons of Veterans [Union], for firing a salute in memory of the dead Union soldiers, on Memorial Day, failed to make his case and the boys were aquitted.”

“Blood in the Ozarks: Expanded Second Edition” 309 pages contains Civil War history that includes, Cape, Bollinger, Wayne, Ripley and many other Southeast Missouri counties with information from newspapers of the era, stories of personal atrocities and “The Slave Narratives.” $15 paperback / $2.99 Kindle, 309 pages. Click Here to order.


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