Photo Essay: Pilgrimage to Pulliam’s

A headstone to 12 unknown Confederate soldiers killed at Pulliam’s farm on December 25, 1863 in Ripley County, Missouri (c) 2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC

On Saturday October 23, 2021 I accompanied members of the Stoddard Rangers Camp #2290, Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans and members of the John Crawford Smith Camp #2302, Arkansas Sons of Confederate Veterans, on a visit to Pulliam’s farm, site of the 1863 Christmas Massacre in Ripley County, Missouri.

Researching this event inspired me to write my book “Blood in the Ozarks”:

“Deep in the Ozarks of Southeast Missouri a battle still raises about a massacre committed on Christmas Day, 1863 in Ripley County, Missouri by members of the 3’rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry led by Major James Wilson. While naysayers state that the “massacre” was nothing more than a rescue mission to free Union troops captured days before by Colonel Timothy Reeves and his 15th Missouri Cavalry, CSA, local historical documents, newspaper articles and military records prove bias on their part, painting a picture of a government cover up and the needless slaughter of men, women and children along with Confederate soldiers on the holiest day of the year.”

We rendezvoused at the boat ramp on the Current River in Doniphan, Missouri where we proceeded to visit the Old Doniphan Cemetery. Our caravan then traveled 17 miles southwest of the town to Pulliam’s farm, the site of the massacre.

The landowner was kind enough to allow us on to the property where we found him cleaning fence rows. He was a candid, honest, no nonsense man who informed us he had grown up in the area.

We found him to be very knowledgeable about the history that transpired there. When we told him we all felt a very heavy feeling in the air when we entered the property, he stated that those who died there on Christmas day, 1863 would always be with us as long as we remembered them. It was hallowed ground and we were privileged to have been allowed to walk upon it.

Current River, Doniphan, Missouri (c) 2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
(c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
(c) 2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
Doniphan, Missouri (c) 2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
Our caravan waiting for permission to explore the property. The road overlooked the valley where Pulliam’s farm is located. (c) 2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
Site of Pulliam’s farm, where the massacre of Confederate soldiers and their families took place. (c) 2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
Looking southwest on the old Doniphan, Missouri to Warm Springs, Arkansas road. Major Wilson’s Union cavalry surprised Timothy Reeves’ 15th Missouri Cavalry, CSA and their families during a Christmas celebration in 1863. Wilson entered the farm from the northeast. (c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
Pulliam’s Spring. Pulliam’s farm had several springs located on the property and was bordered by a creek, that combined with the fact that it was located in a secluded valley made it the ideal location for Colonel Reeves’ regimental camp. (c) 2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
Mike Sisco the property owner, a very honest, hospitable and knowledgeable host. Allowing us to explore the property was a privilege that we did not take lightly. (c)2021 Corey Dees Photography.
From left to right: Alan Jones, Paul Arnold, Clint Lacy, Dalton Bilderback, Steve Reece, Jim Arnold, Mark Locke. (c) 2021 Corey Dees Photography.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: