Happy Missouri Secession Day!

On October 28, 1861 the Missouri legislature convened at the Masonic Hall in Neosho, Missouri and passed an ordinance of secession, abolishing its ties with the Union. A month later the state was admitted into the newly formed Confederacy.

After the Missouri State Guard secured victories at Wilson’s Creek (near Springfield, Missouri) in August, 1861 and Lexington, Missouri in September, 1861, the Missouri Legislature met at the Masonic Hall in Neosho, Missouri on October 28, 1861 to debate the subject of secession from the Union.

With the attempt at maintaining a neutral stance in regard to the war having failed and the legally elected legislature being forced out of the state capital at Jefferson City by the threat of the Union army, Missouri’s elected officials had but little choice to cast its lot with the Confederacy. As I noted in my book “Blood in the Ozarks: Expanded Second Edition”:

“The Missouri legislature met in Neosho and passed an ordinance of secession in October , 1861 and was admitted into the Confederacy in Nov. 1861 (though they never controlled the state again).

It has been written in the history books that the secession was not legal because there was not a quorum in the Missouri House or Senate present. According to Col. Moore, this was not the case:

“The Legislature passed an act of secession. In every particular it complied with the forms of law. It was called together in extraordinary session by the proclamation of the governor. There was a quorum of each house present. The governor sent to the two houses his message recommending, among other things, the passage of an act dissolving all political connection between the State of Missouri and the United States of America. The ordinance was passed strictly in accordance with law and parliamentary usage, was signed by the presiding officers of the two houses, attested by John T. Crisp, secretary of the senate, and Thomas M. Murray, clerk of the house, and approved by Claiborne F. Jackson, governor of the State. The legislature also elected members of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate government, among whom were Gen. John B. Clark, who was succeeded in his military command by Col. Edwin W. Price, a son of Gen. Sterling Price, and Gen. Thomas A. Harris, who was succeeded in his military command by Col. Martin E. Green.”

Missouri would forever be known as “The 12th Star of the Confederacy.”

After the Union victory at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas on March 7-8, 1862, the Union effectively controlled Missouri leaving mostly partisan factions to resist the occupation forces.

The Missouri government would find itself in exile and it’s new capital would be located in Marshall, Texas for the remainder of the war.

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.

From the Foothills to the Delta: Spending a Day On the Rock Island

(c) 2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC

I had the opportunity to take part in a “speeder” run on the newly reborn Rock Island railroad from Swan Lake to Clarksdale, Mississippi recently. “Speeders” are track inspection vehicles from the days of old and running these pieces of history has become a niche hobby over the years. Before I get into the events of the day I need to share a bit of history.

From Wikipedia:

“The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (CRI&P RW, sometimes called Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway)[1] (reporting marks CRIPRIROCK) was an American Class I railroad. It was also known as the Rock Island Line, or, in its final years, The Rock.

At the end of 1970, it operated 7,183 miles of road on 10,669 miles of track; that year it reported 20,557 million ton-miles of revenue freight and 118 million passenger-miles.

Eventually bad management and a bad economy took it’s toll on the once great railroad and by the early 1980’s it ceased to exist but thanks to the vision of Mississippi businessman Robert Riley (who bought the rights and licensing to the railroad’s name) the Rock Island name and legacy has been reborn and is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, this time however, it is deep in the heart of Mississippi on a stretch of road once owned and operated by the Illinois Central.

In 2017 Riley took over operations of the Mississippi Delta Railroad. Information found on the Rock Island Rail website states:

“The Mississippi Delta Railroad (reporting mark: MSDR) is based in Sumner, Mississippi and operates a total of 85 miles of track in the northwest corner of the state. MSDR interchanges with Canadian National Railway, a Class I Railroad company, at Swan Lake, MS. The MSDR has two expansive yards located in Clarksdale, MS as well as numerous sidings and auxiliary tracks for car storage. The Mississippi Delta’s principle commodities include: scrap, paper, polystyrene, PVC, fertilizer, cotton, grains, and other agricultural products. “

My friend Shawn and I left the Southeast Missouri Ozarks on Friday October 8th, 2021 at 5:00 pm and arrived at Clarksdale, Mississippi 4 1/2 hours later. After spending the night in Clarksdale, we drove to Sumner the next morning and hitched a ride with some “speeder” owners.

(C)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
A caravan of “speeder” cars prepares to depart Sumner, Mississippi on the morning of October 9, 2021 (c)2021 Clint Lacy/ Foothills Media LLC
Map of the Rock Island Railroad from Clarksdale to Swan Lake, Mississippi. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org)

Leaving Sumner, we traveled to Swan Lake where “The Rock” interchanges with the Canadian National railroad. At Swan Lake the caravan of “speeders” turned their cars around and headed back to Sumner, passing through Webb where an old railroad depot still stands.

Train depot, Webb, Mississippi. (c) 2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC

Doubling back through Sumner, the group headed to Tutwiler where it stopped for lunch and then continued north towards Clarksdale.

A cotton field waiting to be picked at Tutwiler, Mississippi. (c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC

After taking a break at Tutwiler we fired up the “speeders” and were once again heading north passing through Dublin, Mattson and Claremont before stopping at a rather unique location outside of Clarksdale called The Shack Up Inn for another break.

The Shack Up Inn is located on the once thriving Hopson Plantation three miles from the historic “crossroads” of highways 49 and 61 in the heart of blues country. Sharecropper’s shacks and grain bins have been converted into comfortable cottages and the site boasts its own blues bar and lounge.

The Shack Up Inn, Clarksdale, Mississippi. (c)2021 Clint Lacy/ Foothills Media LLC
The Shack Up Inn, Clarksdale, Mississippi (c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
The Shack Up Inn, Clarksdale, Mississippi. (c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
The Shack Up Inn, Clarksdale, Mississippi. (c) 2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
The Shack Up Inn, Clarksdale, Mississippi. (c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
The caravan stopped in front of The Shack Up Inn for a brief break before proceeding to Clarksdale. (c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC

After taking a break (and some pictures) at The Shack Up Inn our caravan left for Rock Island Rail’s expansive rail yard at Clarksdale, where we would once again, turn the “speeders” around for our 20- mile return trip to Sumner.

Speeding through the rail yards at Clarksdale, Mississippi
A haze settles over the railroad on our return trip to Sumner, a result of the ongoing cotton harvest that was taking place at the time of our trip. (c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC

We arrived at Sumner at around 5:00 pm after spending a full day on the rails. I had the fortune of hitching a ride on an open air “speeder” and it can only be described as riding a Harley Davidson on rails. As much fun as it was, I was tired.

The rest of the afternoon was spent loading up the “speeders” and visiting with my new found friends. After the visit, we all said our goodbyes and left with smiling faces. Thank you to to Robert and Gwen Riley for allowing this event to take place and accompanying us. Also thanks to Louis and Caleb for allowing me to hitch a ride with them.

Soon Shawn and I pointed my car north. As much as I enjoyed the road trip, there really is no place like home. I was glad to get back to the foothills.

More pictures from the “speeder” run and Sumner, Mississippi…

Me posing next to the open air “speeder” I hitched a ride on. (c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
My friend ( and railroad historian ) Shawn Friedrich. (c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
Courthouse, Sumner, Mississippi. (c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC
Town square, Sumner, Mississippi. (c)2021 Clint Lacy / Foothills Media LLC

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Battle of Round Pond & The Murder of John Chasteen

Round Pond was filled in many years ago and no longer exists but I did find a picture of it in the February 16, 1982 issue of the Southeast Missourian Newspaper

I found this article about the Battle of Round Pond, which occurred in southern Cape Girardeau County, Missouri August 1 , 1863. This article was previously posted on another website that I used to maintain so I though readers of my current website might enjoy. Official records indicate that the battle took place near the Castor River but this is incorrect as the Castor is several miles south of the location and I believe the official reports confused the Castor River with the Whitewater River which is much closer to the location of this event.

This article was orginally published at http://www.ancestry.com  

Round Pond Massacre

And the Death of John Burton Chasteen[1]

1 Aug 1863

By Susan Slap-Hoysagk

Setting the stage for Round Pond.

On this particular Saturday in 1863, a Union wagon train of 30 wagons, 20 guards, and 40 teamsters and camp workers had stopped to spend the night on the Bloomfield Road at Round Pond, Missouri.  They were carrying supplies to Brigadier General John Davidson’s troops in Arkansas.  The encampment was attacked in the night by guerrilla fighters called Bushwhackers, who killed and wounded at least 30 men and set afire the wagons. John Burton Chasteen, Sr. charged with aiding and abetting the enemy in the massacre, was arrested by Federal soldiers and taken to nearby Bloomfield where he was held overnight.  John was set free the next morning, found to be innocent at his trial, and started to make his way home.  Somewhere along the way, purportedly about halfway home, he was fatally shot, perceivably in retaliation for bushwhacking.  To fully understand this tragedy requires examining the events leading up to the massacre, including a very torn Missouri during the Civil War, and those after – John Chasteen’s murder left a wife and seven children.

Missouri: Statehood Compromise.

When Louisiana became a state in 1812, the remaining lands of the original Louisiana Purchase of 1803 became the Missouri Territory.  Six years later Missouri requests admittance to the Union as a slave state fueling a national controversy and series of crises as this would upse the balance of equal representation in the Senate between slave states and free states (in essence the issue is of slaveholders having power and control over the national government).  Embittered debates ensued with a compromise of Missouri being admitted as a slave state and Maine as a free state – thus preserving the worrisome balance of Senate representation. Missouri became the 24th state in 1821. The Missouri Compromise did prohibit slavery in the remaining portion of the territory north of 36o30’ parallel except in the state of Missouri.  In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act not only created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, but also established that popular sovereignty (rule by the people) could decide whether or not to allow slavery, effectively nullifying the Missouri Compromise.  This put another wedge in the nation, splitting it even further and pushing all towards the Civil War.

Missouri Enters into the Civil War.

Missouri was originally settled by slave-owning southerners; however, by 1860 the population had become more diversified with non-slave holding immigrants.  Additionally, the geographical position of the state placed it in the middle of the northern and southern states.  This environment, under pro-Union governor Robert M. Stewart, created Missouri’s decision to try to stay out of the Civil War conflict by remaining in the Union, declaring neutrality, and therefore not giving men or supplies to either side.  Stewart, governor from 1857-1861, was sure Missouri would be destroyed if she seceded.  Claiborne F. Jackson took over as the governor on January 2, 1861, vowing to continue the “armed neutrality” policy of Stewart, even though he favored joining the Confederacy.  On March 21, 1861 at the State Convention, a resolution to not secede from the Union was approved 98 to 1, much to the chagrin of their pro-secessionist governor.

At the top of Jackson’s list of worries was the potential for the St. Louis Arsenal to be used by Union Armies.  This arsenal contained 60,000 muskets, 45 tons of gunpowder, 40 cannons, and 1,500,000 ball cartridges.  Jackson’s fear was realized on Apr 26, 1861 when Federal commander General William Harney’s aide, Captain Nathaniel Lyon, moved nearly to entire arsenal to Springfield, Illinois to prevent the arsenal from falling into Confederate hands in the case of Missouri secession.  Additionally, Jackson had been ordered by President Lincoln to dispatch “four regiments of men for immediate service.”  He refused, responding “Your requisition, in my judgment, is illegal, unconstitutional, and revolutionary in its object, inhuman, and diabolical and cannot be complied with.  Not one man will the State of Missouri furnish to carry on any unholy crusade.

Jackson ordered his state militia to gather for training in the beginning May of 1861, outside of St. Louis at Lindell’s Grove, coined “Camp Jackson.”  He was expecting arms from the Confederate President Jefferson Davis and wanted to secure their safety.  It was also rumored he was preparing to attack and reclaim the arsenal.  Captain Lyon learned of the secret arms being transported and surrounded the camp on May 10th, forcing surrender, which occurred quietly and without violence.  However, a large group of angry citizens had gathered and things at the scene deteriorated very quickly to bloodshed.  People had started throwing dirt clods and rocks at Lyon’s men with some of the civilian men wielding pistols.  One angry drunk opened fire and wounded a Union officer and Union troops started firing into the crowds.  Dead were 28 men, women, and children, with over 100 wounded.  The violence continued for two more days.  On May 11, 1861, a measure is passed by the Missouri General Assembly to create the Missouri State Guard to fight against the Union invasion.  Jackson is removed from office one month later by the recently promoted Brigadier General Lyon[2].  Once predominantly neutral anti-secession, Missourians were polarized into Union or Confederate supporters.  Missouri now has two state governments and the intrastate war has begun.

Lyon and his troops quickly advanced and in June, Governor Jackson was forced to flee Jackson City, the state capital, to Neosho.  In July, with the governor now very much absent, the executive committee of the Missouri State Convention reconvened and declared the existing state offices vacant, appointed the remaining state officers, declared all seats of the legislature vacant, and set a date for the new elections: they also installed Hamilton Gamble as the military/provisional governor.  President Lincoln’s administration then recognized Gamble and his government as the local government of Missouri.  The state now had two governments with Governor Jackson still claiming control.  In Neosho, Missouri, under Jackson, the legislature passed an Ordinance of Secession from the Union the 28th of that October, becoming the 12th state of the Confederacy.  However, this is considered controversial as Jackson’s control over Missouri is in question since Gamble had been declared provisional governor and was recognized by the Federal government as being the legitimate government of Missouri.  The state was claimed by both the Union and the Confederacy, had two governments, and sent representation to governments from both sides.

Missouri’s citizens are now polarized into Union or Confederate supporters, eventually creating a raging civil war with the Civil War, pitting neighbors against neighbors.  Guerrilla warfare broke out and bushwhacking became prevalent in the rural areas of Missouri where sharp divisions between pro-Union and pro-Confederacy abounded.  Most guerrilla attacks or ambushes by bushwhackers were carried out by Confederate citizens and sometimes were on the verge of vigilantism.  Squads of bushwhackers were for the most part organized by groups of young civilian men generally in response to what was considered a Federal invasion of their state.  They took it upon themselves to ambush Federal forces and attack Unionist neighbors and it was not uncommon for bushwhackers to go from house-to-house, executing Unionists.  The government had a very difficult time determining if these were criminal acts or military attacks since the soldiers did not wear uniforms.

John Burton Chasteen, Sr. and Sarah had bought land three to four miles west of Bloomfield, first in 1852 and then added an additional section of 160 acres in 1858.  In 1860, John Burton Chasteen, Sr. is still living there in Castor Township, Stoddard Co, Missouri as enumerated in the Federal Census.  Round Pond, which no longer is in existence as it was drained and filled some years ago, was a little round pond in the western part of Weich Township, in the southern tip of Cape Girardeau Country.  It was southwest of the present-day town of Allenville, then on the Bloomfield Road, the now current County Road 254, and about 26 miles northeast of Bloomfield.  Travelers in those days often stopped there as a rest stop to refresh themselves and their animals.

In The History of Southeast Missouri[3] there is an article about John’s son, John Jr., which does not mention the incident of John Sr. being shot on his way home from Bloomfield after being released in connection with the Round Pond Massacre.  It does not mention military service for John Sr., only which “his sons-in-law and relatives were in the Confederate Army.”  It would seem that John Sr.’s daughter Mary Jane’s husband, Francis Marion Proffer, was a Confederate Soldier.  There is a Francis Marion Proffer, Private, 4th MO Field Artillery, Harris’s Battery, who enlisted in New Madrid Co, (which is just south of Stoddard) on October 1, 1862 at the age of 23[4].  This is certainly the right age as Mary Jane’s husband was born in 1838[5] or 1839[6].  He apparently also participated in Price’s Raid, an 1864 Confederate cavalry raid through the Trans-Mississippi Theater with Major General Sterling Price.  This is the only son-in-law that John had while he was alive as the other daughters were about nine, eight, and three-years-old (Hannah, Martha, and Sarah, respectively).  It would seem logical that John Sr. was pro-Confederacy but to what extent we may never know.

There are limited and varying accounts of what happened that fateful day. Union wagon trains were using this route regularly to carry supplies for General Davidson’s troops.  Southeast Missouri was a hotbed of fighting as controlling the area meant controlling the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.  The following are exerts from The War of the Rebellion, A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.[7] They are reports sent from Brigadier General Clinton B. Fisk. U.S. Army, commanding District of Southeast Missouri and from Colonel John B. Rogers, Second Missouri State Militia Calvary.

Colonel Rogers writes from Cape Girardeau on August 2, 1863, to Brig. Gen. Fisk that “the attack on the train last night was serious,” it was a surprise attack with ten men killed, two mortally wounded, and two slightly wounded.  The train was burned, save three wagons with the mules being recovered but all horses lost.  “There were but 12 of the attacking party.  There must have been inexcusable negligence; but in those swamps the party can approach very near before being seen.”[8]

On August 3, 1863, writing from Pilot Knob, Missouri to Major General John M. Schofield, Fisk states one of General Davidson’s trains of 30 wagons was attacked Saturday night, reiterates the message from Rogers and adds “the entire country along the border is swarming with guerillas…It requires more than half of the force in the district to guard General Davidson’s line of communication and garrison the posts of Bloomfield and Chalk Bluff [Arkansas].”[9] On the same date, Rogers sends another message to Fisk, “The guard was stronger then the attacking party, but the surprise was complete; they were shot in sleep.  It is difficult to guard against such surprise, as the swamp is close to the road and very dense.”  He reports the sergeant in charge of the captured train arrived and he concurred the attack was made from the swamp and “his sentinels on that side were killed instantly and the guerillas rushed on to the half-awakened men and killed them before resistance could be made.  Camping too close to the swamp was the fatal error.”[10]

In his compilation of records is also a correspondence from the Confederate Lieutenant Colonel J. Ellison, Commanding Tenth Missouri Calvary, writing Brig. Gen. J.S. Marmaduke on August 6th from Camp Brown (Union City, TN):

Capt. John McWherter, who has been out scouting on Crowley’s Ridge, has just arrived…Capt John McWherter and 8 other men had an engagement with the enemy at Round Ponds, on the road between Cape Girardeau and Bloomfield, MO. Captain J. [John McWherter] and the others belong to this command. An account of the fight is as follows: The above little party, finding that a train of wagons belonging to the enemy were on the road, followed, and when the guard, numbering 16, also the drivers, were asleep they rushed in on the camp and succeeded in killing and wounding 30.  Destroyed the entire train of 65 wagons by fire.”[11]

Capt John McWherter was associated with the 7th Regiment of the Missouri Calvary (sometimes called the 10th Regiment).  This was organized July 9, 1863 using Kitchen’s Cavalry as the core; its commanders also included the aforementioned Col Jess Ellison.  This unit was also a part of Price’s Missouri Expedition (Price’s Raid).  Listed in the rolls of soldiers for this unit are W. J. Chasteen/Shasteen (Sergeant in Co K.), J.B. Shasteen (Private, Co K and also noted as participating in Price’s Raid; however there is no more information other than his name, rank, and company listed) and a Private John Chastine.

According to these accounts, the ambush at Round Pond was perpetrated by a scouting party of Confederates and not by a group of Bushwhackers.  However, each side had very little tolerance for one another under these hostile conditions of hit-and-run raids and vigilantism, and John Burton Chasteen, Sr. died because of it.

[1] The Round Pond Massacre and the Death of John Burton Chasteen, 1 Aug 1863, By Susan Slap-Hoysagk was extracted from the Jul 07 and Oct 08 copies of the Chestnut Tree, the official organ and publication of The Pierre Chastain Family Association.

[2] Aug 10, 1861, Brig. Gen. Lyon is killed at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek by the Missouri State Guard; some of which were the same men who had surrendered to him just three months prior at Camp Jackson.  He is the first U.S. General to die in the Civil War

[3] Douglas, Robert Sidney (1912), The History of Southeast Missouri (Vol 2).  The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago and New York.

[4] Confederate Soldiers of Price’s Reid Surnames O through Sh.  Retrieved September 4, 2008 from http://www.mostateparks.com/ftdavidson/confed_OSh.pdf.

[5] 1870 U.S. Census, Bloomfield, Castor Township, Stoddard Co, MO, p.40

[6] 1870 U.S. Census, Bloomfield, Castor Township, Stoddard Co, MO, p.275.

[7] Ainsworth, Brig.Gen Fred C., Kirkley, Joseph W., & Moodey, John S. (1902).  The War of the Rebellion, A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. (Additions and Corrections to Series I, Vol. XXII).  Government Printing Office: Washington.  Pp. 466-468.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ainsworth, Brig.Gen Fred C., Kirkley, Joseph W., & Moodey, John S. (1902).  The War of the Rebellion, A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. (Additions and Corrections to Series I, Vol. XXII).  Government Printing Office: Washington.  Pp. 466-468.


Foothills Media Salutes The Trucking Industry

Part of our mission at Foothills Media is to preserve the past but we also salute and wish to preserve our unique Ozarks culture of the present. Trucking remains a staple industry of those living here and we want to salute those in the industry with our new t-shirt. Thank you to the truckers. You keep America running! These shirts are 100% cotton. $25 each.

Front of shirt
Back of shirt.

Missouri Workers Need Protection Against Mandates

This is going to be a very short post. On August 23, 2021 President Joe Biden gave a press conference stating that the Pfizer Covid vaccine had been approved by the FDA. In that same press conference he urged businesses to mandate the vaccine or face “harsh restrictions”.

In short he knows the Federal government would have a hard time legally enforcing such a mandate so he is trying to bully businesses in to doing it.

I personally have serious reservations about any of the Covid vaccines and don’t wish to take it. There are other methods that are safer and more effective in preventing and treating Covid other than the vaccine but big Pharma doesn’t want doctors, nurses or the medical field in general, to use them (it doesn’t benefit them).

I’m not here to berate anyone who chooses the vaccine, as I believe it is a personal choice, and that is the point I am trying to make. Employees shouldn’t have to choose between putting a substance in their body that they don’t feel comfortable with.

I’ve created a petition asking Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt to take action preventing employers from mandating the Covid vaccine. Someone will undoubtedly comment that “If you don’t want to take it, find another job,” someone always does and to that I counter; How will you find another job when every employer has been threatened by the Biden administration to mandate the vaccine?

I’m asking for those who still believe in freedom of choice to please sign the petition by clicking on the link below.


Holding Water

Farm Pond on Crowley’s Ridge, North Stoddard County, Missouri

I went to Mom and Dad’s Sunday for dinner. Afterwards one of my brothers took the 4-wheeler up in the hills to take a look at the old farm pond.

The farm used to belong to my Great Grandfather, who raised both crops and cattle on it.

The pond served a practical purpose for watering cattle back then, but in recent years was in need of repair.

This past Spring, Dad hired a local bulldozer operator to repair the levee and when my brother returned from investigating he reported, “It’s holding water.”

Curious as to what it looked like now, I took the 4-wheeler up to have a look for myself and take a few pictures.

Today the farm provides for an abundance of wildlife, which, no doubt, will appreciate the increased water level of the pond.


A Personal Choice

Unproven Vaccinations Should Be A Choice Not A Mandate For Missouri’s Workers

For the most part this website covers subjects from the past, so forgive me for taking you on a brief trip into the future.

First I want to say that if you have taken the Covid vaccine, that is your choice and I would never try to attack you personally for doing so.

That being said the vaccine is controversial, and in my opinion, based on my research, can cause serious side effects and the fact that the FDA has approved Pfizer’s Covid vaccine is of no comfort to me.

In an article written by Ethan Huff and published on the Natural News website, Huff writes:

“A detailed report from Liberty Counsel, a legal team that specializes in human rights and religious cases, explains that just because the FDA has given a rubber stamp to the Pfizer jab does not mean that it is in any way “safe.”

The group cited national data collected in the government’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), which shows that nearly 600,000 people have incurred adverse events after getting injected with the Pfizer needle. Another 13,608 people and counting have died from the jab.

“The deaths in this data includes approximately 3,079 deaths after receiving the Pfizer shot,” Liberty Counsel wrote in its report, explaining that it is actively fighting against covid vaccine “mandates” at the corporate level.

“Regulators also said they determined there are increased risks of myocarditis and pericarditis, or heart inflammation, following administration of the shot, particularly within the seven days following the second dose of the two-dose regimen.”

Huff continues:

“People should be leery of anything coming from Pfizer to begin with, as the company has been embroiled in numerous multi-billion-dollar legal cases involving dangerous drugs it has peddled on sick people over the years.

Back in 2009, Pfizer subsidiary Pharmacia & Upjohn Company Inc. shelled out a whopping $2.3 billion in what became the largest health care fraud settlement in history against a pharmaceutical company.

At the time, Pfizer pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act for illegally marketing four drugs, including the anti-inflammatory drug Bextra, an antipsychotic drug called Geodon, an antipsychotic called Zyvox, and an anti-epileptic drug called Lyrica.

Earlier, in 2004, Pfizer agreed to pay out $430 million to both federal and state governments for illegally marketing an epilepsy drug called Neurontin, which is prescribed for migraine headaches, chronic pain and bipolar disorder.

Is a company like this trustworthy when it comes to the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19)?”

My opinion is , no, Pfizer can not be trusted.

In a press conference held on August 23, 2021 President Joe Biden touted the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer Covid vaccine. While doing so he urged business owners to mandate the vaccine to their employees stating:

“If you’re a business leader, a nonprofit leader, a state or local labor who has been waiting for full FDA approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that. Require it. Do what I did last month and require your employees to get vaccinated or face strict requirements.”

Biden does not state outright that he himself will mandate the vaccine, instead he uses the threat of “strict requirements” to private businesses if THEY do not mandate it. Threatening others to get what he wants is one of his favorite tactics. A January 2, 2020 article published in The Hill magazine recounts the time Joe Biden bragged about strong-arming the entire country of Ukraine to protect his son Hunter Biden:

“In his own words, with video cameras rolling, he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t
immediately ire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.”

But the January 2, 2020 article published in The Hill magazine reports one detail that Biden didn’t mention when the cameras were rolling:

“But Ukrainian officials tell me there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member.

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts —usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.”

So you may be asking what is the point of this article? It’s very simple, Joe Biden has a history of using strong-arm tactics to get what he wants and Pfizer has a history of paying fines for fraud and illegal marketing of its products. If you can’t trust the man who is telling businesses to mandate the vaccine and you can’t trust the company that makes the product being mandated, common sense dictates that you can’t trust the product itself.

Allowing businesses to take away medical choice of employees over their bodies sets a dangerous precedent. It will erode the rights of workers and give control of workers bodies and medical choice to their employer.

Again if you want to take the vaccine, I’m not advocating preventing you from doing that but if President Biden’s threat of “harsh restrictions” to employers who don’t mandate the vaccine scares the hell out of you (as it does me) then I urge you to sign the petition (by clicking on the link below ) calling on Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt to prohibit corporations from forcing workers to take a medical treatment they are uncomfortable with.


I Love: Memories Made With Tom T. Hall

Tom T. Hall (Photo courtesy of NPR)

From local NPR affiliate KRCU, Cape Girardeau, Missouri:

“NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tom T. Hall, the singer-songwriter who composed “Harper Valley P.T.A.” and sang about life’s simple joys as country music’s consummate blue-collar bard, has died. He was 85.

His son, Dean Hall, confirmed the musician’s death on Friday at his home in Franklin, Tenn. Known as “The Storyteller” for his unadorned yet incisive lyrics, Hall composed hundreds of songs.”

As NPR correctly points out Tom T. Hall composed hundreds of songs but one particular song penned by Hall holds a special place in my heart.

When I was a young child my grandmother worked second shift at a local hospital in Chaffee, Missouri. Like many women of her era, Grandma never learned to drive, so my father would often have to pick her up when her work day was over and in the summertime when school was out of session, I would often ride with him.

Our entertainment on the drive was AM radio. I was fascinated at the stations from across America we could pick up at night, Chicago, New Orleans and all points in between. No matter the location of the station our car radio landed on, the format was the same, Country music.

One of the more popular songs of the time was Tom T. Hall’s “I Love”. I learned this song by singing it with Dad on those drives.

“I love little baby ducks, old pick-up trucks
Slow movin’ trains and rain
I love little country streams, sleep without dreams
Sunday school in May and hay

And I love you too…”

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