The Saturday May 28, 1881 Fair Play newspaper (St. Genevieve , Missouri) reported the murder of New Madrid County, Missouri Deputy Sheriff Robert LaForge by three individuals who then made their way to Wayne County, Missouri at which time they murdered Sheriff John T. Davis and mortally wounded County Collector James F. Hatten.
The paper also reports that William T. Leeper formed a posse killing one of the perpetrators and mortally wounding another. Below is a clipping of the full account.
Clint Lacy is the author of “Blood in the Ozarks: Expanded Second Edition” and ” A Beginner’s Guide to False Flags: The Deep State Agenda Behind America’s Biggest Events” which can be purchased by visiting Our Products page.
No matter one thinks of William T. Leeper (good or bad) there is no denying that he played a pivotal role in the development of Wayne County, Missouri, during the years following the Civil War.
One of the towns Leeper was instrumental in founding was Mill Spring on the Black River. The Legends of America website published a feature article on Mill Spring which states:
“Mill Spring, Missouri, located along the Black River in Wayne County, in the southeast portion of the state got its start as a railroad and logging town.
One of the first residents in the area was Captain William T. Leeper, who would become one of the most prominent men of Wayne County. Raised in Tennessee, he moved to the area in 1857 and purchased 225 acres of land. The next year, he was elected county surveyor, a position he held until the Civil War broke out. He then organized Company D, Twelfth Regiment, of the Missouri State Militia, of which he became captain.
After he returned from the war, he represented Wayne County in the State Legislature, during which time he influenced the St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Railway to extend their line through Piedmont to Mill Spring and then to Williamsville, rather than the original planned route through Patterson and Greenville. As an incentive, he donated a right-of-way through his land and even though this route required a cut through two mountains, the railroad agreed.”
It was during this time of railroad expansion that Mill Spring saw a large influx of workers who were traveling with the railroad. It is also this time that a bar room brawl ended in murder in this Wayne County hamlet.
The event was described in the Sunday March 4, 1888 issue of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat which reported the following:
So if you’re knew to this website / blog you have no doubt noticed my research into the Civil War in the Southeast Missouri Ozarks. What you’ve probably not noticed is my research into “False Flag” events. Which is the subject of my book “A Beginner’s Guide to False Flags: The Deep State Agenda Behind America’s Biggest Events.”
I was checking my stats for the website and noticed there has been some interest regarding four interview’s that I participated in for Richard Syrett’s “Conspiracy Unlimited” podcast regarding my book.
It was quite an honor to have Richard interview me. He was a very honest , straight forward and honest host to work with.
So a little bit about the book…
“False Flags are real, though the Deep State prefers you believe they are the product of “unhinged conspiracy nuts.”False flags are real and have been used on many occasions to advance nations into war, change regimes or radically sway public opinion. But not every event is a false flag and not every conspiracy theory is correct, as there are literally hundreds of them circulating for every national crisis that is mentioned in the news.And behind the scenes are government forces—domestic and foreign—working to infiltrate and undermine those organizations that best analyze the available data and threaten to expose the perfidy of the false-flag orchestrators.In this book are chapters on some of the best-known false flags in American history and a few chapters on strange events, shootings, and bombings that have spurred some seemingly incredible theories.Author Clint Lacy examines the official narratives of each of these events (and many more) and then provides information that contradicts the official story, proving that we, as citizens, need to be ever vigilant, refusing to accept without independent investigation any scenario the Deep State foists upon us.”
In a sense it is a “Conspiracy” book that tackles the “official narrative” of the biggest events in American history and what I found will shock you. You’ll never look at the mainstream coverage of major American events the same ever again.
Please enjoy Part 1 of my interview with Richard Syrett! I will publish Parts 2-4 in the very near future!
In a previous post I noted that the term “Bushwhacker” seemed to be used interchangeably to describe partisans of either Southern or Northern sympathies in Southeast Missouri.
This also seems to be true with the term “Jayhawker”. Captain William Leeper of the 3’rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union) seemed to do this often.
In a dispatch dated October 12, 1863 Leeper writes:
“Captain, Commanding Expedition.
COLONEL: In obedience to your orders, I left Pilot Knob September 28, 1863, with Companies D, M, and L, Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry, numbering 150 men, with instructions to go to Pocahontas, Ark., or any other point in that vicinity that seemed to demand attention. We reached Doniphan on the 30th ultimo. Company L having been sent by another road (somewhat to the right), killed 2 men en route. Also, on the 1st of October, Captain [R.] McElroy, with 30 men, was ordered forward, via “Buck Scull,” where he found 6 men, who ran, and were fired upon by the party. Four of the men were killed and another wounded. Captain [W. T.] Hunter, with a detachment, went via Current River, where he captured 2 soldiers and some Government property.
The several detachments arrived at Pocahontas on the 2nd of October, and remained until October 6th (a squad captured 2 notorious jayhawkers in the mean time), when we moved to Smithville, Ark., and on October 7th opposite to Powhatan, on the east side of Black River.”
“The Union military’s transition to a harsher brand of warfare after the war’s first year, exempted civilians from their traditional safeguards as noncombatants. Those suspected of having rebel sympathies and of aiding the Confederate cause found themselves targeted by troops hunting down guerrillas. “Launched to either find the partisans or punish the local community for harboring them”, according to historian Robert R. Mackey, these “punitive expeditions” became a common occurrence in no-man’s land. Pursuing Southern guerrillas from an MSM post at Patterson, in Wayne County, Missouri, in 1864, Captain William T. Leeper determined to take the fight to the civilians in the countryside. “I think I will be able to stop Jayhawking by making their friends responsible for their acts.”, Leeper assured his superiors in St. Louis. “Those who feed or conceal them are as mean as they are , and I will kill them if this thing does not stop. If Union men are robbed, I will take their property to pay for it. If they kill a loyal man, I will kill five of them.”
History has not ignored Leeper’s methods or actions. In an account published in the Wayne County Journal Banner and shared on the Wayne County Historical Society’s social media page on August 1, 2018 , Captain William Leeper’s actions while he was in the 12’th Missouri Militia Cavalry (the 3’rd’s predecessor ) so much so that Leeper is labeled the “Chief Jayhawker” himself.
“Captain Leeper, I have no doubt, is wishing to merit and obtain a higher command than he now holds”. This was sent from Greenville and dated February 27, 1862, eleven days after the [Greenville] raid. A telegraph to General Gray at Pilot Knob was sent from Patterson soon thereafter. It read; “I have ordered Captain Leeper of CO B to Pilot Knob. Keep him and learn him to be a soldier”. One historian previously wrote about Leeper: “Captain Leeper’s methods of ferreting out and interrogating men to determine their loyalties were direct and brutal. He was known to shoot anything that moved and burn anything that would light. In February 1863 (almost exactly a year since the Greenville raid), Leeper and the 12th Missouri Militia participated in what was called by some “The Battle of Mingo Swamp” and by others as the “Mingo Swamp Massacre.” The McGee boys had just left the confederate army and returned home; ironically, to protect their home from Captain Leeper’s reign of terror. The McGee’s and their friends, the Cato’s sat unarmed at their camp at the McGee home when they were set upon in the early hours of February 4, 1863 by Captain Leeper and his “militia”. All 29 men were mercilessly gunned down in a barrage of gunfire. Captain Leeper’s report differs somewhat in that he reports “engaging a Union camp” on this date”.
After the raid on Greenville there was a giant exodus of local men that joined the Confederate forces. Among them was Oliver D. Dalton (1833-1898), who’s mercantile business was raided and burned at Greenville; Lafayette Rubottom (1824-1903), who nearly escaped death in the raid; and James M. Bollinger (1821-1868), brother to Philip. (A daughter of J.M. Bollinger, was Lavinia (Bollinger) Twidwell, wife of Madison Twidwell.
Among their descendants locally today are; Mrs. Mary Lou McEwen of Silva, Jim Shearrer and son Dennis of Patterson and local members of the Deering families). Captain Leeper seems to have done more harm locally than good. Bitterness abounded for many generations thereafter toward him. He became known locally as the chief “Jayhawker.”
Clint Lacy is the author of ” Blood in the Ozarks: Expanded Second Edition” which can be purchased in paperback ($15) and Kindle ($2.99) editions. Click Here to purchase.
I was inspired to write my book “Blood in the Ozarks” by learning of a massacre that occurred on Christmas Day, 1863 in Ripley County, Missouri. It was a terrible event in which men of the 3’rd MSM Cavalry (Union) launched a surprise attack against the men of the 15th Missouri Cavalry, CSA. It’s an event that some say didn’t happen, or at the very least was a simple rescue mission to liberate captured Union soldiers.
Others believe the attack by the 3’rd MSM Cavalry happened at a time when women and children were in the camp of Timothy Reeves’ 15th Missouri Cavalry, CSA for a Christmas dinner.
“Skeptics of the “Wilson Massacre” which occurred on December 25, 1863 claim that the Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union) was a well-disciplined, well led detachment that did not murder civilians on Christmas Day,1863 in Ripley County, Missouri.
Instead they propose that their commander Major James Wilson was a hero who rescued over 100 Union prisoners and that when he was executed by Confederate Colonel Timothy Reeves in 1864 it was retribution for the 3’rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry’s burning of Doniphan, Missouri.
In “Veterans and Events in the Civil War in Missouri Volume II” (found at the Bollinger County Library located at Marble Hill, Missouri) author Bob Schmidt writes:
“In January ‘64 Lt. Col. J.O. Broadhead resigned his commission and Colonel Richard G. Woodson, commanding the 3’rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry, petitioned General Fisk in St. Louis to promote Wilson to this post over the favorite, Major H. M. Mathews…he was not,Mathews was promoted on February 18th, 1864”
“On February 27, 1864, Colonel Richard G. Woodson was dismissed by Special Order 35 and resigned his commission in part to the embarrassment and furor when members of his command were captured at Centerville in December ‘63. Two days later the 29th, other commissioned officers of the 3’rd MSM Cavalry petitioned the Governor of Missouri, Willard P. Hall to promote Maj. Wilson to fulfill the vacancy left by Col. Woodson. Their request was denied and O. D. Greene received the commission instead.”
In an event that Schmidt describes as unusual Major Wilson was ordered on recruiting service by Special Order #249 dated September 8th, 1864 with the 14th Missouri Cavalry. Shortly after reporting for duty he was reprimanded for not carrying out the duties of his office and returned to the 3’rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
The problems of the 3’rd Missouri State Militia didn’t just stem from leadership either. The War of Rebellion records pages 344- 347, detail the cowardice of officers and men of the 3’rd MSM Cavalry in June, 1863 in the form of a letter written by General John W. Davidson from his headquarters at Arcadia, Missouri on June 28, 1863 which states:
“I beg leave to file this report at department headquarters as I am going out of the district. Some inquiry may occur as to why I arrested 2 officers and 27 men of the Third Missouri State Militia, especially as Colonel [Richard G] Woodson seems inclined to take the part of the men of his regiment, who have a second time misbehaved before the enemy. I have not had time to try the case, but I beg it be noticed, and this report filed to show my ground of action. -Brigadier – General J.W. Davidson Commanding”
Recently while scouring through archives I stumbled upon another account that attests to the character of the men who made up the 3’rd MSM Cavalry. This time it is found in an issue of the Nashville Daily & American newspaper dated March 9, 1864 which reported:
“Thomas A. Haynes , private, Company L, 3’rd Missouri State Militia is to be shot for horse stealing and robbing the store of John J.L. Collins of Logtown, Iron County, Missouri.”
The 3’rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union) was not a “well-disciplined” unit, and Major James Wilson was no hero.
The Chicago Tribune in its January 14, 1864 issue reported an attack on the house of Daniel Critze by “eleven rebels” at midnight in Dallas, Bollinger County, Missouri. Killed in the attack were William Critze (brother of Daniel) as well as James Stevens. Wounded in the attack were Daniel Critze and Sheriff James Frasier [Fraser].
It is interesting that the paper describes the incident as a “massacre” when much worse incidents in which Unionists have murdered Southern sympathizers were never labeled as such. Of course, Missouri newspapers during this time were tightly controlled by the federal government.
The War of the Rebellion records contains a petition signed by Sheriff James Fraser to General Fisk asking for Union troops to be stationed in the Dallas, Bollinger county area. The entry reads:
“DALLAS, BOLLINGER COUNTY, Mo., December 31, 1863. General CLINTON B. Fisk, Comdg. Dist. of Saint Louis, Mo.;
We, the citizens of the vicinity of Dallas, hereby beg leave to communicate for your consideration the condition of things in our county. We have been harassed and plundered and our best citizens murdered by roving bands of guerillas that infest the swamp south of us. On the night of the 27th instant 12 guerrillas made a raid here at 1 o’clock and killed James A. Stevens, our county treasurer ; also William Crites, a very worthy young man of our community. They took $30 from young Crites’ pocket after he was shot down. They also wounded our sheriff, James M. Fraser, with out halting him in due time. They went to John Lutes’ and forced $25 from him, besides taking many things out of the house. They shot at James A. Crites, a justice of the peace, six times, without halting him. They pressed Mr. Eaker as guide and took 2 horses from him. They took bed-quilts, money, etc, from Mr. Stevens. They were led by the two Bolin boys. Some 4 or 5 citizens fired them and shot one of the Bolins through the shoulder. One of them had his thigh broken in the skirmish, so he is here yet. He is a paroled Vicksburg prisoner; his name is Thomas Roberts. This is but a series of such raids committed amongst us. We do hereby beg leave respectfully to petition to you to grant us a company for this county, to be stationed at this place. Another reason that we urge is that our sheriff cannot collect the revenue without troops, either with him or in easy range, to keep things in proper subjection. If it would not be asking too much, we would suggest that Company K, Third Missouri State Militia, or Company E, Sixth Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, be sent to this field. We are, general, very respectfully, your humble petitioners,
J. M. FRASER, Sheriff. THOS. CRAIG, A. H. MOUREY. [And 48 other citizens.]”
It is of interest to note that a number of these men held positions of authority in the community. James M. Frasier was the Sheriff, James Stevens was the County Treasurer and James Critze was Justice of the Peace.
Sheriff Fraser’s petition states that murder of Unionist was the reason he was asking for troops to be stationed in and around Dallas. He also adds a second reason was he was unable to collect taxes without troops.
The Chicago Tribune’s version of the account state that Sheriff Fraser and James Stevens (the Treasurer) were in the house at the same time… at midnight.
These accounts lead to a lot of questions. Were Sheriff Fraser and James Stevens having a meeting at midnight ( or 1:00 am depending on which account is more accurate)? Were James Fraser, James Stevens & Justice of the Peace Critze abusing their powers for financial gain?
I don’t know but I do know a lot of Union men in Southeast Missouri used their positions to enhance personal financial gain.
Clint Lacy is author of “Blood in the Ozarks: Expanded Second Edition” paperback is available for $15 , Kindle eBook is available for $2.99. Click Here to order.
“The “bushwhackers” were Missourians who fled to the rugged backcountry and forests to live in hiding and resist the Union occupation of the border counties. They fought Union patrols, typically by ambush, in countless small skirmishes, and hit-and-run engagements. These guerrilla fighters harassed, robbed, and sometimes murdered loyal Unionist farmers on both sides of the state line. They interrupted the federal mail and telegraph communications, and (most troublesome to the Union command trying to quell the escalating violence in the border region) the bushwhackers held the popular support of many local farming families.”
In my January 31, 2020 post entitled “Who Murdered the Patterson Family” I noted that:
“In most history books the term “bushwhacker” refers to Southern partisan fighters on Missouri’s western border. Often these Southern partisans formed into “irregular”, “independent” companies of men. That being said, many people relate the term “bushwhacker” to “Southerner” and “Confederate”.
Through my research I have found that in this area of Southeast Missouri the term “bushwhacker” was used indiscriminately to describe Union or Confederate independent units. Cochran’s 90 Day (Independent) Militia was not attached to any other units, nor was it beholden to any other units, which qualifies he and his unit as “bushwhackers”.
In the post quoted above, I make the case that significant evidence exists to point the finger of blame for the murder of the Patterson family in Bollinger County, Missouri during the Civil War at one James Rogers, who was a member of Captain Cochran’s 90 militia.
After the war Rogers was appointed Sheriff of Bollinger County but later fled back to Michigan because, according to one newspaper account, he was charged for murders that were committed in the area during the war.
In my opinion using the term “Bushwhackers” to describe local Union militia units, seems to be intentional , not only to cause confusion in an attempt to deflect the blame from Union forces, but to point the finger of blame at Southern forces.
I have found another example of this. In the book “Revolution in America” author Don Higginbotham writes:
“My mother’s grandfather, Jonas Myers served in the Confederate Army and was killed in Northeast Arkansas after the conflict ended while on his way home to Bollinger County in Southeast Missouri. Some accounts say that he and several other local men on their return journey were robbed and then lined up and executed by so-called bushwhackers, lawless men who preyed on both sides. But the old tombstone that was erected after their bodies were exhumed and returned home says they were “murdered by Union soldiers.”
Dr. Nickell was a professor at Southeast Missouri State University for four decades and dare I say, the most respected historian in Southeast Missouri.
Dr. Nickell spoke to a capacity crowd about the causes of the Civil War and I must say the most impressive thing about his speech was his ability to engage the crowd and let them determine the causes of the Civil War on their own.
We were both happy and grateful that Dr. Nickell graciously accepted our invitation to address local citizens about the causes of the Civil War.
Historian seeks to educate, offer dialogue on Civil War history
Friday, January 31, 2020By NANCY NELSON VINES, Contributing Writer
“I always enjoy speaking to an audience that is knowledgeable of the subject matter, and able to engage in meaningful dialogue,” Dr. Frank Nickell observed after his presentation on Saturday, January 25. Nickell, retired educator from Southeast Missouri State University and noted historian, was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Nickell addressed a capacity crowd in the library and research room at the National Stars and Stripes Museum and Library in Bloomfield. In his discussion of Causes of the Civil War, Nickell revealed his belief that historians have no more of a definitive answer today, than when the war ended 155 years ago.
“Historians perpetuate their own views,” Nickell pointed out, “so there are as many explanations for the cause of the war, as there are authors who attempted to explain it.”
As he spoke, Nickell addressed the beliefs of numerous historians/authors, and shared brief overviews of their writings, as well as explanations of different phases of interpretation. He repeatedly sought opinions from those in attendance, and delighted in the thought-provoking conversations that ensued.
Nickell began his discussion by addressing two notable books that were published during and immediately following the Civil War.
“The first book to examine what caused the war,” Nickell explained, “was Horace Greeley’s The American Conflict, which was written in 1864 — before the war was even over.”
According to Nickell, Greeley, a renowned Northern journalist, blamed the war on the power held by the Confederate states. Greely viewed their collective power as a challenge to the Federal Government.
“Southerner Edward Pollard’s book The Lost Cause, published in 1866, presented the opinion that the only way the South could maintain their power, was to go to war,” Nickell observed.
As the discussion continued, Nickell sought input from the audience on their opinions as to the cause of the Civil War. Those responses were as varied as the authors’ opinions. Among ideas suggested by attendees were that causes of the war resulted from: the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, cotton growing, imbalance of tariffs, where people lived at that time, monetary issues, and the idea that slavery was only an excuse to go to war.
“So, in essence,” Nickell summarized, “there is no answer. Every interested person must study the Civil War for himself/herself and arrive at your own conclusions. It is the question that still haunts America.”
The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a non-profit, patriotic, historical, civic and benevolent organization created to preserve the history and legacy of the Confederate soldier. The local organization Stoddard Rangers meets regularly at the Stars and Stripes Museum.
The September 10, 1885 issue of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat carried the story of a discovery of the skeletal remains of what can only be described as a giant, in a cave located nine miles from Thayer, Missouri.
The paper describes the giant as follows:
“The explorers found the skeleton of a man 9 feet one 1 inch in height , which was well proportioned. In removing the skeleton some of the joints dropped loose. The finger nails were found to be petrified. There was also found a considerable quantity of ancient furniture.”
This however, was not the only discovery of giants in Missouri the following was published in:
PROVIDENCE EVENING PRESS, SEPTEMBER 3, 1883 A GIANT’S SKELETON MUST HAVE BEEN GOLIATH.
“Hon J. H. Hainly, a well known and reliable citizen of Barnard, Mo., writes to the Gazette the particulars of the discovery of a giant skeleton four miles southwest of that place. A farmer named John W. Haunon found the bones protruding from the bank of a ravine that had been cut by the action of the rains during the past years. Mr. Hannon worked several days in unearthing the skeletons, which proved to be that of a human being whose height was twelve feet. The head through the temples was twelve inches; from the lower part of the skull at the back to the top was fifteen inches, and the circumference forty inches. The ribs were nearly four feet long and one and three-quarter inches wide. The thigh bones were thirty inches long and large in proportion. When the earth was removed the ribs stood up high enough to enable a man to crawl in and explore the interior of the skeleton, turn around and come out with ease. The first joint of the great toe, above the nail, was three inches long, and the entire foot eighteen inches in length. The skeleton lay on its face, twenty feet feet below the surface of the ground, and the toes embedded in the earth, indicating that the body either fell or was placed there when the ground was soft. The left arm was passed around backward, the head resting on the spinal column, while the right was stretched out to the front and right. Some of the bones crumbled upon exposure to the air, but many good specimens were preserved and are now on exhibition at Barnard. Medical men are much interested. The skeleton is generally pronounced a valuable relic of the prehistoric race.”
The discovery of skeletal remains of Giants is not limited to the Ozarks, or Missouri for that matter. Author Jason Colavito has put together an impressive archive of newspaper accounts of giants throughout the years. He has documented accounts from across the United States and the world and if this subject is of interest, you can read these fascinating stories at his website: http://www.jasoncolavito.com/newspaper-accounts-of-giants.html