How To Cover Up War Crimes: Governor Fletcher Vacated All Positions of Law and Order.

Protected snitches, dirty cops and a defense lawyer who made international headlines in a murder for hire plot. This is the stranger than fiction, real life story of Delaware County, Oklahoma.

On Jan. 31’st, 2020 I published a story asking “Who Murdered the Patterson Family?”. It was an attempt to find out who could have murdered Confederate Officer William Patterson and his entire family outside of Dallas (current day Marble Hill, Missouri).

As I stated in the previous article I had found information in a clipping from the June 28, 1866 Daily Union and American newspaper reporting Bollinger County Sheriff James Rogers was appointed by Missouri Governor Fletcher and that he was being charged with murder for acts he committed during the Civil War. The paper reported:

“General J.R. McCormack, who is a candidate for the Conservative nomination for Congress in the third district, delivered a speech in Dallas, Webster County [Editors note: mistake by newspaper, Dallas present day Marble Hill, Missouri is in Bollinger County] on the 14th inst. , and he was attentively listened to. Shortly afterward a squad of five or six ruffians surrounded him, when one of them, named James Rogers, without provocation, knocked the Doctor down, the blow for a time rendering him speechless.

On recovering , he found the ruffians had left. Rogers is Sheriff of Bollinger county, an officer of the peace, appointed by Governor Fletcher. He is also charged with committing murder during the troubles in Southeast Missouri, and to have been guilty of swindling the Government in some lead and beef contracts down there.”

Governor Thomas Fletcher
served as from the later part of
Civil War-Reconstruction.

I wondered how James Rogers was “appointed” the Sheriff of Bollinger County, Missouri or how Erich Pape was “appointed” sheriff after Rogers. These questions were answered when I stumbled upon a March 18, 1865 issue of the Chicago Tribune which reported:

“The State Convention passed an ordinance today, vacating all offices of Circuit Judges, Circuit Attorneys, Criminal Judges, Sheriffs, Probate Judges, and clerks, and All Courts of Record, from and after May 1’st, by a vote of forty-three to five. The offices are all to be filled by the Governor. By this ordinance, eight-hundred offices eight hundred offices are made vacant at one blow. Governor Fletcher promises to reappoint all the loyal men, elected by the people, the object being to get rid of the disloyal.”

I get the distinct feeling that disloyalty was a very weak excuse and that the main object was to get rid of all forms of Civil Government in order to insulate and protect themselves from being prosecuted for war crimes.

Governor Fletcher vacates all courts, judges and sheriffs.Governor Fletcher vacates all courts, judges and sheriffs. Sat, Mar 18, 1865 – 1 · Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.com

More Murder in Bollinger County, Missouri

On July 17, 1885 Grainfield, Kansas’s newspaper, the Grainfield Cap Sheaf, reported the capture of a Bollinger County, Missouri murderer.

According to the paper, a man by the last name of Salisbury had went to another farmer’s residence and “cooly called him out”, informing him that he was going to kill him. Salisbury shot the farmer in the leg, demanded he stand back up and delivered a second fatal shot. The paper reported that the murder had taken place seven years prior and was said to be over a dispute of stock.

Salisbury then traveled to Kansas and was ultimately tracked down when he sold his property in Missouri. He was also suspected of taking part in another murder in Kansas.

Fri, Jul 17, 1885 – 1 · Grainfield Cap Sheaf (Grainfield, Kansas) · Newspapers.com

The Last of the Moonshiners

The July 13, 1878 St. Louis Globe-Democrat published an article entitled “The Last of the Moonshiners” about John Bollinger, a moonshiner who was over 70 years of age. Bollinger might have been in “advanced age” as the paper describes him, but he still had plenty of fight left in him. The paper stated , “When captured Bollinger was very violent in his language toward the officers and swore that if he had been at the distillery when they came they never would have taken it; he would have shot them down like dogs.”

Last of the Moonshiners in Bollinger CountyLast of the Moonshiners in Bollinger County Sat, Jul 13, 1878 – 7 · St. Louis Globe-Democrat (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.com

More Post-War Lawlessness in Bollinger County, Missouri

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, MissouriPost 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

In Post-War Bollinger County, Republicans Weren’t Welcome

One account of Bollinger County, Missouri during the Civil War called it a “hotbed of secession”, Historian Glen Bishop, (whose speech at the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History was covered in the September 4, 2011 Southeast Missourian Newspaper) stated that 6 out of 10 men in Bollinger County sided with the South during the war.

Not surprisingly, many of these men either fled the state or lost their property during the war. A common practice was to claim back taxes owned on the land that were not paid during the hostilities. When the land owners couldn’t pay, they county took the land. In other instances during the war men who were charged with being Southern sympathizers would have to take an “Oath of Allegiance” and put up a bond. If the accused did not have the cash for the bond, they were allowed to use their property. In the event they were accused of disloyalty again, the property was forfeited and often time the accused sent to prison.

It is important to remember that during and after the War most Southerners were Democrats and most Unionists were Republican, of course most Southerners could not hold office or vote until the Drake Constitution (which served as the basis for Missouri Reconstruction) was abolished in 1875.

By 1872 land in Bollinger County could be found advertised in papers throughout the United States but as some would find out, the land was not much of a bargain. Evidence of this can be found in the August 5, 1872 Inter Ocean newspaper (Chicago, Illinois) and the August 8, 1872 Boston Globe (both articles being republished from the St. Louis Globe).

Republicans intimidated in Bollinger CountyRepublicans intimidated in Bollinger County Mon, Aug 5, 1872 – Page 6 · The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) · Newspapers.com KKK Intimidation, Bollinger County, MissouriKKK Intimidation, Bollinger County, Missouri Thu, Aug 8, 1872 – 4 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Newspapers.com

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Union Veterans Blamed for Robberies in Bollinger County

Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s Journal Intelligencer newspaper carried news of a string of robberies being committed in Bollinger County, Missouri in its May 29, 1868 issue.

The paper stated that the perpetrators wore masks and Union overcoats and stated it was probably some of “Logan’s GAR’s”.

Union War Veterans Blamed for Robberies in Bollinger County, MissouriUnion War Veterans Blamed for Robberies in Bollinger County, Missouri Fri, May 29, 1868 – 2 · Intelligencer Journal (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.com

I knew who “Logan” was. The paper was referencing Union General John A. Logan (from Southern Illinois), he founded the Grand Army of the Republic in 1868, which was a fraternal organization for Union veterans of the Civil War.

At first I thought the “Logan” reference was to a local GAR chapter in Bollinger County but I can find no record, there were to GAR chapters in Bollinger County, Missouri, the Shanks chapter in Lutesville / Marble Hill and the Pape chapter in Zalma.

The paper in its statement that the robbers were probably some of “Logan’s GAR’s was a reference to the organization in general. Army History {.org} states that:

“Following the Civil War, Logan was instrumental in the founding of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a veterans group comprised of former Union Army soldiers, and served as the GAR’s second elected national commander; General Stephen Hurlburt was the first commander in chief of the GAR.  On 3 March 1868, Logan issued General Order No. 11, which called for a national day of remembrance for Civil War dead.  This order served as the basis for what became the national holiday of Memorial Day.”

General John A. Logan, a veteran of the Union army and founder of the G.A.R.

Sons of (Union) Veterans Arrested in Marble Hill.

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The date was May 30, 1889 and both Union and Confederate veterans gathered in Marble Hill, Missouri to join in a memorial to those who had died in the Civil War. The July 11, 1889 edition of the Erie Sentinel reported that Sons of (Union) Veterans Camp #50 fired the salute (with blank cartridges). Afterwards the Union and Confederate veterans went to the Bollinger County courthouse to continue the service. It was at this time that the members who fired the salute, brought their rifles in the courthouse and were arrested because of it. While the paper states it was Sons of Veterans Camp #50, an Sons of Union Veterans newsletter lists the men as being members of Thomas Fletcher Camp #56.

Sons of Confederate Veterans members arrested for firing a salute for Memorial Service.Sons of Confederate Veterans members arrested for firing a salute for Memorial Service. Thu, Jul 11, 1889 – 1 · Erie Sentinel (Erie, Kansas) · Newspapers.com

Deadly Storm Cost Lives, Injuries

The June 1, 1917 edition of the Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Mississippi) reported on the deadly storms that passed through Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. The paper reported that the storm did the most damage in Wayne and Bollinger Counties, with the heaviest loss in Zalma where 25 lives were lost and 200 injured.

Deadly Storm at Zalma, Missouri. June 1,1917Deadly Storm at Zalma, Missouri. June 1,1917 Fri, Jun 1, 1917 – Page 1 · Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Mississippi) · Newspapers.com
  • Clint Lacy is an author and publisher and founded Foothills Media LLC in February, 2019. His latest release is “The Rape of Delaware County.” Oklahoma used to be a safe haven for outlaws, in Delaware County it still is. The only difference is that some of them wear badges and others have law degrees. $10 paperback, 145 pages.

A Desperate Plea (And Warning) From A Friend

The St. Louis Massacre (also known as the Camp Jackson Affair ) which occurred on Friday May 10, 1861, in St. Louis, saw members of the Missouri State Guard taken prisoner by Union troops (the majority of which were German immigrants). As the troops were marching the Missourians through the streets, the crowd became enraged and the Union troops began to fire into it, killing 28 civilians, including an infant.

This was Missouri’s “Fort Sumter” and citizens who were once “on the fence” began to quickly choose sides. After the event Germans were looked upon with great suspicion.

The August 31, 1861 issue of Louisville, Kentucky’s “Courier Journal” carried a story on the conditions of Bollinger & Madison counties in Missouri. It also contains a letter from I.R. Hidod, of Company G, Missouri State Guard to his friend, Francis Williams. The letter was a plea from Hidod to Williams to reconsider his position as a Union man and enlist in the ranks of the South. The letter was also a warning as to what would happen if he didn’t.

Want to learn more about the Civil War in the Southeast Missouri Ozarks? Buy “Blood in the Ozarks: Expanded Second Edition” $15 paperback / $2.99 Kindle.

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The Laflin Store

The Snider Store in Laflin, Missouri on Bollinger County Rd #450

I took this photo of the Laflin Store in July, 2017. If one looks at it long enough they can see a hint of the once prosperous establishment that still remains. That being said, there’s also no denying that the structure is “on borrowed time”.

I found an advertisement for the store in a copy of the January 14, 1904 issue of the Marble Hill Press and thought it would be a good way to show the contrast between the dying state of existence of the store now through this photo and the working establishment it used to be through the advertisement.

Advertisement for the Snider Store, published in the January 14, 1904 issue of the Marble Hill Press.
  • Clint Lacy is the author of “Blood in the Ozarks: Expanded Second Edition” & “A Beginner’s Guide to False Flags: The Deep State Agenda Behind America’s Biggest Events” which can be found by visiting Our Products page.