Irony, Hypocrisy & Twisting the Facts…

From the Missouri Bushwhacker Blog: 

The Missouri Sons of Union Veterans May “The Unionist” newsletter; states that the group plans to place a monument at the Battle of Lexington {Missouri} State Historic Site. 

According to the newsletter {which can be read by clicking on the following link: http://www.suvcwmo.org/images/Missouri%20Unionist%20May%202009.pdf  } 

“Camp Commander Wait and Richard Cochran reported that the final corrections have been made to the working for the Lexington Monument and we are waiting for the stone’s arrival from Africa. Let’s hope no pirates attack that ship! The dedication has been tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 26, 2009. By that time, a new wayside exhibit will also be in place next to the monument and the Union graves” 

Lexington, was the site of a battle between Missouri State Guard General Sterling Price and Union Colonel James A. Mulligan. 

Information obtained from the Missouri State Parks website about the Battle of Lexington {found at the following address:  http://www.mostateparks.com/lexington/battle.htm } describes Lexington, Missouri as being a “prosperous and strongly pro-Southern town” 

Further information from the website details the sentiments of the populace in the area at the time of the battle:

While Price was advancing on Lexington, a body of 2,700 Federals under the command of Col. James A. Mulligan had fortified themselves inside the grounds of the Masonic College on the northern end of town.

“By the first day of the battle, Sept. 18, Price’s army had swelled to 10,000 to 12,000 men and more recruits were pouring in daily from the surrounding countryside. With the strains of “Dixie” in the air, Price’s men marched through Lexington and completely encircled the college. For the next nine hours, the huddled Unionists received a galling and continuous bombardment of shot and shell.”

The description shows that the sentiment of Missouri was Southern. When General Price laid siege to Lexington men came from around the country side to join Price. The battle lasted from September 18-20th, 1861 and ended when the Missourians under price gained the upper hand by advancing on Mulligan behind hemp bales, making Mulligan’s artillery all but useless.

Mulligan surrendered only after almost all of his men had been wounded and without water. No one doubts the tenacity or bravery of he or the men that served under him but I can’t help but wonder if the Missouri Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War are erecting a monument at the Lexington site to honor General Price’s formidable foes, or is this an attempt to rewrite Missouri history?

The fact that The Battle of Lexington State Historic Site is the location of a great Southern victory early in the war and that the surrounding populace was strongly pro-Southern is enough to make one wonder, howeve r; the most disturbing part of the Missouri SUV’s plans is just how they plan to fund this monument. Again, quoting the May “Unionist” newsletter:

“ANNOUNCING

The Return of a Rare Civil War Book

In 1863, Lexington , Missouri newspaper editor Henry Davis gathered a series of articles into a book entitled , “The Book of Chronicles of the City of Lexington, and Fragments of the Book of Hadborim and Maazim”

In this unique work Davis not only decided to tell the story of the Civil War in Lafayette County, Missouri , but to do so in a humorous Biblical  verse.”

An example of Davis’ “humor” can be found in the following quote from the book:

“Now it came to pass in those days that Claiborne was Governor over the whole land of the ‘Pukites’ and he had dominion over all their cities their chief men, their rule and their Kings”

In another “verse” Davis writes:

“And the people shouted aloud and cried out in the Pukite tongue, Hurrah for Price and Bully for that!”

The newsletter post ends by stating that the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to fund the “Union defenders of Lexington monument at the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site.”                            

Not only is this book a blasphemy to Christians it is a slap in the face to Missourians!  It was common practice for eastern newspapers and Northerners in general to call Missourians “pukes” because of their Southern sentiments.

In Henry K. Davis’ case it is really 

no surprise that he chose to describe Missourians as “Pukites” given the fact that , according to the ‘Bibliographical Review of Cass, Schuyler nd Brown County, Illinois-1892’ :

 “He issued the first daily paper ever published in Peoria, and the first ever published in Champaign County, and during the war published the Lexington Union at Lexington, Missouri. It was a strong Union paper, and there his life was fraught with much danger.”

This information proves several things. It proves that Davis, the author of the book was an out of state Northerner who considered all Missourians “pukes”, the fact that his paper was even published is probably due to the fact that Lincoln and his henchman destroyed all papers  that sympathized with the South.( Mr. Davis’ paper just happened to be named “The Lexington Union”)

The news of the Missouri Sons of Union Veterans planned installation of a Union monument in the heart of the area of Missouri known as “Little Dixie” has more than its share of irony.

The Missouri Sons of Union Veterans is having the monument made from African stone, yet Henry K. Davis who authored the book that the Missouri SUV is hawking later became{ according to the April 1910 Vol. 4 No.3 issue of the Missouri Historical Review} sole proprietor of “The Lexington Union” and in 1866 changed its name to “The Caucasian”.  Another irony given the fact that such a staunch Unionist would give a very supremacist name to his paper one short year after the war to “free the slaves” had ended.

Is it irony? Is it hypocrisy? The truth is a little of both, but one thing is for sure, it is definitely a twisting of the facts and a trampling of some of Missouri’s most hallowed Confederate soil.

Clint E. Lacy

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One response

  1. Whoa, this has been a very good brief article, thanks for discussing
    with people. I have got a number of colleagues that’ll be interested, I’m going to email it along to these
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