Marion County Library Subdistrict #1
Palmyra Massacre Collection
The event referred to as the Palmyra Massacre occurred in 1862, at the height of the Civil War. Guerilla warfare was becoming widespread in the Missouri countryside, as Confederate raiders came north to recruit and organize Southern sympathizers. One such soldier, Col. Joseph E. Porter, came to northeast Missouri, recruited several hundred men and carried out a number of raids on the region. During a raid on Palmyra, Missouri, his outfit captured Andrew Allsman, a Union sympathizer; Allsman was never heard from again. The local Union commanders gave warning that if Allsman wasn’t returned within 10 days, 10 local Confederate prisoners would be shot. Allsman didn’t reappear, and the order was carried out despite protests from local townspeople.
This collection includes letters containing personal recollections of the Palmyra Massacre, as well as a booklet, “The Palmyra Massacre: A Short, Concise but True History of the Execution of Ten Confederate Soldiers, at Palmyra, Mo., October 18, 1862.” The letters were gathered by Frank H. Sosey to obtain information for his book "Robert Devoy: Tale of the Palmyra Massacre," published in 1903. The letters range from 1885-1902 and were written by: G. W. Calvert, S. M. Kelly, J. R. Wine (involved in Porter's Raid), J. W. Shattuck (commander of the detail that took Andrew Allsman), and Mrs. R. M. Shults (sister-in-law of Morgan Bixler, one of the men executed). The booklet was published to raise funds for the Confederate Monument on the Palmyra courthouse square, erected in 1907 in memory of the ten men executed during the Palmyra Massacre.
Rights and Reproductions
Contact Marion County Library Subdistrict #1, Palmyra, MO, for permission to use these materials. Phone 573-769-2830 or email Peggy Northcraft at email@example.com.