Missouri Digital Heritage :: Divided Loyalties Opening Exhibit :: Divided Loyalties Audio Tour :: Panel 25 - Military Prisoners - (Wartime Prisoners, Appeals for Pardon)


Divided Loyalties Audio Tour
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[ Audio Transcript ]

Panel 25 - Battles Fought in Court

- One Union Man Fights Another -

Confederate and Union soldiers were held for real or alleged crimes during the war. Even after the war's end, 157 pro-Union civilians and soldiers remained in the Missouri State Penitentiary until the state government ordered them to be set free a full eight months after the end of the war.

  • George Perkins, a member of the Enrolled Missouri Militia, shot an intoxicated man who had stabbed him while resisting arrest. Perkins was convicted of assault with intent to kill and sentenced to four years in the State Penitentiary. In the letter featured on this panel, Perkins unsuccessfully applies for a pardon from Missouri Governor Thomas Fletcher.
  • In another letter shown on this panel, the victim's brother offers support for Perkin's actions, saying his brother was habitually intoxicated.
  • The war brought all types of heartbreak on Missouri families. When Michael Brennan, desperate for a job, decided to join a Union company from Clarksville, his wife tried to prevent him from leaving. As he attempted to walk out the door, Brennan shoved his wife out of the way. She fell off the porch and died of a ruptured blood vessel near her heart. In the letter reproduced on this panel, B.P. Clifford asks Governor Gamble to pardon Brennan from his sentence of manslaughter.

Several methods of compensation for losses sustained during the war were attempted at this time.



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