Missouri Digital Heritage :: Divided Loyalties Opening Exhibit :: Divided Loyalties Audio Tour :: Panel 30 - Vigilante Violence - (Seeking Justice for Wartime Crimes, Seeking Justic in the Press)


Divided Loyalties Audio Tour
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[ Audio Transcript ]

Panel 30 - Vigilante Violence

- The End of the James Gang -

  • One of the documents reproduced on this panel is the Plaintiff's Petition from the State of Missouri v. James E. Head. James Calhoun asserted that Head had taunted him by claiming to have been the person who fired the shot that killed his father William. William had been murdered eleven years earlier by Company E of the Enrolled Missouri Militia for failing to provide knowledge of the whereabouts of local bushwhackers.
  • Thomas Clement Fletcher became Governor of Missouri in the final days of the war. In order to control the vigilante violence, he deployed cavalry and infantry units to various parts of the state. Fletcher was attacked by the editors of the Missouri Republican, who claimed the troops were inflicting more violence than the rebels. The petition shown on this panel is from the resulting lawsuit, in which Fletcher sued for libel. Both parties eventually agreed to drop the suit and pay their own court costs.



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