Captain Daniel Patterson, Confederate States Army

I stumbled across an interesting read , it was the Civil War history of Captain Daniel Patterson of Ripley County, Missouri.  There are several interesting parts to this article.  One it specifically mentions the event that happened at Pulliams Farm ( in SW Ripley County , Missouri) on Christmas Day, 1863 as a “massacre”:

“On December 6, 1863, Capt. Patterson was ordered by Brig. Gen. M. M. Parsons

to recruit duty along the Missouri/Arkansas border. The special order #215 also sent

other officers back to this vicinity. Capt. Epps was ordered via the same S. O., and was

captured at the Christmas Day massacre in S. W. Ripley Co.”

Second, critics of Jerry Ponder’s research concerning the “Wilson Massacre” cite the fact that there were no “eye witness” or “first hand” accounts of such incidents however; the article about Captain Patterson might give us some incite why. Captain Patterson was under a special recruitment order and was also used as a scout. According to the article:

“One reason Confederate officers and men with assignments such as the above

wished to forget their participation was the abuse of the legitimate task of preventing

outlawry. This was used as an excuse by the scum of humanity for both armies and by

many who were not a part of either army.”

Third, some question whether or not the Union Army was capable of killing civilians, this too is a question that is answered in the history of Captian Patterson’s biography of Confederate service:

” There was another little known cruel aspect of the war by which Capt. Patterson

and his family were made to suffer. This was the economic and food source embargo

place upon members of officers’ families by the U. S. Army. This was particularly

effective in parts of Arkansas where much of the food production was under control of

that army. During the war, he lost two children (sons) from malnutrition/maltreatment.

Two daughters survived but were severely affected. His wife survived only to die from

childbirth after the war. This was probably due to mainly the lack of food and hardship

suffered during the war. She died 8 days after the birth of their son Thomas J. born Dec.

28, 1865. She died on Jan 5, 1866.”

We know that a massacre happened, we know that soldiers often do not talk about what they witnessed during times of war, and by this account, we know that, yes, the Union Army was very much capable of murdering civilians, women , children, through starvation, or other means.

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