Halleck Orders All Rebel Bridge Burners to be Shot on Sight

December 22, 1861 (Sunday) Like the Confederates in Eastern Tennessee, Union General Henry Halleck, commander of the Department of Missouri, was not going to allow his enemies to burn bridges and get away with it. The previous day, a colonel commanding an outpost in Montgomery County, eighty miles west of St. Louis, reported “that severalRead More

Farewell to this World: The Execution of Alexander Haun, Unionist

December 11, 1861 (Wednesday) The last night in the life of Christopher Alexander Haun could not have been passed peacefully. The previous day, he had been found guilty of burning a railroad bridge and treason against the Confederacy in Eastern Tennessee. The trial, if one could call such a thing a “trial,” was short, butRead More

Farewell for a Little Season: The Trial of Alexander Haun, Bridge Burner

December 10, 1861 (Tuesday) It had been ten days since the first two Unionist bridge burners were executed, hanged by a railroad bridge to be a warning to all. On this date, another Unionist, Christopher Alexander Haun, was found guilty by drumhead court martial.1 While waiting for his sentence, Haun was given pen and paperRead More

Two Union Brigades to Arrest Two Secessionist Nephews

December 6, 1861 (Friday) Since the Union defeat at the sad disaster on Ball’s Bluff on October 22, the town of Dranesville, eighteen miles south, had been mostly left alone by the Federals. It was only in the past week or so that Union scouts had the pleasure of being fired upon by several DranesvilleRead More

Halleck Throws Down the Gauntlet in Missouri

December 4, 1861 (Wednesday) General Henry Halleck, commander of the Department in Missouri, had asked for President Lincoln to officially condone placing Missouri under martial law. This he did, even affixing his full signature to the order. Two days later, Halleck followed through. There were myriad rebels and spies within the Union lines who fedRead More

Bridge Burners Executed; England Gives the US a Week to Reply; Rebels Advancing in Missouri

November 30, 1861 (Saturday) “Two insurgents have to-day been tried for bridge-burning, found guilty and hanged.” -Col. Danville Leadbetter to Confederate Secretary of War Judah Benjamin.1 On the same day that Secretary Benjamin gave the order that those who were found guilty of burning bridges in Eastern Tennessee must be put to death, Col. Leadbetter,Read More

Members of Arkansas Peace Society Arrested as Traitors

November 28, 1861 (Thanksgiving Thursday) Pacifism and peace societies, especially during the Victorian Era, have most often been associated with New England. In times of war, such conscientious objectors are often painted as unpatriotic cowards or religious zealots, such as the Shakers, Quakers or Dunkers. Though it’s largely been seen as a Northern phenomena, NewRead More