Monroe County & the Civil War

A Great Outrage

As it is hardly possible that the outrage which we are about to describe will fail to find its way to the public ear, perhaps in a still more exaggerated form, we transcribe what seems to be a very fair account of the essential particulars from the letter of a correspondent. We had hoped that after the unwarranted killing of Col. Field in Pettis county – and after the flight, from before the Court Martial, of the Lieutenant who committed that act of barbarity, thereby confessing his guilt – we should have been spared, by the good conduct of the Union troops, the recital of any similar act of atrocity. We notice this case now, to call the attention of the military authorities. They will see that it has none of the attributes which are specified in military orders, and justify the killing of rebels when found with arms in their hands:

In Monroe county, Missouri, near the Salt river railroad bridge, on Sunday last, as Mr. James M. Lasley and his family were returning from church, together with a party of young ladies and gentlemen, who were visiting them at their country home, they found their dwelling and ground occupied by Federal troops who had been stationed at the bridge. Suspecting no harm, though finding the grounds guarded they advance toward their residence, when Mr. Lasley was ordered to get down and go to Palmyra. He replied, that they must permit him to enter the house and get a thicker coat, as he would be absent all night. This they positively denied, telling him that the coat he had would do him. They then placed him and James Prices (a young son of a widow lady) and young Ridgeway, an only son of aged parents, in front of the Federal lines.

The young ladies and Mrs. Lasley, with her two children, yet remained on the ground. having separated these three gentlemen form the ladies whom they had escorted from church, the officer in command addressed some very insulting words to them.. The dreadful truth that they were to be shot at once flashed across mrs. Laley’s mind, and she darted to join her husband and share his fate, but was caught and held by one of the youn ladies present, just as Mr. lasley and young Price fell, having been shot dead. young Ridgeway rushed into the woods which were near, but delayed his death only a few seconds, for he was pursued and instantly killed.

It is proper further to say, that Mr. Lasley had taken the oath of allegiance, and was under a heavy bond; that young Ridgeway was also under oath and bond, and that Price was only fifteen or sixteen years of age.

Before this crime was committed, it is alleged that the soldiery had taken possession of Mr. Lasley’s house – had helped themselves to everything they wanted – had partaken of a good dinner which the cook was ordered to prepare for them, and had destroyed many household articles. 

We feel sure that our military authorities will not permit this outrage to go without investigation. – Mo. Republican.

Source: Page 2 of the Liberty Weekly Tribune dated Aug 01, 1862 at http://newspapers.umsystem.edu/archive