Public records of ripley ohio 1988


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Ohio Online Genealogy Records. Ohio Vital Records. To request editing rights on the Wiki, click here. From FamilySearch Wiki. United States. Vital Records. How to Find U. How to Find Ohio Birth Records. Allen County Public Library Ft. Navigation menu Personal tools English. Namespaces Page Talk. Views Read View source View history. The events leading up to the Wilson Massacre provide insight into that internal war. Union sentiment was strong in St.

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Louis, especially among Germans and Irish. It was also strong in the river counties where Germans were numerous, and across much of the Missouri Ozarks. Confederate sentiment was strong in the Arkansas Ozarks; and Missouri counties close to the state line tended to have more Confederate sentiment than those farther north. Especially was this true in the southeast Missouri Ozarks.

Ripley County was on the Arkansas border, and its historic trade and travel routes ran south to Arkansas and the lower Mississippi Valley. Ripley County was a Confederate place. The Pulliam farm was but a few miles from the state line. Louis and of Jefferson Barracks had been crucial at the outset of the war, in part because two Ozarks railroads radiated from there. The one to the southwest terminated a hundred miles out near Rolla. The Federals established strong points at the ends of those lines, and their spheres of military influence radiated from them.

The Wilson Massacre was one of many events in the continuing struggle between those Union strongholds and the Confederate-sympathizing countryside.

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The unusual, and unusually brutal, characteristic of that war was not just that military lines were ill-defined to non-existent but that the citizens themselves, the local residents, were peculiarly involved. The case of Ripley County illustrates the point. In the summer of practically every man in Ripley and neighboring Missouri counties answered the call of Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson and joined the Missouri State Guard.

Jackson was a secessionist and the State Guard was considered the legitimate state force by those who supported secession and the Confederate cause. One of the principal Ripley officers was the famous Timothy Reeves, whose story follows. After their six months enlistments expired, those of the State Guard interested in extended soldiering join, ed the regular Confederate army and left for other battle areas, especially those east of the Mississippi.

In Ripley County, they built and manned a fortified position, Fort Currentview, at the state line near the strategic Current River. By the demand for manpower elsewhere had drained these Confederate positions. Ripley and adjacent counties were left without adequate defense. In this situation local militia began to organize. They considered themselves primarily defenders of their homes and families.

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But by the North they were termed irregulars or guerrillas, outlaw units. Reeves was able to keep Marmaduke apprised of practically all Union troop movements in the region. His command were also charged with helping maintain civil order, a job he took with extreme seriousness. Righter, concerned that Reeves was often absent, raised a company whose express purpose was defending local citizens against Union raids or outlaw activity.

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Righter soon found himself with a much larger job. What began as one company grew to several from Ripley County and one or more from each county in the region. Righter' s troops were strictly citizen soldiers who refused to be sent to service elsewhere. They would fight only to defend their home area. Jeff Thompson. Thompson had failed to receive a regular CSA commission, despite repeated attempts.

Consequently, Righter denied in later years that he was ever a Confederate colonel, and had been only a Missouri colonel, because Thompson had the power only to issue a Missouri commission. When large Northern units raided, they of necessity adopted guerrilla tactics of fight and retreat, returning after the Yankees were gone.

Usually they retreated to Confederate strongholds in Arkansas; but they also had some safe havens locally or in the swamps of the nearby Bootheel lowland. Righter was not safe on one occasion in Arkansas, however. He went to Gratiot Prison in St. Louis, was paroled, and spent the rest of the war in the city reading law. He consequently missed the fateful Christmas massacre. Together with remnants of Missouri units that had fought in Arkansas Battle of Helena, July and many new recruits, Reeves's new regiment had as many as twenty full companies--actually a brigade-strength command.

Colonel Reeves's brother William, from neighboring Butler County and also a Baptist minister, was his adjutant. Mostly farmers and merchants, the men were mobilized only when necessary for defense of the region. However, permanent posts were maintained: at Doniphan, the fords of Current River, Fort Currentview, along main roads, and elsewhere. Centerville Courthouse was some sixty miles north of Doniphan and twenty-five southwest of Pilot Knob.


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Company C was left as garrison. On December 21, while engaged in building stables on the courthouse grounds, they were surprised and surrounded by Company N of Reeves's 15th Missouri Cavalry, under command of Captain Jesse Pratt, before the war the Baptist minister of Centerville. Company N was composed of farmers and merchants of Reynolds County. Probably Pratt and the Reeves brothers, also Baptist preachers, were long-time acquaintances. That Pratt was accorded the honor of recapturing his hometown was not accidental. Captured were Union men with their horses. Pratt took them south to Ripley County with a small group, leaving most of his men to garrison Centerville.

He presented the prisoners to Reeves at Pulliam's on Christmas morning, and joined his fellows of the regiment for the day's festivities.

Reaction there was swift. Colonel R. Woodson, commander of the 3rd Missouri, ordered two mounted cavalry companies under Major James Wilson to pursue Pratt. They left Pilot Knob mid-morning on the twenty-third. Wilson's force rode swiftly, rising in the darkness of the twenty-fifth to be on the road at AM. They passed through Doniphan that morning, and continued west toward Ponder, capturing pickets as they went, and descended on Colonel Reeves's group and prisoners just as they were eating Christmas dinner.

One hundred and fifty horses would leave a trail in December mud. However he accomplished it, he went to Reeves like an arrow to its target. His report said, " Shelby ordered an immediate military court for Wilson and two others captured with him. Major Wilson and the two soldiers were found guilty of murder for the Christmas Day, , massacre and were ordered to be shot to death. No record has been found to prove who shot Wilson and his men, but the consensus is that members of the 15th Missouri Cavalry Regiment made up the firing squad.

No doubt there were plenty of volunteers for the job.


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After the war ended Colonel Reeves was charged with the act, but later released. It is no longer listed on maps, but residents of southwest Ripley County know the location and story. The action has become known as The Wilson Massacre.

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