The St. Clair County Historical Society and the John T. Coffee Camp, Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans, dedicated this monument to the citizens of Osceola, Missouri who were murdered by Kansas Jayhawkers led by General / Senator Jim Lane on September 21-22,1861

The John T. Coffee Camp #1934, Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans in cooperation with the St. Clair County Missouri Historical Society dedicated a monument in honor of the twelve citizens of Osceola, Missouri who on September 21-22, 1861 sought to protect the town and its bank from Kansas Senator James Lane and his Kansas Jayhawkers.

 

Unfortunately these twelve brave souls could not protect Osceola from Lane and his Jayhawkers and the town was captured, looted, robbed and torched by the Kansas invaders led by Lane.

 

The reward these citizens received for their effort was to be arrested by order of General Lane for treason and condemned to death by firing squad, of which Lane himself took part. Remarkably three of the twelve defenders survived, unbeknownst to General Lane.

 

Saturday, October 11, 2008 was a peaceful day, warm, breezy and quite. It was hard to believe looking at the surrounding countryside and the beautiful fall colors that it was the site of one of the worst war crimes in U.S. history.

 

A crowd of about 200 people (which included a Missouri state Representative) gathered at the Osceola cemetery to witness this historic event as Coffee Camp Commander Gary Ayres introduced Brother George Eberhardt who gave the invocation for the ceremony which focused on giving God thanks for our freedom.

 

Mrs. Joan McPeak, President of the St. Clair County Historical Society addressed the crowd and talked about how her ancestor was labeled a “disloyalist” by the federal government for refusing to give up his beliefs and convictions regarding the Constitution. Mrs. McPeak’s ancestor was a judge.

 

Mr. Jay Jackson, Principal and Superintendent of Schools, Missouri City, Missouri next took to the podium and gave an historically accurate account surrounding the occupation and destruction of Osceola.

 

Jackson described the town prior to the War Between the States as one of the “fairest cities in Missouri” and that it was quite possibly the “third most important city in Missouri” prior its destruction by Lane and his invading Jayhawkers.

 

Jackson also spoke of the bitterness that followed the war, using fellow Missouri President Harry S. Truman’s family history as an example. Truman had once written that he had came home in his blue National Guard uniform, and his grandmother ordered him to get out of the house. His grandmother, of course had witnessed the devastation caused by the Union Army and had not forgotten. Commander Ayers would later add that Truman was a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

 

While Jackson‘s message was historically accurate, it was also tempered with a conciliatory air, and somewhat of a plea to let by bygones be bygones. He also mentioned that the monument was one of the first of its type to be dedicated within the borders of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area which covers 41 eastern Kansas and western Missouri counties.

 

Although this might be true, to athe point must be made that the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area played no role in the events of this sacred day, though if they want dmit the war-crimes committed by Kansans during the war, I would call it a start. 

 

That being said, I don’t wish to focus on technicalities, because the important thing is that after 147 years, a monument has been dedicated to the civilians of Osceola, who tried to save “the fairest city in Missouri” and their story is finally being told.

 

I couldn’t help but wonder later on in the day; What would Osceola look like today if it had not been burned to the ground?  Looking at the Osage river , it’s hard to believe that it was once navigated by steamboats or that Osceola was a port city.

 

Would Osceola have been a major port city today had it not been burned?  Because of James Lane and his Kansans we will never know, but one thing that I know for sure is that the symbol of freedom can be envisioned by twelve heavily outnumbered Osceola citizens, who stared death in the face to protect their “fair city”, this selfless act is symbolized on a stone monument located at the Osceola, Missouri cemetery where the spirit of freedom, honor and tranquility mingle with the falling autumn leaves passing as silently as the last 147 years.

 

Deo Vindice

Clint E. Lacy

mobushwhacker@yahoo.com

 

John T. Coffee Camp, Missouri SCV, Press Release…

Col. John T. Coffee Camp #1934

Sons of Confederate Veterans*

Serving the Osage River Valley

Barton, Bates, Benton, Camden, Cedar, Dade, Dallas, Henry, Hickory, Miller, Morgan, Polk, St. Clair, Vernon

 

*Sons of Confederate Veterans is an international fraternal society founded over 100 years ago and is a 501,3c Not-for- Profit organization whose mission is education and preserving the memory of the Confederate soldier.   For more details visit: www.scv.org  or on the Camp website: www.coffeecamp.org  

 

For immediate release:

Contact:  For interviews, Cmd. Gary Ayres…417-754-8397 or garyayres@centurytel.net 

 

all other inquiries:

 

Press Officer…David Reif…573-365-0186 dsreif@gmail.com 

 

Osceola Monument to Murdered Citizens Dedicated 

 

On Saturday 11October 2008 in Osceola, Missouri the Col. John T. Coffee Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans in conjunction with the St. Clair County Historical Society dedicated a monument to citizens murdered by President Lincoln’s Army and his General James H. Lane, 22-23September 1861.  The ceremony was attended by some 250 people.  Supporters from Missouri as well as Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma witnessed the unveiling of the seven and one half foot tall gray granite obelisk at Osceola Cemetary that marked a common grave of the 12 victims buried there.

 

The project to erect the monument was the culmination of over a year of planning and fundraising.  No state or other government tax money was used in the project and all the funds were raised locally at events like the annual Confederate Heritage Dinner hosted by the Col. John T. Coffee Camp as well as donations from the Historical Society and others.

 

The ceremony was led by Commander Gary Ayres of the J. T. Coffee Camp who said in his remarks, “Let us remember that these men who were murdered were protecting their own property and the property of their neighbors.  What is even sadder, they were murdered by the same forces that were sworn to protect them.”  Missouri would not secede from the Union until 31 October 1861 so Lincoln had ordered the destruction of his own people.

 

Ayres then introduced Historical Society President Mrs. Joann McPeak and the dedication speaker Mr Jay Jackson, Superintendent of Schools for Missouri City, Missouri, as well as Brother George Eberhardt who gave the benediction

 

Other notables attending the graveside ceremony were: 119th District State Legislator Larry Wilson of Wheatland; Alderman Clint Lacy, Marble Hill;; Mrs. Terry Ramsey, Missouri Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission; Mr. Pat Brophy, Curator of the Bushwhacker Museum Nevada, Missouri; descendants of U.S. Senator Waldo P. Johnson; officials from the Missouri-Kansas Borderwar Network; documentary filmmaker, Mr. Bruce Pollock of Kansas City, Missouri; as well as scores of descendants from Confederate families directly effected by the mass murder.

 

At the conclusion of the ceremony nearly 200 people assembled at the farm of Mr and Mrs. Rick Reed to participate in a Bar-B-Q dinner, discussion, and fellowship. 

 

The inscription on the monument reads:

 

“IN MEMORY OF OSCEOLA CITIZENS MURDERED BY KANSAS JAYHAWKERS AND THE UNION ARMY

 

In June 1861, President Lincoln issued an order making the U. S. Senator from Kansas, James H. Lane, a Brigadier General.

 

In September 1861, General Lane and his rabble army of Kansas jayhawkers, under questionable authority of Mr. Lincoln, invaded Missouri.  His objective was to pillage and destroy peaceable, prosperous Osceola.

 

On September 21 & 22, the jayhawkers invaded, occupied, sacked, and torched Osceola.  Twelve male citizens sought to protect one of the banks from being looted and ultimately burned.  General Lane arrested these citizens for “Treason”, and by way of a “Drumhead Court-Martial”, appointed himself prosecutor and judge, condemning the twelve to death.

 

He mustered a makeshift firing squad, in which he himself took part, murdering all but three of the twelve men, thinking all were dead.

 

One of the few who survived was Micajah Dark.

Thirteen years later, Dark was hunted down by forces of Missouri’s reconstruction regime.  Pursued to his home, he was kidnapped, brutally assaulted, murdered, and his body flung into the Osage River.  Micajah Dark was 74 years old.

 

This monument is dedicated to the men and women, known and unknown, who were robbed, brutalized and murdered by Union General James H. Lane through the events he set in motion.

 

May all who have suffered persecution from the course of action by Mr. Lincoln rest in peace with God.

 

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”.  Matthew 5:10

 

DEDICATED 11 OCTOBER 2008 IN COOPERATION WITH  THE ST. CLAIR COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND THE COLONEL JOHN T. COFFEE CAMP #1934 SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS”

 

on the net:

 

Freedom’s Fraud: Learn the TRUTH about the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area

 

John T. Coffee Camp, Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans

 

“The Burning” of Osceola, Missouri