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Showing posts from March, 2018

CONFEDERATE ARKANSAS

I've been reading the book "Confederate Arkansas: the people and policies of a frontier state in wartime" via the archives. The myth that Union soldiers fought to "free" the slaves is exposed within its pages as the book cites that many times slaves returned to the plantation after finding out they were better off there than at the hands of the Union soldiers.

THE PONDER PAPERS: THE WILSON MASSACRE AND REEVES' REVENGE

Today I made another visit to the Missouri Historical Society to dig through The Ponder Papers. Most people call this research but I prefer to call it "treasure hunting".  Some of the items I chose to copy were correspondence from people such as John L. Margreiter, dated July 3, 1993.

Mr. Margreiter is , admittedly and admirer of Major James Wilson, 3'rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union). That being said in his letter to Jerry Ponder states:

"I found your observations concerning Major Wilson most interesting, even though I admired him (and the 3'rd Cavalry, MSM) for more than twenty-five years. Until I received your letter I had never read or heard anythingdetrimental about him, but then history always favors the winning side. In 1991 (having lost most of my interest in the Civil War in the late 70's) I again took up the subject and decided to write a paper on Major Wilson; that was the reason for the ad in Military Images. Having procrastinated for alm…

THE PONDER PAPERS: UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Among the Jerry Ponder papers is a letter from the United States Department of the Interior / National Park Service written by the Department Chief Historian Ed Bearss and dated January 2, 1991.

Ponder had written Bearss about "The Wilson Massacre" and Bearss replied by stating"
I have read with great interest your letter concerning the 15th Missouri Cavalry Regiment and the December 25, 1863, engagement at Pulliam's Battleground Hollow, Missouri. Although I do not have any documentation , experience leads me to believe that your assumption about the men identified in the prisoner-of-war role as being from Company A , Shaver's Infantry Regiment , is correct.  It is proof that the National Parks Service found Ponder's work on the Wilson Massacre credible.

I am also including a letter that Jerry Ponder sent to John L. Ferguson of the Arkansas History Commission on November 21, 1990.


THE PONDER PAPERS: LINZY DUDLEY "THE TIME OF THE WAR"

I had another opportunity to examine the Jerry Ponder papers and found a nice surprise, "The Time of the War by Linzy Dudley as told to Charles Booker".  It turns out that Charles Booker was the Ripley County Clerk at the time that Dudley shared his story with him , which (in my opinion) lends credibility to the paper.

Originally I believed this was one of the discarded papers found by Ponder during the consolidation of the Doniphan City Library and the Ripley County Library in the early 1990's. However Ponder's notes state that this document was provided to him by Carl Dudley.

Dudley states that before they surrendered at Jacksonport, Arkansas in May, 1865 , they burnt all their records in order to protect themselves from Union reprisals. Dudley also states that the 15th Missouri Cavalry, CSA also had 20 "colored" soldiers who served with them and that the Yankees refused to accept their surrender. Dudley , however, states that these men were free men and …