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BLOOD IN THE OZARKS

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Deep in the eastern Ozarks of Missouri, a battle still rages about a Union massacre of Southern civilians that happened on Christmas Day, 1863. While some call it a simple rescue mission to liberate captured Union soldiers, others claim that it was mass murder, which included women and children. The Civil War was a bitter and brutal conflict, but perhaps never more so than in the state of Missouri, where the wounds of the Kansas border war still festered. The inhumanity of the conflict was punctuated with Union war crimes, especially in the eastern Ozarks. There, civilians were targeted in an effort to subjugate the fierce fighting men battling Union forces in the region. As a result of this policy, 27,000 Missouri citizens were killed during the war. Starvation, theft, looting, torching homes and murder were not uncommon tactics used by a bevy of Federal miscreants whose criminal tactics culminated at a Christmas Day dinner at Tom Pulliam's farm in Ripley County. It was there that the Confederates and their families were set upon by a group of Union cavalry under the command of Major James Wilson. According to eyewitnesses and numerous other sources, about 100 of the attendees were killed-including women, children and the elderly-and dozens more wounded by the Union Missouri State Militia. Author Clint Lacy also discusses the other censored atrocities committed by Union forces in Missouri in his attempt to bring history into accord with the facts and shine the light of truth on one of the darkest periods of American history.

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