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Palmyra Massacre Sesquicentennial

(PALMYRA)–Today marks the anniversary of a Civil War tragedy in Northeast Missouri.

Ten Confederate prisoners were executed in Palmyra in reprisal for the abduction of a Union supporter named Andrew Allsman. The event drew nationwide attention and historians say it may have been discussed at one of President Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet meetings. Confederate President Jefferson Davis threatened to execute 10 Union prisoners in retaliation, but never gave the order.

Five of the executed men were from Lewis County and three were from Ralls County, with one each from Monroe and Scotland counties. They had fought with Colonel Joseph Porter in Kirksville and elsewhere around the region in 1862.

A monument to the fallen men stands on the grounds of the Marion County Courthouse at Palmyra.

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