Palmyra Massacre

Saturday, October 18, 1862

Colonel John McNeil, aka "The Butcher of Palmyra." Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In Palmyra, Missouri, Union Colonel John McNeil orders the summary execution of 10 Confederate prisoners of war as retribution for the kidnapping of a pro-Union carpenter named Andrew Allsman. Allsman had gained a reputation for betraying his pro-Confederate neighbors, and his body is never found. Despite criticism for the vindictive massacre of Confederate prisoners, who had no connection to the Allsman abduction, McNeil continues in Union service and is promoted to the honorary rank of brevet major general of volunteers upon retirement. 

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