Confederate Women of Missouri


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“Reminiscences of the Women of Missouri During the Sixties”, Various authors, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Missouri Division, 1913. Two Photos (Mary J. Louden & Margaret McLure) not in original publication that are new for this edition.


"Order No. 11", Caroline Abbot Stanley, 1904, fictional novel, 420 Original Pages, 4 illustrations by Harry C. Edwards.

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“Reminiscences of the Women of Missouri During the Sixties”


"Order No. 11"


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"Reminiscences of the Women of Missouri During the Sixties", Various, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Missouri Division, 1913. Two Photos (Mary J. Louden & Margaret McLure) not in original publication that are new for this edition.

This book is often called "Confederate Women of Missouri" by those fortunate enough to be familiar with it, and provided the inspiration for the name of this CD.

It is full of tragic stories of Jayhawker raids, Union militia atrocities, and yearning for a society that is gone. This is a wonderful compilation from all sections of the state of the stories of ordinary women thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

However, for nearly every story of a "pro-southern neutral" family set upon and ruthlessly pillaged, there is a story of southern women aiding the Confederate war effort through supplies, spying, or harboring Confederate soldiers or irregulars. It does not appear to occur to any of them that the one might have some relationship to the other. What is abundantly clear, however, is that quite a few of the hottest southern "fire-eaters" were wearing petticoats.

The stories of many prominent Missouri women are contained here, including Mrs. Bettie Shelby, Mrs. William H. Gregg, and Margaret A. E. McLure [also spelled McClure in the book]. There are 74 reminiscences in all, making for what is indisputably the single most important published collection of primary source material of the experiences of Southern women in Missouri during the Civil War. Topics include Jayhawker raids, Order No. 11, the infamous practices of Union Provost Marshals, the Palmyra Massacre, Camp Jackson, and the indomitable spirit of the "weaker" sex. There are also several battle accounts of well-known Missouri engagements by women who observed them at a less-than-comfortable distance.

The "Journal of Mildred Elizabeth Powell" is particularly recommended to your attention, as it a wonderful addition by a fire-eater in petticoats that has not received much historical attention. Yet one suspects it is entirely typical of the experiences of many similar Southern ladies.

"Order No. 11", Caroline Abbot Stanley, 1904, 420 Original Pages, 4 illustrations by Harry C. Edwards.

This digital edition reformats the original work to an 8x11 format, reducing the total number of pages while maintaining the entire contents of the original work.

The real "Order No. 11", for which this fictional novel is named, was promulgated by Union authorities in August of 1863, partly (but not entirely) in response to pro-Southern guerrilla chieftan William Quantrill’s sacking of Lawrence, Kansas, on August 21. Order No. 11 demanded that almost all persons living within three Missouri counties, and part of a fourth, leave the area immediately. The intent was to deny the guerrillas of the sympathizers that had been nurturing them, and also to head off a retaliatory raid from Kansas Jayhawkers enraged by the Lawrence massacre. See noted historian Albert Castel’s "Order No. 11 and the Civil War on the Border"  for a more full explanation of the order, its intent, and its results.

We have always been strong believers that novels can be powerful chroniclers of the times in which they are set. Indeed, the novelist often feels much more free to accurately report and display the emotions of the time than those who are "writing for history". This is why we included Winston Churchill’s "The Crisis" on a previous CD, and now offer Stanley’s "Order No. 11" here. It is the story of a group of young adults, and their families & friends, caught in the middle of the vicious strife that engulfed western Missouri during the Civil War.

Virginia Trevilian is the local southern belle of "Grand Prairie" (located here not far from Independence, MO), and daughter of the most respected citizen thereabouts, Colonel William Trevilian. They are Viriginia artistocrats of the old school, transplanted to Missouri in the previous generation, with a handsome house, abundant acres, and many slaves as well. Virginia’s older brother, Beverly, is the typical young Southern fire-eater, ready to sacrifice all for the right as he sees it. Beverly joins one of the earliest Pro-Confederate militias thereabouts, fighting the war in the regular Confederate service, though with occasional visits "behind the lines" in Missouri.

Gordon Lay, of northern extraction, has been Beverly’s best friend forever, and has loved Virginia for roughly the same amount of time; not that either of them would ever actually discuss it, except in the most round-a-bout innuendo kind of way. Naturally, Gordon Lay will be bound for the Union army. Gordon’s father is the local doctor. Respected and loved by everyone before the war, the downward spiral of guerrilla warfare bring the Lays into increasing peril as the novel progresses.

The novel features a wealth of interesting minor characters, including: Miss Abby Ann Cheever, the imported fire-breathing abolitionist school-teacher from Massachusetts; Renee Taggart, the working-class southern girl with a crush on Gordon Lay; the Bascom sisters, old maid Virginia aristocrats of decided notions of propriety; Virginia’s Aunt Nan; Mammy and Uncle Reuben, the family’s most loyal slaves, and a wealth of others. Indeed, Quantrill and Jesse James make cameo appearances as well –Quantrill’s is clearly closely based on John N. Edwards’ "Noted Guerrillas", down to using the since-discredited story of Quantrill’s origins and introduction to Border warfare.

While the overall tone of the novel is of a pro-Southern neutral (i.e. politically southern, but generally militarily neutral –with the not inconsiderable problem that the Trevilians have a son in the Confederate army), it does not paint all pro-Union characters with the same demonic brush. There are several prominent sympathetic pro-Union characters, including the near-saintly Gordon Lay.

Nevertheless, the title is "Order No. 11", not "How We All Got Along During the War", so we know what is coming. Jayhawkers and local Unionists bent on taking advantage of the war to engage in plunder, destruction, and the settling of old scores are the villains of the piece. Pro-Southern guerrillas, while it is acknowledged often acted terribly, are portrayed essentially as a natural and unavoidable reaction to the sack and slaughter perpetrated by their pro-Union foes.

In many ways, this novel has very Victorian sensibilities regarding the relationships between the sexes, and features traditional tragic misunderstandings at the core of the mating ritual. The author has an impish eye, and provides many comical moments with a light touch to leaven the tragedy at the core of the novel.

Also available from the webmasters of Civil War St. Louis:

Noted Guerrillas and, the extremely rare, A Terrible Quintette for the first time available on a searchable CD-ROM

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