Political name calling circa 1862

Sometimes it’s interesting to know whatever is going on today has happened before including the namecalling of today’s politics.

Here’s an image of a Sept. 15, 1862 document, General Order No. 1, signed by Odon Guitar of Columbia.

Government Document General Order dated Sept. 15, 1862, requiring people to report for military duty.
Government Document General Order dated Sept. 15, 1862, requiring people to report for military duty.

In this document, Guitar states that anyone who does not report to military duty “will be regarded and treated as in active rebellion against the Government and in sympathy with the marauders and robbers who now infest the country.”

Marauder and robbers? Strong words for strong times.

Sometimes the Civil War seems so long ago how could it have anything to do with today.

But if you’ve ever noticed the inequity of graduation rates, unemployment, health outcomes, you’ve seen the results of the cause of the Civil War. And just as our country acknowledges the losses in battles with memorials so we never forget, we need to know our history in order to understand what’s going on today in our society.

Want to learn more about the Civil War in Missouri?

The State Historical Society of Missouri recent publicized a new resource on its website, American Civil War in Missouri: It offers links and a search engine to resources about Missouri during the Civil War. For example, here is a link to Regions in Missouri, then the Central counties, including Boone County. Under Boone County, you can learn when the county was founded, Nov. 16, 1820, and how many slaves were part of our population in 1850 and 1860. (About a third of the population.)

I know I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a history of ownership or being owned in my history. All of my family immigrated to the U.S. in the 1910s, yet I know this history of my country affects me every day

If you want to explore local history in the Civil War, this online resource includes a list of manuscript collections, including those of Odon Guitar of Columbia. By the end of the war, he was a colonel.

Yet, most of those who served were more like James L. Matthews, a name most of us don’t know. You can read a letter James L. Matthews wrote to his wife Fannie on Dec. 1, 1862, here in another manuscript collection, the Matthews Family Papers. In the letter, he writes about how much he misses her and how he’s sure she is anxious for him. He seems like an ordinary person, yet he’s living in extraordinary times.

Perhaps that’s how we’ll look back on the politics of today.



Leave a Reply