To the Victor Belongs the Spoils
BY ANDY COLLINS0
In the American Civil War the decision of who was right and
who was wrong is one which was highly disputed. And nowhere
was the point of who was right less decisive than in Southeast
Missouri where the majority of the populace was pro-Southern; yet
the Union was determined to hold this area of swamps, river
bottoms and rugged hills. "Since this part of the state was on the
border between the North and South, and while it was not the
scene of great battles, nor formed the pathway of great armies, it
was, indeed, ravaged by those guerilla bands from both sides."1 So
this corner of the state became a battlefield for, not five hours, not
five days, but five terrible, awful years of constant fighting.
*Andy Collins received the 1985 Floyd C. Shoemaker History Award for the
best article written by a senior high school student in Missouri. A recent graduate
from Poplar Bluff High School, he currently is enrolled as a freshman at the
L^niversity of Missouri-Columbia.
1 Mary L. Hahn, Rits of History (Cape Girardeau, 1972), 73.