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Major-General David Hunter to Trustees of Platte City, Missouri, December 1, 1861

David Hunter, detail
The division in Missouri prompted bitter and disjointed fighting, often neighbor against neighbor, and encouraged small unit guerrilla activity. Silas Gordon, of Platte County, Missouri, was the twenty-six year old leader of such a group that had "bushwacked" Union troops on several occasions, and was suspected as the man behind the Platte River Bridge sabotage that had killed more than a dozen soldiers and civilians in September 1861. Union regional commander Major-General David Hunter minced few words when demanding that the locals of Platte County turn over to him, or at least expel, Silas Gordon from his home area. His threat to burn the town became a reality on December 16, 1861, when Union troops of the 18th Missouri Infantry under Colonel W.J. Morgan burned much of the town to the ground. "Si" Gordon was never captured, however. He operated in the region and elsewhere throughout the war and survived to settle in Texas where he died in 1888. (By John Osborne)

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How to Cite This Page: "Major-General David Hunter to Trustees of Platte City, Missouri, December 1, 1861," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/38503.