This Day in the American Civil War for January 23

Thursday, Jan. 23, 1862

HALLECK HARVESTS HOSTAGES HARSHLY

As if Missouri did not have enough trouble and woe to contend with, it had U.S. Maj. Gen. Henry Halleck to contend with. Halleck was “commander of the Department of Missouri”, essentially the military governor of the state. As such, he had a wide range of powers and no apparent hesitation about using them. He had suspended habeas corpus several weeks earlier. He had also imposed an assessment, levied on “pro-Southerners”, for the relief of pro-Northern refugees from areas of fighting. While there were indeed large numbers of refugees whose homes had been destroyed, or communities were in such disarray that they feared for their lives, this affected adherents of both sides. Payments had been slow in coming, and today he ordered the confiscation of property and even the arrest of “pro-Southerners” who had not yet paid, to make up the difference.

via This Day in the American Civil War for January 23.

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