The Civil War in Missouri

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The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.

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Sword Presented to General John McNeil (Union)

MHM Collections

Citizens of Cape Girardeau presented McNeil with this sword for his defense of that city during Marmaduke’s second raid into Missouri in the spring of 1863. McNeil was often brutal in his suppression of guerrilla and partisan activity. In October 1862, he ordered the execution of ten rebel prisoners at Palmyra in retaliation for the presumed death of a Union man. For that he was scorned by many as a “butcher,” but others heralded him for the protection he provided to Union men and women.