Did you know that Mexico was the home of the man, known in Civil War history as “The Hanging Judge of Andersonville Prison”?
Peter McCullough was an Illinois native, a Union soldier, captured by the Confederates in battle, and sent to the infamous Andersonville Prison in Georgia. Andersonville was notorious for its miserable conditions. Overcrowding, exposure, malnutrition, and disease were not the only problems. Some prisoners formed gangs, who stole food, clothing, money, and jewelry from other prisoners. One such gang was called “The Raiders”.
Another group of prisoners was formed to try to enforce order, known as “The Regulators”. Peter McCullough was a member of this group. When Confederate guards assisted The Regulators in arresting several of The Raiders, Confederate authorities allowed the prisoners to convene their own court, judge, and jury. Peter McCullough, respected for his leadership and fairness, was selected as judge. Peter presided over the trials of over 100 of The Raiders. Six of the ringleaders were hanged.
Peter survived the war, and moved to Mexico about 1880. After living in Mexico 35 years, he died in 1915, at the age of 76. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
Story submitted by Mexico/Audrain Society
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