Thursday, October 25, 2007

Missouri Wildfires

The exodus of Californians fleeing recent wildfires has been characterized by TV media as, "the largest peacetime evacuation of Americans since the Civil War."
We're a little confused by their terminology, but the statement may at least be an acknowledgment that such things happened during Lincoln's War.

Non-combatants fled Charleston when that city was shelled by Federal terrorists, and Atlanta was forcibly depopulated after its capture by Billy ("War is Hell") Sherman. Women and children slept in parks and cemeteries when the boys in blue burned Columbia, and wherever the Union-savers appeared, multitudes were left homeless.

But the most horrendous of forced evacuations occurred in occupied Missouri, where Yankees were having a difficult time pacifying the population. On August 25, 1863 Brig. Gen. Thomas Ewing issued his infamous Order No. 11. Everyone–more than 20,000 civilians–living in his 3,000 square mile district had fifteen days to get out. Refugees were robbed and murdered as they departed, and their homes were torched. The devastation was so compete, fires often spreading to fields and forests, that the four counties became known as "The Burnt District."

"The order settled the border war," Ewing proudly told the Washington Post. "It was approved by Major General [John] Schofield and by President Lincoln."

Y'all, this was one war the Nazis won.

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