Wednesday, August 8, 2012

An Execution

Confederate soldier Frisby McCullough was executed following the Battle of Kirksville on August 8th 1862, charged with being a guerilla fighter.

Frisby McCullough was born in New Castle County, Delaware March 8th 1828 the son of James and Delia [Pennington] McCullough.  When he was 12 the family moved to Marion County, Missouri.  When the California gold rush started in 1849 McCullough caught the fever and moved to California, living there for the next five years.  Upon returning to Marion County he married in 1856 to Eloise Randolph.

When the Civil War started McCullough joined the Confederates serving under General Thomas Green.  He saw action at the Battle of Lexington before moving on to recruit for Confederate General Sterling Price in northeastern Missouri in 1862.  McCullough became sick after the Battle of Kirksville, riding alone he was caught by Union troops and he surrendered to them.  He was moved to the town of Kirksville where he was accused of fighting as a bushwhacker without a military commission.

A court was convened by Lieutenant Colonel W F Schaffer.  When asked McCullough admitted to lacking a commission at that time as his rank as Lieutenant Colonel in the Missouri State Guard had expired.  He was found guilty, and given 15 minutes to write a letter to his wife.  McCullough asked to be allowed to give the order to shot, and as such his last words, “What I have done, I have done as a principle of right. Aim at the heart. Fire!”  He was not killed by the first volley and history has come down saying that either he was killed by the second volley or dispatched by a pistol shot.

No comments: