Silas M Gordon lived in Platte County, Missouri and had been fighting a kind of guerrilla war fare against Union troops and supporters in the area, including the September 1861 Platte Bridge Railroad Tragedy that killed and injured over a hundred. Union troops had tried to capture Gordon in November at Bee Creek, but he got away after killing two Union soldiers. In early December Gordon along with about 35 men captured the town of Weston, Missouri, and captured two Union soldiers. They moved to Platte City, where the Confederates camped on the Platte County Courthouse lawn.
Union General David Hunter issued orders from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for the people of Platte City to deliver Gordon up or their city would be burned. Union Colonel W James Morgan commanding the 18th Missouri marched from St Joseph, Missouri to Platte City where they set fire to the city and the courthouse on December 16th 1861. While in that town they found two Confederate soldiers who were home on a furlough and took them prisoner.
Morgan ordered the two prisoners killed. Despite pleas from the father of one the men, Black Triplett, Morgan took him and the other man Gabriel Case to Bee Creek. At the same place where Union soldiers were killed Morgan had Triplett executed, and Case was bayonetted trying to get away on December 17th 1861.