Palmyra is a beautiful historic town in Marion County, Missouri. It is a bit northwest of Hannibal, and about the same distance southwest of Quincy, Illinois. In October 1862 a Union colonel charged with keeping order in northeast Missouri had 10 citizens shot by firing squad. The news raced around the world. The New York and London papers wrote scathing condemnations. The colonel – A Canadian actually who ended the war with the rank of Major General – was John McNeil. He has quite deservedly gone down in history as the “butcher of Palmyra.”
The names of the men are carved on a monument on the courthouse square in Palmyra: Willis Baker, Thomas Humston, Morgan Bixler, Herbert Hudson, John M. Wade, Francis Marion Lear, Capt. Thomas A. Sidner, Eleazer Lake, John McPheeters and Hiram Smith.
Shouldn”t we know where these men are buried?