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John McNeil Monument Detail

Brevet Major General John McNeil, U.S.A. (1813-1891)  On May 10, 1861, John McNeil, commander of the 3rd Reserve Regiment was involved in the Camp Jackson Affair, at present day Frost Campus of St. Louis University at St. Louis.  Where the Missouri Volunteer Militia were on Maneuvers and was expected to attack the U.S. Arsenal. General Lyon took the Militia Captive illegally (as per the southern side) and there was an incident where the Union troops, mostly green German Volunteers fired on a crowd, killing about 30 to 40 civilians as they insulted the Union troops.  After the Camp Jackson Affair, Colonel McNeil was appointed as Commander of the 2nd Mo. State Militia Cavalry in June 1862.  He spent a lot of his service fighting the pro-southern Guerilla units in Missouri and became hated by the southerners for his brutality.  He was given the title, The Butcher of Palmyra for his killing of 10 pro-southern prisoners at Palmyra, Mo., in October 1862.  In November of the same year he was promoted to Brigadier General of U.S.Volunteers.  During the battle of Westport, In Sterling Price’s 1864 Invasion of Missouri, McNeil was relieved of command for cowardice and failure to attack the enemy by General Alfred Pleasanton and later became the District Commander of Central Missouri until the end of the war.  He was awarded the rank of Brevet Major General at the end.     (Block 35, Lot 1103)

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