Start of the Civil War in Montgomery County
Start of the Civil War
In Montgomery County
Nothing ever upset the people of Montgomery County as did the Civil War. Over night friends and neighbors found themselves enemies, families even split over the question of secession.
Montgomery County was predominately a Unionist settlement, although there were many outright secessionists.
Early  in 1861 the county sent Unionists representatives to the state convention-much to the disgust of the secessionists.
A hoy political argument in Danville on February 8th, 1861 marked the first open split  between the North and the South. Nathaniel Patton, keeper of the Inn at New Florence was long a strong Unionist, but as the problem became more serious he changed his mind. Daniel Draper, Unionist editor of the Danville Herald critized him for it in "disrespectful and insulting language",
Patton caught Draper on the street  in Danville and was cowhiding him within an inch of his life as Draper drew a pistol and shot him in the leg.
After the firing of Fort Sumpter April 12, 1861, President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunters, but Missouri's Governor Jackson refused to issue the request in this state

That brought excitement in Montgomery County, but there was no violence until later.
As early as June 1861, Confederate Companies from North Missouri passed though this county and were joined by a few local men. The North sympathizers organized later.
First North action was to protect the North Missouri Railroad,[now the Wasbash] and make the Missouri River a line of defense.
Captain Jacob Melter brought 42 mounted Federal troyps across the Missouri River to Loutre Island and they entered Danville
and proceeded to New Florence. Aling the way they took several horse, some hay and two secessionists. Dr. D. Y. Bast and J. N. Hunter. After camping at New FLorence they proceeded on toward Mexico.
On July 15, 1861 a train load of Federal Troups was fired on west of Jonesburg but no one was killed. They reached Montgomery City where they were treated hospitably by the citizens.
A soldier, Wm. Pease shot on the trip from St. Louis died there and became the
first Federal soldier to die and be buried in Montgomery County.
On July 18, 1861 a group of  secessionist bushwackers  under Alvin Cobb killed Maj. Ben Shapr, a prominent Danville resident and a Federal officer, Lt. Yager, as they traveld by Buggy toward Mexico.
There was indignation at the Confederates for these murder. There was almost immediate retaliation. Granville Nunnelly, Danville inn-keeper and Robert Terrle and 2 others were taken from their homes in Danville and taken north toward Montgomery.
The company stopped and ordred the men to walk 8 paces ahead.
"Take off your coats" ordered the Captain".
"Captain, can I speak to you a moment" asked Mr. Nunnelly.
"No" surily answered the Captain, the time for talking  has passed, you have only one minute to live! Go out there and kneel down".
The men obeyed. Soldiers with their muskets were in front of them.
"Ready-aim-fire" barked the Captain. Almost immediately Nunnelly and Terrill fell back dead. The other teo men on the word "aim" jumbed up and ran into the brush and escaped.
Other were killed, but the federal soldiers had to content themselves with burning the home of Alvin Cobb who started the shooting. He was never caught and lived many years after the war.
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Old Nunnelly Inn-at Danville
picture taken in the 1930's