|The Missouri Sons of Union Veterans plan to place a monument on September 26, 2009, to honor the men of Colonel James A. Mulligan's "Irish Brigade" at the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site. Scheduled to speak at the event is U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton (MO-4).
The monument is to be made of African stone to symbolize the effect that the Civil War had on ending slavery and praises Mulligan and his men as "defenders" of Lexington.
During September 17-20, 1861 Mulligan's men, who numbered approximately 2,800 fought more than 10,000 Confederates led by Missouri's Major General Sterling Price. Under these circumstances, no one can doubt the bravery of the Irish brigade; however, that being said I believe it is important to address the historical inaccuracies of the proposed monument.
The case can be made that in 1861 slavery was not a factor in the war. Being new to the country, the men of Mulligan's Brigade most likely enlisted for a paycheck and a chance for citizenship than for lofty political or social ideals. Of the 2,800 men that Mulligan commanded 350 were German "home guards," the remainder were from Illinois. Price's Confederates were born and raised Missourians who were fighting to take their state back from invaders.
The monument was funded through sales of the book The Chronicles of Lexington written by Henry C. Davis. The book, by the way, refers to Missourians as "pukeites."
To say that the Federal troops under Mulligan were fighting to liberate the slaves is misleading; to say that they were "defenders" of Lexington is a lie; to fund the monument through the sales of the "The Chronicles of Lexington" is insulting.
Please contact Skelton and respectfully ask him not to attend this event. He may be contacted by sending an e-mail here or mail a letter to one of the addresses listed here.
Clint E. Lacy, Press Officer, Col. John T. Coffee Camp #1934
Sons of Confederate Veterans