The Missouri in the Civil War Message Board

Re: General Bacon Montgomery

From the 1921 book, "Centennial History of Missouri," by Walter Barlow Stevens--

Sedalia's Fighting Editor.
Bacon Montgomery filled a large place in the early history of journalism in Central Missouri. He established a newspaper at Georgetown, the old county-seat of Pettis county, and put up the motto: "Born, reared and educated in the Union, we shall die in the Union or die in a struggle to preserve it." Montgomery was a printer and set up his editorials without writing them. He composed them mentally and physically. A company of states' rights men came over to Georgetown from Warrensburg. Montgomery gave the seccesionists this editorial greeting: "The word halt had scarcely been uttered when the hospitality of our town was extended to them by an invitation to partake of that wholesome beverage, mint julep, which had been prepared for them before their advent into the city. They were coridally received by men of their own sentiments. The commotion in the world has called them out, and they have girded their loins, and are preparing to share in the contest, and, we may say, to share in the defeat and destruction that awaits them."

The captain of the company was a man named Ruth, which gave Montgomery the never overlooked opportunity of those days, of the pun to add: "We can but regret that they should so Ruthlessly imperil their lives as to enlist in such an unhallowed cause as is secession and against such fearful odds."

The secessionists formed to clean out Bacon Montgomery's Journal. The editor sent his "devil" out the back door and rallied his friends. The secessionists retreated. But it was not long after that Bacon Montgomery laid aside his shooting stick for shooting irons. He didn't stop fighting when the war ended but became a brigadier-general of the state militia and was active during the reconstruciton period. Resuming his newspaper work, Montgomery was ready at any time to go on an expedition in support of law and order. Demuth, who was associated with Montgomery in the late sixties, paid him this tribute:

"At two o'clock in the morning, after eighteen hours hard work, he will put on his rubber coat, buckle on a brace of navy revolvers, ride ten miles into the country at the head of a sheriff's posse in the search of a murderer; help to capture the criminanl; ride back home, and have the paper out by six o'clock in the morning with a column account of the deed, which he wrote and in some cases assisted in setting up. He knows everybody; he sees everything; he knows how to tell what he sees; and he is never afraid to tell what he ought. Of the tasks that the editor and reporter must do, he can do them all well. He has gone through an amount of labor, physical and mental, which would kill ten 'ordinary' men; but at forty-five years of age, he has not a gray hair, he weights 171 pounds; has an eye as clear as crystal and a complexion like a school girl."

Messages In This Thread

Re: General Bacon Montgomery