Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri
by Howard L. Conard
"Parsons Murder.--The murder of General Monroe M. Parsons, Colonel Standish and Mr. Conrow, of Missouri, in Mexico in 1865, was one of the tragic sequels of the Civil War. On the final defeat of the Confederate cause, and the disbandment of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Army in 1865, he went into Mexico with a small number of friends and made his way to Monterey, then held by a body of French Imperialist troops under General Jeanningros. While there an Imperialist train of merchandise was sent under escort from Monterey towards Matamoras, and General Parsons, with Colonel Standish, who had been his assistant adjutant general, Mr. Conrow, an ex-member of the Confederate Congress from Missouri, and three Irish soldiers, who had belonged to Parsons' Brigade, accompanied it for protection. The train was ambushed in a narrow gorge by the Juarez troops and the escort driven back. General Parsons, wishing to return to Monterey in advance of the train, started out ahead of it, accompanied only by Colonel Standish, Mr. Conrow and the three Irish soldiers. They had not proceeded more than a dozen miles when they encountered a body of Juarez's soldiers, who made prisoners of them and placed them under guard. They were allowed to retain their horses, and General Parsons, who had a fine animal, during the day proposed a race to the Liberal leader, who, also, was well mounted. The challenge was accepted, and the two dashed off, Parsons' horse showing the greater speed and soon running ahead. He determined to take advantage of this, and in spite of a repeated order to hold up, was soon out of sight. But the temporary success was dearly purchased, for he rode straight into another party of Liberals, few miles distant, who again made him prisoner, brought him back, and deliverd him up to his first captors, who, after a brief consultation, shot and killed the entire party, General Parsons, Colonel Standish, Mr. Conrow and the three soldiers, stripping them of their clothing and leaving them naked on te roadside. They were buried by the compassionate Mexicans living in the vicinity. The murders met with a terrible vengeance, for not long afterward a company of Missourians of Shelby's old command, who had taken service in the Imperialist cause, made a visit to the place and had pointed out to them fifteen of the men of the Liberal detachment living in the neighborhood. These were arrested and summarily shot, and the houses of eleven others were burnred. Subsequently the United States government took the matter up and exacted and received from the Mexican government $100,000 indemnity for the families of the murdered Missourians."