Colonel W.H. Righter

                righter_letter  Colonel W. H. Righter plays a prominent role in “Blood in the Ozarks”.  He is mentioned in the two documents Jerry Ponder sent me in 2005, which he found in the early 1990’s during a library consolidation in Doniphan, Ripley County, Missouri.

Both of these documents mention The Wilson Massacre (which occurred on December 25, 1863 in Ripley County , Missouri. Both of these documents also mention Colonel Righter, stating that he was captured with General M. Jeff Thompson in Pocahontas , Arkansas in August, 1863.

Those who claim the massacre never happened also state that Righter was not a colonel, despite the fact that Mr. Ponder was able to get the  Veterans Administration to provide him with a military headstone as well as the fact that the VA said they had no reason to doubt the information that was provided by Ponder to get the headstone.

I would like to share a few items that did not make it into the book before publication . The first is a letter written by Righter to the St. Louis Republican.

In the letter Righter states that he received the Republican until September, 1863 when he returned to St. Louis. This fits the time-frame that the documents Ponder sent to me of when Righter was captured and sent to St. Louis at which time he was given the Oath of Allegiance and gave his word he would not enter the war again. There are other archives which also lend credibility to Righter’s service to the South.

A clip from the Ripley County Democrat newspaper states that all who are going to the Confederate Veteran’s Reunion in Little Rock , Arkansas, should contact “Colonel Righter”.

Another May, 1911 newspaper story includes Righter in a list of members from the Colonel Hedgepeth Confederate Veterans Camp who were attending the reunion.

There can be no doubt given the time-frame of when Righter went to St. Louis in 1863 and it can be no coincidence that Righter did not only attend the Confederate Veterans Reunion in Little Rock, Arkansas,1911, but was also the person to contact for Ripley County for those planning to attend.

 righter_may_19_1911righter_clip

Foreword

Blood_in_the_Ozarks_CoverI thought I would post the foreword to “Blood in the Ozarks” for the new book website. It was an honor to receive such kind words from Professor Goodwin!- CL

COUNTERING FALSE HISTORY:

There is probably nothing in more short supply today than objective history—and the shortage grows daily. This is not only a sad, but a dangerous situation. Witness the recent furor over the battle flag of the Confederacy, now extended to monuments and even names connected to Southern history regarding the War Between the States. Lunacy and cowardice prevail, due in large part to decades of the teaching of false history. The urgent need for works of objectivity and TRUTH, in dire shortage for decades, has exploded of late.

The timing of the appearance of this book—Blood in the Ozarks—is certainly fortuitous.
My final year of teaching American history on the college level was 2002. Had Clint Lacy’s book been available at that time, I would have made his book required reading for my students. It is that valuable a source in the service of TRUTH regarding the fratricidal
conflict erroneously called the American “Civil War.”

During my years as an instructor, I often assigned articles from THE BARNES REVIEW (TBR) history magazine in Washington, D.C., to my students, and required them to write a response paper about those articles. (Note that TBR is one of the very few politically
incorrect (historically objective) magazines being published in America today.) I asked for my students’ opinions on what they had read, NOT a report on what the authors of the articles said.

And I assured them that their grade on the paper would NOT in any way be based on whether they agreed or disagreed with the TBR article. I was looking for whether or not they had understood the gist of what the author was trying to convey.

I can assure you that reading those responses was the most pleasurable part of my job as an instructor. It seems I had prompted many of them to THINK—which is the duty of any teacher worth his or her salt.

Most of the responses were favorable to the articles, and I was asked often, “Why wasn’t I taught this in high school?” But one student—a male of 35 years old, an ex-military man from Ohio, responded, “This is Rebel propaganda. The South got what it damned-well deserved!”

As unfortunate as his words were, I had to accept that he was only regurgitating what he had been taught years ago regarding that conflict—that the North was the righteous defender of the poor Black people and was fighting to end the evil institution of
slavery, and the Confederates were racists fighting to keep those Black people in chains. His response was a perfect example of the results of teaching FALSE history. His mind was not the least bit open to any contrary information, no matter how well-documented.
And those lies have been used to beat Whites, in particular, over the head for decades.

But in this book, Clint Lacy describes the assault on his and other historians’ research and conclusions by two adversaries much like the Ohio student I described. Kirby Ross and Ray Burson did their best to deny the occurrence that is the focal point of Lacy’s book—the Christmas Day 1863 massacre at Pulliam’s Farm in Ripley County, Missouri, that included the murder of women, children and the elderly. Ross and Burson insist that a “massacre”
did not occur, that Northern troops would never have perpetrated such, and that only Confederate military men were attacked and subdued. They have denigrated the research and findings of those who have taken issue with the supporters of the Union, and, in
typical fashion, accuse the South of atrocities. But we are well aware that the victors write the history, and contrary viewpoints are often ignored or buried. Our job as historians is to dig into and expose just WHY there is such animosity to those who take a challenging
view. And therein lies the ongoing battle between bias, subjectivity and objectivity in the writing of history.

As an instructor, I had to use the required text, These United States—the Questions of Our Past, by Irwin Unger. The part of that text regarding the War Between the States, and the ensuing period of “Reconstruction,” was in no way objective. I discovered that Unger was a product of New York’s educational system. And, like most people, his bias toward the Union was clearly evident. One expects that from Joe Citizen—but NOT from one whose
profession as an historian demands as much objectivity as possible. In all fairness, I have to say that if I had to author a history of that conflict, it would be a challenge to keep my own bias toward the South in check, but I like to think I would be as fair as possible. I
did challenge the text often in class, offering another perspective. Had the administration known that my Confederate battle flag often flew proudly from the porch of my apartment, I doubt I would have lasted until my popsicle melted!

At any rate, this book made me think about examples of false history and why it has revailed, as well as the hypocrisy of those who defend such lies. When Oliver Stone announced he was making a blockbuster film about the JFK assassination based on Jim
Garrison’s book in the early 1990s, my how the defenders of the Establishment myth flew into a rage, denouncing the project and declaring that it would be “teaching FALSE history to the American People!”  I didn’t know whether to laugh or barf. The teaching of false history also pervades so many other pivotal events—the Pearl Harbor attack, the Gulf of Tonkin incident that triggered U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the USS Liberty tragedy, political assassinations and, yes, the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America. One
comes to realize that the teaching of false history is not happenstance. There is a method to the madness. Those who attack the happenstance. There is a method to the madness. Those who attack the messenger, so to speak, are leading a crusade—NOT for historical
TRUTH or accuracy, but to promote continued ignorance and, more importantly, to keep the lies in place to maintain CONTROL of the people. Part of their agenda is to keep us divided and at each other’s throat, that they might continue their nefarious agenda unmolested. The controllers MUST maintain their GUILT and control the BLAME game, so that information such as the deliberate starvation policy by Union forces against Southern civilians, and massacres such as happened Christmas Day, 1863, remain buried—along with countless other examples of savagery directed by Gen. William T. Sherman and other Union commanders against helpless civilians. After all, it would really do damage to their fairy tale of “Union troops are the good guys, Confederates are the evil ones.”

If we are ever to regain our sovereignty as individuals and as States and a Nation, straightening the historical record is a must. The War Between the States is a key area needing attention.

The author of this book has done an excellent job of exposing the fairy tales and making his own case. His “Summary” is a courtroom worthy conclusion of the validity of his thesis—that Yankee troops did indeed engage in barbaric behavior regarding the helpless.

The appendix makes for fascinating reading as well, and contains valuable illustrations.
I could not help but think of the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales while reading Blood in the Ozarks. The author has taken a stand for truth and justice in this expression of his research.

Well done! May more follow his example.
—PROF. RAY GOODWIN
Autumn 2015

A native-born Texan, Revisionist RAY GOODWIN is a retired instructor of American history on the college level in Victoria, Texas. Ray has given multiple addresses to the Sons of Confederate Veterans organizations in San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and Victoria. He has had many articles published over the years.

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