Thursday, August 25, 2016

Frank and Jesse James

A contribution from Prattville Dragoons long time member Charlie Graham:

On August 21 in 1883 Frank James, brother of Jessie James, went on trial in Gallatin, Missouri, for two decades of bank and railroad robberies compounded by collateral damage along the way. The James family were steadfast Confederates and the boys were guerilla fighters in the War. The James' were renown for their Robin Hood style criminality and helping the poor.

During the War in 1863 Abraham Lincoln, Generals Sherman and Gran
t came to the conclusion that to conquer the South they had to defeat the military and just as importantly kill and decimate the Southern civilization which meant to exterminate all things Southern.
They pulled up every railroad tie in the South. They burned all residential and industrial in their paths. They stopped making prisoner exchanges and went to great measures to starve prisoners and/or let them die of disease. They burned and or stole all crops and cattle so that Southern civilians would starve if they didn't kill them first.
In 1883 the atrocities of the War and the perils inflicted by Lincoln and his generals upon the Southerners were still vivid in the minds of those who survived.

Frank James turned himself in in 1882 in hopes of avoiding being shot in the back like his brother, Jessie, shortly before.
He was tried twice in Missouri and once in Alabama. The prosecutors could not find a jury that would convict him. He was a Southern hero in their minds for stealing back what was stolen from them by the carpetbaggers and scalawags plus their liberty and freedom.

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