Shelby's Homecoming - Roanoke, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 18.920 W 092° 41.326
15S E 526830 N 4351816
A Confederate celebration, when Shelby returned.
Waymark Code: WM744A
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 08/30/2009
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member muddawber
Views: 2

Marker Erected by: Captain William E. Anderson Camp #1743 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Huntsville, MO.
Date Marker Erected: July 1997.
County of Marker: Howard County.
Location of Marker: MO-3, city park, Roanoke.

Marker Text:

At the Tri-County Fairgrounds near Roanoke, on August 23, 1871, over 1000 ex-Confederate soldiers of several Missouri Brigades came together to welcome back their gallant leaders from 5 years of self imposed exile in Old Mexico. This event soon lead to yearly reunions for all Confederate soldiers at various locations throughout the state. Reunions were soon after held all over the South and today this tradition is carried on by their descendants.

This marker is dedicated to the Confederate soldiers and Southern civilians of Chariton, Howard and Randolph Counties who gave their lives during the War for Southern Independence, in defense of their families, their homes and for the Sovereignty of Missouri.

History of Mark:

At the end of the American Civil War, an entire brigade of mixed cavalry led by General JO Shelby refused surrender and escaped to Mexico. The reception in Mexico was less encouraging than they expected. Mexico at the time was occupied by French troops who propped up an Austrian emperor, Maximilian, over an issue of defaulted national debt. Mexican insurgents Benito Juarez were in open combat with the French army of occupation. General Shelby met with both sides on his trip through the country and offered his legion of nomads up for service to either side that would accept. Guided towards Mexico City after helping a French unit against guerrillas Shelby met with the Austrian pretender, Maximilian, in person. Maximilian, declining to employ such a large body of men with such questionable loyalty, declined wholly Shelby's offer. The Austrian pretender placed his trust in his French troops and the few Mexicans loyal to his court.

This meant the end of the line for the Iron Brigade. Shelby had already sunk their flag at the border and sold their artillery (to a Mexican warlord fighting against Maximilian for the sum of $16,000). The Iron Brigade's treasury was divided evenly among the men, with each receiving about $50 regardless of rank. The men were allowed to take their horse, arms and all of their equipment, paroled from the service at last more than five months after Lee's surrenders. The men scattered in a hundred directions. Most returned back to their occupied homeland. Some took advantage of their new home and settled in Mexico. The lure of gold and a new start drew some of them to the west. It is known that many of the veteran soldiers joined the Third Zouaves of the Imperial French Army, a crack unit of tough professional soldiers from all over the world stationed in Mexico. The unit would be recalled to France following their evacuation from Mexico in 1866 only to be obliterated at the Battle of Gravelotte during the Franco Prussian war three years later with several of the confederate diehards still on the rolls.

In Missouri, many influential citizens held General Shelby in the highest esteem and referred to him as the greatest Missouri soldier of the Confederacy. On his return from his self imposed exile in Mexico in 1866 he was hailed and treated as a hero. He was appointed the 11th United States Marshal for the Western District of Missouri in 1893, a position that he held until his death in Bates County, Missouri in 1898. Maximilian would never make it out of his kingdom, being shot by Juarista troops in 1867. Although he bribed the seven riflemen not to shoot him in the face, one did anyway. Maximilian’s body was embalmed and displayed publicly in Mexico before being buried in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna, Austria, early the following year.

Web link: Not listed

Additional point: Not Listed

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