These men all belonged to the Missouri Partisan Rangers, a homespun band of brothers that bravely laid down their lives to protect and preserve their hearths and homes in Missouri during The War of Northern Aggression . . . a title that most accurately describes this bloody conflict when the facts of history are brought to light. Today, however, only those that fight abroad for the US military are deemed brave and heroic, while those that fought for the South are quickly dismissed as misguided rebels and slavery mongers.
Long dead and buried, they have also been long demonized and buried in an obscure corner of history. Many of their monuments here in the show-me-state are also quite obscure, like the one below, which is hidden in a small batch of woods on a lonely hillside well off the beaten path in southern Ray County. I have visited this monument numerous times, as it is useful in contemplating the hour we now live, a somber lesson in the bloody cost men have paid to be free. A lesson that makes most of us uncomfortable, since it speaks to self sacrifice, a willingness to lose all for the sake of one's children and true friends.
Though it may be hard to read, it states at the bottom -- "oh, smooth the damp hair over their brows; they are pale and white and ghastly now; and hide the wounds in their gory breasts; for their souls have fled to their final rest." Our souls will soon do the same. What will our ancestors say about us; what will they write on our monuments? That we did everything we could to avoid discomfort and loss while making and passing unto them the disaster that now devours them? How long shall go on drawing lines in the sand while retreating from the public square?
These men were regular folks like you and me; they had families and dreams, which nearly all lost to the ravages of corrupt men and governments, empowered by a religious zeal to conquer and control their fellow man in the name of "freedom and justice for all" . . . a topic that should surely have our utmost attention given the encroaching messianic state of the growing federal government, the progeny of the same that destroyed the South some 150 years ago. Like so many across the nation, those that survived the ravages here Missouri gave honor to their ancestors who some 75 years before bestowed upon them the freedom they so dearly fought for, the same freedom for which they greatly mourned the loss of, like we see demonstrated in the tattered postcard below.
The right hand side states: This postcard is sent as a souvenir of the "Free State of Ray" and as a reminder of the good old days of Missouri. Should we forget the example of our forefathers and the words of wisdom and common sense that come down to us from those happier if not better days of the past? It was postmarked some 43 years after the conflict ended and was mailed from a small, nearly extinct town not too far from where I live here in Ray County. My county was known at one time as "the Free State of Ray," a concept totally foreign to the messianic-state minded masses that make up America today. The infamous "border ruffians and bushwhackers" that defended Missouri rightly understood what their forefathers gave them, a constitutional republic of united States, where counties exercised true freedom.
Like I was, most Americans have been well indoctrinated in the public fool system where they were taught to hold these same men as monstrous rebels to the noble, glorious American state, who deserve only our vigilant contempt and shame. Even Christian homeschooling curricula teach the same garbage. To be frank, I am both ashamed and appalled at the ignorance of many Christians when it comes to the history of our nation and state, who above all people should know the truth. Yes, these men were sinners like all of us and made mistakes, but who hasn't? It is so easy to point fingers in self-righteousness ignorance, but have you ever taken the time to learn the true history behind them? It will behoove you to learn what drove these men to take the desperate actions they did, for someday soon we will all likely find ourselves driven to the same desperation. The answer will give you tremendous incite into how and why America has come under the tyranny it has since the War of Northern Aggression . . . as there is a direct connection between the two.
I can tell you firsthand that it truly pays to take the time and effort to learn the real history of America, especially through the only lens that can accurately focus on the truth, the lens of the Word of God, the Bible. Why the Bible? Because it alone teaches the truth of the real nature of mankind --- not one of inherent good and moral virtue which the state presupposes in deifying itself as the only savior of the masses ---- but rather one that is inherently fallen and utterly depraved, a life of certain death that can only find true life through the Lord Jesus Christ, and none other. The bloody dark history of mankind teaches, without exception, that without the merciful intervention of the Lord through the Gospel of the Kingdom mankind always tends towards death, tyranny, and sorrow. And if you think that secular, "religion neutral" (read pagan) man can reestablish a free society and just government by his own economic and political actions ---- such as many libertarians expouse ---- than you like them will learn the painful lessons of ignorance and denial of the truth according to the glorious gospel of our King and Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ (1Tim. 1:8-11).
Don't be willfully ignorant, take the time to learn the truth through the lens of Scripture. You cannot afford not to, especially in the desperate hour we now live.
Thomas C. McConnell