A St. Louis Civilian Flies the Rebel Flag in 1862


Rebel flag flying in St. Louis was a display of rebellion against Federal occupation in the city. Courtesy of the Civil War Monitor.

On May 16, 1862, Mrs. Amos on 6th Street received a harsh and threatening letter from St. Louis Provost Marshal George Leighton. In the back of her house, she – or another occupant of the building – flew the Rebel flag in defiance of Federal occupation of the city. Open sympathies with the Confederacy made her a prime target for the Provost Marshal to suppress and show other Southern sympathizers that open support of the Rebellion would not be tolerated. Was Mrs. Amos responsible for the flying of the flag? If so, did Mrs. Amos have a son or husband serving in the Confederate army? Many Southern-leaning civilians who were spies or openly defied the Union in Federal-occupied St. Louis were arrested or deported, like the wife of Col. Daniel Frost or Margaret McLure who lost her son in combat while serving for the Confederacy.

We do not know the fate of Mrs. Amos, but we can assume that her Rebel flag outside of her house on 6th Street no longer flew after she received the letter from Leighton.

Office of Provost Marshal
St. Louis, Mo., May 16th, 1862
Yesterday [illegible] a rebel flag was displayed from the back portion of your residence on Sixth Street. Yourself as well as the occupant of your house must be aware that such a display cannot be paroled or overlooked. The parties quietly must be held to a strict accountability for all such treasonable manifestations.
You will be kind enough to avoid any interference with innocent parties to end its flag displays to my office, with the names of the persons occupying the eastern portion of the building.
In case this is not done immediately, I shall be compelled to hold you as the lady of the house, responsible for the acts of the inhabitants, and take the severest method to effectively prevent such demonstrations in future.
Very Respectfully Yours,
Geo E Leighton

Letter from George E. Leighton to Mrs. Amos, May 16, 1862, Harrison Gleim Civil War Papers, Maclay Home, Tipton, MO

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