The ordeal of twenty-year-old schoolteacher Sarah Pauline White, sentenced in 1864 to confinement at hard labor in the state penitentiary for the duration of the Civil War for writing a letter to a rebel soldier, was one of several painful experiences endured by Wayne County families that are described in Old Wayne. Why her impassioned quest for a pardon failed was never fully explained; but it gained the enthusiastic support of Missouri governor Thomas C. Fletcher, formerly a Union army general, and appears to have been a casualty of President Andrew Johnson’s acrimonious relationship with the Missouri commander General John Pope who, at a later time, was fired by Johnson.
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