The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 16, 2013

Vandal targets headstones in Civil War cemetery

From staff reports

NEWTONIA, Mo. — The destruction of gravestones in the old Newtonia Civil War Cemetery has left local history buffs and law enforcement about equal parts perplexed and angry.

Someone broke a dozen headstones dating back to the late 1800s in the cemetery north of Newtonia sometime late last week.

George Philliber, the mayor of the town, reported the vandalism to the Newton County Sheriff’s Department.

“They probably took a sledgehammer or something similar and busted them up,” said Sheriff Ken Copeland. “They’re certainly beyond repair.”

The sheriff said the vandalism remained under investigation Tuesday without any arrests having been made as yet.

Newtonia was the site of Civil War battles in 1862 and 1864. There is at least one Civil War soldier known to be buried in the cemetery that was vandalized.