Contributed by Cheryl Kesterson
David Crockett Kesterson was born in Ohio, the son of Willliam Marion and Pauline (Gunning) Kesterson who were married 15 January 1827 in Shelby County IN. David married Minerva Patience Ketcherside on 31 March 1861 in Johnson Arkansas. Minerva was born 14 September 1841 in Georgia, the daughter of James and Genette (Scaberry) Ketcherside.
David was in the 2nd Arkansas Union Cavalry. We believe he died in Ft. Leavenworth KS. Minerva appears to have died in Franklin Twp., Greene Co MO.
Children of David and Minerva were John Enoch Kesterson 1866, Dora I. Kesterson 28 November 1870, Eva M. Kesterson 21 Aug 1873, Arthur Kesterson 1877, Arval/Orville Kesterson 1879.
David Crockett Kesterson
Born in Cincinnati OH March 18, 1832; died Leavenworth, Kansas, Nov. 8, 1911.
Grandfather's mother, Pauline (Gunning) Kesterson, died of childbirth when he was born. His father, William Marion Kesterson, died when David was five.
David was sent by his step-mother to live with his sister. The sister was married to a man named Hufstetter and they lived in the State of Arkansas. The sister, for reasons unknown to us, did not keep the little boy very long and placed him in custody of "Mr. Wright" in exchange for his work. In those times, this was called "farming a boy out" and he was known as a "bound boy".
Wright was a saddle maker and was supposed to teach the trade to young David. However, he beat the boy often and his cruelty resulted in the boy being taken away from him. He was then placed with Jack Harris who owned a large plantation near Clarksville AR, at the mouth of the Big Piney River where it empties into the Arkansas River.
Harris owned a tan yard and taught David the tanner's trade. Harris also owned a ferry boat and it became one of my Grandfather's jobs to operate it along the Arkansas River. He was also made the "over-seer" of the slaves of the plantation. One of his most dreaded duties was that of disciplining and thrashing the slaves when Mr. Harris felt they should be punished.
When the Civil War began in 1861, Grandfather was about 28 years old. He and several of his friends found their sympathies to be with the Northern cause. Since Arkansas sided with the South, David was forced to hide out, as his life had been threatened. In fact, Jack Harris told him that if he ever attempted to leave Arkansas to join the Northern Army, he would kill him. Nevertheless, he did leave by hiding in the daytime and traveling at night. He and his buddies arrived safely in Springfield MO. They were mustered into the Northern Army on the Public Square, Company K, Arkansas Regiment Cavalry.
The organization of the 2nd Arkansas Cavalry was completed in March 1964. Col. John E. Phelps was commissioned Col. of the Regiment on March 18th. The 2nd Cavalry was composed mainly of Arkansas men who had remained Union in sentiment, living, for the most part, in northwestern Arkansas. They were known locally as "Mountain Feds". The Regiment was in many minor skirmishes in Arkansas as well as in the important battles of Price's Raids. It was mustered out of service on Aug. 20, 1865. As the 2nd Arkansas Cavalary was preparing to leave Springfield for the "front line", the City's women presented to Col. Phelps a beautiful sword and gave the Regiment an "elegant banner". The standard is preserved in the State Capitol Building in Little Rock AR.
Sandborn -- or Sanborn -- was in command in Springfield when Price invaded MO in late September of 1864, causing great excitement in the City. Gen. Sanborn was ordered to the front and took with him the 2nd Arkansas Cav., plus other troops, and set ot for Jefferson City MO, which place he successfully defended from the attackers of Gen. Price. Afterward, when the Southern Army went into the western part of MO, Gen. Sanburn followed and engaged in all of the important battles of the memorable raid, which disasterously hurt the Confederates.
Grandfather was with Price's Raid when they rode through southwest MO for many days. At one time, they encamped near Cassville MO. Scouts encountered rebel sentries near the town. The sentries opened fire from behind a rock fence. The Company K General placed a cannon and shelled the fence. Granfather said that the flying, shattered rocks became added weapons; the rebels were routed!