Capt. Eli McCarty Biography Page

Eli McCarty
Captain, Co. G

Father: James McCarty
Mother: Elizabeth
Date and Place of Birth: November 26(?), 1827, Daviess County Indiana.
Spouse: Louisa Allen (b. 1/1/1840 - d. 11/26/1865)
Children: Emma R. (b. 1858), Clara Ellen (b. 1859), Delila (b. 1861), and Hatty B. (b. 1863).
Date and Place of Death:  October 3, 1864, Daviess County Indiana.
Place of Burial:

Ebenezer Cemetery, Daviess County Indiana.

Picture Courtesy of Jim Murphy
(Jim cleaned the stone in 2008)

Eli McCarty's Grave Stone reads:
(Note:  Some of the dates on the stone are inaccurate)

Eli McCarty
Captain of Co.G
42 Regiment
Nov. 26, 1826
Oct. 3, 1864
By Eight Peace Democrats
while notifying drafted men
He enlisted in the service of his
Country, Sept. 23, 1860, was wou-
nded at the Battle of Perryville,
Ky, Oct. 8, 1861. Resigned Mar.16,
1862. He was a Volunteer and 
served in the Mexican War.

Military History: Organized a company of men in Daviess County that became the 42nd Indiana, Co. G.  Captain Eli McCarty was wounded in the Battle of Perryville and was later discharged due to disability.  See details below
Comments: Capt. McCarty was murdered on October 3, 1864, while serving as a draft officer in Daviess County.  See details below.

The McCarty G.A.R. Post No. 251, which was located in Alfordsville, Daviess County, IN, was named in honor of Capt. McCarty.

Cousin of Pvt. David A. McCarty, 42nd Indiana, Co. G.
Submitter of Information: Kes Truelove, Shellee Anderson, Jim Murphy, Tim Beckman

Indiana Historical Marker of Burial Site of Capt. Eli McCarty,
Ebenezer Cemetery, Daviess County, Indiana.  This cemetery is located 
on Indiana SR 257 about 1 mile north of the White River bridge.
Indiana Historical Marker ID Number: 14.1993.1


Biography of Captain Eli McCarty
Submitted By Shellee Anderson

Eli McCarty was born in 1827 in Daviess County, Indiana to James and Elizabeth McCarty. He married Louisa Allen on February 18, 1857 in Daviess County. Louisa was the daughter of Charles and Sarah V. Lundy Allen and was born January 1, 1840 in Alfordsville, Daviess County, Indiana. They had four daughters, all born in Daviess County, Emma R. (1858), Clara Ellen (1859), Delila (1861), and Hatty B. (1863).

Captain Eli McCarty volunteered for and helped to organize Company G 42nd Regiment Indiana Infantry Volunteers on Friday September 27, 1861, and reported for duty at Evansville. The company was known as McCarty's Company and he was elected captain. His cousin, David A. McCarty among other relatives and friends joined this company. Eli is described as being 5'5 " tall with a sandy complexion, grey eyes, and dark hair. 

In Oct 1862 Eli was wounded by a bullet striking the top of his shoulder just behind the clavicle and coming out near the inferior angle of the scapula during the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky. He was discharged for medical reasons on May 16, 1863 and returned to Daviess County where he was appointed draft officer when the 1864 draft laws were passed. Eli's job was to notify the men to be drafted in the 1864 draft.

The following is taken from Daviess County Indiana, History, V.2, by L. Rex Myers.  pp 58-59.

"On the morning of Oct. 3, 1864, Captain McCarty, draft officer, left his home to execute the orders given to him to notify drafted men. On Oct. 3, 1864, Captain McCarty notified Samuel and Thornton Slicer, Jr., sons of Thornton Slicer, Sr., of their being drafted. As McCarty left Samuel Slicer warned, "I will see you later, McCarty!" McCarty proceeded on his way to the home of William Jackson, who lived where Clarence Hornaday now, 1975, owns land, for dinner. McCarty appeared uneasy abut his next stop and Jackson sensed his apprehension. Jackson even offered to accompany McCarty that afternoon but McCarty declined the offer. McCarty left after dinner and proceeded alone on his way to fulfill his duty.

"McCarty next stopped at the home of William Madden and notified James Nash who was chopping wood near William Madden's barn. Nash didn't approve of the movement to resist the draft even though he was a peace democrat. A peace democrat believed in the Union but opposed the war to keep it together. While James Nash was being notified of his draft, two draft opponents were hiding in Madden's barn. The two men hiding in the barn were Samuel Slicer and Hillary Madden, who certainly did not intend to be drafted, and were determined to kill the notifying draft officer, in this case McCarty.

"McCarty left the Madden farm, not realizing he was being watched, and proceeded eastward down the road that now passes Harold Jackman's home and then turned northward, a road went that direction along the present fence line, to see two young men named Macaboy but none of the family was at home.

"In the meantime, Slicer and Madden came out of Madden's barn, jumped the fences and headed across the fields to head off McCarty in an ambush. McCarty then proceeded down the road, that now passes Donald and Noble Edwards house -1975, which was then woods on both sides. Apparently John Macaboy, age 18, was standing on a slight elevation of ground, near a dead white oak tree and behind a thick clump of bushes, unseen by McCarty. Macaboy shot McCarty with a rifle in the right shoulder. The rifle ball passed obliquely down through the lungs and severed the main artery near the heart. McCarty, a very strong man, rode on about 50 yards or more and then fell from his little black horse, mortally wounded. Other shots were also fired by the eight other Knights also hidden in ambush.

"Jackson was chopping wood near his home when he heard a rifle shot from the direction McCarty was headed. McCarty's horse with its empty bloody saddle soon galloped down the road past Jackson. One of the assassins came back to Nash and exclaimed, "By ___, we have killed him and if you peach upon us we'll serve you the same way." Nash was thus warned that the same thing would happen to him if Nash tried to stop them. The assassins finally captured McCarty's horse. McCarty's body was buried or hidden in a rush pile, apparently black berry bushes, in the woods where his revolver holster and belt were later found. The assassins kept the horse tied up in the woods until dark. When it was safe, the killers either put the body across the saddle or drug the body on a sled through a cornfield to the river bank where one of the deepest holes in the White River was located. The area used was on the East Fork of the White River at a place called Green's Bend on the Ballow farm. The body had apparently been dragged over the uneven ground to the river bank a distance of about two miles from where the murder had occurred. The body was then weighted down with a 100 pound stone tied with ropes that even fastened to a big palmetto hat used to hold the stone and then thrown into the river. The horse was then set free.

"Before too long, news spread that Captain McCarty had been hurt or even worse. A few hours later, Dr. John S. Mitchell, captain of the home guards in the community and his son, R.S. Mitchell, Mitchell's 13 year old son a drummer boy in the home guards, received word of the crisis. Dr. Mitchell contacted William Wood of the Veale Township guards and ordered Wood to report to Hudsonville with the Veale Twp. Company of 100 men. Dr. Smith, in the meantime, went to Washington and by telegram contacted Governor Morton. Governor Morton authorized Mitchell to make such arrests as might be thought advisable if McCarty's suspected murder was confirmed.

"Soon afterward, news spread that McCarty was hurt or worse to an even wider area. The next morning, McCarty's horse was found along the Pennyville Road. When McCarty failed to return to the Alfordsville Post Office by the next day, the search was begun in earnest.

"The entire county became alarmed and a posse was formed. Two hundred men, including home guards, soldiers on furlough and private citizens gathered at Hudsonville the next morning. The road leading from High Rock to the home of James W. Porter at a point on the river near Pennyville was placed under patrol by the guards and citizens. Arrangements were made by the posse searching for McCarty to fire a shot as a signal when any clue to McCarty's whereabouts was found.

"The assassins captured McCarty's horse while the posse was being formed at Porter's and sunk the body in the river. Several persons in the area were known to be Southern sympathizers and likely suspects to commit such a crime. The exact number of those arrested is in dispute but shortly 25 or 30 suspects were arrested. The arrested suspects were taken to Porter's house and held as prisoners. Some of the suspects were taken to Porter's house and held as prisoners. Some of the suspects were taken to Washington for a preliminary trial but their guilt could not be proven for a lack of evidence. Those acquitted were allowed to return home under guard. A deputy U.S. marshall arrived at Porter's house to aid in the investigation. The marshall then proceeded to form his own search posse.

"The Porter home became the Raymond Armes' home eventually.

"About the same time those suspects who had been put on trial at Washington returned to Porter's house where more bad news arrived. A search party had found McCarty's horse and drops of blood on the road leading to the river, plus drops of blood on the weeds near the river where McCarty's body had been hidden prior to dumping into the river at Green's Bend located on the Ballow farm.

"About 3 p.m. a single shot was fired from a point 3/4 mile from Jackson's home. Richard Clark of the searching party had found Captain McCarty's revolver holster and belt on top of some blackberry bushes in the woods. When the search continued, it was soon discovered the murderers had dragged the body through a cornfield on a sled to the river bank where one of the deepest holes in White River was located.

"Dr. John S. Mitchell volunteered to dive into the deep water in search of the body. On his first dive, he reported that he had found either a log or a man's body on the river bottom about 20' deep. A long pole was obtained and strong fish hooks were attached to it. The object on the river bottom proved to be the body of Captain Eli McCarty. A runner arrived at Porter's house, when the cleared suspects arrived, with news of the discovery of McCarty's body.

"The testimony of some of the accused developed glaring contradictions as to their whereabouts and occupations on the day of the murder. One of the accused, Charles Mallory, weakened and turned state's evidence against his fellow conspirators. Mallory began to accuse and implicate several others as being involved in McCarty's murder. Apparently some of the guilty had been brazen enough to have been bragging about their roles in the murder. Of those accused by Mallory, the following were taken to Indianapolis and found guilty by the military commission for draft resistance: John Macaboy, Daniel Scales, William Whitesides, Washington Hederich, and Yokum Scott. The convicted were sentenced to the penitentiary. Whitesides and Hedrick died before beginning their terms. The others served their six years of sentence and were released. Apparently many local patriots of the county felt that the convicted got off too easily and should have been lynched and be done with it. A large force of home guards placed around the jail kept the lynching from occurring.

"The Slicer boys, Samuel and Thornton Jr. considered by many just as guilty, and Hillary Madden also considered guilty, escaped and headed West where they joined Quantrill's guerilla band. After the Civil War ended, the Slicer boys and Madden moved to California where Goodspeed's 1886 DC history reported them to be living. Goodspeed reported them in the southwest part of Missouri also.

"According to folklore of the time, the younger men of the county wanted to simply hang everyone believed to be involved and not waste time with a military trial, jury and etc. Apparently no one was ever convicted of actually having fired the fatal shot. McCarty's body was laid in state in the south window of the Charles Allen family home, his father-in-law's residence. Captain McCarty was buried in Ebenezer Cemetery located on the northeast corner of Hwy 257S and Road 750S. For many months after the murder, Mrs. Louise McCarty, the widow, insisted that her husband's murderer's names be placed upon the grave marker. Instead of actually placing the killers' names on the monument, the term, "Eight Peace Democrats" was substituted."

Southern Reeve Township was a hotbed for pro southern activity, especially around the "High Rock" area that was on the White River. Eli had been warned by some of the Knights of the Golden Circle to stay away from that area and not to serve any papers. 

Another account states that Louisa Allen McCarty settled on the statement "Murdered by the Knights of the Golden Circle" for the headstone of her husband instead of the names of all the murderers. Louisa died the following year on November 26, 1865. The orphaned daughters were raised by their grandparents, Charles and Sarah V. Lundy Allen.


Return to the 42nd Bios, M - N

Return to the 42nd Bios Home Page


This Page was Last Edited on October 29, 2008