jrbakerjr  Genealogy   

Jasper County, Missouri

In The Civil War 


Complete Book - Transcribed
Page One
Page One
CHAPTER I - Days of '61
CHAPTER II - 1862—In the Pathway of the Armies
CHAPTER III - 1863—Guerrilla Warfare and Shelby's Raid
Page Two
CHAPTER IV - 1864—Guerrilla Warfare Continued—Prices' Raid
CHAPTER V - 1865—The Coming of Peace
Note: The page numbers have been retained so the original index can be used.


Jasper County, Missouri, in the Civil War











To the soldiers of Jasper County, Missouri, who during the great civil war fought for the cause that they believed to be right; to the men and the women  who called Jasper County their home during that trying period, and to all soldiers, union or confederate, who honorably served on Jasper County soil, this volume is respectfully dedicated.



It is in an attempt to perpetuate the memory of the events of the civil war in Jasper county and to gather and preserve in something of a permanent and easily accessible from the records of the deeds, heroism and hardships of the soldiers and civilians in this county during those four trying years that this history has been compiled. Various county histories have touched briefly on the civil war in this locality but to the best of my knowledge this is the first attempt to give a detailed and, as far as possible, a complete history of it.


As will be seen from a perusal of its pages the work is based mainly on an exhaustive study of all of the official records of the operations of the union and confederate armies in this section of the country. The .compilation has been done with great care and it is believed that every pertinent point mentioned in the records has been covered herein. In addition to the

published war department records all books available on the subject have been consulted and material gathered from all of them. Prominent among those referred to are the F. A. North "History of Jasper County," published in 1883, Judge M. G. McGregor's "Biographical History of Jasper County," published in 1901, Joel T. Livingston's "History of Jasper County" published in 1912, "Shelby and His Men" by John N. Edwards, "The Fight for Missouri" by Thomas L. Snead, "Quantrill and the Border Wars," by William E. Connelly, "Organization and Status of Missouri Troops (Union and Confederate) in Service During the Civil War" by the pension and records office of the War Department, "The Civil War on the Border" by Wiley Britton, and a number of state histories, encyclopedias and other books.


Special acknowledgment should be made to all of the persons interviews with whom appear herein and to the Carthage Press in whose columns many of the interviews have been published during the past ten years. One or two of these were originally written by W. J. Sewall, several by George H. Sewall and some by the compiler of this book. Other of these interviews are here presented for the first time. Acknowledgment should also be made to Major Fred W. Manchester, of the office of the adjutant general of Missouri, who made available considerable information regarding organization of state troops, and to the Carthage library through which certain books, otherwise inaccessible, were secured.


Partisan bands serving the south are spoken of in this volume as guerrillas. It should be understood that the word "guerrilla" does not carry any sense of opprobrium in itself. It merely means one who is not a member of a regular military organization and who carries on guerrilla warfare. Confederate officers frequently speak of the Missouri partisans as guerrillas and in some sections of the country there were federal guerrillas. For instance the Kentuckians that mortally wounded and captured Quantrill were known as "Terrill's Federal Guerrillas." The word "bushwhacker" mayor may not be used in a degratory sense. It seems to carry the sense of one who fights from ambush or concealment. Letters written by confederate officers and appearing in the official records occasionally refer to the Missouri guerrillas as "our brave bushwhackers." The word was sometimes applied to federals by the confederates.


Thus we find a guerrilla captain during a skirmish north of Avilla denouncing Captain T. J. Stemmons as a "bushwhacker" because he had fired upon the guerrilla band from ambush, and confederate officers of Price's army report that "one Captain Christian, a notorious federal bushwhacker" was killed at Newtonia October 28, 1864. One union general uses the word as a term of praise, referring to Major Milton J. Burch, Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, as "that gallant soldier and able bushwhacker." To prevent confusion the word has been used in this history as little as possible. When it appears in an unquoted portion of the text it refers to a member of one of the less organized bands of guerrillas. When used in the quoted portion it is sometimes used in this sense and sometimes is used in referring to any guerrilla.


This volume does not mean to espouse or criticize either party during the struggle dealt with. It sincerely endeavors to narrate the simple facts from an absolutely disinterested viewpoint. Viewpoints. of participants in the events mentioned are of course different and it is so that the reader may get a proper perspective that so many direct quotations from the official

records are used. A union officer cannot be expected to see events and their meaning in exactly the same light as an officer of the southern army and even though the official reports may be assumed to be written with a careful regard to accuracy this difference of viewpoints should be taken into account.


That occasional mistakes appear may be expected although an earnest effort has been made to avoid them. Most errors will probably be found to be errors of omission, for the records are of course far from complete, many of the reports and part of the official correspondence having been lost before it was gathered up by the government and published. I will appreciate

hearing from anyone who discovers errors in this volume or who can supply additional material. If the sale of the book warrants a second edition the corrections will be made and the additional matter published in it. or it might be published as a separate pamphlet which would be a supplement to the book proper. If neither of these is possible it will be written up and deposited with some library where it may be available for the use of any person who, in the future, desires to investigate the civil war in Jasper county.



Back before the dawn of known American history -back before the white man came-the region which now includes Jasper County, Missouri, was the home of the Osages or Wa-Saw-See, the tallest race on the American continent, few of them less than six feet in heighth, many of them six and a half while others measured seven. A strong and warlike tribe they ranged from the Missouri river on the north to the Arkansas on the south, and from a short distance west of the Mississippi on the east to what is now about the center of Oklahoma where commenced the territories of the fierce Comanches with whom they were constantly fighting.


The country in the vicinity of North Fork, Spring river, Center creek, Shoal creek, Indian creek and the Cowskin was known to the Indians as "the country of the six bulls," and through these regions, teeming with game of all kinds including deer, wild turkey, prairie chicken and even buffalo, they roamed, their bark and reed wigwams having set at one time or another in

almost every sheltered nook along. the various water courses. Even today a casual walk through such spots will reveal numerous fragments of arrow heads, broken in the making-a reasonably sure sign that at one time an Indian village set here.


The head of each Osage warrior was shaved with the exception of a tuft of hair about the size of the palm of a man's hand. This was worn about two inches long with the exception of a lock in the center which was cultivated to the greatest possible length, braided and carefully secured. This was the scalp lock, the prize of any enemy who could take it in battle. In the

shorter hair was fastened a crest of deer's tail or of horse hair dyed red, and this was frequently surmounted by a feather of the war eagle. The heads of the warriors were flat in the back and abnormally high on top, a pecularity caused when they were babies by having their heads bound to the board on which they were carried strapped to their mother's backs, this being done deliberately to "push the head out in front and make a bold and manly appearance." The ears were pierced and hung with wampun and ornament; wampum and crimson beads were around the neck; the arms and wrists were encircled with silver bands. The men went naked to the waist except in cold weather, at which time buffalo robes were worn. Breech cloths, leggins and moccasins completed the costume, the leggins fringed where possible with the scalps of slain enemies, while below the knee were garters heavily decorated with wampum and beads. The women wore more flowing garments of dressed skins, some of them beautifully ornamented. The weapons of the Osage warrior consisted of bow and arrow, lance and shield, war club, tomahawk and scalping knife.


The Osages did not live entirely on the products of the chase although meat was naturally their main article of diet. Each year they raised small crops of corn, beans and pumpkins which they cultivated in the simplest possible manner with the hoe. These crops were planted in April and given one dressing before the Indians left for their summer hunt in May. About

the first week in August they returned to their villages to gather the crops which had been left unfenced and entirely untended all this time. In September they set out on the fall hunt which lasted until about Christmas after which they went back to their villages and stayed close to them all of the period of severe weather. In February or March they went on the spring hunt, first for bear and then for beaver. In April the crops were again planted, either near the old village or at some new site chosen. In addition to meat and the crops mentioned, the Osages derived a portion of their subsistence from the wild fruits of the country-persimmons, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, grapes, plums, paw paws, hog potatoes and even acorns, the latter ground and mixed with buffalo grease.


No one knows just when the Osages came in contact with the white men for the first time but there is a tradition that Ferdinand De Soto in his wanderings came through this country. This story finds some confirmation in the fact that the earliest white men of whom there is a record, found the ground disturbed in places as if there had been an attempt made at mining and this naturally suggests that the Spanish in their search for precious metals might have done it. On the other hand it may have been the work of the Indians.


One legend about the country is that in the administration of Charles Dehault Delassus, the last of the Spanish governors of the territory west of the Mississippi, a party of Spanish adventurers and fortune hunters set out from St. Louis for Mexico on a trading expedition, passing en route through the country of the six bulls. The expedition seems to have been a success- ful one and on the return the party again traversed this region, camping awhile to recuperate at a spring near the present site of Sarcoxie. Here a war party of Osages assailed them so fiercely that most of the Spaniards were slain, only a few cutting their way out of the swarm of savages and making their way to St. Louis with their tale of disaster. For years there were rumors that the treasure that the Spanish brought from Mexico were buried near the spring where they stopped to rest-the last resting place for so many of them-but searches have failed to reveal any trace of it.


In 1803 the country, which had originally been French, then Spanish, then French again, was transferred to the United States as a part of the Louisiana purchase and soon afterwards the Indians began to feel the pressure of the westward-pushing civilization of the white man. As yet there were none of the strangers in the land of the six bulls but the American

government, seeing that the time was soon coming when this land would be needed, negotiated a treaty with the Indians in 1807 by which they were to move west of a line which roughly bisected what is now the western tier of counties in Missouri. Although agreeing to the treaty the Osages seem to have paid scant attention to the line, hunting and living east of it part

of the time.


Along about this time there came to the savages a white man by the name of Edmund Jennings. He made friends with the Indians and lived with· them about fifteen years, then returned to his home in Ten· nessee, clad in skins, and told of the beautiful country of the six bulls where he had dwelled so long with the Osages. His glowing stories aroused the pioneer spirit

of the Tennesseans and after several years a considerable number emigrated from Jenning's neighborhood and came to what later became Jasper county, Missouri. By 1820, the year of Missouri statehood, the Osages who had been much reduced in numbers by the smallpox and by their endless wars with the Commanches and "the Sioux, had split into four tribes, all of which seemed to get along peaceably together and all of which traversed to a greater or lesser extent the valleys of Spring river, North Fork, Center Creek and Turkey creek. The great Osages of the Osage river who numbered 1,200 souls, including 350 warriors, hunted through here occasionally although their usual haunts were along the Osage river; the Osages of the Neosho were more at home in this region and their villages were frequently along the streams of what is now Jasper county. There were about 400 of them, including 100 fighting men. The tribe of the Little Osages consisted of about 1,000 people, including 300 warriors, and they generally lived along the Neosho river although they frequently made hunting trips along Spring river and Center creek. Far to the southward along the Arkansas river resided the Chaneers or Arkansas Osages and they too now and then sent hunting parties as far north as this.


In 1824 a new treaty was made with the Osages and by its ter,ms they relinquished all claims to Missouri and withdrew west of the state line. Other tribes had been moved from the eastward by the government and taken to the Indian Territory so that now not only the Osage hunting parties passed through this country from time to time but also those of the Quapaws, Cherokees and Shawnees. No white man yet resided in this region although groups of hunters sometimes traversed it.


In 1831 began the influx of the rifle armed pioneers who meant to make this country their home, and did. First came Thacker Vivion and settled near what is  now Sarcoxie. Others followed, mostly from Tennessee, Kentucky and other southern states but some from Indiana or her sister states of the north. The wooded valleys resounded with the ring of the axe; log cabins arose in the clearings; stake and rider fences meandered around freshly cultivated fields; teams of oxen hauled grain to newly erected grist mills. The white man had come to stay. Most of the settlements were in the eastern part of the county, .for the Indians were still prone to intrude in the west. Sarcoxie was founded- named after the Osage chief "Rising Sun."


But the year 1837 had not been a good year for the Osages in Kansas and down in the territory. Their crops had not done well and they thought with longing of their old homes in the country of the six bulls. They had no cause nor any especial desire for war with the whites but they decided to return to the land of their fathers. The Missourians were few and they were

many. The dragoons of the great white father were a handful in numbers and far to the north. The Osages became loud and boastful and to the number of some hundreds, armed with guns, crossed the border of Missouri. The Indians were coming. From clearing to clearing, from cabin to cabin, the word flashed. The rifle and the axe-ever the weapons of the American pioneer- were kept close at hand but partly for lack of anywhere to go the heroic settlers stayed by their new homes. The Indians were coming. The word sped to Jefferson City as fast as horseflesh could carry it until it reached the ears of Governor Lilburn W. Boggs, the hard fisted veteran of the war of 1812 who guided the destiny of the state. Governor Boggs called out the militia and 500 mounted riflemen were soon riding southward through the western tier of counties.


Meanwhile the threatened war had not developed like most such affairs had in the past. Numerous petty depredations were committed but apparently the Osages had not themselves decided definitely what to do. Several hundred camped on Spring river awaiting events, not believing that a force of any size could be brought against them. All the way to the Missouri

river small parties of Indians had crossed the border but they were overawed by the 500 militiamen-a very strong expedition for the time-and either fled back across the border again or were captured and escorted back with threats and warnings. General Samuel D. Lucas, commanding the militia, halted on the Marmitaw river and sent three companies of his force under

General William B. Almond to Spring river against the savages there. This was the largest band of Indians yet encountered but like their kinsmen to the north the Osages here were astonished that the whites of whom they had seen so few could muster so many warriors. Some of the aborigines slipped back across the state line. A full two hundred surrendered without firing a shot and General Almond conducted them to the borxv del', then released them with many a dire threat of what would be done if they dared to return. After this

the militiamen marched back north and were mustered out.


A few weeks later the Indians began to slip back into the country and Governor Boggs called out the militia once more. This time the troops came from Springfield to Sarcoxie, five companies of them under Brigadier General A. F. Nall. The Osages, mindful of Almond's threats, did not wait their coming but fled back across the border forthwith. The state troopers

stopped awhile at Sarcoxie, then moved northeast and were mustered out at Bolivar. This ended what is known officially in the state records as the Osage war and which has frequently been referred to in jest as the "Sarcoxie war," that being the furtherest point reached by Nall's expedition. This "war" was a bloodless sort of affair but it was more important than many

a more sanguinary Indian conflict in which many lives were lost. The Indians had been taught a lesson and never seriously menaced the settlers again. The development of the west edge of Missouri dated from the Osage war.


By 1840 the white settlers in the country were becoming numerous and the following year Jasper county was officially organized, the county seat being established at Carthage. The next twenty years formed a period of peace and progress-then came a real war.


Jasper County, Missouri in the Civil War



Days of '61

Jasper county at the beginning of 1861, although a new country, was a prosperous and rapidly growing one, checkered with fertile fields and dotted with happy homes. The last census report had given the population as 6,883 of whom 350 were slaves. The largest towns were Carthage and Sarcoxie, the former having about 500 residents and the latter 400. Both of these places had a number of good buildings. The third largest town in the county was Sherwood which was destroyed during the course of the war and never rebuilt. This town was located on the southwest quarter of section 18, township 28, range 33 which is about two miles west and two miles north of the northwest corner of the present day Joplin and two miles south and a half mile west of the present site of Carl Junction. Sherwood had a population estimated as high as 250, had several good store buildings and a brick school house was in course of erection when the war broke out. It was an important point for trading with the Indians and during the four years of conflict some of the fiercest of the guerrilla fighting in this section was carried on around it. Next to Sherwood in importance came Minersville, Avilla, Medoc and Preston, the population of the first two being estimated at about 100 each and the latter two at 50 each. There is some difference in opinion about Avilla, some stating that the place consisted


mainly of the post office and store run by D. S. Holman and that 100 is considerably in excess of the probable number of inhabitants. Minersville, now known as Oronogo, was, as its name indicated, a mining town. Preston had two stone store buildings and several frame houses. Medoc had several stores and other buildings. Another village was Fidelity, a small place south of Carthage. In addition to the towns or villages named there were several isolated stores, the most noted being Merrick's Post, three miles north of the present site of Smithfield. The principal industry of the county was, of course, farming. Mining operations had begun at several points, the most notable of these being on Turkey creek where Joplin now stands. William Tingle, formerly a prominent Sarcoxie merchant, had settled here and was mining lead. He also erected a lead smelter and a general store, calling the place Leadville. William T. Orchard and others were mining lead near Minersville while Thomas R. Livingston and his half brother, William Parkinson, had a mine, lead smelter and a general store two miles further west at what was known as French Point on Center creek. There was one newspaper in the county, The Southwest News, published at Carthage by C. C. Dawson and

apparently reaching most of this part of the state. Its : motto was "Independent in all things, neutral in nothing." One copy of this paper-the issue of March 29, 1861, is extant and is now hanging framed in double glass in the Carthage library. Its columns afford an interesting insight into the spirit of the day. It con-


tains little news but has reprints of various speeches, one delivered in the legislature by Senator James S. "Rains of Sarcoxie, protesting against the adjournment of the legislature at that time in view of the impending political crisis. One editorial states "Abraham Lincoln is six feet four in physical stature and four feet six in mental stature." Long resolutions adopted by a meeting of citizens in Dade county are printed, the Dade county committee having urged the secession of Missouri and promising to welcome northern invaders with "bloody hands to hospitable graves." The advertisements. also show something of the times. One new merchant, John J. Johnston, had a display space head "SHERWOOD SECEDED. GREAT EXCITEMENT," following it up with an announcement that he and his store had seceded from Sherwood and were now in Carthage at the old Cravens stand where they had on hand a complete line of cook stoves, castings, etc. An advertisement by George W. Broome announced that he had some valuable land for sale in the Spring river bottoms northwest of Sherwood, including one 600 acre farm and one 300 acre farm, 100 acres of the latter being in cultivation. "Negroes will be taken in payment for the above land at the highest cash price," the advertisement concluded. Parkinson, Long & Co., of French Point, gave a message of confidence and reassurance by announcing that they were continuing to ship pig lead despite the uncertain condition of affairs. "We take this method of informing teamsters of this and adjoining counties,"


the advertisements states, "that we have on hand 1,200 pigs of lead to be shipped to Boonville, Syracuse, Tipton or Jefferson City and expect to continue smelting so that waggoners can be supplied. with loads at any time at custom prices."

Feelings on the political questions of the day were very strong in Jasper county at this time, three distinct parties being in evidence. There were the unconditional union men-a small minority who favored standing unreservedly for the union. Prominent in this party were Norris C. Hood, Archibald McCoy, Dr. J. M. Stemmons, John Crow, Samuel B. LaForce and others.

Next was the conditional union men whose local leader was Judge John R. Chenault. This party believed in staying with the union unless the northern states tried to force the southern states back into the union by force of arms. In that case the conditional union men were in favor of joining the south. The third party, and the one having the overwhelming majority, was the secessionists, advocating the immediate secession of Missouri from the union to join the states of the confederacy. Leaders in this party was A. J. Fallion, Thomas R. Livingston, C. C. Dawson, Senator James S. Rains and C. C. Cravens. The pro-slavery party was especially strong in Sarcoxie and this town had always taken the keenest interest in the long political fight which had been waged in the United. States between the slavery men and the rapidly increasing element in favor of the abolition of this system of involuntary servitude. It is


said that in 1858 at the time of the Missouri-Kansas trouble a Kansas school teacher was hired to teach in the Sarcoxie schools. He was a strong abolitionist and insisted on reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to his pupils and in other ways pointing out the evils of slavery. He would not resign when asked to do so and later when a delegation of citizens called upon him and ordered him to leave town he refused. He was then seized, taken to the woods and tarred and feathered, after which proceeding he returned to Kansas. The story goes that during the war he came back to Sarcoxie as a member of a regiment of union soldiers and quietly took revenge for his mistreatment by burning down the village school house. In the early spring of 1861 military companies were formed all over the county, and the tramp of drilling men preparing for the struggle that they sensed was coming could be heard in almost every town and village. The first organization that was formed seems to have been at Sarcoxie. where a company of eighty men was raised as early as March 1, later going into the state service, thence into the confederate army. Senator Rains of Sarcoxie was made a brigadier general in the state guard. In Carthage, Medoc, Minersville, Sherwood and possibly other points companies were formed. The one at Carthage was known as "The Border Rangers" and in the Southwest News for March 29, heretofore quoted, appears this item

"The Border Rangers drill every Saturday from this on. Let everyone be at his post tomorrow as there is important business to transact."


The Medoc Company, which was known as the "Border Guards," was organized principally for home defense, the condition of the public mind indicating 10 that a time was rapidly approaching when life and property would not be safe. S. J. Talbot, who had been running a saw-mill where Galesburg now stands and who was known as a strong southern  sympathizer, was elected captain; James A. Hunter, an unconditional union man, first lieutenant, while for second lieutenant Ii was chosen either A. F. Clanton or Tip Margraves. Iii

Authorities differ on this. Each Saturday the members of the "Border Guards" assembled at Medoc and a vigorous drill with wooden sabers followed, the organization preparing to be a cavalry unit.  This continued for some weeks until after actual  military operations had started in the east. Then there came to Medoc one drill day a delegation consisting of Judge John R. Chenault, John B. Dale and B. F. Johnson. They made speeches in favor of Missouri definitely aligning herself with the confederacy, finishing by urging the amateur cavalrymen to enter the state service and draw arms. Now the state government was well known to lean toward the cause of the south, but a considerable party of the company, headed by Lieutenant Hunter, preferred to stay under the United States flag. The majority, however, were ardent secessionists and enthusiastically received the delegation's suggestion, Captain Talbot announcing that he would immediately take the step urged. A general split followed and the "Border Guard" had held its last drill in its original form. The mem-


bers who had declared themselves in favor of the union found it advisable to leave the country, most of them going to Kansas and enlisting with the troops from that state, many joining the Sixth Kansas Cavalry which before long included quite a few Jasper county men. Others left the country entirely, returning to the states from which they had come and enlisting in the

companies from their old home towns. Among these latter was Lieut. Hunter who took his mother and a younger brother back to Indiana to a point of safety and then enlisted as a private in Company I, Second Indiana Cavalry with which unit he served throughout the war. The southern men of the "Border Guard" stayed with the organization, later going into the state

guard. During this time a confederate flag, the first to be raised in Missouri, was flying at Sarcoxie. It had been in existence for some weeks prior to the capture of Fort Sumter in April 1861 and when word was received of this first act of the war it was hoisted to the top of a tall pole and floated there, it is said, until in early July. Then the flag was taken down and federal

troops passing through the town cut down the flag pole and burned it. Meanwhile important events were transpiring elsewhere. On May 10 a considerable portion of the Missouri

Istate militia, which had gathered in St. Louis "for training" and which union men believed was meant to seize the St. Louis arsenal for the south, was captured by a strong force of federal volunteers under


Captain Nathaniel Lyon. This was the first act of open war in this state. Missouri at once began to arm, the formation of the new military force known as the state guard being begun. After a temporary truce which ended June 11, Lyon, now a general, led a column of federal troops to Boonville where he scattered a hastily assembled force of the state guard on June

17. At the same time he sent a strong force under Brigadier General Thomas W. Sweeny to Springfield to hold that part of the state and to prevent the newly organized state guard from escaping to the south. Following the Boonville affair, Governor Claiborne F. Jackson started for the south with all the state guard that could be gathered up, and Sweeny at Springfield

ordered Col. Franz Sigel and a force of U. S. Volunteers who were in or near the border tier of counties to cut him off.

Sigel left a company of 94 men at Neosho to hold this town against the confederates who were gathering near the Missouri-Arkansas border and with the remainder marched to Carthage, camping at the springs, now known as Carter springs, at the east edge of town on the night of July 4. Here he was visited soon after dark by several union citizens who gave him valuable information about the southern forces. The same night Governor Jackson, his army augmented by a strong force from southwest Missouri commanded by I General James S. Rains, camped about 18 miles to the ( north. It seems probable that the company raised in Sarcoxie was with Rains.


Colonel Monroe, quartermaster of General M. M. Parson's division of the state guard, had been sent on south by his chief to Carthage to obtain subsistence and forage. Just after sundown a mounted man rode up to Parson's headquarters at the state camp and reported that Monroe at Carthage was menaced by a superior force of federals and asked that reinforcements be sent to him. This was the first intimation that the state guard had that there was an enemy in its front. Parsons immediately ordered his men to be ready to move at 10 p. m., intending to make a night march to Monroe's relief. Governor Jackson, however, as soon as he learned of Parsons news and the action he proposed to take, very wisely  countermanded the order for a move that night and gave instructions that the entire state army should move south as a unit early the next morning. A clash between the two forces were now inevitable. Jackson's object was to make his way to the south where his untrained force could be organized and drilled into shape. Sigel's object was to destroy or scatter Jackson's army and in this he probably hoped to be aided by General Lyon who he erroneously thought was following immediately in the governor's rear.

The union column consisted of nine companies of  the Third Missouri Infantry, 550 men; seven companies of the Fifth Missouri Infantry, 400 men, and two batteries of artillery, 4 guns each, 150 men-a total force of 1,100. Col. Sigel was an old German soldier, exper-


ienced in war, and many of his men were also veterans. His soldiers were well trained and disciplined for this. period of the war and the infantry was armed with the 69 calibre rifle musket, an efficient weapon. The state troops were organized as follows: Second and Eighth Divisions Missouri State Guard, Brigadier General James S. Rains. First brigade-Col. Richard H. Weightman. Capt. Hiram Bledsoes' battery, one 12- pounder and two 6-pounders 40 Capt. F. M. McKinney's infantry detachment


Col. John R. Graves independent infantry regiment 271

Third regiment infantry-Col. Edgar V. Hurst 521

Lt. Col. W. S. O'Kane's battalion of infantry 350

Cavalry Companies A, Band H, Third Cavalry, and Captain Stone's and Captain Owens' companies-Col. R. Y. L. Peyton 115

First battalion independent cavalry-Col. James McCown 250

One battalion, Fourth Cavalry, Lt. Col. Richard A. Vaughn 200

Capt. Jo Shelby's rangers 43

Miscellaneous 6

Total armed in Rain's divisions 1812


An unknown number of unarmed men.

Third Division Missouri State Guard, Brig. General John B. Clark, Infantry under Col. J. Q. Burbidge, Lt. Col. Edwin Price and Major John B. Clark, Jr., (First Division) 365

Fourth Division, Missouri State Guard, Brig. Gen. William Y. Slack. Col. B. A. Rives cavalry regiment 500

Col. John T. Hughes regiment and Major J. C. Thornton's Bn. Infantry 700

Sixth Division, Brigadier General Monroe M. Parsons. Infantry under Colonel Kelley and Major Dills; Col. Ben Brown's cavalry regiment; 1 battery of four brass six-pounders 650


The armed total thus probably consisted of over 4,000 men, in addition to which there were 2,000 or more unarmed.

Some of the officers and men had served in the Mexican war with Price and Doniphan but the vast majority were recruits whom there had been no opportunity to train. The men of the First regiment which came from around Jefferson City were equipped with effective rifles which had been purchased some time previously in St. Louis and with supplies which had


been received in Jefferson City. The troops from Clay county, who are said to have been well trained and disciplined, were armed with weapons taken from the United States arsenal at Liberty, but the larger part of Governor Jackson's force had only common hunting rifles-not a mean weapon in the hands of men who knew how to use them-and shot-guns. A considerable number of mounted men had only pistols. Most of the artillery had been taken from the arsenal at Liberty although the twelve-pounder-"Old Sacramento"-had been captured by Doniphan in his Mexican campaign. Few of Jackson's men had uniforms, most of them going into battle in ordinary civilian dress and some of the officers wearing high "plug" hats. In the early morning of July 5 Colonel Sigel broke camp at Carthage and marched northward, Monroe's detachment of the state troops falling back before him.

A short distance north of Dry Fork and about eight miles north of Carthage his advance guard was held up by Captain Jo Shelby's company of the state guard. General Rain's column had left its camp at 4 a. m. that morning, Governor Jackson riding at its head, and when it came near the enemy, Shelby's rangers had been pushed out to cover the main body while it formed for action.

Sigel, finding his advance guard checked and sharply engaged, first sent two companies of infantry and two pieces of artillery to support it and then threw his whole force into line of battle except one cannon and one company of infantry which he left to guard his


baggage train and protect his rear. The state troops were by now also ready for battle, and Shelby, in accordance with orders, skillfully disengaged his company and fell back to the main line. The state troops had formed in line on a high ridge of prairie which sloped southward with undulations to the timbered-fringed creek about a mile and a quarter away. Sigel was on the lower ground facing north, and between the two armies were open fields with an occasional fence. The second battalion of the Third Missouri Infantry under the command of Major Henry Bischoff formed the left of the union line and next to it were posted four pieces of artillery. In the center were two battalions of the Fifth Missouri Infantry under Lieut. Col. Charles E. Saloman and Lieut. Col. Christian D. Wolff and next came three more pieces of artillery under Captain Christian Essig. The right was formed by the first battalion of the Third Missouri commanded by Lieut. Col. Francis Hassendeubel. General Rain's cavalry under Colonels McCown and Peyton and Lieut. Col. Vaughn formed the right of the state line and of these horsemen General Rains took personal command. Next came Col. Weightman's infantry brigade consisting of Col. Grave's infantry regiment, Capt. Hiram Bledsoe's battery of three pieces and Lieut. Col. O'Kanes infantry battalion. The Third Infantry under Colonel Edgar V. Hurst was not yet in line but was hurrying up as fast as possible. East of O'Kane was General Slack's infantry under Col. Hughes


next the four guns of General Parson's division under Capt. H. Guibor, then Parson's infantry under Colonel Kelley with the infantry of General Clark on its left. The extreme left of the line was formed by the cavalry commanded by Colonel Rives of Slack's division and Colonel Brown of Parson's division. Well to the rear the unarmed men with Governor Jackson were drawn up to give the appearance of a reserve and forming what Shelby called "the line of spectators." The action began with Sigel's artillery opening fire with round shot, shell, spherical case shot and grape. Parson's four brass six-pounders promptly returned the fire and Capt. Bledsoe's three guns immediately joined in. This artillery duel continued for a short time and then Capt. Guibor's battery ceased fire on account of a shortage of ammunition. Sigel, not unnaturally considering that these guns had been silenced, prepared to advance with his infantry. However one battery of his own artillery was complaining of a shortage of ammunition by this time and, what was more important, the state guard cavalry both on the left and the right were moving around his flanks in an effort to cut off his line of retreat. The union commander could no longer think of attack. His task from now on was to extricate his troops from their perilous position and escape from the superior forces which were closing around him. A portion of his artillery shifted fire to the menacing cavalry and the whole federal force began to fall back by successive stages to Dry Fork. Seeing this retire-


ment, the state guard infantry pushed forward. all along the line and the cavalry on the flanks continued on its encircling movement. Just south of Dry Fork, Colonel Sigel stationed Capt. Essig's battery in such a position as to command the ford. To the left of the battery one company of the Fifth regiment under Capt. Stephani was deployed while two companies of the Third regiment under Captains Dengler and Golmer held the right. Behind these front line companies were two companies of the Fifth regiment under Captain Stark and Meisner in immediate support.

The advancing battle line of the state guard soon came under fire from Sigel's new position and Bledsoe's battery at once unlimbered and hotly engaged Essig's four guns. The infantry pushed on down to the timber skirting the stream in an attempt to cross the movement of course being under a heavy fire. Passing through the timber, the infantry under O'Kane of Weightman's brigade, together with the men of Parson's and Clark's divisions, found themselves engaged in a brisk fire fight with the federals across the stream, at points the opposing lines being only forty or fifty yards apart. Graves' and Hurst's regiments on the right seem not to have been strongly opposed but were unable to find a place to cross the stream for

some time. Bledsoe's battery had a number of men disabled during this part of the action and the infantry on both sides suffered losses in killed and wounded, The state guard cavalry was meanwhile continuing to push around the union flank and the regiments of


Colonels Rives and Brown, which had worked around Sigel's right, formed behind Buck Branch squarely across his line of retreat. Rain's cavalry from the west was also closing in. It was high time for Sigel to move. With three companies of the Third regiment in front as an advance guard to break through the cavalry and _with two pieces of artillery and strong detachments of infantry out on each side as flank guards and with two companies under Lieut. Schickel as a rear guard he marched south, brushing aside the illy armed and poorly trained cavalry of Rives and Brown and continuing on toward Carthage.

As Sigel's column neared Spring river the cavalry of General Rains attempted to close in in front of his advance and prevent him from crossing. It was driven off to the west, however, and Sigel's rear guard made a brief stand on the high ground north of the stream, beyond where the lower bridge now is, to hold back the State Guard infantry until the union column had had

time to cross the river and the valley. South of the river, on the heights northwest of Carthage, the federals again took position, making sure of their line of retreat by sending Lieut. Col. Wolff and two pieces of artillery to the hills east of town to keep the Mount Vernon road open and to hold back Rives and Brown's horsemen who were crossing Spring river north of the city. Captain Cramer with two companies of the Fifth regiment was sent at the same time to hold the west side of the town against the cavalry which was working around in that direction.


As \Weightman's brigade crossed Spring river and emerged from the southern edge of the timber it was fired upon by the artillery in the federal positions northwest of the town. Graves' and Hursts' regiments were moved to the west to outflank this position and, soon after Sigel again withdrew, entered the town at about the same time as the infantry regiment of Colonel Hughes of Slack's division. A spirited fight ensued with the federal rear guard which had been ordered to hold the town long enough to give their wearied comrades in the main body a short time to rest. Sheltering themselves behind houses, walls and fences the union soldiers maintained their position for a time then retired fighting to new positions which other

units of Sigel's troops had taken up on the heights east of the city on a ridge southwest of where they had camped at the springs before. This was along where River street now runs.

The three pieces of Bledsoe's battery, which by now had passed through the city, went into action to answer Sigel's artillery which was already firing, and a few minutes later two of Captain Guibor's guns chimed in. The infantry previously engaged in the town, and now reinforced by Parson's division, advanced to the assault, but Sigel's main body was already

on the move again and after a brief brush in which the attackers suffered some losses his rear guard once more fell back, leaving the ridge to the state troops. Two of Sigel's wagons were abandoned in the town. Another short stand was made at the edge of the tim-


ber two miles farther on and then the tired infantry of the State Guard went into camp in and around Carthage. The cavalry hung on Sigel's rear until dark then abandoned the pursuit.

But there was no rest for Sigel's men despite the fact they had already marched over 18 miles and had been in battle for almost twelve hours. Taking advantage of the darkness, Sigel continued his move eastward, putting all the distance he could between himself and the superior forces of the enemy. It was well that he did so. Generals Ben McCulloch and Sterling Price, moving up from the south with 3,000 men to assist Jackson, joined the governor the next morning, and Sigel had escaped none too soon.

The company of 94 men that the Union commander had left at Neosho were prisoners, captured by the confederates as they advanced north. Sigel's total loss during the battle was 13 enlisted men killed and 2 officers and 29 enlisted men wounded. Five of the wounded were left on the field and captured by the state troops. The loss of Jackson's forces, as near as can be gleaned from the reports of the state guard officers, was 10 killed and 64 wounded, some of the latter dying from their injuries. The official tabulation at Washington gives the southern losses, as 35 killed, 125 wounded, 45 captured. Sigel's report does not mention the taking of any prisoners. The battle of Carthage was of course a victory for the state troops although at the time it was generally hailed in the north as a union success and even yet an


Occasional history so classifies it. The original object of Jackson's troops was to get to the south and join McCulloch and Price, and they succeeded. Sigel's original object was to destroy or disperse Jackson's force and he not only failed to accomplish that object -it was an impossible task with the forces at his command- but he had been hard put to it to make his escape. Southwest Missouri was left for a considerable period in the hands of the south. The victory of the State Guard was not as complete as it ,might have been, for considering the difference in the strength of the opposing forces and in view of the fact that a considerable portion of the state troops were mounted, Colonel Sigel's column should have been killed or captured to the last man. It was the successful retreat of the German veteran, his wriggling his forces with insignificant losses out of what would have appeared certain destruction, that caused the affair to be considered a victory in the north. It was the training and discipline of his troops as well as his own generalship that enabled him to accomplish this. It was the lack of training of the state troops, a lack of efficient organization and discipline and the lack of a centralized command in the State Guard that permitted it.

There is no indication that Jackson exercised or attempted to exercise any command over his army after the battle started. The different commanders apparently did whatever seemed best to them at the time. A few months later and Sigel would not have escaped so easily under similar circumstances.


Both sides came out of the engagement with improved morale and both, particularly the state troops, profited from their experiences there. Each army, as the result of the action, looked forward with even a greater keenness than before to the greater struggles which were to follow-struggles in which many of the veterans of Carthage laid down their lives. Jackson's army, which had been much worried by the fact that other federal troops had up to this time been only a few days march behind it, was jubilant when it was joined by Generals McCulloch and Price three miles south of Carthage. Writing of this some years after the war, Col. Thomas L. Snead, who at the time of the engagement was aide-de-camp to Governor Jackson, says:

"Jackson and his troops did indeed have abundant cause to rejoice for, although we had not won a great victory as we foolishly fancied or established the independence of the confederacy as some believed, we had escaped a very great danger. For Lyon had been close behind with an overwhelming force and had he overtaken would have routed and dispersed us. Now we were not only safe from pursuit and no enemy in our front but we would within an hour be under the protecting folds of the confederate flag, side by side with

that confederate army for whose coming we had been so anxiously waiting. No wonder that we burst into loud huzzas when the redoubtable McCulloch came into sight surrounded by his gaily dressed staff and when accompanied by Governor Jackson, General Price and


General Pearce he rode down our dust-stained ranks to greet the men who had fought with Sigel and put him to flight.

"We were all young then and full of hope, and looked with delighted eyes on the first confederate soldiers that we had ever seen, the men all dressed in sober grey, and their officers resplendent with gilded buttons and gilded braid and stars of gold. To look like these gallant soldiers; to be one of them; to fight beside them for their homes and our own, was the one

desire of all the Missourians who on that summer day stood on one of their own verdant prairies, gazing southward.

"In all their motley array there was hardly a uniform to be seen, and throughout all the brilliant campaign they were about to enter, there was nothing to distinguish their officers, even a general, from the men in the ranks save a bit of red flannel, or a piece of cotton cloth, fastened to the shoulder or the arm of the former. But for all that they were the truest and best

of soldiers."

As soon as the battle was over the state troopers began to prepare ammunition for their next engagement, for their stores of this essential were woefully short. How the artillery was supplied is told by Lieutenant Barstow of Guibor's battery who is quoted by Snead as saying: "One of Sigel's captured wagons furnished a few loose round shot. With these for a beginning, Guibor established an 'arsenal of construction.' A turning


lathe in Carthage supplied sabots; the owner of a tin shop contributed straps and canisters; iron rods which a blacksmith gave and cut into small pieces made good slugs for the canisters; and a bolt of flannel, with needles and thread, freely donated by a dry goods man, provided us with material for cartridge bags. A bayonet provided a good candlestick and at night the men went to work making cartridges, strapping shots to the sabots, and filling the bags from a barrel of powder placed some distance from the candle. My first cartridge

resembled a turnip, rather than the trim cylinders from the confederate arsenals, and would not take a gun on any terms. But we soon learned the trick, and at the close range at which our next battle was fought, our homemade ammunition proved as effective as the best."

Immediately after the battle of Carthage the county's only newspaper ceased publication. Dawson took his printing presses and accompanied Jackson's army, being employed in printing muster rolls and other blank forms and, it is said, state script known as "shin plasters." Eventually the presses fell in federal hands and were used by the union army.

The county government seemed to stop functioning about this time, the last meeting of the county court being August 26. The county officers were as follows: T. J. Haskell sheriff, this office also including the duties of county collector; Josiah Boyd, John B. Higdon and John B. Martin, members of the county court; Stanfield Ross, county clerk; Archibald McCoy, treasurer, and William M. Cravens, prosecuting attorney.


John R. Chenault was judge of the circuit court and John B. Dale represented the district in the legislature. Sheriff Haskell and Prosecuting Attorney William Cravens had just been elected in 18?1, succeeding Norris C. Hood and Joseph Cravens, respectively.

Now Archibald McCoy was a strong union man and he began to fear that the county funds which were in his possession would be taken from him by Governor Jackson's officers for the use of the state guard which was much in need of cash. He told his bondsmen, Judge John Onstott, John Halsell, Jim Langley, John B. Dale and one other whose name is now forgotten, of the threats he had heard regarding the funds and asked their advice. It was decided that the money should be entrusted to some southern sympathizer in whom all had great confidence and that he should hold it in secret. John J. Scott who resided in Carthage two blocks south of the square and who was favorably known for his integrity was chosen for the task. It was agreed that whenever the county needed money to pay bills due that McCoy should go to Scott and get what he needed.

Scott took the money, -receipted for it and between August, when it was turned over to him, and October, McCoy had drawn out about $200. In October Scott decided to leave the country on account of the unsettled state of affairs and turned the money over to Judge Onstott. There was $1,055 in gold and about $200 in currency.

Judge Onstott took the money to his home southwest of Carthage and buried it by a little cherry tree


near the house. It was the cause of much anxiety for although only one or two persons knew that he had it there was a possibility that the word might spread and in the lawless era then in sway the known possession of so much money meant either robbery or torture and death. Fortunately all persons who knew the circumstances kept the secret.

After some time the judge feared that the paper money would rot under the ground so he dug it up and gave it to his wife to carry. The following year Judge Onstott and a number of others were taken as hostages to Fort Scott by the federals to secure the safety of some union men of Carthage taken prisoner by Toni Livingston and the judge was held for some time before being finally released at Bentonville, Ark. During his absence Ritchie's Indians robbed the house and took the $200 in currency from Mrs. Onstott. The gold was not bothered. In fact no one then at the Onstott home knew where the gold was except the judge's son, young Abraham Onstott.

In 1864 when the judge was again away from home, this time moving John Halsell's family to Cooper county, the federal militia came along and burned his home, leaving his family without a roof to shelter them. It was necessary for the women to leave but they felt that they should take the gold with them. Young Abraham showed them the tree near which the coin was buried and after a considerable search it was found and dug up. It was divided into three parts and sewn into belts. Mrs. Onstott and her two daughters, Sarah and Jane, each put on one of these belts and so took the


money with them to Pettis county where they went for refuge and where Judge Onstott soon joined them, After the war the judge returned the gold to the county and then sold his team and wagon so that he could replace the paper money that had been stolen from his wife by the Indians. The county records, which were even more valuable than the county funds, were also preserved through the war although in many of the border counties these records were destroyed. Stanfield Ross, the county clerk, was also clerk of the circuit court and exofficio

recorder of deeds. The county court had probate jurisdiction at that time and so Ross was the custodian of all the county records and valuable papers. When the confederates abandoned the country in 1861 Judge Chenault advised Ross to accompany the southern army and take the records with him. This he did. Loose papers left in the vault when the records were removed are said to have been taken out by the soldiers and scattered all over town. A note for $68,000 was found on the square by a citizen and returned to the

proper authorities.

Ross first went down on the Cowskin river with the confederates, then went to Neosho when Governor Jackson made his headquarters at that town. He stored the records in the vault of the jail at Neosho and left them there. It was soon learned in Carthage that the records were at Neosho and it was said that the books were being mutilated by the confederates who were using the blank pages out of them on which


to print muster rolls and other blank forms needed by the army. The fortunes of war soon forced the confederates to leave Neosho and when they had done so, Norris C. Hood, the former sheriff and a man of character and energy, obtained an escort of federal soldiers and went after the records, loading them into wagons. and bringing them back to Carthage. Soon afterwards when he and his family went to Fort Scott he took the records with him and kept them in his home until after the war and then returned them to the new county clerk.

Following the battle of Carthage there was still greater excitement through the county than heretofore, and the various companies which had formed in Jasper county were organized into a regiment which entered the State Guard as the Eleventh Missouri Cavalry. Captain Talbot of the Medoc company was named colonel and in early August the regiment marched to

join Price down on the Cowskin river. Here and there men left the county to enter the union army and cases were not infrequent where one brother went south with the Eleventh Cavalry while another went north or west to join the federals.

The family of Dr. Jaquilian M. Stemmons, mentioned heretofore as being an unconditional union man, is typical of many of the Jasper county families of the day. He himself, although a slave owner, was one of the warmest advocates of the union cause in this locality and was killed by southern sympathizers in an attack on his home the second year of the war. Two of


his sons, John Martin and William H. were of the opposite view of their father and both entered the confederate service, John Martin soon rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel of the Eighth division of the Missouri state guard and being mentioned in General J. S. Rains' official report of the battle of Pea Ridge for gallantry in action. Four other sons of Dr. Stemmons-T. J., Felix B., Wilber and Napoleon L.-stood for the north and served under the union banner during the war, the first named achieving considerable note as a captain in the 76th Enrolled milItia. Many union residents about this time received anonymous warning to leave the country at once or it would be worse for them and a wholesale exodus of the peaceably inclined seems to have resulted. On July 26, Clark Wright, captain of a home guard organization stationed at Greenfield, reported that forty-seven union families from the vicinity of Carthage had passed through Greenfield, giving startling accounts of the depredations of confederates in Jasper county. Other refugees went to Kansas. Later in the war when the main confederate armies had retired into Arkansas there was a considerable number of refugee families that returned, in some cases finding southern sympathizers had taken possession of their farms and were operating them. An argument generally ensued in this case and since the union families were backed up by the federal troops it is a safe guess that they usually succeeded in getting their places back.


Wiley Britton, who was himself a resident of Missouri and who entered the union army at the outbreak of the war, speaks very bitterly in his book "The Civil War on the Border"  concerning conditions in many sections of this part of the state following the battle of Carthage:

"Now that the rebel forces occupied southwest Missouri, the union men deemed it safest to fly to the woods and the hills for concealment," he states. "Instead of respecting the rights of property of all classes, as Colonel Sigel's troops had done, the rebel troops took all the serviceable horses they could find belonging to union citizens. In many cases secessionists accompanied the rebel soldiers to point out their union neighbors whose property was to be taken. Here and there a wife or a mother, in the absence of husband or sons, stood at the gate to plead with armed and hostile men to spare the property of which the family had become possessed after many years of toil, hardships and sacrifices. Thus was introduced a phase of war of which few, if any, had ever dreamed. But now that its desolating effects were beginning to be felt, the property of union citizens was seized and appropriated for the

use of the rebel army in spite of the tears of women j and children. Men, who a few days before were pursuing their peaceful occupation on the farm, at the carpenter's bench or in the blacksmith shop, fled from their fields and shops and concealed themselves as well I as they could in the woods and hills and were fed clandestinely by their families. The bloody threats of se-


cessionists, their acting as informers against the unionists, produced a feeling of insecurity among union men, so that in seeking their safety they left their scythes in half cut swaths, their plows in mid-furrows, and their work in unfinished condition."

A local home guard organzation was formed this first year of the war in the northeastern portion of the county where there was a considerable union sentiment. Dr. Stemmons seems to have been one of those who were active in its organization and he was chosen as its head. While this country was never called into the field it did good service in protecting the lives and property of the loyal men in that part of the country. In August there occurred an event that was the forerunner of many similar ones during the later years of the war.

Some distance south of Medoc, on the ground where Georgia City is now platted out, lived a young but wealthy slave owner named George W. Broome, whose advertisement in the Southwest News has been mentioned. Broome had come to Jasper county from Georgia in 1856 and had purchased a large body of land from John Shirley who later moved to Carthage

and ran the Shirley house on the north side of the square. After buying out Shirley the Georgian acquired still more land and built a trading post which enjoyed a considerable patronage from the settlers and from Indians. He also extensively engaged in farming and stock raising.


In August 1861, he was killed and his house burned by a band of marauders who were supposed to have ganged together, without regard to political leanings, for the purpose of robbing unprotected settlers. After murdering Broome and looting and firing the house, the band made of{ with about forty head of horses and ponies, presumably taking them to Kansas.

This outrage very naturally caused extreme indignation and it was rumored that local persons had had a hand in the matter. Down on Spring river near the state line lived John, Austin and Isaac Ireland, sons of old Abraham Ireland who had come here in 1856. Suspicion fastened on the younger Irelands and soon after Broome's death a band of men said to have

included some of the most prominent citizens of the county took one of the Irelands to Medoc, gave him a form of a trial and lynched him, those in the crowd afterward stating that he had confessed that he was implicated in the Broome murder. It is supposed that it was John Ireland that was hanged although some authorities state it was Austin. Isaac Ireland was later

killed on Lightning Creek, Kans., and the other brother was killed near Merrick's Post on Spring river.

On August 23 ,there was a little skirmish at Medoc between a band of confederate sympathizers being organized to go south and a group of union men on their way to Fort Scott to enlist in the federal army. This was the first clash between armed bands in the county after the battle of Carthage.


Some time after this, Abraham Mathews who lived on Possum Creek was killed, being the third man murdered in the county, It is probable that there was other murders later in the year although no record has been preserved of them.

While the confederates were in this country they made full use of the mines, particularly those in Newton county. On October 14, Major G. W. Clark, a confederate quartermaster at Fort Smith, Ark., wrote to J. P. Benjamin, secretary of war for the confederacy, as follows:

"I have this day shipped to Memphis 32,000 pounds of lead from the Granby mines in Missouri. Will continue to forward lead and believe that I can furnish all that is wanted for the confederate army."

For a few days in early October, 1861, Governor Claiborne F. Jackson, with his family, made his headquarters in Carthage and it is said he intended to call the state legislature into session here to pass an ordinance of secession. The confederate troops which had been near Lexington on the Missouri river, were again falling back, however, and it was considered that this city was a little too close to the zone of operations, and the portion of the legislature that could be gotten together was assembled at Neosho on October 28. Less than a quorum was present but the ordinance was passed anyhow.

The Confederate generals apparently did their best to preserve peace in this section while it was in their control. The following order was issued by Gen. Ben


McCulloch at his headquarters in Arkansas September 12, 1861:

"Colonel Greer, commanding the South KansasTexas cavalry, will on tomorrow, the 13th instant, proceed with his command to the vicinity of Carthage. Twenty-one days' rations will be forwarded to him today. "On arriving at Carthage Colonel Greer will select an encampment for three mounted regiments. Sufficient and ample grounds should be chosen for the camp

so as to give full and adequate room for drilling purposes. Proper and active vigilance will ever be maintained and the necessary means adopted to prevent an enemy surprising the camp or destroying property of neighboring citizens. Should deserted farms be found in the vicinity of his encampment he will take charge of them for the use of his command. All the protection possible will be rendered and given to our secession friends.

"Should Colonel Greer hear of any bands of jayhawkers in his vicinity he will pursue and chastise them severely, taking precautions not to endanger his command by continuing pursuit beyond proper discretion. Scouting parties will be kept thrown in the direction of Kansas and Fort Scott."

In connection with the above order it should be kept in mind that the word "jayhawkers" did not mean necessarily Kansas marauders but was used to refer to plundering bands in general.


The desire of the southern leaders to preserve order in southwest Missouri was soon rendered unavailing because the war drifted to the southward and the confederates lost control of this country, On October 22 General McCulloch of the confederate army wrote to General Sterling Price, commander of the State Guard, suggesting that all forage on Spring river below Carthage ought to be destroyed so the federals could not use it. Probably, he wrote more than one letter along the same line, for a little later Price replied that it would be inhuman to lay waste the country and burn the mills, leaving women and children, most of whom were in sympathy with the south, to starve. The proposed devastation was therefore not carried out. But although saved this crowning calamity the conditions of the civil population rapidly became worse and worse, the position of those known to be union sympathizers being particularly insecure.

One little incident, unimportant in itself but showing something of the unsettled conditions in the country at the time, is related by Mrs. Lucy Blakely who resided with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John A. Bryant, in the south part of the county. "On account of my father being a union man we were subjected to more or less annoyance from a lawless element," Mrs. Blakely states, "and several times men visited our home on Jones creek and took some of our property. One day Joe Thompson, a man with whom we were acquainted, drove up to our house,

loaded our furniture on a wagon and drove away with


it in the direction of his home on Shoal creek. My mother said she would not stand that, and hitched up the poorest team of horses that we had to an old wagon, the whole outfit being as unlikely to arouse the cupidity of any bushwhackers she might meet as anything we could get up, and then started for Shoal creek all alone. She was well acquainted with Mr. Shanks, Thompson's father-in-law, and when she arrived at his farm told him her troubles. Mr. Shanks was of course a southern sympathizer but he was not the same kind of one as Thompson was and it made him very angry when he heard what his son-in-law had done. He and my mother went over to the Thompson house and there sure enough was our furniture, one of the Thompson children who was sick, lying on the lounge. Mr. Shanks scolded his daughter for letting her husband bring in this stolen stuff, then helped my mother load it on her wagon. She brought it back home and we placed it in the house again."

Typical of experiences of other union families in the latter part of 1861 is that of Mr. and Mrs. Lazarus Spence who, like the Bryants, lived on Jones creek some distance north of the Newton county line and not far east of the Carthage-Neosho road. Mr. Spence had hauled corn, along with other farmers of union sympathy, to Sigel's troops when they held Neosho and

consequently was something of a marked man. Mrs. Spence's story follows: "When the confederate army was in Jasper county in the months following the battle of Carthage, con-


federates frequently were at our house and required my husband who was a blacksmith to shoe horses for them, always treating us courteously but paying for the work in confederate or state of Missouri money which was practically worthless. After the soldiers left we were visited from time to time by bushwhackers who acted polite enough at first and paid in confederate money, like the soldiers, for what they took. As the weeks passed, however, they changed their attitude and took whatever they wanted without paying for it. I felt that my husband's life was no longer safe. "One day three bushwhackers came riding up, went into our pasture, calmly took possession of three of our horses and led them off. My husband was furiously angry and wanted to go after his hunting rifle which he kept hid outside of the house in the grass but I held him back, 'pointing out that he would only get himself killed. After this he kept his gun in the house. The inside wall did not quite reach to the ceiling upstairs and he drove a nail here between the inner and outer wall, then suspended his gun in there from a string. Miles Stacy, one of our tenants but a southern man, knew where this rifle was and occasionally used it and put it back. One day we heard that some bushwhackers

from Granby were coming to kill my husband and so he hid out in the brush. There were a dozen or more of the men and they roughly pushed open the door when they arrived and entered. They searched the house and soon those who had gone upstairs came down with armloads  of blankets and my husband's rifle. I seized hold of the gun and tried to twist it from the man car-


rying it but he jerked it from me and they went on outside where they took three more horses, being all we had except an unbroken two-year-old that was out in the brush. As they rode down by the house occupied by Miles Stacy he came out and argued with them, finally persuading them to return one of the horses. We always felt sure that Stacy previously had told them where the rifle was hid but we appreciated his saving the one horse for us. "The situation seemed to be getting worse instead of better and on December 23, we decided that we would not stay another minute but leave while Mr. Spence was still alive. He was sick with the measles as were also two orphan children who were staying with us but we hitched up the horse the bushwhackers had left us, together with the unbroken two-year-old, and went to Kansas. With us went Joshua Stacy, a brother of Miles but a union man, and a friend named Waggoner, both of these enlisting in the union army as soon as we reached Fort Scott."

The rapidly increasing lawlessness in Jasper county during the closing weeks of 1861 caused much worry to good citizens of both factions but there were many who felt that the war would soon be decided and normal conditions restored. The more thoughtful shook their heads, however, and looked to the future with fear and foreboding.




1862-In the Pathway of the Armies

During 1862 Jasper county was not permanently under the protection of either army and a state of guerrilla warfare resulted. The term of the Eleventh Cavalry, Missouri State Guard, expired in early February and only about half of its members went into the regular confederate army at that time, the remainder returning to Jasper county intending to resume civilian

life but most of them finding it impracticable to do so under the conditions prevailing. Seeing that Missouri could not be permanently held for the south a considerable number of men were commissioned by the confederacy as partisans and authorized to raise guerrilla companies to act within the union lines or in places such as Jasper county which were sometimes held by the union forces and sometimes were not. Thomas R. Livingston, an energetic and capable man who has previously been mentioned as engaged in lead mining at French Point, was commissioned to raise such a force in this region and did so, enlisting many of the returned men of the Eleventh cavalry as well as a number of other citizens of the county. Organization for local defense in territory occupied by the federals was also authorized by the south, the men of any district to band together and choose a leader, then act as seemed best to them to oppose the enemy. There seems to have been few of these purely local or "bushwhacker" organizations in Jasper county


in 1862 though there are evidences of several in the following two years. Many soldiers of the south opposed the use of these partisan and guerrilla bands because they believed that, free from the restraints of discipline of the army, many of these men would commit deeds that would bring odium upon the cause that they served. Another party of which General Sterling Price was a member believed in utilizing them to the fullest possible extent, which was done. General Price was a kindly man-old Pap" Price, his soldiers called him-and it

is believed that he did not realize the true character of some commissioned by him such as W. C. Quantrill and Bill Anderson. When word of their crimes came to his ears, as they must have, he probably considered these tales to have been merely wild exaggerations such as are always afloat in wartime and to have held to his opinion that Quantrill and Anderson were sincerely serving the confederacy in the best way they knew how.

The guerrillas really did a very valuable service for the south by causing to be kept in Missouri garrisoning the country, a large number of troops that would otherwise have been adding their weight in the decisive campaigns of the war. Livingston continually sent valuable information to southern generals. The guerrillas frequently served with regular confederate

forces, notably during the Shelby raid of 1863 and the Price raid of 1864, and rendered invaluable service as scouts and guides.

In addition to the bands authorized by the confederacy there were a number of gangs and small groups


of mere marauders who acted under no authority and whose sole purpose was to plunder and kill. Some of these operated in Jasper county from time to time. Mrs. Lucy Blakely, quoted in the previous chapter, tells vividly of occurrences in the Jones creek and Moss Springs neighborhood in January 1862. Her story follows:

"One day in January there rode up to the home of my father, John A. Bryant, two men from down on Shoal creek. One was Joe Thompson and the other was Tom Rae. Rae was wearing a union soldier's overcoat and carried a rifle while Thompson was dressed in ordinary civilian garb and was armed with a double barreled shotgun. My father had been sick in bed and

was setting up in a chair that day for the first time. Our visitors wanted him to go outdoors with them but he refused, stating that he was not able. They talked for quite awhile, urging on my father the advantages of declaring himself in favor of the south and tried on various pretexts to get him to come outside. Finally Thompson rose in a rage. " 'Well if you won't go outside I will kill you anyway right here,' he said with an oath, cocking his shotgun and aiming it at my father's breast.  "We children set up a scream and my mother sprang in front of my father. The incident naturally impressed me deeply and I remember yet exactly how the caps on Thompson's gun looked as he stood there with the weapon leveled. It was Rae who saved us.


" 'Come out of here, Joe,' he said, 'or you will scare these children to death,' and Thompson sullenly lowered his gun and complied. "From our house they went a quarter of a mile south to the home of Brice Martin, mother's brother, and called him out to the fence. They talked awhile and Mrs. Martin, coming to the door, saw her husband turn away and start back to the house. As he did so, one of the men fired with the double-barreled shotgun, the charge of buckshot striking my uncle in the back beneath the shoulder blade and coming out at the

breast, killing him instantly. My aunt always said that the man with the blue overcoat fired the shot but my mother and father had known Tom Rae all their lives and could never believe that he would so murder Brice Martin with whom he was well acquainted. They always felt that it must have been Thompson who was guilty of the deed.

"My aunt ran down to the house to tell what had happened and my father was for going up there but mother and aunt thought that was what the bushwhackers really wanted and that they would be lying in wait. Eliza Parnell spread the word of the murder around the neighborhood and my mother went up and watched by the body which lay until 9 o'clock at night

in the yard where it had fallen. We had many good neighbors, some of them of northern sympathy, most of them southern, but not a man on either side dared go after the body until 9 o'clocl{ for fear of being killed. Then two southern sympathizers, George Hammer and


John Rafody, and one union man, James Landers, slipped up to the Martin home under cover of darkness, picked up the body and brought it to our house where it was left that night.

"There was somewhat of a panic among the people of the neighborhood following the killing, especially among those known to favor the cause of the north. My father did not dare to stay at home that night and he and Marsh Parnell went to the home of Mrs. Sally Keith, over close to the Carthage road, and laid there concealed in the attic all night. The Parnells were almost all southern people but Marsh was known as a union man and his life was in as much danger as anyone's despite his southern kindred. Everyone in the neighborhood was at first afraid to have anything to do with the Martin funeral but finally James Bunch, captain of a southern home guard company, said he would have the grave dug and would furnish  protection to those coming to the burial. He and his men dug the grave in the cemetery of the old Freedom Baptist church near Moss Springs and a man in Fidelity made a coffin. My uncle was buried the next day, there being a considerable number of women present, a few men including my father and Marsh Parnell, and a number of members of Captain Bunch's home guard company. "Immediately after the funeral the union men took to the timber and prepared to leave the country that night. Our wagon was hid out in the woods with the taps taken off the wheels so that it would be useless if someone tried to steal it, and my father had quite a


time finding the taps, which had been hung up in a tree by means of a cord. These were finally secured and soon after dark they started. There were in the party, besides my father and Marsh Parnell, Dr. D. F. Moss, Riley Moss, William Spencer and several others, perhaps as many as a dozen all told. They made their way safely to Kansas and we stayed alone until two

months later when they came back with a detachment of union soldiers and took us to Fort Scott."

In the spring the federal forces in Kansas began expeditions into Jasper and neighboring counties to obtain supplies and break up the bands of southern sympathizers or guerrillas that might have assembled. In a report dated at Carthage March 22, 1862, Lieut. Col. Powell Clayton tells of an expedition to this city. "Early on the morning of the 20th I marched on

Carthage," the report states. "The day was very stormy and the roads being very heavy I left my transportation behind under a strong escort and pushed rapidly forward, arriving at this place at sundown. "Captain Creitz had preceded me about two hours. He dashed into town, capturing fifteen or twenty of the most prominent rebels in the community and taking

possession of Johnson's mill two miles from here, finding in it about 225 bushels of wheat which we are now grinding. There is a large quantity of grain in this country and I have two threshing machines which I will set to work immediately. Johnson's mill will turn out  8,000 to 10,000 pounds of flour per day.



"We have had three men wounded, one of them seriously, out of the advance guard of a scouting party which was fired at from the brush. One of our men was taken prisoner while out with a foraging party. "I enclose a list of the prisoners taken here, together with a copy of the charges preferred against them by the union men of this community, all of which can be substantiated. "If you think it necessary that we should turn out more flour, we can take other mills in the vicinity and furnish it." The list of prisoners and charges have been lost

from the records of the war department and it is not known now who the prisoners were or what disposition was made of them. George B. Walker, son of James B. Walker who lived on the west side of Spring river just south of Tucker's ford northwest of Carthage, has told of an experience he had with Colonel Clayton while that officer held Carthage. "There was a full regiment of union cavalry in the town," said Mr. Walker, "and they gave the impression of being well drilled, efficient troops. I was eighteen years old at the time and had taken no part in the war but was living quietly on my father's farm. One day I had occasion to go to Carthage for something and while I was there the federal cavalrymen arrested me and put me in the court house, this being where they kept their prisoners. I was confined here all night and in the morning was taken downstairs and before Colonel


Clayton. The colonel was a big, fine looking fellow and he eyed me a moment before speaking. " 'Well, what have you been doing?' he asked. " 'Nothing at all,' I answered. " 'What are you here for then?' he queried. " 'You ought to know,' I replied, 'your men arrested me yesterday and have held me a prisoner ever since.' "The colonel then asked me my name, age, where I lived, and some similar questions. Finally he ordered me released.

" 'Go on home and be a good boy,' he told me, 'and come in here every other day and report to me.' " 'What is that for?' I asked. " 'Just so that I will know that you are behaving yourself,' he answered, and so I did as he said until he


It is probable that Walker's case was only one of many and that this was Clayton's way of keeping track of the young men in his vicinity who were coming of an age when it might be expected that they would have an inclination to take up arms against the union troops. John A. Whitehead tells of a move to organize militia in Jasper county soon after Colonel Clayton came.

The state had been authorized by the federal government to recruit 10,000 men for such a force and the failure of local units to get in was doubtless due to the fact that the allotted number had been exceeded by over 3,000 men by April l.

"Early in 1862," says Mr. Whitehead, "the federal war governor of Missouri called for state militia and we formed a company in the vicinity of Carthage. Two


other companies were formed in this region, one down by Neosho and the other one out east of us somewhere. In the company to which I belonged we elected William Bulgin of Carthage captain and Jake Rankin who lived up on North Fork lieutenant. I forget most of the men who belonged but John Galentine who lived in Carthage for many years was one. Union soldiers firmly held this country at the time and no one hindered our organization. When we gathered and rode to Springfield for duty, however, all mounted but few of us armed, the state would not accept us for some reason. We came back home and later returned. The state still would not take us, though I don't know why. Norris Hood, a former sheriff of Jasper county, had gone with us to Springfield and he tried hard to get the governor to accept us but to no avail. "We returned to Jasper county and disbanded. There were a number of union organizations in this county at the time, including the Second Ohio cavalry, the Fifth Kansas cavalry and others. Some of our men went into the Ohio regiment, others joined the

Kansas troops and still others enlisted in Captain Conkey's company of the Third Wisconsin cavalry. Others returned home to the farms. Colonel Clayton of the Kansas cavalry regiment was in Carthage at the time and he told us that sooner or later the union troops would be moved out of this country and said that such of us as had been in the militia companies would not be safe here after that time. He advised us to leave the country while the leaving was good and the officers


of the Ohio and Wisconsin troops told us the same. We decided to follow their advice. "On May 11, 1862, thirty or forty wagons from our neighborhood started out for Fort Scott. Most of

the wagons were drawn by oxen and were piled full of miscellaneous household goods, etc. No one could take more than a portion of what they had but everyone selected what was needed most and abandoned the rest. Everybody took all their horses and cattle and many took their sheep. There was no hope of taking the hogs and they were left. Cattle and wagons together we made quite a caravan as we wound northward. In addition to driving a team of oxen, I was helping look after a flock of forty sheep and had quite a time. I accidentally struck myself in the eye with the lash of my whip while I was doing this and while it did not seem serious at the time it later caused me to lose my


"That night we camped between Dry Fork and Coon creek, some of the cattle being herded not far from the wagons and most of the riding horses tied to or near the vehicles. Sometime during the night a band of about thirty armed men approached our camp and some of them entered it. I was asleep in the wagon when I heard voices and looked out. Three men were

nearby looking at John Seela's horse-the best in the whole camp-which was tied to a wagon wheel. " 'There's a good horse,' remarked one. " 'Cut his halter and bring him along then,' answered another.


" 'That's my horse,' spoke up John Seela, but the men made no reply, cut loose the halter and led the animal away. "There were a few guns in our party but it would have been suicidal for us to have offered resistance to such a band as this. The next morning the horse belonging to my brother, William Whitehead, was also missing. Outside of taking the horses the band did not bother us. We moved on toward Lamar the next morning, having quite a time, I remember, getting those sheep across Coon creek. I pulled and dragged sheep across the stream until all were on the other side and as a result of being wet so long took a cold in my injured eye and that was what caused me to lose it. We went on to Fort Scott and settled down in that

vicinity." It is not known just when Colonel Clayton and the other troops moved out of Jasper county but it was probably not long after the exodus participated in by Mr. Whitehead. In July the federals seem to have been sent back again, Major Henning, commander at Fort Scott, writing to General Blunt on the tenth of the month as follows:

"At the suggestion and approval of the commanding general I have sent a force to Jasper county, Missouri, to protect the union citizens there."

During the early summer of 1862 General T. C. Hindman commanding the confederate Trans-Mississippi district, had sent numerous officers secretly through the union lines and all over Missouri to recruit


men for the south, to carryon guerrilla warfare, to gain control of the state if possible and, if not, then to harass the federals as much as practicable and eventually make their way south with the recruits enlisted. The result of this was a fierce flare-up of guerrilla operations all over the state. The bands raised ranged from small groups that cut railways and attacked isolated detachments of federals to considerable forces sometimes amounting to as many as 3,000 men. One or two fair sized victories were won by them, the most notable being at Lone Jack near Kansas City August 16. In the latter part of July the government replied to this guerrilla warfare by ordering all loyal men of the state that were of military age to be enrolled as

militia under the official name of Enrolled Militia. This work of organization was somewhat slow in Jasper county owing to the strength of the southern sympathizers but soon after the call Captain Stotts organized Company C of the 76th Regiment, Enrolled Militia.

This company was formed partly by men from Jasper and partly by men from Lawrence county. A little later Capt. Henry Fisher organized Company G of the same regiment, this company being made up entirely of Jasper county men. Captain Stotts took position at Cave Springs and Captain Fisher at Bower Mills. On August 11, Major J. M. Hubbard of the First

Missouri Cavalry, a union organization then stationed at Newtonia, reported that he had had a skirmish with a force of confederates whose strength he estimated at 1,200 and that they had moved on north toward Carth-


age in Jasper county. This was Colonel Cockrell's regiment moving north toward the Missouri river and with him was Colonel Jo Shelby with his company, bound in the same direction on a recruiting mission. Carthage was apparently not garrisoned and these confederates passed on through the county and into Barton county without hindrance. On August 26 Gen. James G. Blunt of the Kansas troops reported that his soldiers had followed confederate forces under Coffee, Cockrell, Hunter, Tracy and Jackman as far south as Carthage. These troops were recruits for the southern army which were being taken to the south. They had been closely pursued as far as the town mentioned and their route was marked by the bodies of horses that had died from exhaustion and by hats and caps that had been dropped from the heads of riders sleeping in the saddle. Colonel Clark Wright with 1,400 Missouri cavalry

took up the pursuit at Carthage and followed the confederates down into Newton county.

Just prior to this time Archibald McCoy, mentioned heretofore as county treasurer and a strong union man, decided to leave Carthage on account of the danger a union man incurred here and started to Fort Scott. He never arrived at his destination and it was thought that he had been captured by Cockrell's troops as they made their way south. As a retaliatory measure and to assure McCoy's safety the federal commander at Fort Scott sent a detachment to Jasper county and arrested William Tingle


and John Halsell to hold as hostages until such a time as McCoy should be returned. It was later learned that Cockrell had never captured McCoy and so Tingle and Halsell were released. Eventually it developed that McCoy had been taken prisoner by either Anderson's or Quantrill's band and by them murdered.

On the evening of August 24 a long column of horsemen, about 1,000 in number, drew rein on Coon creek northeast of Carthage and unsaddled their jaded steeds. Colonel Jo Shelby was in command and this was the regiment he had been commissioned to raise on the Missouri river. Some time later this regiment became one of the most famous cavalry organizations

west of the Mississippi river but right now what Shelby wanted was to get his men south where he could train them before leading them into battle. Day and night he had hurried his raw troops southward and the stop on Coon creel, was to be only of three hours duration,

then the march would be resumed to a point where the column could rest without danger.  Meanwhile Colonel W. F. Cloud, with a detachment of 300 men of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry which had been in pursuit of Coffee, Cockrell and the others, had broken off the chase at Carthage on account of the worn-down mounts of his men and was returning northward by easy stages. He too had planned to camp on Coon creek and his advance patrols discovered Shelby's men before the southern troops had established their outposts. Cloud did not realize that the hostile force was so strong and he at once attacked.


Part of the weary confederates had gone to sleep as soon as they hit the ground but all were on their feet in a minute and met the federals with such a fusilade that Cloud, seeing he was running into a hornet's nest, drew back his men. It is said that out of 24 men of Company C of the Sixth Kansas which was leading the assault, fourteen were killed or wounded. Cloud now made an advance on the confederates' rear to develop their strength but when he had developed it and found it was at least three times his own, he got his men to horse and rode away. He at once sent a report to General Blunt and that leader hurried reinforcements to him but Shelby had gone. After the repulse of Cloud he had his men finish preparing and then eat their suppers, after which he rode south under cover of darkness, the older and more experienced soldiers on the flank and in the front to bear the brunt in case the federals were again encountered. None were met and the confederates made their way to Newtonia and went into camp nearby.

Confederate writers have said that ammunition was very scarce with Shelby's men during the fight and that while the firing was liveliest the unarmed men in the southern camp were busy making the paper cartridges of the period for the men taking part in the action.

Cloud's total loss was five men killed and fifteen wounded. The confederate official reports say nothing of casualties but John N. Edwards, who was present, denies that any lives were lost. A number of men were


badly wounded and a good many horses were killed or disabled. Some time after the affair on Coon creek various Indian organizations of the union army entered Jasper county in conjunction with white troops from Kansas. One of these Indian units was the Second Indian Home Guards commanded by Colonel N. F. Ritchie. It was composed of Cherokees, Osages, Quapaws and some negroes, and in all its movements was accompanied by a horde of women and children, the wives and families of the soldiers. This regiment-if it may be called such was commonly known as "Ritchie's Indians." Wiley Britton gives an interesting description of the Indian warriors, stating that those that were regularly enrolled as soldiers had been given clothing some months previously the same as other troops. "It was quite amusing to the white soldiers," he states, "to see the Indians dressed in the federal uniform

and equipped for the service. Everything seemed out of just proportion. Nearly every warrior got a suit that, to critical tastes, lacked a good deal in fitting him. It was in a marked degree either too large or too small. Tn some cases the sleeves of the coat or jacket were too short, coming down about two-thirds of the distance from the elbows to the wrists. In other cases the sleeves were too long, coming down over the hands. "At the time the Indian troops were organized, the government was furnishing its soldiers a high-crowned, stiff, wool hat for the service. When, therefore, fully equipped as a warrior, one might have seen an Indian


soldier dressed as described, wearing a high-crowned, stiff, wool hat, with long black hair falling over his shoulders, and riding an Indian pony so small that his feet appeared to almost touch the ground, with a long squirrel rifle thrown across the pommel of his saddle. When starting out on the march every morning any one with this command might have seen this warrior in full war-paint, and he might have also heard the warwhoop commence at the head of the column and run back to the rear, and recommence at the head of the column several times and run back to the rear." These Indians were a terror to the country and seemed to have robbed and plundered friend and foe alike. They are charged with numerous murders and

while it is probable that their commander's intentions were good he evidently had little discipline in his organization and was entirely incapable of holding his followers in check. Many complaints were made about these Indians, one being by Colonel Weer of the Second Kansas Brigade who wrote to General Blunt that Ritchie's Indians had burned the houses of a number of men who were serving in the union army, and had turned their families out of doors. Some of the men who belonged to his own regiment had been so treated, he stated. On September 12, Colonel Weer wrote to  headquarters in Kansas as follows.:

"Colonel Ritchie utterly refuses to obey my orders. His camp is, from what I can learn, a motley assemblage. His presence in the army is nothing but embarrassment to the service, and I urgently recommend his dismissal."


Mrs. H. J. (Jane) Hazelwood, who is a daughter of Judge Onstott and whose husband was a confederate soldier, has told interestingly of the robbing of her father's house by Ritchie's Indians in 1862. "I well remember those Indians," said Mrs. Hazelwood recently. "When my husband went into the army I went to the home of my father a short distance south of Center creek, south of where the South Carthage mines now are. None of the men were at home when the Indians came. It was the same with the neighbors and in fact there were but few men in the country at that time.

"The Indians came from the west, a great swarm of them, men, women and children, many of the women carrying papooses strapped to their backs. The men were hideous in war paint and wore no uniforms so far as I can remember. I recollect them as being in ordinary Indian garb and carrying guns. There were white men scattered here and there among the savages but they were dressed just the same as the others and all wore war paint. Ritchie's Indians were called a 'regiment' but there was nothing military about them.

They were just a common thieving band of Indians and if anyone was in charge there was no evidence of the fact. They drifted along with their pack ponies and each seemed to do as he pleased. "When they came to our house they entered and took everything that could be carried off. The squaws were just as bad as the men. Even the children were diligent thieves. The squaws would put on our best


dresses and insolently parade back and forth in front of us, a ridiculous sight in the hoop skirts of that period. All this clothing, together With the kitchen utensils and everything else portable, was packed on the Indians' ponies. Even the feather beds and strawticks were cut open and emptied and the ticking carried off. Part of these ticks were emptied in the house and the contents were maliciously kicked from room to room so that we could not again use them. Part were emptied in the yard and the first time a breeze came up a veritable cloud of feathers drifted away to the south. "After staying at our house for about three hours the Indians passed on, looting all the neighbors' homes as they went."

The confederates who also had enlisted a large number of Indians, commonly termed the aborigines who had espoused the union cause "Pin Indians" for some reason that is not apparent at this time. The southern troops had meanwhile occupied Newtonia and an officer of Shelby's force writes regarding this period:

"Lying in front of Newtonia in the warm September sunshine was delightfully pleasant, and the cavalry drill, which was new to the soldiers generally, went merrily on. Now and then a dashing scouting party from the confederate lines dashed into Granby or Carthage and shot a few outlying Pin Indians or skulking federals."

John N. Edwards, a Missouri editor who served as one of Shelby's officers throughout the war, de-


scribes the destruction of an Indian band near Carthage as follows: "News came by one of Colonel Shelby's innumerable scouts that a large body of Pin Indians and runaway negroes were camped in a skirt of timber near Carthage, levying blackmail indiscriminately on the inhabitants, and murdering right and left with habitual brutality. These Pin Indians were all members of the Ross party among the Cherokees, and had from the beginning of the war taken up arms and joined the Kansas federals. Skulking about their old homes in the Nation and making forays into Missouri was the principal part of their warfare, varied frequently by innumerable murders of old men, and the wholesale pillage and destruction of farm houses.

"To crush them at a blow was Colonel Shelby's ardent desire, and he selected Captain Ben Elliott, Company I of his own regiment, for the work, giving to him strong detachments from other companies. Bya forced march of great rapidity and caution, Captain Elliott surrounded their camp by daylight of the 14th of September and charged from all sides to a common center. "Surprised, ridden over and trampled down, the Indians and their allies made but feeble resistance.

Everywhere amid the heavy brushwood a silent scene of killing was enacted, none praying for mercy, well knowing that their own previous atrocities had forfeited it, and often with the stoical hardihood of their race, uncovering their breasts to the unerring revolvers. "But one prisoner was taken and few escaped. In i two hours the band of 250 savages was exterminated


almost completely, everything they possessed falling into Captain Elliott's hands, the most acceptable articles being about two hundred new Minie muskets just issued to them by the authorities at Fort Scott. A dozen or more of the scalps of their white victims were found upon the dead, and one, a woman's, was particularly noticed. The long, soft hair had still its silken gloss, though tangled all amid the curls were clotted drops of blood."

The only mention Shelby makes of this affair in the official records is in a letter to General John S. Marmaduke. Telling of his operations in September he says, "We attacked a portion of Colonel Phillips' Indian brigade near Carthage, routing them."

Not unlike the experience of Mrs. Hazelwood in some respects but infinitely more tragic was that of Mrs. John Snodgrass whose home was visited by Ritchie's men about this time. Mrs. Snodgrass, later Mrs. Robinette Hickman, has told of the occurrence as follows:

"My maiden name was Robinette Langley and my father, James N. Langley, lived about six miles west and a little bit north of Carthage. In February of 1862 I had married John Snodgrass, a Carthage blacksmith, and lived in town, but in May my father had left the country for fear of being killed by Kansas jayhawkers as so many other southern men had been and since my

husband was known as a neutral who espoused neither side we moved out to the farm and lived with mother and the children.


"Along in September Ritchie's Indians came into the county and camped near Yoacham's mill on Center creek. The first thing we saw of the savages nine of them, all men, came riding up one day to where my husband and an old negro slave of my father's named Kato were plowing for wheat. They came into the field, jabbered at the two, shook hands with them, jabbered

some more, shook hands all around again and rode away, coming to the house. Mr. Snodgrass and Kato supposed the Indians were a band of friendlies so paid no attention and went on with their work. The nine came to the house, opened the door and stalked in. We women shrank back in terror but the Indians said nothing to us. They went from room to room, stared at

everything in sight and finally went away without disturbing anything. We were much relieved at this but we did not know what was coming.

"The next morning before sunrise the yard was full of Indians, men, women and children, making a great uproar. The men entered the house and behind them followed the swarm of squaws and children and these latter began to take everything that suited their fancy. There must have been a thousand Indians around or in the house by this time. The men had

guns with fixed bayonets but were not in any kind of uniform, just the usual blanket and breech clout with lots of paint all over them. Two or three white men were with them but to our questions merely replied, 'Don't worry, they will not do you any harm.' The old squaws had by now opened all the bureau drawers and began taking out the clothes they found. There were


nine children in our family and consequently a great amount of children's clothing. The old Indian women took this, stripped the filthy rags off their own young, and dressed them in the stolen clothes. The featherbeds on the beds were ripped open, the feathers emptied out and the ticking used to pack articles in to put on the ponies. All the utensils were taken out of the

kitchen, all the food was snatched up, and we women cowered in a room of the house in terror. "At night the Indians left and my husband and Kato who had been working in the fields all day came in. By daybreak the Indians were back again and not knowing what else to do Mr. Snodgrass and Kato went back to their plowing. The looting and uproar around the house went on the same as before. During the day a number of the Indians went out, took Kato and my husband prisoners and took them to the camp at Yoacham's mill along with the ox team and wagon. In the house we had nothing to eat and were too frightened to eat if there had been anything. The savages left again that night but returned the third day to complete their work.

"There was a tenant on our farm named Montgomery and the Indians had meanwhile looted his house the same as they had ours. He was considered as a union man and he and his wife obtained horses and were going to ride to the Indian camp and lay the matter before Colonel Ritchie, demanding their property back. In this they were going to be assisted by Benjamin

Chester, a neighbor who was a strong union man and whom the Indians never offered to bother in the


least. In fact Chester seemed to be a friend to the Indians and is said to have already been to the Indian camp a time or two. As Montgomery and his wife started to mount their horses in front of our house the Indians seized their bridles and took Montgomery prisoner, Mrs. Montgomery running back up to the house where we were. They started with her husband to the camp where the other prisoners had been taken and she never saw him again. He never even reached the camp, being killed just a little ways down the road from our house.

"As night came on a large number of the Indians remained around the place although there was not a: thing of value left anywhere. Most of them were down beyond the barn and some log huts and even after it got dark some of them would creep up and look in at us. I became more frightened than I had been yet and felt sure they were going to kill us. My mother said we

had nowhere to go and might as well stay there. I finally told her that if she stayed she would have to stay without me as I was going to slip away at the first chance and take as many of the children as would go. She then agreed to go also. "We watched for a time when no Indians were near the house and all of us fled to the, timber. We ran for about an eighth of a mile and, afraid to go farther for fear we would run onto some of the savages, crouched down and waited. The youngest child was just a year old and, like all the children, was hungry. The older ones knew enough to realize that they must keep quiet and mother placed her hand over the baby's mouth


every time it started to cry. Here we waited, afraid every minute that we would be discovered but they never ran onto us and later in the night we heard the ponies clattering down the road toward the camp on Center creek. Believing then that it was safe to move we started to the Ben Chester home because we knew that we would be safe there. The Chesters took us in and we stayed there all next day. Indeed we were afraid to leave for the Indians were moving toward Spring River and streamed by all day long, on foot, on ponies and with wagons carrying the sick. There was a spring near the Chester house and Indians were drinking there all day. Indians were also around the house all day but never offered us any harm.

"Among a group of prisoners that the Indians took along the road by the Chester house I saw my husband and Kato, the latter still driving our team of oxen. I never saw Mr. Snodgrass again." The Indians established a new camp on Spring river near Medoc at what was known as Shirley Ford. Here they were attacked by confederate troops, and Colonel Ritchie in a report dated September 20 describes the affair as follows:

"About 8 o'clock our picket guard was fired upon and a regular stampede of about 1,500 women and children crowded into camp for protection, making a regular Bull Run retreat. Everything seemed to partake of the same spirit but a moment after orders were given, every man was ready for an emergency. My infantry, or those who had no horses, gave the war

whoop and rushed in the direction of the pickets who


were being closely pursued. Soon after, a most terrific fire was commenced which resulted in the rout of the enemy. "Soon I was informed that our forces were about to be surrounded and I immediately put out companies to prevent anything of that kind. After placing a suitable guard around our supply train and camp I marched to the scene of the conflict. Before starting I had ordered Major Wright to pass around, and if possible, surround the enemy.

"Upon arriving at the battle ground I saw the enemy's flag waving, bidding us defiance, and saw that they were drawn up in line of battle. I ordered my infantry to conceal themselves in a ravine while I would take a party of cavalry and drive the enemy in close to the timber. Seeing Major Wright's party already in view I ordered everything forward. I felt that everything

depended upon our success and was determined to drive them or die.

"We took and killed their flag bearer and captured their vile flag; killed two officers and can count twenty other dead. Our loss killed is from twelve to twenty, including Captain George Scraper of Company H, who fell fighting bravely at the head of his men. We also had nine wounded. Two negro teamsters and one six mule team were taken while out foraging.

"Papers show that Irwin's and Jackman's men were in the rebel force; others show Stand Watie's and Livingston's, but there is nothing reliable as to who they were."


The Joel T. Livingston history of Jasper county published in 1912 states that the force attacking Ritchie consisted of a Texas regiment and Livingston's band. The Indians fled at the first attack but rallied, and, corralling their horses in the brush, put up a stiff defence, beating off the mounted attacks which, under the direction of the Texas colonel, were launched against them. Livingston proposed to the Texan that instead of continuing the attack from the front where the thick brush put mounted men at a disadvantage, that they charge down the main road and cut off the Indian's wagon train which was being taken across the river to a point of safety.

This did not meet the approval of the haughty Texan and a heated altercation followed, Livingston finally telling the colonel that if he would give him command of the whole force for thirty minutes that he would capture the entire Indian regiment, wagon train and all. The reply was a command for Livingston to take his men and go to the rear. "You can take your regiment and go to ," Livingston is said to have retorted, "And for me I will take my command and go where I please." This ended the fight. The colonel wheeled his regiment to the flank and rode off of the field without another word to the guerrilla chief. Livingston for his part held his ground until the Texans were out of sight and then retired southward, leaving Ritchie's men masters of the field.

In a letter written some hours after his official report Ritchie refers to his attackers as being commanded


by Colonel T. C. Hawpe. This agrees with the story in the county history referred to, for Hawpe's regiment was the Thirty-first Texas cavalry, which was then camped in Newton county.

The confederate attack had been the death warrant of Mr. Snodgrass and the other prisoners held by the Indians, all of the captives being butchered by the savages at the very beginning of the attack. Among those who perished in the massacre besides Mr. Snodgrass were James G. Ennis, Moses Lake, Jack Sparlin, Beverly Windsor, Joseph Zoph and others. The negro

Kato was never heard from again and probably met his death with the whites.

At this time there were 3,000 Kansas troops with sixteen pieces of artillery at Carthage, being part of a column of union troops moving from Fort Scott toward Sarcoxie where a force was being concentrated to attack the confederate army the outposts of which were then at Newtonia. When the news that Ritchie was engaged reached Carthage, Colonel W. F. Cloud took

three companies of infantry and two howitzers and moved to the assistance of Ritchie's undisciplined red men. The fighting was over by the time that he arrived there.

A short time later Ritchie's regiment went back to Kansas, the Chester family and the widow of the murdered Montgomery accompanying it as a means of getting out of Missouri to Fort Scott. A number of months later Ritchie was relieved of command and his regiment entirely reorganized, the Osages whom Colonel W. A. Phillips who commanded the Indian brigade


referred to as "savages and thieves who brought the whole Indian command into disgrace" being discharged during one of their periods of desertion as were also the Quapaws and other fragments of tribes who had behaved as badly as the Osages. The white Kansas troops were at Carthage a week, their camp being about a mile east of the town. Here they were joined a few days after their arrival by the Third Indian regiment under Colonel Phillips who had been skirmishing in McDonald and Newton counties with the confederates and who had finally found it advisable to retire northward and get in touch with the strong union forces in Jasper county. The southern troops did not follow him north of Neosho and did not at this time come in contact with the strong federal detachments that patrolled the southern part of Jasper county to protect the main body of the army from any sudden attack. Wiley Britton, who seems to have been with the Kansas troops, has this to say about the encampment and matters in Jasper county at this time: "The camp was pitched only a short distance from

the south bank of Spring river and many of the soldiers enjoyed themselves bathing in the clear running waters of that beautiful stream. In this section the people had raised fair crops of corn, oats and wheat and as a consequence the cavalry horses were better supplied with forage than they had been in the earlier part of the summer. Experience had taught officers and soldiers the importance of looking after their horses and it was now possible to keep them in good condition.


"But the bountiful supply of forage obtained for the cavalry horses was generally at the expense of the people who had worked hard through dangers and difficulties to raise something to subsist upon and to feed to the few head of horses, cattle and hogs left to them after being plucked by both parties. Sometimes receipts and vouchers were given by officers of detachments and commands for forage and property taken from them, but in most cases nothing was given to them to show that such seizures had been made. In some cases upon the approach of troops the owners of farms left their homes, crops and everything except a team or so with which to move away with some of their most necessary household goods. Only women and children were usually at home when the army was passing through the country, and when the troops took horses, mules, forage, or cattle from families, the women rarely

had the courage or facilities to go to the commanding officers and demand the return of or payment for their property. Now and then, however, sheer necessity compelled the wife or mother, the head of the family at home, to go to the camp and appeal to the commanding officer for the return of an only horse for the children to use to take the corn or the wheat to the mill, or to stop the taking of the last load of corn from the crib or side of bacon from the smoke house. The wife and mother whose husband was off in one or the other armies or widow whose husband had been recently killed in the war, when she thus appealed to be allowed to keep a pittance of her property for the use of her children, sometimes looked the very picture of despair."


From the camp at Carthage the federals marched eight miles southeast in the direction of Sarcoxie, then suddenly turned northeast and marched forty miles to Turnback in Lawrence county with the idea of heading off a threatened flank attack on Springfield, then retraced their steps to Mount Vernon and thence to Sarcoxie where various outlying detachments joined them. By September 28 the union forces at Sarcoxie, including some Missouri troops, numbered 4,500 men, commanded by Brigadier General Frederick Salomon. At and near Newtonia, twelve miles distant, lay 4,000 confederates under Colonel Douglas H. Cooper. Salomon's troops included the one Indian regiment--the Third Indian Home Guard-under Colonel Phillips, this unit being something more of a military organization than Ritchie's Indians were. Cooper's division also included many Indians-the First Cherokee battalion, the First Choctaw regiment, and the First Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment.

On the morning of September 29, four companies of the Ninth Kansas cavalry, 150 men, and two howitzers, all under the command of Col. E. Lynde, moved down toward Newtonia on a reconnaissance and after a short clash with the federals fell back from the town and at evening returned to Sarcoxie. Lieut. Col. Jacobi of the Ninth Wisconsin Infantry with Companies D, E, G and H of his regiment, Captain Medford's company of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry, 50 men of the Third Indian Home Guard and three rifled three-inch field pieces from Captain Stockton's. battery moved from


Sarcoxie a little later than Lynde and, taking up a position near Newtonia, stayed all that night. The next morning soon after daylight Lynde rejoined him and  although Salomon in his report says that their orders were merely to reconnoiter and not to become seriously engaged they immediately formed for an attack on the superior forces of the enemy. The engagement was opened by the three guns from Stockton's battery, Lynde's two howitzers soon joining in. Captain Hiram Bledsoe's battery which had taken such a prominent part in the battle of Carthage over a year before promptly replied. The confederates were posted among some brick buildings, in a large stone barn, and behind a long stone wall. Jacobi and his infantry moved gallantly forward to the attack but as they neared the stone wall the 31st Texas Cavalry and the First Cherokee battalion that lay behind it rose up and delivered a most deadly fire in the Wisconsin men's faces. The Texans then sprang forward over the wall to meet the attack and the federals fell back, forcing the Texans, however, by a hot fire to immediately return behind the wall. The advance of the federal cavalry, about the same time as their infantry attack, was stopped by the fire of Bledsoe's battery which after a short retirement had again gone into action.

As the Ninth Wisconsin began to fall back, the Choctaw and Chickasaw regiment rode into Newtonia on a gallop giving the war whoop and singing its war songs. Without pausing, the Indians galloped through


the town and charged the federal lines. Colonel Shelby's Missouri regiment, the same that had had the Coon creek fight in August, now entered the battle as did also several other organizations. The federals, greatly outnumbered and having suffered heavy losses, began to fall back everywhere, fighting as they went. Back at Sarcoxie, General Salomon had been

alarmed by the heavy firing and sent the Sixth Kansas Cavalry to the front, some time later following it up with the Third Indian Home Guard which was a mounted organization, and then setting out himself with the main body. The Sixth Kansas met the retreating troops three miles from Newtonia and held up the enemy for some time, soon being joined by Phillips and

his Indians. The retirement was continued slowly, however, until about three o'clock when Salomon finally arrived with his main force. Participants in the fight have described the action as a most stirring one, the whooping of the Indians mingling with the roar of the cannon and the rattle of musketry. The union forces now advanced a short distance but as it neared sunset General Salomon ordered a retirement to Sarcoxie.

The Fourth brigade of Missouri state militia cavalry covered the retreat and at midnight the entire column, less casualties, were back at Sarcoxie again. The confederate cavalry had pursued until dark and had then given up the chase. Considerable equipment and some loaded wagons abandoned by the federals were taken by Cooper's men.

The losses of the union forces in this engagement were 50 killed, 80 wounded and 115 missing, most of


the latter probably having been captured. The confederate loss was reported as 2 officers and 10 enlisted men killed, 13 officers and 50 enlisted men wounded, three enlisted men  missing. The battle was of course a reverse for the federals who had been flung into the fight in driblets against superior forces, and beaten in detail. The magnificent fighting qualities of the officers and men however had made up in part for the want of good generalship and had prevented anything like a disaster.

The union troops from all directions now hurried to Sarcoxie until on the evening of October 3, 12,000 were there, General Blunt in command of the Kansas troops, General Totten in command of the Missourians and General J. M. Schofield in command of the whole.

On the morning of October 4 they moved out of Sarcoxie and advanced on Newtonia. The confederates had no desire to engage a force so much superior to their own and fell back after a little artillery firing, Schofield's troops entering the town practically unopposed. Some time during 1862 Dr. Jacquilan M. Stemmons who lived two and a half miles northeast of Avilla, and a neIghbor man by the name of Latham or Layton Duncan, were killed by guerrillas at the Stemmons home. J. B. Stemmons, who was then a small boy, describes the skirmish in which his father lost his life as follows:

"One night early in the war, several of the members of the Home Guards, mostly men of our locality who had taken the federal side, were at our house. I think that several more joined them there because


they had heard rumors that the guerrillas were to raid us. Anyhow there were 26 men there that night, all well armed. Of course several of them were strangers to me, but a number of them were well known to me. Those that I can now remember were: Nelson Knight, Isaac Schooler, Rabe Paul, Coal Paul, Ben Key, Captain McCoy who was a lawyer, Layton Duncan and a man named Drace. "Our men had pickets out to prevent being surprised, but the raiding party, by a well planned approach, rushed the pickets and surrounded the house before anyone inside was aware of it. It was a big party of rebels which had come in on us, 300 or 400 of them being the range of estimates by our men. They included a good sized band from some adjoining county which happened to be passing through this county just at that time, but they also included many of our neighbors, in whose families father had practiced as a

physician. The unwelcome visitors formed a large ring around the house, most of them not wanting to get in too close, for fear of armed men known to be inside our home.

"I remember that the first thing I knew a shot rang out on the night air and glass from a window came rattling down on my face where I lay sleeping on a trundle bed. The first shot had come in at my window. After that all was excitement around that place, inside and out. Much shooting began. Our visitors called on us to surrender, but of course our men would not do that. The men outside tried to fire


the house, but they were in danger when they came close. Our men would dash outside and go to shooting when they saw a chance to get at men coming near the house. After making the charge, they would run back into the house. "Eventually the marauders took hay out of the barn and put it on a wagon and ran it up against the end of the house and set the hay on fire and soon had the house blazing. "While this work was in progress for firing the house with the load of hay, father stepped outside with his gun and addressed the attackers. He said that if they must kill, that was one matter, but the firing of the house was a different thing. He said he was ready to die if he must, but that the attackers ought not to burn down the shelter for his wife and children who would be left after he was gone. They shot him down and he fell over into a niche between the chimney and the house. We could hear him groaning for some time after he was shot, so we knew he did not die immediately. After that the firing of the house went on just the same.

"It soon got too hot to stay in the burning house. I was one of the last to get out. I remember seeing my stepmother run out. She had a year-old baby in her arms. "Old Mr. Knight and I ran out last. I really believe the old man tarried to see me safe through. We both made a dash for the back door. I ran safely to cover but he ran straight into the arms of a rebel guard IN THE  95

not far from the door. He and his captor recognized each other. They were neighbors and Mr. Knight had often befriended the other. "'Run, old man,''' said his captor. 'I'll shoot, but you'll get away safely,' and he did run and escaped. Our only casualties were father and Layton Duncan. Duncan was shot outside the house while he was making a charge and ran back inside and died. His body was carried away by our men when they abandoned the burning house.

"One of the rebels worked his way into a rear hallway during the fight at the house. One of our men saw him and shot him dead. That was the only casualty for the enemy that we could be certain about. The friends of this dead man could not get in to recover the body and so his remains burned along with the house, only the charred trunk of the body being left. I stumbled over the body of the dead man when I was leaving the house. The enemy took away with them their other dead and wounded and we never heard what there were of either.

"We had some mighty good horses on our place, some that father had brought from Kentucky. Also, each man there had come on horseback and their horses were quartered at our place. No other stock was there, but all these horses were led away by the enemy and were valuable booty.

"Father, on coming to this country, had built a considerable house and two cabins for the use of our slaves. Our folks occupied the better house of the


three after our home burned and it made a fairly comfortable habitation. During the latter part of the war, however, our family left the farm and stayed first at Mt. Vernon and then Sarcoxie, returning home after  peace was restored."

Berry Bedford, a Jasper county man of southern sympathies, was killed by federals in 1862. Mrs. C. C. Warner has told of his death as follows: "One of those killings near our farm in 1862 made a great impression on me. Berry Bedford, a neighbor residing a half mile from us, was met by a band of federal men of the locality, they riding up to him as he sat in the woods near our farm. With Bedford were Bud Shirley and James Moorehouse, of Carthage. Bedford was captured but the other two men got away by running through a field. Bedford was brought down to the road in front of our tenant house to wait for the men who were in pursuit of the other two.

"In the meanwhile some of the men of the party came to our house thinking the fugitives must have come there for refuge. The fleeing men had not come near the house, however, and after search had been allowed the visitors were satisfied of this. They stated, however, that they had caught old man Bedford. Now it happened that Bedford's daughter was right there

visiting us girls at the time. She and the rest of us were determined to go to him. But the men said that if a single person left our house he would be forthwith shot down. But even While they were saying this, we were leaving the house and flying down the road. Death


or no death, nothing could hold us back. We found Mr. Bedford in custody as had been told. His daughter threw her arms around his neck and begged that he be spared. The rest of us girls comforted her and also joined in her plea. The men treated us nicely and as if everything would be all right and eventually persuaded us to go back to the house.

Soon after we got back, however, we heard a volley of shots and some of the men came by the house and told us we could have our man now. As expected, we found him shot to death. We took a door from the tenant house close by and got the dead man onto that. Some of the men who had remained behind helped us do that, for it was a pretty heavy job for girls to do. We then sent word to the Bedford home and his little boy . brought a wagon on which we placed the improvised stretcher and took the dead man home.

"This incident naturally affected me deeply. Furthermore one of my sisters died next morning, we feeling that her death was hastened by the exciting things of the day before. She was very low and her recovery had been despaired of, but we felt she would have lived for some time, had she not become so excited over the blustering ways of the men who came to the house that day and their threatening attitude, followed almost immediately by the shooting of Bedford."

"Among the skirmishes in 1862 that I recall," said Captain T. J. Stemmons recently, "was an affair in which the guerrillas attempted to trick the militia at Bower Mills.


"Captain Stotts of Company C, 76th Enrolled Militia, was in command of our men and Captain Henry Fisher was also there. A few of the bushwhackers rode boldly up to the town and fired upon it, trusting that the well known aggressiveness of Captain Stotts would lead him to dash out in pursuit of them. After firing they turned their horses and galloped back by

where the remainder of their band were laying in ambush, finger on trigger.

"Captain Stotts was too wise a bird to be caught by such tricks and getting us under arms quickly he led us around through the timber to where he thought the larger band of bushwhackers might be. They were still in ambush when he came up on their flank but they made off swiftly enough when we opened up on them. We had one horse killed during the firing and I never heard what their losses were.

"Some time during this year we had a couple of forage wagons captured and burned a short distance east of Avilla. Several men of Captain Fisher's company to which I belonged were out foraging when a large number of guerrillas attacked them. Our men cut the horses loose from the wagons and rode for their lives, all making a successful escape. The guerrillas

got the wagons but the horses were brought back safely to our camp at Bower Mills.

"One incident that happened this year, as I remember it, was the capture of Wash Petty. His parents lived south of Carthage and by chance we reached their house one day just after Petty and a companion


had arrived there for a visit. There was a considerable number of us, Captain Stotts and Captain Fisher being in command. We surrounded the house and Petty and his companion ran up the stairway. "Several men wanted to go up after them but the two were well armed and whoever went up would have been killed so Stotts forbade it. 1 and another man were

stationed in front of the house and once Petty and his companion approached the window. We raised our guns but they ducked back again before we could shoot. Several men were now shouting to set fire to the house and burn them out.

" 'If you will promise to treat us as prisoners of war we will come down and surrender,' shouted Petty to Captain Stotts. '1 do not propose to have my father's house burned on my account. If you do not make the promise 1 ask for, we are coming down anyhow. You will kill us all right but we will kill more than two of you before we die.'

"This defiant attitude of Petty's pleased Stotts and Fisher. I remember one of them remarking that if Petty had begged and pleaded for his life he would have likely been in favor of killing him but that he admired a brave man. The two were therefore accepted as prisoners, Petty always maintaining his defiant attitude. He had the reputation of being a desperate man and Captain Fisher tied him upon his horse by putting a rope on one ankle, then running it under the horse's belly and tying it to the other ankle. Petty protested at this but Captain Fisher said to him, 'We


do this so we will not have to shoot you. 1 know very well that you are going to try to escape if we do not tie you up. If you tried to escape it would not be our fault if we did not kill you.' 'You are right,' answered Petty, 'and if 1 ever get you I will treat you the same.'

"Back in our camp there was a man who for some reason I have forgotten was a deadly enemy of Petty's but who was one of the kind of fellows that are never looking for a fight and never went on a scout if he could get out of it. Seeing Petty tied up he began to curse him and ask to be permitted to kill him.

"Petty was not a man to remain silent under these circumstances and he vigorously denounced the other, cursing him roundly for a coward.

" 'If they will just turn me loose with a pocket knife and give you all the arms in this camp,' he said, '1 will chase you out of here within five minutes.'

"We knew he could likely do it and most of us could not suppress a grin. Seeing our approbation and sensing the kind of man with whom he had to deal, Petty called him about every name that he could think of, telling him that it was plain he let brave men go out and capture prisoners and bring them into camp, then, after they were safely tied up, he was the bravest man of all. This was so true that we all enjoyed the situation except the man referred to and he became silent and said no more about killing the prisoner.

"Despite Petty's defiant attitude he was secretly worried about his fate after he left our hands. The usual thing for us to do with prisoners was to turn


them over to headquarters at Mount Vernon and from there they would be forwarded into Springfield. Petty was certain that he would be killed by the soldiers at Mount Vernon and we were not very sure ourselves that he would not be. I eventually took him to Springfield myself and I understand that he was later exchanged and went south.

"In the latter part of 1862, bushwhackers who were in ambush by a road near Bower Mills shot and killed a Lieut. Cather and another man. We pursued the murderers as far as 'the narrows' near the present site of Reeds but they scattered there and we lost trace of them."

After the federals occupied Newtonia the union army moved on south in pursuit of the confederates. Wagon trains passing from Fort Scott through Carthage, bound for the Kansas troops in the field, were frequently endangered by guerrilla bands. On October 17, Major Benjamin S. Henning, post commander at Fort Scott, wrote to General Blunt as follows:

"On Wednesday night last, some of my scouts returned and reported that Livingston was on the Dry Fork of Spring river with 200 men in wait for the train escorted by Capt. George F. Earl. I immediately ordered Captain Conkey with all of his available force to the assistance of Capt. Earl and they have just returned with the train all safe. Livingston was in wait but did

not make the attack as Captain Earl remained at Carthage until Captain Conkey met him."

On November 5 Lamar was attacked and partially burned by the guerrilla chieftain, W. C. Quantrill. Por-


tions of the Third Wisconsin cavalry were sent from Fort Scott to aid the company of the Eighth Missouri Militia cavalry that was holding the Barton county town. After they had started, Major Henning learned that Capt. P. D. G. Morton, quartermaster of the Third Kansas brigade, was in Carthage with a wagon train bound for Fort Scott. Fearing that Quantrill, fleeing from Lamar, would come across the wagon train and capture it, Henning ordered Captain Theodore Conkey with his company of the Third Wisconsin cavalry to Carthage to offer help to the train. Conkey reached Carthage, killing one guerrilla on the way, and found that the train had safely passed on to the west. That evening Captain Conkey, together with Captain C. F. Coleman of the Ninth Kansas Cavalry, camped not far from Carthage. Meanwhile another detachment of the Third Wisconsin had clashed with the guerrilla band of T. R. Livingston

on Cow creek and reported it headed toward Carthage. Major Henning at once sent a messenger to Conkey and Coleman, ordering them to endeavor to intercept the guerrillas. He describes in his official report the events that followed: "The messenger reached them in good time," the report states, "and they started for Sherwood, but as it grew dark before they reached that place, and having no one with them familiar with the country, they were obliged to camp until next morning. The command then separated, Captain Coleman on the south

side of Spring river and Captain Conkey on the north side and worked down toward Sherwood.


"Captain Coleman being in advance, came upon the rebels and charged them, killing four or five and taking four prisoners, including the notorious Captain Baker who was taken by Captain Coleman himself."

George B. Walker, from his father's home on Spring river, saw either the skirmish mentioned in the foregoing report or another one about the same time which took place a short distance downstream from Tucker's ford.

"From a hill west of my father's house I could see Livingston's men riding eastward along the slopes of a hill north of the river," Mrs. Walker has said. "I could also see the Wisconsin cavalry, who I understood were commanded by Captain Conkey, working down from the east. I don't think Livingston was looking for a fight at this time. It was not his custom to take his men into a fight unless he thought he was going to win. He met the federals by accident as I stood watching and there was a lively cracking of pistol shots as the two came together. In a few moments I saw that Livingston was falling back downstream with the union men following after and the occasional cracking of pistols grew dim in the distance. Conkey went downstream some distance and camped. He had taken about six of Livingston's men during the day and Livingston had captured about an equal number of his. "Livingston was afraid that the union leader would kill the prisoners he had taken and it is said that this was exactly what Conkey was intending to do, since he felt sure that the men of his that had been captured


had been killed. Livingston asked a southern girl to carry a dispatch to Conkey, asking for an exchange, and she mounted a horse and galloped to the federal camp, arriving just as the firing squad was getting ready to shoot the captives. When Conkey learned that his men were alive he called off the shooting and entered into negotiations with Livingston for their exchange. The latter now insisted that in trading prisoners Conkey throw in a gallon of whisky 'to boot.'

The captain agreed to this and passed over the liquor. Livingston asked that some union 'soldier sample the drink to prove it was not poisoned. This was done and when the trade was completed, Livingston and his men consumed the whisky and pronounced it good. "Livingston and his band often passed our house and I knew him well by sight as well as by reputation. He was a big, square shouldered man whose weight might have been in the neighborhood of 175 pounds, and when I knew him he was always clean shaven except for his moustache. He was an old bachelor, was a good natured and good hearted man but was a great whisky drinker. I had heard of him before the war.

He spent most of his time in the mining camps and like in the case of most whisky drinkers his drinking naturally led to fighting. I have heard how in saloons in Granby-then a wild camp-or in Minersville he had fought as many as five or six men at a time, knocking them down in rapid succession and whipping the bunch. He never knew fear and his men during the war idolized him. They said that there never was a leader so good to his men as Major Tom Livingston.


"He and his men, on the occasions I saw them passing, were superbly mounted and were dressed in ordinary civilian clothes. They were armed with numerous revolvers thrust in the belt and with short rifles or carbines carried strapped on the back. These rifles were of a variety of makes, predominant among them being Sharp's rifles and Colt revolving rifles. The

Sharp was by far the better gun and was the favorite. It was a breech loader but of course took a paper cartridge. The revolvers were generally either the Colts navy-a weapon of .36 calibre--or the Colts dragoon, which was .44 calibre. These were of course cap and ball, the metallic cartridges not yet having come into use. The latter was a beautiful, well balanced arm

which was known as a dragoon because it had been designed and used by the United States regular cavalry, or dragoons, in the wars with the Indians before the civil war broke out. Livingston's men were expert shots and each man usually carried three or four of these revolvers. I have often seen men with four thrust in the belt and two more carried on their saddle.

"A few days after the fight on Spring river that I witnessed Captain Conkey and his soldiers came to my father's farm and placed me under arrest. I had done nothing to be made prisoner for and told them so. This did not make any difference to them, however, for they seemed to be picking up about all of the younger men in the country. I was first taken to Neosho, then to

Fort Scott and was later sent north a distance to Fort Lincoln. No charges were ever placed against me and the next March I was released. These cavalrymen of Conkey's were a raw lot of recruits, it impressed me at the time, quite unlike the well trained soldiers of Colonel Clayton's regiment that I had seen in Carthage some months before."

Despite the operations of Coleman and Conkey the danger to wagon trains seemed to have been in no wise abated for on November 16 Henning wrote to General Blunt who was then in Benton county, Arkansas, with his army, that the movement of a wagon train from Fort Scott had been held up because a strong force was reported to be gathering on Spring river to intercept it. Between 800 and 1,000 guerrillas were said to be between Carthage and Lamar at this time.

John A. Whitehead has told of some personal experiences in Jasper county about this time as follows: "The fall of 1862 John Seela and I came back to Jasper county to get some articles we had left here, and, while we were back, butchered a hog to take up to Fort Scott with us. About that time two other wagons had come down from Fort Scott to move out Bannister Hickey who lived northeast of Carthage. Hickey had decided meanwhile not to go and he told the men to go down to his orchard near Diamond Grove and load up the wagons with apples to take back, and they did so. Seela and I started back north with these men. John and I were driving a wagon drawn by one yoke of oxen and each of the other two wagons were

drawn by two yokes of oxen. "That evening we crossed Little North Fork some distance beyond Preston but as we pulled up the bank


on the other side eight or ten bushwhackers stepped out from the brush and halted us. " 'You can consider yourselves prisoners,' the leader told us, 'Unhitch those cattle from the wagons and chain them in the timber.'

"We did so and were then placed in the timber and held under guard. The bushwhackers were apparently lying in wait for someone and had picked us up by chance. They did not tell us who they were after but I have understood since that it was Billy Spencer. Spencer had joined the confederates under compulsion earlier in the war but had deserted them at the first

opportunity and I suppose that this was why they wanted to kill him. The day before they captured us they had captured his son, John Spencer, who lived with his mother in Barton county near Nashville and the boy was never heard of again. I might mention, incidentally, that the bushwhackers never did get the father and he came back to Jasper county and lived

south of Carthage after the war. "We stayed in the timber until almost midnight at which time the bushwhackers decided that the man they wanted would not come, so they ordered us to

hitch up the oxen again and took us to Sherwood. Sherwood was in the extreme western part of Jasper county and we did not stop there but went on to Turkey creek and finally halted in a hollow south of the stream.

"The leader of our captors was a friendly and pleasant spoken sort of man who told us that his name


was William Parkinson and that he was the brother-in-law of Tom Livingston and a lieutenant in his band. I did not see Livingston but from the talk of about twenty men who joined us the night after our capture I gained the impression that the guerrilla chief and most of his men were down on Shoal creek somewhere.

The following day about noon Parkinson told us that we could take what bedding we wanted from the wagons and go wherever we pleased but that he would keep the wagons and the oxen· We chose a quilt apiece and the bushwhacker lieutenant wrote out a pass for us and told us that if we were stopped by any of Livingston's men or other southern sympathizers that we should show the pass and we would not be molested. Throwing our quilts over our shoulders we started on foot for Fort Scott, making the long walk without incident."

At the same time Mr. Whitehead and Mr. Seela came back to Jasper county, the former's brother, Jesse Whitehead, also returned. He thought it would be safe to come back to this region and make his home here again but he only returned to his death. Upon arriving here he went to the home of Jacob Crum on Center creek where there was also staying Mr. Crum's daughter, Mrs. Lydia Ann Whitehead, the wife of another Whitehead brother, James. Mrs. Whitehead tells of subsequent events as follows:

"A short time after Jesse returned, a band of bushwhackers numbering several hundred including quite a few Indians came to the house and took him prisoner. They robbed the house of everything they could carry off and although they did not injure my


father who was over eighty years of age they took practically everything he had, even clothing, and left him in his shirt and drawers. "They tied Jesse's hands behind him and put him

on a horse. I heard him ask the captain of the band what his name was and the man replied that it was Wilson but I do not suppose that he was telling the truth. I did not know any of the men but one of them told me that his name was Jack Webb. They took Jesse out to the west a short distance, not far from where the Carthage-Fidelity road crosses Center creek and there hung him, keeping people away from the vicinity for several days. I have heard that they hanged him up so his feet would just barely touch the ground and that he lived two days before finally dying. They said that this was in retaliation for the killing of Berry Bedford by northerners but I do not know why they picked on Jesse about it."

All during November the guerrillas were causing great anxiety by their numbers and activity everywhere, General Brown writing to General Schofield as follows:

"The time of the enrolled Missouri militia expired on November 20. The country is overrun with guerrillas and to disarm the people at present would leave them and their families at the mercy of these hordes of robbers. The commanding officer at Bower Mills reports large bands in his vicinity and fears he will be forced to abandon his position. From that and all portions

of the western portion of the district come reports


that the robbers have become very bold, shooting our soldiers and union men and driving their families from their homes."

On November 27 in a sharp skirmish near Carthage a detachment of state militia cavalry from Greenfield defeated Jackman's guerrillas. General Francis J. Herron reported it and other affairs about the same time as follows:

"Brigadier General Brown reports the results of two expeditions sent from Greenfield. One under Major G. W. Kelley, Fourth Missouri State Militia, into Jasper county, encountered and dispersed Jackman's band of guerrillas, killing one lieutenant and one private and capturing six prisoners with their horses, arms, etc. Captain Roecker, of Major Kelley's command,

had a hand-to-hand encounter with a rebel lieutenant, finally killing him. The other expedition under Lieutenant Pritchard met a portion of the same band in Barton county near Lamar, dispersing them and killing two. Quantrill with about 1,000 men came up to within ten miles of Newtonia, intending to surprise Colonel J. F. Philips stationed at that place, but hearing

of the reinforcements sent there has scattered his command, falling back into McDonald county. Colonel Philips is after him. The southwestern counties are swarming with guerrilla bands."

The situation for the federals seemed to improve within the next month for on December 31, Major E. B. Eno, a courageous and able officer commanding at Newtonia, reported that although the valleys of Center


creek, Jones creek and Shoal creek were swarming with guerrillas that he had killed eight of them within two weeks and the rest were not nearly as daring as they had been.

"It will take some little time," he wrote, ~'but I am determined to root them out, stem and branch, and if horseflesh and ammunition do not fail me, will do it."

The entire strength of the union troops then in Jasper, Newton and McDonald counties was given as 635.



1863-Guerrilla Warfare and Shelby's Raid

During 1862 there had been organized in Missouri a force of some 13,000 state militia cavalry whose purpose was to relieve volunteer regiments in the policing of Missouri so that these volunteers could be sent to more active fronts. After the union troops had occupied Newtonia in October of 1862, detachments of the Seventh and Eighth Militia cavalry regiments were assigned to keep the peace in Jasper county and vicinity and the beginning of 1863 found them very active in this task. Although state troops, their drill and efficiency compared favorably with volunteer regiments of the same arm and they rendered most effective work, both in hunting down guerrillas and in repelling confederate raids into Missouri. The general tactics pursued in their campaign against the guerrillas were to garrison certain towns,  prepare them for defense and hold them with a portion of the force. Using these garrisoned places as bases of operation the remainder of the troops made numerous scouts throughout the country, striking hard at the guerrillas wherever they could be found. In addition to the state militia cavalry the enrolled militia organizations were called into service from time to time whenever emergencies warranted and were relieved therefrom when circumstances made it possible. Some of the enrolled militia seems to have been in the


service all the time and in February 1863 the organization of Provisional Enrolled Militia organizations which were to be continually in active service was begun. Company C, 76th Enrolled Militia, Captain Green C. Stotts commanding, now became Company C, Seventh Provisional, and included most Jasper county men in the provisional service. This company was stationed most of the time at Cave Springs but seems to have occupied Bower Mills occasionally. The character of the warfare in Missouri by the beginning of 1863 had become of a very bitter nature, a number of guerrilla bands fighting under the black flag and neither giving nor being given quarter. This had been commenced in 1862 when various union commanders throughout the state had called attention to the fact that, according to the laws of war, guerrillas operating in civilian clothing or in captured federal uniforms were not entitled to treatment as prisoners of war and would be shot when captured. The guerrillas retaliated by killing federals that fell into their hands. There were plenty of exceptions to this rule however in regard to some of the guerrilla organizations. Prisoners were occasionally captured by them and released and oftentimes when they themselves were captured they were treated as ordinary prisoners of war.

The "summary of events" in the official records mention a skirmish in Carthage, January 13, 1863, and another on Sarcoxie Prairie on February 10, but no particulars are given of either.


Major Eno of the Eighth Missouri Militia cavalry, reports on one of his scouting trips in Jasper county as follows: "On February 19 I marched down Center creek, thence up Spring river to Carthage where I encamped that night. Here I learned that the enrolled militia from Bower Mills had overtaken Livingston with about 60 men six miles distant on Dry Fork of Spring river,

had fought him a little and then came charging back through Carthage, swearing because they could not catch him.

"My conjecture relative to his rendevous was correct but on hearing of my scout being below on Spring river he ran directly north about Lamar. Knowing that Captain Moore's scouts, (Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry) would be in that neighborhood on the 20th, I concluded to march back to Jones and Jenkins creeks. We took the brush and creek until within a quarter of

a mile of that misnomer, Fidelity; then charged into that place; came upon a small party of the rascals, wounded one and captured three. The balance escaped, our horses being too tired to overtake them. Thence. I divided my command again and beat the brush of Jones and Jenkins creeks upstream. Not finding anything, we encamped on Jones creek, sending parties up and down the stream during the night.

"If the Wisconsin scout does not come across Livingston and cut him up, he will go down to the border and harbor at the mouth of Shoal creek again, provided he does not leave the country altogether. Many of the


best friends of the guerrilla chief solemnly own to me that they see and fully appreciate the injury he is doing to the country, and they talk seriously of presenting a petition to him to leave." Livingston did not leave the country, however, and within a few weeks made a raid on Granby. Major Eno reported as follows regarding this affair:

"On the night of the 3rd of March the guerrilla chief, Livingston, with 100 men dashed into Granby where 25 men of my battalion were stationed. The patrol guard, two men, were captured, disarmed and probably killed, as nothing has been since heard of them. "Two other soldiers who were attending a sick family a short distance outside the stockade were captured, and unarmed as they were, begging for their lives, were shot down in their tracks. Livingston passed rapidly out without venturing to attack the squad in the stockade."

Six days after the Granby skirmish Capt. David Mefford of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry had a clash with Livingston near Sherwood. The report of his expedition follows:

"Sunday, March 8, I went to Diamond Grove about five miles from Savilla, and searched the woods thoroughly but without satisfactory results. I then moved down Turkey creek and went to Sherwood in Jasper county, a distance of eighteen miles. We found a trail but could get no information as to what troops had passed. It being nearly night I remained in town until

3 a. m., Monday.


"We then followed up the trail a short distance when my advance ran into a picket. Shots were exchanged in which Sergeant Fountain, non-commissioned staff, was severely though not dangerously wounded in the face. The rebel picket was also wounded but not fatally. We searched the woods and found the camp which had contained 70 or 80 men, judging from appearances, which the noted Tom Livingston had left in great haste, cutting ropes and halters. The brush being so thick, it was impossible to follow them.

"I moved out on the edge of Turkey creek timber and proceeded about two miles. Seeing several men in a little bend of the prairie the advance went in pursuit, and after a chase of about three-fourths of a mile they were suddenly turned upon by Livingston's whole force and obliged to fall back to the main command, still pursued. Seeing them repulsed, I quickly formed my men behind a clump of trees and bushes, dismounted them and sent them in on foot. The enemy coming within 90 or 100 yards, firing commenced, lasting but a few minutes, the enemy retreating precipitately. "I had one man wounded in the leg. The injury sustained by the rebels is not known but from the appearance of the woods must have been considerable in horses. I sent Company H in the woods as skirmishers and found the trail again, but considering it useless to try to follow them I turned my course to Neosho, which place I reached at sundown."

On March 5 there had been a skirmish at Sherwood but the only information given in the official


records about this affair is that it occurred on the date stated. Nothing is said as to who fought it or why. Undoubtedly it was the result of a scouting party meeting Livingston's men.

A regiment of colored troops-the First Kansas Colored Infantry-took station at Baxter Springs about this time and began to make occasional trips into Jasper county. Included in their number were quite a few Jasper county negroes. Reports of federal officers speak of these negro soldiers as forming a well disciplined and efficient regiment but they were bitterly

hated by the southern people and it was scant mercy that was received by any of them when they fell into guerrilla hands.

One action in which the negro soldiers assisted white troops from Kansas is told in a report written by Major Charles W. Blair, commandant at Fort Scott, under date of May 9. The report follows: "I have the honor to inform you that on Tuesday last, having heard that a rebel camp was established on Center creek near the town of Sherwood about sixty miles from this place, I dispatched Adjutant M. M. Ehle with a detachment of about sixty men to attack and disperse them and to bring back the stolen and contraband stock which I was informed they had gathered there in very considerable amount.

"By forced marches he got to the south of them and learning from his scouts that they numbered 200 or 300 he applied to Colonel J. M. Williams, First Kansas Colored Volunteers, for assistance who promptly


reinforced him with two companies and one gun of Blair's battery under Lieut. Daniel C. Knowles. "With this added force he attacked the enemy at daybreak, carrying the camp in gallant style and dispersing the rebels in every direction. He subsequently attacked and. took another camp nearer the town and dispersed its occupants. Some few prisoners were taken and about fifty head of young horses and mules, part" of which, with the prisoners, were turned over to Colonel Williams, and the residue, being the greater part thereof, were turned over to the quartermaster at this post on their arrival here today."

In the early part of May, Livingston who had been resting in the Creek nation in Indian Territory returned to Jasper county. On May 14 Major Eno had another fight with him, this time near the Center Creek mines. Eno's report follows:

"On the morning of the 13th I marched from Newtonia by order of Colonel Thomas T. Crittenden, commanding post, in command of 74 men of the Seventh Missouri State Militia cavalry, and 100 men of my own battalion. After proceeding nine miles, Captain Squire Ballew, Seventh Cavalry, with 50 men, were detached with orders to proceed down Shoal creek about fifteen miles; thence pass over on to Turkey creek, avoiding roads as much as possible, and driving the brush thoroughly, and to encamp that night in vicinity of Turkey Creek mines; thence he was directed to proceed down the creek to a point three miles below Sherwood; thence to move up Center, while with the remainder I moved


down from a point above, and to meet me at French Point some time next day, 14th instant, with the additional caution that I probably would not arrive until late in the afternoon. I moved with the balance of the command through the brush on Jones and Jenkins creek, and divided the scout so as to scour them both. No sign was discovered and the command camped that night on Center creek, 5 miles from Carthage. Captain Ballew camped as directed.

"On the morning of the 14th I again divided the portion of the command with me, sending Captain Cassairt of the Eighth cavalry down the south side of the creek; Captain M. C. Henson with 35 men on the north side, while with the remainder I passed down the center. By this disposition I hoped either to engage or surround the guerrillas with the three subdivisions or to drive them to French's Point where Captain Ballew should have been ready to receive them, while I advanced on their rear and either flank, in which event the capture or destruction of the entire gang was inevitable. "About 3 p. m., Captain Henslee drove in their pickets on the north and Captain Cassairt on the south side of the creek. Captain Henslee followed the trail

hotly, crossed the creek and joined Captain Cassairt on the other side; thence both pushed on and found the guerrillas about 100 strong, commanded by Livingston, strongly posted under cover of a log house and some dense' brush. A severe fight ensued of some 15 minutes duration, when our men were obliged to fall back. This I am confident would not have occurred had not Captain Hensley been cut off from his command.


"At the first fire his horse became unmanageable and dashed through the rebel lines, leaving his men without a commander. Many of the guerrillas were dressed in federal uniform. Captain Cassairt's detachment mistook them for our men, and before discovering their mistake, were right among them, had received a galling fire and were fighting hand to hand.

"Captain Henslee, who had been carried far beyond the ground, as soon as his horse could be checked dashed back and with the greatest coolness and daring approached within pistol shot of the rebels, fired and killed one before wheeling to make his escape. "Captain Cassairt exerted himself to the utmost to rally his men and finally succeeded in gaining the edge of the prairie; threatened to shoot the first man who dared to move another step to retreat; immediately formed and commenced firing the enemy who in turn retreated, carrying off his dead and wounded. When the firing commenced, the detachment with me was two miles up the creek. I immediately started on a gallop in that direction, but was not able to reach the ground until all was over. This was four and a half miles east of Sherwood and one and a half miles east of French Point.

"I pushed on immediately in pursuit, pressing them so hard as to compel them to leave their prisoners, whom I recaptured, and expecting every moment to hear Captain Ballew's guns attacking the enemy in his front as he approached French Point, which place he was obliged to pass in his retreat. The trail, as I


anticipated, led directly through French Point, and the bank was still wet with the water carried out in Livingston's crossing, but Captain Ballew was not there. I regret to have to report that he had arrived, was waiting for me, his advance had fired upon Livingston's advance as the latter approached, when an escaped prisoner, frightened and bewildered, reported to him the fight a short time previous and that the rebels were not far off, and Captain Ballew disobeyed my orders, retreated with his fifty men without waiting to see the enemy or engage him, never halting until night, thus leaving the path open for Livingston's retreat. Had Captain Ballew obeyed orders and stood his ground, there can be no question but that Livingston

and his fiendish gang would have been completely annihilated. "The company bivouacked the night of the 14th three miles above Sherwood. Captain Ballew encamped twelve miles above French Point, near Grove creek. "On the morning of the 15th his rear was fired on by a squad of bushwhackers, when he retreated back onto Center creek, passed round by Bower Mills, 25 miles out of his way, and arrived at Newtonia at 9 o'clock the same night, having lost two men prisoners, who fell into the hands of the men who fired upon him and who report that the bushwhackers numbered eight.

"On the morning of the 15th I sent Captain Cassairt with 30 men to bury the dead and convey the wounded to Newtonia. With the remainder of the command I passed on over to Spring river, following Liv-


ingston's trail over the prairie, but at the distance of two miles the trail divided and finally diverged in every direction, not more than four men having gone together. I passed down Spring river five miles, thence across again on Center creek, when for the next ten days the command was kept moving slowly through the brush and over by-roads, crossing and recrossing

the creek. From the time of the first skirmish on the 14th until leaving the creek on the 18th we were almost continually sighting them, starting up scattered squads of from four to ten, chasing and firing on them, when they invariably dashed into the brush and concealed themselves, making it impossible-except in two instances when men were overtaken and shot down to ascertain whether they were hurt or not.

"Our total loss on the scout is four killed and two wounded. The enemy's loss, reported by parties present at the burial, is 15 killed, a captain and 15 or 20 others wounded, one mortally, at different points on the creek.

"The following is a correct list of killed and wounded of both battalions: Killed-Charles Crude, sergeant, Company M, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry, shot and stripped naked after having surrendered; Winster C. Donely, corporal, Company M, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry; Henry C. Maxey sergeant Company L; and Horace Palmer, private, Company F,

Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, killed after being taken. Wounded-John T. Anderson, Company L, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry; Samuel Beach,


private, Company F, Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry.

"In justice to the memory of Private Palmer I cannot forbear mentioning that when the retreat from the first skirmish commenced, he exclaimed, 'I didn't volunteer to run; right here I'll die;' dismounted, deliberately tied his horse to a tree, and fired eighteen shots before he could be taken.

"The guerrillas in that region were scattered in every direction and were completely disheartened. "The scout was successful but I cannot but express my regret that it was not the complete success that I had planned and hoped for, in the total annihilation of the gang, which must have been the result if my orders had been obeyed. The men behaved with steadiness and bravery with the one exception mentioned. I have to thank the officers with me for the assistance rendered by their cool, judicious conduct throughout the scout."

Lieutenant Colonel T. T. Crittenden, commanding at Newtonia, and Colonel W. F. Cloud, commander of the district of Southwest Missouri, both seem to have judged Captain Ballew more charitably than did Major Eno in his disappointment. At least Ballew was retained in command of his company and afterwards given positions of trust, commanding the post at Warsaw,

Mo., a little later in the year. Crittenden speaks of his failure to cooperate with Eno as a misunderstanding.

He also pays tribute to the guerrilla chief by saying in a letter to Cloud, "Kill Livingston and


there is no one else to mass and congregate these bands. He is a man of much influence." In the same communication Crittenden states that the information regarding the guerrilla loss came from women of southern sympathy who were present when Livingston buried fifteen dead in one grave.

Livingston, signing himself as major in the confederate army, on May 28, 1863, made a report to General Sterling Price on the guerrilla operations in Jasper county. The May 15 fight referred to evidently is the same one that Eno says occurred May 14. The report is the only official one made by Livingston of which

any record has been preserved. It was written at Diamond Grove and is as follows:

"On the 15th of Mayas I was crossing the timber of Center creek about ten miles southwest of Carthage, I encountered a scout of the enemy consisting of about 125 Newtonia militia. I immediately got my mm in position to receive an assault from him which I vigorously repulsed.

"I then charged upon him, Captain Estes commanding the left, Captain McCullough the center, and Captain Rusk a flanking party on the right. A sharp firing ensued and the enemy was soon flying before us. I pursued him for about three miles toward Carthage.

The enemy lost in killed, 13; mortally wounded, 4; prisoners, 4. My loss: killed, none; wounded, Captain Estes slightly in the arm and Captain McCullough slightly stunned from the fall of his horse which was shot under him. I then retired to Twin Groves, about three miles distant.


"The next day the enemy was reinforced to about 400 and I moved on Spring river but was not pursued. "On the 18th my scouts reported 60 negroes and white men belonging to Colonel J. M. Williams' negro regiment with five six-mule teams foraging on Center creek prairie. I ordered out 67 of my best mounted men and came upon them at Mrs. Rader's, pillaging her premises. I afterwards learned that they were ordered not to take more plunder than they could take with them. I charged them at the house, flanking them on the right, routed them and pursued them about eight miles to the crossing of Spring river.

"The enemy's loss in killed was 23 negroes and 7 white men; wounded unknown, and a number of prisoners. We also captured thirty 'mules and five wagons; a box containing 1,400 cartridges and caps, and a good many guns, pistols, etc. The prisoners I subsequently exchanged for confederate soldiers. I sustained no loss. "The following day the enemy returned with 300 infantry and two companies of cavalry and burned the town of Sherwood and eleven farm houses in that vicinity.

They then put ten of their dead negroes that had been left on the battle-ground the day preceding, together with the body of Mr. John Bishop, a citizen prisoner whom they had murdered, into the house of Mrs. Rader and burned the premises. They then returned to their camp at Baxter Springs."

At the same time the above support was submitted to General Price, Livingston wrote the general the following personal letter urging that he send confederate troops into southwest Missouri to aid the guerrillas.


"You will see from the enclosed letter (captured from unionists) the deplorable situation of our friends in southwest Missouri. We have but a small force in this portion of the state. Colonel Coffee has joined me with a small force of unorganized troops and will cooperate with me but our combined forces are yet too small to prevent the threatened destruction of our

country. Can you, and will you, use your influence in sending a sufficient force to relieve the suffering of the people of your own state who are being subjected to outrages unparalleled in any other war? We make this appeal to you who can appreciate our sufferings and can plead our cause, being one of us."

In reference to the May 18 fight told of by Livingston, Lieut. Edward Smith, Second Kansas Battery, reported to his commander as follows:

"On the 18th of May, 1863, a foraging party from the camp of Col. James M. Williams, First Colored Volunteers, Baxter Springs, consisting in part of men belonging to my battery, were attacked in the vicinity of Sherwood, by a party of rebel guerrillas, and Corporal Van Rennsler Hancock, Private Joseph Endicott and Private Cameron Garrett were killed."

Lieutenant Smith's report of casualties differs widely from that of Livingston but it is probable that the lieutenant speaks only of casualties to his own battery, saying nothing of the negro loss. Colonel W. F. Cloud, who at that time commanded the district of southwest Missouri with headquarters at Springfield, reported on May 30 as follows regarding an expedition down into this region:


"Learning that Coffee and Hunter were at Pineville I immediately moved in that direction and taking their trail followed them from Pineville by way of Rutledge; thence west of Neosho to Diamond Grove and west of Carthage about ten miles where I overtook a part of their force under Coffee about 290 strong and attacked them with equal force at daylight of Tuesday,

May 26, As they would not stand and fight but took to the woods and brush, I was obliged to be content with scouring the same and dispersing them. ''Hunter had gone north to Cedar county with about 100 men and Livingston was not to be found.

After disposing of ;my command so as to annoy and capture as many of these roving bands as possible I returned to my headquarters. "The enemy here are basing their hopes on Price's coming, which in turn depends on the abandonment of the siege of Vicksburg by our forces."

George Walker, who has been mentioned as having been taken north by union troops in the fall of the preceding year has told of his release from federal hands and his subsequent action as follows: "In March of 1863 a union man of Jasper county had seen me at Fort Lincoln a prisoner and, knowing that I had taken no part in the war as yet, asked me what I was doing there. When I told him that I had been brought there by Captain Conkey he said he would go to Fort Scott and see what charges had been placed against me. A few days later Major Henning, commanding at Fort Scott, had me taken there and talked


to me. He said there were no charges against me and that I was free to go home. I lost no time in starting out and of course came on foot as I had no horse. A short distance south of Fort Scott I met Captain Conkey.  'Where are you going now, young man?' he asked me.

" 'I am going home,' I told him. "All right,' he answered, 'I'll be down in that country before long and I want to find you there when I come.'

" 'You want to find me there so you can pick me up again without any charges against me,' I answered.

" 'Weren't there any charges filed against you ?' he laughed. 'Well, I won't pick you up any more if you behave yourself. You go on home and I will look you up when I get there.'

"I proceeded home but naturally after my confinement I was in no friendly mood toward the government and was not a bit anxious to see Captain Conkey or any of his like any more.

"I had not been home long before I learned that a company of men was to be gotten up in the county to go and join General Shelby, so on the day appointed I took our best horse and rode to Carthage which was the point of rendezvous. I carried two Colt's navy revolvers and a Sharp's carbine, each man being required to furnish his own arms. About thirty men reported and we were formed on the square at Carthage and formally sworn into the service of the Confederate


states as soldiers, Jim Petty being elected captain. We were unable to join Shelby for a time and operated in various parts of the country for a few months. "One day during the summer we came from the west and camped on the Oak street road west of Carthage somewhere near where the Monitor school now stands. By this time there were about forty men in our company. The camping place was only a short distance south of my home and since I had not been there for some time I obtained permission to go over to the house. A little while prior to this Bud Shirley, one of our men who lived in Carthage, had ridden toward town to see his family who lived on the north side of the square at the hotel which his father kept. I knew

the Shirley's quite well. There was old John Shirley, the father, as pleasant a man as you could find. Then there was Preston Shirley, the older son who was never a soldier as far as 1 know but went to Texas during the war, and there was Bud who was medium sized, dark complexioned and who weighed probably about 160 pounds. Bud was as good a companion and as brave a man as you could find anywhere. His age was about 22. He had a younger sister, Myra, who was about 16 and although she was small for her age she was rather a pretty girl and everybody liked her. "1 had gone only a short distance toward home when 1 heard Captain Petty call to me. 1 turned around and he motioned me to return and 1 did so. Bud Shirley was with him, just having ridden up from Carthage and 1 knew that something was up or Bud would never have returned so soon.


"'I want you to go to Carthage with me,' said Petty. 'Bud has learned that there are six militiamen in a house there and we are going in to get them.'

" 'Why don't you take someone else?' I asked, 'I had just started home and I have not been there for a long time.'

" 'No, you have a good horse and I want you along,' he replied.

"He chose eight others besides Shirley and myself and the eleven of us rode into town. The house for which we were bound was several hundred feet southwest of the southwest corner of the square and we reached it without seeing any signs of federals. We dashed up to the house with drawn pistols, Petty in the lead with Shirley on one side of him and me on the other. "A militiaman stepped out of the door as we galloped up, snatched a rifle from beside the door and fired. The bullet struck Captain Petty squarely in the head and he slid from his horse, instantly killed. Both Shirley and I snapped our pistols at his slayer and either of us could have gotten him except that the caps failed to explode. We always had difficulty getting good pistol caps. and the bunch we now had were wretched ones. G. B.'s they were called and they were not waterproof, thus they sometimes became worthless and failed us when we needed them most. "

The militia, roused by the noise, were now coming out of every door and window. Instead of six of them there seemed at least thirty-five that had been crowded


in that house eating dinner. There was a lively fusilade for a moment, they firing and we firing and snapping. The shooting was pretty wild, however, except for the militiaman's first shot, the militia being surprised by our sudden attack and we being surprised by their unexpected number. I noticed one soldier by the fence who had just reloaded his rifle and who was trying to put a cap on the nipple. I picked him out for mine and pulled the trigger on him at close range. My revolver again snapping instead of exploding. The soldier, becoming excited, dropped the cap and picked it up again while in a rage I futilely snapped and re-snapped my gun at him. Finally he slid the cap on the nipple and I whirled my horse, becoming aware for the first time that my comrades were already gone. My enemy fired about this time and hit me in the right arm, the ball passing clear through. As I raced down the road a considerable number of the other soldiers blazed away at me but never touched me, and I safely regained camp. Captain Petty was the only man that we had killed and I was the only one wounded. I do not think that the federals had anyone hit at all. One of the lieutenants took command of our company and when Shelby came through on his raid in October we joined him." .

Early in 1863 Captain Henry Fisher of Company G, 76th Enrolled Militia, the Jasper county company, was killed about eight miles east of Carthage. He and Private John De Graffenreid were riding along the road after night when they came upon a band of men halted alongside the road. One of the federals demanded to


know who they were, and the guerrillas-for guerrillas they were-replied with a volley which killed both the soldiers. T. J. Stemmons, son of Dr. J. M. Stemmons who was killed the preceding year, was chosen captain to take Fisher's place. Telling of events in 1863 Captain Stemmons said recently:

"One time during the spring we received word that seven Texans that had been chosen from the confederate army to go through the union lines to north Missouri for some purpose I never learned were then riding through eastern Jasper county. Captain Stotts was near Cave Springs when he received the word and immediately started on their trail with about a dozen men.

I was east of Avilla when I heard it and also took up the chase with thirteen men. "Stotts was close on their heels and caught up with them near where Dudenville now is. His men were riding hard and had become scattered out during the pursuit. Private Alfred Lawrence was leading the chase for the federals and Lieutenant George Bowers was close behind. Several of the Texans slowed up, shot and killed Lawrence and then wounded Bowers with a sort of ranging shot across the back. They then succeeded in making their escape although they had

one man wounded. "The fight was over by the time I came up and I was in favor of continuing the pursuit. Captain Stotts pointed out however that for all we knew that there might be a thousand rebels in the country to the northeast of us where the trail led and it would be better for us to stay in our own territory."


In early June Colonel Williams with his negro regiment entered Jasper county and was moving toward Diamond Grove with the intention of cooperating with the force at Newtonia in a move against the guerrillas and with the further intention of impressing a considerable number of wagons from Jasper county farmers. He had been ordered from Baxter Springs to

Fort Gibson in Indian Territory and since he did not have as much transportation as he needed to make the trip he looked to Missouri, occupied largely by southern sympathizers, as a logical place to supply his shortage. Fortunately for Jasper county Colonel Williams had just reached the Rader home on Turkey creek in the western part of the county when he received two messages which stopped his further progress. One was that his camp in Kansas had been attacked by guerrillas and the other was from Col. William A. Phillips down in the Cherokee Nation to the effect that strong confederate forces were moving north toward Baxter Springs. Williams promptly turned his regiment and retraced his steps, regaining his camp after having made a thirty mile march that day. Williams' organization soon moved on down into the Indian Territory, thence over into Arkansas, and came into this region no more. Another negro regiment, the Second Kansas Colored Infantry, took post at Baxter some time later but seem not to have operated any in Jasper county. So far as the records show, the last colored troops to move through here were Williams' men.


Something of the perilous situations to which civilians were exposed during this period is shown by the description given by Mrs. Ann F. Wise, daughter of Robert J. Dale, of an incident that happened about this time: "The night of June 21, 1863, will ever be fresh in my memory, for just as we were ready to retire in our country home (now Villa Heights a suburb of Joplin)

two men came in from the back door and demanded to 'see the man of the house,' one saying, 'Mr. Robert Dale.'

"Father had lain down weary from harvesting. They wanted to see him privately, saying they wanted him to come out into the yard as they had a secret to tell him. And this was the secret: 'We hear you have $800 in confederate money. If you don't produce it in two minutes we are going to kill you.'

"After father had satisfied them he did not have the $800 arid gave up $15 in greenbacks, all that he had, they still were restless because father had recognized one of the two men. After walking back and forth from the gate, where, it was afterwards made clear, they were consulting others of their party, one said: 'Old man, you had just as well step out and die like a

man and stop troubling your family. All the devils in hell can't save you.' Mother, and older sister and myself surrounded father. The tall, red haired young man who had been recognized by father, held a revolver over my head to shoot. We whirled around with the other two between to shield him. I said to the man,


'What do you think will become of you when you die, trying to kill an innocent man?' With an oath he replied, 'I am not thinking of that now.'

"After much maneuvering we succeeded in getting into the house with father and barring the doors by putting bedsteads against them. The men began breaking window lights with their revolvers, while one on an opposite side punched out the daubing, it being a log house, and threw in' lighted brands. I tried to hold quilts and shawls over the windows so father could

run out the back door, but the men jerked them away. Father took a sack of wool that was ready to send to the carder and placed it to his back to catch any shots and sprang from the back door for his life. Simultaneously we heard four shots. I reached the door in time to see the red flash of one shot and a mournful call of 'Oh Lord.'

"We ran to the sound and found a man we thought was father, lying on his face, blood gushing from his mouth. While mother was holding his head we discovered the man wore spurs and quickly retreated toward the house, but ran into two other men.

" 'Is your pap dead, sis?' one asked.

" 'That man had on spurs,' I answered.

"'Good God, boys, we've killed one of our own men,' was the startled exclamation that followed.

"The dead man proved the same one who had taken the $15. Soon after we got into the house a hand reached in behind the door, which had been pried off its hinges when the guerrillas were trying to get in,


and pulled two quilts off the bed. Next morning we saw blood on the fence just east of the brick spring house, which still stands today on the Clara place at Villa Heights, where they carried away the dead man.

"Needless to say my father escaped uninjured."

Skirmishes at Carthage on June 27 and 28 are listed in the records but no details of the affairs have been preserved. In early July Livingston and J. T. Coffee moved northward out of Jasper county and Livingston who had eluded so many of the attempts of the federals to run him down was finally killed on July 11 in an attack on the militia at Stockton in Cedar county. With Livingston at the time were many residents of Jasper county who were members of his band. The official report of the skirmish in which he lost his life was written by Charles Sheppard, assistant adjutant general of the Missouri enrolled militia, and is as follows:

"Livingston, the chief of bushwhackers in this district, with 100 men surprised and attacked the militia at Stockton at 1 p. m., July 11. Lieut. W. A. McMinn, commanding detachment of 76th Enrolled Militia, garrisoning the town, had his headquarters and arms at the court house and immediately commenced fighting.

"The fight was short, resulting in the killing of Livingston and three others (left dead on the field) and 15 wounded and left by the enemy at Whitehair, ten miles southwest of Stockton. How many other men were killed and wounded is not known. Our loss is as follows: Lieut. McMinn and three others mortally wounded and two slightly."


W. R. Willett, one of the federals participating in the fight, gave a more graphic account of the affair which was published in the Carthage Press in 1911. "There were just thirteen in our party," said Mr. Willett, "and when the guerrillas dashed into town we were in the court house listening to a speech being made by R. P. Welch, one of our number who was running

for state representative. At the first alarm we sprang to arms and hastened to defend ourselves. "Livingston rode at top speed up to the court house, reined in his horse and fired into the building just as we swung the heavy door into place. At the same time one of his men killed a civilian right at the step. Livingston was as brave a man as I saw on either side during the war. In this fight he was armed with a heavy, breech-loading pistol to which he had attached a rifle stock and which he used as a carbine. A few moments after the fight opened he was shot from his horse close to the building as he urged his men on to the attack. At the time we thought the guerrillas numbered about 200·

"The fight was lively for awhile and lasted about fifteen or twenty minutes although it seemed two hours to me. Lieutenant McMinn was seriously wounded as were several other of our men. We made two desperate sallies. In our last charge, the wounded guerrilla chieftain, game to the end, attempted to rise but before he could gain his feet one of our men who had

picked up the fallen man's gun dealt him a terrific blow on the head, and at the same time several others fired into his body. Anyone of these latter wounds


would have been fatal but we were not taking any chances. A few minutes after this the guerrillas loaded their wounded into a government wagon they had seized and then moved off in a southwesterly direction. Three other dead men were left on the field besides Livingston, one of them being Captain Vaughn who before the war was a banker at Osceola.

"We had a little way of dividing things in those days," continued the veteran, "and I got Livingston's hat and horse. The hat was a broad brimmed white one and I wore it for a long while. Jackson Swingle got the guerrilla leader's gun but had to have it repaired before he could use it, owing to the fact that the stock had been bent when it was used to strike down its plucky owner in the last charge. The arms and equipment of the rest of the bushwhackers left on the field were taken by others of our detachment. "Lieut. McMinn, although dangerously wounded, recovered and lived northeast of Carthage for a good many years after the war. Our other three badly wounded men died. Shortly after our skirmish, F. Swingle and a number of other union citizens arrived at Stockton to assist us but the bushwhackers at that time were retreating toward Jasper county."

After the death of Livingston his men moved leisurely south through this county, apparently with Coffee in command. On July 22 a reconnoitering party of federals from Baxter Springs crossed the state line and marched as far east as the ruins of Sherwood. This detachment


did not come in contact with any of the guerrillas but sent in a report that on the previous night Coffee with an estimated strength of 150 men had camped on Turkey creek four miles from the burned town. They had been told this by citizens who had seen numerous small squads of men ranging from eight to ten in number riding south the previous day. On every road the federal detachment examined had been found the trail of many horses, all going south.

It was afterwards ascertained that the band was going down on the Cowskin in McDonald county where it was reorganized by Coffee. Some time in the latter part of July or in early

August it was deemed advisable to place a federal garrison at Carthage to assist in controlling the central part of the county. Companies Land M, Eight Missouri Militia Cavalry, commanded by Captain Milton J. Burch, a capable and experienced officer, accordingly took post at the county seat, preparing the court house ~nd one or two other brick buildings for defense. This made two garrisoned points in Jasper county, Captain Stotts and Company C of the Seventh Provisional holding Cave Springs. Other garrisoned places in this region were Mount Vernon, Newtonia and Neosho, the latter place being strongly held most of the time on account of its exposed position. It is possible that Bower Mills was also a garrisoned point at this time held by Company G, 76th Enrolled Militia. On August 6, a detachment of Company A, Eighth Cavalry, commanded by Captain J. J. Akard, scouted


from Greenfield to Carthage, first beating the brush on- Horse creek, then moving to Golden Grove. At this point a band of six bushwhackers were encountered and five of them were killed in a brief skirmish. Captain Akard then moved on to Carthage without further incident and remained in the town for a couple of days before his return. Captain Burch informed him that so far as was known there were but few guerrillas in Jasper county at that time and that Coffee and his band were supposed to be in the vicinity of Maysville, Ark.

On the 14th of August, however, there was a skirmish near Sherwood, details unknown. Possibly it was a clash between Burch's men and the guerrillas or it may be that it was the federals from Baxter Springs coming in contact with the southerners. More likely it was Burch, for this officer was of an aggressive nature and if the enemy was in the county anywhere he would doubtless be out after him. Regarding an attack on a wagon train in the western part of the county on September 6. Burch reported as follows:

"On September 2 I sent two men from Company L and two men from Company M, Eighth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, to form an escort for Joel P. Hood to Fort Scott on official business. They transacted their business and started back when they overtook four wagons loaded with dry goods and groceries bound for this post. They traveled together until within eight miles of Carthage when on September 6th they were


attacked by a largely superior force of the enemy who succeeded in capturing two wagons and killing one man by the name of Ross belonging to Company A of the Eighth cavalry under command of Major Eno. He had been home on furlough and was on his return to his command. They captured three prisoners, one a soldier from Company M and the other two citizens. They tried to take the other two wagons but could not succeed. "News was sent to camp for reinforcements which arrived in the quickest of time and gave the bushwhackers chase, coming up with them about one half hour before sundown. We recaptured the wagon and two of the prisoners, killed three of the rebels and wounded some more. 1 never saw troops display such courage and determination as the men under my command.

Joel P. Hood killed the rebel captain, Turk, and  wounded several others· They still retain one of my men prisoners and we have one of theirs. 1 intend to exchange with them for the man they retain of ours. "Half of the guerrillas belonged to Coffee and the other half are deserters. They are more numerous at present than they have been at any time since I have been here. They made another attempt to capture our wagon train yesterday but were driven off into their favorite cover-the brush. Their loss is not known.

"I have no further reliable news from Captain Rusk regarding his surrender. The party that attacked the train last Sunday was under Meadows. One of my men was wounded in their onset on the wagons and he has since died."


The Joel P. Hood mentioned in the foregoing report was a son of Norris C. Hood, former sheriff who had saved the records of the county from being lost or destroyed. He was a government scout and rendered good service to the federals with whom he was serving. He was finally killed in 1864 up in Cedar county, being fired on by mistake by a union man whose yard he had entered with the intention of asking some questions. The union farmer thought Hood was a bushwhacker and waited for him at the window with a shot-gun, firing

just as the scout stepped up on the porch. Seven buckshot entered his body and he fell in a dying condition. Several other buckshot had been deflected by a large belt buckle, and the buckle, deeply dented, was in possession of Hood's brother, T. C. Hood, for a good many years.

Among the men killed in Jasper county during 1863 was George Sly. In 1917, Jackson Sly, his brother, told of his killing and the shooting of another brother as follows: "My brother, Levi Sly, was a soldier in the United States army," said Mr. Sly, "and came home on a furlough to visit his folks. One evening just at dusk a troop of horsemen rode up to our house. As some of  them had on uniforms of union soldiers he was not suspicious, and when he was called for, went to the door. He was instantly shot dead in his tracks, and almost before the family knew what had happened the bushwhackers were gone, and the identity of the men in the party was always more or less a mystery.


"Another brother, George Sly, met a similar fate. He was a married man with a wife and children, but was lying desperately sick with the measles at the home of his sister-in fact it was doubted whether he could live through the night. Suddenly a lot of horsemen rode up, forced their way into the house, carried my brother into the yard and killed him instantly with a

volley of bullets as he lay helpless on the ground. "With no one on whom to call for help, our two sisters, with the aid of a man 80 years of age who had been too feeble to go to war, dug a grave in the edge of the woods and buried George in it as best they could. This occurred on the Thomas Buck farm near Avilla now occupied by Chas. Fagg.

"A man named Griggs hauled my brother Levi away on a wagon pulled by an ox team and buried him at Cave Springs.

"Miles Overton, a neighbor of ours, was shot in  civil war times while riding across the country. He rolled into the weeds and was left for dead, but finally was able to get up and get home where he recovered. During the time he lay in the weeds severely wounded the bushwhackers were constantly going by and he was fearful to move lest he would be again attacked. Mr.

Overton lived in Jasper county till he died ten or twelve years ago.

"Bob Creesman, another well known Jasper county man who died some fifteen years ago, several times narrowly escaped with his life when taken in hand by the bushwhackers. Each time he was let go because of


the queer actions and talk he was able to assume which made his captors think he was of unsound mind. Once he pleaded that they should let him go home and have one more mess of Viny's pancakes before they shot him, and much talk along this and similar lines caused him to be released. Again he was in the hands of a gang who were about to hang him near the Forest mills, and he pleaded that they not hang him from a limb extending out over the water, because if the rope should break he would fall into the water and drown sure. The queer, semi-humorous talk he indulged in and the queer actions he assumed on this occasion again saved him, and he was set free."

Miles Overton, mentioned by Mr. Sly, lived on a farm on White Oak and was one of the men who had been at the Dr. Stemmons home and participated in the skirmish in 1862 in which the doctor and Latham Duncan were killed. He had later served the union troops in the capacity of scout and guide and had numerous adventures, as in fact did all citizens who took a definite stand in the struggle. He was frequently sought by bushwhackers and his property was all destroyed, leaving his family destitute. On one occasion he was taken prisoner and was about to be hanged but a disagreement arose among his captors, some of them evidently interceding for him and he was released. At another time a band of men came to his house after him but he was absent, having just gone to warn a neighbor against whom he had heard threats. His brother and another man was at his home, however, and put up a stout fight, wounding one of the attackers


and driving the others away. During this fight Mr. Overton's eight-year-old daughter, Mariette, was badly wounded in the shoulder by a stray bullet. Early in 1863 Mr. Overton enlisted in Company G, 76th Enrolled Militia, and participated in the various actions in which that company figured. Some further idea of the experience of civilians during this year may be gained from the narrative of D. L. Wheeler who at that time was a ten-year-old boy living on Turkey creek with his mother and step-father, Josiah L. Wright. "We had a number of horses and considerable other stock when the war began," said Mr. Wheeler, "but most of it was taken from us one way or another, generally disappearing while out at pasture. My stepfather

went to Medoc for something one time, I remember, and was met by federal soldiers, one of whom traded horses with him. My stepfather had nothing to say about the trade, the soldier merely explaining that the horse that he had was worn down and not much use for military purposes any more and that he needed one that was in better shape. The horse that my stepfather was driving was in good flesh and well suited for a cavalry mount and so the trooper's saddle was shifted and he rode away. My stepfather took the discarded horse and came on home. The animal acquired by us in this involuntary trade was not a bad one, except for being badly used up, and we came to know him as 'Charley.' "In those days most of our stock ran at large but it was customary to keep the work animals in a pas-


ture where they could be gotten at easily when they were required. One day when my stepfather was not at home I was climbing around as a boy will and stood for a few minutes on the top of a big fence post by the house. Looking out to the pasture I saw a man climb through the rail fence and catch one of our horses. I jumped down, went into the house and told

mother that someone had taken Charley. My mother did not know just what to do but finally said that we would go over to a neighbors to see if they knew anything about who had taken the horse or if they could do anything to help us get him back. The neighbors knew no more than we did, however, and were able to offer no suggestions, so we started on our return home. As we walked down the lane connecting the two farms we met two armed men on horseback, leading a third horse. The led horse was Charley. Now one of the mounted men was Sim Hines, a young fellow that we knew very well for he had been reared on a neighboring farm. My mother shamed and scolded him for taking a horse belonging to old friends when he knew well how badly we needed horses ourselves. Sim was ashamed of himself, too, anyone could see that, for he grew very red in the face and was not able to answer a word. The

other man who was older and who was a stranger to us spoke up courteously.

"'Madam', he said, 'We are in the brush and we must have horses, otherwise the federals will run us down and kill us, and we have to get our mounts any way that we can. When we took this horse of yours we thought that he was well suited for our purpose but


we find already that he is tender footed. He would not do us much good unless we could get him shod, so if it is all right with Sim you can have him back.' "Sim willingly gave his assent so we took Charley and led him back home. Many of the fellows that were in the brush were not bad men, and Sim and his companion were apparently of the better type. Other bushwhackers were the worst kind of scoundrels and of course you never could tell who was bad and who was not. Livingston, about whom I had heard much talk, was spoken of as being a gentleman but it is said that he had some very desperate men among his followers. The bushwhackers did not bother us much except for stealing our stock. I do not remember that any of them ever robbed our house. Frequently men would come to the door and ask for a meal and it was given to them as expeditiously as possible, out of fear, but after eating they always went on their way. Sometimes federal troops came by and asked us questions or directions and I was at first very much afraid but soon became used to them.

"Several times union soldiers, state militia I believe they were, searched our house for firearms and also took what jewelry my mother had, which was not much. I remember that one time when they came we were very much afraid that they would find a silver mounted hunting rifle of my stepfather's that he prized very highly. In one room mother had spread out a lot of beans on a sheet on the floor and we placed the gun under this sheet beneath the beans. The soldiers did not think to look there and so the gun was saved.


"We now had two horses left, Charley and a mare to which my stepfather was much attached. The latter animal was in good flesh and my mother felt sure that it would be taken from us sooner or later and she feared that my stepfather would get killed trying to defend it for he swore that they would never get the mare while he was around, and he was a man both of courage and of temper. Some time later he went to my grandmother's house on a visit and while he was gone the mare was stolen, much to my mother's relief. "The situation finally became so bad in the Turkey creek neighborhood that practically everyone was leaving, many of them going to Carthage which was garrisoned by union troops and where they hoped to be able to remain until the war ended. My stepfather was a true farmer and did not like the idea of living in a town of any sort and so we were given permission by the owners of an abandoned farm on Center creek seven miles southwest of Carthage to use that land. The only horse we had remaining in our possession was Charley,

and a neighbor woman also had only one horse left. We loaned her Charley to help her move into Carthage and then we borrowed her horse to help us move up on Center creek. We found good neighbors on Center creek-I think people were much more sociable and friendly in that early day than they are now. On one side of us lived Mrs. Jane Gibson and her three sons, John, Isaac and Terry; and on the other side resided Jabez Hatcher with his sons, Ben and John. The fences on our place had mostly been burned up and when we moved in, Mr. Hatcher and his sons and the three Gib-


son boys came over and fenced sixteen acres for us in a day so as to get us started off right. In the spring of 1864 we put in a crop on this land." One of the most stirring events of 1863 in Missouri was the dashing raid of Colonel J 0 Shelby in October. Starting from his base at Arkadelphia on September 22, he broke through the union lines and entered Missouri. At Pineville he was joined by Coffee with 400 men and the next day Neosho and its garrison of 300 men was captured. Shelby's report then says:

"Halting at Neosho long enough to distribute the arms and ammunition I pushed on rapidly to Sarcoxie, resting on Jones creek some five hours and feeding my command. October 4 I passed through the blackened and desolated town of Sarcoxie whose bare and fire scarred chimneys point with skeleton fingers to heaven for vengeance; then to the town of Oregon or Bower Mills, a notorious pest spot for the militia, which was sacked and then swept from the face of the earth to pollute it no more forever."

Captain T. J. Stemmons and seventeen men were in Bower Mills when Shelby's forces reached it. Hearing the clatter of approaching horses the militiamen thought it was a band of bushwhackers coming to attack them and hurriedly formed a line on foot outside of the town in the direction from which the noise was coming. Then they waited the enemy's approach. In a few moments they heard shooting behind them and, looking around, saw the town full of men. The confed·


erates had sent a flanking party around, intending to enter the town from several directions at once. "We shot," said Captain Stemmons in telling of the affair, "but it was through the brush and across the river. We lost our horses and everything we had except what we had snatched up to meet the expected attack. A short time later, concealed in the brush on the bluff just north of Island No. 10 we saw the confederates  putting the torch to the town. We made our way north and joined other of our troops."

When Shelby started north on his raid there were two companies of the Eighth Missouri Militia cavalry stationed at Carthage under the command of Captain Milton Burch. On October 2 there was a skirmish at this town according to the summary of events in the official records but nothing has been preserved regarding the details.

In a report written at Carthage on October 6, Burch states that on October 3 he took forty men belonging to Company Land M of the Eighth Cavalry and marched to Turkey creek eight miles west of Carthage, partly for the purpose of escorting some union families out of that region and partly to attempt to destroy a band of guerrillas that was in that neighborhood.

When he had gathered up the union families he learned that forty armed men had just crossed the creek a mile above the point where he then was.

Sending the union families and their wagons on to Carthage with an escort of eleven men, Burch took the remaining twenty-nine and started in pursuit of the


hostile forty. He kept on their trail until the evening of October 4 at which time they reached a farm house fifteen miles southwest of Neosho. Here they camped and Burch sent his government scout, Joel P. Hood, a Carthage man mentioned heretofore as having distinguished himself in a fight with guerrillas in September, together with another man, both dressed in butternut, to capture the guerrillas' sentry. This the two did. Burch learned the exact strength of the force, which was thirty, from this prisoner and also exactly where they were located. He then tried to ride down their camp but the enemy had taken the alarm and had gotten to horse. Burch chased them four miles, killing ten of them and capturing two men and twentyfive head of horses.

The militia captain then started to return to Carthage, meaning to go by way of Neosho. Upon nearing that town he sent two men ahead to ascertain if everything  was all right there and from a union man near the town they learned that the place was full of confederate troops said to be bound for Carthage. Hoping to arrive at Carthage first, Burch abandoned his captured horses and pushed north at top speed, avoiding the roads. His report, continuing, says: "I reached Carthage about day on the morning of the 5th, and immediately commenced preparing to give them a warm reception. About 8 o'clock it was reported that 15 men were advancing south of this place.

I sent three men to ascertain who they were. They passed on, not seeing any person until they had turned


back to camp, when they met fifteen men advancing from the direction of town, dressed in federal uniforms. The boys halted them and sent one man to ascertain who they were. When he got close to them they fired and killed him; his name was John Wells, a private in Company L, Eighth Missouri State Militia. The other boys succeeded, after a hard chase, in escaping.

"Major A. A. King of the Sixth Missouri Militia Cavalry started with all of the effective force to Newtonia to find out what was going on in that direction.

He sent orders to me to have my baggage moved to Mount Vernon, and for me, with all the effective force I could muster, to' follow on the trail taken by the enemy."

The Major King mentioned by Captain Burch had been reported a few days previously to be between Newtonia and Pineville with four companies of the Sixth cavalry. It seems probable that the advance of Shelby had forced him back to Carthage and then, as Shelby moved on north, he followed. Burch and his men seem to have left Carthage immediately after his report

quoted in the foregoing was written. On October 5, the same day that Burch returned to Carthage after his expedition down in the Neosho vicinity, a column of about 500 heavily armed and splendidly mounted men rode down through Jasper county some twelve miles west of the county seat. Most of them were clad in complete federal blue, some were dressed in the ordinary civilian garb of the day, many of them wore a peculiar kind of overshirt, cut low in


front, the slit narrowing to a point above the belt and ending in a ruffle bunch or a rosette. Some of these shirts were brilliant scarlet, some of them of soberer hue including the familiar butternut; some were tucked in the trousers and others were flying loose, some were finely embroidered and ornamented by feminine hands, others were coarse and plain. Had anyone doubted the identity of the riders the strange article of apparel mentioned would have answered all questions, for this was the famous "guerrilla shirt" and the riders comprised the band of W. C. Quantrill on their way to the south. Quantrill was the most notorious of all of the guerrillas of the west and with him were riding Bill Anderson, Cole Younger, Frank James, W. H. Gregg, Dave Pool, George Todd, John Jarrette and others, most of whose very names are now almost forgotten although in their time they were written high and in blood in the annals of guerrilla warfare. Six weeks prior to their appearance in Jasper county this band had galloped into Lawrence, Kans., Quantrill and Gregg in the lead, Quantrill firing to the left, Gregg to the right. Behind them the guerrillas spread all over town, carrying out their orders to kill without mercy every man found, then looting the unfortunate city and setting fire to it. Four hours later they rode away, leaving behind blazing houses, weeping widows and orphans, and the corpses of 150 men, practically all of them unarmed civilians shot down in cold blood. Even now as they rode quietly along through


Jasper county their pockets were weighted down with the loot of the unfortunate Kansas town. Yet not all of the band were bad and not all of the bad were wholly bad. As they rode out of Lawrence several of the guerrillas had shown their revolvers, bright capped and free from powder stains, to women beside the road, to show that they, at least, had killed no one that day. Gregg showed mercy more than once at the Kansas town and after leaving Quantrill's band gained a record as an honorable soldier. Even Quantrill had issued orders prior to the attack on Lawrence that no woman or child, white or black, should be injured and that anyone violating the order should pay the penalty with his life.

There were at least some Jasper county men with this band though probably not many for most of Livingston's former followers were with Coffee, and Coffee was raiding northward with Shelby. A Captain Estes, who was one of Quantrill's chiefs at this time, is classified by the war department records as being the same Captain Estes that commanded the left of  Livingston's force during the May 15 fight against Major Eno on Center creek but it is possible that this is an error caused by the names of two different men being the same.

Abraham Onstott, son of Judge Onstott and at this time a small boy, is quoted in Judge M. G. McGregor's biographical history as saying that two of his near neighbors were members of Quantrill's band and upon their return to Jasper county had between them


about $2,200 in gold and silver which they had looted in Lawrence. They buried this money and informed young Onstott where it could be found in case they were killed. They continued on their way with their leader and before long both of them met death. After the war, Onstott and a brother of one of the men looked long and hard for this money but could not find it.

It is probable that it is still lying buried where the two guerrillas buried it. From Jasper county the band moved to Baxter Springs, attacked the fort there and although beaten off, surprised and routed a column of Wisconsin cavalry that was escorting General Blunt to the fort. Blunt escaped by a narrow margin but his adjutant was killed and the guerrillas butchered the fleeing soldiers like sheep, killing eighty of them. The character of some of the band may be judged by one of the incidents that occurred. A Wisconsin sergeant surrendered upon

promise that he would not be harmed. His captor, took his arms and remarked, "Tell old God that the last man you saw on earth was Quantrill," then shot him in the head. Although left for dead the sergeant survived to tell the story. Blunt gathered a few stragglers and hung on the rear of the guerrillas as they left Baxter Springs but had too few men to accomplish anything. Quantrill moved on down into Indian Territory and rested there awhile before proceeding south. It has often been said that Jesse James was with Quantrill at this time but this is an error. He did not join the guerrillas until 1864.


A few words about Quantrill who more than once passed through Jasper county during the war may not be out of place here. Born in Ohio in 1838 he had gone west in his early manhood, engaging in various occupations,  including the mild one of teaching school. During this period he was in trouble several times and strongly suspected of murder. The disturbances then going on along the Missouri-Kansas border naturally drew him to them and he began to take part in raids into Missouri to free slaves and steal cattle. During the same period he kept one foot on the other side of the fence by helping pro-slavery "border-ruffians" kidnap negroes from Kansas and sell them. Finally he saw that he must either definitely espouse one side or the other and induced some Kansans to go with him on a raid to Missouri, then betrayed them to their death. He explained his treachery to the Missourians by

saying that his older brother had been killed by jayhawkers and that he had joined the Kansans to get revenge. Having one by one killed most of the men who had participated in his brother's death he was now leaving Kansas. Ohio being a northern state, he claimed Maryland as his birthplace. The story told by Quantrill has now been established as a deliberate fabrication but it seems to have been believed without question by the Missourians at the time and most of the surviving members of the band still believe it.

At the beginning of the war he was in Indian Territory and in company with a band of Cherokee Indians attached to the confederate army he hung around the outskirts of the battle of Wilson creek. Later he at-


tached himself to General Price's force, moving north to Missouri. He then went to Jackson county and there took up the life of a guerrilla, killing the first federal soldier ever slain in that county. He soon became chief of the guerrilla band, a post won by his skill, aggressiveness and courage. During 1862 he became very prominent, participating in several victories over

the union troops, finally attaching his band as recruits to the column that Colonel Jo Shelby led southward in August of that year, and consequently taking part in the action on Coon creek mentioned in a preceding chapter. Quantrill then went to Richmond in a vain attempt to get a commission as a confederate colonel and command of a regiment that would wage a no quarter war in Missouri and Kansas. He was later given a colonel's commission by some one, probably General Price or Governor T. C. Reynolds. He took a creditable part in several regular battles during the winter of 1862-1863, then went north again, carrying on a summer's campaign which included the raiding of Lawrence as has been mentioned.

The Baxter Springs episode was virtually the end of Quantrill's leadership. During the winter his band disintegrated into separate groups. Some of the men joined the regular confederate army, Gregg later rising to the rank of captain in Shelby's brigade. George Todd, Who had deserted from the army at the battle of Cane Hill, obtained control of Quantrill's original band

and although Quantrill accompanied him north in 1864, nominally in control, he was in fact without power. During 1864 he accomplished nothing 2nd in January


1865 he and a few followers went to Kentucky where he was wounded and captured May 10, 1865, dying two days later. The court house at Carthage was destroyed sometime during 1863 after Captain Burch and his troops had ridden eastward to join Major King. According to tradition-which is quite possibly reliable, as there were civilians living in Carthage at this time-it was Bill Anderson's band that burned it. It is not at all unlikely that while Quantrill was resting in Indian Territory Anderson made a foray up in this county and destroyed the court house which the militia had used as a fort.

But it is time to return to the confederate cavalry raid then in progress. After leaving Bower Mills, Shelby had moved northward to the Missouri river, fighting at numerous points with the state militia cavalry and the enrolled militia that were concentrating everywhere to oppose his passage or to pursue him. In a severe action at Marshall in Saline county the southern column was separated into two parts by the federals. One section of the command under De Witt C. Hunter, finding itself cut off from Shelby and the rest of the expedition, turned off at right angles and saved itself from destruction by galloping south, putting the assembled federals in its rear. Shelby moved on west to Waverly at which point he dumped his wagon train in the Missouri river where, as he expressed it, "it was safe from all capture," then turning south himself, he fled toward Arkansas at break-neck


speed. The third day after leaving Waverly he entered Jasper county, his trail to the northward being marked by the bodies of numerous horses which had died of exhaustion and been replaced by others taken from the country. On this night-October 17-the confederates camped at Carthage. John N. Edwards, one of Shelby's officers quoted heretofore, in a book published in 1867 described the stay at Carthage and the skirmish as follows:

"By a heavy march Shelby gained Carthage and established camp at Mr. Kendrick's where corn was furnished in ample quantity. "Major Pickler, commanding a portion of Coffee's

detachment, requested permission of Colonel Shelby to occupy Carthage that night as most of his battalion lived in and near the town, promising extreme vigilance and to rejoin the column at daylight. Much against his judgment and fearful of the results, he consented, but Major Pickler neglected to even picket the approaches to his camp, and suffered severely for his temerity. "A night of refreshing sleep had been gained here -the first since the camp at Boonville-but in the gray dawn of the morning a great noise and a rumbling of artillery from the crossing at Spring river over which the confederates had passed the night before, announced Ewing's whole army to be at hand. Soon rapid firing from the direction of Carthage sent in all the pickets and called every soldier to his feet. Hasty preparations in moments of imminent danger were part of daily drill and exercise for Shelby's brigade, and in ten minutes every soldier was mounted and in line.


"Throwing forward five companies in front of Ewing to fire on his advance, Colonel Shelby started immediately southward before ever his position had been discovered although his camp stood only a half mile from the ford. The five companies under Lea, Tucker, Toney, Crispin and Jones nobly carried out their orders and held Ewing in check for one long hour, forcing him to go into line of battle and bring his artillery into action. Then breaking swiftly into column, and being well mounted, the confederates galloped off in triumph to their comrades, actually bringing with them seventeen prisoners.

"Fugitives from Carthage now began to come up, and reported that Pickler, neglecting to guard a single road and mistaking Ewing's advance for Shelby's, had allowed himself and thirty of his men to be captured. Most of them with their leader, however, succeeded in escaping while being conveyed to Fort Scott, and joined the command next week."

Passing east from Carthage, then south before reaching Sarcoxie, Shelby finally eluded his pursuers and reached the confederate lines in Arkansas. It was well that he did not go to Sarcoxie. Hunter had fled south through Vernon county, a large body of federal troops in pursuit, foremost in the chase being Major King, mentioned heretofore, who with 375 men of the

Sixth and Eighth cavalry had fought the confederates at Humansville and captured their last cannon. Brigadier General John McNeil, who with 300 men was moving southwest in an attempt to cut off Shelby, met King


at Stockton and the combined force moved through Bower Mills to Sarcoxie, reaching there the afternoon of the 18th, the same day Shelby fought Ewing at Carthage. From Sarcoxie, McNeill continued southward, gaining contact a time or two with Shelby's rear but not being able to force him to stand and fight.

Many of the guerrillas of Missouri accompanied Shelby south and as a result there was a marked diminution in the activity in Jasper county after his passage. The winter was a hard one and the militia, resuming their various stations, mercilessly hunted down what bushwhackers were in the country, the barren trees and brush making this work much easier than in

the summer when everything was in leaf, affording better concealment.

Captain Burch, who at this time was in command of the post at Neosho, in a report dated November 29, 1863, tells of an expedition to Jasper county and the capture of guerrillas on Turkey creek 12 miles southwest of Carthage.

"For the information of the commanding general," wrote Captain Burch, "I report the success of a scout taken by me with 20 men to Jasper county. Having learned a few days previous to my starting out of ten or fifteen bushwhackers harboring on Turkey creek in Jasper county about twenty miles from this place. I thought it would be a good time to catch them (the

weather being very cold) so I started. "I proceeded on my route about nine miles, onto the waters of Shoal creek, and discovered a light in the


thick brush in such a direction that I knew it did not proceed from any house. I knew it must be the camp fire of guerrillas. I dismounted my men, leaving a small force with the horses, and I with the remainder started on foot, proceeding very cautiously to within about 200 yards and then halted. I then sent Lieutenant John R. Kelso to reconnoiter and to ascertain the

force of the enemy and their situation. Lieutenant Kelso reported that they had a tent and from the best of his knowledge there were only three. I then with Lieutenant Kelso and three men crept forward. Owing to the dense thicket we had to penetrate we thought that we could slip up and surprise with a small force better than a large one, knowing if there were more

rebels than we expected, the remaining portion of the men under my command were within easy striking distance.

We arrived at the appointed place, the signal was given and we fired, killing two of them, that being all there was there at the time. Their names were Martin Levacy of Lawrence county and Woods, given name not known. "It was now about ten o'clock at night and we pushed on for Turkey creek and arrived at one of the places suspected. When within about a quarter of a mile we dismounted and moved stealthily onward toward the house which we succeeded in surrounding before  being discovered. "I immediately hailed the inmates of the house and

demanded a surrender of all the men and arms that were there. After some little delay, occasioned I sup-


pose in secreting one of their tribe under the floor. After having put him away decently they concluded to surrender and commenced handing their arms out of the window. The woman that handed out the arms stated that there was only one man in the house. We went in and arrested him and then started to leave. I noticed a fine black overcoat hanging in the house and

mistrusted that there must be another man somewhere. "After I had gone about forty yards I turned back and asked the lady if there was not another man about the house somewhere. She replied if there was that she could not help it. I then snatched up a fire brand and was going to dash it under the floor, when poor Secessia came crawling out, saying, 'Here are my arms. I am your prisoner.'

"I should have killed him then but we were close to the rendezvous of another party and I did not want to raise any alarm. He justly deserves death, as there are a good many union citizens in this portion of the state that are knowing to his jayhawking and shooting at good union men. In fact, from the story of loyal citizens around this place, he is a perfect desperado. His name is Dempster Lindsey, formerly of Jasper county.

"We then proceeded to another house. Before getting to the place we again dismounted and surrounded the place as before, hailing in the same manner. After there was a light made in their house they commenced handing out their arms. One of the rebels was upstairs and was going to jump out of the window, but was de-


terred by two of my men shooting at him, which alarmed some others that were near who made their escape. "We captured three rebels at this place and recaptured a federal soldier taken prisoner by the same party. He belongs, he says, to the Fourteenth Kansas cavalry, Company I, and was left sick by a train passing down. We succeeded in recapturing all his arms, except a revolver, together with his horse and equipment.

"The alarm being raised, and knowing that the hunt was broken up for this time, we started back to camp with five rebel prisoners, one federal soldier and six horses belonging to the prisoners we captured. The prisoners are all men of desperate character, being regular guerrillas that have infested this country and been a terror to all of the loyal citizens of the southwest." The fortunes of war during 1863 had gone against the south; Vicksburg which meant so much to the war in the west had surrendered in July and the same month

had seen the defeat of Lee's army at Gettysburg, the two events convincing the disinterested world that the . cause of the south was henceforth a "lost cause."

Neither did the situation have many bright aspects locally for the southern sympathizers in Jasper county, for the federals were more firmly in control than ever and Livingston had fallen in battle. Yet the optimism and confidence of General Sterling Price down in Arkansas that Missouri would be regained and the fortunes


of the confederacy redeemed seems to have communicated itself somehow to the southern population here and all hopes were based on the coming of Price during the next year.

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