Civil War in Caldwell County

Much of the following information is based on The Kingston Times Civil War Series, published June through August, 1891. The Times editor, Levi M. Spivey, repeatedly refers to the rebels as "secessionists." The Missouri State Guard was established following the federal armed overthrow of the elected Missouri government in Jefferson City. The original purpose of the Missouri State Guard was not to support the philosophy of secession, nor was it formed to support the Confederacy; the purpose was to regain control of the Missouri state government from the federal invaders. Many members of the Missouri State Guard fought in Missouri throughout the Civil War and were termed "bushwhackers" or "guerrillas" by federal sympathizers.

"In presenting to the readers of the Kingston Times a historical, biographical and reminiscence of the war of the rebellion, it shall be our aim to deal fairly with all. In devoting a column of the Times each week to these features, we do it in the interest of the young, believing that it will prove beneficial from a historical point and will be a source of information to our many readers. We shall sometimes quote from the [1886] History of Caldwell County."

We find that from 1840 to 1846 militia muster formed interesting episodes in the lives of the people up to the repeal of the militia law in 1846. The able bodied male population of the county between the ages of 18 and 45 constituted the militia. This force, according to its numbers, was divided into companies, battalions, regiments, brigades and divisions. Sixty men made a company, three companies a battalion, two battalions a regiment, and certain counties composed a brigade or division district. Some counties had two or more regiments; Caldwell had but one. Of this Thos. N. O. Butts was Colonel in the Civil War, having served previously as 2nd Sergeant in 1838 to evict the Mormons from northwest Missouri.

In May 1861 a pole bearing a secession flag was raised in Breckenridge, under the auspices of the "Breckenridge Guards," a secession company commanded by Capt. E. R. A. Stewart, G. W. Withers and perhaps others. But when the federal troops came the pole was cut down and the flag secreted. We give the foregoing brief history that brings us up to the spring of 1861.

April 23, 1861, M. Jeff Thompson issued general order No.1 of the 4th military district that included all northwest Missouri. The 4th paragraph reads as follows: "It is requested that your colors be for the present a plain white flag, with the coat of arms of Missouri emblazoned thereon, and we can paint as many stripes as we please with the blood of the invaders."

In the latter part of April a company of secessionists was formed in the county and called the "Caldwell Minute Men." This company numbered about 75 men and met frequently in Kingston for drill. The company eventually became the Caldwell Light Infantry, and rendered efficient service in Gen'l. Price's army. Near the middle of June the company left Caldwell county and marched to Lexington.

At the expiration of the 12 months nearly all the members of the company re-enlisted and became company H, and Missouri Infantry U. S. A. The company continued in the service until the close of the war.


J. R. Tunks informs us that he, in company with his father and an uncle, was in Breckenridge the day the pole and flag were raised, and saw Stewart's company drilling. After they had got into their wagon to start home, Dr. Dolan came to them and insisted on his father and uncle getting out and drilling; that his uncle and Dolan had a quarrel and hot words flew thick and fast. They finally started home without being molested. He also says that in 1863 he was there as a member of the 4th Missouri provisional militia, and that while on guard duty, caused the stump of the pole to be dug up; that it was an extremely hot day in August and the perspiration flowed freely from the pores of the diggers. That they, the 4th Missouri, got the flag out of the hotel that had flauntingly been flung to the breeze in 1861. He also says that while in Breckenridge he saw Dr. Dolan coming up the street in company with an ex-Confederate; that he followed him to McWilliam's store, asked McWilliams if Dolan was there. Being informed that he was, he sent him word that he, Dolan, had just five minutes to leave town. That was the last he saw of Dolan as he went into the railroad cut.

The most important incident in the experience of the Caldwell County Home Guards was their participation in the battle of Blue Mills Landing, on the Missouri river in Clay county, September 17, 1861. A brief description of the part taken in that engagement by the troops of this county may be of interest. About the first of September, Gen. Price at the head of his army of 10,000 set out from Springfield for the Missouri river in order that certain bodies of recruits in the northern part of the state might be able to join them. In Northwest Missouri were 2500 men of Gen. Harris' division and in Northeast Missouri were 4,000 belonging to Gen. Stein's and Gen. Slack's division under Capt. J. P. Saunders and others. On the 12th of September, Price reached the Missouri river at Lexington where a Federal garrison of 2800 under Col. J. A. Mulligan was stationed. On the 15th, the secession troops in Northwest Missouri united near St. Joseph and set out at once for Lexington.

All told, the Northwest Missourians numbered about 8500 as follows: From the fifth military district there were five regiments of infantry under Col. J. P. Saunders, one regiment of cavalry under Col. Wiltley, and Capt. E. V. Kelley's battery of three-pounder guns. From the [4th?] district there were five regiments of infantry under Col. Jeff Patton and a battalion of cavalry under Col. Childs.

Learning of the movement of the Northwest Missourians toward Gen. Price's army, Gen. Pope then in command of all the federal troops in north Missouri determined to intercept them if possible. Pursuant to his orders, Col. Smith set out from Platte river bridge, and Col. Scott from Cameron with instructions to meet at Liberty in advance of the secession troops and stop their further progress toward Lexington. Col. Scott took with him besides his own regiment, the four Home Guard companies, including the two from Caldwell county and one piece of artillery. Capt James being well mounted had the advance and did the scouting duty. The march was a rapid one and very fatiguing. The last ten miles was accomplished between midnight and daybreak. Arriving at Liberty it was learned that the rebels had passed through the town the evening before, and that they were then engaged in crossing the river at Blue Mills Landing, some four miles distant. Col. Smith had not reached Liberty and Col Scott was in a quandary. His force was very inferior to that of the rebels and he feared the result of an attack with the force under his command. Scott was a Kentuckian and had seen service in the Mexican war. He sent off, one after another, a dozen messengers to Col. Smith, for the rebels were fast escaping to the south side of the river. At last, however, he sent down about twenty men of Capt. James' company under Lieut. Call, of the 3rd Iowa to feel the enemies. The rebel commander, Col. Saunders, had been posted on the road to Liberty, Col. Childs' battalion of 300 men to protect his rear, while the rest of his command were crossing and these were in ambush. Nearing the rebel position Lieut. Call was warned by at least one citizen of his danger but he continued to press on. The road was narrow and there was heavy timber on both sides. Suddenly about 100 shots were fired into the company by the rebels, some of which were concealed under a bridge. Five Caldwell county men were shot, four men killed instantly and the other desperately wounded. The remainder of the squad hastily retreated. The four men killed were Linus Miller, Daniel Strops, John Smith and James Bogan. The wounded man, W. O. Dodge, is still living, but a cripple, and for years has driven a hack from Hamilton to Kingston. Col. Scott now marched his command down to deliver battle to the rebels, hoping that Col. Smith would come up.

Johnson's company was present and let by its captain. The federals attacked the rebels in ambush and after a spirited fight were repulsed with a loss of 10 men killed and 75 or more wounded. Among the latter was Capt. Johnson and a member of his company named Whitfield Early. The rebels lost 3 killed and 18 wounded. The odds were greatly in favor of the rebels, as they were well and strongly posted behind a deep ditch, fallen trees and other obstacles and while they had a good view of their enemies they themselves could not be seen. The federals fell back to Liberty where they were met by Col. Smith, who had just come up. The next day Col. Scott with his command returned to Cameron where the Caldwell Home Guards were a week later, mustered out. A number re-entering the service in James' battalion, of six months men. The four killed at blue Mills Landing were buried at Liberty in the cemetery north of William Jewell's college.


J. P. Platt informs me that he lived at Capt. E. D. Johnson's fathers in 1861, that he was one of the first to enlist in the Captain's company of Home Guards; that while drilling at Mirable in the latter part of August, 1861, he met with the accident that has made him a partial cripple for life and as a result was not at the Blue Mills fight. He remembers the following incidents connected with the wounding of Capt. Johnson as told at the time. The Captain was leading his men into action and had got in advance of his men when he discovered that he was almost to be cut off. He attempted to get back to his company, and as he was getting over a fence he was shot in the shoulder and hip, he fell over the fence and the rebels supposing he was killed did not disturb him. He lay where he fell all night. The next day he crawled off to a house, the owners proving to be Union people. Here he stayed for some five days. In the meantime, his brother Frank Johnson went the next day under a flag of truce and searched all through the rebel camps. His friends supposed that he had been killed and gave him up as lost. The evening of the fifty day after the fight, while the family of Capt. Johnson's father's house were at supper, he (Capt. Johnson) came walking in. His wounds were severe but the one in his shoulder was the most serious and made him a cripple for life. After remaining at home for several months he again raised a company and joined the 6th M. S. M. He now resides at Springfield, Missouri.

J. R. Tunks was the recipient last week of a much prized souvenir from the battle field of Lookout Mountain, sent him by W. H. Worley of Chattanooga, Tenn. The mementoes consist of an elegant pipe and an elaborate ink stand, both made of Laural root. The latter is a large root in which is imbedded a Minnie ball that was lodged in it 28 years ago during that memorable engagement. These curiosities are highly praised by Mt. Tunks and will be interesting relics to the old soldiers. Call and see them at Mr. Garner's drug store.

We find that the Union men of this county organized a little after there secession neighbors. On the 15th of June, 1861, there was a large union meeting held in Kingston. The stars and stripes were raised and heartily cheered, and Hon. James H. Birch delivered a spirited and earnest Union speech. While the Union men were organizing a company of home guards, Capt. Bassett's company was drilling in the eastern part of the town. The next day there was quite a scare among the secessionists at Kingston and in the vicinity. A report was brought to the county seat that the federal troops had landed from the cars at Hamilton and were marching southward, making prisoners or killing all the "secesh" citizens they encountered. The secession headquarters were at the store of Woodson & Ardinger on the south-west corner of the square and to this point ex-Sheriff John C. Myers, a leading secessionist suddenly dashed up from the north-west and warned his friends to fly from the dreadful foe who, he said to the number of 1500 were marching rapidly on Kingston. Capt. Bassett, Lieut. W. F. Boggs, and other members of the Caldwell Light Infantry incontinently fled, as did Hon. C. J. Hughes, Rev. Hill, and others. Mr. Hawkins Green was standing on the top of the court house as a lookout or watchmen and seeing a cloud of dust to the northward he thought it denoted the federal advance, and accordingly gave the alarm "They are coming," when some very ludicrous and ungraceful scenes were enacted by the anti-Unionists. Afterward, it was learned that the alarm was occasioned by the passage through the county of a company of secession troops from Daviess county on their way to join Gen. Price and Gov. Jackson's army at Lexington. Two companies crossed the railroad west of Hamilton and journeyed through west of Kingston. The fugitives did not return until next day. Capt. Bassett's company, or a portion of it, rendezvoused at Berry Diddle's still house, on Shoal Creek, a few miles south-east of Kingston and soon after set out to join Gov. Jackson's army at Lexington. About this time the federal troops had appeared at Breckenridge, Hamilton and Kidder.

Two companies of Union Home Guards were formed in this county in June 1861. Both of these companies were organized in the vicinity of Mirabile, but the members were from various parts of the county. These companies were commanded by E. D. Johnson and M. L. James. Capt. Johnson's company were infantry and was armed by the government with good Springfield muskets. These two companies were among the very earliest to enroll themselves on the side of the Union. Capt. James' company was organized by authority of Col. Peabody, then of the 13th Missouri Infantry. It was mounted and did duty as cavalry. Reporting at Cameron in July, the Home Guards were assigned to duty along the H. & St. Joe railroad. James' company numbered 56. Its officers were M. L. James, Captain; John G. Quinn and Isaac N. Hemry, Lieutenants, and M. R. Streeter, orderly sergeant. It remained in the Home Guard service until Sep. 1861, when it was regularly mustered into what was known as James' battalion of Missouri militia.

R. D. Sackman lived near Kingston in 1861 and says he remembers well the formation of the above companies and the stampede that occurred at Kingston on the 16th of June. That he remembers the excitement that prevailed among the citizens of Kingston the day the pole was raised and the stars and stripes were flung to the breezes. Remembers that while Bassett's company was organizing that he in company with M. L. James, Sander's Boys, and a number of others stood on the court house steps while Capt. Bassett was forming his company and electing their officers. He says that the first origination of Union men was in June 1861 as Home Guards. The men that enlisted on the 18th day of June eventually became members of either Capt. Johnson or Capt. James' companies. That Capt. Lankford organized a company in July 1862 and was sent to Breckenridge where the company did duty for three or four weeks. He remembers that while in Breckenridge the company captured Capt. David Thomson and guarded him in a box car, that he (Sackman) stood guard over the doughty Capt. several nights, that the Capt. never returned to his command and that he now resides in Polo, Mo.

Saturday, June 14, 1861, Lieut. W. F. Filson, of Capt. Noblet's company F., of the 33rd E. M. M. captured tow men, supposed to be of the St. Joseph escaped prisoners, at or near the widow Guffey's, eight or nine miles east of Kingston. The two men at first said that their names were Furney and Rhodes, but soon admitted that their names Briggs and Dr. McCartney. Briggs was killed and was buried four miles east of Hamilton. Dr. McCartney was taken to Hamilton and turned over to another company of militia, and the next day he was killed near the place where Briggs was buried. Lieut. Filson made the following report to Gen. Fish:

Kingston, Mo., June 16, 1864 -- Gen. C. B. Fish, Sir. I have the honor to make the following report. On the 19th inst., I learned that several desperadoes had escaped from St. Joseph, and that some of them were traveling east. I called out a few of Co. F., 33rd E. M. M. and turned out to search for them. On the evening of the 14th I succeeded in capturing tow of them. They gave their names as Fortney and Rhodes, but upon further investigation it appeared to be Dr. McCarney and Biggs or Briggs. While questioning McCarney, Biggs or Briggs attempted to escape, but he soon played out. Capt. G. W. Noblet instructed me to take McCarney to Hamilton. I done so on the 17th, and turned him over to Lieut. wm. Lewis, by order of Capt. Crandell of Brookfield, Mo. I then continued the search until last evening when I relieved the men and returned home. Yours Truly, W. T. Filson, First Lieut. Co. F., 33rd E. M. M.


R. C. Sackman was born in Richland county, Ohio, July 9th, 1839. The same year his parents emigrated to Missouri and settled in this county. He was reared on a farm, and received the limited education that the schools then offered. They experienced all the hardships incident to frontier life. He enlisted in the Home Guard in 1861 in Capt. James' company. Was not with the company in the Blue Mills fight as all who were without horses were left at Cameron. Was discharged with the company but soon after joined the 6th M. S. M. Cav., was in the 6th almost nine months and was with then in their skirmishes. When discharged he joined the 14th Mo. Cav. The reg't. was stationed at Springfield and done service in south Missouri and northern Arkansas. After the war was over the regiment was sent out on the plains and did duty in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. Being discharged in the spring of 1866. He now resides in this county.


Permit me to say that I was, when a lad, a resident of Caldwell county to wit: from 1847 to 1850, I distinctly remember from 1847 William Markham, of Mirabile, Dr. W. H. Crawford, Eli Penny, Judge early, Gov. George W. Smith and some others among whom was Smith Adams, a prosperous farmer, and a great lover of sport. Those were long ago times. I have seen many and many a herd of wild deer skipping over the broad prairies of Caldwell county. My father bought a farm some three or four miles from Mirabile of Judge Early in 1846 or 1847. We lived in Caldwell county till 1850 and then removed to Clinton county.

With thanks for honorable mention of my name in your paper of 17 July and with kindly remembrance of my old soldiers, comrades, among whom was William Spivey. I am very truly and respectfully, W. D. Hubbard, late Adjutant 6th M. S. M, Cavalry.

About the 20th of November, 1861, a band of rebels, 15 or 20 under the leadership of John Hurst of Ray county, made a raid on the premises of Maj. M. J. James, who then resided 4 miles west of Kingston. At this time the Major was in command of his 5th battalion of Missouri militia and was in St. Louis on military business. The 5th battalion, or "James' Jayhawkers," as the rebels called them, were heartily detested in certain parts of Ray county. Hurst and his band determined to capture Major James and retaliate upon him for certain real or imaginary wrongs. The raiders not finding the Major at home took five good horses and about $60 worth of clothing and other articles, and then without molesting anyone else returned to their Ray county rendezvous.

Killing of Judge James Steele

Late in the fall of 1861, Judge James Steele, a prominent citizen of the county, was killed in Rockford township by a small detachment of Maj. James' battalion.

Judge Steele was a man of middle age and his home was in Kingston. He had been a member of the county court and was a man of considerable intelligence and information.

By nature he was brave, even to rashness and determined even to obstinacy. At the outbreak of the war he joined the rebel forces and in a few months left Gen. Price's army and came back to Caldwell county on recruiting service. He repaired to the residence of his father, John Steele, southwest of Mirabile, and his presence and his mission being learned, a Union man of the neighborhood rode to Cameron and gave the information to Maj. James who was then in command at that post.

Maj. James at once sent out Lieut. O. C. Sinclair with four men to capture Judge Steele. Lieut. Sinclair had been formerly employed by John Steele as a carpenter. The men under him were residents of the vicinity and knew the locality well.

The squad reached the house a little after noon. Riding rapidly up they leaped their horses over the fence and partially surrounded the house. Judge Steele had previously declared that he would not be taken prisoner, and he caught up his double barreled shot gun, and running out began to resist his would be captors. He was soon shot and instantly killed. A companion name Robert Russell made no resistance and was made a prisoner and taken to Cameron.

The Thrailkill and Taylor Raid

The most exciting incident occurring in Caldwell county during the year 1864, and perhaps during the Civil War, was the raid into and through the county in July by a body of confederates, recruits and guerrillas, led by two noted chieftains named John Thrailkill and Charles F. Taylor. The latter was and is known by the name of Fletcher or "Fletch." The raiders rode leisurely into Kingston, the head of the column halting in front of the courthouse. Pickets were thrown out on all the roads and perhaps two dozen men or more dismounted. Two men mounted the cupola of the courthouse to take down the flag -- the stars and stripes -- that was gaily waving in the breeze. Miss Olivia George, a young lady of the place, ordered them not to touch the flag, but they paid no attention to her except to compliment her for her spunk, and tore it down and bore it away. Another flag was taken from the Ray Bros.' grocery, and all the whiskey in the grocery was drank up by the guerrillas, who were as thirsty as Sahara camels and thought the beverage all the better because it came from an establishment that had a Union flag over it. One old "bum" who was occupying a seat on the courthouse yard fence directly in front of the grocery, where they were ordered by the rebels, and from where they could see them storing away the ardent under their belts, said to his neighbor, that he could be forced to stand by and see the stars and stripes hauled down, but when it came to have a band of red handed guerrillas drinking up all the whiskey it was more of a strain than his patriotism could bear. It seems that the cussed rebels placed us just where we could see them drink.

Some of the band then went to the courthouse and broke open the doors of the offices. The vaults were found locked, and two sledge hammers were brought from the blacksmith shop. These vaults in the offices of the circuit and county clerks, as well as the sheriff's safe, were broken open and then plundered. A few men went into the printing office of the Caldwell Banner of Liberty, broke up some old guns that chanced to be there, carried off the subscription book, but did not damage the material of the office. The editor, Judge Geo. W. Buckingham, was at the time hiding in a hazel thicket north of town. None of the public records were destroyed except some enrollment lists and papers relating to the organization of the militia, which were taken out in front of the courthouse and burned.

From the courthouse the marauders went to the stores. Northrup & Lewis' establishment was robbed of $100 worth of cigars, four boxes of ladies' shoes, four dozen cans of oysters, linen, calicoes, dress goods, etc. Woodward's store was entered and was being rapidly emptied when Thrailkill rode up and ordered the goods returned, and forced the raiders to leave the premises. It is said this was done because Thrailkill believed the owner of the store to be John H. Ardinger, a Southern sympathizer. Only one or two private houses were entered, nothing was taken from them. Many of the citizens were made prisoners and robbed of what money they had in their pockets. Prior to the entrance of the raiders into town, on the same day, one of their number had been taken prisoner by the militia, brought in and confined to the courthouse. He was of course released. He proved to be a member of Capt. Taylor's company of guerrillas, and Taylor swore that he would "burn the d__d courthouse," since the federals were using it only for a prison. Thrailkill protested and declared the building should not be harmed. There was quite a heated discussion between the two, but finally it was concluded to spare the courthouse, as Gen. Price was expected to recapture and permanently hold Missouri, "and we will need it to hold court in ourselves," said Thrailkill.

The stay of the raiders in Kingston did not exceed an hour. They left about 4 p.m., in the direction of Mirabile, taking a circuitous route, however, toward the southwest, by way of the widow Brown farm. On the way they stopped at houses by the wayside and procured something to eat. One such house was the residence of Daniel D. Michael, a Union man, ten miles southwest of Black Oak. While they were at Michael's, David Toomey, of Irish roots and a Union resident of the vicinity, came riding up from the south with his gun on his shoulder, on his way to join the militia. Believing the force he saw at Michael's to be Federals, he rode fairly into Taylor's company before he discovered his mistake.

The guerrillas gave him a warm reception. Half a dozen fired at him. One shot took off the end of a finger, another passed through the back of his neck, and he fell from his horse apparently dead. One of the raiders examined the body and announced that "the whole back part of his head is shot off." Picking up his hat he threw it down again, declaring he did not want it because it was so bloody. Toomey "played possum" until the raiders left, when he crawled and limped a mile or more away, and was found and taken care of. He was not seriously hurt and soon recovered. Thrailkill and Taylor moved their forces to the vicinity of Mandeville, frightened Carroll county thoroughly, causing a concentration of the militia at Carrollton. The raiders then turned back and moved rapidly to the westward, going into camp the same night in this county, in Elk Grove, a little east and northeast of Black Oak. That night, Maj. James, John Esteb, James Ray, and two or three others who had come down from Kingston to observe the movements of the enemy, slept near Thrailkill's camp and the next morning breakfasted near Thrailkill's pickets.

Thrailkill and his men rested near Black Oak. About noon on Wednesday, the 20th, a dispatch was received from Major Samuel Porter Cox of Daviess county, stating that he was moving with 400 militia down towards Black Oak, and requesting that all the militias that could be raised meet him at Breckenridge. Lieut. J. H. Snider immediately started with about 30 men, all he could arm, for Breckenridge, leaving Kingston almost defenseless.

Between 4 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon, John McBride, then the Caldwell county treasurer, was overtaken on the road, a mile or more south of Kingston,, by the entire force of Thrailkill and Taylor, some 300 strong. The leader, supposed to be Thrailkill, inquired if there were any soldiers in town. McBride replied that they had all gone to join the force under Maj. Cox to operate against the bushwhackers. McBride then said, "You belong to Capt. Tiffins' company, do you not, and you are going to protect the town, I suppose." The leader answered, "No, we are Capt. Taylor's company, but we are coming to protect the town all the same." After crossing Log Creek, Mr. McBride turned eastward to his home, then in the country, having been unmolested, while the raiders moved forward into town.

As the head of the rebel column appeared over the hill a mile south of Kingston, it was discovered by a lookout in the cupola of the courthouse and a general stampede among the able bodied male citizens of the town began. Those who had horses, mounted and galloped rapidly away, while the footman took to their heels. The thermometer stood at 105 degrees, but many a fat, well-fed gentleman made admirably fast time in reaching the goal whither all steps were directed, the thick shade and foliage that bordered along Shoal Creek and fringed the northern boundary of the town. One gentleman is said to have sought safety in the cupola of the courthouse.

Killing of Capt. Stephen M. Lankford

In what is now Lincoln Township, on Crab Apple creek, about three miles from the Ray County line lived William Baker, Sr., an old citizen of the county, nearly seventy years of age. Mr. Baker was the father of a large family of boys. At the beginning of the Civil War the family sided with the Confederate cause, and no less than five of the sons enlisted in the rebel army of Missouri as members of Capt. Thompson's Caldwell county company. The spectacle of five brothers, all enlisted soldiers of one military company, was one not often witnessed and in fact was often remarked and commented upon. In the battle of Pea Ridge, James Baker was badly wounded and was discharged from service. His brother George accompanied him home where they arrived early in the fall. For some reason they refused to surrender themselves to the federal military authorities, and contrived to keep out of the way of the militia. For some time, one or two other young men associated with them; Alexander Richey, a brother of the wife of Dan Baker, joined them, so did Dan Baker, who had never before taken up arms. All were armed. It is claimed that they did not intend to harm anyone, unless in self defense, but were waiting for a good opportunity to go out on the plains or across to California. In August, Joseph Richey, a brother of "Eck" was killed near Richmond by a man named Ray, and "Eck" claimed that he was carrying weapons for the murderer of his brother. What purpose the Bakers and Richey had in lying out with their arms and horses we can not define at this late day. They claimed that on two or three occasions they could have fired into and killed a half dozen of the militia if they had wished to.

It is also just as certain that their conduct in lying out was against the express orders of the military authorities. Gen. Schofield's order, issued May 29, enjoined the utmost vigilance in hunting and capturing "all bushwhackers" who, the order said, when caught in arms and found to be engaged in unlawful warfare, were to be shot.

On the night of September 9th, 1862, Daniel, George and James Baker and Alex and Samuel Richey were lying out, near the residence of Wm. Baker. They had their guns and horses with them, and slept under some crab apple trees. Just before day on the morning of the 10th, a rain came up and George Baker and Alex Richey went to a stable for shelter. The others remained in the crab apple grove. About dawn, Lieut. John T. Ross, with a detachment of Capt. Langford's company K., of the 33rd E. M. M. came down from Kingston and surrounding the barn, made Baker and Richey prisoners. The order of Gen. Schofield was carried out at once. Dan and Jim Baker and Sam Richey hearing the firing made good their escape. The next day September 11th, Capt. S. M. Lankford at the head of his company went down into the crab apple neighborhood to arrest those parties if possible. While beating up the bush and timber along the creek, Capt. Lankford came upon the hiding place of James Baker, who was watching the movements of his pursuers. Baker waited until Langford approached within a few yards of where he lay concealed, when he fired, killing him almost instantly. The killing of Capt. Lankford created a storm of indignation among the militia and out of the storm there darted the fierce lightnings of vengeance. In a few days the Baker neighborhood had been visited, and all of the rebel sympathizers had been driven and one killed. The homes of the Bakers were burned and some of the sympathizers homes were destroyed. Jim and Dan Baker escaped from the county and made their way to Kansas. Here they were arrested and word sent back to Kingston. A squad of militia were sent after them. At St. Joseph, Dan Baker sprang away from his guards and made good his escape. Jim Baker was taken to Breckenridge, was examined by the military authorities and discharged. Being turned over to a squad of militia they started with him for Kingston but shot him two miles northeast of town. He was buried by Col. N. O. Butts in the McClelland graveyard. At the time of his death he had in his pocket his discharge from the Confederate army, and the bullet that wounded him at Pea Ridge. The bodies of Geo. Baker and Alex Richey were buried at Knoxville, Ray county.

Capt. Stephen M. Lankford was born in Tennessee about 1827. He came to Rockford Twp., Caldwell County about 1855 where he worked as a blacksmith. His death on September 11, 1862, left a 35-year-old widow and six children.


David A. Glenn says he lived at or near Knoxville at the time of a skirmish in which he remembers seeing rebels scedadling from the battle. Some of the rebels had the kindness to inform him that men of his stamp had better get ready and leave the country or they would make it hot for them. While he appreciated their warning yet he stood his ground and afterward joined the federal army. He says among the prisoners captured by Maj. James was one B. F. Morris, who was taken to Quincy, Illinois. From there Morris went to Idaho where he became quite a prominent politician, being sent to Washington as a lobbyist. He afterward married the daughter of the governor of Idaho. Some years ago he visited friends in this county, went to see Mr. Glenn, and told him that the best thing that ever happened to him was being made a prisoner.

Dave Glenn relates the following incident. Col. Cathwood's men had captured one Nathan Schooler who sternly refused to take the oath of allegiance to the federal government. The Colonel finally paroled the old man with orders to report every thirty days. At the expiration of the first thirty days the old man reported, when the following dialogue took place. Schooler, on entering the Colonel's tent, said "Good morning, Colonel" "Good morning, Captain. Well, Captain, are you ready to take the oath?" The Captain replied "No! I will never take the oath until hell freezes over, and I have just had a report from there, stating that they have never had even a white frost." The old man continued to report and was never molested.