Civil War in Caldwell County

Caldwell County resident, Verla (Hibner) Wormsley:

Her Great-great-grandfather, Henry Hibner, arrived in America prior to 1840 from Bayern Germany. He and his brother, Nicholas settled in Fairview Township in the Proctorville and Catawba area.

The following letter was a hand-written petition for Verla's great-great-uncle Nicholas Hibner to receive Invalid Pension assistance due to a severe gunshot wound he received during the Civil War.

House of Reps

Washington D.C.

January 29, 1866

The Committee on Invalid Pensions to whom we're referred this Petition and Affidavit of citizen and Officer of Caldwell County Missouri, asking that Nicholas Hibner, late a private in the 6th Cavalry (Missouri State Militia) and a citizen of that county, be placed upon the Pension Rolls of the U.S. in consequence of disability - resulting from a wound received in a fight with guerrillas, have had the same under consideration, and would respectfully by leave to make the following Request.

That it appears herein the evidence presented to your committee that Nicholas Hibner, a native of Bavaria, Germany, but a naturalized citizen of the United States since 1845, and now aged fifty-five years, at the commencement and during the late Rebellion maintained a firm stand in favor of the Federal Government, and among other valuable and patriotic service which he rendered in its behalf are the following.

In the month of June 1861 he discovered and reported the secreting of (18) eighteen guns by the rebels. Upon the information thus furnished, the government seized and held back these guns.

On the 10th day of September 1861 although these fifty one years of age he joined the Militia called into active service by Governor Gamble for the period of six months - served faithfully and was honorably discharged at the expiration of the term of service. While in the service he alone, captured James O. Walker a rebel soldier and took him to camp at Cameron, Mo. a distance of 36 miles.

Immediately upon his discharge from the "six months service" he enlisted in the 6th Cavalry (Missouri State Militia) commanded by Col. Catherwood, for the term of three years. He served faithfully in their Regiment until the 21st day of April 1863, where he was honorably discharged on account of his advanced years. While serving in the last mentioned Regiment, on the 7th day of August 1862 he took two "bushwackers" prisoner and promptly turned them over to the proper military authority at Breckenridge, Mo.

On becoming a citizen once again his vigilance and valuable service to the government did not cease, for in May 1863 he reported a Major and team of horses which had been used in the transportation of rebel soldiers. The wagon and teams were seized and condemned as property "contraband of war" by the Government authorities. He also arrested L. Tebbaw with a contraband horse and delivered them to the proper military authorities. At other and different times he gave information of other contraband.

On the 19th of July 1863 he captured two guerrillas belonging to Hart's band, and with them three revolvers and one Bowie Knife, and these he also turned over to the Military authorities.

On the 22nd of the same month, three days later, two more of Hart's band were passing near his house, when he attacked them and attempted their capture. They however made a vigorous resistance, and in the fight which ensued Hibner's horse was shot in the head and fell. And in the fall he was unable to extricate himself from the saddle, but defended himself as best he could. In this fight he received a Pistol shot in the leg which shattered the Femur badly just above the knee. The guerillas escaped. This would have made him a cripple for life - his injured leg- the right one, is a full three inches shorter than the other.

Your committee were not left in doubt as to the character of this man for it appears in the evidence that he is strictly honest; and always law-abiding.

It also appears that by reason of the effects of this wound, in his crippled condition, (faded writing, cannot decipher) that he's living by manual labor, and that he is too poor to support himself without it.

The foregoing statement, are all substantiated by the current testimony of a large number of witnesses, who have signed the Petition, and who are residents of the same Caldwell County where Mr. Hibner resides, and by the affidavit of the following gentlemen,

Honorable Jonas J. Clark. Judge - Circuit Court - 17th Jurisdiction

Lemuel Dunn, Clerk of Circuit Court

H. B. Nelson, Treasurer - Caldwell County, Mo.

Honorable Geo W. Buckingham, Probate Judge, Caldwell County, Mo.

John G. Pierce & Elmore Waters, Justices of the Peace. In consideration of the foregoing facts, your committees have deemed it alike due to the country and to the said Mr. Hibner that his name be place upon the Pension Rolls at $8/per month, and bring in a Bill to that effect, and would recommend its passage. All of which is respectfully submitted.

The pension application was successful. Nicholas Hibner was awarded a monthly pension. After his death his widow applied for, and received, her widow's pension (see below) --

Thanks to Verla H. Wormsley for sharing this historic document.