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KILLING OF SOUTHERN SYMPATHIZER IN CALDWELL COUNTY

Narrator: Mrs. Mahala (Jones) Smith, Hamilton, Missouri

Mrs. Smith belonged to the Billy Jones family near Kingston. Southern sympathizers; but they were very careful of what they did and said for several of their friends were killed because of their attitude.

Mrs. Smith was thirteen when in 1864 Richard Lancaster and Stump Breckenridge, two southern soldiers were killed, right in her own neighborhood. These Thraillkill men were killed by the Home Guard, hut no one knows exactly by whom. At the time Captain Edward Johnson seemed to be blamed somewhat because the men were shot on his farm but he always disclaimed the shooting.

They were shot one evening and the next morning about 8 o'clock Captain Johnson who was the big military man there ordered out the Southern neighbors to bury "their men" in the near by Morris cemetery. Among the men called out were Mrs. Smith's father Billy Jones and Chris Kerr. She saw the burial. They were not allowed to make coffins but were forced to dig shallow graves and pitch the men in, covering their faces with their hats. The graves were so shallow that for days the files gathered there. While the work went on Captain Johnson stood reared back, gun in belt.

She also recalled the killing of Absolam Harpold of that vicinity. He had come home from the Southern army. The militia were determined to get him. He got wind of it and took a train at Kidder for the west. Some personal foe of his reported this and the militia rode to Cameron and took him off the train. They hanged him there at once in an old mill. She recalls the day he was brought home in a wagon. They buried him in their own Harpold cemetery and it is only a few years ago that they removed him to the Kingston cemetery.

She also was a friend of the McBeath family another Southern family which lost a member in this drive of the county militia on southern sympathizers. Robert McBeath was shot to death having been taken away from home because he would not turn over the gun, according to county orders.

Interviewed July 1934.

 

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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998