By: Esther M. Ziock Carroll ©

This is information collected since the original publication of Washington County Missouri In The Civil War.
More stories pertaining to Washington County will be added to this page as they are collected.
* indicates an ancestor of Esther M.Carroll

DECLARATION FOR INVALID PENSION ~ State of Washington, County of Yakima.  On this Third day of September A.D. one thousand nine hundred an four personally appeared befor me a Clerk of Superior court within and for the county and State aforesaid, ALFRED PENNEY, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is 63 yeaers of age and a resident of North Yakima count of Yakima State of Washington and that he is the identical person who was enrolled at Staceyville, Mitchell Co., Iowa under the name of Alfred Penny on the 12th day of Aug. 1862 as a private, co.K, 27th Iowa vol Inf., served as Sergeant in the service of the United States in the war of the rebellion and served at least ninety days and was honorable discarged at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis on the 27th day of May 1865. That he also served as warden of Ward I after partial recovery from wound received in recapture of Shelby cole (the noted guerilla) at MINERAL POINT, Mo.  Was treated in Ward C, Jeff. Dk. St. louis.  Recapture of Cole occured at BIG RIVER BRIDGE on Iron Mt. R.R. Sept. 1864..........From: Jeff Schoonover


AUGUSTUS CHATMAN KITCHELL - From:   BobbiLaird@aol.com   My gr-grandfather was A.C. Kitchell, or Augustus Chatman Kitchell.  He married Lizzie McNabb; their daughter Naomi Laura Kitchell m. Arthur Michael Rieffer; their daughter Rief married Jack Laird.  I am their #3 daughter.  

I have an old newspaper clipping where AC Kitchell  was interviewed when in his 90s, living in Belgrade.  During the Civil War he lived in Iron County, around Pilot Knob.  He had 6 older brothers:  3 Confederate, 3 Union.  His mother used to have to be careful about arranging that her sons come home at appropriate times, not when a brother from the "other" side was home.    AC was too young to fight in the war, but he could hear the cannons roar, and of course found plenty of cannon balls in the fields.

This is about Naomi Laura Kitchell Rieffer's father, who was a young boy during the Civil War, too young to fight.   Although this is an excerpt from my book,   (A RIEFFER REUNION,  by Edith Barnes and Bobbi Hampel), it is quoted from a newspaper article when he was in his 90s, and is not my original writing.   (I wrote the first paragraph only.)  

The Kitchells lived near Belgrade, Missouri.  Augustus Chatman, or "AC," was the seventh  son in his family.  His older brothers, born and raised in a state that had difficulty taking sides in the Civil War, had the same problem.  Three signed up for the Confederate Army; three joined the Union.   AC was too young to fight in the war...  However, he vividly remembered those days.  The story is best told by F.A. Behymer, a staff correspondent of the Post-Dispatch, in the fall of 1950:

PILOT KNOB, MO. — On a warm autumn day, Augustus Kitchell sits on the porch, with his cane across his lap, and looks out upon the field where the Civil War battle of Pilot Knob was fought.  He has good reason to remember it, for he was there when it happened, or at least not far away, near enough to hear the cannons roar.  On those fateful days, September 26 and 27, 1864, when General  Sterling Price and his Confederates occupied Shepherd Mountain to the south  and pounded Fort Davidson in the valley, ineffectually defended by the Federals under General Ewing, August Kitchell, 7 years old, listened at his home on Saline Creek to the sounds of battle.  On the third day, when the fort had been evacuated and the Federals were in flight, he saw the victorious southern soldiers march through all day in pursuit.  At the age of 93, though his eyes are dim, Augustus Kitchell's  memories are clear and from what he remembers and what he has been told, he can recreate the battle as it was fought in the now-peaceful valley of  Arcadia.  Over there is Shepherd Mountain where Price's artillery was planted in a position to mercilessly rake the fort as it lay exposed in the valley.   Across the level land out there the Rebels advanced with the fort magazine had been blown up and the Federals, with wheels and horses' hooves muffled with bagging, had crept away noiselessly in the night.

Earthworks Still Stand

In the field close to the fort it used to be that a great trench could be traced where the dead were buried.  It has not been so long since  anybody, without much searching, could find minnie balls and other battle relics.  For one who would have visual proof that this was the battlefield, the earthworks of the fort, tree-grown but intact, stand beside the highway as they stood in 1864, affording poor protection from the guns on Shepherd Mountain.  There was death for many inside those walls but there was valor too,  and many more died outside the walls because Price had so many more men to send to their death than Ewing had to fight them off.  "There were two or three divisions in the assault, the history books say, while Ewing had only a thousand men and as the measure of their valor it is set down that Price's losses may have been 1,500.  The defenders could not hold any longer than they did against great odds and had to retreat but their stand was not in vain, for Price in his advance upon Saint Louis, unwilling to bypass the fort and have the garrison in his rear, lost time in his three-day pursuit and by then Saint Louis had been so well-reinforced that he did not dare attack.

Only Survivor Who Saw Retreat

Kitchell, as far as he knows, is the only survivor in the valley who heard the battle guns and saw the southern soldiers march through.  Although born at Grand Chain, Illinois, he has lived most of his life around here doing his sturdy best as farmer, sawmill man and railroad worker.  He is proud to say that up to 10 years ago he was able to work and make an honest living, though he learned to read by the light of a pine torch by the fireplace in the spinning wheel days.  Learning the hard way has its advantages, though, he says, for knowledge gained that way in youth stays with you when you are old.   Prior to ten years ago, Kitchell lived on his own place between Caledonia and Belgrade.  Then he lived for a while in Caledonia, before coming here eight years ago to spend the rest of his days with his sister,  Mrs. Letha Fahland.

Kitchell Had Kin on Both Sides

Out of the South his people came in the days before the war and he had kinsmen in both armies.  That being the case, he did not take sides in the battle of Pilot Knob, though he may have had a leaning toward the Confeds, for after all, they were his people, most of them Democrats, very likely, as he was and has always been.  Kitchell is feeble now as he sits on the porch on a warm autumn day and remembers.  Out there on the field men fought and died 86 years ago, but now as the leaves flutter from the great sycamore in the field, there is peace in the valley.

LYNCHING OF FRANK HILDEBRAND - The Hildebrand brothers, Sam and Frank, of St. Francois County, had gotten into some trouble over a horse swapping deal. In 1861 Frank came to Potosi to enlist in the Home Guards. Captain Castleman turned him over to Firmin McIlvaine (also of St. Francois County) and his group of vigilantes. They eventually took Frank to Ste. Genevieve County and, without the benefit of a trial, hung him to a tree then threw his body into a sink hole where it was not found for more than a month. In 1862 Sam avenged his brother's death when he shot and killed Firmin McIlvaine.  Sam became a notorious rebel soldier and outlaw who was feared by many people in southeast Missouri. For every person that he killed he carved a notch in his gun, which he had named "Kill Devil". It is said "Kill Devil" had as many as eighty notches.

SOLOMON GILLIAM,  husband of *ELIZABETH HUITT (ancestor of Esther M. Carroll), is buried at Palmer, Washington County, Missouri.  During a fight with some bushwackers during the Civil War, Solomon was killed along with five other men.   Their wives dug a single grave & buried all six men together.  Tombstone inscription:  Solomon Gilliam, Died Sept. 27, 1864, Age 46 years.  This was during Price's Raid.

A story passed down through the HUITT family is that bushwackers coming through during the Civil War set fire to the home of *JAMES HUITT,JR (ancestor of Esther M. Carroll).  As the family carried out possesions the bushwackers would throw them back into the fire and laugh while doing so.  When the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, there was mourning in the Huitt home between family members & slaves because of the bond of love that had been formed & the dread of separation.  This homeplace was located on Rock Branch between Davisville & Cherryville where Hwy. 49 crosses branch.  (From: Crawford County History  1829-1987) *There is a deed where James & M.B. Huitt sell to Richard Huitt (1858) 34&1/100 acres - T36N, R3W, SEC24.  On Crawford Co. map this is near Rock Branch.

*WILLIAM HEWITT - 12th Missouri Infantry, White's Regiment, was captured at Reynolds County, Missouri April 18, 1863 & sent to Alton Prison.  Contracted smallpox & received in hospital 10 May 1863.  Died 26 June 1863.  Listed on Missouri's Confederate Roll of Honor.  Buried at Alton Confederate Cemetery.  For picture of monument & ruins of prison click here.

*ASA A. JACKSON - 32nd Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia, Corp., age 25. Enrolled: July 29, 1862 at Providence Church. Mustered in July 29, 1862 at Big River Mills. Served under Col. Halser. Asa A. Jackson, Co. C, 32nd E.M.M. Comd’g. Capt J. Craig, enrolled Aug 5, 1862 at Deck Bridge. Ordered into active service Aug. 5, 1862 at Deck Bridge. Relieved from duty, May 9, 1863. No. of days actual service 65.

COLORED RECRUITS - From the Medical Records of Dr. John B. Bell 1860 – 1864
Not all of these recruits were accepted for duty. Many were rejected due to age or poor health
Edward Breckenridge, Washington Cole, Joe Duclos, Henry Johnson, Stephen Thompson, Henry Bryan, John Obuchon, Robt. Breckenridge, Georg Stevenson, Albert stevenson, David Clay, Bob White, Smith McGrady, David Clay, F. Lacy, Jerry Webb, Jesse Westover, Munroe Dill, Columbus Sloan, Granville Dill, Peter McGready, Sol Wallen, Tom Green, Anthony Westover, Hugh Byrd, Frank Boyer, Jack Rambo, John McIlvaine, Raymond Perry, John Coleman, John Grey, ?Alan? Duclos, Washington Smith, James Suttle, Benj. Greg, Xavier Coleman, ?Edmond? White, John Kennett, Louis Manning, Joe Scott, Ned Murphy, Peter Manning, Zane Blunt, Henry Moore, Joseph Bryan, Benj. Bryan, Jonas Mathews, Wm. Lemarque, Charles Daily, Toby Hunter, Chas. Howard Mathews, Wallace Mathews, Andrew Walton, Geo. McIlvaine, Johnson Mathews, Henry Mathews, Alfred Mathews, Aleck Kennett, Jacob Kennett, Aleck Engledowe?, Jack Anderson Mathews, Joe Hewitt, Isaac Crouch, George Crouch, Cyrus Parmlee, ?Ths? Nickolson, William Davis, John Boushard, Arthur Cunningham, J.B. McGahan, J. C. Howard, Jas. B. Howard, W.E. McGready, Richard Berry, Isaac ?Asplin?, Augustus Lapee, Burl Scott, Saml. C. Gossom, John Graham, C.D. Payne

THOMAS EWING - Ellen Cox-Ewing used to tell the story that when President Lincoln appointed Tom Ewing as a brigadier general it was entirely unsolicited.  The Senate confirmed him instantly, within half an hour.   Tom's father, former Sen. Thomas Ewing, thought he was inexperienced and lacked military ability. The senior Ewing said to Lincoln, "What did you appoint that brat a brigadier general for?"  after the Battle of Pilot Knob, Lincoln said to the old Senator, "What do you think of your brat now?"  Story told by Thomas Ewing III.  Found by Ron Smith of Kansas in the Thomas Ewing Collection in the Library of Congress.  Published in the Fort Davidson State Historic Site newsletter - Battle Lines - Vol. I #2 Pg. 5

MALICIOUS MURDER - Correspondence of the Missouri Republican [St. Louis]
Washington County, [Missouri] June 27, 1862 - I send you a brief account of one of the most heart-rending scenes that has ever occurred in the history of this county. SAMUEL LONG, one of the most respectable as well as one of the oldest citizens of the county, was found murdered in the woods, within the sound of gunshot of the place where he had volunteered near fifty years ago as a soldier in defense of his country, he being one of the few survivors of the war of 1812. The deceased had resided in this county for more than fifty years, where he had established for himself a truly enviable character as an honest, quiet and good citizen, never meddling in public affairs or taking any active part in politics; indeed, few, if any of his neighbors knew what position, if any, he occupied in relation to our existing national troubles. He was a large slave owner, and this circumstance may have induced the belief upon the part of some that he was Southern in feeling, which led to his arrest, and terminated in his death, but certainly no act or word of his, I think, can ever be shown, which would have justified his arrest, much less the taking of his life. The deceased leaves a wife and fourteen children to mourn his loss, mostly grown, among them our most respectable merchants, smelters and farmers. The following facts were shown before the inquest: On Thursday, the 26th instant, a party of German soldiers visited the house of the deceased, where they found only two young women, daughters of the deceased, and a number of negro women and children. They demanded to know where deceased was, and were informed by the young ladies that he and their mother had gone to their son's, a distance of some mile and a half, where they were harvesting. They then searched and ransacked the house all over, and then left, taking with them from the house a rifle gun. They then proceeded to the harvest field, where a number of hands were at work, inquired for deceased, was told he was down at the house of his son, when they hastily left the field, went to the house and arrested the old gentleman, who made not the slightest resistance, or used even an unpleasant word, only saying to them that he was old, infirm, and unable to walk, and for that reason hoped they would allow him to ride his horse. They refused, and started immediately with him along the main road back towards the railroad. This was late Thursday evening. Early on Friday morning the family and friends of the deceased sought him at all points on the railroad where they supposed him to be, but to all inquiry they received the same answer from the soldiers, that they knew nothing of him. The fears and suspicions of the family then being aroused, they instituted search for him, and early Saturday morning he was found about three-quarters of a mile from where they started with him, and about one hundred and fifty yards from the road, in the head of a deep hollow and in a dense thicket of undergrowth, lying dead, with a large bullet hole through his temples - so nearly straight through as to cut the hat rim on both sides. There was a rifle gun lying by his side, which was proven to be the gun the soldiers had taken from the house of deceased. The gun was examined by the coroners jury, and found to be loaded. The verdict was in accordance with the forgoing facts.   All parties in this community are much excited and very indignant at the act, but seem to have confidence that Gen. Schofield will have the case promptly investigated. Today the remains of the deceased were followed to their final resting place by hundreds of citizens, anxious to pay the last tribute of respect to a much beloved and highly esteemed citizen. (signed) Washington

On November 25th, 1862 a band of six Confederate guerillas headed by Charles Barnes made a raid through Crawford County, Missouri.  They went to the houses of many citizens & robbed them.  One of these citizens was *CELIA SKAGGS the widow of *JAMES SKAGGS.  From her they stole blankets, quilts, one revolver, one gun & one horse.  Her home was located on Shoal Creek near the Skaggs Cemetery.  (From Sally Heller.  She got it from the Steelville Star, Echoes of the Past, Jan. 14, 1998.) 

DR. JOHN B. BELL died of pneumonia Thursday Aug. 20, 1896 at 5:18 a.m. Aged: 68 yrs. 8 mos. 19 dys. One of oldest practicing physicians in Washington County. …… During the late war he served 3 years in the medical department of the Federal Army. He was U.S. Pension examiner for more than 20 years. Buried in family plot of Presbyterian Cemetery.

ROBBERY & MURDER:  In May of 1863 three men, disguised as army officers, went to the house of an elderly, wealthy farmer, GEORGE HIGGINBOTHAM.  One account of the incident states they killed him in his house, however another version says they called him out of his house and then one of the three men shot and killed him. The ruffians then entered the house and hung up the wife and daughter of the murdered man by the neck and made them tell where the money was hidden. The murderers got away with $800 in gold.  Mr. Higginbotham's son then hired some men to track the assasins. One of them was finally arrested and tried for the crime, found guilty, and sentenced to twenty years in the Missouri penitentiary. He revealed the names of his accomplices one of whom was Andrew Quick - the one who shot Mr. Higginbotham.

BONNE TERRE REGISTER, Bonne Terre, St. Francois County, Missouri, December
17, 1915.

"Old Timer" Tells How the Neutrals Were Served During the Civil War in
Washington County.

For some time before the battle of Pilot Knob our community was so alarmed
at reports of the conduct of Price's men and their war on defenseless
citizens, not only taking every good horse they found, but making
prisoners of all the men of military age.  Most of our people were in the
thickets not daring to come home but supplied with food by women, old man
and boys.  Our good horses were also hidden in the woods.  My father and
myself had not been active partisans and calculated that we were safe at
home for this reason and we knew we were more comfortable.

The next morning after the battle of Pilot Knob we were runnin' a sugar
cane mill near the house, when about 10 o'clock we were called on by nine
of "Pap" Price's followers who were scattered over the entire county in
small bands and all headed for Potosi.  Our visitors soon had the old
horse loose from the cane mill and galloped around the field with him.
They returned to us and said they were going to take the horse but first
wanted dinner for the crowd and feed for their horses.  They made me
acquainted with the rather unpleasant fact that I had to go with them.  To
this I made no objection, but did some quiet thinking.  I ostensibly got
on term of good natured familiarity taking quite an interest in where they
had been and what they had seen.  Having the welfare of "Old John" in mind
I proposed to get them a much better mount from the nearby woods if they
would release the old horse.  At first they objected, thinking this to be
a plan to get away.  So I told the officer that if he thought I was not
telling the truth to send a man with me.  He then said go but come back
pretty d---d quick.  In half an hour I was back with a horse and secured
the release of "Old John."  While they were feeding the horses from our
barn I told them I would dig some taters from the garden if they would
trust me that far.  They agreed.  Going in at the front door and  out at
the back, I did not so much as look at the tater patch but made my way
into the woods.  After creeping through the brush for a distance I had to
cross an opening and I made a 2:40 gait in 20 minutes.  I reached a high
open place from which I could see the house and from this safe distance I
watched the house until I saw the raiders leave. As soon as the coast was
clear I hastened back to find that they had raised Cain when they found
that I had dodged them, and had made awful threats of what they would do
if they were attacked on the way to Potosi.

It was then about 2 o'clock and I was as hungry as a bear and was
preparing to make a frugal meal from the scraps left when another bunch
rode up and accosted me thus:  "Any of our men been here?"   "Yes" I said.
"Did they take anything?"  "Yes, my mare and all my clothes except what I
have on."  "You may be glad they didn't take you"  "Got any coffee?" "No"
"Got any milk?" "No" "Well I reckon you've got water?"   "Yes sir plenty" I
said and after drinking they departed.  Going to the window I saw another
squad coming and they were the hardest looking crowd of all.  When they
turned in at the gate I thought I recognized some of the first outfit.  I
dived into the cellar where I remained in a very undignified position
until they left.  When the coast was clear I came out and partook of a
well relished supper.  This ended a stirring day for me a mere boy and I
was glad I was alive and not a prisoner in the hands of an irresponsible

[Note:  Unfortunately, the newspaper did not give the name of the "Old
Timer" relating these memories.]  From: Bettye Warner



Hit Counter