Courtois Hills of the Ozarks

Courtois Hills of the Ozarks
The sub-regions of the Ozarks (from Rafferty, The Ozarks: land and li

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

News Carried Fast by Relay Plan, published 10-30-1931

More tidbits from:


Within this book are many stories and the majority are reprints of articles written for The Current Local Newspaper-Van Buren, Carter Co., Missouri, under the byline:


News Carried Fast by Relay Plan

Following the evacuation of Van Buren by the soldiers, mentioned in a former issue, conditions, so far as the citizens were concerned, grew worse.  Hatred between the two factions became intensified.  Jayhawking or robbing, increased, the mischief being done by gangs of both parties.  There were raids and counter raids, with the citizens getting the worst of it all.

The raiding grounds extended from north Arkansas to Pilot Knob and even further, both ways.  The writer, though a child at that time, knew the faces of many of them.  There were Rance Copeland[1], with a bunch from Salem in Dent County; William Monks[2] of Rolla in Phelps County; William Leeper[3] of Wayne County; Job Haley[4] of Iron County; Alexander Chilton[5] of Shannon County; Joseph Huddleston[6], with seven sons of Shannon County; John Cox[7] from Wayne County; Jake Huddleston[8] and sons, together with Devil “Dick” Beaux[9]; and Jim Sipes[10] and Joe Quigley[11] from Oregon County. (All of these gentlemen will be discussed at a later time)

The first four named, Wm. Leeper, Wm. Monks, Rance Copeland and Job Haley, were of the Federal faith; all the others were Rebels.  Each led a bunch, taking good horses and other property if it suited them, and killing men when they wished to.

The mischief was done somewhat like playing the old time prisoner’s base.  The Rebels would go through the county doing mischief of many kinds and as near to Pilot Knob as they could safely go, then turn back, and would frequently stop at a house and order dinner or a night’s lodging for the bunch.  The safe thing was to furnish it without grumbling, but the danger was not over by any means.  For instance, if they stopped at Sam Jones and John Doe, his next neighbor, was of the Federal faith, he would tell the Federals when they came in pursuit of the Rebels, that “Sam Jones is harboring the Rebels; he fed and lodged the ones you are pursuing.”  So, then if the Federals got Sam Jones it was sure death for him.  The same game was played by both parties until the close of the war.

Another thing that caused bitterness was a relay system of sending messages to the Federals at Pilot Knob.  It originated on Webb’s Creek in southwest Reynolds County.  There were several young men who were afraid to stay at home but would come home to visit their folks once in a while; and, the Federals would know it in from twenty-four to thirty-six hours.  An investigation revealed that someone of the Rebel boys  (I believe that this should be someone of the Federal boys)  would start at night and ride fifteen or twenty miles with a message that someone of the Rebels boys was in the neighborhood and deliver the message to another messenger who would carry it to another.  In this way it was relayed in a short time to Pilot Knob and a bunch of soldiers would start on a hunt for the Rebel boys.

On one drive, the Federals got a close start on Math Akins[12] and William Dixon[13].  Dixon ran the road a while and then took a path up a hill, and Akins kept the road.  The Federal captain caught up with him and ordered him to stop.  Akins checked long enough to shoot the captain, killing him instantly, and when his men came up to him they abandoned pursuit at once.

An old man by the name of Bowers[14]  was charged with formulating the relay plan and causing the trouble and after the episode above related, Math Akins went to the house of Mr. Bowers in the night and called him out.  Mr. Bowers recognized him and started to run but tangled in some grapevines; and, Akins shot him so that he died a few days later.

Andrew Chitwood[15] living in the vicinity of Ruble[16], was called out of his house in the night[17]. The visitors asked him if he had a gun.  He said no, but that Wesley Lay and Joel Dixon[18] were staying overnight with him and they had guns, so, he turned towards the house and called to the men to bring their guns out to him, and the visitors shot him, killing him instantly.  Please Boyer, Gid Boyer[19], Henry Tucker[20] and William Anthony, were charged with this.  Anthony paid the death penalty for it later; and, it is said that he was the one that shot Mr. Chitwood.  He was a single man and made his home with Andrew Latty[21] in Latty Valley, a tributary to Carter Creek, four miles southeast of Van Buren.  On one hunt for Mr. Anthony, Smith Cotton, brother-in-law to Mr. Chitwood, and Baley Smith, a nephew of Mr. Chitwood, came to the Zimri Carter home to stay overnight.  Mr. Carter, surmising their intention, sent his son Alex to Mr. Latty’s to borrow some coffee for breakfast and, incidentally, to warn Mr. Anthony to get away; so, they failed to find him that time.  A little later, however, a party of his pursuers learned that he would be at Mr. Blackwell’s[22] home on the farm now occupied by Charles Buchanan, on upper Carter Creek, on Sunday, so, they laid for him.  When he came into the yard Mrs. Blackwell[23] asked him to shoot a chicken, thus emptying his gun and making his capture an easy task.  His captors took him away in a southeasterly direction and, so far as the writer knows, no one ever saw him again.  Afterwards, his name was found cut deep in the bark of a pine tree several miles from the Blackwell home in the direction that they went, but no trace of the remains of the man was ever found.

[1] Corp. Ransom Copeland, 9th/10th MO Cav., attached to the 13th Illinois Vol. Cav. Lived in Dent County, Missouri.
[2] William (Billy) Monks. If you don’t know who this is then you need to read his book! "A History of Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas" The editors said, “Monks was a staunch Unionist, a refugee, a federal scout, and anti-guerilla fighter, a county official, a state representative, and an officer in both Missouri and Arkansas post-war militias.”
[3] W T Leeper served as a magistrate, school teacher and occasional preacher. He was born and raised in Maury County, TN. He is found on the 1860 census in Wayne County, Missouri. He was also elected Wayne County surveyor in 1860. During the war Leeper served first as a private in the Haw Eater Scouts (Wayne County Cavalry Six Month Militia ).

When the Missouri State Militia was formed he served as captain in Co. B, 12th MSM Cav. which was later redesignated Co. L, 3rd MSM Cav. on 4 Feb. 1863. He was accused of stealing horses from the US Army. He was drummed out of the MSM in April 1864 for incompetence.

A colleague was said to have stated "'notwithstanding Capt. Leeper's shortcomings and all of that, I have to say of him, and for him, that his firm stand early in '61 for the Union done great things for the cause of the Union in Wayne and adjoining counties.' The same source referred to Leeper as being 'a little shaky in his boots' and as having 'showed the white feather' to often during the "shock of battle."

After he was drummed out of the MSM, he had to enroll in the Enrolled Missouri Militia. While serving as a private in the 68th EMM,he also did scout duty for the 7th Kansas Cav. In 1864-1865 Leeper was considered for promotion to brigadier general but settled for an appointment as colonel (as a private in the 68th EMM, Leeper continued to be referred to as 'captain').
Based upon his late-war promotion, Leeper was often referred to as colonel after the war was over.

Based on my research and History-sites message board posts written by Kirby Ross

[4] Job Haley, I am not sure I have located the correct person, if I have then Chilton was misinformed. Jobe Haley, Reynolds County, Missouri, White’s Regiment, Coleman’s Regiment.
[5] Alexander Chilton, 1842-1879. Son of Shadrach Chilton and Patsy Harvison. One of the men that would be captured in August of 1862 with his uncle Joshua Chilton. Some of the official records list him as Alec Shelton.
[6] Joseph Huddleston, I have struck out here. 
[7] John Cox, 1850 Federal Census lists: John Cox 20 Katharine Cox 22 Nancy Adams 19
[8] Jake Huddleston, The main problem with researching this family is not there is no information. There is too much information for one from outside the family to sort through. 
[9] Devil “Dick” Beaux, Devil Dick Boze was killed by a patrol of the 7th Ks. Cavalry from Pilot Knob, June 15, 1865 at the ripe old age of 27.  Devil Dick and Aleck Chilton were pards and did raise cane  with union people. Devil Dick led his own bunch of partisans from 1862 through the war.
[10] Jim Sipes:  We’ll let the union records tell you what we know of James Sipes.

Office Asst Provost marshal
Pilot Knob Mo June 20th 1865

Statement of Sergeant J. C. Hewitt  Co D 7th Ks Vol Cav

I went out on a scout on Tuesday the 13th of June 1865 to Eleven Point River to search for Guerillas   Thursday the 15th of June in morning I surprised (6) six men at Peg Huddleston’s.  these men were reported to me as Guerillas    The names of these men were: Richard Boze  Riley Huddleston Robert Roberts and George Meyers   Richared Bows was the noted Devil Dick Bows  All the men had their arms with them and were at a dancing party  As soon as I came to the house they run away from the house  I followed them with my (10) ten men and Richard Bows was then shot by George Mowry  I then took the other men prisoners.  I searched the house and found 12 saddles and also captured 12 horses.  When I arrested the men I took their arms  I remained in a camp near Huddlestons house and sent a detail of (3) three men to William Younger’s house and they took prisoners William Younger and Waid de Parks both armed with revolvers  They brought the prisoners to my camp  I then started with two guides: Robert Ships and William Adkins to Younger’s House where I found several articles of clothing belonging to Robert Ships, stolen from him around the 8th day of June 1865.  I turned the clothing over to Ships.  I went from Younger’s House to widow Glascock’s House on the Spring Creek, about (4) four miles from Younger’s House.  Mrs. Glascock’s House was reported to me to be the headquarters and Boarding House of Guerillas.  James Sypes the brother of Mrs. Glascock gave me this information.  I examined the prisoners and obtained the following information.  All the prisoners except William Younger confessed that they belonged to the Band of Richard Bows.  William Younger told me that he had stolen (2) two Horses and that he would show them to me.  I went with him to where the Horses were and took possession of them and turned them over to the owners Ship and Adkins, citizens who were with me.  I then took the prisoners, 5 men, to Centreville and from there to Pilot Knob Mo on Monday, 19th day of June 1865

Sergt J. C. Hewitt

Sworn to and Subscribed
Before me at Pilot Knob
This 20th day of June 1865
Lt. & Asst. Pro. Mar

[11] Joe Quigley: This is the extent of my knowledge of Joe Quigley and his brother John Quigley.

Voluntary Statement of Edmond Faulkenberry in relation to the murder of Jacob Woolford and the part he took in it.

On Saturday, about the 24 of August 1861, James Stout and myself started from Stouts house for the “three forks of Black River.”  We had gone about a mile and a half when we meet John Busby, who told us that John Quigley and Tolbert Hunt had sent word to meet them at the “shut in”, after we had been there a few minutes, Wm H. Copeland, came then and told us to go out in the ridge to a deer “lick” about a mile and a half from where we then were.

Copeland, Stout, and myself started for the lick, when we got there we found John Quigley, Wm Wilson and EG. Clay.  Clay said that he wanted us to help him to take Jacob Woolford so that he could take him to the Southern Army; he also told us he wanted us to meet him at the “lick” on Monday and go to the mill with him to take Woolford.

We then separated with the understanding that we should meet there on Monday.  On Monday James Stout, and I again went to the “lick” upon our arrival we found Wm. H. Copeland there, we waited a short time, none of the others came, who had promised to meet us, we then got on our horses rode about a mile towards home, when we met Joseph Quigley, and Thomas Faulkenberry my brother.

One of them asked us where we were going; we replied that we were going home.  Joseph Quigley or my brother which I do not collect, told us to come back.  We then turned around and all rode back.  When we got back to the “lick” I do not recollect whether three was any one there or not except those I have mentioned.  Soon after E.G. Clay, William Wilson, John Quigley and Tolbert Hunt came.  My Brother, Thomas Faulkenberry, asked them what they intended to do.   Some one of the party replied that they intended to take Jacob Woolford and give him to the “Southern Army”.

E.G. Clay, John Quigley, Tolbert Hunt, Wm Wilson and James A. McClurg were the principal talkers and leaders at that time.  Hunt or McClurg told my brother that he must have a gun.  My brother replied that he had no use for one.  Mcclurg then told him that he could have his gun, as he McClurge, had a pistol.  My brother still insisted that he had no use for one.  We then started and traveled one and half or two miles.  Stopped and held a Consultation.  Hunt and McClurg then told my brother that he must have a gun.

Hunt made my brother take his old gun, telling him at the same time that it might not “go off” That if he did not want to use it made no difference but that he must have a gun—My brother still insisted that he had no use for a gun.  Tolbert Hunt then said, that we must have a Capt. And named John Quigley as the Captain of the party.  Tolbert Hunt was then put in the ? as a rear guard.  We then rode along the ridge to where we turned down in the head of a hollow about a half mile above the “Strauther” old field where there were some old peach trees.  When we went to the back of a field to the “Crop Woods” hitched our horses—Clay and William Wilson were left to guard them.

John Quigley told us we would go through the corn field to the hill.  We then started, went through one small field to the “Crop Woods” crossed the road and then found a man cutting wood.  This man we took prisoner, and went on through another cornfield in front of the hill.  Hunt and the two Quigley’s went into the Mill –A man jumped out of the door.  Mcclurg shot the first shot that was shot at him.  I did not know Jacob Woolford.  As well as I can tell there were four or five shots fired at him.  I do not know whether they killed Jacob Woolford or not-I only know what “Burt” Wilson told me, he said he shot and killed him that he saw him fall dead.

After they killed Woolford, they took two Union Soldiers prisoners that were in the mill at the time.  We went back pretty much  the same way we had come till we turned off to go to the house of Benj. McNail, Clay, McClurg, and one or two more went to “Bill” Wilson’s” cabin with the two prisoners, got there s? and then came back to the house of McNail.  An half an hour or so, we all started with the two soldiers for the purpose of taking them to Hardees Camp near Greenville—We had not gone far when we halted and it was agreed upon that Clay, McClurg, Stout, and myself should take the prisoners to Hardee’s Camp next morning.

The most of the party then started for the house, ? (Clay, McClurg, Stout and myself) took the two prisoners on the James Stout’s and stayed till next morning—then proceeded on with them to Hardees Camp.  I went with them about two miles beyond Centerville when I turned and came home.  The prisoners rode on horses furnished them by William Wilson and Stout. 

I went to Arkansas about the middle of January 1862 and came home near the 20th of March.  I went to my father in laws and stayed with him awhile.  I again went to Ark. Was for the purpose of keeping out of the Militia.  I have not been enrolled.  I never desired being with the party that killed Woolford.  When “Burt Wilson” told me that he had shot Woolford. I was some distance from the Mill—he said that he shot Mr. Woolford in the heart as he came towards him.  I only saw McClurg shoot but I heard four or five reports of guns.  “Burt Wilson” had a double barrel shot gun, W.H. Copeland had a rifle, Tolbert Hunt had McClurge’s rifle and Thomas Faulkenberry had Hunts old rifle.  E.G. Clay had a shot gun, James Stout had a rifle, I had a rifle, these are all that had a hand in the killing of Mr. Woolford.

? John Quigley and “Burt Wilson” had blacked themselves with powder or something else that disguised their natural appearance.  I do not recollect that any others were black.

William Wilson was with us all day except the time he was left with Clay to guard the horses.  When the rest were gone to the Mill, and was at the horses with Clay when we got back there.

Edmund Faulkenberry

The above statement was taken by me this 5 day of December 1862.
Lt Provost Marshal
Post of Pilot Knob, MO

[12] Lieut. William Mathew Akins, 1838-1877, Company C, Clardy’s Battalion.
[13] Lieut. William Douglas Dickson, 1837-1916, Company C, Clardy’s Battalion, previously served in the 3rd MO Cav. CSA, Wounded at Hartsville 11 Jan 1863. William’s brother, Hiram Dickson, served the union.
[14] Calvin Sidney Bowers, 1811-1864, lived on upper Webb Creek.
[15] Andrew Chitwood, 1817-1865, Participated as a guard on the Trail of Tears. Although, related to partisan rangers, was a not a soldier or a bushwhacker himself. Uncle to Henderson and Jonathan Chitwood, uncle to William Chitwood who was wounded at Pulliam's Farm in Ripley County and died in St. Louis from wounds. Brother-in-law to Smith W. Cotton.
[16] Ruble did not exist at the time of the civil war. It later became a train station on Webb Creek in Reynolds County, Missouri.
[17] 10 Jul 1865, date from headstone, Helvey Cemetery on Webb Creek in Reynolds County, Missouri. 
[18] Joel C Dickson, brother of William Douglas Dickson, previously had been recruited by Col. Boone, subsequently served in company H of the 4th Cav., captured at Fredericktown in 1863, was a Pvt. in Clardy’s Battalion. 
[19] Brothers, sons of John Creed Boyer and Sarah Jane Sipe, both lived in Carter County, Missouri and Gid was a son-in-law of Daniel Huett a near neighbor of Uncle Andrew’s.
[20] Also of Carter County, married to Mary Ann Condray.
[21] A James Lattie is on the 1860 census living near Zimri Carter.
[22] Mr. Blackwell is Jesse R Blackwell after the war the Blackwell moved to Wisconsin. 
[23] Mrs. Blackwell was Selina Eleanore Latta daughter of James Andrew Latta.

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