Volume 2, Number 9, Fall 1966
(Continued from Spring Quarterly, "Stories of the Pioneers", by E. J. and L. S. Hoenshel, printed in the White River Leader in 1915 or Thereabouts.)
Riding to the house of C. B. Stallcup about sundown one evening a short time ago, we saw a tall, erect old man at the barn, who greeted us with a pleasant "good evening". "Is this Colonel Stallcup?" we asked. "Its what is left of him," was the answer.
"Well Colonel I am on my way to Branson, but as it is too late to get there tonight, I should like to stay all night with you." "All right, if you can put up with what we have," "Well", said I, "I have lived a good many years in this world, and have had some tough times, so I think I can stand it." After looking at me for an instant in his earnest way, he laughingly said, "All right, Come in".
After supper we sat by the old time fire-place and talked about the topics of the day, the Colonel smoked a corn-cob pipe when the conversation lagged. When bed-time came the genial host showed me to my room saying, "I am glad you came to stay all night with me."
During our conversation, Mr. Stallcup occasionally told an event or some interesting incident of his life, and from these reminiscences we get the story of his life:
I was born in Independence, Missouri, the night Thomas Benton spoke there in 1844. My grandfather went from North Carolina to Tennessee in an ox-wagon, and after staying there about fifteen years, moved to Jackson County, Missouri. My grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War and died at the age of 109.
My father came to Taney County when I was five years old, and settled on what is now the Clinkbeard farm. I have lived in Taney County ever since, except while I was in the army.
When we came here, there were a post office and one little store at Forsyth. There was a mill where Kissee Mills now is, known as Nelsons Mill. There were not many people hereonly a few families between our place and the Arkansas line.
Schools didnt amount to much thenall were subscription schools, and we had only three months of school in a year. The school houses were built of logs, with split logs for benches and puncheon floors. Old Jimmie Benton and my brother, Colbert, were among our teachers. All the teachers were menno women teachers in those days. Sometimes we locked out the teacher to make him treat. Because people lived far apart, many of the children had to walk a long distance to get to school.
At that time the river was full of fish. I have helped to catch several hundred pounds at one haul with a seine. Some of the fish were big fellows, weighing twenty-five pounds or more. There were buffalo fish, drum, catfish, and many others.
I have often seen 100 to 200 turkeys in a flock. One could go out any morning and get a wild turkey or two before breakfast. Other game was plentiful. I counted thirty-five deer in one bunch near where Cedar Creek Post Office is now.
Our first year here father got his meat by shooting bears in the pineries, a few miles south of us.
There were lots of wolves here then (and it was not uncommon to see them after a pig). A wolf would run around in a circle until a small one would get separated from the rest, when he would grab it and run. Once when Bob Raines, the grandfather of the present sheriff of the county, was herding cattle in the timber, he was driven into a shanty by the wolves, and had to stay there all night.
There were no sawmills here in those days, and no lumber. Roofs were made of split clapboards and we had puncheon floors. Laytons saw mill was the first in the county.
I enlisted in the Third Missouri cavalry of the Confederate army, July 4, 1861, at Forsyth and was paroled at Shreveport, May 27, 1865. Ike Moore, Joe McGill, Bill and Marion Ellison were in the same company, and Lafayette Snapp was our lieutenant. After enlisting we stayed at Forsyth a few days. We were there the day General Sweeney of the Federal Army came with his soldiers, but as there were only a few of us we left town. A cannon ball was shot through the courthouse at Forsyth that day.
We went from Forsyth to Springfield, and got there the day after the battle of Wilsons Greek. We were in Prices army and a part of Marmadukes brigade. Most of the time we were in Arkansas, but were in Texas part of the time. We were in many fights and skirmishes, but were never in any of the great battles of the war.
Yes, we had some hard times in the army often not much to eat. I have often taken ears of corn and parched them in the ashes for a meal.
In 1864 Uncle Bill Ellison and I came home on a furlough, and when we got close to our homes we had to keep pretty close because there were bushwackers and prowlers over the country. One night we were lying under a cliff with a big fire to keep us warm. One of my shoes got too close to the fire and was burned. There was a big snow that night, and I had to ride out the next morning with one shoe and the other foot wrapped in cloth.
There were about the same number went to each army from this county, and the regular soldiers of both sides were friendly. The bad ones were the guerillas and the bushwackers. They had no discipline except their own, and that was to steal everything they could.
No, I was not a coloneldidnt know enough to be a colonel. I went in as a private and came out a private. My given name is Colonel.
When I was home on a furlough I was married right here where I am now living. My wifes name was Mary J. Coulter. I went back to the army the same day, and did not see my wife until the next June. We had six girls and four boys---ten children, but two of them died young. My wife died four years ago.
Yes, I am glad to see the progress that has been made since we came here, but I sometimes think people are not as hospitable and honorable as they were then. A man very seldom, then, went back on his word, no matter whether it was in writing or not.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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