Volume 6, Number 8, Summer 1978
My grandfather, James M. Davis, was a member of a Union Cavalry troop that scouted between Springfield and Harrison, Arkansas during the Civil War. Near White River he was with a group of about fifty mounted men when a troop of Confederates approached. The officer in charge gave the order "HALT." The Union Captain, old Captain Ball, turned in his saddle, looked back and said, "Halt yourself. Damn you!" and gave the order "CHARGE!" The confederates, thinking they were facing a much larger number fled into the wilderness. The Union cavalry searched all night without success and those Confederates were never again seen in that vicinity.
My grandmother, Mary Melton, lived with her mother, Peggy Ann Bilyeu Melton on Bear Creek during the Civil War. All the grown men were away fighting, leaving the women and one boy at home. The boy was sick in bed, just broken out with measles. A confederate soldier came in the night, pointed a gun at the sick boys head and ordered him to round up a horse and saddle him. The boy did as he was told and three days later was dead.
My great grandfather, Dr. Willie Davis, lived at a big spring down in the valley below Highlandville. My great uncle, Frank Davis, was at home on a furlough from the Union Army. My grandfathers company was camped near the spring. A troop of Confederates approached the house looking for Uncle Frank and began shooting toward the house. Uncle Frank hid behind the ash hopper, fired at the flash of the guns and shot one man out of the saddle. His comrades took the body away and the horse came up to the house. Uncle Frank got the horse and found the saddle pockets full of needles, thread, childrens trinkets and other articles that had been pilfered from homes. Grandfathers outfit heard the shooting, came to the house and looked for the Confederates who had fled with their dead or wounded soldier but never found them in the darkness.
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