A MAN ESCAPES DEATH BY LEAPING UP AND RUNNING
By S. C. Turnbo
Among those who have contributed accounts of war days items is Mr. C. C. (Charley) Hodge, son of William Riley Hodge and Kissiah Elizabeth (Vinson) Hodge. Charley Hodge was born in Gibson County, Kentucky, June 27, 1848. His father came to Butler County, Missouri, in 1849, and lived there until in 1851 and moved with his family from there to Sharp County, Arkansas, and settled near Ash Flat. Charley says that he remembers a few names of the settlers who lived in that county when his father went there. He said that Charley Shaver lived at Evening Shade and Jasper Wilson lived at Ash Flat and that Dick Armstrong lived a mile and a half from Ash Flat and that the old man Jimmie Rials was a prominent farmer and was one of the first settlers of Sharp County. In furnishing accounts of war times in that part of Arkansas, Mr. Hodge said that one Saturday in the late afternoon, five men were picked up by their enemies in the neighborhood of Ash Flat and taken into the woods and halted and commanded to kneel and get ready for death, for they were informed that they would be summarily executed on the spot. One of the doomed men was Nat Malone and another was Bob Rickey, I disremember the names of the other three. The victims were given only a few minutes to prepare their souls to meet their Maker. At the report of the guns in the hands of the firing party, four of the men fell backward in the throes of death. Just a moment before the guns were discharged one of the men leaped up and ran aways as fast as he could and escaped death, and they never did succeed in capturing him again. All of these men lived within two miles of the place where they were executed. One Sunday the following day after the four men were shot, a wagon was taken to where the dead men lay and the bodies were loaded into the wagon like putting in dead hogs and hauled a mile and a half northwest of Ash Flat where they received burial.
Springfield-Greene County Library