A BLOODY ENCOUNTER BETWEEN A CONFEDERATE OFFICER
AND A FEDERAL SOLDIER ON JIMMIES CREEK
By S. C. Turnbo
Among the rough steep hills and deep hollows of Sister Creek on the south side of White River in Marion County, Arkansas, lives Joe Pace, son of Carl Pace and Mary M. Pace. Joe was born on Jimmies Creek October 17, 1853. Mr. Carl Pace settled a claim on Jimmies Creek one mile above the mouth of Wild Cat Creek where Joe Pace was born. Joes parents have both passed over the great beyond and their bodies rest in the same grave yard near the Wild Cat school house on Jimmies Creek. Joe Pace is the proprietor of Paces Ferry on White River just above the mouth of Sister Creek and 4 miles below the little town of Oakland. Mr. Joe Pace relates the following war story which he says is strictly true. "My father, Carl Pace, was a captain of a company in the 14-th (confederate) Arkansas Infantry. My mother was a sister of Tomps McCracken and a daughter of Joe McCracken. In the month of August, 1863, Jimmies Creek was invaded for the first time by a Small command of federal troops of mounted men. My father was at home then on a leave of absence. Jim Skinner was then living on the Van Lants place on the south bank of the river Just above the mouth of Sister Creek. This man had observed the federals passing down the river on the north side where the old George Pearson farm is Mr. Skinner set about at once to give warning of the approach of the federals to the few settlers who lived on Jimmies Creek and the other settlements toward Yellville for the river was at a low stage and easily forded. So mounting a horse he galloped down to the mouth of Sister Creek before the federals reached the ford there and up that stream a short distance then over the dividing ridge to Jimmies Creek then up that water course to where my father lived above the mouth of Wild Cat. When Mr. Skinner arrived at our house the strength of his horse was entirely exhausted and his body was covered with sweat and foam. As the man approached the house he hallooed to father. "Captain Pace, the feds are coming and I have come to warn you of their approach. My horse is give out and I cannot ride him any further." Mr. Skinner now abandoned the horse and ran into the bresh to hide from the enemy and father hastily caught a bay mule he called Jack and mounted him and urged him into a gallop to notify his neighbors of the coming of the enemy. It seems that the federals had seen Mr. Skinner galloping down the river on the south side and believing that he was intending to give the settlers warning of their approach they pushed on across the river and followed the fresh trail of Skinners horse as rapidly as their horses could travel and about the time my father got out of our eight we seen a federal galloping up the road toward the house with a pistol in his hand. The man galloped on by the house without halting or asking a question and followed the same road that my father had just gone over. When my father had galloped the mule near a half a mile up the creek or just below where Kingdom Spring is now he heard horses feet coming up behind him and he stopped and turned the mule across the road to wait to see if it was a friend getting out of the way of the enemy. In a few moments the horseman come in view and it proved to be an armed federal and who was only a few yards from him. My father had his pistol buckled around him but he made no attempt to draw the weapon from the scabbard but waited until the federal soldier had galloped up to him with pistol in hand. The federal made no effort to use the pistol nor did ask father to surrender neither did he ask him if he was armed. But when the federal reached him he stopped and says, "You have gone far enough in this direction" "Well, " says my father, "which way do you want me to go." "Let us go back the other way." replied the man in blue, "Very well, turn your horse In the way you desire to go," said father and the federal who was still holding the pistol in his hand reined his horse around and started back down the creek. My father never moved until the federal got a few yards off when he jerked his pistol from the scabbard and shot the federal and wounded him causing the man in blue to jerk both his feet out of the stirrups and without turning in his saddle he placed the Pistol under his arm with the muzzle pointing toward my father and fired a shot at random and immediately urged his horse into a gallop down the creek, Father shot at the federal twice more before he got beyond his view. The ball from the pistol in the hands of the federal struck father in the thigh. The wounded federal galloped back to our house where he met his command which had just arrived and he says to them., "Boys, I am shot." The other federals ask him "Did you hit him." "I dont know," said he, "but go on and if you can find him give him hell. And they all started up the road the way the wounded man had come. My father knew that the federals would make an effort to hunt him down and decided that it would be best to dismount and leave the mule and seek a place of safety among the crags and cliffs along the creek. But after he got off of the mule he discovered that the ball shot at him by the federal had broke his thigh and he could neither walk or remount the mule again. He was suffering intense pain and the wound was bleeding freely. He was in a helpless condition and powerless to get out of the way on foot. But he must make an effort to leave the road and leaving the mule standing in the road he crawled 40 yards to a shelving rock which lay close down to the ground where there was just barely room for him to crawl under it. He had just got under the rock and was suffering an agony of pain when he heard the clattering of a number of horses feet over the stony ground coming up the road. It proved to be a body of federal cavalry and they soon reached the mule which by this time had got out of the road and was grazing. One of the troopers dismounted and tried to catch the mule but his muleship refused to be friendly and started off on fathers trail where he had pulled himself along to the cliff and as he went along he would put his nose down to the ground and smell where father had crawled along. "The commander of the troopers says, "Oh., dam the mule. Shoot it down and let us push on." And the man who was trying to catch the mule answered, "Go ahead, Ill catch the mule and overtake you." And while the man was following on behind the mule trying to coax it to stop the mule walked up in 6 feet of the ledge of rock that father was under and knowing that if the federal saw him he would shoot him instantly my father made ready to defend himself the best he could. Two barrels of his revolver were loaded and he cocked the pistol and aimed it at the man with the intention of shooting him if the man discovered him. Though suffering terrible pain from his broken thigh yet he held the pistol on the federal who was so busy in trying to catch the mule that he never discovered father nor heard the click of the pistol. Directly the man succeeded in catching the mule and lead him back to the road and remounting his horse he rode on in the direction his friends had went leading the mule at the side of his horse. This was at 2 oclock in the afternoon. My mother not knowing that father was hurt and supposing he had escaped, she concluded it was best to get off of the public road where we lived and she took us children which was 7 in number and went to a relative of ours of the name of Bill King who lived off from the public highways one mile and a half from our house.
On the following day at 10 a.m. I took one of our horses out into the woods and hobbled him to prevent the federals from capturing him. Just as I had finished tieing the rope around his legs and had rose to my feet I heard my father call me and I answered and ran to him. When I reached the spot where he lay wounded and very weak I was horrified to find him in such a terrible condition. The first words he said to me after I had got to him was "Joe, is the feds gone yet." and I replied "Yes, father, they are all gone as far as I know." My father had crawled one mile and a half from where he was shot and was almost perished for the want of water. He said that he had not tasted a bit of water since he was wounded. He says "Joe, run to Bills house and get me some water. I am nearly starved for a drink." It was near 300 yards to Bill Kings house and I ran with all might to tell my mother and Mr. King and his wife about fathers helpless condition. I took some water in a vessel and got back to father first. He wanted to drink all the water In the vessel but I told him that he was so nigh starved to death for water that he must only drink a small quantity of water at a time and it would not hurt him but if he drank it all at once it would kill him and I would not let him drink only a little at a time until his great thirst was partly quenched. By this time my mother and the other children and Mr. King and his family got there and we went for other help immediately and made a litter of small poles tacked together and spread a quilt on it for a bed and we lifted him up and put him on it and carried him 3 miles to a cliff of rock in a wild and lonely looking place in a N.W. direction from home where the Star mine is now on Wild Cat Creek and placed the suffering man in as comfortable position as circumstances would admit and my mother sent a runner to Yellville for two doctorsJobe and Hansfordand they both come and dressed his wounds and we all cared for him and gave him our beat attention until he was able to be moved to safer and more comfortable quarters. I and my mother was with him nearly all the time. It was two months before he was able to travel. The wounded federal was taken to my grandfathers Joe McCraken who lived on Jimmies Creek below our house. On the night following the day the wounded federal was carried there a number of men collected at the cliff where we had carried my father on Wild Cat Creek and wanted to go mob the wounded man in blue. Some said hang him, others wanted to shoot him, a few said let us stab him to death with knives. It seemed that the ill fated soldier was doomed to die a cruel death, but my dear old father suffering the agonizing pains of the dying pleaded for the life of the federal and finally prevailed on the mob to let the wounded soldier live and treat him wellthat he was wounded and in a helpless condition and it was their duty to care for him in a merciful way and when he was able to go to send him back to his friends and they all consented to do so and they treated him kindly and when he was able to travel they sent him home. His name was Josephus Liverpoole. Soon after the close of the war he wrote a letter to my father and father answered him and they carried on a friendly correspondence until Mr. Liverpoole died, then his father wrote to us several times afterward. They both died good friends to each other.
Springfield-Greene County Library