A STIRRING SCENE OF THE CIVIL WAR ONE MORNING IN OZARK
By S. C. Turnbo
There were a number of little things that took place in Civil War times that will never be put in print from the fact that they were not considered worth the while to keep a record of them. Long after the close of the war however some of these little affairs have been mentioned by the participants and have often been referred to as war time Incidents and ought to have a place in history. The following account is gleaned from people of both sides and I write it as it was given to me.
On the 23rd day of September, 1862, a company of mounted men belonging to the United States forces reached the vicinity of Big Creek near where the Quick school house now stands 1 mile east of Big Creek. Probably the force of men number about 75. They were fully equipped and well armed. They were commanded by Captain James H. Sallee and some say that Captain Wm. Piland was in the command too. The officers of these men had heard of a small force of southern men who were camped on Big Creek just below the mouth of McVeys hollow where Lewis Ramsey was living at the time we speak of. The strength of the confederates is not accurately known but there were sup-posed to be 60 men. They were command by Captains Cawkarn and Campbell. It is said that the first named lived in Webster County, Missouri. The confederates were poorly mounted and badly equipped and had only two rounds of ammunition. The excessive rains kept the guns wet and it was a difficult matter to keep their scanty ammunition dry. The heavy rains were trying on the federals too but they had better clothing and good cartridge boxes to keep their shooting stuff dry. It seems that the federal troopers remained overnight on the timbered ridge just south of where the Quick school house now Is and it also appears that the southern men had went further up the creek and camped at the mouth of McVey hollow. Thus the two parties were watching each other. From the in-formation I have gathered of this little incident both sides held two prisoners each. The two that the southern men held were John Bevins and one of Jess Evens sons. Robert Casebolt and Jemima Casebolt his wife or have been said were early settlers of Ozark County, Missouri, and were living on Big Creek on what is now the Ben Quick farm some distance below the mouth of McVey hollow, The Casebolts were strictly southern and the old folks including their children were true and faithful to the south. On the following morning a party of federals paid the Casebolt family a visit with the intention of killing him. Mrs. Casebolt heard the noise of the horses feet approaching the house and gave her husband warning. James Casebolt and Andrew Jackson Casebolt, nephews of Mr. Casebolt, sons of Jake Casebolt who died on the Gasconade River and Decalb Roberts and "Bob" Casebolt and Jim Casebolt, sons of Robert Casebolt, were sleeping in the kitchen. When Mrs. Casebolt heard the horses feet she says, "Robert, jump up quick and run. I believe them is federals coming." "No " says Mr. Casebolt, "its southern boys." In a few seconds the horsemen had charged up to the yard gate and Casebolt found that he was mistaken and leaped out of bed and yelled to the other boys to "get out of there in a hurry for the enemy is at hand." Then he darted out at the door onto the porch and leaped over the banisters and ran into a patch of sorghum cane and through it to a place of concealment. Case-bolt took time to snatch up his pistol but was compelled to leave the house barefooted and in his night clothes. The Young man Roberts and two of the young Casebolts snatched up their pistols and what clothes they could lay their hands on and started to run out of the kitchen but seeing James Case-bolt, nephew of Robert Casebolt. was soared so bad that he tried to go up the chimney, they stopped and hurried him out of the house into the entry and into the sorghum patch and out on the side of the hill where they stopped. As they were getting away the federals began shooting at them, At this moment Mrs. Casebolt and the girls snatched bed quilts and bed sheets from the beds and stretched them out and held them up by the corners so as to hide the retreating forms of the boys from the aim of the federals as much as possible. Jim Casebolt, their youngest boy, was too small for the federals to pay any attention to and he did not leave the house. While the men were getting away and the federals were shooting at them in the early dawn of the morning, the women were screaming while they were holding the quilts up to interpose an obstacle between the enemy and those who were running from danger for Mrs. Casebolt and her daughters believed that the enemy would pursue the men and kill them all. It was now that. Mrs. Casebolt resorted to another expedient by snatching down the dinner horn and blew a loud blast. Then she hallooed and continued to blow the horn and halloo as loud as she could until one of the officers dismounted and jerked the horn out of her hand and threw it as far as he could over the fence. The federals thinking that she was giving a signal to the confederates to approach they now galloped away. After they were gone the girls took the shoes and clothes to the men and they all returned to the house except James Casebolt, nephew of Robert Casebolt, and he was so terrified that he took to the woods and did not come back until the third day and was almost famished for food. Soon after the federals had returned to their command near where the Quick school house is and the confederates were on the creek at the mouth of McVey hollow, the federal officers sent Tom Wells and another man on good horses to reconnoiter the enemy and when the confederate pickets discovered them they charged them and they retreated back to their command. They exchanged a few shots but no serious damage was done to either side. When the southern men had returned to their command, Cawkarn and Campbell deemed it prudent to go southward and they crossed Big Creek at the next ford below the Daniel Quick ford and followed the old trail to the top of the hill where the Doe Bledsoe place is now and passed on down to the lower end of the Panther Bottom where they crossed white River and went on by the John Knight house on the head of Music Greek and went on southward.
Springfield-Greene County Library