THEY DETESTED THE COWARDICE OF THE ONE AND ADMIRED THE
BRAVERY OF THE OTHER
By S. C. Turnbo
Mr. John Bias, son of Hiram Bias who in war times served in Co. B. 16 Missouri Cavalry union side, tells the following incidents which occurred while the federal army were beating back General Sterling Price and his men in October, 1864. "While we were near Kansas City, Missouri," said Mr. Bias, "I saw a soldier bring a confederate soldier who he had captured in a hemp stack where the Southerner had attempted to hide himself before a federal officer. The officer ask the man what he was doing up there and the prisoner who showed evidence of being badly demoralized replied in this way. "I was conscripted and was forced to join the southern army or I would not have been here." This he spoke in a whining and begging manner. The officer looked on him in contempt and says you are a coward and do not deserve the treatment due a prisoner of war and no doubt you joined the rebel army willingly and afraid to acknowledge it. At this moment some of the soldiers brought a young man as prisoner before the same officer. He was a brave looking fellow and did not seem to fear anything. The officer ask the young fellow the same question he had ask the other prisoner and the young man promptly answered. "I am here doing my best to drive you devils back to keep you from pursuing use" This was given in such a bold and fearless way that all the federal soldiers who were in hearing gave a big cheer and the line of blue coats took it up and the loud cheering went up the line. The other man was abused, some of the men went far enough to kick him. In a few seconds more the officer says to the young man, "When did you see Pop Price." And he said, "Just awhile ago, and I do wish I was on the hind seat of his buggie with him." And the soldiers gave the gallant young fellow another cheer, This is no hearsay with me. I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears." said Mr. Bias.
Springfield-Greene County Library