THEY PRETENDED THAT THE MILK HAD BEEN POISONED
By S. C. Turnbo
"I cannot tell you any war time stories from my personal observations," said Mr. Jerry Jenkins, "for I was born in the year 1863 and consequently I was too young to remember anything about it, but I have heard my mother say repeatedly that one day during the war period while we lived on Little Beaver Creek in Douglas County, Missouri, 6 men rode up to the house and dismounted and ordered dinner and without taking time to sit down and wait for It to be prepared they began to plunder in the house and lay their hands on all the articles that were movable. My mother said she could hardly put up with this but she had to. I become very stubborn said she, land concluded I would not cook for them for they were nothing more than a band of robbers or guerrillas and did not deserve anything to eat. While they were hunting in every nick and corner of the house for valuables they discovered a lot of pies and sweet cakes that I had cooked and they pounced on them like hungry wolves killing sheep. Seeing that they were determined to help themselves without an invitation I picked up a pitcher of milk and set it down before them. I thought by doing this I would get rid of them sooner. When I put the pitcher down., one of the men pour out a small quantity of the milk into a tin cup and put it to his mouth and tasted it. At this one of the other robbers says, You had better let that milk alone for it might be a job fixed up to poison us all. And none of them dare not touch the milk anymore."
Mr. Jenkins said that his mother told him that while the band of men was in the house his brother, John Jenkins, who was a little fellow was standing in the yard crying and one of the men threatened to shoot his brains out If he did not quiet his noise. The robber thought the child would attract attention and father or others would come to my mothers relief and shoot the scoundrels.
I have heard mother also say that one day after this a big flock of wild turkeys passed near the house and she picked up an old musket that was loaded and shot at one of the turkeys and the result was a bunch of guerrillas charged UP to the house and demanded where my father was. They supposed he had come home and was determined to kill him and was greatly surprised at not finding him there. My mother said that this was the first gun she ever attempted to fire."
Springfield-Greene County Library