The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Among my collection of war time accounts is the following which was furnished me by Jesse J. Rhodes, a veteran of the Civil War on the Union side and served in Company C, 24 Missouri Infantry and took part in the Battle of Pleasant Hill where he was wounded in the left leg. His captain, Uriah Johnson., was killed at Pleasant Hill. Mr. Rhodes said that long before his regiment was sent to Louisiana, he was detailed one day with other soldiers to guard a supply train between Rolla and Lebanon, Missouri, and while passing over the road between Big and Little Piney Creeks, he and Bill Swearingin, a soldier mate, were walking together and they discovered an object lying in the grass a few yards to the right of the road, and on approaching we found that it was a dead man lying on his face with a bullet hole in the back of his head. The body was well dressed in black citizen’s clothes. We reported our find to Captain William Martindale, who was in command of us. Martindale reported it to the commanding officer at Waynesville and who said that he would send a detail of men there to bury the dead body. After we had been gone a few days, the guard with the train returned back over the same road and I and Swearingin stopped where we found the dead man to find out if he was buried, and discovered a trail where the dead man was dragged along through the grass and after following it 100 yards into the head of a little hollow, we found the same dead body with a rope around his neck. If a detail had been sent there to bury him, they or someone else had put the rope around his neck and dragged him off and left him like they would a dead brute.


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