The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

It was not common in Civil War days for a war party to refuse to appropriate any property be it little or big if it belonged to the enemy and they were in reach of it. The following account was furnished me by Dave Fee of Peel, Arkansas, who in war times was a soldier on the southern side and be-longed to Captain Ben Ivey’s company, Colonel Schnavel’s Battallion. "One day in the month of December, 1864, after the Price raid into Missouri, I and three other members of our Battallion were on a scouting expedition near Jonesburrough in Cross County, Arkansas. Rations for ourselves and forage for our horses was exceedingly scarce with us and near noon we began to look about for something to eat and feed for our almost exhausted animals. As we rode along on Crawley’s Ridge we came to a house that had a fine prospect of furnishing us with food for ourselves and corn for our jaded horses, and we rode up to the yardgate and halted and found that there was no one there except the lady of the house and some children. We asked the woman what the chance was to get our dinners and have our horses fed there. She replied very kindly that we could dismount and take our horses to the barn and feed them and that she would also prepare dinner for us, and knowing that we were confederates, she informed us that her husband was in the federal army and that two of her brothers belonged to the confederate army, and that her desire was to treat both sides as nigh right as she was able to. She said that if a federal soldier came along and was hungry, she divided her eatables with him and she did the same with the southern men. She said she treated both sides alike or as near equal as she could. When we went to the barn, we found plenty of corn to feed our horses and when she announced dinner, we found plenty on the table and we fared sumptuously. When we had finished dining, we asked the lady our bill and she said nothing and refused to have pay for her trouble of preparing dinner for us and neither would she charge us anything for the corn we give our horses. After we had finished eating dinner, we soldiers retired into the sitting room to rest and wait for our horses to get done eating before starting out again. On going into the room, we saw a nice pair of buck-skin gloves lying on the mantle board. They were military gloves and belonged to the woman’s husband. We all stood in need of a pair of gloves, but we could not afford to take this pair, but we all tried them on our hands to see how they would look and fit our hands and then we laid them back on the mantlepiece. If the woman had acted very cold toward us and told us that her two brothers belonged to the federal army too, there is no doubt but that the gloves would have went with us. But as it was, we could not stoop so low as to take them and went away with a kind feeling for her and her husband as well as for her brothers."


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