The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

The following relating to early days in Green County, Mo. was told me by Mr. W. M. (William) Sturman of Brown Branch, Taney County, Mo. He is a son of Thomas and Hannah (Edwards) Sturman and was born in Jefferson County Tennessee July 2nd 1833. His parents died on the old home place in Jefferson County. His father died in 1847 and his mother died 3 years later. Their bodies rest in the cemetery at Friendship Church house 8 miles from Morristown. William Sturman married Miss Jane Thornfield and he and his young bride started west in a two horse wagon to hunt a new home. They crossed the father of waters at Greens Ferry 75 miles below St. Louis Mo. After crossing the river they continued their journey through the picturesque hills and valleys of Missouri until they arrived in Green County where the country looked so intiting that they believed they had went far enough and stopped on Sawyers Creek 12 miles east of Springfield. This creek is a tributary branch of the James River. They settled on a tract of land here where they lived a number of years. In giving a few of the names of the settlers who lived in that neighborhood on his arrival there in 1855 Mr. Sturman said there were John Hogan whose wife was named Lucy. John Camp and Susan Camp his wife. Thomas Drumwright who lived with his widowed sister Mrs. Martha Reese. Andy Galbreath a widower. B. B. Brake whose wife was named Sarah. Dewit Galbreath. Robert Baty whose wife was named Mary Ann. Wesley Smith and Sarah his wife. Jack McGraw a widower. Josiah Cunningham and Eliza his wife. Hewell Cunningham and Betsey Ann his White and Tom Sawyer and Peggie his wife. The foregoing names are the earliest settlers in that part of Green County. Our nearest post office was Springfield but we did not have to go very far to mill for John Hogan owned a little mill on Sawyers Creek that ground both wheat and corn. There were excellent school and church facilities in our neighborhood at the Baty Church house. Mr. Sturman said that on his arrival in Green County in 1855 the city of Springfield contained less than 1,000 Inhabitants and the building were thinly scattered over a large space. There was plenty of vacant land then all around the town. "I remember", said he, "that Major Berry, John Logan, Gabe Shackelford and his son William Shackelford were among the business men." Mr. Sturman said that when the war broke out he enlisted in the Union service and was a member of Co. E. 72nd Mo. Infantry which was afterward mounted. George Dillard was his captain and Col. Collie Holland commanded the regiment until he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General when Col. Henry Sheperd took charge of the regiment. I did not take part in the fight at Wilson Creek on account of being on guard duty at Springfield, but I took part in the fight at Springfield when Gen. Marmaduke attached it on the morning of the 8th of January 1863. Our army under the command of Gen. Brown mustered 950 on, the morning of the attack. After Marmadukes command had fought a while it passed on. The southern forces captured a few Prisnors but released them on parole. We also captured a few confederates.

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