The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

One among the many accounts of the killing of men in the state of Arkansas is this one furnished me by A. N. (Andrew) Dotson, son of Simon and Jane Dotson. His mother was a daughter of Nick Norris. Andy was born 11 miles west of Smithville in Lawrence County, Arkansas, October 12, 1853-The land on which he was born is on Strawberry River in what is now Sharp County. Andy Dotson’s parents are both buried in the Norris grave yard between Evening Shade and Smithville. Mr. Dotson said that his brother Dick Dotson who was 8 years his senior was a member of Colonel Bob Shaver’s regiment and stuck to the end of the war and was paroled at Shreveport, Louisiana. He died in New Madrid County, Missouri, in 1875 and lies buried in a grave yard near New Madrid Post Office. One day when the weather was cool in the latter part of the year 1863 a scouting party of union men captured two men supposed to be deserters from the confederate army and killed them at the roadside. The two unfortunate fellows were arrested near the residence of Captain Bill Sanders 11 miles west of Smithville on the Strawberry River. I assisted to bury the dead bodies by digging a hole at the roadside where they lay and put both bodies into it and covered them up with dirt. They remained here 6 weeks when a lot of men took them up and put them in coffins and buried them in a grave yard where the Smithville and Evening Shade wagon road crosses Strawberry River and is near where Andy Smith’s mill now stands. When the two bodies were exhumed they looked as fresh as when they were buried. Blood run out of the bullet holes. The bodies were removed one mile and a half." said Mr. Dotson.

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