The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Mr. John Mahan son of Isaac Mahan told me this little affair of war times which occurred on his fathers old farm on Little North Fork in Ozark County, Mo.

"My father owned a big dark brindle bull that was subject to the habit of passing over or through any kind of a rail fence he come to and had destroyed a large amount of corn in the field. My father refused to slay the bull to end his rascality until one day in the summer of 1861 when a bunch of Confederate soldiers with their guns stopped at our house to rest. They belonged to Col. Wm. C. Mitchell 14th Arkansas Infantry which was then on East Sugar Loaf Creek. Though the war had commenced but we were all friendly. Among the soldiers were Frantz Rice, Levi Pearson, Dedrick Simmons and two of Flemmon Clarks sons Ben and Richard. My father was angry at the bull on that day and he intimated to the soldiers that it would please him no little if they would kill the old thief and fence breaker and say boys shoot the old scamp and they turned loose the contents of their guns at him and the bull wheeled around and got off from there in a rapid way and run beyond our view. We all supposed he would die from the effects of the gun shot wounds but to our surprise he came back home in a few days as lively as ever. But father was not in any better humor with him and he got Bill Johnson to slay the animal which he did by shooting him in the fore head with a ball from a rifle of Navy Pistol size."

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