The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

It is probable that the following war incident may be put a little too strong but the author of it Mr. Peter Keesee assured me that the account was given him by reliable authority but we think that there must be a slight mistake in the connecting links of the shooting of the man or the men who did the shooting were very careless in their work or was in a hurry to get away. We leave it to the reader to make his own comments and if there should be a mistake in the account of it we hope that some one who knows will make the proper corrections. In giving the story Mr. Keesee said that Jim Hall was a brother of Willoughby Hall and a son of Dave Hall. One day in the year 1856 Jim Hall killed John Tolbert near Tolberts ferry on White River ten miles east of Yellville, Ark. John Tolbert was a son of Cimeron Tolbert. When the war broke out Jim Hall was living on Gooleys Spring Creek just over the line in Missouri. One day during the war some of Mr. Tolberts friends captured the murderer and taken him to the foot of one of the three brothers in what is now Baxter County Ark. The intention of the men was to put him to death by shooting. The man Hall was stout robust and active and just before he was compelled to stand up before the firing line he make up his mind to make a strong effort to dodge the bullets and when the men would cock their guns and aim at him he would jump, roll tumble and whirl about, so fast that he escaped the aims of the guns and the bullets would inflict only slight wounds. Finally he become greatly exhausted in strength in repeating this so often that he resorted to another ruse to deceive his enemies by falling on his face as if he had been shot dead and they believed he was dead but after his enemies had stood around him a few seconds one of the men concluded to make a test and see if life was really extinct and picked up a small stone and struck him a light blow on the head with it. He believed if there was life left he would flinch from the effects of the rock but Hall never moved. Hall heard the man remark about the stone and he knew it would be death if he did move and nerved himself to bear the peck on the head the man gave him with the rock. They all agreed now that he was dead and they pronounced him dead for a certainty and went off and left the supposed dead man lying on his face as he had fell. They had no thought of giving him burial for they had rather the wolves would devour his body but the man was more alive than dead and when he was satisfied that his enemies were entirely gone he raised his head up and looked about him and finding that no one was In sight he rose on his hands and feet to test the soreness of his wounds and found that they were only flesh wounds and not very deep ones. He now began to creep slowly along over the rough ground until he reached a place of concealment and lay there until after night fall when he made his way to Sister Creek and traveled down this stream through the darkness of the night until he reached the river thence down the river to his fathers old farm where he was seen on the following day using his tongue pretty lively.

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