The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Mr. Levi Sallee, a brother of Capt. James H. Sallee, furnished the writer the following pathetic account. "It was in the fall of the year 1861. The war was growing hot. Marauding bands were passing to and fro through the country. Murder and robbery was getting to be common. We were living on Pond Fork in Ozark County, Missouri, where Igo Post Office is now. One day 100 men who claimed to be Southerners come down the creek and as the men rode by our house 30 of them stopped. The other 70 men made no halt but rode on down the creek. Part of the men that stopped at our house were very inquisitive and boisterous. There was a strange man at our house of the name of Robertson. This man was not a federal soldier but he wore a federal uniform overcoat. As the 30 men approached the yard gate this man Robertson and my brother, Henderson Sallee, who was 15 years old left the house on a run. My brother ran by our spring of water and up the hillside above the spring some 75 yards where he fell from a gunshot wound from a shot gun, but was not killed outright. Several shots were fired at him and he was wounded in the back from the contents of a shotgun. He had ran southwest from the house. Mr. Roberts, who was sick, ran south and when he was near 60 yards from my brother he stopped on the side of the hill to look back and feeling tottery from the effects of sickness he took hold of a grape vine to assist him to stand when a bullet from a carbine gun in the hands of one of the men hit him in the side under the arm. I actually saw the ball strike him. It was the most dreadful time I ever encountered in that awful period of war and angry times. While my brother was running and while the men was shooting at him and Mr. Roberts we were pleading for the life of Henderson and Mr. Roberts. I was then only a little boy or they would have shot me too. My sister, Ollie Ann, was crying and begging to the men who were doing the shooting to not be so inhumane as to slay her brother, that he was nothing but a boy and was not old enough to take part in the war and he had done nothing to deserve death. At this moment a young man who was something near 20 years of age stepped forward and threatened to shoot my sister when the man who had just shot Roberts interfered and told him that he must not kill the girl and made him desist and compelled him to quit abusing her and would not let him take anything out of the house. Then the heartless young coward replied that he knew what he could do and that he intended to shoot that dead man and wounded boy again and walked up to where the dead body of Roberts lay and shot it in the region of the heart with a pistol and then he shot my wounded brother in the temple and the ball made its exit in the middle of the forehead, stripped the dead man Roberts of his overcoat and pants. Just after this the men mounted their horses and rode on down the creek in the direction the other men had went. Though my brother was yet alive but we knew it was only a question of a few hours before the death angel would relieve his sufferings. We carried him and the dead body of Roberts to the house and at the break of day on the following morning my poor brother breathed his last. Jim Merritte and Dave Marsh dug a grave with two vaults in the graveyard on the Ed Welch place on the creek below where we lived. This cemetery was known then as the Billy Stone graveyard, and the body of my brother was placed in one vault and the body of Roberts in the other. The first burial in this graveyard was that of a little boy, son of Billy Stone, who lived there then. His father and brother had went across the creek to the field to work and the child had attempted to cross the creek on a foot log to follow them but fell off into the water and was drowned. The little boy was not old enough to wear pants and had on a dress. This was many years before the Civil War occurred."

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