by Rocky Macy
Bushwhackers were so commonplace in this area during and after the Civil War that they have become a staple of Ozark folklore. Several accounts of our pioneer forefathers being murdered by those desperadoes have, in fact, been highlighted in Rootbound . The first letter out of the mailbag this week offers further comment on this plague of lawlessness. Please read on...
Gary W. COLLEY (Rt. 1, Stotts City, MO 65756) reports that random violence pervaded the countryside to such an extent that a man was as safe in the military as he was at home. That was partly due to the confused political situation of the time. Gary describes Barry, Lawrence, Newton, and Jasper Counties as being mostly sympathetic to the Union, while McDonald, Vernon, and the Missouri state line counties north to Kansas City were about evenly divided in their loyalties between the Union and the Confederacy. This neighbor-against-neighbor situation gave rise to a climate of fear and turmoil in which criminal activity could flourish.
Gary COLLEY's letter also mentions three area soldiers who were killed in McDonald County. Those casualties were John WALKER and Robert WALKER, both Confederates, and Mark HARMON of the Union forces. Rootbound would enjoy hearing from descendants of these individuals, and from descendants of other Civil War veterans who saw service in the Ozarks.
Guy J. HUNTER (1137 Misty Glen, Dallas, TX 75232) wishes to correspond with any of our readers who are researching the following surnames: DAVIDSON, HUNTER, MOTSINGER, and WILLIAMS. Any takers?
Mary R. WHITE (2 Matlock Circle, Bella Vista, AR 72714) is trying to learn more about her CORBLE and WALL families of Pike County, AR. The CORBLEs were probably from Alabama or Louisiana, and the WALLS were out of Alabama or Georgia. The families arrived in Pike County between 1855 and 1880. Do some of our readers have information to share with Mary?
Helen BRITTENHAM (Rt. 8, Box 103, Neosho, MO 64850) phone recently to discuss a genealogy book that she has in her possession. The book deals with the LESLIE family, founders of the small town of Leslie, AR. It traces their lineage back to the eleventh century. The book was written by Vice-Admiral Marion Emerson MURPHY. Helen's grandmother was a LESLIE who married a THOMAS. Those with specific questions about the LESLIE family should write to Helen.
Rootbound Style: Always include a self-addressed, stamped envelope when writing to any of our correspondents. Not only will it hasten a reply, it is also just plain good manners!
The Belfast community of Newton County, MO, will hold its annual reunion on May 28th at the Teledyne Foundation Building on the Neosho Golf Course. The building will be open at 10:00 a.m., and a bring-your-own basket luncheon will follow at noon. Anyone with an association to the Belfast community is urged to attend. The event in past years has garnered as many as one hundred people. For more details, please contact Helen PEARMAN at Rt. 2, Neosho, MO 64850.
And what about those other reunions that are being planned for this spring and summer? Just send the details to Rootbound in the Hills in care of this newspaper, and we'll help spread the word!
Until next week...happy hunting!