Sunday, September 13, 2009

Finally! A Bushwhackers Name Is Revealed!

I have read many accounts of "bushwhackers" and the mayhem that they wreaked during, and after the Civil War. Every time that I come across a mention of them, I make sure to scrutinize it, mainly because my interests in the murderer of Callaway H. Manes, who was shot and killed in cold blood at Conn's Creek, Missouri. The book "The First Hundred Years Of Crocker", makes several references to bushwhackers, and even recounts a female bushwhacker who continued to openly live in Pulaski County, Missouri, after The War Between The States. Unfortunately, the book's author, Nellie (Stites) Willis, does not disclose names of the purported bushwhackers. The following was published in a Boise, Idaho newspaper, October 6, 1866. It is the first time that I have been able to attach a name to a Civil War Guerilla in the Pulaski County and surrounding areas. The search for the name of Reverend Manes' murderer continues.

Bushwackers in Southwest Missouri
--The St. Louis Democrat of Sept. 6th has the following:

"One of the most noted of the bushwhackers in Missouri, Dick Kitchen, appears to be still keeping up the war in Southwest Missouri and Arkansas. On 12th ultimo he conspicuously figured in a bloody tragedy, resulting in the death of a highly esteemed Union citizen. A gentleman from Rolla narrates to us the circumstances substantially as follows:"

"Kitchen has never surrendered, boasts that he has not, and swears that he never will. Since the peace, has been roving through the border districts of Missouri and Arkansas, always very abundantly armed, usually accompanied by a band of desperadoes like himself, and sometimes alone. He and his men are said to have this season raised a crop somewhere in Arkansas, meanwhile continuing their robberies of Union people, and since then entering fresh upon a premedatory life. Numerous outrages upon the rights of property convinced the Unionists that Kitchen and his bandits were still ranging the country, and a short time ago it was learned that he was at a place known as "The Widow Mace's House," just north of the southern boundary of Phelps county, Missouri. This intelligence was brought to a township near to the line of Texas and Dent counties, Missouri, the residence of several ex-Union soldiers and guerrilla hunters. Among the citizens was Rev. John Samples, widely known for his active Unionism in the war, a Methodist Episcopal minister, yet true son of Mars, at present preaching over 'the Salem circuit.' His son, James Samples, volunteered to be one of the party to go after and arrest Kitchen. Four others--George Reed, Randall, and two more whose name our informant cannot recall, went with Samples.

On the afternoon of Sunday, the 25th ultimo, they reached the Widow Mace's, surrounded the house, and one of them called upon Kitchen to surrender. Three were guarding one door, and two--Samples and Reed--the other. Suddenly Kitchen ran out to pass these two and Samples bade him halt or they would fire. He paid no attention to this, and the two then fired with revolvers he at the same instant turning and firing back with one of his revolvers. All the shots failed effect. Samples and Kitchen then came together and the latter fired first, wounding Samples in the groin. He fired as he fell and missed. Reed then fired, and Kitchen ran, unhurt, then turned and fired at Reed without hitting him.

On Sunday Kitchen reappeared at the Lenox Farm, where, during the war, they massacred Andreas Darling. This place is but eight miles from Rolla, and parties who formerly lived there became so obnoxious to the bushwhackers that the latter have repeatedly called, in the hope of finding them returned. But the obnoxious Unionists of Lenox farm are now permanently located in St. Louis, whither they came just in time to escape the fate of Mr. Darling.


  1. I found the above story about bushwhacking in Phelps County, Missouri very intriguing because John A. Dillon, who was my G,G,G, Grandfather, was also bushwhacked by two men on horseback. This story came down my side of the family tree and I have also verified the store from another Dillon Relative. Do you have any other bushwhacking stories involving John Dillon, who resided just east of Rolla?

  2. I am sorry but I do not know of any other stories about John Dillon. I just stumbled across this one.

  3. I understand from family history that my great great grandfather, William Lafayette Crane, Sr. of Miller Co., Mo, was bushwhacked in Texas Co. in 1865, after the war. His son was missing and presumed murdered for his mustering out pay as a Union soldier. William Lafayette Crane, Jr's body was never found and I've never found any death certificate for William Sr. His wife probated a will and remarried in 1865. I'm putting this out here in the hope that perhaps someone has found something about this. Thanks, SnoopDorkyDork for this forum. Barbartk4