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Anderson Will Describe Civil War Events Related To Ozark County In Feb. 21 OCGHS Program

(Reprinted with permission from the Ozark County Times)
Vincent Anderson will share the story of a Civil War murder and military retribution that occurred just south of the Missouri-Arkansas line when he speaks at the Ozark County Historical and Genealogy Society meeting Thursday, Feb. 21, in Gainesville.
Anderson, an Ozark County native, is reference librarian and historian at the Reynolds Library serving Baxter County in Mountain Home, Ark. He’s also a popular speaker and adviser to the Ozark County Historian, home of the OCGHS. The Feb. 21 meeting, at the Historium on the west side of the Gainesville square, is free and open to everyone. A business meeting begins at 9:30 a.m., and Anderson’s program, which will include a slide show, is scheduled to start at 10.
Anderson said recently that he’d heard for years about the Civil War incident that occurred near Monkey Run, Ark., which existed about three miles south of present-day Midway, Ark. The story also mentions the possibility that 14 Union soldiers blamed for the murder are buried “out here on prairie land” between Midway and Mountain Home, Ark., he said.
The story is mentioned in the late Mary Ann Messick’s History of Baxter County (Ark.). Messick told Anderson several years ago that the story had been passed down through the generations. He recently came across more information about the story when he was doing research into raids and skirmishes of the Civil War, especially ones that involved Ozark County.
He was following the reports of Illinois 10th Cavalry Company C, which was involved in the battle of Vera Cruz, just north of the current Ozark County line in present-day Douglas County. “Some of those guys, or maybe some from a Wisconsin company, came down from Vera Cruz and helped defend the citizens of Gainesville from bushwhackers,” he said.
The soldiers then headed south, passing through Three Brothers in Baxter County, Ark., and focusing on an area where caves in the bluffs along the White River were rich with saltpeter deposits. “That’s where the big nitrate operation was,” Anderson said. “They were manufacturing gunpowder for the Confederacy.”
The Union soldiers attacked the facility and in the process killed Charles Davis and his 16-year-old daughter Charlotte as well as a second man working there. They also captured 23 Confederates, Anderson said.
“I have to believe when they killed the girl, that they didn’t recognize she was a girl. Maybe she was wearing men’s clothes,” he said.
As the story goes, the land around the site was so rugged, the Union soldiers destroyed the supplies they found because it was impossible to haul away. “They destroyed the gunpowder and a supply of dried beef,” Anderson said. “And later there was one who said, ‘We should have kept that beef to feed our men.’ They camped a mile or two east of there.”
Davis’ wife discovered the bodies, Anderson said. “She dug the graves and buried them. “And then a day later, a Captain Mooney came by and found out what had happened and gave the funeral rites to make it a proper burial,” he said. “According to the story, that’s when the mother cried.”
After that, Mooney’s men came upon the Union soldiers’ encampment and killed them all. “So the rumor is, there are 14 graves out there on the prairie,” Anderson said.
He has talked to several people in the area who say they know the location of the graves. One of the stories says that daffodils bloom on the father-and-daughter graves each springtime. Anderson believes he knows where those graves are. “I’m just waiting for the daffodils to bloom,” he said.