ARCRAWFO-L ArchivesArchiver > ARCRAWFO > 2002-03 > 1017344420
From: "Fran Warren" <>
Subject: Part 3- Crawford County Civil War Story told in 1893
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 13:36:44 -0800
Here is the final part of the story as told by W S Black - a Civil War
Soldier from Crawford County, Arkanas-
Van Buren Press
Van Buren, Crawford County, Arkansas
August 5, 1893
A WAR SKETCH (Part 3)
Adventures of a Confederate Soldier in the Vicinity of Van Buren, Ark. (by W
From Muldrow Register:- "Throw down your arms", said they, "All right", said
I, at which they lowered their guns. This was my time, so I leveled my gun
and fired, then faced about and fled from them at the top of my horse's
speed. It was about 150 yards to the corner of Winfrey's fence. There I
turned to the right, going west down the fence, aiming to cross Frog Bayou
at the mouth of Cedar Creek. I soon found that they were not crowding me so
I slackened my speed to a cantor; but directly I found that they were coming
around on the north side of the Winfrey place, aiming to cut me off at the
mouth of Cedar Creek, and turn me down into the timber, there being no
crossing on Frog Bayou from the mouth of Cedar Creek to the crossing at the
Maxey place. At the same time they extended a line of men down the road to
the Maxey place.
Finding myself cut off from the mouth of Cedar Creek I put spurs to my horse
and went full speed, pell-mell over the bank into Frog Bayou on a line west
of the corner of Winfry's fence, where I suppose the water is 25 feet deep.
On that occasion it seemed to me that I went under 50 feet, and that it was
almost an age before I got my head from under water. My horse came up
swimming, and soon we were on tera firma. I then threw down the fence n the
west side of the creek and rode into the field, it being in corn.
By the time I had a got a smart distance in the field the blue coats came
dashing down Winfry's fence from the mouth of Cedar Creek and stopped near
the corner. Being concealed from them by the corn I stopped and watched
them. I could distinctly hear the officer in command giving orders to his
men. He placed a man every ten steps from there to the road to Winfry's
house. Soon they were in readiness and orders went down the line to advance
and show no quarters but shoot him on sight.
As soon as they started I stared too, going west throwing the fence down and
going on the west side of the field. Here I climbed the mountain, leading my
horse. When I reached the top of the mountain I found good grass, so I
pulled the bridle off my horse and let him graze, while I watched those
fellows down below in their vain effort to find me.
From here I could look down on my pursuers and laugh to think how badly they
were going to be fooled. No doubt that they imagined they had me in a trap
from which I could not escape; but to their chagrin and great disappointment
when they closed in on me, as they thought, I was not there. On looking
around I found that I was just in the edge of a beautiful shady grove which
was so inviting that I lay myself down in an inviting spot on my blanket,
and being weary for want of rest soon fell asleep, forgetful of war and war'
s alarm around me.
I dreamed and in my dreams I saw a great multitude with instruments of
destruction of every description, bent on each other's death- neighbor
against neighbor, brother against brother and father against son, with more
than brute ferocity, while blood and carnage devastated the whole scene.
Directly I heard a mighty noise as of an earthquake. I looked and saw a
mighty chariot approaching from the east, on top of which was a man on a
seat lined with gold. The man held aloft a silken banner on which was
inscribed in letters of gold; "Wall Street, U S Bonds, Railroad bonds,
National Banks, Bank of England: We are the Ruling Power, let the people do
us homage!" Then I saw a multitude of black people who had been turned
loose, going hither and thither. Directly way on the horizon I beheld the
advance of another multitude, which as it appeared showed many times greater
than the other. And behold, as they came nearer, I saw their faces were
white- many millions- and they were the victims of the money power, while
the fair land of the South lay in waste and desolution- while many of her
sons dying- her homes destroyed, her alters desecrated, and the shattered
remnants of her people prostrate before a tyrant's power.
My dream was worse than the actual war, and I only too glad that the
situation was no worse. Mounting my horse I was soon on my way through the
woods to join the boys at Frog Bayou, where I arrived after eluding my
pursuers, who had finally struck my trail.
My story will soon be ended and it is a sad one to me, even at this day.
Colonel Bowen, true to the promise he made when we released him, did all he
could to save the lives of the boys for whom we had risked so much. But they
were barbarously executed at Fort Smith by orders of General Thayer,
commander of that post.
The execution of those young men show the wicked and unholy ways of the late
war. John Norwood, the eldest of the ten, was but 19 years of age, the other
being from 18 to 16, and belonged to some of the best families of Washington
County, Arkansas, near Cane Hill, whose homes had been devastated by the
invaders, when the boys took up arms and fought with the rest. Braver boys
never lived. Surrounded in a log house by 200 Federal troops, they fought
desperately, inflicting much loss on their enemies, finally surrendering on
promise of being treated as prisoners of war, which promise was broken by
I have been through many hard and bloody scenes- at Prairie Grove, Cane Hill
and other places, where many gallant comrades were launched into eternity,
but nothing ever effected me as the cruel death of those companions of my
boyhood days, so brave, so true, so full of hope, and promise- killed like
dogs by the authorized agent of a so-called Christian Government. And this
is war, of which I want to see nor hear no more. Oh, would that all might
hail the day of Universal Peace, proclaimed by One whom many profess, but
few follow: "Peace On Earth, Good Will to Men." The End.
Fran Alverson Warren
|Part 3- Crawford County Civil War Story told in 1893 by "Fran Warren" <>|