Kentucky Union Muster Records

All kinds of bigtime KUDOS to the Allen County Indiana Public Library for scanning in Kentucky’s Union Civil War muster records!  Why in the world they did Kentucky and not Indiana I don’t know and maybe they did…really need to find them if they did. :/

It takes some work to effectively BROWSE the records but I’m not going to argue that point against them.  Having them available at all is a HUGE blessing.  Here’s how to make good use of these records.  First, click here to get to the records themselves.

Notice the page has two main blocks of information.  The large one on the right entitled “Compiled service records…” has the bibliographic information followed by a Description area which is essentially the index for the records.  An example of the contents of the Description area:

reels 1-13. First Cavalry — reels 14-24. Second Cavalry — reels 25-37. Third Cavalry — reels 38-49. Fourth Cavalry — reels 50-59. Fifth Cavalry — reels 60-75. Sixth Cavalry — reels 76-86. Seventh Cavalry — reels 87-94. Eighth Cavalry — reels 95-99. Ninth Cavalry — reels 100-105. Tenth Cavalry — reels 106-113. Eleventh Cavalry — reels 114-122. Twelfth Cavalry — reels 123-127. Thirteenth Cavalry — reels 128-133. Fifteenth Cavalry — reels 134-136. Sixteenth Cavalry — reel 137. Seventeenth Cavalry — reels 138-142. Seventeenth Cavalry — reel 143. Ward’s Independent Co. (Scouts), Kentucky Cavalry ; Second Heavy Artillery ; Independent Battery A, Light Artillery — reels 144-145. Independent Battery A, Light Artillery (cont.) — reels 146-147. Independent Battery B, Light Artillery — reels 147-148. Independent Battery C, Light Artillery —

This was alittle confusing to me at first but I tinkered and figured it out…felt like I was decoding some long lost Rosetta stone-ish thing.  Anyway, the locations of each organization’s records are separated by double dashes.  For example, the First Kentucky Cavalry’s records may be found on reels 1 through 13.  The Second Kentucky Cav will be found on reels 14-24.  See how that works?

I hear you screaming, “Yeah, I see how it works but none of that is clickable!  I WANT THE DARNED RECORDS!”

You will notice the web address for this page:

Notice the “0001” in the address.  That is Reel 1 or the first reel for the First Kentucky Cavalry.  Change “0001” to, say, “0137” to see the Seventeenth Kentucky Cavalry.  When I say “change” I mean highlight the number in the address itself, type in the number you want to see, and press the enter key on the keyboard.

Cavalry and Artillery records can be reached by first going here, then editing the number as suggested.  Infantry Records can be reached by first going here, then editing the number as suggested.  I’m thinking there are still some issues with this process but we’ll keep plugging at it.

This leads us to the smaller box on the left of the screen entitled “View the book”.  Inside the box you have two options.  Read Online and PDF.  If you click the READ ONLINE link, the records open for easy viewing with a nifty intuitive interface.  You can also get a PDF of the reel.  I do NOT recommend trying to view the PDF by simply clicking on the link.  Some of these PDFs are HUGE(well over 100mb).  Some would suggest that 100mb isn’t large but if you try to load this inside your browser curious things can happen.  Curiosity is generally a good thing but not when it comes to web browsers.  If you want to keep the reel, right click on the PDF link and select either “save link as” or “save target as” or whatever your browser’s version of “give me that file” is.  You will be asked where you want to save it…which leads me to the next item.

Back in the “Compiled Service records…” box, find the item entitled “Volume”.  That is the official name of the reel.  Toward the end of the name you will see “A-Bo” or something similiar.  That is an alphabetical range of Surnames.  If the particular reel you are interested in has more than one reel(most if not all will), the muster records will be saved alphabetically and broken into groupings based on this range.  I encourage you to save the files to your local computer using file names that include this range.  For example, I have saved the 7th Kentucky’s muster records locally and have file names like:


Each reel I saved I just made sure to include that surname range at the end of whatever I wanted to call the collection itself.  You will thank yourself later for doing this.

While you are planning to thank people…stop over at Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center and consider dropping some coins on them.  Having these records digitized is a HUGE benefit to the Civil War and Genealogy researchers.

Continuing the Lewis Stivers saga…

Previously, I talked about the execution of Lewis Stivers for the murder of James Cundiff both from the 7th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry.  Some of the military questions remain such as why didn’t the Sergeant or Corporal of the Guard stop Stivers from retrieving his weapon.  One of the social questions that I have had on this hasn’t been answered…until possible today.

Stivers was widely known in the area as a bully as was Cundiff.  Bullies like to fight their victims, beat them down, and allow them to heal so they can continue to torment them next time.  What would push Stivers over that line from bully to homicidal?

Last night as I was perusing the magnificent find of Kentucky Muster Records ONLINE (takes alittle work to meander your way around here.  I’ll post alittle something about that in a  second), I stumbled across something that piqued my interest.  I noticed that Company D of the 19th Kentucky had 11 desertions on the days immediately following the execution of Stivers.  Started wondering if any of those guys lived near or had some familial relation to Stivers so I went to the 1860 Census records where I discovered Lewis Stivers had a son, Marshall CC Stivers.  That name was familiar to me as I had seen it while thumbing through the 7th Kentucky’s records.  I looked Marshall Stivers up in the muster records and discovered that he had died in February of 1862 at London along with several of his pards from some fever outbreak.

With that in mind, let’s revisit the psychology of the bully.  When a bully is going after a perceived weaker target, the game is simple.  Insult them into action and failing that action take action yourself.  However, when a bully is going after a known other bully the game changes a bit.  The target HAS to take action first so as the bully can be the poor victim.  Both men, Stivers and Cundiff, were widely known to be bullies and fighters of the first order.  They both knew how the game was played and both understood the discipline necessary in General Morgan’s army.  Stivers, while on guard detail, had to know that any derivation from his duties would mean some level of punishment so he surely had used some restraint in responding to Cundiff’s taunts.  What if Cundiff had tried everything he could think of to get a fight on and failing all the usual suspects resorted to mentioning Stivers’ son Marshall?  Would that be enough to push a bully over the edge to murderer?

On this day 150 years ago…

The election of President Lincoln in 1860 shook the country to its foundations.  All of us are aware of the interstate struggle that had been going on for several years regarding the admission and status of states to the growing Union.  As early as a month after the election of 1860, John Bell of Tennessee had this to say about President-Elect Lincoln and his party:

NASHVILLE, Dec. 6, 1860.

That I do not unjustly charge the Republican Party with having adopted a policy which, in its character, tendency and practical operation, is in conflict with the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution, can be made manifest in a very few words. One of the most important objects to be accomplished by the adoption of the Constitution, as declared in the preamble, was to “insure domestic tranquility;” and the power was expressly given to the Federal Government by that instrument, to “suppress insurrections.” The simple announcement to the public that a great party at the North, opposed to Slavery, has succeeded in electing its candidate for the Presidency, disguise it as we may, is well calculated to raise expectations among the slaves, and might lead to servile insurrections in the Southern States. If such an event, which is more than possible, should really happen, it might become the duty of Mr. LINCOLN to restore the tranquility which the policy of his party had disturbed, and to suppress an insurrection which the same policy had excited.

Senator Bell, Kentucky’s choice in 1860 for the Presidency, no doubt served up some sour-grapes in this piece but I will add it to the various other bits of unwitting prophecy on the coming years.

Even the winning Republicans had to urge for calm and “fraternal feeling”.  President-elect Lincoln was called on during the evening of November 20th by “a large procession of Wide-Awakes” to which he offered the following:

“FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS: Please excuse me on this occasion from making a speech. I thank you for the kindness and compliment of this call. I thank you, in common with all others who have thought fit by their votes to indorse the Republican cause. [Applause.] I rejoice with you in the success which has so far attended that cause. [Applause.] Yet in all our rejoicings, let us neither express nor cherish any harsh feelings towards any citizen who, by his vote, has differed with us. [Loud cheering.] Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling. [Immense applause.] Let me again beg you to accept my thanks, and to excuse me from further speaking at this time.”

Mr. Lincoln was well aware of what he was facing with his ascension to the Whitehouse.  His brief, middle of the road, remarks to the gaggle of supporters showed a sensitivity that those same supporters would ignore in the coming months.

Illinois effectively split her vote between Lincoln and Douglas to no great surprise.  Kentucky thumbed her nose at her native son with less than 1% showing up for Lincoln.  The other 99% apparently not just voting against him but tossing out anyone who may have voted for him.  This from the Chicago Tribune(click to read in total):

It seems that Mr. Ambrose, on this very day 150 years ago, was discharged of his duties as Secretary with Breckinridge Coal Company at Cloverport, KY due to his support of Mr. Lincoln.  The Tribune seems frustrated claiming he was released “for no other reason than that he head exercised the right of a freeman to vote for the man of his choice for President”.    I suspect that Mr. Ambrose may well have been overly proud of his choice, the victory, and what everyone knew to be the future of the country.  Had Mr. Ambrose been in the mountainous parts of our Commonwealth, he may well have never been heard from again.

So ya think Lincoln was tall?

So goes the story right?  President Abraham Lincoln was a towering man of 6’4″ inches in his barefeet.  Well, my wife’s Great-Great Grandfather has him by 3 inches.

I give you the Descriptive Roll card for Sergeant Walker Garland Routt, Company K, 19th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry.

During the Civil War, if you were literate there was a very high likelihood that you would end up with some rank prior to your official mustering in.  This was because records had to be kept and officers couldn’t do it all.   We know that Sergeant Routt was literate prior to the war.  Now we have another reason that he may have been given Sergeant stripes.

Sergeants didn’t serve in the combat line.  They were assigned platoons in the company and, when in the fight,  fell back behind their platoons to keep the men in line, deal with weapons malfunctions and wounded soldiers, and to help deliver orders in the heat of battle.  Taller men were ALWAYS in the second rank of soldiers so they may see over the men in front of them.  Considering the average height of a man in 1860 was 5’6″ or so, a 6’7″ man was FAR taller than anyone else.  Even the average height Sergeants and Officers in the rear couldn’t see over a man THAT tall.  Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Sergeant Routt, while literate and apparently of above average intelligence, still wouldn’t surprise me if his stripes also came to him by way of getting him the bleep out of the way!

4th of July 1862 – Cumberland Gap

God Bless America.

Cumberland Gap
July 4th 1862

My Dear Wife & Children

I have written to you every few days since I arrived at this place.  I wrote you a letter day before yesterday and sent it by Alford Wilson.  I also sent you my Likeness by him Also.  My health is fine so is the health of the Company.  there are five or six reather poorly but able to Knock around in camp.  I. W. Seale is here and will go home on tomorrow therefore I will write you a few lines by him this evening   I wrote to H. M. Lutes   I this evening got two letters from you  one wrote on the 12th of June the other on the 29th of June and I was truly glad to hear from you and the children although it appears that you had a cold both times.  but I hope that this will find both you and the family all well.  This is the 4th of July and our National Aniversary  We are firing a Salute from our 22 guns.  we have fired two salutes  one this morning   one at noon and we will fire the other at sundown this evening.  it is very pretty to see the bright curling smoke as it accends up from the guns on the hights of the Cumberland Mountain and from our vally down here in this beautiful vally.  we would enjoy the Salute much more but we had a Telegraphic Dispatch to day anouncing that Gen. McClellan had retreated thirty five miles and had (one?) gun and burned 75 waggons of his Train to keep the Rebels from getting them.  but that he had checked the Enemy and had them retreating.  the report is that the Enemy lost considerably more than we did but I have fears that is is bad enough at the best.  Old Robert Morris is here and considerably amazed at the camp life of our Regiment  I do want to see you all very bad and if any chance comes that I can get off i will come and pay you all a flying visit  If you can sell any or all of your stock off for money or good cash notes well secured it would be well for you to do it, for I do not know when this war will end.  even if it does end in a few months I can again Buy more stock for the farm and it will Greatly relieve you.  I want you to do what you think best about all that you wish to, for my return is very unceartain.  I may return in a month and I may not return in six months for there is no Knowing when this War will end.  but I hope it will be honorably ended soon.  I have sent a saddle by Russell Bayles of Jackson County near McKee  if he deos not bring it home soon I want you to send and git it and the Blankets Wrippers & Coat.  I sent a letter to you by Abner Neanl__omb(?) also my overcoat and I want you to take good care of it for me until I return home  tell Morgan that I want him to learn to write so that he can write his Papa a letter.  tell Laura that I would like to be at home and help her to eat the Honey that you took and wrote me about and tell dick that i would like to be in the yard and have a play with him in the Shaddy Grass for I Know that he is wild.  as for Philos you only Kiss him for me, and if I should never return to see his strange little face when he gets large enough and learns to read show him this letter and tell his his Father Died in the defence of his Country and the Constitution

I want you to sell all the loose property that is of no use to you and try to collect as much of the notes I left with you as posible als my Tax recipts, Fee bills, etc. etc.

Sundown.  Just now E. W. Brandenburgh came into camp and brought me a letter from you and I was Doubly glad to learn that you was well  We have Just finished firing our National Salute   our Batery fired 36 rounds  All is life in this vicinity for we have a large number of men here and it would amuse you to pass through the various Regiments and se the various Groups in their many attitudes and to hear their varied conversations  Some washing, some cooking  some cleaning guns  some getting wood  some bri___g watter   some Blacking Showes & B____  some going to and from the Suttlers shop  Some Drilling but a Great Majority lying on their Blanketts and particularly the Pickets of the previous are sound asleep  Some engaged in mending riped seams in their clothing some cleaning up the company and kitchen Quarters   some Reading the papers of the latest date    some writing and Reading letters and some Digging sinks Pitts etc   Some Drawing provisions from the comisary Seargent for their companies and various other things too Tedious to mention

if you can sell off all of your Property it would be the best and only keep enough to live on and have every thing prepared to you hand   it would not be necessary only to have a boy to feed and make fires etc.  if you should sell you property sell farming tools and all   make a clean sweep of all so that you will be troubled with any thing that is subject  to wear out or die.  I do not want you to visit me at the camps for i would not be allowed to stay out of camp and I could not bear the Idea of you staying in camp   but I will try and com to see you this fall if not sooner  do write often and oblige your Devoted Husband

E. B. Treadway

Elisha B. Treadway, Captain
Company A
7th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry (US)

The Great 7th Kentucky Hogchase!

First alittle background. Yesterday while moving the Quartermaster, EW read us a bit from a book by William C Davis(title escapes me at the moment). The bit spoke of several members of the 7th KY and some other regiments who decided to take a little swim off of the steamer Tecumseh. Mr. Davis told the tale that they went after a local resident’s hog.

Your entrepid muster record hound went to work. As I’ve said before, we have about 600 men fully transcribed which accounts for roughly half of the veteran volunteer regiment. That should give us a representative sampling of the regiment over all. If this happened( no reason to doubt Mr. Davis really), then surely it would be mentioned somehow in the records right? Awols, charges, SOMETHING would be written in the records of these men who jumped the boat.

Next, if these guys went after a hog, the beast had to be of reasonable size to make the effort worth it. This would put the time frame sometime in the early fall at the earliest.

Lastly, our group of men would most probably all come from the same company and SHOULD be roughly the same hieght if they are all privates.

I think I’ve found something that matches the above criteria. September 29, 1864 I have four men going AWOL. All from Company B and all having just signed on with the Vet Vols the previous March. They are all in the 5’8″ to 5’10” range. Further analysis of the Company B muster shows that every single man was ” restored to duty without loss of pay or allowances by order of Capt Bacon, comdg regt”.

The muster records for these four men may be found here:
John Hacker
Levi Hacker
James Cornett
Milton Henson

As we progress through the transcription process we’ll keep an eye out for this event.

James Estepp saves a young woman from drowning

There’s a family story in the central Kentucky Estepp clan that claims James Tinsley ESTEPP rescued a woman from drowning the in the Kentucky river.  No one knew the name of the woman or the circumstances…until yesterday.  Click the clipping below for the full story from the Mt. Sterling Advocate from 6 MAY 1908:

James Estepp saves Miss Fanny Sue Bush The young woman’s name was Fannie Sue BUSH.  She was out for a ride with a young man named Cecil DILLS.  A certain William FALLIS is also mentioned in the article along with Miss BUSH’s father, Mr. O. E. BUSH.

I found this on the Kentuckiana Digital Library, part of the Kentucky Virtual Library,  in their Newspaper collection.

Mutiny in Company D, 7th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry

I have a muster record for Private Harry Francis claiming:

JAN_FEB_64   absent, under arrest 2/5/64, reduced to ranks from 1st Corp

I am puzzled as to what else may have happened on February 5th, 1864.  If anyone has any clues, please drop me a comment here.  While I wait, I’ll try to see if anyone else in the regiment had something in their records reflecting calamity.

Curious indeed.  At one point I thought this may have been related to Captain Andrew Clark’s resignation but that happened the year prior.  Quite the mystery.

August 20, 1862 – The Day the FUN began

Many regiments can point to a particular day in their lives where the “Fun” began. Whether that was an important battle, the day their Colonel was killed/promoted/both, or the day they got their Regimental Colors…they all have “that day”.

The 7th Kentucky is no different and I would say that this day isn’t the day some of you folks might consider to be “the day”. Some might say it was the May 22nd 1863 General Assault on the works of Vicksburg. Others might say October 21st 1861 when the 7th(then officially called the 3rd) saw the elephant at Wildcat Mountain. Both of those dates hold a special place in the history of the 7th to be sure. I would wager, however, that August 20th 1862 is the day the real fun started.

General George W. Morgan said in his report of the evacuation of Cumberland Gap:

“In order to save the artillery, cavalry, and wagon horses from starvation, and for the further purpose of sending tried troops to re-enforce the column organizing at Lexington for our aid, I ordered 400 men of the Third Kentucky, under the gallant Colonel Garrard, to be mounted, and directed him to proceed, with Munday’s cavalry, to join the United States forces then en route for our relief.”

Brigadier-General, Commanding.
O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME XVI/1 [S# 22][pg_992]

From our muster record transcription project we know these men were detailed on August 20th. These 400 men tend to get the glory because they ended up at Richmond:

I have neglected to state in the proper place that I was joined in the second engagement by a portion of the Third Kentucky Infantry, who had passed from General Morgan’s command at the Cumberland Gap with some Government horses. These men dismounted, hitched their horses, and did excellent service. I do not know the names of any of the accomplished officers who commanded this detachment, or I should gladly give them a place in this report.

-Brig. Gen. Mahlon D. Manson, U.S. Army, commanding First Brigade.
Report of Battle of Richmond, Ky., August 30, 1862

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME XVI/1 [S# 22][pg_915]

and later at Perryville:

“General Terrill, assisted by some of the officers, succeeded in rallying about 200 men of the One hundred and fifth Ohio Volunteers and One hundred and twenty-third Illinois Volunteers at a fence about 100 yards in the rear of our first position. Here the conduct of some of the officers, I am sorry to report, was disgraceful. The Eightieth Illinois and Colonel Garrard’s detachment behaved well.”
–Report of Capt. William P. Anderson, U.S. Army, Assistant Adjutant-General, Thirty-third Brigade.
O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME XVI/1 [S# 22][pg_1063]

These four hundred men saw some pretty intense action over a month and half. That is nothing compared to what the other 700 or so went through however:

On October 3 my column reached Greenupsburg, on the Ohio River. I had sent forward Captains Garber and Patterson to procure transportation for the passage of the river, which was effected in good order. Colonel Byrd, of the First Tennessee, forded the river with the trains of Baird and Carter. To avoid too lengthy a report many incidents of interest have been omitted.
It affords me great pleasure to speak of the admirable bearing of my entire command, officers and soldiers, during that most difficult and trying march of 219 miles It was worthy of all praise and receives my sincere gratitude. Especial credit is due to Brigadier-Generals Spears, Baird, and Carter, and to Colonel De Courcy; to Lieutenant-Colonel Gallup and Capts. W. F. Patterson, M. C. Garber, and G. M. Adams; to Lieut. W. P. Craighill and Lieutenant Burroughs, engineers; to Captain Foster, chief of artillery, and Lieutenant Burdick, acting ordnance officer, and to Lieutenant-Colonel Ridgell and Lieutenant Reeder, Third Kentucky Volunteers.

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME XVI/1 [S# 22][pg_992]

Reports of Brig. Gen. George W. Morgan, U.S. Army, including operations August 16-October 3.

[full text of Gen. Morgan’s report may be found here]

General Morgan’s report states operations began on August 16th. For the sake of being complete I’m sure that is the case. No one can argue that the real action began on and after August 20th when that first detachment from the Third Kentucky left for Lexington.

I believe the experience of both parties(Colonel Garrard’s Detachment of August 20th and the others under Lt. Col Ridgell) during the six week period beginning August 20th paved the way for the rest of their service.

Murder of James Cundiff and Execution of Lewis Stivers

I just found something on this and thought I should move my other references, scattered across several blogs, to this space.  So…here we go. 😉

During the first week of the 1862 Federal retreat from Cumberland Gap there was an incident at Manchester that has been shrouded in some mystery until today.

We have known that Private Lewis Stivers of Company B of the 7th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry was executed at Manchester for shooting another soldier in the same regiment, Private James Cundiff, but we didn’t know the details. Yesterday we received in the mail from Jim Hoffman at University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign the diary of David Dudley Carlton, 42nd Ohio, DeCourcy’s Brigade. Mr. Carlton’s account of the execution provides some excellent details of the execution of Lewis Stivers:

Items in the brackets [ ] are notes I’ve made into the text so you know who we are talking about. Spelling is as it appears in the original.
Sept 21
To day is Sunday and I have witnessed a sein which I hope never to see again. It was the execution of a man who had been sentenced to be shot for shooting one of his comrades. The particulars as near as I can

pg 90
learn are these. Co B of the [3rd later known as 7th] Ky ware out guarding a steam grist mill. And several of them ware playing cards and being more or less under the influence of liquor got into a dispute when one of them [Lewis Stivers] said he would fix & turned & went to the mill (which was about 20 rods) got his gun, loaded it, then went back and told the other one [James Cundiff] to look out for he was going to shoot him. (I have forgot his name) and instantly fired. The ball passed through his right hip & came out just above the left one causing almost instant death. He then swor he would shoot the rest of the crowd but they run before he got his gun loaded. He the left but was soon captured & confined in jail until he could have his trial which he had yesterday & was sentenced to be publicly shot today at 5OC.

About 3OC the crowd began to assemble at & around the jail and at 5 minutes before 6OC the jailor was seen to mount the stairs and lead forth the culprit (who was a man about 50 years of age) and placed him in a file of soldiers and marched him off to a field of death. He marched up to his grave accompanied by the band playing the Death’s March. His eyes was then blinded and made to kneel on his coffin. The executioners (12 in no) were stationed about 15 yds from the coffin. Then the command READY was given by Lieutenant Ross of the 16th OV then AIM. Look at the man kneeling on his coffin with his eyes blinded & grave behind him in which his form will soon be laying, what must be his feelings as he kneels (more like a stone than human being) and hears the command READY

AIM. But not a muscle moved. Then comes the last word he ever heard on this earth FIRE. 9 of 12 instantly fired (3 being held in reserve) the victim realed for an instant then fell forward dead. Pieced by 6 balls. I turned from the sean & with the crowd left the place hoping that I never should again witness such a scene.

Another source from the 42nd Ohio may be found here in Frank Holcomb Mason’s 1876 regimental history on pg126:

While there, a sad and unusual episode occurred – the execution of a soldier for murder. A private named Stivers had the evening before, while intoxicated, quarreled with a comrade, and shot him with his musket. A Court Martial was convened at nine the next morning; at ten the murderer was sentenced to be shot at five in the afternoon. The Division was to start at six in the evening, and at the hour appointed for the execution, De Courcy’s Brigade, on drill as usual, formed the sides of a hollow square. Just outside the center of the enclosed space was a shallow grave, and to this there came a detachment with the prisoner, followed by an open farm wagon, containing a plain wooden box rudely stained with lampblack. This was placed beside the grave, the death warrant read, and the eyes of the prisoner blindfolded with his handkerchief. He then knelt upon his coffin; the firing squad –  a detail of twelve men from the Sixteenth and Forty-Second Ohio – took their places, and the Lieutenant in command drew his sword.

“ready !” – the twelve rifles were raised and cocked; – “AiM !” –  they were leveled; – “fire!” There was a report as from one musket, and the poor fellow, pierced through the breast and neck by every bullet, sprang into the air and fell dead! The band struck up a march, the regiments filed by the Sank past the open grave, and the Brigade, without halting, took the road toward the North as rear guard of the Division.

Still another source are the Dickey Diaries.  Here we have the Henry Lucas entry in the Dickey Diaries I read this paragraph:

I was an overseer for the White’s, have known them all well. They were great money makers. I worked for James and Daughtery White. My stepfather Pierce Cottingim used to steer salt boats. I never did. My grandfather Richard Lucas was a man of great physical power. He was a drummer in the militia. A man named Butts from Tennessee, rode 400 miles to whip him. He rode up to grandfather’s saddler shop and called, “Does drummer Lucas live here?” Yes sir. Well, I live in Tennessee, 400 miles from here, and I have come to whip you. What have I done to you? Oh nothing, I am the bully of Tennessee and I understanf that you are the bully of Kentucky, and if I whip you, I will be the bully of the world. Well, do you wanna fight now, or can it wait til morning? Get down and go in. I keep a motel and it shall cost you nothing. No, I won’t whip a man and live off him too. Well, it may not turn out that way, said grandfather. He went to another motel. The next morning they fought after the manner of times and grandfather was victorious. The Tennessean seemed perfectly satisfied and returned to his home. My grandfather afterwards joined a Methodist Church. He was a big hearted hospitable man. My Materal Grandfather was John Cundiff. My father died when I was 6 years old, it was about 1828. Grandfather Cundiff was a loyal friend, he would do anything in his power for his friend, was a great power of elections. My Uncle John Cundiff killed Eli Bowlin.
Bowlin was a bully, a man of great power. He led my uncle to, Old Bill Duncil’s house, where ol Molly Henson lived. They had a quarell about the woman. Bowling kicked my uncle, a small man. He went away and came back with a dirt knife. He called Bowlin to the door and plunge it in to him. He died in a few minutes. My Uncle left the country and never returned. Uncle Sam Lucas took his wife to him. Eli Bowlin was a bad man. His son, James Bowling was hunting for Uncle John when he met my grandfather Cundiff. “Jim put that gun down”, we have gotton rid of 2 bad men and let the matter stop. The Cundiff’s of Breathitt are of the same stock.

This particular bit caught my attention:

My Uncle left the country and never returned. Uncle Sam Lucas took his wife to him. Eli Bowlin was a bad man. His son, James Bowling was hunting for Uncle John when he met my grandfather Cundiff. “Jim put that gun down”, we have gotton rid of 2bad men and let the matter stop. The Cundiff’s of Breathitt are of the same stock.

What stock? The “hunting a man down and killing them” stock or the “peacemaker” stock?

The Cundiff’s seemed to be of a mind to put up a fight when bullies come around. According to Mr. Lucas, they were bullies as well:

David Walker was the bully of Clay County when I was a young man and my uncle James Cundiff was almost equal. James Cundiff was killed by Lewis Stivers, son of Reverend George Stivers. I think Stivers was insane. He wanted to kill General Garrard. He was a soldier in Colonel Lucas’ company, when he killed Cundiff. They were camped at Manchester. Cundiff was in the same Company. Stivers was court marshalled and shot. Every ball took affect. General George Morgan was in command. There were 12 soldiers, 6 guns loaded. I came into town a few minutes after he was shot.

So…we have a drunk(Carlton’s diary) and possibly insane(Lucas’ Dickey entry) in Stivers up against a known bully (Lucas’ Dickey entry) on his home turf in Cundiff. Recipe for disaster? Here’s what I’m thinking…

Cundiff and the rest of the Guard relief are sitting “20 rods” from their post. Stivers, being perhaps a bit short on intellect and long on John Barleycorn, becomes the target of Cundiff’s bully rhetoric. Stivers leaves his post to confront Cundiff. Bullying language continues. Stivers says enough and “I’ll fix you”. Trots off to get his rifle and does the deed.

Couple of GLARING problems here:

1) Why didn’t the Sergeant of the Guard stop this insanity?
2) Why did the rest of the relief run off rather than tackling this guy?