DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE ARKANSAS PEACE
SOCIETY OF 1861EDITED BY TED. R. WORLEY
The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, VOl. XVII, Spring, 1958, No. 1, page 82.
In the mountain counties of North Arkansas in the fall of 1861 secret organizations were formed for self-protection and apparently to resist Confederate authority. Total membership in the organizations was estimated at 1700 and was concentrated in Searcy, Marion, Carroll, Izard, Fulton, and Van Buren Counties. In these counties, and perhaps in several others, the local units of the Arkansas Peace Society were quickly suppressed by extra-legal citizens’ committees acting with the county militia units and with justice of the peace courts. Many of the arrested members were forced into Confederate service either by local citizens’ committees or by the state military board at Little Rock. Some were tried for treason in Confederate circuit court and acquitted. Many of those forced into Confederate service deserted and joined the Federal army.
Only a part of the records relating to the Peace Society survived, but they are sufficient to show the scope and the nature of the organization. Surviving documents contain the names of 240 members and suspected members. Of these 181 were located in the United States census manuscript schedules, 1860. An analysis of that record revealed that of the 181, 115 were born in Tennessee, 13 in North Carolina, and 11 in Arkansas. The leadership of the movement was also predominantly Southern-born. Six preachers among the leaders seemed to have been especially influential. The brotherhood was indigenous, composed of mountaineers who had no intention of going to war on either side and who wanted to be left alone. There could of course be no neutrality, and the members were forced to take sides.
The documents here reproduced are located in the Kie Oldham Collection, at the Arkansas History Commission.
SAM LESLIE TO GOVERNOR H. M. RECTOR Wiley’s
Cove, Arks Oct 21 1861 H. M. Rector Gov of Ark
Your Letter of the 16th Inst is now before me and contents notised. You
say it has been reported to the Military Board there are One Hundred
Good fighting men in Cove Township, Searcy Co that has not nor will not
volunteer thir servicis In behalf of the South. What would prompt aney
one to attempt to cast such a stigma upon the people of this Township I
am not able to comprehend, ware your informant a citizen of Searcy Co I
might have some Ida of the cause, this Township (Cove) has not turned
out as many volunteers as she might have don, this county has about 300
men in service of the Confederate States though we are only represented
by two companies the rest of our men Joined compained in the adjoining
counties and those counties is receiving the credit. Cove Township has
about 60 able bodied men subject to military duty all told only five out
of that number single men and Eight volunteers which will leave 52 now
subject to duty the Great bulk of our men now in service has been
furnished by three Townships, there is other Townships in the County
that has done but little better than Cove, and they pass unnoticed. I
will say to you that the citizens of Cove Township is as Law abiding a
people as lives and the records of out corts will bear me out in the
assursion, wehich may account in some degree for their not being more
ready to volunteer there is other causes, so many Misourians running off
and leaving the state, has had its influence I know this county has had
a bad name at a distance we have been called Black Republicans and
Abolitionists &c but we have never had aney of thos characters amongst
us. It is true that the citizens of this county war union men as long as
there was aney hope of the Union and perhaps a little longer, but all
Ida of the Union as it onst was is banished the time has passsed for the
North and South to live to gether in pease and harmoney and we must be
loyal to the government we live under this is the fealings of the people
of this Co so fare as I have any knolledg and when you hear men call the
pople of Searcy Co. by hard names rest assured they are willfully lying
or uninformed with the character of out people. I write you this letter
Gov. in order to plase the Good people of Searcy Co. write before you I
feel it is a duty I owe to them to do so.
I hope Cove Township will yet give a Good account of hir self that you
may have no reason to complain. Respectfully your friend Sam Leslie1
P.S. You will please comission Saml Boyd as 2 Lieut Cove Township Searcy
Co 45 Reg Ark Militia Cap S. L. Redwines Co. S.L.
GOVERNOR H. M. RECTOR TO SAM LESLIE Executive Office, Little Rock Nov 28th 1861
Sam Leslie Col Commandant 45th Regt A.M.
Your letter of the 26 Inst has just reached me by couriers Melton and
Griffin. I regret extremely that any of our citizens should prove
disloyal to their government. But if they so conduct themselves the
power of those in authority must be exercised to preserve peace, and
enforce obedience to the Constitution and the Laws.
The people of the State Arkansas through their representatives in
Convention have taken the State out of the Old Union and attached it to
the Confederacy. And although there may be a minority against this
action, yet ours is a government where a majority rules and the minority
I and my officers in the State are sworn to support and enforce the laws
as they are and individuals, one or many, rebelling against those laws,
must be looked after and if for the safety of the country, it becomes
necessary to arrest and imprison them or to execute them for treason,
that must and will be done promptly and certainly, if it is necessary to
call out every man in the State to accomplish it.
Still, I deeply regret the necessity, but will not be deterred from
doing my whole duty let the blow fall where it may. You will therefore
proceed to arrest all men in your county who profess friendship for the
Lincoln government or who harbor or support others arousing hostility to
the Confederate States or the State of Arkansas. And when so arrested
you will march them to this place, where they will be dealt with, as
enemies of their country whose peace and safety is being endangered by
their disloyal and treasonable acts.
To enable you to enforce this order you will call out such of the
Militia and may be necessary and you will be careful also to afford
protection to the loyal citizens and their property in your county, as
occurring events may seem to require your interposition for their
Confiding in your intelligence and devotion to your state, and to the
Confederacy of which you are a citizen, I entertain no opinion other
than that you will do your whole duty, as a man and an officer.
Respectfully H. M. Rector Gov and Commander in Chief, A. M.
* * * IZARD COUNTY COMMITTEE OF INVESTIGATION TO GOVERNOR RECTOR To His Excellency H. M. Rector Govr. and Prest. Military Board of the State of Arkansas.
This introduces to your favorable consideration and notice Mr. W. B. F. treat the bearer hereof to your Excellency, who will more fully explain to your Excellency the circumstances connected herewith.
Some ten days ago it became a matter of publicity in this county2 that a secret conspiracy against the laws and liberties of the people of this state was on foot extending from Fulton county this State quite through this and perhaps Searcy and Van Buren Counties.
Immediately the citizens of this county were in arms to quell the same. Scouting parties were sent out in every direction in search of those suspected of having connections with the organization; and a committee of investigation was elected to enquire into the existence, objects, and purposes of the aforesaid secret conspiracy which committee is composed of the undersigned, who have proceeded to examine and have examined all the persons apprehended and brought before us all of whose names are hereto attached.
And after a full and fair investigation of
the matter with all the lights before us, we find that the persons above
named together with others we have not found, had formed themselves into
a secret organization having a constitution and by laws and secret signs
a copy of which constitution is herewith submitted to your excellency and
marked A. and we considered that the organization is a secret thing dangerous
in its operations and subversive of the rights and liberties of the people
of this State, and of the Confederate States; and if not
treason itself, at least treasonable, and being acquainted with most if not all of the persons examined, and many of them being young, mere boys, who were doubtless led ignorantly into the society, that is led into it not being informed of its objects and purposes, and feeling willing in our minds that they should wipe out the foul stain, by enlisting in the service of the Confederate States for and during the war, we accordingly gave them an opportunity of so enlisting, whereupon the whole of them, that is to say forty seven the same whose names are
hereunto attached immediately enrolled their names as volunteers in the Confederate Service for and during the war. This we think is a matter of lenity toward them and that they may possibly do good service to our
country. They leave here as soon as transportation can be had, for Genl Borland’s headquarters at Pocahontas Ark. Should it appear to your Excellency that we have not taken the proper steps in this matter we have reserved the right of your Excellency to do with them as you may deem proper, and have so informed Genl Borland with regard thereto.
For further particulars relative to this unfortunate matter, thus happily terminated, we refer you to our messenger who will bear you this.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Sylamore Ark Nov 28 1861
W. B. F. Treat, Chairman Daniel Jeffery, Wm. C. Dixon, Simon E. Rosson, Jesse Hinkle, A. W. Harris, R. B. Dicksen, Moses Bishop, G. W. Gray, Henry Cole, T. W. Edmundson, A. P. Mix Secy
* * * CONSTITUTION OF THE MILL CREEK PEACE ORGANIZATION SOCIETY
We the undersigned subscribers agree to form ourselves into an
association call and known by the name and style of the Mill Creek peace
organization society. Self preservation being an undisputed natural
right, and the right of communities to combine together for the mutual
protection of themselves their families and their property being well
established. This being the sole purpose for which we met for this
purpose alone we do adopt the following resolutions by which we expect
to be governed in all our proceedings Resolved 1st. That each member
before entering into this society shall take an oath as follows I do
solemnly swear in the presence of Almighty God and these witnesses that
I will well and truly keep all the secrets of this society that I will
ever hail always conceal and never reveal anything. I will on the
shortest notice go to the assistance of any other brother So help me
2nd As it is a matter of life or death with us any member of this
society who shall betray to our enemies the existence of this society he
shall forfeit his life and it shall be the duty of each member of this
society having received knowledge of such betrayal to forthwith inform
the brethren each of whose duty it shall be to follow such traitor and
take his life at the price of their own. The manner of admitting members
shall be in strict accordance with the foregoing preamble and
resolutions and by such members as the society may select. A true copy
from the original furnished by a member of the society. * * *
MEMBERS OF THE IZARD COUNTY PEACE SOCIETY VOLUNTEER FOR CONFEDERATE
* * * RECOMMENDATION FOR RELEASE OF WITNESSES AGAINST PEACE SOCIETY HeadB
The undersigned subscribers3 hereby tender their services as volunteers
for and during the ware between the Confederate States and the United
States under the immediate command of Major Thos W Edmundson and Capt
Neely C. McGuyre to come under all the rules and regulations of the
Regular Army Subject to all transfers regularly made, either by said
Edmundson and McGuyer or any other Confederate officer
Thos Becket Saml Peyto Jordan Becke James P Toney Thos R Becket Jesse
Williams H. J. Pritchard Wesley Williams Jas M Pritchard Allen Willams
Jas T. Hilton W. J. McGinnis Brice Prator John McGinnes Wm V Hilton
Elijah McGinnis Jno H. Pritchard John Bohannon Wm R. Stevens E. B.
Rambolt Wiley J. Brewer Wm Shelton Jeremiah Clemens Wm Woodall John
Prater James Ray Bucy Young Elijah Haney James Wooten Elijah Becket
Calvin Bryant L. D. Wooten Sen. Wm Wooten Burwell Haney Davis Prater M.
K. Woodward Larkin Carr Jno M Elliot Jas B Scott W A C Ferrill Isaac
Long John Ferrill Wm W. Daniel S.A. Campbell Basel Prator John Bryant
Jno W. Kerly
To the Governor, Military Board and Judicial Tribunals of the State of
Arkansas Whereas this day John Christy4 and his two sons Joseph C.
Christy and J.F.H. Christy and P. M. Hensly,5 Gilmore Smith6 and D. C.
Baker7 Citizens of Searcy County Arkansas voluntarily came and appeared
before Honbles Kelly Featherstone and William Owens associate justices
sitting as a court of Enquiry and Investigation into certain secret
treasonable and Insurrectionary movements believed to exist and formed
into societies under various appellations held together by oaths, Signs,
Tokens and pass words and made known to said court the existence of a
society represented to them as a Peace Society organizations being a
good thing and for the protection of their homes property and family
against Robbers and thieves and that it was a neighborhood society and
that the best men and oldest citizens of the County were members of it
and by which representation they were induced to go into the same and
took the oath as members and whereas from their testimony given before
this court and to which your attention is particularly invited to, we
are fully satisfied that these men were gulled and deceived into the
same by false representations.
We would most respectfully Petition the Executive of the State for their
release from confinement and that they may be used if necessary in
behalf of the State as to what they know, that we believe them to be
honest Respectable and unsuspecting men who have without design or
intention of wrong to the State or Confederate States been induced by
intriguing and designing men to become members of a society which they
now believe had an evil design in it though so far as they were capable
of judging at the time they were not capable of discovering although the
said John Christy, Joseph C. Christy, J. F. H. Christy, and Gilmore
Smith said from their evidence which was taken separate and apart from
each other and voluntarily given that they did not like the secret signs
& tokens and while the oath was being given them and objected to that
part at the time and that we are satisfied from the matter in which they
came before the court and testified that they were anxious to ferret out
all the wrong & evil if there was one in it.
We the undersigned cheerfully join in the recommendation for release of
the parties above named and all others testifying voluntarily & making
confessions as done by these parties and upon pledges of Fidelity and
Support to the State of Arkansas and the Confederate States of America.
Israel Burns H. Hendrix James C. Jameson S. W. Ruff J. A. Hicks Wm Wyatt
C. C. Robertson H. M. Truett L. L Hendrix H. F. W. Robertson L.D.
Kilborn John Sullivant Wm. P. Kilburn T. G. Hendrix Thomas Parker W. F.
Miles Jacob Cummins Americus Robertson James Hambleton Joseph Stephenson
A. J. Cole Nathan Slay G. L. Hendrix John M. Hensley P. A. Hendrix John
Jamason L. G. Slay James D. Robertson G. K. L. Rea J. H. Hendrix
COMMITMENT OF PRISONERS IN CARROLL COUNTY JUSTICE OF PEACE COURT Head Quarters Battalion Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers Camp Culloden Carroll County, Arks Dec 9, 1861
Now on this day it is ordered by Honbles Kelly Featherston and William
Owens associate justices of this county of Carroll Arkansas, siting as a
Court of Enquiry & Investigation into a certain secret Treasonable and
Insurrectionary Society said to exist in this and the adjoining counties
of the State of Arkansas and which society is said to be held together
by secret oaths signed and pass words with the penalty of Death attached
That the following named persons be committed for further trial and that
Capt Jno R. H. Scott commanding Battalion Arks Cavalry Volunteers C.S.A
be requested to convey them or have them conveyed under guard to Little
Rock Arkansas and surrendered there to the Governor of the State of
Arkansas Namely George Long, Solomon Branum, Joshua Reeves, David Curry,
James Latterel, Samuel Thompson, Patrick L. Downey, James Thompson,
James E. Curry, Charles W. Price, William Brown8, George Hooten, Mike
Tinkle, William Dugger, Luther Phillips, Thomas Dugger, William M. Will,
James Hollis, Jasper Dugger, Mayfield Addison, William C. Singletary,
and John M. Carithers.9
And it is further ordered by the court that the following named persons
enter in Bond the sum of Five Hundred dollars each for their appearance
forthwith before the Governor of the State of Arkansas to testify in
regard to certain matters voluntarily acknowledged before this court and
not depart the order or decree of the Governor without leave therefrom,
John Christy, Joseph Christy, J. F. H. Christy, P. M. Hensley, Gilmore
Smith, Carroll Kilburn, E. L. Osborn, Carlton Keeling, George M. Hays,
J. W. Kirkham, John McEntire, and John C. McNair.10
Which is accordingly here done in open court, on this 9th day of Decr
William Owens, J.P. Kelly Featherston J.P * * *
Head Quarters Burrowsville, 11Ark. Dec 9th,
 To His Excellency H. M. Rector Gov. of Ark.
Dear Sir: I have this day ordered the prisoners under my care at this
place to take up the line of march to Little Rock under a guard of one
hundred Soldiers commanded by Lt. Brevet Lieut Col A. Ham, Maj John
Bradshaw, and Agt Mager Jesse Cypert. I have no testimony only the
testimony of the prisoners in their own confessions. You will call on
Brev. Lieut. Col. Ham, Maj Bra[d]shaw, and Adj Maj Cypert, they can
point out to you such other testimony as would become necessary, the
most of the prisoners came in and surrendered, acknowledging their guilt
and willing to Bide by the Law of their country, there is several men
implicated in this seacret order skulking about in the woods and have
not been arrested. I will do all I can to have then taken and brought to
Justice. It seems as if the Whole Countrey have become ingaged in this
matter to some Extent, and but for the timely discovery of it there is
no telling what the can cequence would have been. Men who was considered
to be amongest our best citizes has acknowledged them selves to be
members of this secret order, said by some to be a home guard, by others
home protection. I called on Capt Scott commanding Squadron at Camp
Colodn Carroll Co. Capt Scott informs me that he would give me the aid
ast fer and sent a portion of his command into this and Last Week
arrested several men and carrying them to his head quarters and has them
in his care and informed me that he would convey them to Little Rock. So
soon as I think it safe to do so I will disband the men that I ordered
into service. I have been sick for the las twelve [days] not able to
attend to any kind of business and am just now able to sit up and write
consequently I am not prepared any report at this time. Any instructions
that you think [i] should have you will please Informe by Brevet Lieut
Col Ham. I also send you a list of the names of the persons I have
retained three prisoners here that could [not] travle on account of
their health So soon as [I can] I will send them to Little Rock unless
you see proper to order some other disposition made of them.
Respectfully your Obt serv Sam Leslie Col Commanding 45th Reg Arkansas
TESTIMONY OF PETER TYLER ON THE PEACE SOCIETY
Head Qrs Battalion Arks Cav Volunteers Camp Culloden Carroll Co. Arkansas Decr. 18th, 1861 The State of Arkansas Vs (Knowledge of and identity with Secret Treasonable and Insurrectionary Society Peter Tyler and Isaiah Ezell
Before the Honble Kelly Featherston Justice of the Peace within and for the County of Carroll State of Arkansas
Personally came and appeared Peter A. Tyler12
party in the above action said to have a knowledge of and perhaps Identity
with a certain secret society hold together by certain oaths signs Tokens
word &c & the
revelation of which subjected its members to the punishment of death and upon his own voluntary request makes the following acknowledgments in relations to the matter and things wherof he has knowledge.
I am a member of a certain secret society represented to me by Long and
D. Jamison13 who initiated me into the society in company with Samuel
Grinder and Josiah Lane all taking the oath & receiving the signs tokens
and pass words from Jamison at one & the same time about three weeks ago
more or less as a “home protection” society and that there was no harm
in it but to protect our selves out families & property and that it came
from the North and that it was all over the South. I told him I was no
northern man what I have is here and he said it was for home protection
& after he administered the oath to me & grinder & lane he then gave me
and them the signs tokens and pass words, which as well as I remember
are as follows. The first sign was placing the three fingers of the left
hand angling across the nose the answer was carelessly feeling under the
chin with one of the hands. The next sign was to place one finger in the
shirt collar I believe left hand and the answer was to put the right
hand on the left breast. The next was to raise the hat with one hand and
place it back on the head the answer was turn the back to the person
moving the hat.
A token was in meeting after night on speaking if anyone was with him
you said “It was a very dark night” and the answer would be “Not so dark
as it will be i the morning.” Once sign was to hang up in the front door
of the house a piece of red ribbon, calico, or flannel. Another token
was when they were separate to get together was to Hoot like and Owl,
and the answer was to howl like a wolf I think. I heard somewhere after
the noise commenced about it that it came from Washington City but
Jamison did not tell me if I recollect right he said to me it was for
protection when invaded by robbers, I gave the paper or obligation to
David Curry & told him to take care of it for it might be of an
advantage to them. I & Sam Grinder & Jo Lane were all sworn in by
Jamison at the same time, and after that I rode around among the boys &
swore in the following persons as members to wit Isaiah Ezell,14 David
Curry, Peter Reeves,15 Joshua Reeves, Robert Grinder, David Barnett, 16
John McEntire, Thomas Younger, Alexander Younger,17 George Hooten, John
Brown,18 Robert Tinkle, 19 Mike Tinkle, James Thompson, Thomas Thompson,
Samuel Thompson, J. C. Mc Nair, Claiborn Maness, James Curry, Patrick L.
Downly, A. J. Love,20 Green Adams, Spencer Adams, Joseph Adams, 21
William Brown, Robert Grinder, Charles Price, Lindsay Price,22 Lindsay
Bishop,23John Ezell,24 Daniel Parks, & Austin Pierce I think is the
name, then maybe some more but I do not now recollect them if there are.
I told Jamison I was not no northern man all I had was here. I told him
I did not like the oath he said there was nothing wrong about it & he
did not want any thing said about it, wanted it secret not to tell any
body of it although it was all over the South or something to this
amount. All those named above & my self and Grinder & Lane all held up
our right hands when the obligations recd by us and given to them by me,
all of which I am ready [to] and here verify. P. A. Tyler
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 18th day of Decr. 1861 Kelly
Featherston J P
It is ordered here by this court that the said P. A. Tyler above named
be committed for further trail and that he be conveyed to the city of
Little Rock and surrendered to the Governor of the State of Arkansas and
that he be placed in the hands of Captn Jno R. H. Scott commanding
Squadron Arks Cavalry Volunteers C. S. A. with a request that he send
him under guard to the City of Little Rock with such number of means he
may deem sufficient to prevent his escape from custody in accordance
with this order. Given under my hand and seal this 18th day of December
1861 Kelly Featherston, J. P. * * *
TESTIMONY OF ISAIAH EZELL ON THE PEACE SOCIETY Arks Cav Vol Camp Culoden Carroll Co Arks Decr. 18 1861 State of Arks Vs (Knowledge of and identity with Secret Treasonable and Insurrectionary Society Peter Tyler and Isaiah Ezell
Before the Honble Kelly Featherston J. P. of Carroll Co. Arkansas
Personally came & appeared Isaiah Ezell one of the parties above and on
oath sayeth. That he belongs to a home guard or Home protection Society
of a Secret nature held together by certain oaths Signs tokens & pass
words the revelation of which was punishable by death that he was
initiated into the same by Peter Tyler, of Tomahawk Township Searcy
County Arkansas he presented me with a paper purporting to be an
obligation to which I was sworn but to which I did not affix my name. I
saw no other one taken into the society nor never initiated any one into
it, myself, except seeing John Ezell initiated at another time by Peter
Tyler. I do not know the wording of the oath. One of the signs given was
to place one of the hands about the nose the answer was perhaps rubing
the hand under the chin. There was a sign to be put up somewhere about
the house a piece of Ribbon or calico dont recollect the color. I dont
know the meaning of this sign. There was something about an owl but I
don’t recollect what or how it was represented to me to be for the
protection of our homes and families against robbers &c and if it was
for any other purpose I was deceived in it. his Isaiah X Ezell mark
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 18th day of Decr. 1861 Kelly
Featherston J P
COLONEL WILLIAM C. MITCHELL TO GOVERNOR RECTOR Camp Madison, Ark. Decr. 23 1861 Hon. H. M. Rector Governor of the State of Arkansas
Sir Three men enlisted by the name of George M. Hays Eli L. Osborn and John W. Kirkham from the countys of Marion and Carroll and from what I understand they are bound over to appear at Little Rock on a charge of Treason to the Confederate States. They belong to Captain R. E. Trimble Company in this Regt if you wish them conveyed to Little Rock a requisition for them you can make they are in safe hands and will besafely kept, subject to your demand.
I am Yours Respectfully
Wm C Mitchell
Col. 14 Regt Arks Vol
* * * TESTIMONY OF THE FULTON COUNTY PRISONERS
BEFORE THE MILITARY BOARD 24th December 1861
Prisoner William H. Yeary. Virginia Western 20 years in State. Knows
nothing about the Secret organization only from hearsay. Never took the
oath. Never was a member. Did not know anything about it until they were
arresting persons for belonging to secret society. (Would not fight
enemy unless came into State or Ark.)
David Franks Witness Fulton Co (good citizen)
M. Kisinger Witness Fulton Co (good citizen)
Wiley King Witness Fulton Co (good citizen)
James H. Ball. Prisoner, born in Virginia aged 49 years Farmer by
occupation, 20 years in this State. Never belonged to secret society.
Knows nothing about it, only from hearsay never said I would not fight
for the South Brother-in-law to Mr. W. H. Yeary married his sister Never
heard of a secret organization until parties were arrested.
B. H. Brown Witness Fulton Co
L. D. Bryant Witness Fulton Co Shff Co.
Shadrich H. Wren born in Wane Co Kentucky 38 years of age Farmer
occupation living in this state 31 years. Prisoner Do not know of or
what he was arrested Partially a member of a secret organization but not
a full member. Took a portion of the oath secretly object of society was
to oppose lawless companies one Co. in Missouri and one in Arkansas.
This institution was to be a peace society, unconnected with Lincoln’s
army Ware, representative from Fulton County, initiated me Did not know
anything about yellow rag until some time after I had joined. Ware said
that the object was to oppose anything like mob law. Was opposed to
fight in Missouri until the State seceded but would fight when she had
seceded. Never have done or said anything that would give aid and
comfort to Lincoln’s government Carried a Constitution to a party of
men, and read it to them or several of them. Had no authority to
initiate. I am a citizen of the Southern Government, and owe allegiance
to that government. Never tried to discourage men from volunteering but
have assisted others by giving means and persuading them to volunteer.
Would prefer standing my trial before Court, than volunteering because
by volunteering I would not be relieved of the charge against me
H. W. Davis. Prisoner. Born in middle Tenn aged 46 years occupation
farmer, lived in this State years. Isaac Adams Known H. W. Davis 12
months good character considered true to the South. H. W. Davis
discharged. Sworn to bear allegiance to State of Arks & Confederate
Confederate States, and a certificate of good citizenship. Baptist
Vinsom M. Woodrum. Prisoner. Born in Tennessee, aged 50 years. James H.
McBee. Prisoner. Born in aged 28 years son of Alexander McBee, arrested
in Howell County Missouri was with my father and others. I never heard
anything about the secret society until very lately I was going with my
father. The man we had with us as a prisoner in Missouri was named
Strother, he lived in Howell Co Missouri I would have volunteered and
went to Pocahontas if I had been permitted.
Milfor W. Ball. Prisoner. 24 years old Born in N. C. Bunkum Co. Fulton
County is my home. Gehuger Ball is my father. Going out to get labor
when arrested. Never understood that we were to join the northern army.
I am a Southern man in sentiment I never was a member of the secret
society never heard of it until I was taken prisoner Would prefer going
to war if could be with my brothers.
William Shirley. Prisoner. Independence County Polk Bayou. 35 years old,
arrested in Independence Co. near my house. and sent me to Fulton County
to stand my trial I am not certain when I joined secret organization but
suppose it was six or seven weeks ago object to keep mob down. Nunnelly
says had two companies to compel persons to go into service Have not
taken sides with either party. Come from Henderson Co 17 mile from
Lexington Tennessee. Would prefer standing a trial to going into Service
Johnson Clark & other two Clarks W. W. Lewis of Batesville. Register
Post Master at Batesville.
James A. Baker. Prisoner Born in aged years lived in this State Bad
character. Belonged to a secret organization Dr. Nunnely raised a Co and
went to Missouri and hung two men Was going to mob and overrun Citizens
in Fulton and Searcy Counties joined society for protecting citizens
against mobs. Its objectives as I understand was opposed to Lincoln’s
army, and only for home protection. Never undermined Southern
Confederacy but contended for it all the time I understand that there
were several persons in camps who belonged to the secret society but do
not know who they are, nor who I heard mention it.
Joshua Richardson. Prisoner. Born in Massachusetts aged 61 years,
occupation Methodist Minister and farmer 18 years in this State.
Character Bad Never belonged to the secret order, never met at my house.
Met to protect out lives and property from lawless mobs Met a half a
mile from my house.
James C. Richardson. Prisoner. Born in aged 23 years, occupation a years
in this State. Character bad as a boy can be. Son of Joshua Richardson.
Was a member of secret organization, sworn in at my father’s house.
Father was not present The object of the society was for keeping down
mobs, and protecting out property from being destroyed Bad health or he
would have volunteered.
Gehuger Ball. Prisoner. Born aged 48 years lives in edge of Missouri.
Don’t belong to the secret order Don’t know anything about it, except H.
W. Davis presented a paper or constitution Runing from a Mob who were
pursuing me when I was arrested There was a young man with us who was a
William Strother Howell County Missouri. Witness. Proposition made to me
to join a Gurella Party for the purpose of Robing and Stealing from
secessionists I refused to join it I left where I lived because my life
was in danger and thought that I would go to a more peaceable country. I
owe allegiance to the Southern Confederacy.
Alexander McBee. Prisoner, Born in aged 58 years. Nunnellys Company
arrested me. I left him first to get out of the way I was taken in Co
with G. Ball There was a young man in out Co. who was carried with us
until we got him so far that he could not go back and have us arrested
Had got 20 or 25 miles up into Missouri I did not fairly join the secret
society. Would not take the oath. Object as stated by James Baker was to
prevent the mob destroy life and property I only took the oath as far as
not divulging the secret My interests is in the South. If I were able I
should volunteer. I give my boys permission to join any army they
choose. Character of the old man very bad.
On To Part Two of the Peace Society