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September 5, 2011

Lady Bushwackers of Johnson County, Missouri Eliza Gabbert, Lady Bushwhacker

After the Federal invasion and takeover of Missouri during the Civil War, many of the women and girls in Johnson County worked with the Guerrillas. They provided clothing and supplies, gave information on troop movements, and fed and housed Bushwackers. Some even rode with the Bushwackers. Most of the women and/or their parents, were born in Kentucky, Tennessee or Virginia. Most of them were the wives, widows, sisters or daughters of Guerrillas or regular Confederate Soldiers. Some were as young as thirteen years old. Most of them lived in the Chilhowee, Post Oak and Kingsville areas, but they were scattered all over Johnson County. There were several groups of sisters, and several mother and daughters groups included.

Many acts of murder, robbery, rape and pillaging were attributed to "Missouri Bushwhackers", while in fact, these attrocities were commited by Federal people of absolutely no loyalty, North or South.
An interesting "side note" is why Missouri is called the "Show Me" state.
When you encountered someone in the brush, you asked (or were asked) where your loyalty lay (North or South). And were asked to "Show Me" to prove your allegiance! As a result, many times a bloody fight ensued if you did not give the correct answer!
Anyway, the Bushwackers only aim was to rape, pillage, plunder, rob, burn and destroy all they could here. They came to have fun and enrich themselves and their sinful lusts. And they did exponentially. The elderly, women, children and defensless people were their favorite target.
And it did not make a difference if the family they preyed upon was neutral, North or South.
From the statements they made to authorities,their sole motives for "aiding the enemy" were Patriotism for, and Loyalty to, the South. In some cases, a mother was charged for feeding her son, who was a Guerrilla. The person making the charge was often the next door neighbor who had a grudge against the family. In other cases, a woman was openly feeding large groups of Guerrillas, including Quantrill's Band. One group of girls went to Sedalia and bought nine pairs of boots and seven hats and took them to Bushwackers in Blackwater.
Eliza Gabbert, Lady Bushwhacker 
Birth: Dec. 12, 1834 Washington County Indiana, USA
Death: Jun. 6, 1884 Montevallo Vernon County Missouri, USA
Many of the women and girls were arrested by Federal Authorities and sent to prison in Kansas City, Jefferson city, Springfield, St. Louis or in Alton, Illinois.
Fourteen year old Martha Longacre, and her mother Nancy, were sent to Gratiot Street Prison in St. Louis. Also in that prison were Miss Elizabeth M. Dewitt (or Durwitt), Dorah L. Durwitt, Sarah J. Durwitt, Julia F. Martin, Jane Ward, Mrs. Eliza Spencer, Mary Spencer, Mrs. Harriet F. Spencer, Mrs. Wealthy Robinson, and Miss Fannie Little, Miss Sue Bryant, Miss Mary Call, and Mrs. Mary A. Harlow. Mollie and Mattie Anderson, sisters of Bill Anderson, were also in the prison. 
These are some of the women who were reported and charged.
Bivens, Betty (and her 5 daughters)
Boswell, Jane
Burgess, Henrietta
Cavardin, Mrs. (and her 3 daughters)
Call, Mary
Cull, Emily
Cull, Mary
Cull, Missouri
Dalton, Fannie
Derritt, Dortha
Derritt, Sarah J.
DeWitt, Elizabeth M
Doak, Caroline
Dunham, Martha
Harlow, Mary Ann
Harris, Mrs. (widow of a Bushwacker)
Little, Clara
Little, Fannie
Little, Martha
Longacre, Isabelle
Longacre, Martha
Longacre, Nancy
Martin, Julia
McMahan, Johanna
Oliphant, Margret
Robinson, Wealthy (wife of Guerrilla Gooly Robinson)
Spencer, Eliza
Spencer, Harriet (Hattie F.)
Spencer, Jennie
Spencer, Mary
Taylor, Harriet
Ward, Jane
Spencer, Eliza Johnson Charges and Specifications against Spencer, accused of harboring and feeding bushwhackers. N. D. F1266 
Spencer, Eliza Johnson Statement of Mrs. Spencer that she sympathizes with the South and would like it to gain its independence. Claims she gave some Confederate soldiers food, but only because they threatened to burn her home down. 
09-02-1864 
F1266 
Spencer, Eliza Johnson 
Warrensburg 
Statement of Thomas W. Williams that he was with Captain Day when they came to Spencer's home. Mrs. Spencer had prepared dinner for bushwhackers who were at her home when Williams and Day arrived. The bushwhackers fled as they approached. 
07-12-1864 
F1266 
Spencer, Eliza 
Johnson 
Warrensburg 
Statement of William Day that he took 30 men to Mrs. Spencer's home. When they arrived they found 4 bushwhackers there who fled. Spencer had prepared food for them. Notes that Spencer's husband joined the Confederate Army in 1862. 
07-12-1864 
F1266 
Spencer, Eliza Harlow, Mary Ann Spencer, Mary Spencer, Hattie Derritt, Sarah Derritt, Dortha Martin, Julia Call, Mary Ward, Jane DeWirt, Elizabeth M. St. Louis St. Louis Special Orders No. 200 by Major General Rosecrans; releasing women from prison and banishing them to any free state north and east of Springfield, Illinois; charged with violation of the rules of war by harboring bushwhackers 10-17-1864 F1625 
Spencer, Harriet 
Johnson 
Warrensburg 
Statement of Barton Oliphant that Miss Spencer has been a violent rebel since the start of the war and a woman of ill fame. Oliphant heard Spencer twice state that she had fed bushwhackers. 
08-13-1864 
F1266 
Spencer, Harriet 
Johnson 
Warrensburg 
Statement of Mrs. Margaret Burk that Spencer is a violent rebel who feeds, aids, and gives information to bushwhackers. States Spencer, Mary Spencer, Jane Spencer, Clara Little and Fannie Little bought boots and hats for bushwhackers on Blackwater Creek. 
08-11-1864 
F1266 
Spencer, Harriet 
Johnson 
Warrensburg
Statement of W. E. Chesbee that he and 8 soldiers asked for food at Spencer's home. Spencer said she had fed the last Federals she intended to. She also said they were free people, not living under a monarchy, and could cook for whomever they wanted. 
07-06-1864 
F1266 
Spencer, Hattie 
Johnson 
Charges and Specifications against Miss Spencer. Charged with violation of the laws of war and using disloyal language. Text of document difficult to decipher. 
09-20-1863 
F1266 
Spencer, Hattie F. 
Johnson 
Statement of Miss Spencer that she purchased multiple hats and pairs of boots in Sedalia. The questioning of Spencer revolves around if she intentionally bought the items for bushwhackers and if she had ever cooked for bushwhackers. 
09-05-1864 
F1266 
Spencer, Jane 
Johnson 
Warrensburg 
Notice that Miss Spencer has been banished to Ohio for assisting and encouraging rebels and bushwhackers. 
02-22-1865 
F1266 
Spencer, Jane 
Johnson 
Warrensburg 
Statement of Barton Oliphant that Miss Spencer has been a violent rebel since the start of the war. He heard Spencer state she has fed bushwhackers and would do so again. She told Federals she intended to raise bushwhackers to fight them. 
08-13-1864 
F1266 
Spencer, Jane 
Johnson 
Warrensburg 
Statement of Mrs. Margaret Burk that Spencer has been a violent rebel since the start of the war. States Spencer and other women bought boots and hats which were taken to the bushwhackers on Blackwater Creek. 
08-11-1864 
F1266 
Spencer, Mary 
Johnson 
Charges and Specifications against Spencer partially illegible. Accused of violation of the laws of war and disloyalty. 
10-08-1864 
F1266 
Spencer, Mary 
Johnson 
Statement of Spencer, written on an envelope. Spencer states she made some shirts for her brother and some of Gen. Price's men. She claims this was the only assistance she gave. States she went to Sedalia with her sister and others and bought goods. 
09-02-1864 
F1266 
Spencer, Mary 
Johnson 
Warrensburg 
Affidavit of Barton Oliphant that Spencer has been a violent rebel since the start of the war. He heard Spencer say she had fed bushwhackers and would do it again. He considers Spencer a woman of ill fame. 




08-13-1864 




F1266 







Spencer, Mary 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Statement of Margaret Burk illegible. 




08-11-1864 




F1266 







Spencer, Mary 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Statement of Spencer that in 1861 she made shirts for her brother who was in the rebel army as well as others in Price's command. She said she'd consider it her duty to give the rebels information if she had any. 




09-02-1864 




F1266





Little, Clara; 


Little, Fannie
















Johnson 







Note from Gustavus Cohrs(?) stating that there is no doubt in his mind that both Clara and Fannie Little are strong rebels. 




N. D. 




F1622 







Little, Clara; 




Little, Fannie 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Statement of Fannie Little, age 18. Little states she has heard that some of her neighbors belong to bushwhacking gangs. Little denies knowing which ladies purchased boots and hats which ended up in the hands of bushwhackers. 




09-02-1864 




F1622 







Little, Clara; 




Little, Fannie 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Statement of James Todd that Clara Little has been a violent rebel since the start of the war. Todd saw Clara and Fannie Little in Warrensburg and asked Clara if there were bushwhackers in their part of the country. Clara told him to "come and see." 




08-??-1864 




F1622 







Little, Clara; 




Little, Fannie 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Statement of James Todd that Fannie Little has been a violent rebel since the beginning of the rebellion. Todd claims that Little admitted to him that she fed bushwhackers. 




08-12-1864 




F1622 







Little, Clara; 




Little, Fannie 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Statement of Miss Clara Little, age 22, that she is a Southern sympathizer who has not taken the oath. Little claims in June 1864 she fed a group of men dressed as Federal soldiers who turned out to be Southern men from Texas. 




09-02-1864 




F1622 







Little, Clara; 




Little, Fannie 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Statement of Mrs. Margaret Burk that Clara Little has been feeding, aiding and giving information to bushwhackers. States the Little sisters, along with Mary, Jane and Harriet Spencer bought boots and hats in Sedalia for bushwhackers. 




08-11-1864 




F1622 







Little, Clara; 




Little, Fannie; Spencer, Mary; Spencer, Jane 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Statement of Mrs. Margaret Burk that Fannie Little is a violent rebel who has been giving information to the bushwhackers. States the Littles, Mary Spencer and Jane Spencer bought 9 pairs of boots and seven hats and sent them to bushwhackers. 




08-11-1864 




F1622 







Little, Clara; 




Little, Fannie; Ward, Jane; Spencer, Eliza; Spencer, Mary; Spencer, Harriet; Spencer, Jennie; Robertson, Wealthy; 




Taylor, Harriet; Burgess, Henrietta; Oluphant, Margret; 




Little, Martha; Doak, Caroline; McMahan, Johanna; 




Cull, Missouri 




et 




Johnson 




Warrensbug 




Letter from Capt. Joseph A. Peak stating there are 24 females living near Post Oak who are actively aiding bushwhackers. The women feed the rebels and give them information to evade the Federals. Peak claims 2/3 of the women are prostitutes. 




06-17-1864 




F1622 

Maddox, George; Ellis, [unknown]; Boswell, Jane; Fulkerson, [unknown]; Robinson, [unknown] Cass Pleasant Hill 













Letter reporting that the wife and mother-in-law of known a bushwhacker, and the wife of man in rebel army were all boarding at house north of Kingsville in Johnson County; another family in same vicinity noted as sympathizers

03-13-1865 F1364 













Burgess, Mrs. 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Evidence shows clearly the guilt of Mrs. Burgess in aiding and feeding Bushwhackers; Capt. Ferguson recommends she be sent out of district 




08-20-1864 




F1288 







Cull, Mary 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Charges and Specifications - Charged with aiding and encouraging outlaws and guerrillas. Largely illegible. 




10-??-1864 




F1246 







Ferguson, R. L.; Dewitt, W. T.; Dewitt, Elizabeth 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Recommendation by Provost Marshal Ferguson that the Dewitts be sent to St. Louis for investigation by Col. Sanderson; Dewitts are violent rebels who are friends to bushwhackers; Elizabeth has been arrested numerous times for aiding bushwhackers 




09-??-1864 




F1625 







Ferguson, R. L.; Durrett, Dorthea; Durnett, Sarah J. 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Recommendation by Provost Marshal Ferguson that the Durrett sisters be sent to St. Louis to answer charges of aiding bushwhackers 




09-??-1864 




F1625 







Martin, Julia et al 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Statement of Martin, a prisoner, to be forwarded to St. Louis. Martin charged with aiding and encouraging bushwhackers. A letter from Martin to Sena Bell wrote of how she hoped the bushwhackers would kill all militia men. 




09-16-1864 




F1621 







Robertson, Wealthy 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Charges and specifications against her, charged with aiding and encouraging outlaws and guerillas 








F1392 







Bivens, Betty; Harris, Mrs. Lafayette Waverly Letter from Capt. Charles C. Lovett regarding Mrs. Bivens and Mrs. Harris, refugees from Johnson County. Bivens and her five daughters are thought to be harboring bushwhackers. Harris is thought to be the widow of the bushwhacker Harris. 06-13-1865 F1639 







Cull, Emily 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Statement of Thomas W. Williams that he has heard Cull say she has fed bushwhackers and would do it again. Calls her a woman of ill fame and thinks she cohabits with bushwhackers. 




07-12-1864 




F1246 







Cull, Emily 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Statement of William Day that he has heard Cull say she has fed bushwhackers and would do it again. Calls her a woman of ill fame and thinks she cohabits with bushwhackers. 




07-12-1864 




F1246 







Cull, Mary 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Charges and Specifications - Charged with aiding and encouraging outlaws and guerrillas. Largely illegible. 




10-??-1864 




F1246 







Bell, Warren 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Solicitor, statement that no evidence has been gathered against Martha, the 14 year old daughter of Nancy Longacre, charged with feeding bushwhackers, and advises she be released 




09-29-1864 




F1483 







Eads, James D. 




Lafayette 







Report that Nancy Longacre and family have harbored bushwhackers, including Bill Anderson and Yeager, who frequently robbed the stage and railroad workers, and attacked Corp. Parmon's squad 




07-23-1864 




F1483 







Eaton, Lucien 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Letter containing the extract from the trial of Nancy Longacre, charged with harboring bushwhackers and giving them information, acquitted, ordered released upon taking the oath 




11-05-1864 




F1483 







Longacre, Martha 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Citizen of Kingsville, testimony that neither she nor her mother fed, harbored, or supported bushwhackers in any way, is willing to take the oath 




08-29-1864 




F1483 







Longacre, Nancy 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Charges and specifications: harboring, feeding and giving information to guerrillas and bushwhackers, illegible 




10-24-1864 




F1483 







Longacre, Nancy 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Citizen of Kingsville, testimony that neither she nor her daughter fed, harbored, or supported bushwhackers in any way, is willing to take the oath 




08-29-1864 




F1483 







Lotspeich, Rezin 




Johnson 







Statement that Doritha and Sarah J. Derritt are active rebels and give aid to bushwhackers 




09-01-1864 




F1307 







Martin, Julia; Durritt, Dorath L; Durritt, Sarah J.; Dewitt, Elisabeth 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Letter from Capt. R. L. Ferguson that he is forwarding four female prisoners, Martin, D. Durritt, S. Durritt amd E. Dewitt. 




09-15-1864 




F1621 







Stegn, J. H. 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Order to arrest Nancy Longacre and family for assisting and informing bushwhackers, and in future cases of this type to arrest the offenders instead of ordering them to leave the country 




07-28-1864 




F1483 







Longacre, Isabelle 




Johnson 







Statement that soldiers belonging to Capt. Williams of the 51st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry burst into her home and took personal property, including a horse and a man's suit 




06-01-1865 




F1483 







Longacre, Martha 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Citizen of Kingsville, testimony that neither she nor her mother fed, harbored, or supported bushwhackers in any way, is willing to take the oath 




08-29-1864 




F1483 







Longacre, Nancy 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Charges and specifications: harboring, feeding and giving information to guerrillas and bushwhackers, illegible 




10-24-1864 




F1483 







Longacre, Nancy 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Citizen of Kingsville, testimony that neither she nor her daughter fed, harbored, or supported bushwhackers in any way, is willing to take the oath 




08-29-1864 




F1483 







Allen, R. C. 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Sending under guard prisoner Mrs. Nancy Longacre to Judge Advocate Albert G. Clark 




10-07-1864 




F1483 







Allen, R. C. 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Statement that Mrs. Nancy Longacre, who was released from the Gratiot Street Female Prison, whishes to remain until tomorrow, and may she do so 




11-01-1864 




F1483 







Bell, Warren 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Solicitor, statement that no evidence has been gathered against Martha, the 14 year old daughter of Nancy Longacre, charged with feeding bushwhackers, and advises she be released 




09-29-1864 




F1483 







Clarke, Albert 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Order to the commanding officer at Gratiot Street Prison, that Mrs. Nancy Longacre is remanded to prison until further orders 




10-05-1864 




F1483 







Darr, Joseph 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Special Order 257 that Mrs. Nancy Longacre, prisoner at Gratiot Street Female Prison, will be subject to the General Court Martial and Military Commission 




10-03-1864 




F1483 







Eads, James D. 




Lafayette 







Report that Nancy Longacre and family have harbored bushwhackers, including Bill Anderson and Yeager, who frequently robbed the stage and railroad workers, and attacked Corp. Parmon's squad 




07-23-1864 




F1483 







Eaton, Lucien 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Letter containing the extract from the trial of Nancy Longacre, charged with harboring bushwhackers and giving them information, acquitted, ordered released upon taking the oath 




11-05-1864 




F1483 







Ferguson, R. L. 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Report that he asked Capt. Foster at Holden to obtain evidence against Nancy Longacre and family, but has not yet received the evidence 




08-18-1864 




F1483 







Miller, Albert W. 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Contractor for the Pacific Railroad Company, statement that Nancy Longacre, of Johnson County, was robbed and provided clothing for soldiers who were also robbed, and she never fed bushwhackers 




10-21-1864 




F1483 







Ferguson, R. L. 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Special Orders No. 74 by Capt. Ferguson ordering Lieut. Gann of Lexington, to send female prisoner Mercy A. Harlow, to his office in Warrensburg; also orders the arrest of Sallie Wayman, of Lexington, and for her to be sent to his office at Warrensburg 




08-12-1864 




F1619 







Stegn, J. H. 




Johnson 




Warrensburg 




Order to arrest Nancy Longacre and family for assisting and informing bushwhackers, and in future cases of this type to arrest the offenders instead of ordering them to leave the country 




07-28-1864 




F1483 

Bryant, William J. St. Louis St. Louis Charges and specifications of Doratha Durritt, citizen of Johnson County, of harboring, feeding and giving information to bushwhackers 10-10-1864 F1307 







Longacre, Nancy 




St. Louis 




St. Louis 




Charges and specifications: harboring, feeding and giving information to guerrillas and bushwhackers, illegible 




10-24-1864 




F1483




Durritt, Doratha 




Johnson 

Deposition in her case of aiding bushwhackers 

09-20-1864 

F1307 

Durritt, Doratha 

Johnson 




Letter to her father detailing several skirmishes between the Federal army and bushwhackers at their house 

08-12-1864 

F1307 




Durritt, Doratha 

Johnson 

Statement that she is a true friend to the southern cause and feeds rebels and bushwhackers and refuses to take the Oath of Allegiance 

09-12-1864




F1307













Durritt, Doratha 


Johnson 





Deposition in her case of aiding bushwhackers 


09-20-1864 


F1307 



Durritt, Doratha 


Johnson 





Letter to her father detailing several skirmishes between the Federal army and bushwhackers at their house 


08-12-1864 


F1307 



Durritt, Doratha 


Johnson 





Statement that she is a true friend to the southern cause and feeds rebels and bushwhackers and refuses to take the Oath of Allegiance 


09-12-1864 


F1307 







Dalton, Fannie 


Johnson 





Parole for Dalton, 23; she is required to report every ten days. Witnesses: Samuel Fitch, Thomas Vandervort 


03-28-1864 


F1294 



William 


Johnson 


Warrensburg 


Capt., statement that, during a stakeout, he discovered Martha Dunham feeding bushwhackers 


07-01-1864 


F1188 



Carmichael, Mrs. 


Sterling, Mrs. H. A. 


McGown, Mrs. 


Murray, Mrs.


Mitchell, Mrs. 


Davenport, Mrs. Lawrence, Mrs. Paustaton, Mrs. 


Johnson 


Warrensburg 


Notice that the Commanding General of the Department of the MO has granted permission for a group of women and their families to pass from Johnson Co, MO, to Texas. The women are to report in Fayetteville and Fort Smith and all other military posts. 


10-04-1863 


F1602 



Cavardin, Mrs. 


Johnson 


Warrensburg 


Letter from R. L. Fergusan that Cavardin and daughters were arrested for feeding and harboring bushwhackers. Cavardin's son is a bushwhacker and her home is noted as a place of rest for bushwhackers. 


09-22-1864 


F1140