Friday, November 12, 2010

Taking my time

A beautiful view from the new bridge over the Niangua River

I am certain it is apparent that I have not posted much for several days. I am remodeling, adding more pages to showcase my books, carvings and paintings. It is a difficult job for me and is taking time, so if anyone is interested take a look. It won't be long and I'll have the project completed. Adios

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Destiny

I have never felt the hand of destiny on my shoulder, I just followed him. He appears to be clothed in a great coat, his face shadowed by a hat. The trail he treads is narrow and I have stumbled and he turns and patiently motions me on. Many times I have faltered but he never abandons me. I have stopped on occasion to share what I have learned and have left behind and he waits until once again I follow him along life’s way. Adios

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October, the dawn of my life

White lace of October

Another old oak tree at the edge of town.

October, a time to stir the wanderlust

Another beauty of autumn

An old tree dressed in autumn colors

My life life began quite precariously on a cold rainy night in October nearly seventy five years ago. My twin and I were born premature at seven months and were not expected to live, but we beat the odds. October is of course a special time for me, for each passing year I marvel at the wonders of my time on this tiny planet. I have no less enthusiasm or curosity for life than I had when a small boy and continue to learn even the most simple of tasks. I still look toward that distant horizon and find I am no closer than I ever was, but along the way I have discovered many secrets shrouded in the mist of of time past. Adios

Monday, October 11, 2010

I am still of this world

I have not abandoned my blog, but enjoying beautiful autumn weather and will post again on my continuing journey into Prehistory. Adios

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Reflections of our Heritage

A display of my books to Sell

For me it was a good place to be on a Saturday morning

Ike and me

Coffee is brewing

Camp of the 8th Missouri

Weapon Display

More of the Weapons Displays

From Near and Far, They began to Arrive

A Great Scene

September 25, 2010 began early for me as I began a journey. The day, a Saturday was cool, but the sun was shining and in the distance fog was rising from the Niangua River. Hidden there along the bank where fog was rising into wispy clouds was a place where many people would soon gather to celebrate their heritage. It is a beautiful location of bottom fields and hills and not more than a mile from where I live, but my journey would take my friend Ike and I back one hundred fifty years or more. Our part in this festival was for me to talk about the Civil War and Ike to talk about the dos and don’t of his huge display of weapons of that era. We chose to set up like a working military camp and represented The A Company, 8th Missouri Cavalry, originating in the county where we reside. Coffee simmered over a fire along with an iron kettle containing chili. Ike was clothed in period garments and I in a Union Uniform. The day passed pleasantly and many people came by to talk and listen to Ike and me. A black smith was present on the grounds along with other craftsmen and on the hill above us a short distance from a teepee, a man portraying the fur trading era supervised live shooting with black powder weapons. A horse drawn wagon provided rides for people along with two saddled horses. The sheriff of the county came dressed as a lawman of long ago. Many people came during the day, most clothed in period clothing. It was a good day. Adios.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Time to Remember

Time Capsule or Buried Treasure?
There are no photos, only Memories
Buried in the obscurity of Mother Earth, man has since the dawn of time hidden many aspects of the past. Wealth of great measure secretly buried during war time and forgotten or unknown to a living relative to be discovered years later during construction projects such as highways, home sites and the clearing of a fence row are but a small number of such places. In a fence row near the south bank of the Dousinberry Creek a quart jar was unearthed containing a few twenty dollar gold pieces. A small treasure by today’s standard but at the time these coins were placed in the ground represented a goodly fortune. A friend of mine, a metal detector enthusiast located a stoneware jar of approximately a quart capacity containing over fifty gold pieces. He understandably would not reveal the location. This treasure represented a significant fortune in any time period, past or present.
Pirates were noted for burying plundered gold, silver and jewels and even as far inland as Missouri, legends tell of buried treasure hidden somewhere in the hills. One story comes to mind of a stagecoach loaded with Federal gold hijacked not far from Corkery, Missouri and supposedly hidden in a cave along the Niangua River. The gold has never been found or so the story goes.
During the years I spent exploring the land along the Niangua River Basin I too uncovered small caches of treasure, a coin here, an old sliver ring there, a seven shot revolver to mention but a few of the artifacts unearthed by an intruding pix or shovel.
It of course does not necessarily take a pirate, an old west outlaw or a family member fearing for the safety of gold to bury treasure in the ground, on the contrary, a lad of ten years of age is capable of such an act. A stealth figure slipping through tall grass to an old log barn, where beneath a log he places a brass box wrapped tightly in oil cloth next to a rusty Civil War musket barrel, an iron spur, missing its rowel and a broken World War One bayonet.
The brass box contained a wonderful array of artifact, collected over time and considered priceless by the boy. Four promotioal cards wrapped in tin foil lay on top of the heap within the box. Two of the cards portrayed Lash Larue, another Roy Rogers and the last Gene Autry. Four pocket knives with a blade each broken off lay in one corner of the box next to an assortment of large glass marbles. Two silver rings fashioned from silver dollars lay among several large costume brooches along with a glass beaded necklace of striking colors. A small cloth bag containing Ten Indian Head pennies, a nickel plated cigarette lighter, a lead skull ring and lastly a pocket watch missing its hands were the sum of the contents of the vintage sewing box.
The lad confident the treasure was safe replaced two large stones over the hole and left. But unbeknownst to him, at least at that time, groundhogs had taken up residence under the old barn and quickly established a network of burrows, running the length and breadth of the structure. Unfortunately several months later upon checking the cache, the lad found it gone, falling deep into a burrow, beyond the depth he was allowed to dig.
On occasion when passing my boyhood home site I wonder about those treasures laying deep in the soil where the barn once stood. It is possible that someday, perhaps there will be reason to dig there and unearth that small collection of treasures or time capsule that I so carefully placed to keep hidden from my brothers. It will not be a significant discovery or bring great riches to the finder and no one will know that it once was very important to a boy of the 1940’s. Adios

Friday, September 10, 2010

News briefs from my neck of the woods

A fine way to start a day

A barren, lonely tree

Sometime ago a scoundrel, or scoundels came in the night and stole all, or nearly all the apples from our only apple tree. It was a dastardly deed assulting that old tree and hauling away the fruit of her summer. The tree stands barren and lonely now. The deer will with have to do without as well as the birds, opossums, racoons and of course there won't be any apple pie for me.

I have been told a few times that I am never in style with the clothing I wear, but I disagree, for about every ten years or so I stand out among the best. Most people cast aside, give away or sell their unwanted clothing after only a few times of wearing it. I do change my wardrobe a bit in the spring and summer, but always return to winter garb when it is fitting. I suppose you could say I am like most animals I shed when it is time and resume a nice coat for the winter. I have shirts that are twenty years old, boots that are thirty or more and this goes for the hats as well. There is nothing finer when the cold wind comes than to put on one of my favorite shirts, jeans Stetson's or Justin boots and last a warm fleece lined leather coat. I am sleek, warm and content as I go forth. You don't have to guess what specific subspecies I am. Adios

Monday, September 6, 2010

A den, or a loft, perhaps a room with a window

The hub of the room

A dusty Indian, Lawman and Outlaw

Stetson hats, a life staff and saddlebags among other things

More books and other items

A part of my wonderful library

Images from a far away time

There is a particular room in our house that contains many stories, a few dreams, a haunting and represents me. It is not a beautiful room, nor free of dust or kept in order, a small room that yes I lose many things and most of the time they are exactly where I put them. The room has a window looking out above the yard and the beautiful country side. From this window above I have watched many season come and go and been inspired often to write what I see in my mind's eye. I love the clutter and seeminly perpetual items stuck around. All of it is important to me, but of course I could live without it. Perhaps much of it should be thrown away, but I won't. Most it is reminders of other days or a story, or just because I put it there for no particular reason. The above photos are only a glimpise of my room to present as is. Adios

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Foot Prints Into The Dawn Of Prehistory, Continued

Curosity is not just a human trait

In memory of Hawk

Man has always exceled as a counquer

One aspect of the dawn of time

The exit of man from Earth may occur sometime in the distant future

A Related Notation
Animals, (non human varieties, including cold blooded species) possess basically the same instincts as humans. So in that aspect we are cut from the same cloth or substance, (Mother earth). This alone should bring about more compassion and respect. Every creature on Earth is a predator, like it or not, but that doesn’t mean we and all the other creatures are without heart and we as humans, should be more compassionate and of course many people are. One night some time ago on Jay Leno’s talk show, Mark Harmon, star of NCIS after being informed he was required to pay a penalty for plugging his film, was ushered to a table and told to put a blindfold on and then to identify the contents of three bowls. The last bowl contained crickets and the audience was instructed to scream as the guest lowered his hand into the bowl. He did not flinch and smiled. Jay told the man to remove the blind fold. Mark carefully brushed the crickets from his hand and the show went to a commercial break. A minute or two later the show was again on the air, catching Mark on the floor gently capturing stray crickets and then placing them safely into the bowl. This man, a star of NCIS is a good man to take the time to care about crickets, mere insects. He is a real life hero.
I do not advocate a total ban controlling any creature that has gotten out of control. We along with our animal counterparts must take drastic measures at times to survive. A long time ago predators kept most of Earth’s creatures in balance, but as time past and humans foolishly, greedily and religiously, due to ignorance destroyed the delicate balance of nature. Most of the deer, moose, elk and other related species do not have adequate predator control and man must control the population through hunting seasons and rightly so, for without control these animals would overpopulate, become sick and die horribly.
I do question the motives of some hunters, based on my own experience while working with the Missouri Department of Conservation and also as a private citizen. Some hunters, pick up a gun for the time during the year, go into the country and shoot anything that moves and if they are lucky and shoot at a deer, sometimes hitting it multiple times, but not immediately slaying it and then lose it in the brush to slowly perish. Cattle have been shot, horses, donkeys and in one instance, of which I witnessed, a small light tan Ford sedan. It is not unusual to find a headless buck deer, shot only for its antlers. Semi auto rifles of large enough caliber to kill a bull elephant are often used to kill a one hundred pound deer. One can only imagine what one of those large slugs would do if shot wildly. Most hunters are responsible men and women, carefully, safely and most important humanely shooting their prey and later don’t sit around and describe every gory detail.
Several years ago while deer hunting with a friend in a deep hollow, two intoxicated hunters began shooting at us. They were firing large caliber semi auto rifles. One slug hit a rock where my friend was standing, ricocheting, hitting a heel of his left boot. We began shouting and the two hunters fled. This incident does not represent most hunters. It does, however, emphasize the fear that must occur when hunters of such low morale take to the woods.

As in humans curiosity is prevalent in most creatures, of this I am certain. Curiosity can be a double edge sword in both human and nonhuman creatures and must be used cautiously or pay a dreadful price. In order to learn, curiosity is essential to obtain shelter, to build, to explore and to mate. To what depth curiosity in nonhuman animals go is not exactly clear to me, but from experience it may in some species parallel that of humans. The instinct to survive is a product of collective memories of countless generations, including man. To what extent the memories of most animals are I do not know, but I have suspected at times, there are recollections of certain animals that are remarkable. A common dog, listens intently to the howl of a wolf or the cry of a coyote and at time tries to answer these haunting calls. Humans accept their ancient heritages, but often scoff at the idea a nonhuman can do the same. Love of a mate in some nonhumans is for a lifetime as is supposed to be in humans. Defending an offspring is no different in a nonhuman than a human. Language is important of course to communicative and all creatures seem to have a form of communication. To wonder is seldom attributed to non humans, but I have watched horses, dogs, birds, cats and many others sit and quietly observed me, sometimes coming closer without fear.
Several years ago I was entrusted to care for a male Red Tail Hawk that had been severely injure and would never fly again. Fear was all I could see in the bird for several days and I would leave a fish for it to eat and then walk away. But one morning as I was approaching the hawk I saw him standing tall on his perch, quietly observing me, turning his head to one side and the other. He called to me then, not loudly but calmly and I was allowed to come closer without him threatening me. In the days that followed I was allowed to place him on my arm and walk around. He was a proud bird and held himself straight. I did not try and pet the bird or touch his wounded wing, but attempted to show my respect each time we were together. He and I were aware that he would never fly again, a reality of life. Sometimes I would sit with him in the grass and let go of his chain and he would walk away and then return. But as time went on I could see in his eyes despondency and each time after that as we sat in the grass he would walk farther away until one day I had to bring him back. The last day I brought him back he sat on my arm with his head down and I knew he had given up. That magnificent, courageous Hawk died during the night.
When first Heidi,(my dog) came to live with me, she timidly would smell my face, hands and arms, wondering I suppose if I was to be trusted. One night while sitting with her in her cabin she licked me several times across my face, a wonderful gesture of an animal that had been horribly mistreated most of her life.
I can only say the animals that inhabit this Earth with us share a common bond in the mortality of flesh and blood, (be it warm or cold) and in affection, fear, dominance and all the aspects of life. We humans are now, apparently the keepers of the Earth and although we are still predators as all creatures are we should as the Indians were noted for, show more respect and reverence to our creator for all life on this planet, for without them we would perish.
Of course not all humans will agree with me, for there are those who consider some forms of life here on Earth of the devil’s making or would rather not have laws that protect the nonhumans which would create devastating results. Our creator as I understand brought forth all the animals first and saw it was good and decided to create man to watch over them. Man in general of course has not done well.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Time For Heidi

Waiting at the Gate

A Treat and a Gentle Word and All is Well

Heidi Guarding Her Rock

One of Heidi's Rocks

Heidi is emerging from summer more beautiful than ever. Each day I learn a little more about her, for instance she is a rock hound. She collects rocks and pieces of cement blocks and a couple of them are rather large, but she carries them around anyway. Heidi is spoiled, no surprise to me. When I leave the yard and she stays inside the yard she lays by the gate waiting and sometimes she is a bit mift and it takes a treat to bring back her good humor, but I would not have her any other way. Have a great Sunday morning. Adios.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Foot Prints Into The Dawn Of Prehistory, Continued

Yours Truly

Lucky Seven Revolver With Restord Handles

Present Day Photo of Cave

Photo of Cave Taken Aprox. Forty Years Ago

Hideout Cave
There is a place up stream from Moon Valley on the Niangua River where a deep hollow empties into the river from the south. It is a narrow hollow, more of a gulch or perhaps could be called a canyon. It is not an ideal locale to be, for the walls are steep and littered with stones and dead trees and in places the brush is near impenetrable. The hollow is cut deep with a gully where storm laden water has rushed unencumbered to the river for untold years. There are hidden dangers there in the quite solitude of this site, especially near the river. Copperhead Snakes and on occasion a Cottonmouth can be found, for many small creatures such as wood mice and rats and chipmunks thrive there, easy prey for any number of reptiles and other warm bloodied predators. A bluff, broken by the hollow follows the river, much of it is a majestic formation towering above the meandering stream.
Not far up the hollow is the remnant of a trail where a horse could be led safely down to the river and along the base of the bluff and even so it would be a precarious journey. This trail although faint and in places obscured with brush winds down from the top of the bluff past and around large boulders through old cedars and buck brush to the entrance of a stone overhang. At first glance the shelter appeared to be insignificant, too small for an extended family dwelling. The hole in the wall for all practical purposes is not a comfortable dwelling for a portion of it is damp. The most positive aspect of the overhang is the extreme seclusion, hidden from view by boulders.
In the autumn of 1982 I discovered the trail, a difficult task at best and while traversing it a thunderstorm overtook me and I began looking for cover when I stumbled onto the overhang. I sat for awhile smoking my pipe, watching two men in an aluminum flat bottom boat floating down the river, hunkered against the driving rain. Lightening flashed constantly overhead, with thunder crashing through the turbulence. The two men in the boat undaunted by the violent display slowly continued on down the river and soon passed from view.
No immediate let up in the storm seemed evident and I turned my attention to the interior of the shelter. The interior was about ten feet by fifteen feet with a ceiling of at least fifteen feet in height. The floor contained little to no soil and was strewn with stones. Fire blackened stones and wood ash lay near the outside and around the ash and stones and beyond into the interior lay several crock and stoneware shards, (present day material and later I was able to piece together three medium size bowls a small jug and pitcher.) Lying near the back wall was the rusted remains of a gray granite coffee pot.
Intrigued by the immediate discovery of the artifacts I dropped the backpack and slowly began a closer scrutiny of the shelter, convinced it would not reveal prehistory influence. Little had changed or so it appeared since the use of the artifact with exception of dust and rock debris.
Lying near the east wall I noted two rusted metal straps of about eight inches in length and an inch in width. Both straps appeared to have been cut haphazardly. The longest strap contained a screw or metal stud. I could find no markings on either strap.
Rain continued to fall and with time on my hands I decided to make a day of it and excavate the small shelter to try and determine what had transpired in the shelter. With a garden trowel I began raking the shallow dirt and stone debris into small piles and continued this until I had covered most of the floor. Then with a flashlight I began screening the piles starting with one near the entrance. It gave up two unspent twenty-two cartridges; several crock shards and a brass button used on overalls and the broken blade of a pocket knife. About midway in I discovered a horse or mule shoe and two unused shoeing nails and the rusted remains of a tin coffee cup.
In the meantime the rain had stopped and the sky cleared flooding the shelter with much welcomed light. I sat back and lit my pipe and poured a cup of coffee and inventoried the artifacts I had found in the piles of dirt and stones. There were eight twenty-two unfired cartridges, four spent cartridges, a horseshoe, two nails, coffee cup, two metal straps, a button and a short remnant of a bridle rein.
With most of the piles of dirt and stone recorded I decided to start at the rear wall of the shelter to look in every crook, cranny and ledge. With the added light it was easier now. My first discovery was a metal ring embedded in the wall about four feet from the floor and above it on a ledge lay a small seven shot twenty-two caliber revolver. It lay in mud, partial covered with grass tufts. The revolver was frozen in rust, the wooden handle long since decomposed. The weapon contained a short hexagon barrel and two spent cartridges. A Santa Fe brass railroad key lay behind the pistol and I would have been missed if I hadn’t scraped the ledge clean.
A thick bodied metal box of approximate eight inches high, twenty four inches long and twelve inches wide lay in a corner of the back wall, nearly covered in mud and gravel debris. The extent of the decomposition was near complete, a rusted hulk of metal. Two other metal straps were also noted and they too were nothing more than rust. A rusted tin frying pan and additional tin cup along with a short piece of copper tube completed the excavation with the exception of questionable items too badly decomposed or rusted to determine identity.
It is my assumption the railroad key, metal box and straps are an important aspect of the mystery or saga of the cave. The box may have contained currency taken in a robbery somewhere in the area around the turn of the century on or about the 1880’s or 90’s. (Note the following information is unrelated to the site. An acquaintance of mine discovered a safe in a hollow several miles away that had been blown open). The metal ring as far as I am concerned was used to tether horses. The story will remain a mystery I am sure, but is fuel for an imaginary story featuring the Lucky Seven Revolver as is now told in my third book, A Stranger in London Smoke.
The high back of McKee Ridge is scarred by an old county road that evolved from an Indian trace. The road begins east at Jones Crossing and meanders westward for possibly a mile across the ridge along the ruins and home places of early settlers to Highway K. It is said that Chief Black Hawk and his bandits frequented the road stealing unattended cattle and horses. A major portion of the vintage road has been invaded by brush and expanding plum thickets. Fireplace stones and remnants of farm machinery are all that is left of a time that dates back to the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. A secondary road veers off the main trace and follows the rim of the bluff for a half a mile or so. Adios

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Last Hero

When I was a lad my heroes to name a few were, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Tarzan and a host of other movie stars. They were good people, at least in the roles they played and I grew up with that in mind. My first real life hero was Truman and I cheered when he defeated Dewy, to my Father’s dismay. Mother cheered with me. The years slipped by and there were so many heroes to choose from, real people and of course movie stars. I really don’t know if John Wayne and I would have gotten along too well, but he was the best in the roles he played and I would much rather watch one of his movies, than waste my time on the trash that appears on t. v. these days. Anyhow time keeps marching on and nearly all my heroes, including good friends and family are gone, but along came a man of whom I greatly admire, of great moral character, honest, brave and a man I would stand with any time. He is going to be around for a very long time, so I won’t be concerned about the fellow dying. He, I must admit is a strange looking man, very large, but as humble as pumpkin pie and he loves animals. His name is Shrek. Adios

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Twilight of the Primitive-Lewis Cotlow

There is one small difference between Lewis Cotlow and me and of course there are other differences. Lewis is a great writer and Journalist with several very good books to his credit and I am not. The small difference I have mentioned is I love to write about Prehistory and Mister Cotlow writes about the last of the primitive people. The word primitive is used simply because society in general does not know better. If not for the primitive people much of what we have become, both positive and negitive would have not occurred. Nearly every segment of the primitive people have been overwhelmed and in some aspects completely obliterated, leaving behind only fragments to wonder about.

Mister Cotlow's books on the twilight of the remaining people that have survived the massive rush of civilizations paralel that of our own societies of the present and that to me is a bit scarey, however nothing remains the same and the old must bend with the new or be pushed down to become remnants of bygone eras. For me at least, Mister Colow's books are remarkable accounts of The Last Primitive People on this planet. Adios

Friday, August 13, 2010

Once Again They lead the Summer Into Autumn

Although We are Still in the Grip of An Extremely Hot summer, Soon the Sumac Will Change to a Scarlet Hue and usher in the Autumn. Adios

The Sumac
They endure timidly in the realm of ragged fence rows
Among the wild rose vines and where the ivy grows
They never swell as tall as a sycamore tree
Or as stout as an oak on a windy hill
But wait, when September arrives in scarlet hues they stand
To lead the weary summer from the melancholy land


Back Home Again, My Old Tractor

My sixty year old Tractor was taken away as posted on July 17 for much needed repair and today it was returned to me purring like a Kitten. Adios

Monday, August 9, 2010

Good Monday Morning

Beautiful Heidi waiting for our walk

Last fall I relocated this wild sunflower from a road ditch to my garden and she has grown tall and is about to bloom. She is a beautiful creature of the wild. Adios

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Wilson Creek Connection

I Am a Refection of My Grandfathers Below. I am Captian Hurd in the Movie Arkansas Yankees and Captain Butcher Redoak in a Meladrama The Last Osage

James Mitchel Wright, Confederate Civil War Veteran

Henry Allen Pitts, Union, Civil War Veteran
A Time to Remember
Encounter at Wilson Creek
By Ronnie Powell

This chronicle, an edited version from an article of mine in the Country Folk Magazine, began at approximately 5: a.m., August 10, 1861 at or near Wilson Creek, not far from Springfield, Missouri. It is a saga of two men, who along with thousands of other men would soon take part in one of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War and helped to make it possible for me to be here.
James Mitchel Wright although very ill with the measles was one of more than 10,000 Confederate troops bivouacked along Wilson Creek. They were under the command of General Ben McCullough. James was a part of the 4th Arkansas Infantry.
James was born in Livingston, Overton County, Tennessee. On February 13, and at the age of ten, he moved with his family to Carrol County Arkansas near the town of Kingston.
James planed to be a medical doctor but in his twentieth year, the Civil War began and in the spring of 1861, he volunteered his services to the Confederate Army. He served the entire four years of the war. James equipped with only a common rifle and a cloth bag to hold powder and ball set out on an adventure that would change a nation. The blue eyed, sandy haired young man would become a loyal defender of the Confederacy.
The march to Wilson Creek was grueling and food was in short supply, consisting of roasting ear corn, potatoes and tomatoes, most of it foraged from fields along the way.
Not far away in a valley near the Ben Short farm, Henry Allen Pitts also prepared to do battle. He had been hastily awakened, ordered to keep quite and to fall in line.
Breakfast had been a hurried event on the move and consisted of a small portion of cooked pork carried inside a large turtle shell loaf of bread.
Henry served under the command of General Nathaniel Lyon and a part of Colonel Boyd’s Home Guard and would become a fierce defender of Bloody Hill around and above Wilson Creek.
Henry Pitts was born in South Carolina in 1840 and in his early teens, slipped away from home and headed west on a wagon train. The young lad made it to Orla Mills near the town of Lebanon, Missouri.
Henry settled at Orla Mills, became a blacksmith, a boot maker and veterinarian and married a local girl near the beginning of the Civil War. Henry, although a Southern Democrat, did not believe in slavery and chose to fight with the Union. The tall blue eyed young man of English ancestry carried with him a politeness and good manners that would remain unchanged during his lifetime.
At 5:a.m. the Union battery under Captain Totten sent shot and shell crashing into the trees above the 4th Arkansas. James Wright scrambled for cover. John Ried’s Rebel battery unlimbered their smooth bores in response. It was sometime during this barrage from the Union that Captain Ried quickly sought higher ground opposite the mouth of Skeggs Branch.
This battery was accompanied by the 3rd, 4th and 5th Arkansas Infantry. At 10 a.m. the infantry groups began fighting their way up Bloody Hill. It was during this perilous accent up the hill that James Wright and other of the Confederates came upon General Lyon’s iron grey horse lying dead. It was learned later the Union general had also been wounded but chose to reenter the battle. The general was again wounded and died and died from these wounds.
Henry Pitts and others in his outfit were pinned down. Captain Totten’s battery opened up again and they were successful in routing the Rebels and securing the ridge. From that position, Henry and his outfit went to the crest of Bloody Hill.
The Battle of Wilson Creek lasted from 5: a.m. until 11:30 Saturday, August 10. The losses on both sides were devastating and although the South was the victor, they chose not to advance into Springfield. The Union forces made a hasty retreat from the city at daybreak to Rolla, Missouri. The journey was over one hundred miles.
Henry Allen Pitts and James Michel Wright survived the war and returned to their homes, strangers and enemies of war. But years later they were destined to share a common bond.
On December 13, 1888, James Pinkey Pitts, first son of Henry Pitts and Lula Beulah Wright, first daughter of James Wright were united in Marriage. They moved to a farm a few miles northwest of Charity, Missouri. On this farm they reared nine children and were married fifty years. Minnie Minerva Pitts the youngest of the nine children was my mother.
There were two other known family members who fought in the bloody battle of Wilson Creek and survived. Both of these men were of my father’s family, an Uncle severing in the 8th Missouri Cavalry, a locale unit. The other man a Grandfather fought with the Confederacy. Adios

Monday, August 2, 2010

As Time Goes By, Five Hats, Four Books

A Book Signing in Branson

My First Book, South Through Bare Foot Pass

My Second Book, Tiddleson, Son of Tiddle

My Third Book, A Stranger in London Smoke

My Fourth Book, Life Along The Dousinberry
The above books were written and published aproximately one year apart. For more info please contact me at Each book will be signed, dated and the last three numbered. All four books are limited first editions.

P.S--- I would like to address the word Blabber. To ildly chat, to give away a secret, is but two aspects of the word. Picture if you will a man or woman talking recalling days past, revealing wonderful stories of early days or historic events etc. Personal details are often revealed, perhaps secrets of humor and drama that make the past come alive. If not for blabber I would not have been able to write my books and of course I am a proud blabber. Oh yes, I have had people roll thier eyes at time when listening to me, but that is alright, for I continue to blab. Adios.