The border of north Arkansas was during the war a theater of tragedy. The Union men, as they were called, were in the minority, and left their homes to "go back and forth," and thereby inaugurate a system of warfare against the defenseless families whose men folks were enlisted on the other side.
Four decades have passed since those times of peril, and criticisms are unnecessary on the conduct of those who, from principle or provocation, refused to espouse the cause of the Confederacy.
But with the purpose unbiased save by love for our native heath, I have gatherd from hills and valleys authentic records of those who shared in our common dangers, trials and privations.
To preserve these acts of heroism is to cultivate a noble sentiment that idealizes the principle and love of the cause that prompted those acts and to save from oblivion (for the benefit of future generations) unimpeachable facts as yet untouched by history.
'Twas in the fall of '63, directly after the surrender of the Confederate forces in Little Rock, Ark., when Price had gone South, that Crooked Creek was a temporary rendezvous for a band of lawless refugees.
Under the cover of night a party attacked the defenseless home of John Bailey, who was infirm with age.
With bitter curses and angry commands they aroused the sleeping family, consisting of Mr. Bailey, his delicate wife and only daughter, and demanded admission.
The sons of the family (all brave soldiers in the Confederate army) had their clothes packed in saddlebags ready to follow Price at their first opportunity, and the mother and sister well knew that access to their apartments meant the loss of clothing for the rebels.
"Make a light or we'll make one for you." blurted out a gruff voice from the front piazza.
"Ring the bell, mother," whispered the daughter, "as if the boys are in hearing, while I engage the attention of those in front of the house."
The fearless mother rang the bell until the very night air seemed full of warning to the startled intruders.
"Shut up your infernal ringing there; I'll not be thwarted by an old woman," said the leader of this ruffian band and, seizing the frail little mother, he threw her full length in the yard below, where she lay as if lifeless.
The daughter, who had adroitly been "killing time," by pretending to take from the candle molds a candle with which to furnish a light, heard her mother shriek, saw the atrocious act, saw her mother apparently dead from his cruelty, then unhesitatingly confronted the would-be assassin with a desperation born of despair.
"You scoundrel! See, you have killed my mother!" and scarcly were the words spoken when she rushed forward to the edge of the piazza where the outlaw was standing, and dealt him a blow across the eyes with the unemptied candle molds that sent him staggering backward. Wildly clutching at the railing he went down to the ground, to be carried away by his comrades from the scene of action, a "wiser if not a better man."
Mrs. Bailey suffered much from her fall, but her life was spared to see her four sons, "bronzed and battle scarred," return home when war and its strife were over.
And in offering this simple tribute to womanly courage we feel assured that duty had no more ardent votaries or the "lost cause" more devoted champions than these two brave women.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids