As we head for the 150th anniversary of the September 27, 1864 massacre and battle at Centralia, Missouri, new developments and finds have surfaced in the state of Arkansas!! But first, let's take a look at what's been established so far in northwest Arkansas' Quantrill history!
Missouri guerrilla, Thomas B. Warren (upper left picture, buried at Rogers Cemetery, Rogers, Arkansas) rode under the commands of William Quantrill, George Todd and William T. "Bloody Bill" Anderson. The known fights and battles he took part in include both raids of the German township in Lafayette County, Missouri, the raid on Lawrence, Kansas, the overtaking of the steamboat, Marcella, probably at the fight at Fayette, Missouri AND...the events of Centralia!
Next, we revisit Henry Keatley (Decatur Cemetery, Decatur, Arkansas). Henry was a member of the 1st Missouri Engineers, whose names and regiment have gone down in Centralia pages as victims of the massacre that took place at the railroad yard. Henry's fellow engineers, James Mobley, Caswell Rose, Edmund Pace and James Holly were slain while the most noted engineer, Thomas Goodman, was taken prisoner by Anderson's guerrilla force. In addition, Henry Stewart (Rogers Cemetery, Rogers, Arkansas) was a member of the 1st Iowa Cavalry and fellow soldier with Centralia victim, Charles Carpenter and Preston Martin (Bugscuffle Cemetery, Washington County, Arkansas) was in the same 23rd Iowa Infantry regiment as victim, William Barnum.
NOW COMES THIS newest nugget of the already strong northwest Arkansas ties to Centralia! Meet our next addition, FRANCIS M. PALSGROVE (upper right picture, Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Hiwasse, Benton County, Arkansas)! Francis is post Centralia events, BUT....he sure shows up in the replenishing of the 39th Missouri Infantry, Co G and is named as a "Union Defender" on page 2 of an illustrated 39th Mo Inf. / Centralia document found at the Shelby County Historical Society in Shelbina, MO. Here is the link to it: http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/ref/collection/CivilWar/id/23091
But that isn't all....Francis served with 2nd Lt. Josiah Gill, 1st Lt. Thomas Jaynes and 1st Sgt. E.L.C. Hawkins. All three of these men were in the saddle and in the heart of the Centralia battle between the guerrillas and A.V.E. Johnston's men! To the benefit of the BCHS, the QSCR and northwest Arkansas history, Francis just missed out on Centralia, but his name is now forever linked to those who helped re-establish Company G, 39th Missouri Infantry and the three soldiers who were on the front lines and face to face with the guerrilla force!
On a sidenote, A MOST HISTORIC find has been made as I was doing research on Francis Palsgrove. My research for the QSCR is based in the northwest four counties of extreme northwest Arkansas. But THIS find just HAD to be told! One of the most wrote up, recorded and documented survivors of the Centralia events was Henry Franklin "Frank" Barnes of Company H, 39th Missouri Infantry. Frank enlisted at Hannibal, Missouri on August 17, 1864 and was barely at three weeks in when the fight happened. Frank fled on his horse and was gunned down by some of the guerrillas. After his capture, he was made to count the number of Anderson's force on the scene and taken to a resident's home and cared for under orders of Quantrill's George Todd. One of the guerrillas has been quoted as saying this about Frank: "The devil can't kill him; an' seein' as how he's good stuff, we shall care for him." Here is one account on Frank's escape and capture: "...It has been said that the first fire of Johnson's men killed 4 or 5 of Anderson's but of that I have no positive knowledge. Of the 39th there were 128 dead and one wounded inside half an hour. Johnson and Smith were scalped and many others mutilated. All who fell into their hands were shot so long as they breathed except one--Barnes of Co H. This man while racing out of town was shot in the shoulder and fell from his horse rolling into a roadside ditch. In falling his cartridge box slipped round in front and he made good use of it later. As he lay one of the band rode up and emptied his revolver at him, he all the time holding his cartridge box so that none of the balls struck his head. The fellow sat on his horse and loaded three more shots into his revolver and fired them at Barnes as he lay, wounding him, including the one in his shoulder, seven times in all. Apparently satisfied with his work the guerrilla said to Barnes "Get up and I won't shoot you any more." Smarting and bleeding from his wounds which he realized had nowhere reached a vital spot, Barnes crawled out and marched ahead of his captor back into town taking occasion as he went along to slyly smear blood over his face head and hands so that all concerned would believe he had had enough. He was marched up to Anderson with the statement "Colonel here is a man I can't kill." "What's the reason you can't?" said Anderson. Barnes, who had by this time concluded it was all up with him anyway, blurted out "because you haven't the bullet moulded that will kill me." Anderson immediately drew a pistol and placing it at his head said "I'll show you" but a moment later lowered the pistol saying "I guess I won't shoot him, turn him over to Capt Todd."
Frank Barnes survival story is found in many, many places and his historic value is priceless. But where did he go in his later years? He was cared for at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Lillie Crutcher and would later pass on September 18, 1911. His burial?.. FORT SMITH NATIONAL CEMETERY, FORT SMITH, SEBASTIAN COUNTY, ARKANSAS!!!
To read further on Thomas Warren, Henry Keatley and other individuals of the QSCR, please visit the "Perdee Farm!" You'll find that link on the right side of the home page under the menu. Also, don't forget to vote on the poll question under the links. There's only one tally recorded!
That's all for now, folks! Don't go far! New research is being done as we speak and I have much more to come! See you soon!