Monday, March 7, 2016

Richard Douglass-killed by Bushwhackers in Missouri in 1863

Richard Douglass and Mary Saunders were married on the 11th of January 1855 in Texas County, Missouri, being about ages twenty-one and nineteen respectively.  Richard was born in about 1833 in Tennessee, the son of Matthew and Nancy Weaver Douglass and the fourth of ten children. Mary was the daughter of Peter and Jane Saunders, born in about 1835 in Illinois. 

Richard was listed in the 1850 Texas County, Missouri Census as age seventeen, living with his parents. He and Mary were listed in the 1860 Texas County, Missouri Census, along with their children: Thomas Randolph., age 5, Nancy Jane, age 4, and Peter Matthew, age 1.  Richard was listed as a farmer. They were living next door to Mary’s sister, Nancy Saunders Martin.

from the Houston Herald (Texas County, Missouri), August 16, 1956, page 7:

"Last week's Mystery Farm belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Elam Crawford and is familiarly known to neighbors as the Old Lundy Mill.  About nine miles southwest of Houston on the Bado mail route, this spot on Little Piney has been a favorite swimming hole for some time.  Years ago the Lundy mill and the Lundy store and the post office set on opposite sides of the road....
The farm was homesteaded by a Richard Douglas whose name appears on the patent with the date 1857....."

Richard Douglass enlisted on June 27, 1861 in Howell County, Missouri, in Company A, 8th Missouri Infantry (CSA).  He was captured in Howell County, Missouri on the 22nd of May 1863.  At the time he was captured he was a 1st Lieutenant in Company F, 1st Missouri Regiment.  Records are conflicting/confusing about where Richard Douglass was after his capture. From records located it appears that he was taken to Springfield, Missouri for two weeks, then placed at the Gratiot Street Prison in St. Louis.  It appears that he was there from the 15th of June, 1863 to the 30th of June, 1863.  Records then indicate that he was sent to Johnson’s Island in Ohio on the 17th of August 1863, then transferred to Alton (Illinois) on the 29th of September 1863. He was also listed as being in Gratiot Prison from the 1st of October 1863 to the 5th of October 1863.

In August of 1863 Richard gave a statement that included the following information:

Richard stated that he had served under Price and McBride, and was in battles at Lexington and Wilson's Creek.  He reported that he had never furnished arms to the rebellion, and had never been with anyone taking horses, arms, etc. He stated that he was a southern sympathizer and that he had no slaves.  He also stated that he had a wife and four children, and was a farmer. He reported that he had relatives in the rebellion: his father-in-law and a brother-in-law;    

"I have been in Camp with my Regiment in Arkansas and Missouri.  I was discharged from the MO State Guard.  I went to Fulton County Ar.  What did you do there?  I did not do anything.  Sometimes and farm.  I did not think it safe for me to remain at home.  From Fulton County Arkansas I went to Howell County MO where I was captured.  I am not willing to take the oath of allegiance.  I never belonged to Freeman's ..........” 

The recommendation was that the prisoner (Richard) be tried.

From records found on, it states that Richard Douglass was a Lieutenant in Freeman’s Regiment, MO Cavalry.

Apparently, Richard was not in prison later in the year of 1863, because he was at his brother Andrew’s home late in 1863 where bushwhackers found him and he 

“was beaten to death with the fire shovel until his brains spilled out……The women had to bury Richard since the rest of the men had to leave the area.” (taken from the Texas County Heritage Book).

One can only imagine what the horror of this was.

Mary was left with either three or four young children, from ages five to eight years old.  Three children have been found on census readings, but it is noted that Richard reported in August of 1863 that he had four children.

Richard’s wife, Mary, moved to Lawrence County, Arkansas and was living there with their three children in the 1870 Census. In 1876 Mary married Richard P. Dickens in Newton County, Arkansas.  He had been married twice before and had five children.  Richard Pickens and Mary went on to have either two or three children together.

It is believed that Mary Saunders Douglass Dickens died in 1893 when she was 56 years old.  She had lived thirty years after the brutal murder of her first husband.

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