A Young Confederate Soldier Visits His Sister!

This incident happened in the year 1865. The boy was a son of William and Sarah Jane Scott. His name was William (called Billy) aged 15 years. Billy has enlisted in Price's Army. Billy a Southern sympathizer, was captured at aged 16 years and sent to a Federal Prison in Alton, Illlinois. A short time later he was paroled provided he would not re-enlist in the Southern Army. Young and homesick, he decided to travel on foot ot visit his sister (Betty Scott Dickson) who lived North of Wainwright, Mo., in Callaway County. He arrived at the home of his sister one March night after dark, much to the surprise of his Sister and her husband (John Dickson).

Now the "Bushwhacker Gang" was a group of sympathizers with the Union Army instead of the Confederate Army which was the state of Missouri in the Civil War. These Bushwhackers, by name: Dave Finley, Noah Sneathen, Hab Moore, and Jim Daniel Branch heard that Billy was in the neighborhood and had some information he would reveal, so the group went to the Dickson home and captured Billy. They promised not to harm him but did otherwise. A man named "Johnson" and the leader of the "gang" carried Billy by horseback down a country road near the Rocky Branch Church and hanged him in a tree. There could have been others involved in this incident but when Johnson was captured later and was up for killing, he used the Masonic sign of distress, and because some of the "gang" were Masons, he was turned loose. (Some accounts differ.)

These Bushwhackers were a group that caused border trouble and never really settled any problems of the War. They stole, plundered, and roamed the countryside spying.

When Billy was killed, his parents lived on the Lige Phillips farm and his Sister and Brother (Colie Boyd) lived on the Elbie Rice farm. Of course this caused dissention among relatives. When one of Colie Boyd's daughters died (Evie), this Dave Finley who lived across the road from and had never spoken to the Boyd family came over and entered the house. The Boyd's thought of killing him in retaliation for the heinous incident of years past but took time to reconsider. This was all family trouble but never forgotten.

Sneathen went blind, Moore died of cancer, and Jim Daniel Branch went blind.

Billy's body was hauled to the Link Cemetery (formerly Wainwright Cemetery) by a man named Bill Jordon. A small white monument stands at the head of the grave with "MURDERED" inscribed. Also the date of death. It has been retold by several that no grass grows under the tree where Billy was hanged.

This information was told to Clay Link
by Bill Hart (both lived in the
Wainwright Community)