On this page is a few detailed excerpts taken from this web site about the Quantrill's Raiders and two of the seven of our family that were (shot in the head) massacured on Curtman Island.


How many movies of Quantrill's Raiders were made I don't know, but, here is a true story about them.

Guerilla forces, called bushwhackers, were very prevalent in Missouri. Some  of the bandits of central Missouri were actually an arm of Quantrill's Raiders who terrorized all of Missouri and Kansas. Their atrocities are well documented in the history of the Civil War.

A Confederate general named Crabtree and his raiders ran rampant in the
central Missouri area and especially in the region of southern Cole and
northern Miller counties. He and his forces had their local headquarters in caves along the Osage River near the old railroad town of Hoecker in northeast Miller County. At first, Crabtree's intent was to round up  able-bodied men so they could be sent on to southern Missouri, near the  Arkansas border, to join General Sterling Price's army. He recruited many men for this cause but after awhile, it seemed his greater pleasure was terrorizing the local residents and their families. His band of marauders began to steal and plunder anything they could get their hands on....horses, livestock, wagons, food, and provisions. High on his priority list was grain sheds and smokehouses where the farmers had stored cultivated crops and meat supplies. Many homes, barns, crops, etc. were torched and burned to the ground. It was not beneath him to torture families in order to get information about military activities in the area....he was also interested in their valuables and where they were hidden.

It was not beneath him to torture families in order to get information about military activities in the area....he was also interested in their valuables and where they were hidden.

In the second week of August 1864, one of Crabtree's men, John P. Wilcox, was captured and sent to Jefferson City. He was tried for war crimes by a military commission and was ordered executed.  The execution was carried out immediately.......Receiving word of the execution of one of his men, Crabtree sent his band of guerillas out on
rampaging maneuvers...plundering, burning, killing.

That was a tragic mistake! Suddenly, about 25 of Crabtree's men surrounded them. Seven of the sixteen men were ordered to line up on the sandy soil of the island. Those picked were Lt. John Starling, William Gibson, Samuel McClure, Yancy Roark, Pharoah B. Long,  Nathaniel Hicks, and Stephen S. Crisp. Hicks and Crisp were brothers-in-law. The seven were executed on the spot by gunfire. The other nine men, including Boyd S. Miller and Joseph Hicks, were told to run and not look back till they got to Mt. Pleasant and when they got there to tell Babcoke that "Crabtree was responsible for the execution of the seven men".

About August 30, 1864 seven men were killed down on the Osage River. They were taken prisoner and marched out on a sandbar and shot down. The other men were Samuel McClure, Farrah B. Long, John P. Starling, Richard Crisp, Nathaniel Hicks and William Gibson. At Allen cemetery in Miller Co., Mo the bodies of six of the seven men were buried. One has been moved ( I could not find Richard Crisp ). The markers read: Capt. Babcoke recovered these 7 soldiers and buried them here. Murdered by Bushwhackers - 1864. Lt. Starling was given the mission of capturing a Confederate General Crabtree operating South of Jeff. City. Lt. Starling and 7 enlisted men located General's H.Q. on Curtman Island in the Osage River in Miller Co., Mo. The patrol was ambushed and executed by firing squad on Aug. 30, 1864. One of the men with Lt. Starling was released because he was young. Only seven men died. Barbara Hobbs Pollack