Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sad Story Of Ambush And Women's Courage

I met Vickie Kane through the Arkansas Gravestone Project.  She is a dedicated graveyard enthusiast who works incredible hard to document as many graveyards as she can no matter what state of disrepair they are in. 

She recently sent me photos of a cemetery she tackled in Boone County Arkansas.  Through her hard work she was able to document a stone that told an incredibly sad story.  I want to applaud her hard work because this stone and all the others at this sadly neglected cemetery and the information they hold could have been lost forever. (All the following pictures were taken by Vickie Kane.)

Newton Cemetery in Boone County, AR.
I am amazed that she was even able to find this cemetery.  I would have never guessed there was one hidden in there. 
James Angel
Co B 14 ARK Inf
1814 - 1864

John W Garrett
Co B 14 ARK Inf
1841 - 1864

Temple H Garrett
Co B 14 ARK Inf
1818 - 1864

John Riggins
Co B 14 ARK Inf
1838 - 1864

Lafe Rice
Co G 7 ARK Inf
1840 - 1864

The five men listed and a Mr. Price age
65 or 70.  All Confederate Soldiers while
returning to their company, stopped to
rest and water their horses at the mouth
of Richard Creek in Searcy County.
Jayhawking Union Soldiers ambushed them
from the bluff.  Shooting in the back six
of the group of eight.  Two sons of James
 Angel escaped and brought word to the
families.  Clementine, 19, fiancee of Lafe
Rice and Elizabeth, 20, Daughters of
Temple Garett, drove an ox team and
wagon from Rolling Prairie in Marion
County to the Cash place in Richland
where Mrs. Cash and others had buried
 them. With her help the five bodies were
disinterred and the journey begun to
take them to Marion county the stench
of death prevented them going further
than this site.  Where the two girls dug
a grave and buried the five men.

The following is all the information I could find about the people named on the above stone.

The following article is from  History & families, Christian County, Missouri  By Turner Publishing Company.

This bit of info that gives the names of the 2 men that escaped and where Mr. Price (referred to as unknown compatriot) was buried. (http://egerdes.tripod.com/acwmr.html if you search the names all 5 men are listed here.)
RIGGINS, John - Pvt, 14th Ark Inf, CSA; ambushed and killed on Richland Creek as he stopped to water his horse; James "Jimmy" Angel, Lafe Rice, two Garretts, and one unknown compatriot were all shot from bluffs above the creek by snipers; John Angel and Levi Angel escaped; all those killed buried in a common grave at Newton Cemetery except for the unknown man who is buried at Rally Hill, AR
I found photos of John Angel and Clementine (Garrett) Angel. Apparent they got married 2 years after this incident occurred January 7, 1866.  (I have emailed the person who posted the photos to see if I could find any more info on the couple. I will update later if I get any more info.)

The following tidbit of family info is from http://www.rcasey.net/casey/casjesse.htm.
Sarah (Wilkins) Casey died around 1858. Stephen Casey served as a corporal in the Confederate Army in Company B, 14th Infantry Regiment of the Arkansas Volunteers and served under Captain James M. Davidson. He enlisted at Yellville, Arkansas on July 13, 1861 and was discharged by reason of disability on December 20, 1861. His personal description in 1861 was as follows: height - five feet and ten and one-half inches; hair - black; complexion - dark; eyes - dark; occupation - farmer. Around 1867, Stephen Casey married a second time to Mary Jane (Angel) Riggins. May was born in 1838 in Arkansas and is the daughter of James Angel and Elizabeth (Ward) Angel. Mary Angel’s sister, Nancy Angel, married Stephen Casey’s son by first marriage, Francis Marion Casey ( Mary Angel’s sister, Sarah Angel, married Stephen Casey’s son by first marriage, George Washington Casey ( Mary Angel was previously married to John Riggins who was killed during the Civil War. In 1880, Stephen and Mary Casey were living in Marion County, Arkansas.


  1. Thank you Tammmi for posting the pictures and taking the time to research the lives of those beyond the headstones. So interesting!

  2. It is SO thrilling to find this article. My husband great grandson of John and Clementine (Garrett) Angel. I have a copy of an article where the Son's of the Confederate Vets and United Daughters of the Confederacy had a Color Guard Salute and ceremony at the mass grave shown above. I also have a copy of a family letter explaining the relationships. It is so wonderful to see these pics and links. I look forward to going to the grave site. - Teresa (and James Angel), Tulsa OK