Posts Tagged ‘Horse Thieves’

Hoisting the Black Flag

February 19, 2009


Correspondence of the New-York Times.

CHICAGO, Monday, May 7, 1866
Horse-stealing has been practiced of late so extensively, in some sections of this State, that the black flag has been hoisted by the citizens, and no mercy is shown to the thieves. Last week two men were hung in Calhoun County, and one in Hardin. Five men were caught stealing horses in Jersey County, and instantly killed by shooting. WILLIAM ROLLINS was shot, but escaped by feigning death. He went to St. Louis, was arrested, taken back to Jersey, fell into the bands of the Vigilance Committee and was shot dead. Another was shot in Pike County. These occurrences make the business rather unpleasant than otherwise.

The New York Times (New York, New York) May 13, 1866

A Brave Kentucky Girl Recovered Her Horse

December 17, 2008
One of Morgan's Men (re-enactor)

One of Morgan's Men (re-enactor)

A wonderful story of female bravery during the civil war:

When Morgan’s marauders were near Mr. Sterling, Ky., they plundered Mr. Oldom (who was then absent) of all his horses–among them a favorite of his daughter Cornelia. She resisted the thieves, but to no avail. She mounted another horse and rode toward town to give the alarm. The animal gave out, and she changed to another. Meeting the messenger from Middleton, she urged him on to Mount Sterling with all speed, where he arrived most opportunely. Miss Oldom then proceeded toward home, armed with a double-barreled shot gun. On the road she found the saddlebags of a secesh officer, which contained two revolvers. She soon came up with the gang, and ordered then to halt. Perceiving a thief on her horse, she demanded restitution. This was refused. The Captain said he would relieve her of the trouble of carrying his saddlebags. She demandd first to have her horse; and leveled her gun at the rider, said she would fire if he did not comply; whereupon the thief surrendered her favorite steed. When she had regained his back and patted him on the neck, he gave a neigh of mingled triumph and recognition, and she turned his head homeward and cantered off as leisurely as if she were taking her morning exercise. The facts in the above are condensed from a long narative in the Louisville Journal of the 4th inst.

Davenport Daily Gazette (Davenport, Iowa) 13 Aug 1862

I did a little research on this Cornelia Oldom/Oldham to see if I could find her family on census records, and surprisingly, she was very easy to find.

Home in 1860:    Montgomery, Kentucky
Post Office:     Mount Sterling

Thompson Oldham 41
Nancy Oldham     37
Cornelia Oldham 16
Wm Oldham     14
Margaret Oldham 12
Louisa Oldham     10
Hannah Oldham     6
Mary Oldham     4
Eliza Oldham     2
Sally Oldham     1.12

Cornelia married Smith Hansford in 1886. She was his second wife. On a later census record, Cornelia’s occupation was listed as music teacher.

Here is a biography about her husband and his family, which I found posted on rootsweb. [emphasis mine] Interestingly, he was from Morgan’s raiders, who I believe are the marauders mentioned in the article. His Civil War experience was rather exciting, but not necessarily in a good way, although I would say he was very lucky overall.

#10524: Kentucky Genealogy and Biography Volume V, Battle-Perrin-Kniffin, Mercer Co. SMITH HANSFORD was born October 30, 1839. His father, John S. Hansford, was born in Lincoln County in November, 1800, and was a farmer and merchant. In 1824 he was married to Miss Harriet, daughter of William and Martha Bain (Owsley) Farris, of Lincoln County. William Farris was a
farmer and breeder of blooded stock, being among the first Kentuckians who turned their attention to fine stock. His wife was a daughter of Gov. Owsley. John S. Hansford sold goods at Crab Orchard and in Keene, but lost all his slaves and other property during the late war. In 1868 he removed to Harrodsburg and purchased a hotel, which he ran under the name of the Hansford House. He was an elder of the Christian Church, and died in
November, 1874. Mrs. Hansford, who was also a member of the Christian Church, died in 1876 in the seventy-second year of her age. The names of their children are W. T. (deceased), Susan M., first married to Elder Richard Swift, of the Christian Church and professor in the college in Georgetown, and after his death married to Daniel Lyne who is also dead; Emma, wife of H. P. Middleton, of Lincoln County, and Smith. Of this family Smith and Susan M. are living. Thomas Hansford, grandfather of Smith Hansford, was born in Virginia, near Abington. He was married to Miss Margaret Beatty, and they immigrated to Lincoln County, Ky., when it was a wilderness. They reared a family of ten children, of whom the only survivors, Margaret (Stevenson) and Lucinda (Stevenson), are living in
Harrodsburg. Thomas Hansford was a farmer and a minister of the Baptist Church the early part of his life. He and his wife died and are buried in Lincoln County. The Hanford family are purely of English origin and there is but the one family in Kentucky. Smith Hansford was educated in the schools of Lincoln, his native county, and began selling goods for his father before he reached his majority. In 1862 he enlisted in Company B, Sixth Kentucky Confederate Cavalry, a part of Gen. Morgan’s celebrated command. He was captured at Buffington Island on Morgan’s raid through Ohio and confined in prison at Camp Douglas, from which he, with four others, escaped by digging a tunnel, which took them two weeks. He was arrested while on his way back to the army at Maysville, Ky., and a guard placed over him at the Lee House, but he and a comrade who was under arrest gave the guard the slip, and subsequently joined Gen. Duke in Virginia. Mr. Hansford was surrendered and paroled at Gen. Lee’s surrender. On March 6, 1866, he was married in Harrodsburg to Miss Elizabeth A., daughter of John K. Wilson, of Harrodsburg. John K. Wilson’s father, John Wilson, was an officer in the Continental Army during the American Revolution and underwent a most severe term of confinement in the Dartmore prison. Mr. Hansford came to Harrodsburg in 1868 and entered the dry goods business with James C. Wilson. At this time Mr. Hansford had less than $1,000. The firm of Hansford & Wilson sold out their business to W. T. Curry, and one

year after this Hansford and Tribble purchased the business of  W. T. Curry and continued business together about six months, when Mr. Hansford purchased his partner’s interest in the business and was alone the succeeding five years. In 1874 Mr. H. C. Bohon purchased an interest in the business, and the firm of Bohon & Hansford did a thriving business until 1884. Mr. Bohon because cashier of the First National Bank and sold his interest in the business to Hansford, Curry & Co., who still conduct it. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Hansford have been born three children: Hattie May, Emma Bird and Maurice Farris, all living. Mrs. Hansford, a member of the Christian Church, died on January 14, 1883, in the fortieth year of her age. On April 15, 1886, Mr. Hansford was married to Miss Cornelia Oldham, of Mt. Sterling.

Posted on Rootsweb 2005 by Chris & Sheila Hale

NOTE: I noticed on the 1870 census, Smith and first wife, Lizzie have a little boy named Robert Lee Hansford, age 2, living with them, but he is not mentioned in the biography.