’bout a Quarter Mile From Here

The Inman’s and the McConnell’s came into the Nixa Mo. area in 1853. The land at that time was something of a frontier with no towns or settlements and virtually no law. When the Civil War broke out my Great Granddad John Wesley Inman joined the Union forces on Aug. 20 1862.

Fast forward to about 1982 when my father and mother and my wife and I were in the area around the old homestead. We looked around the old farm that at that time belonged to my dad’s uncle and Dad told me about farming the ground around there and picking up at least two buckets of grape shot and Minnie balls from the fighting that took place in the fields around there during and after the war. He said he would like to see the new Civil War Museum at the Battle of Wilson Creek not far away. We drove the short distance to the sight and looked around and found a marker that said this is the place that General Lyons was killed with the date and a short description of the circumstances. A young man dressed in a smart looking Park Ranger outfit walked up and asked if he could answer any questions. Dad said to give us the two dollar tour; so he began,

“Well sir right here is where General Lyons was shot from his horse in”.

He hardly had a chance to finish when Dad said, “No he wasn’t”. The guy looked like someone took a shot at him. “I’m sorry sir but all the books say…”

“Well I don’t care what the books say my Grandad John Wesley Inman was a Teamster in this war and he told me many times that the night before the battle no one knew that the Confederates was close by, so the General let anyone living in the area that could be back by sunup take an over night leave, and when my Grandad topped the hill over looking the camp, with some other men in a wagon next morning, the fight started. General Lyons rode a white horse and everybody knew it, including the Rebels. When the battle turned against the Union Forces he rode around flashing his sword and trying to rally his men who had been caught with their pants down so to speak. Some Rebels took after him and he took off over that ridge with the Rebs in hot pursuit and they caught him about a Quarter mile from here and he was killed there, not here.”

The guy looked undecided about disputing my dad who had that look in his eye like “I know what I’m talking about and you don’t”.

“Well you folks have a nice day”, he said and was gone. I often wonder if they ever moved that marker. Probably not.