Monday, October 19, 2015

Farmer Brothers Together During The Civil War.

Miss Moore tells this story of her Great Grandparents, Stephen and Rebecca Farmer. (Picture is of Miss Helen Moore, author of the story.)

Rebecca Farmer stood in the doorway of her home holding her baby girl, Jane, in her arms. She was watching a group of riders coming down the road. When they reached her house she recognized Jenny Doss and his confederate guerrillas. They were looking for her husband Stephen Farmer who was off fighting for the Union Army. Rebecca also had two sons in the Union Army – William and Henry. 

When Rebecca Allison married Stephen Farmer in Smith County, Tennessee in 1839, she was given five slaves as a wedding present, a mother Nancy, and her four children, Sam, John, Arch, and Mandy. When Stephen and Rebecca moved to Kentucky in 1852 to a farm about five miles west of Marion they brought the slaves with them.

The raiders searched the house and outbuildings and made the older girls cook dinner for them. As one of the men came by Rebecca, who was still holding her baby, somehow his gun got caught on Jane's dress and almost pulled her out of her mother's arms. Rebecca turned and called on the Southern officer in charge.

The officer called the man down and said, "We are just here after Stephen Farmer and not to harm women and children." He then patted Jane's face and said," You are a sweet little baby, but if we had your d—father we would hang him on a tree in the yard and fill him full of lead." Rebecca replied to him, "But God is in his heaven and you can not find Stephen. He is not here."

The raiders took off the last horse they had left and Rebecca told them. "It won't do you any good to take the horse as none of you will be able to ride him." It was later learned that on the way to Princeton, the horse did throw the rider and he was killed.

Raiders or guerillas came back to the farm several times. Once the Negro John hid under the smokehouse floor so long that his ears and toes were frost bitten. They had to take up the floor to get him out. John walked with a limb thereafter.

Henry and William Farmer were on "Sherman's March to the Sea" during the Civil War, as was Sam, the Farmer's slave. On arriving at the sea the men were so hungry they took the butt end of their guns and burst open clams and ate them raw. They had lived on parched corn for days.

During one battle of the Civil War, Henry and William were together. They were told to go over an embankment and take a cannon. Henry took one look and decided it was too much – he wasn't going to do that. William had been in the war longer than Henry and being in front of him, he turned and said, "If you run, I will shoot you just as if you were a Rebel. So Henry did as he was told.

Sam, one of the Farmer slaves stayed with Henry all during the war until it was over. They started home all together but somehow got separated on the way. Henry got home one day and Sam the next. Stephen and William also survived the war and returned back to the farm.

(Stephen and Rebecca Farmer are buried in the Farmer family cemetery on their home place, which is today knows as the Columbia Mine property, owned by Bob Frazer.)

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