Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 19, 2014

Society plans wagon train ride in Davis County

Apr 30, 2013

BLOOMFIELD — The Davis County Civil War Guerrilla Raid Society is hosting a wagon train trail ride beginning at 9:30 a.m. May 25 near Bloomfield.

The wagon train ride will pass Civil War monuments, including one marking the northern-most point of the Civil War, the sites where Thomas Hardy and Eleazor Small were killed by Confederate raiders in 1864 and other locations the raiders stopped.

Participants should bring a sack lunch.

In the event of rain, the ride will be canceled.

Seats must be reserved by May 17 by calling 641-664-1304 or 641-799-7463.

The Davis County Civil War Guerilla Raid Society was formed in 2004 to preserve and honor the local Civil War history. In 2005, the group designed and erected a monument marking the northern-most point of the Civil War, at the corner of Lilac Avenue and 265th Street in Davis County. The monument also honors the county’s war dead.

In 2009, the society finished marking the trail taken by the Confederate raiders from Missouri across Davis County and back to Missouri. The 30-mile trail represents a robbing-, kidnapping- and killing-spree known as the Guerilla Raid in Davis County.

About dozen heavily armed Confederate raiders, led by Lt. James “Bill” Jackson and dressed in stolen Union Army uniforms, camped near Arbela, Mo., Oct. 11, 1864. The next morning, they rode across the Iowa border into Van Buren County and angled into Davis County.

The raiders made many stops on their ride through the county stealing money and horses, destroying guns and rifles and taking prisoners, who they let go after extracting promises to not join the Union Army.

The raiders killed two military men home from the war: Eleazer Small of 3rd Iowa Cavalry and Capt. Philip Bence of 30th Iowa Infantry. They also killed Thomas Hardy, a well-known citizen who was outspoken in his beliefs against slavery.

They left notes on the soldiers’ bodies stating, “Killed in retaliation for David Plunket, who was murdered by Federal soldiers near Glasgow Missouri.”

The raiders back across the boarder into Missouri’s Schuyler County at dusk.

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