Beating The Bushwhackers With A Shovel



The following letter was written in 1992 by my cousin Lois Cleo Busbea Webb, wife of Hansel Webb.   She is a lifelong resident of White County, a great great granddaughter of William Moore, who was the subject of a story in the January 2002 edition of the White County Historical Society’s Historical Society News.   Albert Busbea was my great grandfather.


“When I was 4 years old [in 1913], Grandpa Albert Busbea came to visit my family.  We lived at Floyd in White County.  He took me shopping and bought material to make me a dress.  It was red wool serge.  He also got red ribbon to trim the dress and make a hair bow, and black patent leather shoes that buttoned with red high-top buttons.


“I attended his funeral later and was still young and I remember the pine box that held the coffin at burial time.  The little boys that were there climbed in and out, playing there on the porch.  I was upset and thought they were really rude.  They kept the body at home in those days.  I vaguely remember the horse-drawn wagon that took the body to the church for the funeral and the burial place.


“I can remember the story Grandma Betsy Ann Moore Busbea would tell us children about when the bushwhackers came to take their food and cow away.   She and her sister were left alone.  When the bushwhackers came to the door, her sister had a shovel in her hand and told them, ‘The first one comes through that door, I will split your head open with this shovel.’  They paused for a few minutes and went away without cow or food.”


Lois Cleo Busbea was born August 7, 1909, the daughter of Elisha and Oma Baker Busbea.   Elisha (1888-1969) was the son of Elizabeth Ann (Moore) (1852-1932) and Albert G. Busbea (1852 – 1918).  Elizabeth Ann’s parents were Nancy (Price) (1832-1911) and Solomon Roe Moore (1828 – 1865; Albert’s parents were Phebe Ann (Cotton) (1830 - ?) and Leander Busbea/Busby (1823-1865/69).   Solomon Moore was the son of William Moore (1789 - ? );  Nancy (Price) Moore was the daughter of Russell Price (1790 – 1839) and Mary Turner (1790 – 1844). 


(The author is postmaster at Letona and former president of the White County Historical Society.)