Capt. John Carroll
Born: August 30, 1826 Died: August 12, 1895
Burial: Eureka Springs I.O.O.F. Cemetery Place: Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas
This is another first for the QSCR!! The very FIRST and, so far, ONLY time we have a former Quantrill guerrilla tell US about HIS time spent with a soldier from the northwest Arkansas region! In this new post, Lieutenant Colonel, George T. Maddox recalls his meeting and time with Eureka Springs resident, Captain John T. Carroll (I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Eureka Springs, Carroll County, Arkansas) during their service under Sidney Jackman's guerrillas. These excerpts are taken from pages 56 - 60 of Maddox's book, "Hard Trials and Tribulations of an Old Confederate Soldier."
We start from Maddox going home to visit his family:
"While talking, she (Maddox's mother) told me that Capt. Carroll was laying out in a cave somewhere in the country, and both parties (the enemy) hunting for him to kill him, and said to me: “If you can get him and protect his life, he will make a good soldier.” She knew I was out recruiting for the army."
Later on, Maddox leaves his family and heads for a camp:
"We rested there a day or two and then Capt. Gillett came in with a squad of men. We then sent word to Capt. Carroll by his wife to come into our camp and he would be protected. We were camped about three miles east of his house up a deep ravine. He came to our camp and said to me: “Captain, I haven’t eaten a bite for three days and nights.” We gave him something to eat such as we had.He had been a captain in the rebel army at the beginning of the war, but getting sick, received a furlough and went home. When he arrived there the whole country was full of Yankees, and in order to make friends of them and keep from being killed, he made up a company of what we called “Federal hogskin militia.” He built a blacksmith shop close to his mill on King’s River and cut portholes in it to shoot through. Capt. Conant came along with a squad of his own men and Quantrell’s men and scattered him and and his men to the four winds of the earth. After Conant had left he got his men together -- he realized by that time that the Southern men would kill him. He had not foreseen when he begun that the Southern people would bother him, but he had gone too far with it. He had to do something, so he went to Huntsville and reported to Major Ham, not expecting that he would have to fight. And Carroll told me, that Ham told him, that if he didn’t take himself and his damned subjugated rebels out of town in 15 minutes, he (Ham) would hang the whole gang of them. He got a short distance out of town and told his men they could go and take care of themselves. He struck out by himself and went home, left his horse and hid in a cave, and stayed there until he got with us.While he was in the cave, his wife couldn’t feed him regularly as she was afraid she would be seen by one party or the other as she was going to or coming from the cave.I will never forget the talk he had with me the first day he came to our camps; trying to explain why he had done the way he had. He said:“I wish to God you were a Mason, then I could tell you in a way that you would be bound to believe what I have told you; but I will tell you on the honor of a Mason, I never was anything else but a Southern man--a rebel--and I will prove it to you by my actions.” He was a little uneasy for fear some of them might kill him. Some of the Missourians who were in the fight when Capt. Conant ran in on him, wanted to kill him and swore they would do it. Capt. Gillett and I told them they would have to do it over our dead bodies if they did.A short time after that we got into a fight between Fayetteville, Ark. and Cassville, Mo. -- I can't give the date -- and he acted as bravely on the battle ground as any man ever did.It is too tedious to give the full history of the fight, but when it was over the parties who wanted to kill him all gave him a hearty hand-shake and welcome.A squad of Southern men had taken his horses and robbed his wife of her bed clothing while he was in the cave and we overhauled them and made them take everything back we could.We soon recruited three full companies in that section of the country between Huntsville and Carrollton and put Capt. Carroll in command of one of them. He operated with us through that section of country until in the fall."
Maddox concluding his remembrance of Carroll:
"During the time Capt. Carroll was with us, at an old outhouse not a great ways from Berryville, Ark., our boys organized a Masonic Lodge. I stood guard with my men while they initiated Capt. Gillett and two or three others. While we were there about 400 or 500 yankees came to Berryville. I notified our men and that broke up the Masonic meeting.We all mounted our horses expecting the yankees to follow us and give us trouble, but if they followed us at all we never knew it. We went about twenty miles southeast, and when we got to a good place, finished our Masonic meeting.We recruited along the balance of the time that summer until we got squads enough to form a regiment, and in the latter part of the summer, we all got together and we west about twenty five miles on the Osage, all except Capt. Carroll and his company who joined Maj. Cooper's command and remained with him until the close of the war. Capt. Carroll served throughout the remainder of the war with distinction, and in 1885 was appointed United States Marshal of the Western District of Arkansas by President Cleveland which office he ably filled for the term of four years."