For other readers, Iíll relate an event that occurred during the Civil War at a farm home near Cedar Creek. The family had no telephone or other communication except a big old farm dinner bell. I havenít used the names of these people because the event occurred a long time ago, and I heard the story from the familyís friends and neighbors. Iím firmly convinced that itís a true story.
On a Saturday, Mr. and Mrs. B caught, killed and dressed one of their home-grown turkeys in preparation for Sundayís dinner for their large family. Early on Sunday morning, the father kindled the fire in the kitchen stove before doing the morning milking; his wife gave the bird its final inspection, rubbed it with salt inside it and out, and tucked the wings back. Mr. B lifted the big turkey into the blue granite pan, put it into the oven and put the lid on for it to slowly cook for several hours.
After breakfast, the boys hitched the driving horses to the "spring wagon," the light-weight wagon used for church and other easy trips. The turkey was cooking when Mrs. B and the children left for Sunday school and church service. Mr. B managed the wood in the cook stove. The turkey stayed in the oven, ready for making giblet gravy, for when the rest of the family returned to complete dinner. Suddenly, three noisy, dirty, starved, bushwhacker thieves stormed into his home on foot, flashing their guns, threatening Mr. B and yelling to each other, "Hey, food," as they pulled the familyís Sunday turkey dinner out of the oven and clawed at their favorite parts with their filthy hands, stuffing hot turkey into their dirty faces! Mr. B was a prisoner in his own home; he prayed the family would not return early.
Hurriedly, the thieves each took a pillow case to hold small stolen items; they looked through the entire home, going different directions. They met in a bedroom and dumped it all out together. Their leader sorted the loot into three piles and put it all back in the pillow cases. Then each thief had a number of valuable items. This was not the first home they had ransacked! It was the same way they had done it before elsewhere.
Mr. B watched as the thieves left the house with his ancestorís family treasures, their guns and the best part of the familyís Sunday dinner. He noticed they stopped to look at the chicken yard. Out came the thievesí sharp knives, and they grabbed up some chickens. The helpless farmer could only stand at the door and watch.
The thieves cut the chickensí feet off! They then tossed the crippled chickens to the ground and laughed at their terrible state of being - unable to stand, walk or run on those leg stubs! That was bushwhacker fun - watching helpless chickens tumbling with every step!
The bushwhackers finally took off over the top of the very steep hill that towered over the creek. There, each thief could locate a hiding place for his bag of loot - hiding it from the other thieves!