CHAPTER IV -- THE CIVIL WAR
Dade County and most of Missouri was hard hit during the Civil War. Officially Missouri remained in the Union but actually had a pro Confederacy government. Among the citizens were partisans of both the North and South. Bad feelings ran high as enlistments were being made in both the Union and Confederate armies. No man could trust a friend or neighbor without knowing how he felt about the war. Even though they mostly came from the deep South all the KINGs were known to be on the side of the Union.
SAMUEL NEWTON KING enlisted as a private in Company M of the Eighth Missouri Volunteer Cavalry according to Raleigh A. Shipley who was the first man to volunteer. This Company was organized in August 1862 and mustered out July 20, 1865 following service in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Company was made up mostly of Dade County residents who were especially hostile to secession and to the rebel cause. While a member of this group SAMUEL NEWTON KING died of pneumonia from exposure on February 28,1863.
In total there were over 1,000 battles and skirmishes in Missouri between armies or with guerilla forces that constantly ravaged the countryside. Greenfield was captured by Confederate troops on October 6,1863. Many of the conquering soldiers were Dade County residents. They took some of the public records that they wanted to keep and then burnt the courthouse destroying all the rest including probate records since the county was formed. So far as the residents of the county were concerned the problems caused by the raiders and guerilla forces brought on far more suffering than the Confederate army. Food and livestock were stolen, houses burnt, and farmers killed in their fields. Finding something to eat was a constant problem as all business had come to a halt. It was considered a treat when corn bread. bacon, hominy or any other food that had been hidden from the raiders could be brought out and placed on the table. The activities of these plundering forces kept up after the war ended and it was quite some time before they could be brought under control. Some of their leaders, such as Jesse James were never halted and later became notorious outlaws. The two books "History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade arid Say-ton Counties, Missouri" published in 1899 [actually 1889] and "History of Dade County and Her People" published in 1917 both Stressed the horrible problems of the people in trying to just stay alive. The KING family suffered at the time just as their ancestors had suffered in Scotland 125 years earlier under similar circumstances, as will be brought out later.
WILLIAM FRAZIER KING was seven years old when the war ended. He went to school very little if any at all. Almost from the time he could walk he had to help his mother, MARGARET L. KING and older sister MARY ELIZABETH in their struggle. Baby sister EMMA LOUISE (sometimes called EMILY) was about three or four Years old at the time. Despite the lack. of any formal education it was said that WILLIAM FRAZIER KING could figure out any math problem and usually knew the details of a business better then someone who could read or write. If he heard something once it stuck with him. In his later years when in a wheel chair with a broken hip and almost blind from cataracts he would look through the newspaper headlines with his magnifying glass but that was about all. CLYDE PATTERSON often said he had known many men during his own lengthy life but never had he met a finer man than WILL KING.