one who remembers the closing events of the war has a distinct
recollection of the sinking of the steamer Kentucky, in June, 1865,
on its way from the South after the general surrender, freighted
with ex-Confederate soldiers returning home. It was loaded down
almost to the water’s edge with brave veterans of the South who
for more than four years had gone through the hardships and dangers
of one of the most terrible wars of which history gives any account,
and who were now on their way back to the loved ones from whom they
had been separated so long, and who were watching and waiting at
each doorstep to see the care-worn form of the absent ones appear
before them. But many of these brave men, after escaping death on
many hard-fought field and in the more deadly morasses and
everglades of the South, were destined never to see home again.
Whilst they were on the boat, their hearts swelling up with fond
anticipations as they neared closer and closer to those who were
watching for them, the unhappy boat went down amid a mighty rush of
waters, and soon all was quiet again, but 700 brave soldiers were
buried beneath the waves never more to see home or loved ones, for
their spirits had taken their flight from the earth forevermore.
Garland C. Mitchell, the subject of this sketch, a brave
ex-Confederate soldier, was on the fatal boat at the time it went
down, but as by miracle, almost, escaped with his life.
too, had been gone for four years and had done his full duty as a
brave soldier from the beginning. He enlisted in Capt. Crow’s
company, formed in Monroe County early in the war, and remained out
until the close of the struggle, taking part in all the terrible
death-duels of the war, where duty called. Returning to Monroe
County, he resumed the occupation of a farmer, to which he has since
continued to follow. November 15, 1870, he was married to Miss
Jennie Bierly, a daughter of Christopher Bierly and May (Butts)
Bierly. Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell have three children: Eddie C., Mary F.
and Effie R. He and wife are members of the M.E. Church South. Mr.
Mitchell is a native of Kentucky, born in Oldham county, April 10,
1841. His parents were Charles P. and Rebecca (White) Mitchell, who
removed to Missouri, settling in Monroe county, when Garland C. was
16 years of age, where they still reside.”
From the files of Neil Block, transcribed by Lisa Perry; newspaper
article titled “History of Monroe County, Reprinted from an 1884
history of Monroe County, which (provides) early anecdotes and names
of many early settlers.” From: MONROE COUNTY APPEAL, Paris, Mo.,
Thursday, February 24, 1972, Page 7, Section 2.