You have touched upon a subject to which I have devoted considerable time and research. I spent a number of nights in the mansion when Tim Darch still had the property a dozen years ago and it was in sad shape until the face lift. I almost bought the mansion myself at the time.
The actual spelling of the family is Mathew H. Ritchey who is buried in a plot next to his two wives not fifty yards from the mansion next to the spring and just across from where the mill was at the time of the war. Buried in that same plot is Mathews youngest son who was killed on the door steps of the house in August 1862 when he was challenged to declare for which side. Apparently the answer he gave did not satisfy the inquisitors. A common thing in Missouri during the early days.
Mathew H. Ritchey did in fact serve in the war as the powerful Paymaster for the Southwest district as well as a legislator. His pay records are interesting in many regards reminding me of our own government pay outs of $100 for a hammer and $500 for toilet seats. But then in those days it was haszardous to transport anything into SW Missouri, especially when you had Coffee, Pickler and Livingston operating in the area.
James Ritchey was Mathews first son, and the first white child born in Newton county. James, in so far as the records reveal, apparently was a scout and spy for the US government. In early 1863 he became the enrolling officer for SW Missouri for the EMM and organzied and commanded CO I, 76th EMM which became Co. C, 7th PEMM Cavalry, a command that saw considerable service and combat against the bushwhackers and bands operating in that part of the country. James wife apparently was a spy herself, having a rebel lover. This was discovered by James himself when he captured a Rebel courrier carrying letters to his wifes lover. I know he divorced her after she ran off with the officer who, as it turns out entered the US service in the 3rd US Volunteers in Wyoming and Nebraska in 1866. James after the war removed all of the rebel bodies in that part of the country to the Neosho cemetery where he also is buried.
There is much-much more, especially with his other children, Mattie, Mathews 3rd daughter having some interest also having married Captain C. B. McAfee late of the 6th MSM Cavalry, later Judge of SW Missouri, Captured by Shelby at Neosho on October 4, 1863. Much more folks to be sure. The story line on this family would make a great novel.