I had some free time, yesterday, after returning from the Genealogy
section of our Brownwood Public Library and my mind began to fill
with questions about the mysterious Bush Smith who it was said
married William T. Anderson in Sherman, Texas. So, I reached over and
picked up the only book that had any details regarding her that I
have run across in my research of Bloody Bill Anderson. The book
is "Wildwood Boys" by James Carlos Blake (2001). It is a historical
novel that tells the story of Bloody Bill and the author is said to
have written it "from the raw clay of historical fact." I do not
know if the section dealing with Bush Smith is totally fiction or not
but it may contain some facts that are worth looking into.
Blake tells that Bloody Bill met Bush Smith at a nightclub and a
house of prostitution, in Sherman, Texas, called the Purple Moon
Emporium. Bill had "bought" another girl for the night, a few days
before Christmas of 1863, when the two met.
The book says Bush Smith had a one-room cabin a couple of miles from
town and that she had 4 mortgage payments remaining. She'd run away
from her family's farm in Bates County, Missouri two years earlier.
The family farm was "along the north bottom of the Marais des
Cygnes". Her mother had been dead 4 years by then and her father was
a "worsening drunkard". She had a brother named Ned who was two
years younger. It says she was about to marry a Tommy Colehammer, in
Doniphan County, Kansas, when he was killed by redlegs. Blake writes
that Bush was raped by her husband-to-be's killers.
Bush, the novel says, bought her cabin near Sherman from Garp Realty
and Bill paid off the mortgage prior to their wedding at a Justice of
the Peace office. It says they had wedding photographs taken and
that his photo was the widely reproduced one in the had with the
upturned brim and a pale star stitched to it. The couple celebrated
their marriage at the Purple Moon. Cole Younger visited Bill and
Bush at their cabin, outside of Sherman, and Cole announced he
was "tired of the bushwhacker life" and that he and a half-dozen men
with him were going to California and pass time until the war ended.
During this time, Bill was riding a horse named Edgar Allan. He
spent that winter in Texas with Bush."
I would appreciate any details you can provide regarding Bush Smith.