I'm closing in on fleshing out the alleged incident where Federal troops scalped six of Bill Anderson's men, which in turn reportedly set Anderson into such a rage that he shot the Union soldiers on the train at Centralia a few days later (Centralia Massacre).
Anderson's men who were killed and scalped appear to have been led by a Captain Bissett. Possibly James Bissett. Three others out of the six had surnames of Brown, Bisfield, Roberts, with two others of the six having unknown names. I am wondering if Bissett and Bisfield might not be the same person.
Looks like this was done by the 9th Missouri State Militia Cavalry. The legends don't provide a date for this incident. Hamp Watts touches upon the killing of these men but places it in early September 1864. I can document the 9th MSM killing Bissett specifically on Sept. 23, 1864 -- which places the event four days prior to the Massacre.
One single report mentions a seventh Confederate with this group who was not killed. The report makes no mention regarding whether this seventh man was captured, or escaped. It is possible this seventh man was Cave Wyatt. Those who have studied the Centralia Massacre know that Bill Anderson spared federal Sgt. Thomas Goodman in order to exchange him for Wyatt.
Whistleblower: Anyway, an officer in the 9th MSM, 1 Lt. William McIlwrath, was writing anonymous letters to the Missouri press at the time, and on Sept. 30, 1864, had a letter published, without specifics, saying that one of two columns with the 9th MSM out of Huntsville and heading to Rocheport came across the seven rebels, killing six of them. McIlwrath goes on to state one of the men of the 9th MSM, brutal and cowardly, scalped one of these six men (McIlwrath later went after Clinton B. Fisk in another published anonymous letter. Apparently he didn't have his tracks covered very well, was identified and almost immediately booted out of the service. Almost as swifthly, a presidential order seems to have gotten him reinstated.)
So...with McIlwrath's statement, the legend is confirmed, at least partially.
For now I am hoping to figure out who this Confederate Capt. Bissett was, as well as the other men with him. I have scoured my sources and am coming up empty -- and would appreciate any help.
And...Hamp Watts says the killing of three of these six occurred on the farm of William H. Long, while the other three were killed next door on the Turner farm. I'm hoping to identify the site -- which was apparently between Huntsville and Rocheport. "Turner farm" is pretty ambiguous, but "William H. Long farm" isn't.