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14-Year-Old Girl Spy Inside Bill Anderson's Camp

I've been on the hunt looking for the female spy who was inside Bill Anderson's camp. Lt. James F. Baker spoke about the wife of one of his men being the informant. Wiley Britton also spoke about her in his work, and I have come up with a few additional references to her. But never by name, just by gender.

To my surprise, I've found her. Her name was kept quiet for decades, probably for obvious reasons. Then with the passage of almost three-fourths of a century, in 1938 her 65-year-old son L.L. McGaugh spoke about it. She was referred to as Mrs. John J. McGaugh in the practice of the time. Tracking down L.L. McGaugh who had a father named John J. McGaugh in Ray County Missouri (I wish all research was this simple) I found a kid, Pvt. John J. McGaugh who had served with Baker in the 51st Enrolled Missouri Militia, 4th Provisional Enrolled Militia, and Tiffin's Caldwell & Ray County Veteran Missouri Militia. He had just turned 18 at the time of the Battle of Albany and Bill Anderson's death, and served around 18 months total.

Tracking from there I found John J.'s wife, and L.L./Lot Lee's mother, to have been Nancy Caroline Coffer. She married John J. McGaugh January 30, 1867, meaning she wasn't his wife at the time of the fight, but almost certainly his sweetheart. She was born November 26, 1849, making her one month short of age 15 at the time of the Bill Anderson fight, and three years younger than John J. McGaugh. John apparently died late 1880s -- I haven't found his headstone, but hers is in South Point Cemetery at Orrick, Ray County, Missouri, under her remarried name Nancy Caroline Neil. Her birthdate on it indicates 1855, an implausible date which shaves a good chunk off her age when cross referencing with other sources, including her date of marriage.

Here's what her her son is reported as having said on the Bill Anderson matter: ""WHO 'TOLD ON' ANDERSON?--....L.L. McGaugh of Camden, Mo., on June 27, 1938, told Dr. Martin Mayes that it was his mother, Mrs. John J. McGaugh, and his grandmother, Mrs. Andrew Coffer, gave Bill Anderson his breakfast on the fatal morning and that they were the persons who imparted the information to Major Cox."

Messages In This Thread

14-Year-Old Girl Spy Inside Bill Anderson's Camp
Clique Who Rooted Out Anderson
Re: Clique Who Rooted Out Anderson
Bill Anderson/A.V.E. Johnston/Sam Cox
This Bunch is a Hoot