The Missouri in the Civil War Message Board

Vibbard/Crowley Farm/Rocky Fork Fight Site

I can pinpoint this site for you. Anderson and his crew were camped in the forested bluffs west of what is now Vibbard. Around 160th Road/Fishing River Road. They had just hit Carroll County (Bill Anderson Final Raid/Third Raid) and killed a number of men on October 25. That night they were at the Vibbard site, where a middle-aged Jim Crowley was a major stock grower. He would donate the site Vibbard was platted on six years later.

Anyway, Anderson scooped up Crowley and took him to camp in the bluffs on west. Despite his prominence, Crowley was a lowly private in Company D, 51EMM. Probably because he didn't want to register as disloyal to avoid EMM service, but also didn't want to take a prominent role in service. He had a few brothers in Texas who were Confederates.

So word flies back to D/51EMM c.o. Capt. John Hankins in Richmond that night, October 25, that Anderson has Crowley, one of his men. Hankins likely sees the chance to take care of Anderson and take care of one of his own, and puts together together a task force of the regiments more aggressive troops. On Oct. 26 he sends 1LT James Lamar D/51 around to approach Anderson's camp from the west. 2LT Isaac McKown A/51 heads in through the woods from the east. And pitbull 1LT James Baker C/4PEM moves in from the east right down the main road (now 160th Road).

(Note that for over a century there has been a dispute regarding whether the Albany fight/Death of Anderson took place on Oct. 26 or Oct. 27. I have documentation I consider dispositive on the issue that it took place on Oct. 27. This melee is one of the pieces of that evidence.)

Everybody's moving in, Anderson's picket spots Baker's scout moving in on him and blows a whistle. Baker hears it, orders a charge. Guerrillas, barely warned, clear out pronto, leaving behind tents, shoes, whatever, everything. A few Rebs head west where they run into Lamar's blocking force, and have two men KIA. Anderson and the bulk of the force weave east around the Feds, and with prisoner James Crowley told to guide or die, he guides. They end up back on the east west 160th Road, dash past Crowley's farm, hit the Slipup-Richmond Road (current-day north-south Route M). Move down it a bit then shoot off further to the east into the Rocky Fork watershed and forested area the creek's east side a stone's throw away. They stop and are watering their horses when the Fed advance guard finds them and engages--a private from G/51EMM, a private from C/44MoInf who had deserted his unit in St. Jo a short time earlier to make it back to his pals in Ray County, a private from B/51EMM, and a sergeant from D/51EMM.

Lots of gunfire going back and forth, Anderson, Frank and Jesse James empty their pistols. Pitbull Baker comes charging in, scattering the Rebs again, and "now began a fierce running fight across an open glade, where the bushwhackers ran into a detachment of the militia from the east. Several guerrillas were killed or wounded...." Haven't identified this second blocking force coming from further east. Frank and Jesse are cut off and duck into the brush and disappear.

"During the fight in the creek James Crowley was guarded personally by Captain Bill Anderson, and when the retreat was made, Crowley on his horse was led away by the hand of Captain Anderson, himself, and later released." Rare show of mercy by Anderson. Probably because Crowley was middle aged, wasn't really an active militiaman, had a Reb brother KIA in Louisiana, and had helped him escape.

Scattered, Anderson and his men reassemble at Hendley's encampment on south in the woods along Fishing Creek west of Albany that night. The next morning Nancy Coffer shows up with breakfast for the Rebs, sent in by Baker. See's Bill Anderson is there, politely waits an appropriate amount of time and heads back home. Once out of sight she runs hell for leather and finds Baker and Cox....

What a story, and it's been right there hidden away but documentable the whole time.

Anyway, here's the google link for the Vibbard fight (Vibbard is inaccurate and even anachronistic since Vibbard didn't exist yet, but I haven't thought of a proper name for it yet since it doesn't seem to have one. Didn't really take place at Crowley Farm, but down the road adjacent to it. And Rocky Fork had other scraps with that name it might be confused with. Maybe The Crowley Lane Horse Race. Nominations....?).

The running fight was generally on a west to east axis (the campsite, probably hard to relocate, might lend itself to metal detecting since everything was left behind, and the fight itself might deserve a monument in Vibbard), with a short jaunt up Slipup Road before another move east to Rocky Fork--,+Fishing+River+Township,+MO+64062/@39.3813485,-94.1583775,1329m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m6!3m5!1s0x87c1a37ca0670a1d:0xec61a843baf04826!8m2!3d39.3805622!4d-94.146332!16s%2Fg%2F11c5xxw8y6?entry=ttu

Messages In This Thread

How Feds Were Positioned in Bill Anderson Ambush
Re: How Feds Were Positioned in Bill Anderson Ambu
Battle Site, and Key Vibbard Scrap Day Before
Vibbard/Crowley Farm/Rocky Fork Fight Site
Ambush Site, Anderson Camp Site, Fed Base Site
Re: Ambush Site, Anderson Camp Site, Fed Base Site
Re: Ambush Site, Anderson Camp Site, Fed Base Site
Brashears Road, and back to the teenagers....
Another Site Identifier Clinched It
Camp Site Anderson Was Decoyed Out Of
3D Google Position of Battle and Camp Sites
Need to Sign Into Google to See As Described
Re: 3D Google Position of Battle and Camp Sites