"John William Cypert was only four years old when he witnessed the murder of his grandmother, Nancy Anderson Cypert. In 1862, during the Civil War in Searcy County, the boy and his grandmother were home alone when they had unexpected company. As John hid in the barn, he watched as a group of men in Union uniform dismount their horses and approach his grandmother. They demanded she relinquish her valuables. When she did not comply, they restrained the old woman and tortured her. They pulled her fingernails out one by one with a bullet mold. After they robbed the house of all the food and everything of value, they torched it with Nancy inside. John William watched helplessly as flames engulfed his home and the only mother he had ever known. -Tina Lewis Johnson"