Discussion Murder of Nancy Anderson Cypert

Story

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#21
Okay, I'm really confused - how do you tell the difference between actual soldiers vs hooligans masquerading as soldiers? I doubt I could tell the difference between real uniforms vs. bits and pieces of real uniforms put together if a gang of men ganged up on me other than the color.
This holds true well into the 21st century's nastier little wars as well.
 

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archieclement

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#22
Okay, I'm really confused - how do you tell the difference between actual soldiers vs hooligans masquerading as soldiers? I doubt I could tell the difference between real uniforms vs. bits and pieces of real uniforms put together if a gang of men ganged up on me other than the color.

And... what happened to bushwhackers? Did some just melt away back into the community or what when the war ended? Would a community let them?
Most if viewed as affiliated to a side, simply returned to civilian life postwar. Assuming the community was sympathetic to the side or fairly equally divided

Its amazing in some of the most vicious, returned normal in civil life, Dave Poole always comes to mind
 

Story

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#23
View attachment 312907

"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"
Sounds much like the opening of THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES (based on Forrest Carter's 1972 novel The Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales which was republished, as shown in the movie's opening credits, as Gone to Texas).

 

NH Civil War Gal

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#24
Most if viewed as affiliated to a side, simply returned to civilian life postwar. Assuming the community was sympathetic to the side or fairly equally divided
So neither side tried to bring them to justice after the war? A community never stopped to think, even if he was on "their" side, that anyone able to commit atrocities might just be one scary dude to have around?
 

Story

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#26
So neither side tried to bring them to justice after the war? A community never stopped to think, even if he was on "their" side, that anyone able to commit atrocities might just be one scary dude to have around?
Justice was sometimes carried out by the nearest conveniently-limbed tree, which sometimes can be found in newspaper accounts. Sometimes it's a recollection written down decades later. Makes ya wonder how much more often it was forgotten by history.

By the same token, personal identification (as it exists today) was unknown. It was far easier after the war to disappear into northern cities or into the flow of western expansion settlers.
 

Viper21

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#27
Okay, I'm really confused - how do you tell the difference between actual soldiers vs hooligans masquerading as soldiers? I doubt I could tell the difference between real uniforms vs. bits and pieces of real uniforms put together if a gang of men ganged up on me other than the color.

And... what happened to bushwhackers? Did some just melt away back into the community or what when the war ended? Would a community let them?
Well today, it would be relatively easy compared to 1862. Which is why so many folks get called out for "stolen valor" today. If one is a veteran, & or, just familiar with the military, flaws, or things that don't make sense, really stand out. The military today, is VERY particular about their uniforms. There is a standard for everything. I mean EVERYTHING, & it is all VERY precise.

In 1862 it would've been a challenge but, I would dare say easier to identify a bogus Yankee than a bogus Confederate. The Yankees were better equipped. They were more uniform in their appearance, & weaponry. The trained eye, may have been able to tell, who was on forage duty vs fellas taking advantage of the situation.

It would be interesting to get more information on this story. What units were nearby..? If there were no units even remotely close at the time of this incident, that would put another piece of circumstantial evidence that they were bushwhackers.
 

CSA Today

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#28
I'm sure there were men (and women) on both sides of the war who were capable of committing heinous crimes. This murder was certainly heinous. However, the account below does make a strong case for "Bushwackers" and not Union soldiers.

Let's see Southern bushwhackers dressed in Yankee blue? It must be true, we all know that bona fide bluebellies would never do such a thing, or so we are told, and if we are told by Northerners it is “historically accurate.” You have to wonders where these rascals got the blue uniforms probably told the Yankees they were unionists going out on a raid.
 

Viper21

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#29
@NH Civil War Gal A quick glance says, there was a fair amount of activity in Arkansas in 1862:

Skirmish at Adam's Bluff June 30, 1862
Battle of Cane Hill November 28, 1862
Battle of Dunagin's Farm February 17, 1862
Battle of Hill's Plantation July 7, 1862
Skirmish at Jonesboro August 2, 1862
Skirmish at L' Anguille Ferry August 3, 1862
Battle of Pea Ridge March 6, 1862 - March 8, 1862
Skirmish at Pitman's Ferry October 27, 1862
Action at Pott's Hill February 16, 1862
Battle of Prairie Grove December 7, 1862
Battle of Saint CharlesJ une 17, 1862
Battle of Salem March 13, 1862
Battle of Van Buren December 28, 1862
Battle of Whitney's Lane May 19, 1862

Without knowing the day she was murdered, it'd be tough to pin point much.

Side fact, I had an ancestor captured at the Battle of Pea Ridge.
 
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#30
Let's see Southern bushwhackers dressed in Yankee blue? It must be true, we all know that bona fide bluebellies would never do such a thing, or so we are told, and if we are told by Northerners it is “historically accurate.”
As I said, I believe there were some men (and women) on both sides of the war who were capable of committing heinous acts. This murder was heinous no matter who committed it.

You have to wonders where these rascals got the blue uniforms probably told the Yankees they were unionists going out on a raid.
I have read that if "bushwackers" wore any uniform at all, they preferred captured Union ones, which allowed them to get the jump on Union soldiers or move in close to towns and depots unchallenged.
 

archieclement

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#31
So neither side tried to bring them to justice after the war? A community never stopped to think, even if he was on "their" side, that anyone able to commit atrocities might just be one scary dude to have around?
For the most part no, if they were affiliated with the Union, trials would be embarassing, so easier to sweep it under the rug.

If they were affiliated to the CSA, it would raise the question if they were honoring terms of surrender, often the community they had been in were sympathetic to them, would also be an embarrassment to have them aquited. Postwar one person was tried for the Lawrence massacre, and they were acquitted by a jury in Kansas

The true outlaws, such as deserters generally moved away from the scene of the crimes

Tend to think most were ready for it to end, and realized it needed to start now, rather then continue tit for tat violence postwar.
 
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#32
From the Encyclopedia of Arkansas:

At the beginning of the Civil War, almost all Searcy County citizens opposed secession and Confederate military service. Searcy County did provide three Confederate companies in 1861, but many men joined under duress. On November 17, 1861, the Arkansas Confederate authorities discovered a secret pro-Union Peace Society in north-central Arkansas and tried to arrest all members. Searcy County, under Colonel Samuel Leslie of the Searcy County militia, was the center of the effort to suppress the organization. The captured Peace Society members were guarded in the courthouse. On December 9, 1861, seventy-seven prisoners were sent to Little Rock, where they were encouraged to join the Confederate army. Not all of the society’s men were arrested, however, and regular Confederate troops were stationed in Burrowsville to continue the campaign against the Unionists after the Searcy County militia was discharged on December 20, 1861. On January 29, 1862, these Confederate troops were ordered to Pocahontas (Randolph County), and a Home Guard was formed to maintain order, which it did poorly, and later to enforce a conscript law, which it did too well.
Confederate soldiers whose term of service had expired or who deserted began to return in mid-1862 and hid in the woods or fled to Missouri. Some who remained in the area found that, by working with the Confederate Nitre & Mining Bureau, they avoided conscription. They mined niter for gunpowder, which was the major Confederate activity in the county until late 1863, when the mining operation moved to Texas, leaving the area in the hands of guerrillas.

https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/marshall-986/
 
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#34
View attachment 312907

"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"
Thanks for posting this interesting item. It's very difficult to give a thumbs up because it turned my stomach. When studying war we get to learn about heroes and villains.
 



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