I have an ancestor, loved and hated, depending on one's political views of the Civil War. One Confederate historian described him as "mean, bull-headed and ruthless." Another historian, with a Union bent, refers to him as a "courageous, honorable, and beloved by his troops." They are talking about the same man!
Capt. James R. Vanderpool (1831-1880)
|Union Officer's |
To escort the caravan he was assisted by Capt. James R. Vanderpool. They took 20 wagons of families. Early on during this trip, Capt. McCoy’s horse fell and landed on him, breaking five ribs. The accident confined McCoy to a bed in one of the wagons and that put Captain Vanderpool in charge. According to the History of Newton County, by Walter F. Lackey, “as they were passing some fine plantation homes, a woman came out and cursed them and called them names, saying that a Rebel Army was in their path and that every d—— one of the men would be killed and their women and children would be sleeping in tents in less than a week.”
The caravan camped on the bank of the river that night and soon after they’d pitched camp, some steers belonging to the Rebel woman who had yelled at them earlier came near their tent and began bellowing at the Union troops’ steers. Captain Vanderpool ordered his men to shoot the steers, saying “no d—- Rebel steers could bawl at his oxen.”
Newton County “produced two famous leaders, fighting for different causes,” Rose Lacy writes for the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. They were “James Vanderpool, a Union hero who returned home in August 1865, and John Cecil, the former sheriff of Newton County, who was known for showing off his twin pearl-handled pistols that he had worn as a guerrilla leader for the Confederacy.”
|Old State House 1865 Little Rock, Arkansas|
|James R. Vanderpool|