Narratives are personal stories that help enrich the reader’s understanding of a time period, person, place, or event. These are first-person views of history taken from personal recollections, memoirs, diaries, and oral histories.


Information included in this section is not fact checked by the Encyclopedia staff. The author of the Narrative is entirely responsible for its content.


By 1862, depredation by bushwhackers was prevalent throughout the Altus area. Although many young men fought in the war; soldiers were only some of war’s casualties. In the absence of able-bodied men, the remaining family members were often left defenseless. The bushwhackers who preyed upon them alternated allegiance to either side to suit their purposes. As if the war were not savage enough, the bushwhackers robbed and murdered those who could least resist them.
Not only were the citizens in physical danger, but it was almost impossible to grow, tend, and consume their own crops. At harvest time, bushwhackers took whatever they wanted. The families fared no better with the cattle, pigs, and chickens they raised. When the bushwhackers stole the family’s last plow horse and the family had to use the milk cow for plowing, it was not long before the cow was gone, too.
Finally, Union and Confederate armies began to flush out bushwhackers and prosecute them. Some were shot on sight, and others were hanged. A few fought for their lives, usually unsuccessfully, in a court of law. Civilians in the Altus area considered it all to be part-and-parcel of the war.
Years later, descendants of Henrietta Hogan Page, who was a child during the war, remembered her talking about the war. Henrietta’s father, Marcus Hogan, who was in his late 70s, had his feet burned on two occasions by bushwhackers who were trying to convince him to reveal the location of his food staples and gold. Bushwhackers then sometimes hanged their victims. The hanging of Marcus Hogan was unsuccessful because his daughter, Tennessee Hogan Covert, cut the rope and saved his life. Marcus, despite being tortured in his old age, survived the Civil War by several years, and survived the majority of his 19 children. 


Lola Shropshire
Fort Smith, AR