Saturday, April 9, 2011

Andrew McQuitty of Rocheport

Andrew McQuitty, 89 Years Old, Served as Confederate.
Made Trips to St. Louis as Freighter With Ox Wagon.

Among the many experiences crowded into his 89 years of active life, Andrew J. McQuitty, who lives on West Boulevard, says he served nine months in the Confederate army and never shouldered a gun.

In his nine months of service, he laughingly says, he never got in a fight but he developed into a great runner. Mr. McQuitty at one time made trips from Rocheport to St. Louis hauling freight in ox wagons.

In the winter of l846, Mr. McQuitty, then only 21 years old, made two trips to St. Louis from Rocheport,. hauling produce for the Rocheport stores. The trips required twenty-three days each.
Wagon trips were only resorted to when the Missouri River was either blocked with ice or the water too shallow for boats.

The route followed to St. Louis by freighters in those days was pretty much the same as is now known as the St. Charles Road. On these long trips Mr McQuitty never carried a gun. His
weapon for protection, as he says, was good long whip that was a necessity with oxen

In the summers from 1846 to 1850, Mr McQuitty hauled farm products from the farmers north and east of Rocheport. Wagons were scarce and farmers were forced to hire the services
of the professional freighter to haul their tobacco, wheat, pork and lumber to town.

Mr. McQuitty always drove oxen in his freight business because they could endure more in the bad timber roads and then they were much cheaper than horses.

Mr McQuitty enlisted in the Confederate army in 1864. A company was recruited in Boone County to join General Sterling Price at Boonville, when General Price made his raid into Missouri. Four hundred men from the surrounding counties were enlisted under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Eli[j]ah Hodges [or Elijah Hodge? - ed.] who started to join General Price. A large Federal force in the meantime had checked the Confederates and had turned them back.

Then a long run began, says Mr. McQuitty, for Texas with General Price on the West, the Federals behind in hot pursuit and the 400 men under Colonel Hodges a few miles on the east. These 400 men had only a few guns and no ammunition. From the time they left Brunswick until they got into Arkansas they had only one meal a day. Meals were very irregular said Mr .McQuitty. "We took only time to eat when we thought we were safe from the Federals."

One night near the Arkansas line the Federals surprised them, Every man mounted his horse and struck out for himself over the hills to Arkansas. Mr. McQuitty and eight others rode for three days without food or rest. In northwest Arkansas they stopped to "fatten-up." They killed a cow and feasted for a week. They finally joined General Price's army in Texas and surrendered with General Price's army at Shreveport, La. Both Mr McQuitty’s company and regimental commanders live in Boone County. Colonel Elijah Hodges lives in Columbia and Captain John Maxwell east of town.

Mr McQuitty was born in Boone County in 1825. His father came to this county in 1802 from Kentucky.

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