Area 10: North of Gunn City

This area on the far east side of Cass County featured rugged hills and timber, good places for guerrillas to hide. Part was known as Devil’s Ridge, home to feared bushwhacker “Little” Archie Clements.

Archibald “Archie” Clements’ family lived south east of Pleasant Hill on the Cass/Johnson County line. His father, Edward M. Clements, died in 1855. The family owned slaves, but the extended family had split allegiances. Archie’s two older brothers William and Washington enlisted in the Kansas 10th Cavalry. Both died during the War.

Archie enlisted at age 15 in the Confederate Missouri State Guard’s 2nd Cavalry, Co. E on September 25, 1861. Mustered out in December, he did not reenlist but instead joined the bushwhackers. He rode to Lawrence with Quantrill, and took part in the Centralia Massacre with “Bloody Bill” Anderson.

Standing just over five feet tall and weighing about 130 pounds, Clement’s youth and slight stature belied his ferocity. Anderson (or one of his men) left this note on the body of a dead Unionist after a particularly vicious skirmish; “You come to hunt bush whackers. Now you are skelpt. Clemyent skelpt you. Wm. Anderson.”

After the War he went to Texas but returned in July 1866. He died on Dec. 13, 1866 from several gunshots suffered during a running fight in Lexington, MO. (Caught Between Three Fires. p. 338.)

Of particular local interest is the story of a dog once owned by a resident of this area. The story of Old Drum has become a legend. Follow this link for an in-depth look at the story:

The basic story is that a favorite hunting dog was shot by a neighbor. At the trial, Warrensburg lawyer George Vest has become a classic tribute to all dogs:

Gentlemen of the jury: The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.

Gentlemen of the jury: A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.