Remnants Of The Past
A Story of a Proud Black Missouri Confederate
August 1998 Skirmisher: Newsletter of the Gen. McBride Camp of
Springfield, Missouri Reprinted: Confederate Veteran, 1903
Lieutenant Owen Snuffer and Uncle George
The Osceola Democrat raised money to send "Uncle" George McDonald, of
St. Clair County, a colored Confederate veteran, and perhaps the only
one attending the reunion, to the Confederate reunion at Columbia last
month. "Uncle" George went with the Confederates from St. Clair County,
and fought in several engagements. At Wilson's Creek, a minnie ball
plowed through his hip and a buck shot struck him in the face.
George lay groaning upon the ground when he was found by Owen Snuffer,
lieutenant of his company. Snuffer stooped down, examined the black
man's wounds, and stanched the flow of blood from them. "For God's
sake," cried the suffering negro, "give me a drink of water." Snuffer's
canteen was empty, but midway between the firing lines was a well. To
reach it, the lieutenant was to become the target of sharpshooters, and
it meant almost certain death. But with bullets falling around him like
hailstones, he pushed forward until the well was reached. And then he
discovered that the bucket had been taken away and the windlass removed.
The water was far down and the depth unknown. The well was
old-fashioned-stone-walled. Owen pulled off his long cavalry boots; and
taking one in his teeth, he let himself down slowly, hand over hand,
until the water was reached and the boot filled, and then he climbed up,
straddling the well and clutching with hands and feet the rocky walls.
Reaching the surface again, he picked up the other boot and safely made
is way back to the Confederate lines.
Returning from the war, Uncle George settled near Monegaw Springs, and
has reared an intelligent, honest, industrious family. One of his
children educated himself, graduated at the Smith University in Sedalia,
and is now in charge of a Church in Kansas. Another is waiter at the
Commercial Hotel in Osceola, and is known for his strict integrity.