St. Clair County
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.