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This Story is from Tom McKirgan of Oregon (

My great grandfather's brother William Thomas McKirgan was in company "A" of the 12th commanded by Capt. Clinton G. Lyons. William was paid $48.80 for three months use of his horse. He joined at Lyons store on Feb 9th, 1863. He had been wounded at McMinnville, captured, then released after taking the oath. He then went back to fighting until his unit surrendered on April 26th, 1865, after the war had already ended.

I noticed something quite interesting on his war record. When he was captured, several times on the muster rolls, he had used the middle initial "L" instead of his own middle initial "T". His uncle William Lyons McKirgan had died some years earlier and was a brother to James Lyons McKirgan. It appeared to me that maybe he was trying to confuse his identity in case they ever came after him. Who knows for sure?

William's grandfather Thomas McKirgan was in Booth's Militia. Anyhow, it would be interesting to see if possible.

The old McKirgan homestead and log home is still there on Old Oak Road. It's presently owned by Norma Netherland. She related a story to me some years back that I wanted to pass onto you.

She told me that there was an old story that two Civil War soldiers had been killed in the house at the top of the stairs between the two bedrooms. Apparently the blood stains are still there but covered with the carpet. She didn't know which side the soldiers were on, when it happened or who killed them. That's all she knew about the incident. I sure would love to know more about it but I don't know where to find such information. Maybe the story was printed in an old newspaper back then. I do know that William's father James Lyons McKirgan and family were living in the house at the time.

Another story that my second cousin told me was about James Lyons McKirgan. Sometime during the Civil War, James took all but two of his several horses into the hills to hide them from the Union Army who were in the area. He returned home to find several soldiers inside his barn. The commanding Union officer said to him, "We can see by all the tack in here that you have more than just two horses." The soldiers forced him to take them to retreive the horses in which they stole. Apparently James hated the Union Army for doing that to him.


Copyright © 2001 by Sheila Weems Johnston

Page created 2/26/2001