On April 26, 1838, George Washington Goodpasture married Elizabeth Oakley in Morgan County, KY. She was the daughter of John S. Oakley and Margaret Lewis. Oakley was a member of the first Morgan County court which met March 10, 1823, and in 1831, he served as a state representative from Morgan County.
Over the next 19 years, George Washington and Elisabeth Goodpasture became the parents of eight children. The family lived on Grassy Creek, a few miles southwest of West Liberty and in the course of time, Washington became a substantial landowner. The 1860 census shows that he had $4000 worth of real estate and $1500 in personal property. When the Civil War erupted, the family seemed to be leaning more toward the Southern cause.
On December 11, 1861, son Fountain Goodpasture, by then a young lad 17 years of age, enlisted at West Liberty as a private in Captain William Mynheir’s Co. A, 5th KY Mtd. Infantry, which was part of CS General Humphrey Marshall’s Brigade.
His father supplied 9559 pounds of pork to Marshall’s troops. The sale may have been arranged by Marshall’s Asst. Commissary William H. Burns, former Circuit Court Judge of Morgan County. Goodpasture was paid $430.02 by Marshall’s Brigade Commissary Major R. Hanes, on Dec. 26, 1861, near Paintsville, Johnson County, KY.
delivered to Marshall's Brigade
Fountain Goodpasture’s Confederate service was short lived. He died on February 2, 1862, at Whitesburg, KY, possibly from sickness. The tragedy of his brother’s death did not deter Richard M. Goodpasture from enlisting. Records show him as a private in Co. B, 7th Kentucky Mounted Infantry but may have also served with Morgan Countian Captain John T. Williams, in Co. C, 1st Battalion KY Mounted Rifles or Williams’ subsequent company A, 2nd Battalion KY Mounted Rifles.
By 1863, tragedy struck again. Death took Goodpasture’s wife Elizabeth. With one son dead and another one in the Confederate service and the oldest daughter married, he was left to raise five children on his own, ranging in age between 6 and 16.
It was not long before the Grassy Creek area drew the attention of Union troops. It was here that Captain John T. Williams clashed with Union Troops led by Captain Carey, 24th KY Infantry (US) in April 1863. The following month, on May 16, 1863, Captain William E. Rice of the 10th KY Cavalry (US) appeared with a squad of men at the home of George Washington Goodpasture. According to loyal Union people in the neighborhood, Goodpasture was considered, “a notorious Rebel Sympathizer and his home is a regular stopping place for the Rebels when in the vicinity.”
Captain Rice arrested Goodpasture on the charge of disloyalty to the United States Government and as a Rebel Sympathizer, under the provisions of General Ambrose Burnside’s new General Order No. 38. The order, among other things, declared that, “all persons found within our lines who commit acts for the benefit of the enemies of our country, will be tried as spies or traitors, and, if convicted, will suffer death.” This included, “All persons within our lines who harbor, protect, conceal, feed, clothe, or in any way aid the enemies of our country.” As a matter of fact, the simple act of, “of declaring sympathy for the enemy,” was deemed as treason.
When the soldiers entered Goodpasture’s home, they found his son Richard M. Goodpasture inside, “who was likewise taken prisoner as a rebel soldier belonging to the 1st Bat Mounted Inft. Ky Vol. “
7th KY Infantry (CS)
Captain Rice and his men scoured Goodpasture’s place thoroughly. “From the indications & appearance of his home and surroundings I am satisfied that it is a rendezvous for rebels and parties in arms against the Government of the U. States, “noted Rice. “Several horses were found in his belongings among them one horse with Gov. brand.”
Captain Rice’s and his squad remained at Goodpasture’s place and encamped. During the night, two more horses came into Goodpasture’s stable, “fully equipped with Cavalry rigging,” noted Captain Rice, “which I am satisfied had been ridden by Rebel soldiers.” One of these horses was later claimed as the property of a Union man from Bath County, Kentucky, by the name of Cassidy.
The following day, Washington and Richard M. Goodpasture were taken to the camp of the 10th KY Cavalry near Owingsville, Bath County, and later on to Mt. Sterling. Here father and son parted ways. Richard M. Goodpasture was conveyed to Lexington, KY. On May 31, 1863, he was on his way to Camp Chase, Ohio.
On May 24, 1863, eight days after Goodpasture’s arrest, 29 year old Amos D. Lawson from Morgan County appeared at the headquarters of the 10th KY Cavalry and gave a written statement.” I am personally acquainted with Washington Goodpasture a citizen of Morgan County who was arrested by the United States forces under Maj. J. S. L. Foley and is now a prisoner at Mt. Sterling, Ky. The said Washington Goodpasture is to my certain knowledge a rebel Sympathizer and has from time to time entertained "Guerrilla" parties ____ One Capt John T Williams, Captain Cox and Boone Howard all soldiers of the so called "Confederate Army." I have seen him assemble with these men upon various and frequent occasions riding their horses and in fact seeming as one of them. His, "Washington Goodpastures" home is well known as a rendezvous for their Rebel soldiers and "Guerrillas" throughout this neighborhood.”
Meanwhile, a number of Goodpasture’s family, friends and acquaintances, including his brother-in-law Joseph Hairston Amyx, submitted a petition to the Union authorities, asking for Goodpasture’s unconditional release.
“To the General Colonel or Major or Any other officer that May have under your conntrole (sic) G W. Goodpaster A sitizen (sic) of Morgan County Ky Gentlemen we the undersigned sitizens (sic) and members of the union party would respectfully represent that the government authorities arrested G W Goodpaster one of our neighbors and have taken him off to parts unknown to us, we would therefore represent to your honers (sic) that the said G W Goodpaster is A good sturdy Citizen and have (sic) been much molested by being fed on both by union and southern soldiers not by his own solicitation but from the fact that he an industrious man and had feed on hand that his neighbors did not. And in view of the hole (sic) subject we the undersigned would humbly prey that you give him an unconditionally (sic) release & send him home to his gang of little Motherless children from the fact that he has been good and kind to his union Neighbors and has protected them in there (sic) person and property and has even went further than many of us could go for the want of provisions he has often sent and packed provisions him self (sic) to the familys (sic) of union men that was absent in the army of the united states that was no ways related to him.
if we believed he deserved punishment at the hands of the government we would not sign this petition.
May 29th, 1863
J. H. Amyx
William D. Prater
J. D. Wilson
S. H. Wilson
A. P. Amyx
J. W. Nickel
J. K. Brown
A second petition, which has not survived in the records, was circulated on Goodpasture’s behalf, which generated 30-40 more signatures.
While still under arrest at Mt. Sterling, Washington Goodpasture was weighing his options. The charges against him were serious and if convicted he could face death. Knowing that much of his fate would hinge in great part on the petitions, he contacted John W. Hazelrigg, asking him to review them for him. If the military authorities could be convinced that a sufficient number of Union supporters in Morgan County were asking for his release, he would perhaps be able to post bond and return home.
In response, Hazelrigg wrote to Goodpasture,” Sir at your request I can state that I have examined the two petitions to the military authorities for your release & the names signed to said petitions amounting to some 50 or 60 names I can say that I am personally acquainted with all the men who signed said Petitions except about six that have signed I know them I know all are good Loyal Union men as to those six I can not say any thing (sic) about them as I am not acquainted with them I can further state that from my long acquaintance with you & also with Mr. Wilson that any promise or obligation that you may make or take on your Selves that I am perfectly satisfied that you will not violate you can use this letter as you choose yours very Respectfully
Jno W. Hazelrigg
Washington Goodpasture was finally taken to McLean Barracks in Cincinnati, Ohio. Goodpasture’s case was considered by the military authorities and on June 27, 1863, he took the oath of allegiance and was permitted to give bond for the sum of $3000.
Know all men by these Presents that I George W Goodpaster of Morgan County State of Kentucky hereby acknowledge myself to be held and firmly bound unto the United States of America in the sum of Three Thousand Dollars for the payment of which well and timely to be made, I hereby bind Myself and each of my heirs, accountants, administrators and assignees -After fulfilling his obligations to the US government, Washington Goodpasture was able to return home to Grassy Creek.
Sealed with My seal this Twenty Seventh day of June AD 1863
Now the condition of the above obligation is such whereas the above bounded George W Goodpaster has been arrested on the charge of disloyalty to the United States Government and taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States of America.
Now if the said George W. Goodpasture shall and truly keep his said oath of allegiance then this obligation shall be void otherwise of full force and effort.
And it is hereby agreed and understood that in case the said George W Goodpaster should violate any of the conditions of the obligation any officer in the military service of the United States acting under the orders of the nearest Post Commander may seize and sell or otherwise dispose of any and all property of the above named obligant to an amount sufficient to satisfy and discharge the amount above named without having recourse to any proceedings at law.
G. W. Goodpaster
Meanwhile, his son Richard was sent from Camp Chase to Johnson's Island on June 14, 1863. After five and a half months, Richard M. Goodpasture was sent to Point Lookout, on Nov. 30, 1863 and released on taking the oath of allegiance on Jan. 10, 1864. He returned home to Morgan County but his stay would be less than two weeks.
His father may have obeyed the conditions of his bond and oath temporarily but not long after his release from McLean Barracks, Washington Goodpasture was actively involved again in supporting the Southern cause und thus, drawing the attention of the military authorities once more. On January 27, 1864, a well-armed force of over 100 Union home guards left Mt. Sterling on a scout to Morgan County, KY. On the third day, the men proceeded via Allen Day’s and Dock Cockerell's old farm to Grassy Creek and made a charge on Washington Goodpasture’s house. Noted Daniel D. Hurst, one of the participants, “got some nine or ten prisoners and very bad ones. Among them was a man by the name of Michael, also Thomas Ross, Aca Carter, Jerry Plummer and two of Wash Goodpaster's sons.”
Asa Carter, a former member of the 5th KY, was Fountain Goodpasture’s old sergeant. After being discharged from his unit for disability on July 29, 1862, Carter operated with other irregulars in the area and was considered a, “notorious Guerrilla” and subsequently charged with murder. Plummer and Ross were also former members of the 5th KY Infantry. Ross had joined Diamond’s 10th KY Cavalry but Plummer, a native of Lewis County, KY, was a deserter and, like Asa Carter, was operating with irregulars in the area. The records do not give us the names of Washington Goodpasture’s sons who were taken prisoner that day but they were, in all likelihood, sixteen year old James H. and Richard M. Goodpasture.
The scout continued for two more days until a portion of the home guards took the prisoners, 19 in all, back to Mt. Sterling. “We turned all of them over to our soldiers with the proper recommendations,” noted Henry C. Hurst. “We also captured about 25 good horses. We gave the Guerrillas a plain hint of what they would get next time.”
In the absence of subsequent records, we can only assume what happened to Washington Goodpasture and his family. On Nov. 18, 1864, Washington married 22 year old Elizabeth Ann Amyx, in Morgan Co. KY. She was the daughter of his brother-in-law Joseph Hairston Amyx and his first wife Francis Caroline Nickell. The couple later settled at Aarons Run, near Mt. Sterling, KY and added five more children to the family. Both Richard M. and James H. Goodpasture survived the Civil War and moved to Missouri and Ohio, respectively. Their siblings John O., Clarke C. and George W. Goodpasture went west, eventually settling in Oklahoma and Kansas. Both sisters remained in Kentucky. Nancy Ann Goodpasture, who had married Dr. John Mason Kash at the beginning of the Civil War, died in 1868. The youngest, Elizabeth, settled with her father in the Mt. Sterling area where she remained for the rest of her life.
George Washington Goodpasture died on April 18, 1900 and his buried next to his last wife Elizabeth Ann Amyx in the Machphela Cemetery, Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, KY.
Links of Interest
George Washington Goodpasture's grave marker
Machphela Cemetery, Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, KY.
"GENERAL ORDERS, No. 38. HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 13, 1863.
"The commanding general publishes, for the information of all concerned, that hereafter all persons found within our lines who commit acts for the benefit of the enemies of our country will be tried as spies or traitors, and, if convicted, will suffer death. This order includes the following class of persons:
"Carriers of secret mails.
"Writers of letters sent by secret mails.
"Secret recruiting officers within the lines.
"Persons who have entered into an agreement to pass our lines for the purpose of joining the enemy.
"Persons found concealed within our lines belonging to the service of the enemy, and, in fact, all persons found improperly within our lines who could give private information to the enemy.
"All persons within our lines who harbor, protect, conceal, feed, clothe, or in any way aid the enemies of our country.
"The habit of declaring sympathy for the enemy will not be allowed in this Department. Persons committing such offenses will be at once arrested, with a view to being tried as above stated, or sent beyond our lines into the lines of their friends. It must be distinctly understood that treason, expressed or implied, will not be tolerated in this department. All officers and soldiers are strictly charged with the execution of this order. By command of Major-General Burnside"
[Source: Major General Ambrose E. Burnside and the Ninth Army Corps: a narrative ..., by Augustus Woodbury; 1867; pp. 265/266]
The article is in part based on facts and testimonies contained in the George Washington Goodpasture case file which is located in the Union Provost Marshal Records. Supporting evidence, such as other primary source material, service records, census listings as well as biographical data was researched and provided by the author, Marlitta H. Perkins. Feb. 2012 Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved.