Obediah was born in 1806. Obediah Smith, Missouri State Representative, ... He was assassinated in 1863.
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Death of Elder Obediah Smith, April 18, 1863
Quantrill rider Harrison Trow's memoir tells how Quantrill and band on their way back to west-central MO after wintering in Texas camped temporarily with Bill Marchbanks and his local guerrilla band (Trow mistakenly called him "Marmaduke") in St. Clair County. Trow told how Marchbanks was complaining about how Obediah Smith had been bedeviling local southern sympathizers. Quantrill asked Bill why he didn’t just kill the man, to which Marchbanks replied that Obediah was just too smart for him. Quantrill then offered to assassinate Smith if Marchbanks would lend him a man to guide them to the man’s farm.
Captain Smith was a pioneer of west Cedar County, a Union recruiter, prominent Primitive Baptist Church Elder and a Missouri State Representative just back from the Session of 1862-63 at the time of his death.
On April 18, 1863 Quantrill and men, including Frank James, with their guide, all dressed as usual in scruffy Federal uniforms as if Union scouts, rode to Smith's home in north Cedar County, fooling him into thinking they were Federals. Smith came out to meet them, armed as usual with his new Sharps rifle and revolver. Harrison Trow and John McCorkle, among others dictating their memoirs later, differed only in details as to what had happened next. Remember that they had slain many, and their recollections were years later.
The newspaper accounts must have used a first-hand source, who stated that Quantrill asked Smith if the Sharps rifle was given to him by Kansas Senator Jim Lane which Smith denied. Quantrill asked to examine the man's Sharps, and remarked “Why don’t you get guns like this for us scouts?”, looking back at his men. Obed replied that he’d “turned over many a Reb with that”, and momentarily looked away, when Quantrill said, "You’ll not ‘turn over’ any more" and fired the weapon at him (one version quoted Quantrill as saying, "I’ll give you the contents" as he fired the weapon).
This version and McCorkle's agree that the Sharps misfired and the guerrillas had to chase Smith to finally kill him. Smith had guns placed around his home for such an eventuality, but in their fright, Smith's family closed and barred the doors to the house, so the chased man faced his fate out in the open.
Most agreed that either the Sharps misfired or that the bullet only grazed Obediah’s skull. They agreed that Obediah was chased by the men; one memoir saying that the fleeing Obed was shot down in the apple orchard, another member said that Obed was chased into a ‘calfyard’, which he ran across but was shot down as he attempted to climb up the far side of the corral.
Whatever the scenario, the other guerrillas also shot into Smith's body, first into his back and, turning him over, into his face. His body contained over twenty bullet wounds.
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