Filming at Ushers Ferry:  September 8 & 9, 2007 - "Civil War Enlistments,"
"The Copperhead Lodge,"  "Anti-war Rally at Noffsinger Grove,"
"Purchasing Weapons at Iowa City,"  "Talley War at South English."

Introducing the cast.......  gathering for a promotional shot.

Left:  Charles Henry "Hank" Chapman and family in front of the Chapman home at Hinkletown, Foote P.O.  Chapman served the Union forces in Company G,         8th  Iowa Infantry, enlisting on May 15, 1863.

:  Patrick Monaghan leaves to muster in at Iowa City, Camp Pope, August 22, 1862, Company K, 22nd Iowa Infantry.  Monaghan volunteered about  the same time with over a dozen of his friends from Foote, and they fought together to preserve the Union. 

     Civil War Stories:  A Town Divided........Abolitionists!   Copperheads!   Knights of the Golden Circle!

Cast Members:  A Union soldier poses with two Copperheads for a promotional shot.  In 1863, the names of several men of Hinkletown were printed in newspapers across the State as committing treasonable activities against the government.  They were said to be members of the KGC, or Knights of the Golden Circle.


During research of Hinkletown, Foote P.O., historical accounts emerged showing that a group of anti-war Democrats called "The Order of the Star," and more commonly known as "Copperheads," and Knights of the Golden Circle, met, plotted and amassed weapons at an abandoned and secluded log cabin in the most northeast corner of Liberty Township, Keokuk County, slightly south of Hinkletown.  These were patriotic, upstanding family men, and business associates at Hinkletown, including a Justice of the Peace, two preachers, a blacksmith, and many of them being the earliest of settlers in the 1840s and 50s.  They planned a general uprising upon the call for military draft by President Lincoln.   The Keokuk County News - A Republican Family Journal tied them to the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) operating throughout Keokuk County, Iowa.


H.B. Rogers, center, takes his oath  to defend the Constitution with two other new recruits of the "Order of the Star."  Rogers was an Abolitionist spy who infiltrated the group near Hinkletown for several months in 1863.  Names of the members appeared in newspapers across Iowa as the men who emboldened Reverend Talley to incite "Civil War in Keokuk County."  Wesley Funk, whose name occurs first in the list of members of this order is the 1863 nominee of the Democrats of Keokuk County, Iowa, for State Representative.


Affidavit of H. B. Rogers – August 6th 1863 

“On or about the last of April 1863, I was initiated into what was called the Order of the Star.  Jeremiah Suiter asked me to become a member of a Benevolent Institution.  He took me to an untenanted house in a secluded place in the northeast part of Keokuk County.  There were nineteen or twenty person present, among whom were Wesley Funk, Dolph Faucet, W. M. Butterfield, Jerome Chandler, John Chandler, Berrimand Breeden, Thomas Powell, John Welch, James McKinney, Samuel Knight, Pat McCann, Thomas Starkweather and other names not recollected.”

 “At the first meeting they swore me to the true to the United States and to the State of Iowa and to use all the Constitutional means in my power to restore peace and harmony to this distracted country, to use all the means in my power to put down disunion parties both North and South under penalty of death.”

Signed:  H. B. ROGERS 

JOHNSON COUNTY                                   

Sworn to before me, a Notary Public in and for said county this 6th day of August, 1863.

J.H. Branch  Notary Public








Copperhead leader Reverend George Cypert Talley purchases weapons and ammunition from a storekeeper in Iowa City. 

“In the second degree I was required to swear that I would not enlist in the United States Army.  I am not to kill an enemy, but take prisoners those that are placed in my power or to surrender myself prisoner when it is more expedient, not to excite suspicion."

“I was required to connect myself in a company composed of ten men, one of which is elected Captain, which they are to act in companies, or in larger forces as they may be directed by our superior officers.  We are sworn to resist the draft by every measure in our power.  We were to encourage desertions and to assist dissenters in making their escape."    -  H. B. Rogers


Members of the Order of the Star line up to drill and practice weaponry at their secret lodge near Hinkletown.  They purchased the weapons and ammunition from storekeepers in Iowa City and Sigourney. 

"Talley was a leader and was in the habit of visiting Lodges, giving directions about arms and ammunition.”

“When the draft is ordered there is to be a general uprising."

                         -H. B. Rogers

Cast members gather for promotional shot at location portrayed as "Noffsinger Grove" in South English, Iowa, August 1, 1863.  Talley spoke for four long hours at an anti-war rally in the grove, sanctioned by the State Democratic Party as a Platform Speech. 


Documentary cast on street of South English, August 1, 1863. According to a historical account, the Copperheads of Foote, Iowa, wanted to go down and "burn out that Abolition hole."  When Talley finished his speech, he left the grove in his wagon with his trusted men and a throng of followers on foot and horseback.   They rode into South English, where a pro-war rally was going on, a small crowd gathered around the speaker in front of a public house.  Taunting, jeers and epithets were exchanged between Abolitionists and Copperheads.  Local men, including the Home Guard and Union soldiers home on leave, had been tipped off that the Copperheads would be meeting in the area.  They had hidden their guns in the saloon and hotel, ready to bring them out when the Copperheads came through.

Two women of Hinkletown fight over their beliefs!

Historical Account

"Excitement ran high at the grove and there were many wordy altercations.  I saw one Mrs. Starkweather, a loyalist, become engaged with a woman wearing a butternut badge, who was sitting next to her.  During the quarrel, Mrs. Starkweather's dress was torn to strips.  Later, after the shooting, I saw Tom Moorman, a merchant in South English, call her into his store to select a dress from any pattern in his place of business.  She did so and he cut off and presented her with enough goods to make her a new dress.  At the conclusion of this dispute in the grove, (My friend) Ed said to me that there would certainly be troubles before the day was over.  On the way (back to South English,)  Ed said "Boy, make every bullet count."   - Rufus B. Sears

"In regard to the incident of the Butternut badge, and the lady who had her dress torn off at the rally where Talley was speaking, we have received word that the two ladies were sisters.  Ann Wiseman and Mrs. Starkweather viewed the question of the day at different angles."



Newspapers of the day called it "Civil War in Keokuk County!"


Left:  The men of South English line the porch of the hotel as Talley's delegation moves through the Main Street. With an anti-war rally and pro-war rally going on in close proximity, the air was ripe for a fight to brew.

Right:  Accounts of the day say that Talley was standing in his wagon, brandishing a gun and a knife while taunting back at the Abolitionists, daring one to remove his "Butternut Badge."


A man named Morgan threw open a window and shot at Talley.

Other shots rang out.  By some accounts nearly a hundred shots were fired.

Talley dropped down in the back in his wagon.


As the wagon pulls away, Talley lay dying in the back, having been shot multiple times.  Two other men were then mortally wounded, allegedly Copperheads.  Many more were injured. No Abolitionists died that day.  The Copperheads threatened to burn the towns of South English and Sigourney.  Several companies of Union soldiers were called in, trenches and rifle pits were dug, the town of South English barricaded at all entrances, and turned into a military camp.   Governor Kirkwood arrived later to restore order.     Several men admitted to killing Talley, including Morgan and Phelps.  The Copperheads demanded their arrest.  The Governor addressed a crowd, stating he had the power to issue pardons.  Eleven men were arrested.  A trial occurred over the following months, with no convictions.  Accounts show that Phelps carried a letter on official letterhead from the Governor's office, in advance, stating he would be pardoned if brought to trial.  


Copyright 2007 - English Valleys History Center, North English, IA,  and Historic Photo Archives, Klemme, Iowa

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