An interesting letter from the Weekly Kentucky Yeoman newspaper of Frankfort, Kentucky, dated January 7, 1879 concerns the Little-Burnett troubles which happened mostly in November of 1878 in Breathitt County.


Jackson, Kentucky, December 22, 1878

During the rebellion (Civil War) the following citizens of Breathitt County were killed by the Home Guards, to-wit:

Alex Overbee, Jesse Spencer, Lasson Noble, Wash Noble, Pleasant Davis, Ambrose Hollon, John Pence, Lance Woods, John Chaney, John South, A. J. South, Wm. South, David Little, Pat Hounshell, John C. Little, Reuben Angel, Wm. Taulbee, Wayne Taulbee, and James Barnett. All these were private citizens when killed.

Since the war the following persons have been killed, viz: Robert Little, Wm. Moore, Wilson Callihan, John Amis, Alfred Amis, Anderson Amis, George C. Haddix, Mason Combs, Lee Miller, Robert Overbee, Dump Chaney, Frank Lucas, Curtis Jett, Jr., Logan Cockrill, John Malone, Daniel Freeman, Wm. Hargis, Simon Hollon, Wm. Ledford, Matthew Back, ___ Roberts, Wm. Miller, Samuel Mays, T. J. Little, J. W. Burnett, and Angeline Little, the woman who was murdered by her husband.

The following have been wounded: John Green, Jerre Little, Hiram Jett, Jas. Cockrill, James Daniel, C. O. Cardwell, Thomas Sewell, Jr., Buck Combs, W. M. Combs, Wm. Little, Richard Strong, Harvey Fox, David Viers, Henry Mosely, Wm. Freeman, Hiram Freeman, James Helton, Robert Amis, Wm. Strong, Samuel Oaks, John Napier, Jack Combs, Samuel P. Frazier, Wm. Smith, Jack Hargis, Thomas J. Little, Jennie Boling, Edward Gross, John Ledford, and John Amis.

Total killed during the war, 19; total killed since the war, 26; total killed during and since the war, 45; and wounded since the war, 30.

Notwithstanding all this crime and blood shed, not one has been hung or sent to the penitentiary from this county for any of these crimes.

But three persons have been sent to the penitentiary from this county since the war; one for arson and two for grand larceny.

The magistrates, sheriffs, grand jurors, constables, and others all drink, curse, fight, dance, play cards, and violate the laws in various other ways, together, but never steal, except what little they filch from the commonwealth.

They know no law except that concerning concealed weapons and tippling houses, and they are perfection itself in these.

The officers never think of enforcing the laws against drunkenness, profane swearing, or bribery in elections.

Judge Randall has arrived, and has organized and instructed his grand inquest today. They will begin their investigations immediately. The special term of the Breathitt Circuit Court will begin for the trial of equity, criminal, and penal causes tomorrow one week.

Jere Little, Alfred Little, Jack Little, and Alfred Gambrel were put in jail last night about sunset. The soldiers acted promptly in making the arrests.

The soldiers are quartered in the courthouse, and the judge is staying with them.

With the combined efforts of the military and judiciary, we may expect a speedy settlement of the troubles, and a thorough vindication of the law.

--A Reporter