Prior to 1861, Alvin Cobb of Montgomery County, Missouri was a farmer who was locally known as “one-arm Alvin.” The missing limb having been lost in an accident; although the details remain unclear. Cobb started his Civil War military career as a Captain in the Missouri State Guard Cavalry, with a hook where his arm had been. One of Cobb’s notable early escapades was his ambush and execution of a Major Sharp and a Lt. Yager (sometimes spelled Jaeger) near Martinsburg in the southeast corner of Audrain County, Missouri, July 18, 1861. Though no records exist of a Confederate and Union engagement near Cobb’s Montgomery County home in Cobbtown, Union soldiers claimed to have tracked a trail of blood to the farm during their investigation of the execution of the Major and Lieutenant. While many speculate that neighbors most likely accused Cobb of the Martinsburg killings, others are of the belief that Union troops extracted information from Mrs. Cobb, herself. By whatever means, the Cobb farm was immediately raided, animals taken or slaughtered, food stores emptied, wagons and materials confiscated, and every building put to the torch by the Union troops.
Keep checking back for part two of the story!