Thirsty Teamsters at Cuba
After dark on the same day, someone cut a window sash out of the store, broke in, and took one or more kegs of whiskey, some tobacco, and a few other items. The entire haul was valued at about $30. The same evening some men also called at the home of a local man named Cundiff and took a gray mare.
On July 13, James R. Coleman of Cuba wrote to the Union's district headquarters at Rolla outlining what had happened and saying that he was sure the teamsters were the ones who had broken into the store and stole the horse. Several other men attested to the facts as outlined in Coleman's letter and seconded his opinion that the teamsters were the guilty parties.
Brigadier General Thomas A. Davies, commanding the Rolla district, forwarded the complaint to the Department of the Missouri's headquarters at St. Louis. He included a statement vouching for David Curtis as an upright citizen and loyal Union man and suggesting that the matter warranted investigation.
Upon receipt of Davies's communication, Major General John M. Schofield, commanding the Department of the Missouri, ordered an investigation in late July. About a month later, Union authorities at Rolla reported back to Schofield that, after an inquiry into the matter, "nothing could be discovered" to substantiate the charges against the teamsters. The chief wagon master at Rolla had testified that none of his teamsters were engaged in the robbery of Mr. Curtis's store and that Mr. Cundiff's horse had been taken by the 2nd Wisconsin escort, not by the teamsters. He added, too, that the horse was found to have a "U.S." brand on it, suggesting that it was government property to begin with that had been unlawfully acquired by Cundiff. The chief quartermaster said the horse had later been "disposed of" by the escort "on the road." Thus the investigation into the theft of whiskey at Cuba was discontinued.