Shooting of Isaac Whittenberg
Whittenberg learned that the man who had burst into his house was named Todd, and Paul let Todd go first, advising Whittenberg that it was best to let Todd take the lead because Todd would just as soon shoot him (Whittenberg) as not. When the threesome neared Alexander's place, Whittenberg was allowed to dismount and start back on foot toward his house. He had not gone more than fifteen or twenty steps, however, before the two men rode back and overtook him, and Todd demanded that he give up his pistol. When Whittenberg said he did not have a pistol, Todd promptly shot him in the breast and fired a second shot before Paul intervened to prevent Todd from firing again.
Paul was later arrested and charged with the assault on Whittenberg, while Todd apparently was nowhere to be found. However, the victim, who was recovering from his wound, testified at Paul's trial in Springfield near the end of February that he felt he owed his life to Paul. He said Paul had intervened to stop Todd from shooting him a second time and that he felt Paul had done everything he could to protect him. Paul was accordingly acquitted of the charges against him.
What intrigues me about this case is the possibility that the man named Todd could have been notorious Quantrill guerrilla George Todd. I have no evidence that such is the case, but I do know that Todd and some of Quantrill's other men did participate in the Battle of Springfield in early January of 1863 and the Battle of Hartville later the same month. And Paul's description of Todd as just as likely to shoot a man as not sounds like an apt description of George Todd. It's possible that George Todd, tiring of regular Confederate service, was trying to get back to his old stomping grounds of Jackson County and thus needed local men to pilot him through the territory. It is known that some of Quantrill's men did, in fact, return to the Kansas City area shortly after the Battles of Springfield and Hartville.
Labels: George Todd