A Knot Of Blue & Gray: Conflict And Loyalty During The Civil War In Ozark County, Missouri


Embark on a journey with a story that goes back in time to transport you to the heart of the Missouri Ozarks during the Civil War. Hear of the storyteller’s Hawkins ancestors, whose lives were forever changed in a tale of conflict and loyalty.

Every man in this tale, including Washington Hawkins and his cousins, B. F. and Calvin Hawkins, and William Monks grew up together near the North Fork of the White River in Ozark County, MO,  forging bonds that would be tested in the chaos and tragedy of war.

At the outbreak of the war, all the men had to make decisions that would impact their lives for generations to come. William Monks, now a Union Captain, becomes the master of the Hawkin’s family’s fate when his boyhood friendship with the nephews turns to hatred. While Monks and Washington (Wash) enlist and wear the Union blue, his cousins join a group of Confederate guerillas who terrorize Ozark and Howell Counties. Monks’ obsession with B. F. and Calvin Hawkins intensifies when he is given the assignment to eradicate all Confederate “traitors” in the area. Lines between loyalty, kinship, and duty blur when Wash encounters his cousins deep in the woods and hills of Ozark County.

This story of survival and sacrifice unfolds against the backdrop of a nation divided. It is a life-and-death tale of friendships forged and broken, family bonds sorely tested, and definitive actions with harsh consequences that would impact a family forever.

Join us at 2 pm on Saturday, January 27th, at Harlin Museum (405 Worcester, West Plains, MO 65775) to hear Danette House spin the tale of her family’s history–a legacy forged during our country’s greatest divide, deep in the hills of this Ozarks wilderness.