Sam Hildebrand Arrest Warrant Date November 22, 1865

In the original document the State of Missouri, Court of St. Francois County charges, Sam Hildebrand and William Pigg with Robbery In The First Degree. This indictment was issued on November 22, 1865, by the St. Francois Missouri, County court. The two men were charged with taking the property of Harvey McGahaw. Below is a scan of the body of the legal document.

Sam was born into a large family on January 6, 1836. His parents were Rebecca McKee & George Hildebrand. The 1850 census of St. Francois County, Missouri lists nine children in the Hildebrand clan. Sam had only one day of schooling, he was only able to write two letters of the alphabet. Like most Missouri lads, he became an excellent marksman. He lived alongside his siblings on the family farm. He waited until he was 18 to marry Margaret Hampton on October 30, 1854. They had six children. Sam and his brother, Frank, had gotten into some legal trouble over a horse swapping deal involving a horse that was stolen from a neighbor named Firmin McIlvaine.

When the Civil War started in 1861, Frank Hildebrand traveled to Potosi in Washington County, Missouri to enlist in the Union Army Home Guards. Instead a Union Captain named Castleman turned Frank over to Firmin McIlvaine and his group of vigilantes. After torturing and defiling Frank, they eventually took him to Ste. Genevieve County. There without the benefit of a trial, hung him from a tree. After he had died they threw his body into a sink hole, where it was not found for more than a month.

In June, 1862 Sam avenged his brother's death when he killed George Cornicius and Firmin McIlvaine. Sam had a rifle called "Kill Devil," that more than lived up to it's name. For every Yankee he killed, he carved a notch in old "Kill Devil." Purportedly, the rifle bore over 80 notches before Sam was done. In July 1862 the Yankees inflicted revenge upon Sam's family for his killing of Cornicius and McIlvaine. Sam's widowed, aged mother was forced from her home and the Hildebrand homestead was burned. One of his brothers, along with his sister's fiance, were literally shot to pieces by a whole company of Federals. Sam's uncle was also murdered. The body of Sam youngest brother who was only thirteen, was not found for several days.

When Sam became a Confederate guerrilla, who had the reputation of controlling southeast Missouri, he was a passionate and relentless fighter, who like numerous other Missouri guerrillas, was unable to return to a peaceful life after the war. Sam Hildebrand was killed when trying to escape from three marshals. He died on March 21, 1872 in Pinckneyville, Illinois.

In his book, Jesse Edwards James wrote that his father "claimed to have fought with both Jesse James and Sam Hildebrand during the War." Jesse Edwards James also claimed they spent hours pretending to be "Jesse James and Sam Hildebrand, fighting the vile Jay-hawkers." This was before Jesse Edwards learned first hand that his father was none other than Jesse James. Just like Little Archie Clements, George Shepard and Jesse W James, Same may have not died until long after the fighting had ceased but he was still a victim of the War.  

 ©Patrick R. Marquis, Quantrillsguerrillas.com. "Permission should be requested and agreed to before using this copyrighted essay and or image."  We hope you enjoy the war dated image of Sam in a four button  Yankee coat.                                 



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