Bloody Affray

On Sunday last an affray occurred near Anderson’s Ferry, Boone county, which resulted in the death of one of the men engaged and the serious wounding of another.  The young men – George and Henry McNeal, Uriel Anderson and James A. Riddle, the latter not more than 17 year old, quite small, and crippled in one hand, were going to the ferry with a load of melons.  The stopped at a drinking house near the ferry.  A difficulty sprung up in the house between the party already named and  five or six men, among whom were James O’Niel, Edward O’Niel, James McCartney, Enoch Anderson and James Moore.  We have not been able to learn precisely what caused the fight in the grocery nor by which party it was commenced.  It is said that a difficulty had occurred at a pic-nic a few days previously, between the McNeals and some of the other party.  Another account says it originated in political differences, and still another attributes it to whiskey. It is not unlikely that all these causes operated. The fight was adjourned from the grocery to the road, when it seems to have become general.  Pistols and knives were drawn, though from the best information we have the former were not used, or at any rate did no damage.  Moore, it is said had young Riddle down, and was about to use a weapon when he was cut by a knife in the hands of one of Riddle’s companions, causing death in a short time.  About the same time Edward O’Niel was badly cut, and is now lying in precarious condition. This terminated the fight and the young men escaped.


The Covington Journal, August 31, 1861  The two different spellings “O’Neal” and “O’Niel” both occur in the original.