Sgt Samuel Oscar Berry

Sgt Samuel Oscar Berry

Birth
Missouri, USA
Death 3 Jul 1873 (aged 34–35)
Albany, Albany County, New York, USA
Burial Menands, Albany County, New York, USA
Plot Single Grave Lot 19, Tier 9, Section 98
Memorial ID 11674860 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Samuel O. Berry was a graduate of Kentucky State Normal College. He was a schoolteacher in Kentucky and lived for a time with the Shakers. In fact, he was an ordained minister in the Christian Church. His right arm had been severed below his elbow in an agricultural accident. During the early stages of the Civil War, his sister was bayoneted to death by a Union soldier. Berry developed a deep hatred for the Yankees, and to take out his revenge, he joined the 6th KY Cavalry under General John Hunt Morgan. After Morgan's death in 1864, Berry joined up with Henry C. Magruder's band of guerillas. While in the Confederate service he met Marcellus Jerome Clark, also known as "Sue Mundy". One story says he got the sobriquet "Sue Mundy" in Boston after he became obsessed with the woman and stole her clothes and horse. He donned her clothes and, imitating her, rode sidesaddle around Boston. Clark himself said the name came from a girl who was a horse thief and tried to blame him for her thefts.
In 1861, Marcellus Clark was a member of the 4th Kentucky Infantry. He was captured during the fall of Ft. Donelson and sent to a prison camp. Because of the poor treatment he received, he developed a strong hatred of Yankees. Escaping, he eventually left the regular army and joining Magruder's band of guerillas in 1864. That is when "Sue Mundy" met "One-Armed" Berry.
In Sept 1864 a train derailed in KY and suddenly highwaymen appeared from nowhere and held up the surviving passengers. A one-armed bandit waved his pistol at them and took their money. He was identified as One Armed Berry. Another was identified as Sue Mundy. Later in Sept they held up a drug store, pistol-whipping the clerk. In October they held up a stagecoach. Again they were identified by the passengers. Later that day they robbed a bank, holding hostages and firing their revolvers. The town resident returned fire, and Mundy's horse was killed during the getaway. Berry shot and killed the hostage.
In November 1864 the band held up the same drug store a second time. While in town they also held up the sheriff and stole his wallet, saddlebags and guns from his office. Leaving town they stopped at John Foster's house and robbed him. Then they asked him which army he belonged to. He answered ‘None', so they shot him in the face and killed him. Down the road they came to the Wm Yager farm. They robbed Yager & killed his houseguest. In the morning they arrived at the farm of Wm Yates, robbed him & his widowed daughter and stole their horses. At the Thomas Hall farm they killed Hall as he & his wife begged for mercy – then burned their children's clothes and blankets. For the next several months they continued their carnage, yet at times they joined up with Bill Marion, Wm Quantrill, James Younger, and Frank James and their gangs.
In Feb 1865 "Sue Mundy" was captured and taken to Louisville where he was sentenced to hang. (His neck didn't break – he strangled.) He was just 20 years old.
"One Armed" Berry continued his rampaging ways with a new gang, adding rape his growing list of atrocities. Finally, in the end of 1865, Berry was arrested. His trial opened on Jan 14, 1866. Charged with 6 counts of robbery, 2 rape, 12 murder. Found guilty and sentenced to hang in March.
In the spirit of reconciliation after the war, Gen. John McCauley Palmer, Commanding Officer of the KY prison, commuted Berry's sentence to 10 years hard labor at the state prison in Albany. Seven and a half years later, in July 1873, Berry died of consumption and was buried in the prisoners' section of Albany Rural Cemetery. He was 34 years old.

Gravesite Details SGT Samuel O. "One-Armed" Berry is one of three Confederate soldiers that are buried in Albany Rural Cemetery.
  • Created by: Mark Bodnar
  • Added: 3 Sep 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11674860
  • Blockade Runner
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Samuel Oscar Berry (1838–3 Jul 1873), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11674860, citing Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, Albany County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Mark Bodnar (contributor 11235995) .