The bushwackers called at the home of his parents and asked to warm themselves. Deceived by their uniforms, he invited them in. They entered the house and ordered William and a fellow soldier to surrender,then shot them both down, and robbed them of their money and clothing. Among the murderers were Jake Weaver, William Morehouse and others known to the Gideon family. The mob was followed by a band of Union soldiers who attacked and killed all the murderers except Weaver who was wounded, but escaped. After the war, it was reported that he was hanged in Texas for horse stealing.
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