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Near Dover in Mason County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Castro-Metcalfe Duel

(Casto-Metcalfe Duel)

 
 
Castro-Metcalfe Duel Marker, side one image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 13, 2019
1. Castro-Metcalfe Duel Marker, side one
Inscription.  On the Ohio River shore near here one of the last duels fought in Kentucky under the “code duello” took place on May 8, 1862 between William T. Castro, former Maysville mayor, and Col. Leonidas Metcalfe, U. S. Army, Son of former Governor Thomas Metcalfe. Colts rifles were used at 60 yards. On-the first fire Castro was mortally wounded. Metcalfe was not hit.

The duel climaxed a bitter Civil War episode. In Oct. 1861, Metcalfe was ordered to arrest 7 men including Castro for aiding the Confederates. They were sent north to Union prisons; all were later released, Castro in Feb, 1862. His belief that Col. Metcalte was responsible for his arrest led Castro to challenge him to duel which ended his own life.
 
Erected 1966 by Kentucky Historical Society and Kentucky Department of Highways. (Marker Number 496.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Kentucky Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 38° 45.284′ N, 83° 53.608′ W. Marker is near Dover
Castro-Metcalfe Duel Marker, side two image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 13, 2019
2. Castro-Metcalfe Duel Marker, side two
, Kentucky, in Mason County. Marker is on Mary Ingles Highway (Kentucky Route 8) west of Market Street / Dover-Minerva Road (Route 1235), on the right when traveling west. It is just inside the county line. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dover KY 41034, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dover Covered Bridge (approx. 0.9 miles away); Ripley / The John P. Parker House (approx. 2.4 miles away in Ohio); John P. Parker’s Early Life (approx. 2.4 miles away in Ohio); John Parker’s Path (approx. 2.4 miles away in Ohio); The John P. Parker Family (approx. 2.4 miles away in Ohio); John P. Parker (approx. 2.4 miles away in Ohio); John P. Parker Memorial Park (approx. 2.4 miles away in Ohio); a different marker also named John P. Parker (approx. 2.4 miles away in Ohio).
 
More about this marker. Kentucky Historical Society online list on 7/7/2019 shows this marker in “Bracken County on Mason County line, KY 8.” Today it is 0.9 miles into Mason County, next to Locust Grove Cemetery, at the very corner of the Dover town line. On 6/13/2019 no marker was visible on the Bracken County side of Kentucky Route 8. It should also be noted that the list numbers the marker as 996, while this marker is numbered 496 on its face.

The aforementioned list spells the title as “Casto-Metcalfe Duel.” This marker appears to have misspelled the challenger’s name. Contemporary accounts and the late mayor’s gravestone spell the challenger’s name as “Casto.”
 
Regarding Castro-Metcalfe Duel. The gravestone for the challenger’s at the Maysville Cemetery reads “William T. Casto.”

The duel took place just across the county line in Bracken County.
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia entry for Code Duelo. “A ‘code duello’ is a set of rules for a one-on-one combat, or duel. Codes duello regulate dueling and thus help prevent vendettas between families and other social factions. They ensure that non-violent means of reaching agreement be exhausted and that harm be reduced, both by limiting the terms of engagement and
Castro-Metcalfe Duel Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 13, 2019
3. Castro-Metcalfe Duel Marker
The bit of uncut greenery to the right of the marker is the corner of Locust Grove Cemetery.
by providing medical care. Finally, they ensure that the proceedings have a number of witnesses. The witnesses could assure grieving members of factions of the fairness of the duel, and could help provide testimony if legal authorities become involved.” (Submitted on July 7, 2019.) 

2. Mason Duel. Undated article on Bernie Spencer’s Northern Kentucky Views.
The time was set: Thursday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m. The place, 2 miles down the Ohio River from Dover, in northeast Bracken County, the farm of Louis Long’s (later owned by Mrs. Henry Scheek and Harry Bess. The tract of land lies about 1½ miles from the farm owned by Peter Kelsch, in 1884). The arms: rifles. Metcalfe owned a Sharpe’s rifle. Castro’s seconds were Isaac Nelson and Thomas A. Respess. He had no surgeon. Metcalfe’s seconds were Wm. Oden, and Major S. C. Rogers. His doctor was Dr. John T. Fleming; another, not named. The course of fire: at 60 yards.

Only ten friends of each were allowed to be in the party. At the last minute, Langehorn Tabb begged them not to shoot.
(Submitted on July 7, 2019.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. The Duel in Kentucky
Front page newspaper article, in the May 22, 1862 Gallipolis Journal.:
THE
On the Front Page of the Ohio <i>Gallipolis Journal</i> image. Click for full size.
May 22, 1862
4. On the Front Page of the Ohio Gallipolis Journal
DUEL IN KENTUCKY.
Most of our readers have heard of the fatal encounter between Col. L. Metcalfe and W. T. Casto near Dover, Ky., last week, in which Mr. Casto was instantly killed. Below we publish Mr. Casto’s challenge and reply of Mr. Metcalfe:

                    MAYSVILLE, May 6, 1862.
Col. Leonidas Metcalfe.
        Sir:
        Having done me a great wrong, under circumstances adding indignity to injustice—you cannot deny me what is the purpose of this note to demand, the satisfaction, due from one gentleman to another. My friend Mr. Issac Nelson, the bearer, is authorized to arrange the terms of the meeting.
        Respectfully, Your Ob’t &c.,
                    W. T. CASTO.

                    MAYSVILLE, May 6, 1862.
Mt. W. T. Casto.
        Sir:
        Your note of this date has been received. In it you say: “Having done me great wrong, under circumstances adding indignity to injustice—you cannot deny me what is the purpose or this note to demand, the satisfaction due from one gentleman to another.” I have never had any acquaintance with you, have never exchanged a word with you to my knowledge, and consequently have not done you the wrong of which you speak.
        You have no right under the
Mr. William T. Casto (1824–1862), Challenger image. Click for full size.
Source: David L. Bush via Find a Grave
5. Mr. William T. Casto (1824–1862), Challenger
code of honor or any other code to make of me the demand you have made and I consider myself under no obligation—not the slightest—to grant you the satisfaction you ask or any other satisfaction. I make this statement lest in accepting your invitation, I shall be understood as admitting your right to challenge. But regarding your note as a wanton attempt to force me into difficulty, and having no disposition to allow any one to gain reputation at my expense in that way, I will grant you the meeting you appear to desire. My friend, Mr. Thos. M. Green, is authorized to make all the preliminary arrangements that may be necessary.
                    LEONIDAS METCALFE.
    — Submitted July 7, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Colonel Leonidas Metcalfe (1819-1868), Opponent image. Click for full size.
Source: Kala Mayer, via Find A Grave
6. Colonel Leonidas Metcalfe (1819-1868), Opponent
 

More. Search the internet for Castro-Metcalfe Duel.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 7, 2019. This page originally submitted on July 7, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 7, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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