James Stilley, son of Stephen Stilley (b. 1790) was, according to family tradition, killed by Ben Batts with a hoe in about Oct. 1863. James was living in Williamson Co., IL. Supposedly after his death (how many years, I am not sure, maybe as much as 15 years later) two of James' sons, John W. Stilley and Stephen S. Stilley, went looking for Ben. He was located in the Timpson, Shelby Co., TX area, but had died or died soon after tracking him down. John stayed in Shelby Co., but Stephen eventually settled in Coffeyville, Montgomery Co., KS. John and Stephen had a brother Moses Stilley who stayed in Williamson Co.
I have not found any articles or obituaries on the murder. If you find any, I am interested in obtaining copies.
This story about Ben Batts has been related to me, directly and indirectly, by several descendants of John W. Stilley. However, several of his descendants have related other stories of how or why John settled in Shelby Co., TX which do not involve the murder by Ben Batts.