Richard William Gunter states in his Civil War pension file that he was born in North Carolina in 1828. The same information is on his Compiled Military Service Record, with the added bonus of the birthplace narrowed down to Halifax County. The earliest record I have for Richard is a marriage record from 1848 in West Ely, Marion County, Missouri. He married Nancy Ann Beard, and the ceremony was performed by William Dickson.
How Richard got from Halifax County, North Carolina to Marion County, Missouri I don't know. What I did discover was the church he most likely attended in Marion County. The church was simply called West Ely Presbyterian Church. William T. Dickson became pastor of this church in 1841, the same paster who married Richard and Nancy. It is now on my to do list to track down church records if they exist.
What really has my curiosity peaked is Richard's many trips back and forth to Iowa. In 1850 Richard and Nancy were living in Keokuk, Iowa, by 1860 they are living in Hannibal, Missouri. Richard signed up for the Civil War in Iowa, by 1870 he's back in Missouri again. What is the fascination and draw of Iowa?? I know there is a key here, but I just haven't been able to figure it out yet.
I don't call this problem a brick wall, simply because I haven't exhausted all available records yet. I've looked at the microfilm available from the Family History Library, and need to order film on deeds, land, wills, probate, and court records. It's a little overwhelming. Why? The Gunter's never stayed in the same county within Missouri for any given census year until they finally moved to Colorado sometime after 1880. Then there are the records to look at in Iowa as well. That's 3 states (4 if you include North Carolina) and at least 6-7 different counties. It's a big project.