A Little Dab of History Without Embellishment
A letter from William H. Gregg inviting William E. Connelley to review
K. C. MO
My Dear Connelley.
Yours of yesterday at hand. Glad to hear from you but am sorry to inform you that I will start on the campaign next Monday, but, if you will call at my house you can see all the papers I have relating to this matter. Mrs. Gregg will accompany me in the country.
Your Friend as Ever.
Wm. H. Gregg
A Little Dab of History
1. History after history has been written of Quantrill and his men, none of which can be characterized as true and that which is not true is not history. About the 25th day of December, 1861, James A. Hendricks, John W. Koger and myself, joined Quantrill's command then consisting all told of eight men, we three swelling his force to eleven. We found Quantrill at Mrs. Samuel Crump's place on Independence and Blue Springs Road and this was the nucleus to the greatest guerrilla that the world ever produced. Quantrill was at that time about twenty-four years of age, Blue Gray
2. eyes, red beard and hair so light that many of the boys denominated him "tow head" but as the years rolled on, his hair acquired a more sandy cast.
Quantrill, (his story to the contrary notwithstanding) was born at Canal Dover, Ohio, at least a woman said to be his mother says he was born there. Quantrill told me this story. He said "I was born and raised in Hagerstown, Maryland, me and my older brother, with a wagon and team and a Negro boy, started for Pike's Peak, arriving at Lawrence, we stopped to make some purchases, leaving some time in the afternoon. Camped near
3. The Kaw River where we were attacked by Montgomery's Jayhawkers, my brother killed, I wounded and left for dead, the Negro, wagon and the team appropriated and after keeping vigil for twenty-four hours amidst the hideous howlings of hundreds of coyotes becoming most famished for water, I managed to quench my thirst, after which, I espied a canoe at the opposite bank and soon after an Indian approached the canoe to whom I hallooed, asking him to come over which he did, and after hearing my story, buried my dead brother and took me to his cabin where he and his wife nursed me to health,
4. after which, heed myself to Lawrence and joined Montgomery's band
under the name of Charley Hart, I soon found I had the confidence of Montgomery,
his officers and men. I next obtained the names of all the men who had
taken part in the killing of my brother &c, I at once went to get revenge
for the wrongs heaped upon me and my brother. I managed to get one at a
time away from the command and never permitted one to get back alive until,
when the war came, only two were left.
The above story however was somewhat shaken, when a woman purporting to be Quantrill's mother and a Mr. Scott, both from Canal Dover, Ohio,
5. told me that Quantrill had no older brother. Scott asserted that
he and William Clark Quantrill were school boys together and bosom friends,
and that he could not account for Quantrill's taking the stand he did in
the War, for, said Scott, "he was raised an Abolitionist."
Whether Quantrill's was deception thus far or not, rests with the truth or falsity of the latter statement, One thing I do know however and that is, that he was a soldier and not afraid to die, that he was equitable and just to friend and foe up to a certain period in the war, a matter that I will treat of more fully, hereafter.
6. Quantrill and his men have been unjustly slandered by the people
who, even to this day, know nothing of them, except what they have read
in irresponsible books and newspapers. The time has come when their minds
should be disabused.
Quantrill's command was composed principally of men and boys from the very best families of Missouri and now at this writing, many of them are honored citizens of Missouri and other states many of whom have been honored with high political positions, not in Missouri alone, but, other states also, and none of them have ever defaulted, a record of which I am exceptionally proud.
7. You must not infer that I make this claim for all the men who chanced
to be with Quantrill. It would be a miracle if such was the case. It was
the Kansan who hated and berated Quantrill and his men, more jealously
than any other people, but, admit that Quantrill and his men were the very
greatest demons and sprang from the very depths of degradation, they could
not have been any worse than the Kansan, so that, for the Kansan to berate
them I would liken to the "Pot" calling the "Kettle" black.
Quantrill and his men had many ups and downs, they were often in the greatest of peril, footsore, hungry and shot at from every quarter, hunted day in and day out, staying in the enemies country where they were out-numbered two hundred to five hundred to one,
8. and yet, none of them were known to murmur at their hard lot.
Outside the Kansas City Star, the Kansan is our most bitter enemy, the great fault in the people who write of us is, that they only tell one side of the story just as though they had the right to murder, burn, rob and steal and those whom they murdered, robbed and plundered had no right resist. Gen. Sherman very truly said that war was hell, and, meant to kill and that is what the Kansan did when he came to Missouri and their killing was principally of old men and boys, noncombatants. I will have more to say of the Sainted Kansan in another chapter.
9. Quantrill and his men did little more than stand the enemy off after I joined the command until Spring, except the interception of marauders, during which time we captured many of the enemy whom we universally paroled. Quantrill and his men vieghing with each other who should be the most magnanimous toward prisoners, up to the 20th March 1862 when we received Maj. Gen. Hallack's order, telling his officers and men to shoot or hang Quantrill or his men whenever caught or found. At this date we had sixty men, twenty of whom had come to us only the day before and when the order was read and explained, these recent recruits left us.
10. They were disgusted at the idea of being outlawed and the hoisting
of the black flag by the enemy. They did not stay away long however as
the federal troops began murdering by wholesale, old men and boys, and,
were so insulting to the women that they too, often hid out on their approach.
Heaven bless the women, they were friends in need and indeed. No braver
than the southern ladies of Missouri, we often owed our lives to them.
So, to say again, heaven bless them.
On the 22nd day of February 1862, it being Washington's Birthday, Quantrill with fifteen men went to Independence not knowing the enemy was there. On their arrival we were met by an Ohio
11. Cavalry regiment, and, of course there was a collision and while
we lost two men and the enemy held the town we had the better of the fight,
their losses being much greater than ours. Towards the close of the engagement
a sturdy brave Ohio cavalryman rode up beside me with drawn saber, thinking
that I was a comrade, he soon found his mistake however, and proceed to
belabor me with his saber, the only harm he did was to blacken my arm from
the elbow to the wrist.
Soon after this, or on the 22nd of March, Quantrill with twenty-one men was surrounded at what was known as the "Tate" house fourteen miles south of Kansas City, when after fighting the enemy for an hour they fired the house.
12. When Quantrill and his men made a dash, drove the enemy back and
escaped with the loss of their horses and one man "Perry Hoy" captured,
of whom, I will speak more fully hereafter.
While it is a notorious fact that we were, as a rule, greatly outnumbered by the enemy, they always gave way to our charge. From this date to about the middle of April, it was a series of surprises for Quantrill and his men, in each case losing our horses, which was a great drawback, however, we soon got on to the enemies tactics, and never afterwards did we loss horses in any considerable number, but, often beat the enemy out of theirs.
About the 10" April 1862, Quantrill with about twenty men, camped at a vacant house, Known as the Lowe House, sixteen miles southeast of Kansas City, where he was betrayed by some unknown person. Having no guard out, was surrounded at dawn next morning by Lieut. Nash, with about sixty men. The first thing Nash did was to secure the horses. Next, he surrounded the house and demanded a surrender, which of course, was refused. The men were sound asleep and, of course when awakened by the fire from the enemy, were addled and confused. However, the men, excepting Andrew Blunt and Joe Gilchrist, fought their way out and escaped. The two mentioned were captured taken out and set upon a stump for a target. Gilchrist was killed, Blunt's arm broken. Nash coming up at this junction, stopped the shooting and saved Blunt, who was taken to Independence, placed in the hospital, from which he escaped through the connivance of Dr. Port. Henry, who was forced to act as surgeon for the troops stationed there. This misfortune left us with half our men without horses. The second day after the Lowe house affair, Tucker, Gregg and Estes were encamped near Stony point where John Keshlear came to them. Dr. Herndon being at the house of Jacob Gregg, James Tucker desiring to see the Dr. rode to the house and called him to the fence. while talking to Dr. a scout of seventy-five federals came within fifty yards before they were discovered. Tuckers horse became unmanageable and threw him. Before he could rise to his feet, the enemy were in fifteen feet of him with pursuit guns. Nothing daunted, Tucker rose, drew his revolver presenting it at the enemy, walked backwards until he reached the bush, where he wheeled and ran, escaping without a scratch. Keshlear, although he had been warned not to leave the camp, had started for the house on foot. Being a cripple, he could not run fast and was overhauled and killed. Tucker, Estes and Gregg escaped, but lost their horses. A few days later, however, Tucker was captured at Pink Hill by a company of Germans from Jefferson City. They being strangers in Jackson county, held Tucker prisoner. About the third night of Tuckers captivity, he played a ruse on the guard and escaped.
Quantrill, at this time, was camped at the house of Samuel Clark three miles south of Stoney Point. Tucker came to us on Saturday evening. The next morning, Gregg was acting barber, cutting a comrades hair in the front yard. John Koger had ridden out to the house of an acquaintance, returned and dismounted in the front of the house, where he was hitching his horse. Suddenly, Koger made a move that showed he had sighted the enemy. Immediately after Koger had shown this sign, which it would be utterly impossible for me to describe, the enemy fired upon him, one of the bullets struck a rail in fence, glanced, striking Kroger on the "buttock", burning severely but did not not break the skin. I imagine I can see Koger holding the burnt spot now. After an hour fighting from the house (which was log) we divided the men, leaving Todd in charge at the house. Quantrill and Gregg went to the barn to secure the horses, but, before we accomplished anything, Todd became alarmed and yelled for us to come to his aid, for which there was no plausible excuse. On the return of Quantrill and Gregg with their force to the house, it was decided to abandon the house and our horses, I contending then and have always contended that if Todd had done his whole duty, we would have saved our horses. After leaving the house we made a detour through the timber reaching the crossing on the Sni ahead of the forces we had fought at Clark's just in time however to meet reinforcements coming to their aid from Pink Hill, we lay concealed behind rocks, trees &c allowed the enemy to ride into the stream, when we opened fire, wounding several. At this juncture, the force we had fought at Clark's came upon our rear and drove us away. The slight wound received by Koger at Clark's was the only damage received by us.
Quantrill buys Caps.
Quantrill and his men being dismounted, without a sufficient supply of ammunition, especially caps, Quantrill and Todd went to Hannibal Missouri, where they sold their horses and bought caps. Returning by way of St. Joseph and Olathe City. At the latter place they hired a hack for Kansas City. Arriving at or near Harlem, Clay County opposite Kansas City, some time in the night, the hackman was hailed by a picket and while the hackman parlied with the picket, Quantrill and Todd slipped out of the hack and escaped without being seen, either by the hackman or the enemy. Going down the river the next day, they came upon Blunt and Bledsoe fishing from a skiff on the Missouri River. The meeting was a surprise to both parties, for when Quantrill left for Hannibal, Blunt was in the hands of the enemy and neither Blunt nor Bledsoe knew of Quantrill's trip. Crossing over to Jackson County Quantrill found most of his men had procured horses and were fairly well mounted. Collecting ten or twelve men, he at once went about reassuring his men and sympathizers by devising an ambuscade at what was called blue Cut, six miles south of Independence, where he almost annihilates a troop of the enemy who were escorting the mail to Harrisonville.
After the first of May of this year, recruiting officers flocked to
13. Jackson and adjoining counties among them was Col. Upton Hays, then whom was there no more brave or dauntless spirit, falling in with Quantrill while on the move to Henry County. Arriving on Walnut Creek in the N. W. corner of Henry, we camped at a vacant farmhouse, threw out pickets and rested for the night. Soon after breakfast next morning our pickets were driven in by a scout of ninety-six men, we having exactly the same number, we fought and drove them away. One of their wounded falling into our hands who (notwithstanding they had hoisted the black flag against us) we tenderly carried to the house of a citizen.
14. Hays, having come up from the south for the purpose of recruiting a regiment, was restless. July the 10th having come, he asked Quantrill for an escort to Jackson. Quantrill gave him Todd with thirty men, reducing our force to sixty-five men. Of course the fight in the morning had stirred up a hornets nest, about 3 o'clock p.m. the enemy came after us three or four hundred strong. When we very gracefully retired, leaving the field to the enemy, but, encountering a severe rain storm, which soaked us to the hide, we soon left the enemy in the distance, stopping to feed where Strausbury now stands, some 8 miles east of Pleasant Hill. But on approach of night resumed
15. our march, passing half mile south of Pleasant Hill, garrisoned with several hundred troops, we recrossed Big Creek coming to a thickly wooded locality four or five miles west of the town, we lay down and slept 'till morning when we moved to the house of one Serraney, camping in the horse lot. the morning was bright and lovely, the many wild birds were caroling in the woods. Our boys were jubilant. Hicks George and Bob Houk was sent on our back rail as pickets, Blankets, overcoats &c hanged upon the lot fence to dry about two hours after our stop, firing at our pickets warned us of the approach of the enemy. Blankets and clothing were snatched from the fence and our horse saddled and hitched.
16. In a deep gulch in the rear, men ordered to the front where they lye low, concealed from the approaching enemy, with instruction not to fire until ordered. It was only seconds after the pickets got in until here come at a dead run six men commanded by a Sergeant, at this time, I was midway the lot, the only men the enemy could see, and of course drew their fire. The men lay in silence behind the lot fence, Quantrill standing behind the gate post with hand on the latch owing to the fact that I was the only man the enemy could see, it seemed to me an hour, for the bullets were whizzing thick and fast around me, finally when the enemy were in forty to sixty feet, the order was given. The men fired, the seven federals fell in a heap.
17. The horses coming straight toward the gate I yelled to Quantrill to open the gate, which he did, the horses coming into the lot. On approaching the seven dead federals, we found seven six round colts carbines, seven colt navies and seven bottles or canteens of whiskey, all of which we appropriated. In a few moments, the main body of the enemy came up, two hundred strong, formed one hundred yards away, where we fought them for some moments, they being armed with guns of longer range than ours. This fire was telling on us, we having one man killed (John Hampton) and two wounded, (Geo. Maddox and Wm. Tucker), Tucker being able to travel we sent him away in charge of his Bro. When this damaged had been done
18. we climbed the fence and charged then on foot, driving them away. They retired to a farmhouse on the prairie in plain view of us, where we could see the surgeons dressing wounds. Throwing a picket out to watch this force, we sat about the remove our dead and wounded. The farmer having no horse wagon, we found a yoke of cattle which we hitched to the wagon, placing rails on the wagon with two feather beds on the rails, we put the dead Hampton on the bed and the wounded man, Maddox who was shot through the lungs, beside him. All this time a cloud was gathering, the enemy already two hundred strong, had been reinforced, the reinforcements being concealed from us. When we were ready to move, the enemy in sight began to move on us and at this juncture a very laughable incident occurred.
19. Dave Pool with another man were placed in a pasture to watch the
enemy, in which there was a large jack, and, about the time the enemy moved
on our picket also, made a dash for them at a dead run, with his tail hoisted
straight in the air, his immense ears laid back, braying at every jump.
Pool said afterwards that he was in double fear, and did not know by which
he would be run down, the federals or the jack.
We had not gone more than three-eights of a mile until the enemy were on us, forcing us to give up our dead and wounded and forcing us to dismount and here was enacted the greatest, most unequal battle scene that I were to witness, the enemy being 450 strong, our force 61 rank and
20. file. We were surrounded in less than a moment. We received a galling
fire from all sides. The nature of the ground chosen by us was such that
the enemy were forced to relinquish their hold on the east and west. We
never divided our men, fought a side at a time making great havoc in the
federal ranks, the troops we were fighting were well trained, brave soldiers,
but unfortunately for them, they were loaded up with whiskey and continually
rushed upon us, the very thing we wanted them to do, for our men were armed
with pistols and shotguns and could do but little execution at long range.
After the fight had continued for two hours without the loss of a man killed, and only one wounded that being Quantrill, himself.
21. Many of the men became short of ammunition and on inquiry it war found that Pool, in his flight from the Jack and the enemy, had lost our extra supply. Quantrill then ordered the men to mount and get out, but before they could retire, they had to beat the enemy back with rocks, which were plentiful about the ground over which we fought. After all the men that could get their horses were mounted, Erga Moore was shot from his horse and killed, the first man to fall in the fight. Jerre Doors, in trying to get his horse, was shot through the knee and died from the wound. Our wounded all fell into the hands of the enemy, the only time our wounded were treated with anything like courtesy by the Federal government.
22. They also captured one man who was unhurt and exchanged him, the only one of our men ever exchanged by the Federal government. For a month after his wonderful fight, there was a lull. Quantrill hid away nursing his wound, which was only partially healed when we fought at Independence on the 11th day of August 1862, in which Quantrill with twenty five men, took an active part, and in my judgment, the fight would have been lost, for Quantrill and his men we guided the little army to the town, cut Buell off from his men and closed the battle by forcing the surrender of Buell and his body guard who were barricaded in the McCoy Bank building.
23. Quantrill lost one man killed in this battle, Kit Chiles. The little army that captured Independence were composed principally of Col. Upton Hayes' regiment but few of whom had been in battle. Col. J. T. Hughes with about 75 men and Quantrill with 25 men were the only veterans in the fight, but, they all stood the test just the same. Two or three days after the taking of Independence, Quantrill and his men were sworn into the Confederate service and reorganized by electing Quantrill Capt., Wm. Hulse, first lieut., Geo. Todd second lieut. and Wm. H. Gregg third Lieut., with one hundred and fifty men.
24. The next day after we were sworn in, Quantrill with ninety men repaired to Independence to secure commissaries captured and left there leaving Lieut's Hallar and Gregg with sixty men six miles west from Lone Jack with orders not to move unless we should be driven away. Without orders from him, Cockrell having come from the south and joined forces with Hayes, were encamped near Lone Jack. Maj. Foster, a brave and energetic federal officer, with eight hundred men, came to Lone Jack is search of these confederate forces. About eight o'clock on the morning of the 16th August, a courier from Col. Hayes arrived at our camp with a dispatch asking us to come to their
25. assistance. Hallar refused to go until a second courier came, when he was persuaded by Gregg to go. Although it was a disobedience of orders and the distance was covered in short order, we were too late to take part in the fight, though we captured about one hundred and fifty prisoners. It was here that Cole Younger displayed the greatest magnanimity in that he saved the life of Maj. foster and his brother, and also saved them some seven or eight hundred dollars in money. The time has come that I must speak of Perry Hoy again and tell of scenes that were repugnant to me.
26. At the battle of Lone jack a Lieut. Copeland was captured, a man who was very obnoxious to the southern soldier and citizen, a man who had in cold blood, murdered numerous old men, among them, two of the Longacres of Johnson County, when Col. Up Hayes was ready to leave for the south, he turned Lieut. Copeland over to Quantrill. We had established a camp some four miles northeast of the now, town of Lee’s Summit. Late one evening, Chas. Cowherd and Wm. Howard came to our camp bringing with them a copy of the then Missouri Republican, in which was published an account of the shooting of
27. Perry Hoy, our man captured at the Tate House 22nd March.
Quantrill was sitting at a table reading the paper and I was sitting by waiting to see the paper when, suddenly, I saw a change in Quantrill's countenance and the paper fell from his hand without saying a word he drew a blank book from his pocket, penned a note on a leaf, folded and handed it to me, saying, “give this to Blunt,” then he told me that Hoy had been shot. Eager to see the purpose of the note, I opened and read’ “take Lieut. Copeland out and shoot him, go to Woodsmall’s camp, get two prisoners and shoot them.”
28. On the return of Blount, the men were ordered to saddle up and, on inquiry found that we were going to Kansas to kill ten men in revenge for poor Hoy. Let's have the full sequel to this killing. Hoy was captured on the night of the 22nd of March at the Tate House. Soon after the capture of Hoy, we captured a first Lieut. of a Kansas cavalry regiment, whom we held to exchange for Hoy. Quantrill wrote the commanding officer at Ft. Leavanworth asking that the exchange be made, but got no answer. He then sent the Lieut. to Leavenworth to effect an exchange.
29. On the return of the Lieut., he told Quantrill that they refused to make the exchange, and asked Quantrill what he was going to do with him. Quantrill told him to go home, the Lieut. remarked that he would go home and sty there, that he would not fight for a government that would not exchange a private for him, a Lieut. After the shooting of the prisoners north of Lee’s Summit, we marched in the neighborhood of Red Bridge, near the Kansas line, remaining there until the next evening, when we marched on Olathe. However, we had killed ten men before we reached Olathe, but we had started to take Olathe and Olathe we must have, arriving near the place Quantrill ordered Lieut. Gregg to advance with sixty men,
30. place a cordon around the town, that no one might escape. While Quantrill with the remainder of the command marched to the center of town on the arrival of Quantrill at the Court Square he found 125 soldier drawn up on the sidewalk south of the square, so that a plan was adopted to capture these men without bloodshed. The men were ordered to hitch there horses to the court yard fence, close together and when hitched to step to the rear of their horses, standing in line. This completed they drew their revolvers and ordered the federals to surrender which they did without firing a shot, however, one man refused to give up his gun and was shot & killed,
31. so that, we had killed fourteen men for Hoy. We remained in Olathe until morning when we marched our prisoners out on the prairie about two miles from town, swore them out of the service and, turned them loose, notwithstanding Maj. Gen. Halleck’s order to shoot or hang Quantrill and his men whenever caught or found. About two weeks after the capture of Olathe, Colonel Burris with his Kansas regiment, came upon us near Columbus, Johnson County Missouri, but his force being so much greater than ours, we retreated to Lafayette County, avoiding a collision, while encamped at the farm of our Harvey Gleaues, some of our pickets
32. were chased in and came near being captured. At first we thought
it was Burris command following us up, but soon found they were militia
from Lexington. We gave pursuit overhauling them at Wellington, driving
them from the town. They made no halt, driving and scattering the enemy
in every direction, killing many of them, we having one man, (Lieut. Ferd
Scott) wounded in the side, as usual, they could not stand our onslaught.
After the fight was over, we marched west to Mecklin where we stopped for supper, finding that Burris was still
33. in pursuit, we moved our camp three miles north, where we rested ‘til morning. About daybreak next morning moved to Bone Hill where we got breakfast, but, we had barely finished when our pickets were driven in by Burris, this time Col. Burris pressed us more vigorously but did not bring us to a stand until about four o'clock P.M. on the high prairie north from Pleasant Hill, where we lost one man, young Simmons from Westport. We never knew if we did the enemy any damage on reaching the timber we scattered our men in order to avoid pursuit, which we did very effectually.
34. After a rest of four or five days the boys were together again, fresh and ready for the fray, and the “fray” was soon upon us. Camped in the river bottom one mile below Sibley, one hundred and fifty of Penick's cutthroats drove our pickets in who were stationed in town. Although our force was only one hundred strong, we decided to give them battle, and, believing they would go south to the Lexington and Independence road, we at once, repaired to that road. Arriving at the farm house of Mrs. Garrison and the road leading north to Sibley, we halted for a short consultation when Col. Dick Chiles who had that day fallen in with us, asked to be given Command of the
35. advance, to which Quantrill said ‘No, I do not know you, I do not know if you would carry out my instructions. Here are my Lieut. Gregg and Todd, I know that either of them will do just as I tell them. The Lieuts, speaking up, said, "Let him have it." So Quantrill said to Chiles, “you must obey these orders. When you meet the enemy, you must not stop, but go right into them, I will be there to support you, now go.” Chiles moved out gaily and briskly with twenty-five as brave and dauntless soldiers as ever followed any man and Chiles was no coward, but unfortunately for poor Chiles, he disobeyed the orders given by our dauntless commander, instead when
36. he met the enemy, he stopped and dismounted his men giving the enemy time to dismount, take possession of a log house and heavy rail fence. Soon Chiles dismounted, he was shot through the lungs from which he never recovered. Quantrill saw at a glance that it was useless to continue the fight so, called the men off, carrying Chiles to the house of Mrs. Garrison where we left him, we also had one man wounded, Pat O’Donnell. Soon after the Sibley affair which was late in September 1862, we planned and carried out another successful raid on Kansas, this time, Shawnee Town was the objective point. This was to have been a bloodless affair
37. but unfortunately, we struck a train of wagons on the Santa Fe Trail, guarded by a troop of infantry. This infantry was taken by surprise, they having gone to sleep without a camp guard, much less a picket. As soon as they were wakened, there was a general scramble to get away, and I think that about half escaped, the other were shot down as they ran. This raid was planned for the purpose of securing clothing for the men; however, it was almost a waterhall, for Shawnee Town was possessed of little of that commodity. This Shawnee Town raid was made about the 20th October. The last mentioned affair was about
38. the last escapade of Quantrill in the Missouri River county in 1862, what little time we remained after that, we devoted to preparations for the trip south, which began on the 6th day of November, our rendezvous being on Big Creek, Cass County Mo, not far from the scene of the Scarancy battle. We struck the Harrisonville and Holden road about sundown in the evening, our advance striking a train of U. S. wagons escorted by about forty Iowa cavalry. Quantrill ordered Lieut. Gregg to advance with forty men and attack the cavalcade, capture the train, which was drawn by cattle. The enemy corralled the wagons and tried to enter the corral, but Gregg was too quick for them.
39. Nearly every one of the forty either killed or captured, some two miles south from where we captured this train. We camped, fed and lunched before we moved, our pickets reported the enemy coming, and, actually pushed our picket on to us before we got out of camp, Capt. Harrison being in the rearguard, the sergeant and men being inexperienced, the enemy drove them pell-mell upon our rear, also composed of raw men, stampeding the whole of Harrison company. We had just arrived at the top of a sharp ridge when Lieut. Gregg, Todd & Hallar formed all the veterans of Quantrill's old company.
40. Seeing that the enemies force was far superior to ours in number, Lieut. Gregg ordered his men back from the crest of the ridge, giving a chance to see the enemy come in view, Gregg ordered a charge, the enemy were so surprised and Gregg charge so impetuous, that the enemy were hurled back at least half a mile. Never daunted however, they came again and again each time they were hurled back with that same impetuous charge directed by Lieut. Gregg, Todd and Hallar. The third charge however, was enough. The contest was at an end, and we
41. resumed our march without the loss of a man, killed or wounded. What damaged we inflicted on the enemy, we never knew definitely. On our march southward, we chanced to fall in with Col. Warner Lewis, who had a command of about 200 men. Lewis insisted that Quantrill should join forces with him in an attack on Lamar, with was finally agreed to, on condition that Lewis would attack simultaneous with us, the hour for the attack being ten o'clock P. M. Lewis to enter from the north and Quantrill from the south. On nearing the town limits, Quantrill found that he was a few minutes ahead of time, so that we halted and waited for the exact
42. time, when we rushed the guards and brought on the fight in which we lost two men killed and accomplished nothing, Lewis not showing up. We pulled our men off, and continued our journey south, passing some miles west from Carthage, turning to westward and entering the Indian territory, going to Ft. Smith by way of Gibson, arriving a Ft. Smith, we were assigned to Gen. Jo. O. Shelby’s command, taking an active part in battles of Cane Hill, Prairie Grove, Springfield, Hartville &c, however, before the battle was opened at cane Hill, Quantrill had obtained leave of absence and started on a journey to Richmond, Virginia. Lieut.
43. Gregg in command, he now being the first Lieut. Possibly, some may think me ungenerous for relating an occurrence that took place at Cane Hill, but, I have said that nothing but the truth was history and that I was going to tell the truth, let the chips fall where they might. When I took command, I noticed the Lieut. Todd was absent. On close inquiry, I found that he with eight men had left for Missouri some hour or so before I made the inquiry. Whether Todd left with consent of Quantrill or not, I was never able to learn. After the battle of Hartville, Lieut. Gregg was given recruiting papers and ordered to Missouri River
44. by Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke, leaving the skeleton of Quantrill's command in charge of third Lieut. Scott. On Quantrill's return from Richmond in the spring, he brought the skeleton of his command back to the Missouri river, arriving early in May. Owing to the excessive hard winter, Lieut. Gregg's operations were limited until March, when with eleven men he captured the government steamer, “Sam Gaty” near Sibley, destroying half million in sugar, coffee, flour, bacon &c and killing some fourteen soldiers of Penick’s command. On Quantrill's return to the state, military operations
45. began in earnest, however on a different line from the previous year, During the year of 1862 the men were kept close together and all under the watchful eye of Quantrill. Not so in 1863, there was Todd, Pool, Blunt, Younger and others, each had companies, often widely separated, and only called together on special occasions, all of whom, however, recognized Quantrill as commander in chief with Lieut. Gregg adjutant. Occurrences were thick and fast during the summer of 1863. Todd would annihilate a party of the enemy in western Jackson County; Blunt another in the eastern
46. portion, Anderson somewhere is Kas, or Cass Co. Mo. Pool in Lafayette
or Saline, Younger on the high Blue. Some of these commanders were in collision
with the enemy almost every day. About the 5th of June 1863 Lieu's Gregg
and Scott with eight men crossed the Missouri River to Ray County. In Clay
county there was a militia Captain "Sessions" who had been terrorizing
the southern citizens several of whom he had murdered. So that this raid
was concocted for the purpose of getting Capt. Sessions, Gregg & Scott
moved within one mile of Missouri City, (where Sessions was Stationed with
a troop of soldiers) camped, made arrangements with an old farmer to report
to Sessions that there were two drunken Bushwhackers at his place menacing
his family. Gregg put Scott in charge of eight men, placed them in ambush
with instruction to let the enemy pass his position before firing. Gregg
with James Little remaining mounted, the farmer reported Sessions came
with eleven men, supposing the two drunken men was all he would contend
with, Gregg had told Scott to be sure to kill the two foremost men and
he would get Sessions, the two mounted men being concealed by Pawpaw bushes.
Sessions was soon there, Scott followed instructions to the letter but, instead of only killing the two foremost, he killed eight and wounded the ninth one. Gregg and Little killed the three who were unhurt in the ambush, moving on the town at once, we procured a large Union flag which we found locked in an iron safe, which, however was soon opened by the use of a sledge hammer procured from a near-by blacksmith shop.
At sundown, Gregg resumed his march to northern Clay County in search of recruits, arriving at the house of a Mr. Soper early next morning, hiding men and horses in a wooded pasture, where we lay until four o'clock p.m. when we repaired to the house for supper. School children stopping at the house told of seeing troops pass south on the Liberty and Plattesburg road, only two hundred yards away. Believing these to be troops from Plattesburg, Gregg determined to take that town also, moving within four miles of Plattesburg that night. Sleeping 'til near twelve the next day, sent spies in and found that twenty militia had been left to guard the place. With three hundred loaded guns in the coach house, Gregg knowing the soldiers were not on the lookout, determined to march in quietly and, take possession of the court house, but lieut. Scott and Joe Hart, the later having fallen in with us at Sopers, objected to Gregg's plan and proposed that we divide the men, allowing six men to make a charge on the court house, shooting in the air to scare the militia away. "Yes', says Gregg, "you will scare them into the court house". By this time we were in the suburbs, had captured Col. Jim Burch, aid De Camp to Gov. Gamble. Gregg said, "Well boys, there are two against me I will accept your plan and lead the charge". Joe Hart, John Jackson, Henry Cowherd (cousins to the present congressman) Jim Little and Fletch Taylor volunteered to go with Gregg when within two blocks of the court house, Henry Cowherd's horse fell at the corner of the square putting him "hors des combat". Jackson, Taylor and Little dashed by the court house receiving a galling fire from the enemy within, Gregg riding a three years old unbroke mare, stopped immediately in front of the court house and drove the enemy from the windows, but, where was Joe Hart, one of the men who proposed this plan of attack, hidden behind the building, west of the courthouse. When Gregg had driven the enemy from the windows on the west side, they repaired to the windows on the North and began a fusillade at Jackson, Taylor and Little who were sitting on their horses at the Northwest corner of the square. Gregg at once ordered Little to go to the North side of the court house, drive the enemy away from the windows, hold the position until Scott came up with the remainder of our men when Gregg said, "we will storm and take the court house". Little, a brave, dauntless fellow, obeyed the order at once, drove the enemy away. When they surrendered on condition that they were not to be shot. The men captured at the court house, and Col. Burch being paroled, we proceeded to destroy the guns found in the court house.
Leaving Plattesburg near sundown in the evening, Gregg with James A. Hendicks repaired to Platte County in quest of some twenty men who he had sworn into the service early in the spring, leaving Lieut. Scott in charge. On Gregg's arrival in Platte he found his recruits had gone on the plains, hence, there was nothing to do but return to his command. On the return, arriving at Smithville, located on Smith's Fork of the Platte River, they found the town full of militia, passing through the town and the militia unnoticed arriving at the bridge, which was a covered structure, their horses refused to enter, being very dark they could not see in the bridge. A flash on lighting disclosed the trouble, the bridge was full of sleeping militia. Hendricks horse fell leaving him behind. Gregg managed to take Hendrick's horse back through the town, where he waited for Hendricks, who soon appeared, arriving at camp next morning all safe. By this time, north Missouri had been thoroughly aroused, all federals stationed in striking distance had been set in motion to capture the men who had dared to cross the Missouri River, capture two towns and defy ten thousand federal troops, besides, we had killed the pitted Sessions and eleven men. Sending two men to the locality where we had crossed the river to secure a skiff, Gregg marched by easy stages to an obscure crossing on Fishing River, arriving there at dawn. Posting a picket on our trail, sent two men to the Missouri to find a way to cross. In two hours, they returned, begrimed and powder burnt, they were ambushed by infantry on the bank of the Missouri. They were otherwise unscathed. Not to be outdone, Gregg sent two men to Sibley in search of the two men sent to secure the skiff. They too, returned without success. Near sundown, while the men were asleep, our picket reported the enemy coming on our trail. All was hurry surrey, but, before we could move, the enemy was in our camp. They did not seem to recognize that we were an enemy and did not fire on us until we had crossed Fishing River. After the fighting for some time, five of Gregg's men became separated from him. Gregg fooled the enemy by turning north and going back to Kearney, near the famed Samuel's residence. From there to Blue Mill landing where he constructed a raft and recrossed the Missouri. On launching the raft, however they found the water only six inches deep for nearly one hundred yards. This was at one o'clock in the morning and reached floating water at sun rise. With a streamer in sight coming up the river, she held off however until we had crossed, and then sheared as far north as she dared to. In crossing, Frank James, John Jackson and Lieut. Scott lost their horses. Scott and James both secured horses nearby going immediately to Todd's camp in the vicinity of Blue Springs. Gregg and the remainder of the men going to camp near Sibley.
Todd fights near Westport.
With about thirty men, George Todd moved to the vicinity of Westport,
meeting a Kansas battalion in a lane, charged them, killing more than twenty
men, loosing in killed Lieut. Scott, Al Wyatt and Boon Scholl, three as
good men as belonged to Quantrill's command. It was thought however that
Scholl and Wyatt were killed by their own men, they being dressed in federal
uniforms. Scott was killed at long range. After the fight was over, Quantrill
pronounced this a bad fight because of the loss of these men, he always
contending that one of his men was worth more than fifty of the enemy.
Up to about the 1st of August when the enemy ceased their activity from some cause or other, giving Quantrill and his men much needed rest. The enemy had been more savage, if possible, than ever before. They had killed numerous men and boys, one boy, son of Henry Morris, only eleven years old. There could have been no better argument for the people to flock to Quantrill, than the dastardly acts of the enemy, and they came.
47. About the 10th August 1863, Quantrill called his various captains together for a council of war, which lasted near twenty-four hours. Quantrill said “let’s go to Lawrence”, and in support of this proposition he said, Lawrence in the great hotbed of abolitionism in Kansas, and all the plunder, (or the bulk of it) stolen from Missouri will be found stowed away in Lawrence, and we can get more revenge, and more money there than anywhere else in the state.” Some said that the undertaking was too hazardous, “I know, says the chief, but if you never risk your will never gain,” so Quantrill won. Quantrill and his captains
48. busied themselves the next five or six days in having the men prepare an extra supply of ammunition, but, did not tell the men of the contemplated raid. Why we made the raid to Lawrence, Jennison, Lane, Burrrus (Burris) and many other marauding bands under leaders of lesser fame, had visited various Missouri border communities and never left the state without murdering, plundering and devastating the homes of a greater or less number of our citizens, and to kill, it was only necessary to know that a man sympathized with the south, but, as to robbery, they robbed everybody
49. without distinction, and they often laid waste whole districts. I counted thirteen houses burning at one time on the 28th day of January 1862. This burning was done by Jennison’s men, although government officials said Jennison was not a U. S. officer and had no authority. Yet he carried the U. S. flag and, was often assisted in his forays by troops stationed at Independence and other stations in Jackson and adjoining counties. These parties, until early in sixty, these did not haul away much household plunder, contenting themselves with such as blankets, quilts, wearing apparel and jewelry, such articles as they could carry on their horses. But they usually went back to Kansas, well loaded with such articles as I have mentioned.
50. It would be too tedious for me in this brief history to mention all the atrocious acts of the Kansan. Combined with federal troops stationed in Missouri and Kansas, hence I will give you one circumstance in illustration of the hundred other similar ones. About the 18th feby, 1863 Col. Bill Penick stationed at Independence, whose men were part Missourians and part Kansans, sent a scout of about seventy-five men sixteen miles southeast of Independence, whose men were part Missourians and part Kansans, sent a scout of about seventy-five men sixteen miles southeast of Independence
51. to the house of Col. Jim Saunders and Uncle Jeptha Crawford, the scout arriving at the house of Saunders first, divided, one half going to Crawford’s. Mrs. Saunders and her daughter prepared dinner for the half stopping there, the Col. furnished feed for their houses. All went well until dinner was over, (mind you the snow was fourteen inches deep with the mercury 10 degrees below zero) when Col. Saunders was placed under guard the house burned. The women not allowed a bonnet or a shawl. On leaving the Saunders place, they told the wife they were going to take Col. to Independence and,
52. make him take the oath. On the arrival of this party at Crawford's,
practically the same scenes were enacted, except they snatched a lace cap
from the head of Mrs. Crawford and threw it in the flames of the burning
building. They also told Mrs. Crawford that the men would not be hurt.
On their way to Independence arriving at the house of James Burris, they
dismounted Crawford and Saunders and shot them to death.
It was such dastardly acts as the foregoing that caused the raid on Lawrence.
On the 18" day of august 1863 the bulk of Quantrill's forces met on
53. Little Sni Creek, in the Cummings settlement 24 miles southeast from Independence, from there to Capt. Pardee's place on Blackwater Johnson County Missouri, where all the men met. There Quantrill and his officers held a council of war when it was determined, (circumstances admitting) we would go to Lawrence. The men were then informed of the contemplated raid, Quantrill, telling them of the great hazard of the trip, that the entire command stood a chance of being annihilated, and all who felt that they were not equal to the Herculean task not to undertake it, and that any man who refuse to go would not be censured.
54. Leaving Capt. Pardee's place, we marched in the direction of Lone
Jack, with a cordon of videtts in every direction from our little army
of two hundred and ninety four men, rank and file.
These videtts were charged to keep a sharp lookout for the enemy. We marched very slowly, the videtts reporting every few minutes, no enemy in sight. When the day was nearly gone, and we had only made ten miles, the videttes were all called in, all giving the same report, no enemy sighted. The circumstances were a thing of the past, the raid to Lawrence was assured. We stopped for one hour getting a bite to eat and feeding our horses, we then began the march
55. in earnest, arriving on the headwater of the Grand River at five o'clock on the 20th where we lay concealed in timber until 3:30 P.M., when we again resumed our march to Lawrence crossing the state line in half mile of Aubury, where two hundred federal troops were quartered. In the bright sunlight of the evening, these troops rode out on the prairie, formed and looked at us pass, not a man of ours broke ranks, not a shot fired. We marched in a northwesterly direction, halting at dusk to graze our horses, this portion of Kansas was sparsely settled at this time, crossed the old Santa Fe trail at Spring Hill, where we saw on the streets several federal soldiers in uniform, but, did not molest them
56. or make any stop in the place. We had now arrived at a point where none of our men knew the county, hence it became necessary to procure a guide. Everyone procured however, chanced to be known by someone of our men and were shot. Things went on this way until probably ten men had been killed, and we were nearing the Wakarusa river and were within twelve or thirteen miles of Lawrence, when we procured another guide, who, was recognized by Todd, but orders had been issued that here should be no more shooting, so, a musket was brought forth with which the man was clubbed to death. Having reached the Wakarusa timbers, Quantrill recognized the country and led the ay himself.
57. Having entered the Wakarusa timbers and, within four or five miles of Franklin, the crowing of the cock warned us of the near approach of daylight, and, it being our desire to reach Lawrence not later than sunrise. The houses hurried to a long trot, reaching Franklin just past dawn. As we yet had five miles to cover, the men were thrown into column of fours and put to a gallop, on reaching the summit of a ridge lying midway between Franklin and Lawrence, Quantrill ordered Lieut. Gregg to advance with five men and learn if there was any considerable force to oppose us. On reaching a suburb south
58. of the main town, Lieut. Gregg and his party came upon a camp of about forty tents, waiting for those in command to come up, Lieut. Gregg killed several soldiers, among them, a boy about eighteen years of age, and supposed to be orderly to some general. On arrival of the command Lieut. Gregg fell in beside Quantrill who was at the head of the column. Pointing to the camp, Quantrill and Lieut. Gregg did not stop at the camp but turned to the east to catch up, which they bolted at breakneck speed, the command on reaching the open space in which the tents were standing deployed right and left and charged the camp and in three minutes there was not a tent standing nor a man alive in camp.
59. Quantrill order was to kill, kill, and you will make no mistake,
Lawrence is the hotbed and should be thoroughly cleansed and the only way
to cleanse it, is to kill.
The killing finished, the men were ordered to burn the town. Quantrill said, give the Kansas people a taste of what the Missourian has suffered at the hands of the Kansas Jayhawker. Lieut. Gregg relates this story of what he saw and burned a Lawrence.
He said when the order was given to burn, I repaired to the southern portion of the main town, where I found about forty shanties built, three side boards the forth a hay stack and covered with hay, all of these shacks were filled with household effects, stolen from Missouri, much
60. we recognized, many of these had feather beds, quilts, blankets,
&c stacked in there higher than I could reach, five bedsteads, beaus,
sideboards, bookcases and pianos that cost thousands of dollars. Many of
the shacks were in charge of Negro women, many of whom we recognized. One
Negro woman I recollect distinctly, was the property of Col. Steel who
lived near Sibley, Jackson county, Missouri.
The town burnt, the men were collected and orders given to move out. Lieut. Gregg was given orders to take twenty men, scour the place and see that every man was gotten out. However, one man, escaped the vigilance of this guard and remained in the place where soon after met a horrible fate.
Mr. J. C. Horton, now a wholesale
61. druggist and honored citizen of Kansas city, Missouri, described
the killing of this man (Larkin Skaggs) in this manner.
"Yes", said Mr. Horton, "I saw the whole thing, Skaggs rode near a squad of armed men, who shot him off of his horse, one of these men got a rope tied it about Skaggs neck, and about the pummel of his saddle, dragged Skaggs through the streets until the body was nude and terribly mutilated, then hanged the body and further mutilated it by cutting it with knives, shooting and throwing rocks, clubs &c," The question was asked Mr. Horton, "did Quantrill's men do anything that mean in Lawrence," when he said, "they did not."
62. Mr. Horton was captured at the Eldridge Hotel, and, by chance, was placed under guard with a bunch of Lawrence people that was being protected by Quantrill, otherwise, Mr. Horton might have been killed, also. This wholesale killing was repugnant to many of the men and, also to many of the officers, but, forbearance had ceased to be virtue. Our own loved ones had been murdered, robbed and insulted, there was a price upon the head of Quantrill and, every one of his men. Anderson's sisters had been murdered, Crawford's sisters, had been murdered, and, any day, any of our sisters were liable to be murdered, and yet
63. Mr. Horton says, "if there was a woman or child harmed by Quantrill's
men at Lawrence, I never heard of it."
On leaving Lawrence, Quantrill halted four miles south of the town on the Osawatomie road at a farmhouse, giving ample time for all stragglers to overtake the command, and except Larkin Skaggs, all reported. I have omitted to mention the fact the Lieut. Bledsoe was wounded at Lawrence, shot by a federal across the Kaw, this man we hauled to Missouri in an ambulance.
I want to say that Quantrill and his men had gotten safely to Lawrence and accomplished their purpose, but, getting safely back to Missouri,
64. was another proposition, the entire state of Kansas was aroused as if my Magic. The wires had told the news of the sacking and burning of Lawrence to thirty thousand federal troops in Missouri. At Black jack point, eight miles south of Lawrence, we encountered the enemy, seven hundred strong. We at once halted for a council, it was determined we should continue south until all was in readiness, then turn east for Missouri. The enemy seeing that our number was much less than theirs, advanced and opened fire on our rear. At this juncture, Quantrill cut out one hundred men, attacked and whipped the enemy in five Minutes
65. returning, Quantrill ordered Gregg to cut out sixty men and hold the rear until the main command had crossed a small river one mile away. When the call for the sixty men was made one hundred and fifty responded, however, only sixty were permitted to remain. Gregg with his sixty men remained stationary, until the main command had disappeared in the timber, when Gregg slowly retreated to the east. On approaching the command, Lieut. Gregg received these orders from Quantrill, "form your sixty men in skirmish line and hold the rear, fall back on me whenever it may be necessary, but, whatever you
66. do, don't let them break your line. "However, before Gregg had completed
his skirmish line, the enemy, now twelve hundred strong was upon him, and,
the battle was on.
When the fighting had continued about one hour, the enemy pushed Gregg with his heroic little band upon our main line, when our little army less than one forth the enemy, faced about, charged the Kansans and drove them back. Lieut. Gregg and his sixty men taking their place in the rear as before, holding their position up to four o'clock p.m. having held the rear for five hours against a force greater part of the time,
67. five thousand strong. The scene was an ominous one, on a sea of prairie, not a tree or twig to be seen, reinforcements flocked to the enemy by companies and by regiments. It really looked as though we were doomed. The whole earth was "blue" behind us. Lieut. Gregg became exhausted, his voice failed him, he reported to Quantrill his condition. At once the heroic Todd was ordered to take the place, who continued to hold the enemy in check, Like Wellington at Waterloo, we prayed that night or succor might come, thus the fight went on 'till near sundown, when we came in sight of Paola, where, in the
68. broad sunlight glittered the guns of fifteen hundred cavalry, we were near timbered heights of Bull creek, the enemy could see this force ass well as we, it emboldened them, they rushed Todd's line, drove him upon the main line, "Halt," says Quantrill, "face about." The men faced about, not a single man disobeyed, the enemy were in sixty yards, "steady men, charge," rang out upon the Kansas breeze. The men charged, the enemy stood, our men were thinning their ranks, the enemy were falling thick and fast, their line began to break, Quantrill ordered another charge, our boys went at them-
69. again and, drove them pell-mell, like a drove of sheep for half a mile or more. The fight in Kansas was ended, we marched from there to the headwaters of the Grand River, Cass county, Missouri, where we arrived a 5:30 a.m. August 22nd 1863. In all this fighting covered a distance of move than twenty five miles, the fighting never ceased for a single moment, yet this little band of heroes came out of it all unscathed, man if them being touched. Under all these trials I never saw but one-man falter and that man was Joab Perry. A little after four o'clock in the evening, Joe became panic-
70. stricken, he stuck out alone, his long hair standing out in the
Kansas breeze. Some of the men wanted to kill him, while others said "no,
he will get it soon enough" but he made it through to Missouri unscathed
so far as bullets were concerned, however, he was horseless, bootless,
coatless and with only one revolver out of six, the remainder of his clothing
torn to shreds, his flesh terribly mutilated by brush and briar. In all
this fighting, Quantrill only lost one man killed, and, he was entirely
hid from them by a ridge when killed.
We camped on a prominence on
71. the headwaters of Grand River. Sent men among the farmers to get provisions for the men, but before it could be procured, the Kansans were in sight with greatly augmented numbers (at this juncture a laughable incident occurred). Quantrill had been informed by a citizen whom we met, that twelve hundred federals awaited him just over the divide four miles away, but had not told the men) Quantrill mounted his horse, rode through the camp ordering the men to saddle up, "what for?" said the men "Why" he said, "the Kansans are coming". "Damn the Kansan," came from a hundred or more voices. We whipped
72. them yesterday, we can whip them today, we are not going to leave hear until we get something to eat." "Yes," said Quantrill, "I know you can whip the Kansan, but, what are you to do about the twelve hundred fresh Missouri troops awaiting us just over the divide?" "well," said they, "that is a horse of another color, we will saddle up," and, they did. In one hour or less time the command dwindled away at least one third. Bledsoe, the man wounded at Lawrence and brought through in an ambulance, was sent to the timber, where he was soon after killed.
73. So many horses were broken down, the men were compelled to take to the timber, sure enough, Quantrill met the federals just over the divide, skirmished with them and scattered his men, no men was lost, but several horses. Thus, you might say, ended the Lawrence raid, but not our troubles by any means, for, the federals had thirty thousand troops in search of us, watching the roads, stream crossings and many dwelling houses, so that, in the next five or six days, we had lost more men that we lost on the Lawrence raid
74. It was soon after the Lawrence raid that the famous order number eleven was issued by the Monster of Monsters, Gen. Tom Ewing, and, under which, the border counties of Missouri from the river south were depopulated and made a desert. No people ever suffered so much as the people of Jackson County did under that order, being forced to leave in a specified time, it was impossible for them to move but little of their plunder, provisions, &c. It was a gruesome sight to see these people on the move, some with their cows or an old plug horse or Jennett packed, the women and children on foot, leaving behind plenty of corn, hogs, chickens and turkeys, &c, thousands bushels corn
75. in the crib, beside what was in the field. Many of them without a dollar. all of this wealth left by these people, was either burned, appropriated by the federal government or the Kansan, and for which these people never received a single cent from any source, and yet, in the eyes of the people of the North, there were no demons but Quantrill and his men. as I told a reporter for the St. Louis Globe Democrat, Quantrill and his men went to Lawrence with "hell" in their necks and raised "hell" after they got there. I have a blame to lay to Quantrill for some things that he permitted at Lawrence. Of course he could not have his eye on every man, for the men were scattered promiscuously over the
76. town, but, he told me support of his argument for the raid, that there was a great deal of money there "and", said he, "I want to compensate the people who have and still will divide the last biscuit with us." Well, said I, in reply, that is very laudable. "Now," said Quantrill, "my plan is, that whatever money that may be gotten at Lawrence will be divided among the men with instructions to give to these people very liberally," but on our return, this prorate division was never mentioned. The truth is that Quantrill tried to manage so that Todd and his men would get the money.
77. Higbie secured the largest of any one man, who immediately after our return to Missouri, left parts unknown to us at the time. It was reported afterwards that he went to Canada, soon after the close of the war, we heard of Higbie at Ft. Worth, Texas in the banking business. In the eyes of the survivors of Quantrill's band and the people of Missouri, A "traitor". Between the time of consummation of the Lawrence raid and the 1st October, there was little doing. There seemed to be a lull after the country was depopulated, on the part of the federal soldiery.
78. Whatever was done was of minor importance, hence will past on to
our march to Texas, beginning about October 1st 1863. Our rendezvous being
at Capt. Perdee's, Johnson County, Missouri. Our march was practically
due south to, or beyond Carthage, and without incident. Turning a southwesterly
course here, we crossed Spring River into Kansas. Quantrill command at
this time was composed of four companies, Pool, Todd, Anderson, Gregg and
Younger ranging from thirty to eighty men to the company, with quite a
sparkling of recruits going to the confederate army, accounting in all,
to about four hundred men.
79. It so happened that on the day that we crossed into Kansas, that Pool, who had thirty men, was in advance, and Gregg with thirty men, in the rear. On crossing Spring River, Pool encountered several wagons and teams driven by federal soldiers. These teamsters told Pool that there was a federal camp at Baxter Springs. When this information was communicated to Quantrill, (Gregg's men being old veterans) he at once ordered Gregg to the front, and sent him immediately to Pools support who was then forming fifty yards of the federal camp fooling the enemy by hoisting a small federal flag.
80. Quantrill saying to Gregg, "support Pool, I will come in on the North and support both of you”. On arrival at Pool’s position, Gregg fell in on the right, fronting west, and immediately abutting a long low cabin, built of unhewn logs. The order to charge was at once given. Gregg with three men being crowed to the right of the cabin, where to their surprise, they found a formidable fort of earthworks. Pool seemingly had mastered camp and fort. On the commencement of this attack, about seventy-five of the enemy ran away about two hundred yards and, hid
81. under the grass and willows. Thinking Pool was master of the situation, Gregg took two men to capture these men hidden in the slough. After a few moments, Gregg an his two men had pulled twenty of the runaways from their hiding. Noticing the firing about the fort had creased with an occasional bullet whizzing about him, Gregg mounted his horse to investigate, where he found the enemy advancing from the fort, with none of his comrades in sight, on riding to the crest of the ridge north found Quantrill confronting what proved to be Maj.
82. Gen. Jas. G. Blunt with escort of about one hundred and fifty men, band, small wagon train ambulance, buggy, &c. Gregg and his two men left their twenty prisoners, made a dash for Quantrill's line, shot at from three different quarters, it looked almost like a forlorn hope, though they reached Quantrill unscathed. A charge was ordered, with instruction to hold fire until in fifty yards, however, the enemy did not wait for us to get so near, but fired and broke pell-mell over the prairie which seemed endless in the direction they where forced to go.
83. The greater portion of Blunt’s party were annihilated in less time than it takes to write it. Maj. Curtis, Blunt’s Adj. Gen. and son of Maj. Gen. Curtis was among the slain. Stories to the contrary notwithstanding. The men killed in this engagement, with the exception of the bandsmen and driver, were killed in actual combat, and, in all probability they too would have been so killed, only for this reason. Wm. Bledsoe, an excellent soldier, loved, pitied and honored by Quantrill and all of his men, rode to this band, drawn by four mules demanded a surrender.
84. Instead of obeying Bledsoe’s summon, they shot him to death. Capts Todd and Gregg being in a position to see Bledsoe killed. With about twenty men closed with this bandwagon, containing thirteen men, but, before reaching the wagon, the left front wheel broke off, precipitating the men to the ground and bringing the wagon to a standstill. All of the men in the wagon, began waving their white kerchiefs, in token of surrender, when Todd the others shouted at them to know why they had not waved their kerchiefs at Bledsoe.
85. The bandsmen were all killed on the spot. Many valuable arms were captured in this little fight, all of which were given to the unarmed. I have since been informed that only about twenty of Blunt’s party escaped, Gen. Blunt being one of this number. Our losses were three killed and, one wounded. We captured Gen. Blunt’s flag, the finest I ever saw, inscribed, “Presented to Maj. Gen. James G. Blunt by the ladies of Leavenworth Oct. 2nd 1863.” Quantrill sent the flag to Maj. Gen. Price, we also got Gen. Blunt’s buggy with a span of duns, saddle, commission as Maj. Gen., ambulance, &c. At the conclusion of this battle,
86. Todd and Anderson both insisted that we should storm and take the fort, but Quantrill said, “No, there is nothing to be gained by taking it, besides” he said, “we would probably loose fifteen or twenty men and I would not give the life of one of my men for the whole business.” We communicated with the fort by flag of truce, the only time the federal authorities ever recognized a flag of truce from us. Our march from Baxter to Sherman, Texas was uninterrupted. After resting a few days at Sherman, Quantrill established a camp fifteen miles northwest from Sherman. It was here that the disintegration of Quantrill command began.
87. Pool, Jarrett, Younger and Gregg left taking with them, altogether about forty men, most of whom were old tried veterans. Gregg joined Shelby and was given a company. Pool, Jarrett and Younger joined forces and formed a company. Quantrill remained in Texas until about the 15th March 1864 when he again turned his eyes toward the Missouri river. However, his ranks were sadly thinned, but few of the men who had been most instrumental in building the fame of Quantrill and Todd came together with forty of fifty men. Anderson with thirty or forty. Their hardships were many, they swam almost every
88. stream from Red River to the Missouri, and, to cap the climax, Quantrill and Todd quarreled and parted company before they reached the Missouri. Quantrill with a few chosen friends spent the summer in Howard county Mo. You might say, dormant. It really began to look as though Quantrill's military sun had set to rise no more forever. Capts Todd and Anderson made some good fights this summer. Todd fought the Second Colorado’s at Grinter’s farm south of Independence almost annihilating the Colorado’s notwithstanding they outnumbered Todd. This was a hand-to-hand grapple
89. in which the brave Wagoner and his sturdy brave Coloradoans were worsted. Anderson fought at Shaws Shop in Ray County, where he almost annihilated a troop of militia. Todd and Anderson combined, fought at Centralia, demolishing Col. Johnson with about six men to escape. Quantrill joined with Todd and Anderson at Fayette. Although he advised against the attack, it was disastrous. It came out, as Quantrill said. Centralia was the last real battle fought by guerrilla’s in Missouri, though Todd joined forces with Price on his arrival at Lexington, doing scout
90. and advance duty to Independence where he was killed, Anderson being killed in Ray county soon after. Todd and Anderson were much alike, both brave to a fault, maniacs in battle, no regard for the lives of their men. I have often seen them cry and froth at the mouth in battle simply because they could not kill a whole regiment of the enemy in a few minutes, not so with Quantrill, who had the greatest care for the lives of his men, was always at himself in battle, and, just as brave as Todd or Anderson. After Price had retired from the state, Quantrill came to Lafayette County collecting about forty men, and started on his famous march
91. to Kentucky. In this band were Frank James, James Little, Chat Renick, John Barker, Peyton Long, Wm. Basham, Jack Graham, James Younger, Dick Glasscock, Billy Gaugh, John Barnhill, Hiram Griest and others whom I do not now remember. This move proved fatal to the far famed Quantrill and many of his best men. Being in a strange land among strange people, they were sorely beset, often resorting to subterfuge, dressing as federals for days and even weeks at a time. Sometimes after Gen. Lee surrendered,
92. Quantrill called his men together some forty miles from Louisville and, while encamped a barnyard, they were attacked by overwhelming numbers, routed, several men killed and Quantrill so severely wounded that he was unable to be moved only to the nearest house where he fell into the hands of the enemy, from whence he was taken to the hospital in Louisville where he died soon after. Thus ended the career of the much hunted, more feared, far famed William Clark Quantrill. Although Quantrill and I had some disagreements,
93. I will ever hold his memory sacred. I find many of my old comrades averse to telling of these differences. I, to the contrary, do want them known because they are history, and true history can never be recorded and stand the test without recording the facts. Shortly before Quantrill started for Kentucky, Capt. Gregg who had been on detached service in northern Missouri, recrossed the Missouri river, and was married. Quite a number of Quantrill's old men being in the country, they met and organized.
94. Among the number were James A. Hendricks, Capt. Gregg and Dick Mattox, all of whom desired to take their wives to Texas. The terms were hastily agreed upon, the men who were fifty in number, pledging themselves to stand by the three men and their wives. About the 10th day of November, provided with an ambulance loaded with provisions, we made the start at sundown, marched about thirty miles, camped in the open prairie near Grand River, broke camp at dawn next morning. Just before entering Grand River Valley, ambulance
95. came down with a crash, luckily however, about one hundred militia were just emerging from the Grand River timbers with several wagons. Our boys made a dash at the militia, drove them away, capturing their wagons. We quietly changed our team and load from the ambulance to the wagon, and, went on our way rejoicing. The country having been depopulated under Gen. Ewing’s order number eleven, the men were sorely tried for food, apples being the only edible thing found in Missouri after leaving Lafayette County, and the boys would have nearly starved, only
96. for a division of the provisions prepared and taken along for the three men and their wives. From Grand River, our march was without incident until we had reached Indian territory. Camping on the top of a sharp mountain, moving at dawn without breakfast, we met seven federals at the foot of the mountain, six of whom were killed, the seventh one taking the road south toward Gibson, followed by Capt. Gregg, who fired eleven shots, hitting his overcoat nine times, Gregg and his men would shoot awhile and talk awhile, Gregg said,
97. “he never fired at me but I could see the bead on his pistol.” Finally after Gregg had chased him six miles, coming to higher ground, there was four hundred cavalry in plain view mounted and formed. Of course Gregg retreated in good order, and, reported to the command what he had found. Geo. Shepherd being in command of the men, he determined to leave the road, going east, compelling us to recross Grand River, and, throwing us among the Indians, with whom we were constantly fighting the remainder of the day. The women were kept as far,
98. away as practical, though several times they heard the bullets whiz thick and fast, fortunately however, they were never frightened. When the fighting had ended, by actual count we had killed forty-five federals, niggers and, Indians, with one horse killed, the only casualty on our side. Having crossed Grand River a third time, we came to an Indian cabin where they were eating dinner. Hendricks, Gregg and, Mattox, entered the house and purloined some meat and bread for their wives. On an investigation they found the meat to be “dog”.
99. The women ate the meat just the same, and pronounced it good. Our march from here to Sherman Texas was without material interest, excepting short rations to the Arkansas river, after which, cattle were plentiful and we fared sumptuously. Capt. and Mrs. Gregg call this trip their bridal tour. In closing, I desire to say that I have refrained from the mention of Names, except to designate between officers. I have refrained the mention of names among the men because when the fight was on it
100. was utterly impossible to tell who was the most meritorious, any
of our veterans would have made good captains.