Kansas MemoryKansas Memory

Kansas Historical SocietyKansas Historical Society

Campaigning in the Army of the Frontier

Item Description Bookbag Share

“Skamania Lodge”


Albert R. Greene's Home

STEVENSON. WASH. March 30, 1916……..191

Hon. William E. Conolley,

Secretary State Historical Society,
Topeka,  Kansas.
Dear Connolley:

Tour generous letter cane a few days ago and made me
hurry up the enclosed article for the 14th Vol tine of collect ions, if you
think it worthy of such an honor.

I have used some of my old Land. Fraud paper, for as I under-
stand you copy all papers before sending; then to the printer and this

Will do well enough if it is to be destroyed when-it h.as  served this

purpose of being copied.  My eyesight is failing and I find that I do not strike the right types every


time, but you will get the meaing.

not   strike the right  types  every tit e, but  ;rou will-get  the meaning.                 

Have the kindness to  on:                        y < mat ical   errofcs  and you aro


to prune the  article as you nay desire  if you can improve it

in that way.     If it   is too  long  for your space,you can cut  out what
nay be  spared without   inparing the its value.

Of course you understand that   in reproducing the principal
natter  culled fron a daily diary ,the use of the personal pronoun has
to be masEbc:  employed with frequent  repetition,   but  I hope the reader
will   also understand this   and not   accuse ne of vanity in this  respect.

How,   if this is  acceptable,   I nay try to  furnish other papers
for later    volumes, leaving  out  what  I have written about  the Quart rill
Raid, as I have much more extending to the end of my service, that will be readable in after years.  Gratefully yours, A. R. Greene

 [Page 2]

 P.S.     I find by consulting the Adjutant General’s Report, that the name of the soldier (and my horse also) was Lanterwasser, and not as I have spelt it in many places.

When the old fellow was worn outand I had to turn hin in and got another, I shall refer it it in a future article, if written, and also have something to say about his successor “Bub, a hourse I actually LOVED, although he never became so proficient in the bugle calls as this one. 

Some of this article is in the past and some in the present tense—if this mars it, please make it straight.


[Page 3]



By Albert R, Greene,
Co.”A”,9th. Kansas Cavalry.

The Civil War had been in progress more than a year when
I enlisted. Finally, when one of those calls for "Three Hundred
Thousand More" came, I got the consent of my parents to go. Also,
I reluctantly obtained my own consent, for I wasn't ready to die
and felt sure that I would be killed as soon as the Confederacy
heard I was into the scrap.  Having learned that Captain Earl
had assured his men that they stood in more danger of being kill-
ed by lightning if they were at home than by the enemy if they
would join his company,that decided me to join his outfit.  I
enlisted at Lawrence, but was given a furlough the same after-
noon to go back home and put on the "Honeriest" clothes I could
scare up, for they were to be given to the Salvation Army or
some other benevolence as soon as I donned the uniform of Uncle
Sam.  In two days I met the company at Big Springs,in Douglas
county, where they had camped for the night on their way from
Port Leavenworth to Port Riley. My first shock came when I saw
the boys eating out of their hands and drinking black coffee
without the use of cups and saucers, which I supposed to be the
customary adjuncts of every well regulated army table.  Also,
none of the mess appeared to be ready to wsay grace" although if
my memory serves me, they were saying about everything else.


That first supper in camp was an astonisher of the first mag*
nitude. However, I was kindly told that"Grub pile" had been
called and so I pitched in with the rest. Afterward and before
long, I acquired the habit and in one respect at least ever
afterward was a good soldier.

The next day we were on the road at what seemed to me
an unearthly hour for a march of less then twenty miles. We
forded the Kansas at Topeka and camped for the night at Indian-
ola, alongside of the stage station. Prom Indianola to St.
Mary's Mission there was not a white inhabitant of the valley.
We made our noon camp at Silver Lake, just on the rim of the
old river bed that had received that designation from the Indians
or some other poetically inclined people,who had more regard for
euphony than appropriateness.  Manhattan did not appeal to us,
but Ashland,where several of the boys lived, we were assured
was to be the metropolis of the upper valley.  However, Ogden
was the place that appealed to us still more,for the brewery was
there and quite a stop was made to enjoy the scenery I Also,Jim
Lane was making a speech there that day and had got to the place
in his remarks where he was wont to shed his duds,or the most
of them,just as we arrived. As our officers were all "agin Lane"
and for Robinson, the brewery had the greater attraction for them.

When we struck the military reservation of Port Riley, we
were admonished that we must brace up and make as good an ap-
pearance as possible. To this end the boys who had been riding
side-saddle fashion and had stowed their carbines in the mess
wagons along with their sabers, got these traps and "cast eyes


to the front."

I have always thought from that day to this,that Fort
Riley is THE show-place of all Kansas. As soon as I could, I
went up to the Ogden Monument and took a good look. It seemed
as if the whole of the dear state was in view from that point.
If ever the capital of the United States is relocated the com-
mittee ought to be unanimous in favor of Port Riley.

For a mount I had been given a superannuated old beast
that had belonged to a soldier who had recently died (a nafcfcral
death) named Lanterwasser.The boys nicknamed him (the horse)
"Lots of Water", which I shortly learned to be most appropriate.
If that horse could get lots of water he could get along swim-
mingly, without other forage. However, I must not disparage
that dear old horse, for he taught roe more than any drill master
ever did and without swearing at me. He knew the difference
between the bugle calls of "Right about" and "Left about", and
that's saying a good deal for the intelligence of a dumb brute
and more than can be said for some veteran soldiers.

Of course I went sound to sleep the first night I was
placed on guard. That's the way all recruits do and I preserved
the tradition.  It so happened that the corporal of the guard
was a friend of mine,with whom I had hunted jack rabbits in the
Wakarusa bottoms and he rattled his saber to wake me in time to
give the challenge. I shall remember him in my will. Many
months afterwards, when I had become hardened to the thought of
being shot at sunrise, 1 confided the secret to him and he laugh-
ed, but he never told me what at!


A volunteer soldier serving under volunteer officers, has
a lot to learn about army etiquette before he has been long in
the army. Thus for thanking a commissioned officer for bringing
me a letter from home, I was roundly cursed for w^  familiarity!
I should have stood at "attention", saluted,(which I did) and
kept my eyes the regulation "ten paces to the front",and taken
the letter in sulky silence.  Two neighbors of yesterday,of
equal social status, find themselves separated by an impassable
gulf when two-bits worth of tinsel is tacked on the shoulders
of one and the other is not thus arrayed.

After a few days of drilling and drilling and then more
drilling, "boots and saddles" sounded and instantly there was a
big bustle in the quarters.  For a short time all was conjec-
ture, but it was generally supposed that some stage station along
the Pikes Peak route had been attached by Indians.  Then the
Captain told the First Lieutenant and he the Second Lieutenant,
and he the First Sergeant,and so on down the line until even
the soldiers knew we were ordered on a forced march to Fort Scott.
The hardened and calloused men  who had been long enough in the
army to pretend that they were aching for a fight, shouted and
embraced each other and went on at a great rate.  I didn't feel
that way about it. Of course I supposed there would be a gar-
rison left to care for the fort and property and made an early
application for the detail.  Strange as it may seem to a pri-
vate citizen,that application was disregarded.  On the contrary
I was told to pack my saddle and throw all extra belongings


away.  Presently our little column of one hundred men  and two
mess wagons rolled out of the fort and wound down the hill to
the river which we forded, and taking the trail up Clark's
Creek,continued in a direction to the southeast and towards
Missouri.  It was all open country then and to be had for the
asking, but times have changed.  We struck the head of the Neo-
sho where it is simply a ravine on a hillside,and followed the
valley all the way to Iola.

In spite of the imminence of gory fields the army is a
perpetual jokefest.  I soon found out that no service became
so strenuous and exhausting that the average soldier was too
tired to play a triek on a recruit.  An illumination of this
fact occurred the first night out of Fort Riley. We had camped
in the edge of the Kaw Reservation.  I was "detailed1* to accom-
pany a hardened sinner whose enlistment antedated mine by a few
days, on "patrol duty".  I afterwards learned that there was
about as much need of a patrol there as there would be to a prayer
meeting in the suburbs of Boston.  At dark we were instructed
by the Orderly Sergeant to proceed a mile from camp and remain
"on alertness for the enemy until reveille in the morning". We
took position on the prairie as directed and began out vigil.
For a while I was about scared to death at the thought of a night
attack by a band of Indians with the nearest reinforcements a
mile away.  After a while my companion rode along side and whis-
pered in my  ear that we were allowed to dismount and let the

horses graze, but must hold them by the bridle rein.  I dismount-

ed and gave old lOTfcwraestaracJt the length of the strap, lay down and


was soon fast asleep.  I was dreaming of ghastly wounds by glis-
tening tomahawks intermingled with farm chores and other stunts
at home,when my partner waked me by a mysterious whisper to "Get
up quick'*. He said the horses were becoming restless and had
waked him from a nap by their snuffing and uneasiness.  1 sprang
up and was in the act of mounting v¥hen I discovered that It was
not my saddle.  I reported the fact just as my trusted friend
made the discovery that his horse had on my saddle! Without
stopping to exchange we mounted in hot haste, drew our pistols
and prepared for action, for he assured me that this was a taunt
of the Indians who had sneaked in while we were asleep and would
soon be down upon us in great numbers. We sat there and awaited
the onslaught until the joyful notes of the bugle called us back
to camp.  Iiy friend generously allowed me to relate the adven-
tures of the night,which furnished hilarity for the next day's
march.  At Council Grove we camped near a lot of Kaw Indians
and had a world of fun setting up hard tacks for them to win by
shooting them with their bows and arrows. The target was set
twenty paces away and they rarely missed the mark.  Finally
the commissary sergeant found it out and put a stop to the fun.
I didnH speak to him afterward for a month.

Emporia was a forlorn hamlet then. The day before, a
stray buffalo had been killed in the suburbs and the town was
talking about it so much they hardly had time to notice the
arrival of an army! One of the men(our men)  fell off his horse
in a fit and the boys just bundled him into a wagon, put a gag
in his mouth to keep him from biting his tongue and went on as


if it was an ordinary occurrence*

I was in the rear guard the day we passed through the
hamlet of Genera and of course our place was half a mile in
rear of the main column. The women and children of the place
didn't know this and offered us milk and doughnuts and pies and
cake, just as they had given them to the troops ahead. Our
commander was a crusty old German corporal who had seen service
in the Faderland, and he at first objected to this delay,as a
violation of regulations. Right there I learned how to manage
an officer. One of the men who knew the old man's failing, put
a flask in his hand and really I do believe the corporal forgot
his troubles with that mutinous rear guard. His benefactor,
to relieve the lonesomeness of the occasion, stayed with him.
That treat at Geneva was about the best one 1 had during the
war and I wonder whether any of the little company of women and
children who gave it are living now.

It was Sunday when we reached Iola and I wondered which
church we would attend, in the absence of a chaplain to go to,
I approached one of the comrades who had been a class leader at
home. He said we would have to be content with a little prayer
meeting.  So a bunch of us went to one side for the purpose
but the class leader got tangled up in a picket fence and let
out an oath that sounded too deliberate to be a slip of the
tongue, and it put a damper on my piety for the time being.
By this time the boys had arranged a horse race in the one street
of the village and we all went there and saw our own "Black Bess"
win all the stakes,after which the column moved forward.


Arrived at Fort Scott we found the town alive with sol-
diers.  I wondered what the Confederates would think when we
all got there. Our company was sent to a camping place out on
the brink of the larmaton bluff to the west of the town near
a large spring,where a regiment of regular army infantry were
camped.  I went over to them to ask a few questions as to how
they liked it and so forth,and instead of answering me they just
stared and never said a word.  I have never liked the regular
army since.

Out on the open prairie to the south of town was the drill
ground. At the sides and on the crest of the hills beyond there
were regiments and batteries camped, but the open country for a
mile or so was kept for the daily drilling of the troops. One
day it was given out that our eorapany was going out there to
drill and then we learned that it was to be a sabre drill. Now
I never have liked the sabre particularly and liked it less than
ever at that time.  It is an unhandy thing to walk with or along
side of, if a man has any reppect for his legs and on a horse
it is positively dangerous.  I got along quite well however in
the "Right cut against infantry" and the "Left cut against in-
fantry", but when it came to the "Rear moulinet" or what you may
call it, I didn't do so well. At the first pass of the thing
behind my back I ripped into my overcoat which was rolled up
there. The true soldier must always have his overcoat along
even in dog days, if he is only riding hie horse to water. The
next time old Lotawauser nearly leaped out of his hide. I think
I must have disturbed his hind quarters. When it came to "Front


moulinet" it was no "better.  I watched the officers do it and
they told us to do exactly as they did.  They could make that
old cheese knife spin like a circular saw all around them,but
it was no go with me.  My first attempt came near cutting off
the right ear of my esteemed traveling companion,who gave such
a lurch to the rear that I was nearly unhorsed.  The officers
said it was for the purpose of limbering up our wrists. Kay
be so.  I never got that far.  I was quite satisfied to quit
when I had limbered up my horse.  Also, the horse seemed to
consider it sufficient. But every sacrifice in a good cause
has its compensations and we got ours when it came to a sabre
charge. To adequately comprehend the situation,one should re-
member that the assembling of several thousand soldiers at a
small town is an event for the whole community. I am satisfied
that the farmers for miles around Fort Scott neglected their
hauling and other farm work just to come to town and watch those
soldiers drill.  It was getting late in the season and they
ought to have been at home getting ready for winter, but they
put it off to see the fun.  They came in wagons and buggies,on
horseback and on foot and brought their wives and children along.
This drill ground was their favorite rendezvous and any good
day there were scores of them there from early till late. When
our Company went out and had gone through the sabre practice
there were our friends and their kindred to enjoy it and applaud.
The Company being in line the order "Forward, march*' was given
and the line started, the horses in a walk. Then the order came


wTrotH,and a few of the nearer of the spectators "began to turn
their vehicles to widen the apace between the oncoming soldiers
and themselves.  They had hardly done this Taken the order to
"Gallop" came and almost instantly thereafter the command"Charge8.
I need not describe what happened. Fortunately there were no
casualties but it is an old saying that one might as well b®
killed as scared to death.  My, what a mix-up it was. M&n
flailing their plow horses with hickory gads, women screaming
to beat the band, children spilling out of the rigs and running
for dear life, brood mares calling frantically for their colts,
sheep-skin saddles flying in the air, end-gates and cushions
and store bundles scattered over the plain; and indifferent to
all this wreckage and dismay, Company "A",Ninth Kansas Cavalry
marching from the field in a column of fours!

Port Scott had always been one of the show places in ray
memory and especially the old barracks and officer*s quarters
where many notables in American history had served and I spent
many an hour in wandering through the old halls and conjuring
up the scenes of revelry that once mad© the rafters ring. Then
too,its rehabilitation and present activity appealed to a young
soldier who dreamt out greater martial honors that should eclipse
its former glory. Great undertakings were in progress.  Immense
siege guns,hauled from Leavenworth by teams of ten-yoke of oxen,
were being dragged up Wall Street to their positions on the
hill and hundreds of men were tearing up the sod and piling up
earthworks over which these same great guns were to hurl forth

• J»l"»

defiance to the foe. Already our Company had taken an humble
paut in the moral uplift of the new order, A troupe of stroll-
ing players, the leading lady of which was a girl who was to
become the mother of a variety actress of international fame.
set up their tent near our camp and nightly gave performances
which proved too lascivious and enchanting for even the staid mo-
rals of soldiers, whereupon the guy ropes were cut and the can-
vas came down on the heads of the gay caperers, just as "the
villain still pursued her*. Also, one of our men who had a
strangely scattering and unreliable vision, in a laudable ambi-
tion to shoot the lights out of a nude figure in a saloon,warbled
over to the barkeep and killed him instead. At the trial,upon
his solemn asservation that he Mdidn*t go to do it" he was let
off with three days in the guard house.  Thus ever the right
came uppermost and truth was "marching on".

After a week or so the troops had nearly all left for the
front, only a few companies and the garrison remaining. One
sultry afternoon our orders came, but as it turned out, not to
go to the front. I shied a little as they told us we were going
on a scout after Indians, but as I saw the whole Company was
going, concluded it was no joke this time. We were told to take
one day's rations and all the ammunition we could accommodate.
The column struck out to the southwest across the prairie and
then it was passed along the line that Stand Waite with a reg-
iment of Indians was raiding the settlements along the Neosho
valley.  About sundown we came to a skirt of woods along a


tributary of the larmaton river and then a black cloud which
had been rising in the west shut down on us like a pot lid.
It was impossible to see your hand before you.  We became in-
volved in the woods and lost our way.  After a lot of aimless
wandering about we came to a strip of prairie and bivouacked
for the night.  We had no sooner picketed our horses than the
storm broke with tremendous fury.  Torrents of rain, blinding
flashes of lightning, peals of thunder that seemed to shake the
earth and about an hundred men blaspheming at the top of their
voices, kept us dodging for an hourj and thunder is so hard to
dodge because you can't see itt  To make the demonstration com-
plete the horses stampeded in the thick of it and with the air
full of flying picket pins there was more to dodge. It was a
fine experience for a boy just from the plow handles and with
hayseed still in his hair!  I think the exhilaration lasted me
for a week.  Once or twice I thought I could detect the ribald
laughter of Stand Waite amid the uproar,but I must have been mis-
taken.  Finally the tumult subsided, the stars began to wink at
us and the clouds were wringing out the remnants of the storm in
desultory drops.  Horses whinnied for their masters and the
reassuring voice of Capt. Earl was heard commanding us to fall in
on him.  One by one the horses were recovered and we began the
formation of a line,which in the starlight could be seen to grow
longer and longer until at the count,every man was found to be
present.  Then by the light of a match the compass was consult-
ed and setting his course (he had been a sailor all. his adult
life) the gallant captain led us on our way.  At daylight we
came to the leosho timber and soon after struck a long lane and


arrived at Osag© Mission. We halted in front of the adminis-
tration building and Father Shonemaker,forever blessed be his
memory, gave us a cordial greeting. Capt. Earl told him that
we had been wandering after Stand Waite's guerrillas all night
and were tremendously hungry. He pointed to a pasture where a
number of fat cattle were lying and said with a smile," Select
a beef with my compliments".  While we were killing and dress-
ing the beef, other men built a big campfire of rails and our
host presently appeared with a band of boys bringing buckets
of hot tfoffee and milk and stacks of delicious fresh bread.
Father Shonemaker displayed the ability of a general in direct-
ing this and that to be done for our refreshment as the buckets
and kettles needed replenishment—-butter was not overlooked
nor cream for the coffee and we" were urged to eat all we could
hold. When Capt. Earl took out his order book and began prepar-
ing a voucher he asked the old Father for the amount of the bill.
He replied that he was only too glad to contribute this little
mite for the good of the cause,which he prayed God would be
successful.  Then the boys all shook hands with their benefactor
and when we were in line and r<§ady to go, he raised his hands
in benediction and said MMay the blessing of a merciful God
go with you and preserve youM, and we were off.  By question-
ing every woman we saw (about all the men  were in the army) no
evidence could be found that any rebels were in that part of
the country and we made a forced march to Fort Scott.

At dark on the evening of October 1st, orders came for
our Company to form the body-guard for General Blunt in a forced

** J,*9*W

march to the front.  »« marched all night rapidly and came to
Lamar, Missouri, early in the morning.  Having distanced our
two mess wagons, we took breakfast with the citizens. They
seemed afraid to commit themselves to either side, "but treated
us with great kindness.  After resting an hour we struck out
again, the horses "being kept in a trot, and marched all day over
a dry,dusty,prairie in a southeasterly direction.  Shortly after
dark we reached Bower's Kills, a hamlet huddled around a grist
mill on Spring river. Corporal Moore had "been taken suddenly
ill and could go no further. General Blunt and Captain Earl
rode up to the principal residence in front of which the command
was halted,and when the lady of the house appeared in answer to
their "hellow the following colloquy occurred:

Blunt: "Madam,where is your husband?0

Madami " In the Confederate army, sir.*

Blunt: "I am glad to hear you say that."

ladam: " Why, I thought you-all were •Federals."

Blunt: M So we are, hut I am glad to find an honest woman---so
many lie about their men folks.

ladam: "Well,I'm no liar-- what do you-all want?"

Blunts °I have a sick soldier here and am obliged to leave him

in the care of strangers. I want you to nurse him back to
health if possible and take the best of care of him. If
he dies I want you to see that he is buried properly and
his grave marked,  ^-f you discharge this duty well,you
shall be amply paid for it: if you neglect or mistreat


this man in any way, I'll come "back and burn your house
over your head-—I am General Blunt.*
Madam: ♦•Bring him in; I never mistreated a sick person in my
life,no matter who it was."

Tenderly the sick man was lifted from his horse and carried
into the house and laid on a bed.  His personal belongings were
brought and left with him and with a kind word of parting from
each one of the little detail,one of whom was the Corporal's
son, we left him to the care of strangers.

Note j Corporal Moore died a few weeks afterward and was biiried
in the dooryard of the house whose mistress had done all that
kindness and skill could accomplish to save his life.  Later
his remainB were removed to the National Cemetery at Fort Scott.

We reached Sarcoxie at midnight, Wf found the little
army of one or two brigades terribly excited over a defeat a
reconnoitering force had suffered two days before, at Newtonia,
fifteen miles south of Sarcoxie.  Notwithstanding we had been
in the saddle for thirty hours, there was very little inclina-
tion to sleep, the remainder of the night being spent in cooking,
eating and discussing the impending battle now that the comman-
ding general was on hand to direct the forces. Attracted by
the screams of men  on the operating tables, some of us went down
to the field hospital and got our first glimpse of the horrors
of war in a pile of arms and legs,stark and bloody,at the back
of the tent.

The next day our Company rested, but the camps were alive
with preparation for the fight. Sarcoxie is a dreamy old village

comfortably situated among vines and shrubbery and overhanging
fruit trees, with a single street that winds here and there to
accommodate the course of a lovely little river of sparkling water
on the low bank of which it stands.  Through openings in the
woods that border the stream,one sees cultivated fields with white
houses and green blinds, and big barns and cattle in pastures be-
yond, but these are not of Sarcoxie, which lives a life of inac-
tivity and reminiscent dreams.  How old it is or when it was
founded or by whom, no sne seems able to tell.  At the side of
the road we found a pear tree loaded to breaking with delicious
fruit.  The body was as large as a flour barrel in diameter aad
the wide spreading top overshadowed the street.

1 took my horse out on the prairie.south of town to graze
and seeing some horsemen a few miles still further to the south,
went out to our picket line to inquire who they were. Our men
soon told me they were the pickets of the enemy*     These were the
first Confederate soldiers I ever saw.  They were riding back and
forth along the edge of the woods bordering Shoal Creek,north of
Granby, and were about eight miles from our picket line.

About 11 o'clock that night we were waked by the Orderly
Sergeant who told us to get up,saddle our horses and be ready to
move at a moment's notice. When these orders had been obeyed
there was nothing to do but wait and think. One of the lieutenants
had been detailed to stay with the hospital corps and he was at
once besieged with messages to the loved ones at home, for we were
all to be killed of course.  Then it occurred to some brilliant
comrade to intrust his pocket book to this officer. Ho sooner


thought than done and he was in a few minutes loaded with every
pocket book in the company,each consignment being accompanied
with instructions as to the disposal of the money.  We stuck
his pockets full, piled them into his overcoat, laid them at his
feet, until there was a good half~bushel of them.  Then he began
to scratch his head in bewilderment. Doubtless he had already
forgotten some of the messages or had them mixed.  Suddenly he
blurted out that he would have none of it and for us to come and
get our stuff back again.  He didn't pretend to know which was
which, but just told us to be careful and get the ones belonging
to us.  Strange as it may seem, every man got back his own-~-
at least I never heard any complaints.

Just after midnight on the morning of October 4th,verbal
orders were passed among the men to "Fall in", and by the light
of a big fire,for the night was intensely dark, the Captain
indicated the right of the line.  He had long ago learned that
tall men were to take places en the right and short men on the
left, and in this way each man automatically found his proper
place.  Then we were "counted off" and each man enjoined to
remember his number and not to swap places. We had fallen in
mounted, so that nothing more remained except precautionary
directions.  These were told us in a low tone of voice by the
Orderly Sergeant and were "Ho talking nor smoking in ranks and
no breaking ranks without orders."  Then we sat there and waited
for half an hour.  The black clouds which had been gathering
all day then began to emit flashes of lightning and by these we
could dimly see that many other lines had formed, cavalry,


infantry and several batteries of artillery, some guns "black
and some brassy bright.  Then came the order,in a loud whisper,
"Pours right, forward, march", and we were off.  We could only
distinguish our file leaders by the fitful flashes of lightning
and the only sounds heard were the whispered words of the men  as
they carried on a surreptitious conversation and the muffled
tread of many feet of men and horses and the chucking of the
cannon wheels,as the column strung out on the prairie. The in-
formation I obtained as a concession to an ignorant recruit were,
that Blunt had six thousand men and two batteries and that Gent
Totten was coming up on another road to strike on the flank,with
about an equal force and that the enemy,commanded by Cooper,
Rains, Shelby and Standwaite had fifteen thousand troops at
Mewtonia. This was not so far wrong for our forces as to be
refuted by the figures,as it afterwards turned out.  At 2 o'clock
our advance guard was fired on by the enemy's pickets who fell
back into Granby. Soon after this a pouring rain set in and
we became drenched to the skin and chilled to the bone. In
the lead mining town of Granby we were halted for an hour, during
which time the inhabitants peered at us from half-open doors
and at the edges of curtains, although a few came out in a
friendly way to inquire if it was the purpose to hold the country
by an army of occupation. Seeing this a few of the Secessionists,
mostly women and old men, appeared on their porches to taunt us
with the "licken" our forces got on the 29th and 30th.

The rain having ceased and daylight having come, the col-
umn moved forward and came to an open prairie where the formation


of a battle line began.  The Minth Kansas was assigned to the
extreme right of the line and on our left the Third Wisconsin
Cavalry; then two batteries and for supports the Ninth Wisconsin
Infantry and the Tenth Kansas Infantry and on the left the Sec-
ond and Sixth Kansas Cavalry, with a corepany of Mounted Indians
on either flank.   This was Blunt*s entire force—six reg-
iments, two batteries and two companies of Indian scouts. If
all the organizations had been full there would have been six
thousand, five hundred and fifty men in line, but several com-
panies of cavalry were on detached service and the ranks of sev-
eral regiments had been weakened by the fight of a few days be-
fore, so that it is fair to suppose that the entire force present
was somewhat below six thousand men.

The village of lewtonia is in a wide valley with low hills
on the north and east. Our command formed line on the hills to
the north and about the same time Gen.  Totten appeared on the
hills to the east and formed a line apparently about the length
of our own.  Uewtonia lay at the foot of the slopes a mile in
front of each wing of the Union army. The Confederate army was
camped in and around the town and simultaneously with our for-
mations they began to form line in two division fronting our di-
visions. Having a full view of the whole field as it was set
for the fight, I must say it was the most imposing battle array
I saw during the war.  The alignment of the troops seemed as
perfect as if on dress parade; flags unfurled, guidons fluttering
in the breeze, bands playing inspiring airs and officers 'drest
in their best Sunday clothes" riding prancing horses to and fro


along the line and thousands of bright bayonets glistening in
the morning light, it was ay realisation of the "pomp and cir-
cumstance of War."

The General rode slowly along the line,resplendent in
full dress uniform,his brilliant ataff,following, scanning every
man, evidently to see that he was prepared to do his best, in
a moat business-like manner.  But the regimental officers---
some of them--- could not resist the temptation to make a dis-
play of their horsemanship and good clothes. One of our majors
made more of a display than he had calculated on. He rode a
hard-mouthed beast that could only be controlled by a savage
curb bit and tightly drawn curb-chain.  The first time the rajor
moved along the front of our regiment he did pretty well and a
few of the men incautiously cheered his performance. Reaching
the left of the line he whirled his horse about with a flourish
and plunged the spurs in to the hilt. Them something happened.
The horse resented the cruelty and by a tremendous lunge broke
the curb chain,which allowed the bit to turn flat in its mouth
and thus freed from control it came tearing at full speed along
the front. The Major's feet flew from the stirrups, his legs
churned up and down at the sides of the horse, his trousers being
pushed higher and higher with every downward plunge until the
legs formed big wads around his thighs and his blood-red under-
wear shone in the sunlight like pillars of fire. His hat,plume
and all, had sailed away over the prairie and in his frantic
attempts to hold back the runaway horse he sawed at the bridle
reins with both hands, leaving his flashing sword to cavort at


at will by his side.  After the regiment had enjoyed his dis-
comfiture to their satisfaction, a soldier rode out and caught
the horse and held him while the major in deep chagrin rearrang-
ed his toilet.

About this time Totten fired the signal gun and the ball
opened. The Confederates had not quite completed their assign-
ments and several regiments and batteries were given new posi-
tions under fire.  Totten then advanced his batteries and took
a new position about the middle of the intervening space between
the two armies and began again, landing his shells with ter-
rible effect in the ranks of the enemy. Seeing this, our "bat-
teries were run down the slope about half way to the town and
near a point where the enemy's shells were exploding and took
a new position, using solid shot.  Having no glass, I am un-
able to state whether from this new position our shots reached
the enemy or fell in the town,just short of their lines. Our
whole line was then advanced to the position of the batteries
and Totten's cam© down the hill at the same time. Then we
could see that the Confederate line was longer than either of
ours but much shorter than both.  I think it was a sight of our
superior force and the damage done by Totten's shells, that de-
cided the fortunes of the day,for soon after this movement the
enemy began to retreat.  The infantry went on the double quick
and their cavalry formed a strong rear guard to cover the with-
dra^fal, but it was all in good order. Then our combined forces
marched down and occupied the town. From citizens we learned
that the Confederates numbered seven thousand men of all arms


and wore commanded "by Cooper; Shelby, Buster and Stevens "being
brigade commanders. They said Rains had not joined them and
that Cooper was as usual, drunk as a lord.

There was no pursuit and on the following day our army
moved forward a few miles and camped in a narrow valley. Forag-
ing parties were aent out,the train was ordered up from Sarcoxie,
and we settled down to camp life. This is officially known as
"Camp Blunt", hut after the fall rains set in and the mud in
the plowed field was knee deep, the boys changed it to "Fuddy

Late one night heavy firing wfta heard off to the south and
immediately the long roll was sounded and the troops turned out.
After standing 1m  the rain all night it was ascertained to he a
false alarm occasioned by Gen,  Brown firing off his artillery to
see whether the charges were wet! Probably others besides the
Confederate general were drunk. While standing in line in the
mud and rain and holding our horses by the bridle in momentary
expectation of being ordered away, one of the comrades passed
along the line and solicited a quarter frora each for a big oyster
stew which he kindly volunteered to prepare and serve to us as
w© stood in line.  The money was raised and the stew was duly
prepared—-that is,enough for the four or five men who consumed
it, of whom the benevolent comrade was one, but it was later as-
certained that they had secured the oysters by a raid on the
sutler, so that the fund was clear gain.

The meeting at Sarcoxie was the first time that Company HAH


had ever been with the regiment or seen its Colonel during the
whole year of its service.  The wIola Battalion" part of the
regiment had been kept pretty ?/ell together, but our Company
had been on detached service pretty much all the time.

For the next few weeks we roamed around southwest Missouri,
making short stops at Gadfly, Hazel Bottom,etc.,and then being
ordered to Port Scott for a supply train. Returning to the army,
which we found near Bentonville, Arkansas, at "Camp Bowen", we
brought two hundred six-mule wagon loads of supplies without
losing a man or an animal. Some men think that the cavalry arm
of the service had a snap,while the infantry and artillery did
all the fighting and performed all the valuable service.  The
statement may be measurably correct, a rough,wooded country like
Arkansas and Missouri is not adapted to the use of cavalry in
pitched battles of large proportions, but as for the hard work
and long hours of service and the chances of being picked off in
detail without warning by an unseen foe, the cavalry had the bit-
ter end of the job.  Take this trip down from Scott for example.
Two hundred slow-moving loaded wagons on a single road and a
bad road at that.  On an open prairie,where an enemy  could be
seen and easily kept away,the caravan could make its allotted
ten miles' in a day without hardship.  But in a wooded country,
cut up with streams and featured by canyons and passes and rocky
defiles, it is a far different proposition.  Every foot of that
road must be scouted and inspected and combed over for a lurking
enemy.  Bridges must be examined and repaired, often under the


fire of snipers who could shoot and run away in safety,and
flank; must he stationed all along the route before the first
wagon could he allowed to pass. On this trip 1 remember that
we had experienced a safe passage for the greater part of the
day when suddenly from the crest of a rocky ledge but a few
rods from the road, came a volley.  It happened that the shots
went wide of their intended mark.  Of course the bushwhackers
must be followed and kept away from the train that was following,
a couple of miles in the rear.  To do this a detail was sent
in pursuit and another detail sent back post haste to warn the
command. Then a file of cavalrymen were sent out on either side
to parallel the road as the train moved cautiously forward. Ihen
the front wagons came to the point where the attack was made
they were halted to await the results of the scout that had been
sent after the enemy.  In half an hour the men came back and re-
ported that there would be no more trouble from that band. As
an evidence of good faith they had brought one of the "Independent
Rangers" slung across the saddle of his horse,as dead as a mack-
erel.  The body was buried in a fence corner and we moved on.
But this exploit had delayed the train an hour or more, had near-
ly exhausted the men and horses engaged in it and given them
many ugly sprains and scratches as they had scooted through
brush and over logs and stones in pursuit of their game. It is
a hard service and there's precious little of the pomp and cir-
cumstance of war about it, but it's the only way to get food and
supplies to an army with a base several hundred miles in the rear.
It has been well said that the cavalry is the eye of the army.


On this trip down to the army we took the Sugar Creek
route,via Pineville, and the Pea Ridge Battle Ground.  Along
Sugar Creek we marched for several miles through what had been
Price's log blockade to delay Curtis.  It is in a flat bottom
covered with dense woods.  The Confederates had felled the trees
across the road at every yard of the distance. To open the
road these logs were sawed off in lengths of about ten feet and
the sections thus severed laid at the sides,parallel with the
line of road and on top of the undisturbed portions of the trees.
Through the thoroughfare thus opened the Union Army had forged
ahead and engaged in the three-days fight that drove Price and
Van Dorn to the east side of the Mississippi and left Generals
McCullough and Macintosh dead on the field with hundreds of their

Leaving Sugar Creek the road passes up a gullied hillside
with a tanyard on the right and a deep,wooded ravine of precip-
itous sides, on the left. Further up the undergrowth of scrubby
oaks occupies both sides of the road to the top of the hill,where
the "Elkhorn Tavern**, an old stage station on the "Wire Road'*,
stands at the end of a lane which divides open fields far to the
south.  It was while fighting its way up this steep hillside
that the Hinth Iowa Infantry lost about half its men and where
its Lieutenant Colonel Francis Jay Herron was taken prisoner.
Hot a sapling in the dense thickets but had its bullet-scars
and not an open space large enough for the purpose but had its
grave of a soldier, buried where he fell.  Seven months had
passed since the battle, but the marks of the fight were to be


seen on every hand.  The tavern had been successively the head-
quarters of both commanding generals,Price and Curtis, and for
much of the time directly in the fighting zone. The guide point-
ed out a stump not many feet from the door,where Captain Churchill,
the pride of the Confederate artillery,fell,and the spot where
Price sat on his horse and directed the firing of the guns, but
a rod away.  Our informant said he had on an old white coat and
carried one arm in a sling.  Cannon balls,fragments of shells
and the wreckage of gun carriages and caissons strewed the ground.
Half a mile to the southwest is a grove of blackoak timber, the
trees being about a foot or so in diameter, not one had escaped
the loss of body or limbs by shells or cannon shot,  Imbedded in
the trunk of one of these trees at a point about twenty feet from
the ground was a conical shot which had struck it in the middle
and the point of which protruded on the opposite side. Near this
was a tree which had been pierced by two shots on opposite sides,
one about six feet above the other, each cutting the tree half
off.  The two had split the trunk from one wound to the other
and the whole top lay on the ground.

To the west and southwest of this grove are cultivated
fields for a mile or more; it was at the farther end of this
clearing that the two Confederate generals were killed.

After a few days rest at Camp Bowen our regiment was ordered
back to Fort Scott for another train of supplies. At Pinevllle,
Missouri, we were told by the citizens that Cooper's army had
camped there for several weeks after the Battle of Newtonia.


Pineyille is twenty-five miles from ^ewtonia. At Spring River
crossing our command was attacked by Livingston's guerrillas and
one of the men wounded. We found where the guerrillas had been
fed and harbored the night before, the occupants being rather
proud $>f the "honor". The people were well-to-do farmers and
had so far escaped the ravages of war.  They lived in a fine
house and owned a number of slaves. The Colonel decided to make
an example of them and ordered the house burnt to the ground.
When this had been done he ordered all the cattle,horses and
mules,together with the slaves rounded up and taken along. To
make a clean job of it, the boys took what chickens and turkeys
there were in sight. The live stock numbered a hundred head and
there were about a dozen slaves. That night some messes had a
new cook and a good one. As the slaves prepared the fowls for
us they laughed spasmodically and often,as negroes will when they
are happy, over the discomfiture of their former owner who would
have to start all over again with tta pile of ashes an' a po
ole Guinea hen,an' no niggahs". J wonder how much of that live
stock,if any, was accounted fort

When we reached Scott there were no supplies in the com-
missary and we had to wait for a train to arrive from Leavenworth.
We camped a mile to the southeast of town alongside of the Elev-
enth and Twelfth Kansas Infantry regiments, just from the recruit-
ing station and on their way to the front. In a few days the ex-
pected train arrived and we relieved the escort and started to
the front. We had two hundred wagons again and the drivers said
it was the finest lot of supplies; ever loaded for an army. As


the country had "been pretty well stripped of grain Toy one army
or the other, it was necessary to carry along oats for twelve
hundred mules and about nine hundred cavalry horses.  The
"roughness" for these animals had to "be secured by foraging,
the result being that they had to put up with corn fodder, straw,
and such hay as the country might afford.  A part of the time
we cut down eottonwood and aspen trees for them to browse.

On the 28th of November our advance guard was fired on
while crossing Turkey Creek, a few miles north of Neosho, Missouri.
We had one man badly wounded and had no means of knowing whether
the guerrillas suffered of not, as they were in a safe place and
got away after a few shots at them.  The next day we reached
.Neosho and the officers got up a dance in the office of the
Herald newspaper. The "Sesesh" ladies didn't seem at all averse
to having "Federals" for partners and the fun was fast and furious
until a late hour.

On December 1st, we crossed Cowskin river at a ford near
the ruins of the Seneca Kills, burnt by Price to prevent the
Union troops from grinding food stuff.  The enemy's scouts had
been in sight every day for a week but too far away to exchange
shots.  Doubtless they knew of every move we made and the nature
of our freight. In addition to an advance and a rear guard it
had been necessary to have flankers parallel our line of march
all the time, half a mile from the road on each side.  On
December 2nd, we passed the corner stone of the states of Missouri
and Arkansas. On one side \vas engraved the date "1823" and on
the other,"Latitude 36»30«M  On thus day I was one of seven men


who were sent in advance of the advance guard,under command
of Jeff Denton,the scout.  he led us a rough ride and at one
time we were fifteen miles ahead of the advance guard.  We ran
into a scouting party of the en&myt  exchanged a few shots and
took one prisoner. He waa a callow youth of twenty and harmless.
He said "Youens lieked our people at Can© Hill last Friday".
From him we also learned of the victory at Kaysville or Old
Fort Wayne on the 22nd of October.

On December 3**d,after an exceptionally hard day's riding
on the flank, our Company got up a dance at a farmhouse and danced
until reveille sounded in the morning. One of the ladies was
blind and another,was barefootedl

December 4th,at the little village of Cincinnati,in the
roughest part of the Boston Mountains, we met Major Foreman com-
manding a battalion that was escorting an ambulance trail to
Fort Scott with the wounded from the battle of Cane Hill, also
a train of two hundred empty wagons going up for supplies and
ammunition. When the vehicles turned out of the road and stop-
ped to let our loaded wagons pass, some of the wounded soldiers
peeped out and in answer to our inquiries made light of their
sufferings and expressed a hope that they could get into the
game again shortly. That night we reached Rhea's Mills, Arkansas,
and found our brigade camped there. Blunt and the rest of the
army were at Cane Hill,seven miles further south. Khea's Mills
is a has-been, but it is a beautiful spot. A gently sloping
hillside facing the east, with scattering great oaks loaded with
mistletoe, a sparkling rivulet issuing from a ledge of moss-grown


rocks is trained to the flume of an overshot water wheel thirty
feet high; a weatherbeaten mill with a sagging roof, the cottage
of the miller hard by, with a trailing vine over the door; anoth-
er venerable gray-brown shack which serves the purposes of post-
office, country store and loafer's headquarters combined, and
you have the hamlet as it was when our regiment first saw it
and doubtless as other men first saw it many decades before that
time.  Thus it was, is now and ever shall be. Our arrival
was hailed with shouts all along the line; not because we had
come through many trials, scraps and snares with safety, but
because we had brought grub to a half famished army. They had
been subsisting on hard tack and scenery and wanted a change of
diet.  tf  ever tired men slept,we slept that night. After
old Lanterwasser had been watered,fed,groomed and blanketed
for the night, 1 know I just fell down in a pile and was obliv-
ious to war's alarms in a holy minute.  I think that was about
the experience of the nine hundred men who had shed their duds
for the first time since leaving Fort Scott, nearly two weeks

December 5th. At 10 o'clock this morning Captain Tough,
chief of scouts, came racing into camp and a few minutes later
the "general Call" sounded and the troops fell in with their
arms.  Presently the forage train came in with the teams
on a run and the wildest excitement prevailed.  We stood in
line, holding our horses by the bridle, until dark and then the
order came to unpack a few cooking utensils, get supper and


immediately pack up again without further orders. We did so
and then lay down and held our horses by the bridle-rein all *
night. In the morning the call sounded before breakfast was over
and we stood there holding our horses and waited all day. We
learned that the scare of yesterday was occasioned by a large
force of the enemy's cavalry driving in our pickets at Cane Hill.
Capt. Tough came to our mess fire to get a cup of coffee and
told us that we would have all the fight we wanted in a day or
two.  We greatly mistook toy  inclination if he thought I wanted
any fight at all. I wanted to turn Lanterwasser into a blue
grass pasture and then lie down and sleep for a month!

The 7th of December, 1862, was Sunday. Probably I wouldn't
have known it if it had not been for a pocket memorandum book
which stated the fact.  It seemed more like late Saturday after-
noon, with everybody hurrying to get their work done.  Also, it
was about the longest day I ever saw.  Shortly after midnight
on the morning of the 7th» the Orderly Sergeant came around and
waked us by gently kicking us in the ribs and gave orders to
cook two-day's ration and be ready to march at 3 o'clock. "Cook "
is good.  It is a figure of speech frequently used in the army.
The process consists of laying a side of bacon,profanely called
"sow-bellyM flat on the ground,and eliminating by a dextrous use
of the knife,which serves all purpose from eradicating the stopper
of a flask to paring your corns, a full-length slice of the viand
for every absent meal contemplated; then by filling the canteen
with coffee which has been boiling in the campkettle (No.l) day
and night since the day before yesterday.  Lastly by stowing all


the hard taek your saddle pockets,blouse pockets and boot-legs
will hold. This is,in short, the actual and literal fulfillment
of the injunction to "cook" rations for a march.   Nor is the
food so prepared,as unacceptable as might appear to an epicure.
To begin with, the coffee is unground and the whole beans require
more cooking than where they are ground. To cook it less would
leave much of the flavor in the bean and occasion a surprise
thereby to the natives to whom we were wont to sell the grounds
for a dollar a pound!  In other words they would have grounds
for complaint at the unnatural and fantastic flavor of their
purchase. As for the raw bacon, the full benefit of the meat
is obtained thereby,whereas by cooking, the juice,essence and
virtue of the article is lost and cast to the dogs or converted
into that brindle liquid termed gravy.  Therefore,the proper
way to eat bacon is to eat it raw.  If not raw, then not at all.
But one division of our subject remains and that is the hard
tack.  This implement of wafc has been traduced, burlesqued,
even caricatured.  It is not without its defenders, even ad-
mirers, however. Some one more enthusiastic in eulogy than hap-
py in making comparisons has said that hard tack and mules put
down the rebellion. Also, this is an unjust discrimination
against the humble bean.  Now hard tack properly constructed,
is good food and immensely nutritious.The formula is simple.
First secure a thin slice of indurated earth of the desired size,
smear the sides with alternate layers of a paste made of wormy
beans and shorts dough until it is about as thick as a shoe-sole,


then subject to the maximum pressure of a cotton compress for
a week to suppress the microbes, remove, decorate and serve
cold. In this way a delicious, fire-proof viand is obtained.
Care should be taken not to indulge in their excessive use,as
they are apt to build up unconsciously,an epicurean taste.
Eaten with moderation and they are almost as appetizing as that
imported mystery called "Consecrated vegetables" made of potato
parings and excelsior.

By this time it was 3 o*clock and the column was set in
motion.  Now came the customary injunction of "Mo talking in
ranks" and it was added with a chuckle, "No whispering in ranks".
This was important.  You see we had an esteemed comrade who
was endowed with a mild screech which,by cumulative force might
gather volume into a roar and apprise the enemy of our coming,
for they were only seven miles away.

Our brigade at this time consisted of three regiments of
cavalry and one battery.  The Ninth Kansas was not all there,
Company "B" was at fort Halleck,Colorado>and Company "D" .Captain
Coleman, which had been in the battle of Cane Hill,was still in
that part of the country on outpost duty. I tried to keep
awake but the monotony of the slow march through the dark woods
finally got the better of my resolution and I went sound to
sleep.  At sunrise we halted and then I waked up to see several
regiments in line or forming line, in a wheat field full of
dead and girdled trees, as is the custom of clearing land in that
country,with a forest all around.  Our regiment was formed in
line and on our right was a battery and beyond this more troops,


mostly infantry.  Here we waited for several hours, while oc»
casional shots were heard far to the southeast as if the pickets
were engaged.  About 11 o'clock we heard heavy firing off to
the northeast and instantly the whole brigade moved back down
the mountain side up which we had come, until open country was
reached, and then turned to the right in the direction of the
fighting which proved to be at Prairie Grove, six miles further
to the eastward.  Here the cavalry halted for a while and the
infantry and several batteries passed us on the double quick and
disappeared in a belt of woods to the front. Other cavalry join-
ed us and then we moved forward a distance of a couple of miles
or more and formed a line of battle and waited and waited. More
troops passed us on the way to the battle and we expected momen-
tarily to be ordered in, but the grrder never came.  The warm
Sunday afternoon wore away in jokes and conjectures and as even-
ing came on the sound increased and became a steady roar.  The
field was covered with a dense cloud of smoke that was incessant-
ly punctured by bursting shells and as darkness came the course
of these was indicated by tracks of fire that crossed and re-
crossed from side to side.  At dark these resembled sky rockets
at a fourth of ITuly celebration and then gradually the firing
became fainter and fainter and then ceased altogether.  Shortly
after this we formed column and countermarched to Rhea's Kills,
where we found everything in the greatest confusion. The camp
was full of refugees, black and white, and all in hysterics.
Presently it was explained by a report that our army had been
licked and we were going to retreat.  Details were set to


"building hundreds of huge camp-fires on the hillside as it was
told us to deceive the enemy into the belief that large rein-
forcements had arrived.  to show the necessity for this, we
were pointed to the sheen of light against the sky which hung
over the camp of the enemy at Prairie Grove. It never occurred
to us that the enemy  might be resorting to the same kind of a
ruse.  Other details were set to work to unload a number of
wagons for the accommodation of the refugees and the camp-fires
were stimulated by boxes of bacon, crackers (hard tack) molasses,
pickles, sacks of rice, barrels of beans, etc, etc,-—the self-
same good supplies that we had with so much care guarded all the
way from Fort Scott.  Then the civilian accessions were loaded
into the wagons, the trail strung out and we were off for
Fayetteville, fifteen miles to the northeast. When our escort
had assumed some sort of order,the Orderly Sergeants were sent
along the column to tell the boys that our army had gotten the
best of the fight so far, but that both armies were bivouacked
on the field to resume the battle at daylight, and that we were
getting the train out of the way so that our cavalry brigade
could be used in the pursuit when the Confederates retreated.
This made us feel better. Our course lay to the rear of the
Onion line and north of the battle ground about half a mil®.
Sometime in the night I heard some one say that we were just
opposite the field and that it would be a good place to slip
over and take a look.  The wagons seemed to be badly stuck in
some sort of a slough and as our escort would not move for some


time in all probability, a number of us fell out of ranks and
rode over to our bivouac. The pickets were alert,however, and
didn't seem to think our curiosity a sufficient reason for let-
ting us pass. But little could be seen in the darkness and we
soon gave up the project and returned to the regiment.

December 8th,  Morning found our Company bunched up
in a muddy lane in the Illinois river bottoms. It isn*t much
of a river, but it has bottom enough for the Mississippi. Be-
fore we got out of there a detachment of cavalry came back and
said the head of the train was in Fayetteville and there was no
danger and we had as well go back to the battleground. This we
did and spent several hours watching the burial details of
both armies gathering up the dead and putting the bodies in
trenches. Little white flags on sticks were seen in different
places and the soldiers of both armies seemed friendly enough to
be comrades. Up to that time I was of the opinion that our own
boys had in moments of extreme provocation called our officers
about all the bad names in the dictionary,but the HJohnies"had a
larger vocalulary of epithets .  At the time I took this contin-
gent as a fair sample of the sentiments prevailing in the Confed-
erate army,but when 1 knew more about war I learned that burial
details are made from the most loyal troops in a command,to guard
against the probability of desertions. If therefore' these men
were the loyal,conservative and forbearing selections from the
force, I wonder what the ordinary men of the rank and file would
say I What shocked me most was the calloused indifference the
men displayed toward their late comrades in putting them under


the ground.  Trenches had been Opened in the clayey,flinty
soil to a depth of not more than two feet and about six and a
half feet in width.  Into these the bodies were tossed with
about the same consideration that sacks of potatoes \rould have
received and when one layer had been completed, another was
placed on top of the first and then,sometimes after their coats
had been wrapped over them and sometimes without, the clay and
gravel was shovelled on and the job was complete. We saw many
feet protruding from the ground where there had not been anough
earth put on to cover them,  I am speaking now of the Confed-
erates. A little more consideration wa3 shown by our own troops,
but over against the most heartless act of theenemy may be
placed the atrocity of a detail sent to bury the dead of Herron*s
first line, who filled a well on the bank of the river with dead
bodiesl  In a hazel thicket at the left of Bindman's line I found
a man lying flat on his back,his arms extended their full length
on either side.  In one was clenched a lot of parched corn and
the other was gna\?ing convulsively into the ground.  A shell
had torn away a part of his abdomen and his bowels were protrud-
ing. At these wild hogs were chewing. 1 drove them away and
shouted for the guards,who came and bore the dying man away.
He had been overlooked and had lain in this condition not less
than eighteen hours,although the hogs had evidently just found

Union officers were riding over the field, some of them
moved to tears at the scenes around them.  This was the cornfield
from whioh our foragers had been scared a few days before by the
alarm from Cane Hill,  The women and boys left at home had raised


a good crop for us.

It was the expectation of the Union troops that the "bat-
tle would "be renewed this morning, but Bindman secured an armis-
tice until this afternoon "to bury the dead and care for the
wounded" but violated his flag of truce to make a precipitate
retreat, muffling his cannon wheels and sneaking away in the

Note. In his official report Hindman states that he lost 164-
killed, 817 wounded and 33& missing.  Total losses 131?• As
our men had helped to bury more than double the number reported
killed,before the middle of the afternoon after the battle and
the work was not yet completed, there must hare been a miscount
or a lot of live men were covered up in the trenches.

Our brigade returned to its old camp at Rhea's Kills and
remained there until the end of December.  From the 9th to the
2oth of December I was sick in the regimental hospital and then
was sent to Payetteville to the General Hospital,where,after good
care for a week I was able to sit up for a few hours, ly nurse,
a Sister of Charity, brought me some chicken broth for a Christ-
mas dinner and raised me up to see a magnolia tree in full bloom,
just outside of the window.  This was the first tree of the
kind I had ever seen.  The next day a detail from our regiment
came over with ambulances and orders for all who were able to
ride a horse to turn out. Corporal Moore (son of the man who
died at Bower's Mills) commanded the detail from our Company
and had brought my horse! that settled it with me. The sight
of Lanterwasser made me strong. He had been given the best of


care during my absence and was fat and saucy. The hospital at-
tendants protested loudly at our going but we turned out a squad
of a dozen or more notwithstanding. To show my complete recov-
ery 1 insisted on riding my horse, while the orders were for us
to ride in the ambulances. In the act of mounting I went up on
on© side and became dizzy and came down on the other! Then I got
in the ambulance, but  insisted on leading Lanterwasser, and
sat in the back end for the purpose,where he could put his head
in to be caressed. I think he was as glad to see me as I was to
see him.  When we got to camp the boys with one accord charac-
terized me as all the known varieties of a fool for leaving the
hospital. However the officers of the Company praised me for
coming and that helped a whole lot. And right there came in a
touch of nature that showed the essence of comradeship. 1 was
given the best of the food and the boys tried to outdo each
other in caring for me.  iy "bunky" Hi. Rothrock, got a chicken,
as soldiers will,and cooked it for me and before bedtime I began
to feel fit for the trip at hand, for since Hindman will not
come to us, we are going to him.

December 27*  Reveille at 3:30 and two hours later we were
strung out on the march for Cane Hill and the south. At Cane
Hill we visited the Confederate hospital and saw cots full of
wounded men.  Crossed the ridge of the Boston I/ountains and
camped.at the foot. Good roads today and grand mountain scenery.
Learned that since our occupation of this part of the country,
a number of men have enlisted in the Union army.
Bote. Twenty loyal Arkansans in and around Cane Hill enlisted in
the HI nth Kans as.


December 28, Sunday. Formed a junction with Herron's
Division at LeeNa Creek. He had been camped at Prairie Grove
since the fight and marched from there down the Wire Eoad to
this place. Blunts division was given the advance,as he is
the senior officer. The Second Kansas Cavalry with a couple of
mountain howitzers is in the advance and the Hi nth is next.
Company "A* in the advance of the regiment. The valley of
Lees Creek is comparatively straight south, but the stream winds
from one side to the other all the way down. If a string, of
unraveled yarn were placed on a table and another string laid
straight across the many curves,one could have an idea of the
course of this stream, the straight string representing our road.
We crossed it thirty-seven times today. The winter rains have
swelled it until it is a river about forty yards in width and
at no ford less in depth than up to the bellies of the horses.
In making one crossing the infantry had to hold their guns at
arm's length above their heads,with their cartridge belts slung
over them, the water being up to their armpits. As the current
is very swift some of the soldiers were swept off their feet
and came near drowning. Others climbed on the ambulances, but
the mounted officers beat them off with the flat of their sabres.
The united command is reported to have 9@©@ men,of whom eight
regiments are infantry, so one can see what number of poor boys
suffered in this icy water today. Of course the cavalry and
artillery crossed without difficulty. At 9 o'clock the Second
Kansas captured the enemy's pickets and from then on we rode in


in a trot and much of the time in a gallop.  At last we came to
a place where the creek turns off into the Indian Territory, and
from there on  we had a tetter road and got ahead faster. At
11 o'clock we heard cannonading and our Colonel turned his horse
and rode hack at a gallop shouting at the top of his voice,"They're
at it; they're at itl'*Its ludicrousness struck us all at the same
time and was greeted with roar© of laughter interspersed with
impertinent questions,such for instance as, "Ihere are you golng---
this is not lewtonia!" Then we heard a volley of musketry to the
right and soon after saw the enemy in line backing out of their
camp,and firing as they retreated.   The Colonel not yet having
returned from notifying his regiment that a battle was on, Capt.
Earl ordered our Company MOn right into line" and we formed a
line at a gallop,jumped our horses over a low rail fence and tore
across an open field toward the camp.  The companies following
supposed the order was for the regiment and formed similarly on
our right and a company of Indian scouts on the right of them,so
that the woods werefull of mounted men as well as the little field
through which we had come.  A few shots were fired, the Indians
raised ftae yell and it v/as all over. Any soldier will remember
how much faster the outer flank is required to move than the pivot,
in maicing such a formation as ours.  Those of us who were nearest
the pivot in this ease were spurring our horses to do their best
and the flank was simply flying.   In that part of the field was
a big log over which the horses had to leap.  One of our ser-
geants was over there and hearing a yell of laughter I looked to
see what it was about.  He had cleared the log but was without

— 4-2—

his forage cap and he was lying on his horse's neck holding on
with both hands. He was without a headpiece for the day. In
the camp bacon was frying in the pans,coffee was boiling in
camp-kettles and a pair of revolvers were hanging on a sapling
near a camp-fire.  I came within one of getting the pistols,
but a miss is as good as a mile and the other fellow got them.
They were regulation U.S. Navy revolvers,in fine condition.
One man killed and several wounded were the results of the skir-
mish. Another stand was made at Dripping Springs and a Texas
regiment made a good fight for a few minutes and then fled. The
howitzers broke their lines and they became demoralized. The
citizens came out of their houses as we passed by,some to cheer,
some to curse and the women to cry.  It was a running fight in
which horse flesh was at a premium. The road was strewn with
broken down wagons, camp equipage, baggage and plunder. Pris-
oner® taken by the Second Kansas were being passed to the rear
all the time.  A few dead and dying rebels were seen at the
roadside but they attracted but little attention.  At length
we came to a lane and then a log store-—a hamlet called "Logtown"—
and a little further along came to the top of a high bluff over-
looking the Arkansas river, with Van Buren at the foot of the
hill.  The river stretches away in sight for miles, beyond which
is a wooded region for more miles, and in the distance a range
of blue mountains,forming a lovely picture of diversified land-
scape. Our Company being in the front now---the Second Kansas
having gone after three steamboats that were  racing down the
river at full speed—-we had a fine view and were enjoying it to


the full when both generals rode up and General Blunt inquired
of Capt, Earl, "Ihftt have we here?" Barl,who was a little
nearer to the edge of the mountain replied,pointing across the

river, HA rebel "batten over yonder seems to be about all".
Blunt looked in the direction indicated and said something to
one of his aides who galloped to the rear.  In a few minutes
Rabb*s battery of black guns came up with the horses on the
jump. One of the guns was run out to the very edge of the cliff
and carefully sighted, Blunt supervising it himself. The shot
fell about one hundred yards short of the rebel battery, but
it was a fine line shot. Then Blunt dismounted and helped to
sight the gun and at this discharge the shot fell plump in the
midst of a group of the enemy around their guns, causing &
great tumult.  Their shots meantime reached only about half
way up the side of the mountain and burst near a large white
house on a shelf of the mountain below us.  Both sides were
using solid shot, but our people now tried shells and at the
explosion of the first one in close proximity to their battery,
the enemy limbered up and got out of range, A regiment of in-
fantry supporting the battery was in line behind a thin stretch
of cottonwood trees along the high-water mark of the river,
about one hundred yartfs beyond the battery and at the far edge
of the sloping sandy beach.  These troops soon followed the
battery out of range and made it necessary to take a new posi-
tion. Our regiment was now formed in platoons of 12 and marched
down a winding gullied x-oad into town.  As we moved the guidons


were fluttering, flags of the infantry and batteries were un-
furled and in this order the line marched impressively down,all
in platoon formation with the bands ready but not playing.
Orders were passed along the line to brace up, cease smoking
and talking and present a soldierly appearance. h*  we looked
back (when the officers were not watching) it was a grand sight
to see,  About half way down the side of the mountain road is
a long,low,frame residence with a porch or "gallery" as they
say down here, running the whole length.  At the eaves of the
porch is a gilt sign in the words "AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY RE-
POSITORY".  As we came along in front of this building,the
family,including a number of slaves, appeared on the porch.
One of our buglers, a reckless fellow, absolutely undiscipline-
able, rode up in front of the spectators and rising in his stir-'
rups and raising his bright trumpet high above his head shouted
in camp-meeting tones, HI preach here dls day fo weeks—and may
be not den.** An old aunty with a red bandana wrapped over her
woolly head like a turban, threw her arms in the air,looked up.
ward and said in the most solemn tones "Glory,breff God, de year
ob jubilee am cornel** Our Company burst out in a laugh and in-
stantly an aide galloped back and shouted to the nearest band,
"Play,play,for God's sake playAH  T^ey struck up "The Star
Spangled Banner" and as soon as other bands heard it they joined
in, and in this way we entered Van Buren. After marching through
the town and giving everybody a chance to see a real army and a
victorious one, we countermarched to a back street and dismounted,
leaving every fourth man in charge of horses. Other regiments


as they had made the circuit of the town camped where they could

find a place. One regiment of infantry made camp in the cemetery,
out the greater part of the "doughboys" footed it bade to the
top of the mountain for camp.  The batteries also went back,
there.  The next thing was to find something to eat. Our boys
struck for the river where the Second Kansas had brought back
the three captured steamboats. We swarmed aboard and into the
galleys and found lots of good things-~-corn pone, spare ribs,
candied sweet #ams,peas,pies,chicken and fish, and no end of
bottled and barrelled liquors of all kinds.  In a short time
there were not less than four or five thousand men there and
throughout the town,helping themselves to whatever they could lay
hands on in the way of eatables.  Coming out of one of the
boats I saw a number of hogsheads of raw brown sugar which the
boys had begun to appropriate.  While I was diving my hands in
for a grab, someone said in a thick,muddled voice, "Soldier, take
some with me".   This man had his "beeguia" hat filled with the
stuff and was stuffing the sugar in for dear life, &e  had found
something stronger than sugar,however, for he was already com-
fortably "full". It was our Colonel.  I nerer  saw him in that
condition before.  Three boats had by this time been hauled up
to the levee and were being despoiled of their moveables. They
fcere the "Frederick Botrebree", "Rose Douglas" and the "Key West",
all sternwheelers.  The "Violet" a little side-wheeler I have
seen on the Kansas river lay along side of the bank disabled.
In the midst of the picnic the booming of cannon was heard and
instantly bugles sounded and drums beat in every direction. We


boys scampered for our horses and in mighty quick order fell in
and formed line in one of the streets running at right angles
with the river, with our right about four blocks from the levee.
Our Company happened to be at the left of the line and the furth-
est away from the enemy. Meantime shells were falling in the
town and among the groups of men who were too busy or too drunk
to get out of the way. I learn that six soldiers were killed
in this way and that a woman who has been bedfast in one of the
residences,was blown to pieces by a rebel shell that smashed
through the roof and set the house in flames.  It was easy for
the eaemy to see that our line formed a splendid opportunity for
an enfilading fire and they tried their best to get the range,
but failed, not a man of our regiment being hit.  Just in front
of our line and about fifty feet away,was a large oak tree with
a bunch of mistletoe about as large as a bushel basket,in the
top.  A solid shot that was feeling for us,<rut that limb,and
down came the mistletoe. One of our men who had tarried too
long at the bar of the boat, settled together in his saddle much
like an accordeon collapses, when the wind is squeezed out, and
screamed out "lay God, are they shooting right at us?w I think
if the rebels had been listening they could have heard the yell
of laughter which this innocent inquiry brought out. About this
time Babb's battery of black guns began to roar from the top of
the mountain where they had driven off the enemy before and this
time they made a finish of the job in short order and our horses
were soon picketed in a blue grass pasture at the back of the
mansion on the side of the mountain which had been under fire


earlier in the day. Of course we had, soldier like, eaten up
the rations which were to have lasted us the three days of the
trip, and were ravenously hungry. The food taken from the boats
had not been sufficient for the wants of an army and we were
casting about for something more. My bunky and I started out to
forage for supper. As we were passing one of the negro quarters
at the back of the mansion, a window was raised a little way and
a black hand was stuck out with a beckoning motion to us. We
went up and an old colored woman said if we would come back in
a few minutes she would pass out a pan of "sumfin fine" for us.
We strolled about and said nothing to other foragers but kept
a sharp watch of that window. Presently it began to raise and
we approached. When it was up far enough for the purpose, the
old woman slipped out a frying pan of spare ribs, candied yams,
com pone, butter, milk and some knives and forks. She apolo-
gized for the absence of coffee but said she hoped we could make
out a good meal and to "Shove back the dishes when you'se done,
Massa".  We fled to a safe retreat and sat down on the grass
and had a feast. Before we were through a dense cloud of smoke
began to rise from the vicinity of the levee and we thought
the town was burning. As soon as we eould,we hurried down to
the river and found that an immense brick warehouse, two stories
in height,was burning fiercely. It was filled with Confederate
commissaries and forage just unloaded from the boats as our army
had reached the town.  Much of the stuff was highly inflammable
or combustible at any rate, including one hundred barrels of

• 48-

whiskey and brandy, a thousand bushels of corn in the shuck
(they never shuck corn in this country until it is to be used)
barrels of parched corn to be used instead of bread in marches,
etc,etc.  In removing the corn from the boats to the warehouse---
across the street---the ground had become strewn with corn
shucks and it was supposed that some one had dropped a match
in lighting his pipe and thus the fire had started. The town
had no fire department and we did our best to put out the fire
with a bucket brigade from the river. A hardware store was
broken open and hundreds of pails brought and with a line of
men formed to hand the buckets from one to another without mov-
ing, a constant stream of water was poured on the flames.  Then
a fire ladder was found and with this against the side of the
building, water was passed to the flat roof. The first man up
the ladder was Colonel Cloud. he took a position on the top of
the fire-wall and directed operations. By this time a steady
stream of water was being delivered on the roof, but the fire
was gaining headway every moment and the roar of the flames
sounded like thunder.  I en shed their coats and blouses and
worked like sailors in a stfrm.  Then out of the great crowd
on the ground some one shouted for Cloud to come down, but
his only reply was to "Pass up the water." The shout was re-
peated in an authorative tone, but the reply came back,to
"Pass up the water."  Great tongues of flame were leaping out
of the windows, the side walls were bulging and we momentarily
expected to see the building collapse.  Then came the voice
louder and more authorative than before,"Colonel Cloud, I com-
mand you to come down." It was Blunt that was saying this


and he was swearing raad at the foolhardiness of a man who
would take such chances of being cooked alive. Hot one man
in a thousand could stand on that thin fire-way,thirty feet
from the ground and brave the gale of wind and flame that was
raging around him. His hat was gone, his long hair that us-
ually reached to his shoulders was tossed about in the wind
and silhouetted thus against the lurid sky, he could be seen
directing the men as they handed up the buckets of water.
Blunt raved and swore and dashed aimlessly here and there and
frothed about eourtmartialing any officer who would thus bring
the orders of his superior officer into contempt and demoralize
the army—-and all for a lot of "rebel stores". Finally the
flames began to grow less and less and then as the middle floors
gave way and precipitated the accumul ated. water on the fire
below, subsided and the danger was past.  Then Cloud came down
and thousands of men  cheered him to the echo. The walls and
roof of the building were saved but the floors and their con-
tents were lost.

As I was leaving the crowd to return to camp our Orderly
Sergeant met me and forthwith detailed me to stand picket
guard at the end of the lane at the top of the mountain. He
led me o£f to the Sergeant of the guard and I was marched off
with the detail.  Once at the station I was placed on duty
with instructions to allow no man to go to town unless he could
show a proper pass and take into custody all drunken men  pass-
ing out.  Such instructions were easier to give than to obey.
I went on duty at 9 o'clock and was given the choice of standing


two hours on and four off alternately, or four hours on and
then off for the night.  I chose the latter and remained on duty
until 1 o'clock in the morning. After I had been on duty about
two hours the Officer of the Day made the grand rounds and came
to my poet. He inquired what my orders were.  1 told him.
He asked about how many men had passed on their way to town.
I estimated it at four thousand.  "Did they all have passes"?
he inquired.  I told him they hadI Then he asked if any men
had passed hack to camp.  I estimated the number at about the
same.  "Were any of them drunk?" he inquired sternly.  I said
I had not seen any to say drunk, but they were all supplied
with the necessary goods.  Then he wanted to know how these
goods were being carried.  I told him some was in bottles,
some in kegs, some in buckets and vast quantities in all the
vessels known to the crockery trade that would hold liquids,
including churns and tubs.  Then he became somewhat confiden-
tial and asked me as a man,if I had a "little something" about
me.Not a drop—-I was on duty and not allowed to drinkl  "Oh,
of course", and then he added after a moment's reflection,
"Suppose you get a tub and levy toll on every one of these men
as they pass out", and meditatively he rode away.  The guard
had been " turned out" and I think the Sergeant must have been
aware of the new orders for he came with a tin cup not long
afterward.  My opportunity soon came to put the new orders into
effect.  Two men came along carrying a tub about half full of
liquor with a jug of something in their other hands. I told them
that no tubs of liquor were to be taken to camp, and after a

— pi—

feeble attempt to  talk me out of it they set it down in the

fence corner and moved on.      Thereafter as men came with liquor

they were required to pour a part in the tub.     In this way I had

very shortly a fine mixture of all known alcoholic beverages

the Gountry afforded-~-whiskey,  brandy,   rum,   gin,  wines,   beer,

porter,   cordials and the various amplications and qualifications

of all these,   such as corn whiskey,rye whiskey,  moonshine
whiskey,   white whiskey,   apple brandy,   peach brandy,   grape brandy,
prune brandy,  blackberry brandy and so on to  the end.       Here
also  reposed in the same wooden wash tub the plebeian home-made
beer of  the  town and the patrician  champagne with the unbroken
seals of  sunny France,   which had braved the perils of the block-
ade.       After that if any man came along who was devoid of an
adequate  jag,   I pointed him to ®y tub and the contents  "in one
red burial blent*'.    At 1 o'clock,A. 11.,,   I was relieved and
turned over my instructions to levy toll on all  comers,

29th.  This is Monday and we were promised a day of rest,
but the Company was shortly ordered to fall  in and in a little
while  the troops all  turned out again and marched and counter-
marched through the streets of  the  town.       Some of the Infantry
had just gotten in,   having gone into  camp last night several
miles back on the road.    As the long column,at platoon formation,
marched through the town the whole populace turned out.    The
bands played patriotic airs and a few of the spectators cheered,
but when  thefstruck up  "Dixie"  they  shouted themselves hoarse.
We could hear their comments,which were usually complimentary
and the  remark "They look like  sure soldiers",  was quite  common.


Evidently they were comparing our troops with the ragged,un-
kempt, half-starved followers of Hindman.  At one place the
column was halted to let a train of Confederate ambulances from
Cane Hill,loaded with their wounded, pass.  The vehicles and
mules were all marked with the "U.S.*1, sign of Uncle Bam and
had been captured from the Pirst Federal Arkansas Cavalry at
the beginning of the fight at Prairie Grove.  Under the flag
of the hospital corps they were safe, but Colonel Cloud captured
a train of U.S. Army wagons and teams which were taken at the
same time, and retaken by him as he chased the retreating rebels
down the river yesterday. The drivers and other prisoners cap-
tured by him, passed along joking and laughing and inquiring how
much further it was to the "Lincoln coffee".

After the demonstration in town the infantry began to
move out on the road back to Cane Hill.  This is a great dis-
appointment to us all.  We had been hoping that the train
would be ordered down and. the march would be continued to Little
Rock.  The Confederate army is thoroughly demoralised and could
offer but slight resistance. After the parade was over our
regiment returned to its bivouac in the pasture. Our Orderly
Sergeant notified me that I would be on camp guard at the door
of the mansion tonight. When I protested that 1 had been on
guard last night, he said there was no help for it and that a
heavy detail from our Company was ordered on picket and that I
ought to be glad for such an easy place.  Corporal Moore com-
manded our detail and he gave us the privilege r>f double "tours"
and off, for the balance of the night. The "beat" extended from


the back steps of the mansion about thirty paces to the rear
and was intended to prevent access to the house from the direc-
tion of our bivouac.  The line ran across the line of slave
quarters at a right angle. At first we had a big fire and the
slaves came around and talked with the boys. They told us that
this house belongs to a very wealthy planter and. Southern sym-
pathiser. One old fellow declared that "Maasa Scott done giv to
Mr, Davis mo'n a half bushel of gold an' silver."  He also
told us that Colonel Scott (he had earned the title in the Mex-
ican War) had fifteen hundred acres of "powful" rich land in
the Arkansas bottom and six hundred horses.mulea and cattle and
three hundred slaves.   The fire was not replenished and when
I took ny  tour at 10 o'clock it was pitch dark.  Shortly a
bright light shone up from the levee,several hundred feet below
and half a mile away. The Corporal said the horse ferry boat
was burning. Then the Rose Douglas burst into flames and the
Yiolet sent up a big blaze and then the Key ?/esttbroke loose
from her moorings and floated down the river wrapped in flames.
By this time the whole heavens for a  wide space were a maze of
blood-red clouds and I could count the windows of the boats as
the flames burst through.  As spare and Chimneys and decks and
pilot houses were loosened by the flames and fell overboard
the hulls rocked from side to side and the bells tolled intermit-
tently as the vessels went t© their doom. Last of all the
Frederic Notrebree was cast loose and started down the river a
mass of fire.  One of the boats ran aground on a jutting sand-
bar at a bend of the river a mile or so down stream, and lighted


up the river, forest and sky as its companions drifted by and
burned to the water's edge.

At midnight a slave came to me and asked if X would be
kind enough to stop a minute at the end of the beat so that an
old man who was dying in a cabin down there,could see me. He
said the old man had prayed to live to see a "Linkfcm soldier",
and this was his last chance.  I did as requested and the man
ran over to one of the cabins and opened the door. A streak
of bright light shnne across my path and I took my position
in the middle of it.  I could see everything in the room dis-
tinctly. There was a big fireplace with a blazing fire, a bed
on which an old white-haired negro lay and a few black folks
standing near.   As they gently raised the dying man to a
sitting position and pointed toward me he said in a whimpering
tone "Whar? 1 doan see nuffin." He was then turned facing me
and instantly as his eyes fell on the blue uniform he raised
his hands and said devoutly "I breff God*', and fell back dead.
ihen the slave came to thank me he said the old man was one
hundred years old "An* may be mo".

In the fore part of the night there was much activity
and bustle at the slave quarters and I suspected that they were
packing up to go with us, but as the night advanced this grew
less and after the old man died there was not a sound heard any-
where except some slaves praying in the cabin where his body
lay.  As I turned to retrace my steps from the outer end of
the beat I saw the figure of a woman in the path but a step
from me.  I was on the point of calling a challenge when she
said in a loud whisper "Hush,I must speak to you—-it's very


important."    Aa she  said this she advanced close to me and
this is the story she told me.     "I am the housekeeper here.   I
have "been brought up  in  the family and educated like a daughter.
I am one-eighth negro but as white as my mistress.     I am going
to leave  tonight and accompany the army to  the North,    You
must not stop me—you must find some way to let me out of the
house and to your camp.     I want to be  somebody and they tell
me in the North 1*11 have no  trouble to make a good living and
sometime have a home of my own.       Now I want to get into  the
house,   for I have all  the keys,   and get my  clothes and  then pass
over this line-.—please,  please,   for God*s sake please",  and
she turned and disappeared  in the direction of  the house.    Here
was a dilemma,     I was on guard at a house whose owner was the
host of our officers,   who were at this moment asleep in the
mansion.     I was instructed  to let no one  in or out without a
pass and this meant just that,   and not to be disregarded with
impunity like  the instructions of  last night,which were under*
stood to "be a joke.     I paced down to   the end of the path and
stood there thinking out what I ought to  do.     Then  1 thought
that  in  the  event that  I should see her  in  the act of crossing
the beat  I could challenge her ahd  she would be  sure  to  run and
in the darkness I could fire at  the stars and the guard would
be turned out and the whole thing would be explained satisfac-
torily.       I would have obeyed orders and the slave would have
made her way  to freedom,which is  this case was less than a
quarter of a mile away.       As I turned to  retrace my  steps I
saw a figure of a woman scurrying away in the darkness  toward


our bivouac and she was already too far away to halt.
Kota. This octoroon,who was reputed to be the handsomest woman
white or black,in the county, married a rich business man in
Buchanan county, Missouri, and was not suspected of having been
a slave.

3©th. The Sergeant of the Guard came and told us that
Colonel Scott invited us to take breakfast at his house! la
were ushered into an elegantly appointed large dining room and
presented to the hostess and her two daughters,by the husband
and father and invited to take seats at the table. The Madam
apologized for having burnt the biscuit, it being the first
time she had ever attempted to cook a meal in her life, as
she explained. She said with a fine shew of impatience at their
lack of experience in household duties,"We people of the South
are so dependent upon our servants as to be positively helpless
without them".  Nevertheless, she and the daughters had pre-
pared a meal that was a banquet to us. While they were serving
they told us that they were sorry,since there could be but
one result of the war, that we were not going to remain and
occupy the country.  The meal over, we all went on the veranda
and saw the rent in the side of the wall where one of Hindman's
shots had smashed against it. Colonel Scott then said "Ihy,
that*s worse than the Mexicans would do^" ^hen as we thanked
him for his hospitality and. were about to take our leave, he
made this pretty little speech:

"Gentlemen, I am glad to have met you even under such
circumstances.  I am a Southerner, born and educated under her
institutions and have always believed our system was the beat


for all concerned. You of the North think differently and the
two sections are in a terrible war. We are waging a losing
fight, it can have but one result.  For one I have staked all
and lost. Two days ago I was acknowledged to be the richest
citizen of the county; today I am a pauper. With it all 1
assure you I cherish no bitterness. It is in the game. I shall
be a good loser. When you come to Little Rock,as you will
shortly, I shall be proud to entertain you at the residence of
Albert Pike, near the arsenal.M

He bowed us out and we have talked about the incident
all day.

We waited in line all the forenoon while the rest of the
troops took the back track and then our regiment fell in the
very rear,behind the immense column of refugees who were going
out with the army. After we had been in motion a short time
it was noised about that several of our Company were not in
ranks. Sergeant Steele and I were sent back to hunt them up.
We rode down the mountain road into the abandoned town,where the
citizens were just beginning to take stock of results, and looked
everywhere and inquired. At last we found the missing men  and
routed them out on the road. As they were scooting up the side
of the mountain,Steele stopped to chat a few minutes with the
people who had gathered around us.  Their chief regret seemed
to be that it was only a raid and not a permanent occupancy.
When told that there was not subsistence for an army in the
valley, they replied that Hlndman's army had never fared better
than along there. What he could do they thought we could do.


Just then Steele  said to me with a jerk of the head  "Let's be
off,     I looked in the direction  indicated and the advance guard
of Hindman's army was about four blocks away,   coming back to
reoceupy the  town.    As we put  suprs to our horses and looked
back they swung their hats  in salute and we did the same,     the
last men out of the town,and the Tan Bur«n Raid passed into

The net results of the campaign were the defeat of the
enemy in the battles Of Newtonia,  Kaysville,   Gane Hill,  Prairie
Grove and Van Buren;   the capture of a battery of four guns,
several hundred prisoners,   the destruction of more than a
million dollars worth of the enemy's property and the recovery
of an hundred miles of territory  in our front,

Incidentally it may be remarked that the ?an Buren Raid
closed on the last day of slavery  in the United States,

Item Description

Copyright © 2007-2020 - Kansas Historical Society - Contact Us
This website was developed in part with funding provided by the Information Network of Kansas.