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G.W. Veale to General George W. Dietzler

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Headquarters 2nd Regt K.S.M.

Topeka Kans Oct 30th 1864

To Maj Genl Deitzler

Commanding Kansas State Militia Sir

The Rebel Genl Price his hungry horde of blood thirsty traitors, having been driven from our borders, and my Regiment this day relieved from further duty in the field, by authority of your Genl order Oct 28th relieving all the Militia of the State, I desire in compliance with my duty to give as briefly as possible a few details by way of report of this twenty days campaign.

The order calling us to the defence of the border was promptly responded to both by officers and men of my Regiment. My order from you directed me to leave a detail of one hundred men at this place for the protection of the Capital and State Archives, which I did under command of Maj A. Stark of my Regiment, directing him at the same time to do some work by way of fortifying, which he did, and I think gave general satisfaction to all parties by his course of conduct in my absence.

I left this place with my Regiment on the morning of the 12th Oct, camped at Lawrence that night, moved at daylight next morning on the road to Olathe. About 10 o’clk A.M. I received an order from you changing my line of march to Shawneetown. I moved in that direction and camped that night the 13th at Monticello Johnson County, moving in the morning of the 14th for Shawneetown on which place we arrived about 10 o’clk A.M., reporting to your self in person. On the morning of the 15th in obedience to your order of reorganization and consolidation of the Militia, I detached my three Infantry companies Capts Horne, Mossman & Bank and ordered them to report to Col Williamson of the Douglas County 3d and in lieu therefor received

 

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seven companies cavalry from the 3d, making fourteen companies and one piece of Artillery in  all about seven hundred men in my command. The same order consolidated me with the first Brigade K.S.M. Commanded by Brig Genl M.L. Grant, to whom I at once reported, and was ordered into camp near the Shawnee Mission, at which place I received new arms & equipments and a blanket for each man.

On the 18th the Brigade was inspected by Col N.Y. Roberts of Genl Curtis’ staff. On the 19th one Regiment moved on to the “Blue” in Jackson Co Mo.

On the morning of the 21st I received orders from Genl Grant to move with my command to the crossing of the “Blue” on the Kansas City and Hickmans Mills road about four miles from the state line, which order I complied with, & camped on the “Blue” that night.

The next morning the 22d at sunrise, I received an order from Genl Grant stating that he could not reach me very early in the day with the remainder of his command on account of issueing arms, and directed me to fall back and join the forces at Byrams ford. I fell back some two miles from the ford on to the Prairie, halted my comd left it with the Lieut Col, took twelve men & went down through the timber to Byrams Ford, went myself because I knew the country well. I found Col Jamison there with his Regiment 15th vols also the Jefferson County Regiment K.S.M. & several pieces Artillery, this was about three miles from where I had left my command. I went immediately back to move my comd down, but on my arrival I found Genl Grant with his other forces had come up. I told him what I knew of the country & where

 

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our troops were. He said that we should remain there for the present.

Very soon a messenger arrived from Genl Curtis with a dispatch stating that the Enemy was moveing in strong columns up the “Blue”, and to guard well his points, send a scout to Hickmans Mills to see if the enemy was moveing south on the Pleasant Hill road, and report to him every thirty minutes.

I was asked by Genl Grant to take the Battalion of my own Regiment the 2d and make the reconoinance. I moved off immediately, found some other troops comeing from there and went over, could see nothing of the Enemy.

About one mile south of the “Blue” at a point where I could overlook the whole country I called a halt & fed my horses. In a few minutes the Genl and his staff rode up what he followed me for I did not know, but a moment or two and here came Col Lowe of our Brigade, and very soon Maj Lang of the 15th Vols with four companies. A few moments was spent in conversation when Col Lowe & Maj Lang moved on the road south and east to look for the Enemy.

Genl Grant directed me to move back to the north side of the “Blue”, he moveing with his staff riding ahead.

Very soon after we crossed the stream we met a messenger who told us that they were fighting up in the Prairie. The Genl pushed on ahead rapidly for about one mile to where he found my artillery in the lane unsupported, with the Enemy in his front. The Battalion of the Douglas Co 3d under comd of Capt Heindman had fled. The Wyandotte Co Battalion and the Battalion of the 13th KSM under Comd of Lt Col Johnson had been driven from the field. Genl Grant directed me to form a line of battle which I did & as soon

 

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as formed began the fight. Capt. Burns opened on the Enemy at the same time with the Artillery, at first did but little executing but after getting the range and fairly at work he opened their ranks & dismounted Butternuts by the cartload. Capt Burns is deserving of special praise for his Galantry, standing by his [XXX] til taken prisoners & every man he had was either wounded, killed & taken prisoners. My first line of cavalry broke when fired on and some of the men fled in confusion, but with the aid of my brave & gallant officers the line was soon reformed and some of the best fighting done that ever was done on Missouris soil.

We fought Jackmans Brigade of Shelby, division six time our number for three quarters of an hour actually driving at one time his whole centre in confusion from our front, but very soon it was doubly strengthened and charged upon us in double columns, flanking us at the same time both right  & left, we were forced back in disorder to the south side of the “Blue” where we found Col Lowe & Maj Lang with their commands who should have supported us in the fight, as should the commands of Johnson, Guilford, & Heineman, had they done so the result would have been different. As it was I was sacrificed being ordered to fight six times my numbers of Prices veterans & Bush whackers with my raw militia, and who is to blame?

I ask who scattered the troops all over the country without concent of action, tis not for me to say. I can only say that I obeyed orders and by so doing I lost twenty four brave Kansas and killed about the same number wounded and sixty eight taken prisoner. Among these four officers, Also one 24 lbs Brass Howitzer  & one Hundred Horses. The enemys loss was much greater he having greater numbers—But thank God the bold stand these brave men, gave the enemy an afternoon job which detained them from marching into Kansas, and the next morning they were confronted by an army that neither yeilded them ground nor spared their ammunition, but put them on a hasty retreat south

 

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& thus Kansas was saved. On the morning of the 24th we gathered together our dead, (our wounded having been cared for,) & took them to Kansas City—where we obtained coffins for them & on the morning of the 25th we buried them at Wyandotte, Kansas, from there marched home to meet our mourning friends & tell the sad story of the fallen ones which are as follows—

Killed

H. C Covie      Co “B”

Harvey G. Young  “  “

James B Alverson  “  “

Albert Chapman  “ “C”

Elias Roberts  “ “

Robt McKnown  “ “D”

Moses Banks  “ “ Colored

Dennis Ray  “ “ “

James Eagle  “ “F”

Robert Campbell  “ “

David Baker  “ “

Wm P Roberts Co “G”

Samuel Allen  “ “

Wm Maughn  “ “I”

David Fults  “ “ shot by order of Col Jennison

Robt Boles  “ “

Daniel Handly “Topeka Battery”

Nicholas Brown  “ “

M D Rac  “ “

George [X]innold  “ “

McClure Martin  “ “

C H Budd “ “

Leon Selkin “ “

Ben Hughes  Colored teamster

 

Wounded

Lt Col H M Green—Severely Hip

Capt S.B. Miles           “  Groin

Capt Ross Burns         “ Head

Capt U E Bush            “  “ & Arm

Lt. Wm A DeLong     Mortally Hip & Spine

D Neely Co “B” Severly thigh

John Ward “ “ “ Shoulder  & thigh

John P Green “ “ Knee

Brock Crawford “ “ slightly Leg

John Keiser Co “C” “ Arm

Isaac Bickel Co “D” “ Foot

Peter Fleck “ “G” Severely Face &Head

Allen Blandan “ “ Hip and thigh

John Thompson “ “ Left Arm

H M Howard Co “J” slightly

James Norris “  “  “

Martin [X]rick  “  “  Arm

John Praty  Co “F”  “  “

W. P. Thompson “Topeka Battery” Shoulder severely

John Branner  “  “  Head & Shoulder “

 

All of which is Respectfully submitted

G.W. Veale

Col 2d Regt K.S.M.

Ed P. Kellam

Adjt

 

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Rept of Col

Geo W. Veale

2nd Ks.S. M.

Veale

Item Description

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