Testimony of Nathaniel Parker
Age 32, next Jany, unmarried. Entered the Territory in the Fall of /55 about 1st Sept. Went immediately to the Ottawa Reserve and hired to John T. Jones known as Ottawa Jones a half breed. Lived with him until March 1856.
I was born and brought up in the City of New York. Mr Monk who used to be 1st Teller in the 7th Ward Bank is my uncle. Mr. Emmet is my uncle a marble cutter in 3d Av. I learned the trade of a tailor with my uncle Mr Skinner in Reade St. bet Broadway & Church St. At 19 yrs of age I went to sea. I followed the sea some 11 or 12 yr. I was just discharged from the frigate Constitution where I was “Captain of the “Waste.” I brought about $200.00 into the Territory. I gave $90 for a claim & spent $35 more on it making $125.00 in all. This claim proved to be in the Reserve Lands & I lost it & my money. I was taken sick in June with fever & ague brought on by being sun struck. I have had the chills ever since. I have been in no battles. I was present at the Battle of Black Jack in the Mill guarding the women & children with 4 others all armed. I was at Lawrence when invested by “The 2800.” I was placed in the round fort at the head of ___ ‘ St by old Capt. Brown. We saw the enemy coming from the direction of the Blue Mound & from the timber below the town on the Kaw. When Old Brown saw them he gathered all the men in the town with pitchforks and clubs and every other implement of warfare to man the works. The old man encouraged us by saying that although we were few in number, yet by firing low we could whip them. He says to the men, says he, if you want to be in this fight, go down to the corn field and support the men there, all of you who have Sharp’s rifles!” An advance guard of perhaps 150 or 200 of the invaders were approaching and our 25 scouts commence
firing upon them. It was to support these 25 that Old Brown invited our Sharp’s rifles to go. I think I was at Lawrence about 3 weeks. I was supported in camp by the Commissary. When I first came up I had to go into the hospital I had not recovered from the abuses I rec’d at Jones.
The affair at Jone’s took place during the night of the 2 of Aug. A party of the mauraders, the principal part from Westport, under Capt Hays surrounded Jones’ house. I had gone there to board & get well. I had lived on my claim until I was so sick that I could not stay any longer. It was about 12 at night when the invaders knocked in the windows. I at first thought some one had got into the pantry and was smashing the dishes. There were Mr Jones & myself and his wife & two boys, one 10 yrs a Pottawatomi whom Jones had adopted & the other 16 a hired boy. We made no effort to get out at first. When Hays found that no one came out at their command, he cried out to his men “fire now fire the house & that will bring them out I am [xxx].” When Jones heard that he seized his shot gun & opened the door at the same instant presenting his gun & demanding “Who is there?” “Dont fire – dont fire” said the men dodging out of the way. At this instant Jones started to run, when they commenced firing, so that he ran right between their cross fires. He ran 4 miles to father Moores, in his shirt. They said if there were any women or children then they might come out undisturbed. They had set the house on fire before Jones left. Jones had just made his escape when about a dozen of them rushed up stairs headed by a man with a torch who as soon as he saw me cried out “here is one of them – surrender give up your arms!” I had just got out of bed & was putting on my pants when one of them rushed up to the bed
side where I was & drew a two edged sword and just had it over my head ready to split me down when another one standing at my right side, cried out “hold on, dont murder him here, I’ll fix him” and with some oath, dragged me along. I wanted to get my shoes as I was barefoot & sick, but they would not let me. As I was dragged out among the crowd of howling wretches, one of them cried out “let him run if he’s a mind – damn him Ill pick him off!” at the same instant levelling his rifle at me: the other still jerked me along, outside of the picket gate, when a man on horseback cried out “put a rope around his neck, damn him I’ll fix him.” He wanted to attach the rope to the pummel of his saddle & so tow me along & very soon tow a man to death. But the other still held on to me wanting me to confess who had made his escape. He carried me to the edge of the creek, probably some 10 or 15 feet deep, and at that instant loosened his hold & looked over the brink as if to see something. He then drew his sword and presented the point of it to within two inches of my breast, but without doing me any injury, returned it to its sheath. At this instant some one struck me a blow just above the temple which knocked me senseless. From that time I was unconscious for some 2 hours. When I came to I was laying down by the rivers brink not far from the water. (Ottawa creek) I found my throat cut just below the ear an inch and a half or so and extending across my jaw to the bone. This cut I believe brought me to & saved my life. My throat was swollen even with my chin – my nose without any skin upon it and my right eye completely
closed up and swelled out as big as my fist. My hair was matted with blood. My head felt as large as a bushel. I have not yet fully regained the use of my jaw. I cannot open it as wide as common. It was full 5 weeks before I was healed up safe. My right ear is now quite deaf. My head continued dizzy for full four weeks. When I would attempt to walk I was in danger of falling.
Mrs Jones remained by the house outside. She says 20 men could have routed the whole of them as they were frightened all the time for the picket guard hearing the tramping of the horses in the pasture fired his signal gun thinking our men were down upon them. Hearing this Hays cried out to his men “Speed home! Boys, speed home!” and seizing their plunder the scoundrels fled after taking two bags of money from Mrs. Jones, one of gold & one of silver $500, in all.
I have about 50 cts: am in need of all things.
(This man we supplied.)
Sabbath 7th Dec 1856
Testimony of Horace L. Dunnell.
Aged 24. My wife is in Massachusetts. I left Worcester 25th June 1856 with Stowell’s party 31 in number. Came into Kansas with the intention of being an actual settler. Am a chair maker by trade. If this business were carried on here, there would be plenty to do. There is no cabinet making carried on here. What is wanted is proper machinery for workshops, turning, planing, tongue grooving, thin sawing, scroll sawing, etc. etc. An investment of this sort would pay well. Such chairs as in Boston sell at wholesale at 30 cts are worth here at retail 8 & 9/- I know of good mechanics, such as machinests, chair makers, cabinet makers & the like, who are driving teams at about 12 [xxx] per day: & many idle at that
There are many men on claims too, who would be glad to work at their trades a portion of the time. Prairie claims are passed over now as far as possible because it takes an account of money to build & fence & break, having to purchase all their timber for that purpose, though they pay best in the long run. Now if there were workshops where good mechanics could work & earn money, they could settle on these claims & employ laborers or men without trades, to do that sort of work & also purchase rails & timber of men having it to sell. There are good prairie claims, plenty of them within a circuit of 20 miles around Lawrence: some of them within 6 miles: on many of which & probably on all of them there is an abundance of stone for building purposes. Almost any man of common ingenuity can lay up what we here call concrete houses which simply means laying up the stone in boxes as concrete houses are laid up instead of by lines. Boxes are used by filling in mortar & small stones and laying up the large stones regularly with the largest stones at the corners: The large stones are cemented together by this process more cheaply than in the ordinary way. 15 cts per foot is the price for such work: & 25 for line work. $150.00 would put up a house of this [xxx] for a small family, & this house would in after years serve for a grainary or out house of any description when the parties were able to build a better. A log cabin of the same out of logs, hewed on the inside & outside could be built for about $50.00. I have a claim 9 miles from Lawrence on Coal Creek well watered by a small stream & springs. I have 20 acres of timber good enough for fencing & fire wood. I am going now to a shingle Mill near Benicia to work for 3 months at 12/- pr day. If I hire board it will cost $3 pr week – but if I board myself it will cost but 12/- They have a contract to deliver 100,000 shingles on the price at $6.00 per thousand. They can be sold for $7.00 before next summer. Good planing machines are very much needed as most of the timber is hard wood, burr
oak & walnut, and it is hard work for carpenters to plane it & dulls their tools so that a man would rather work at other employments when he can get it.
The land here is of the same quality as it is over in Laplatte Co. Miss. where the hemp cotton pays from $300 to $500 pr annum for the labor of a slave, over & above the interest of the value of the slave & his expenses. With the [xxx] of free labor the profitable nature of this cotton would be vastly increased. Machinery for manufacturing hemp would therefore I think pay well, as soon as a market can be found here.
Boots & shoes sell here at an advance of nearly 100 pr ct. This must pay freights & commissions pretty well. When I was in Topeka a month ago there was no one who could take measure & make a pair of shoes. There is one here in Lawrence & a cobbler. A good manufacturer of shoes on a large scale is very much needed here. Stock raising & the Dairy business must be the next best to the lumber business. This county is destined to be a great stock raising county & hides will consequently be plenty. With our abundance of oak also a tannery ought to succeed well here.
Black walnut, oak & cotton wood is the principal lumber used for building.
[xxx] [xxx] 30 to 35 and the latter for $25 to 30. Ready made clothing can at present be brought from the East at cheaper rates than it can be made here. Rents are always high in new countries. In Lawrence & Topeka from 2 to 5 dollars pr week is the price of common tenements. I have known a little shake cabin with one window rent for a dollar a week. (Tents)
Testimony of Hinton & Dunnell.
We reached Lexington (K. T.) on the 9 – August and found an association 57 in all: founded the Town & called it Lexington. We built a log house 20 x 18 of squared logs put together tight & close. Dug a good well having 4 ft good water & stoned it up 5 or 6 ft. Wheeler from Hopkinton Miss (Lewis, Cass Co. [xxx])
acted as treasurer and surveyor: we laid off 320 acres for the town & laid off the streets & were about dividing off the lots when Col. Dickey & Col. Eldridge came up and requested us to come down to the assistance of the people about Lawrence. We were joined on Monday evening by the Plymouth Co. of about 75 & on Tuesday 26 Aug. morning sunrise started for Lawrence, having in charge 125 muskets with ammunition.
When we reached Topeka on Thursday August 29 about 4 P.M we found the whole place in a state of alarm there being only about 25 armed men in town. A party of 4 had gone up to (Ft. Riley I think) passing for pro-slavery men & bought 8 kegs of powder: they rode night & day without anything scarcely to eat & had just arrived about the time we got there.
The citizens held a meeting the night we reached there to take measures to keep us for the protection of the town until their men could return who had been sent for to Lawrence at the time of the Bull creek operations. The most of Stowells Co. & a part of the Plymouth remained. We rest started for Lawrence with the arms on the [xxx] of 31. But learning that a large party of Ruffians were on the road, returned that night, not being willing to risk the arms. That night Col Harvey’s 1st Reg of Kansas Free State Volunteers arrived at Topeka from Lawrence as an escort for the arms. (the incidents of this march of Harvey’s boys will be found in the Testimony of Hazen, McArthur & Hall) On Sunday morning 1st. Sept the whole party started again for Lawrence.
While we were at Lexington busy laying out the town, some of our men digging a well, others hewing logs, others in the woods felling trees & others hauling, we sent off two of our party Wheeler & Babb to Iowa Point on the Missouri to get a load of provisions. When they arrived they found 50 or 60 Missourians drilling in the streets while the ferry boat was bringing over at every trip as many as it could carry. These fellows took Wheeler & Babb prisoners & kept them for about an hour confined & at the same time had Beeler a Free State man & a store keeper prisoner. Wheeler had his surveying instruments with him & told these fellows he was
a U. S. Surveyor & the troops who were at White Cloud would be down on them. They were released and after loading up started by a new road for home; after travelling all night found themselves within sight of the town to the great joy of all. From that time forward we were constantly on the alert. About 3 days before our team started, a Plymouth team had also gone, but when within a few miles of Iowa Point had turned back on the solicitation of a free state woman at whose house they stopped for refreshments. She told them the Point was full of Ruffians & they would be arrested & said sooner than have them go she would let them have half of all in her cabin, which she did. This party subsequently went over to White Cloud and obtained supplies.
While the two companies were settled, the one at Plymouth under Maxham, 5 miles from Nebraska line on Pony Creek, a branch of the Nemaha, and the other at Lexington 12 miles below by the road or 6 miles in a straight line, father Moore with one team & 3 yoke of oxen bringing in 125 muskets, cutlasses, revolvers & bowie knives, & a large supply of ammunition came in to Plymouth. Rumors at this time were prevalent of Richardsons army being on [xxx] for Plymouth: in fact a letter had arrived at Plymouth from Capt. Paten stating that Plymouth would be attacked that afternoon at 3 o’clock by Richardson. Some 25 of the Plymouth boys accompanied father Moore & the army to Lexington. At this time, the time of our arrival in Kansas, there were some 5 companies of settlers scattered about the Nemaha & its tributaries numbering say 25 armed men to a company; belong to settlements: these settlements numbered over 30 families. These were all Free State people. The pro-slavery people, what few these were, were by the Missouri river. Capt. Paten seemed to be the leader of the Free State men. He has a saw mill within 12 miles of Lexington toward Iowa Point. At his Mill, a meeting had been held about a week before which was attended by Stowell & Maxham, Capt. Codey of the Plymouth & Capt. Dean & Wheeler & the Captains of the settlements for the purpose
of forming a Free State Regiment. Capt. Paten had at that time just arrived from the battle of Franklin with the news that the Free State people were organizing into Regiments & bringing a request from the headquarters at Lawrence that all the free state settlers in our region should organize at once. No action was taken at this meeting. Lane arrived at Lexington from Washington Creek after having succeeded by delays in meeting the Captain of the murderers of Major Hoyt. This was on Monday morning 18th August. Lane informed us of the battle of Franklin & Ft. Saunders. Wished us to fortify as he thought we should be attacked. We had already commenced the work. Our log house was designed for this purpose. We then dug a ditch 4 ft wide about 8 ft from the house banking the earth up against the house to protect it against cannon. The same course was adopted at Plymouth. Lane remained around for 3 or 4 days & returned South, meeting Col. Eldridge & Dickey on their way from Lawrence & Topeka with a message to us. Dickey & Eldridge were going East. Two days before this, Dr I. P. Root, A. A. Jameson & Col Foster & several others, all of whom had started immediately after the destruction of Franklin & Titus fort, passed through our settlement also going East to convey the glorious news of our successes, & the re-commencement of hostilities. It has been a subject of general criticism & remark here in the Territory that our leaders were like birds of passage, departing when storms were approaching and returning with summer. About that time the question could be heard repeated from 500 lips “where are all our leaders?”
But to return to father Moore & the supplies sent in by the National Committee. Moore started from Plymouth for Lexington with 25 men on Monday morning, 25 arrived at Lexington at noon. On his arrival with the arms the question arose whether it would not be necessary for all the men both at Lexington & Plymouth to accompany the arms & ammunition to Topeka. We went six of us up to Plymouth to learn whether the 50 remaining men there would join us or evacuate both places. Whatever, after our departure from Lexington a man belonging to the Highland Mission passed our settlement & when between it & Highland, met Richardson with
75 men and a cannon. Richardson took this man prisoner calling him an abolitionist. After questioning him to learn our strength the man telling him we were about 75 strong & well armed with Sharp’s rifles, Richardson stopped the man & consulted with the [xxx] men, then released their prisoner & turned back to Iowa Point. We were all expecting to see Richardson by daylight the next morning & had all made our calculations on the horses we should capture. We never expected anything else in any fight but to whip the enemy.
The 6 of us who had gone to Plymouth returned with the 50 men about midnight & found the Lexington Camp [xxx] for Richardson. Seeing & hearing nothing of Richardson in the morning & being disappointed & not meeting him we pulled up & started of with father Moore to guard the arms to Topeka. Having herd nothing of Richardson we [xxx] The reports of his coming were unfounded & so left at Plymouth & Lexington all our personal apparel, as well as the cos. Cooking utensils, tents & a yoke of oxen & corn & waggen, in short everything we could do without we left behind in charge of a Free States man named Hatfield [xxx] 2 miles off Lexington toward Iowa Point. expecting to return in about 10 days. [xxx] of this we were [xxx] from Topeka or [xxx] stated to the defence of the South.
Testimony of Alexander Mac Arthur, James Hall and Jerome Hazen
Aged 23 yr. Unwed. – Aged 25. unwed - /aged 21. unwed
We all joined the Chicago Co. & went up the Missouri River – were disarmed at Lexington & Weston. Ret. To Alton & from there went up to Davenport to Iowa City which we left 10 July & encamped at Old Man’s creek 6 miles off when we elected Wm A. Harvey Captain & waited 5 days for arms. A. A. Griffen was our Treasurer. Returned Col. Elridge met [xxx] with a letter from the Nat. Com. requesting us to pay over our fund into his hands, which we did, amounting to $1,000.00. Our side arms were our own principally purchased with our own money. Our clothes were ours. We had some 12 or 13 carpenters in our Co. all of whom had good chests of tools 3 or 4 of which were stolen from us on the river ; among them was the tool chest of Jos. Hall ships carpenter worth $100.00 The Chicago Committee had requested us to
form no military organization before entering the Territory nor any thing like it. Our rifles were Hall’s Carbines, old Muskets, altered to breech loading. When we left Iowa City we numbered about 43 the bal. had left after the river scrape. We had only 33 of the original Co. At Old Man’s Creek we rec’d our Sharp’s rifles, cartridge box, belt, bowie knife & the “pepper box” of Robinson & Lawrence Co.” poor things, too. We started with plenty of provisions, clothes & blankets, dishes, knives, forks, 12 tents & well oven. The Old Chicago Committee here quaranteed in writing that we shuld have $30.00 in money each man & the years provisions & [xxx] if the war still continued provided they culd win the war. Col. Eldridge promised he would fulfill the guarantee of the com. or we might take his head.
We calculated we had provisions enough to bring us through. The expenses of bringing us through were for the purchase of one 2 horse team waggen & harness $$380.00 one 4 mule team & waggen [xxx] & the hiring of three teams & for shoeing the animals. After our hired teams were [xxx] at Missouri River on Iowa side, we crossed the river & Col. Eldridge purchased for our use one span of horses, harness & waggen. We put him to no expense for our living. We calculated that these teams belonged to us or the $1,000.00 placed in Eldridges fund. (to be continued)
Testimony of Charles Henry Caulkins.
Age 23. unmarried. Started from Bangor Maine [xxx] last. My intention in starting was to come direct to St. Louis & go up the river & go in stake up a claim. Jesse Holbrook & Sam. Stevens started with me. At Warren (Mass) we fell in with Dr Cutter & joined his party some 15 or 16 at Warren: at Worcester others joined us, so that we left Worcester with about 40. From Chicago went to St. Louis; & by boat up to Waverly where we were robbed of our arms. We continued up to Weston under a guard of 30 or 40 Missourians, who insulted us to their heart’s content. Lay at Weston all night. Were then turned back made to pay our passage down the river. Went up to Davenport and from there to Iowa City, then by land into Kansas. The same day we reached Topeka we were called upon to go down to Saunder Fort. From Saunder I went with Cutter & [xxx] others to attack Titus’ fort. From there to Lawrence & remained in quarters until
we went down to Bull Creek to disperse a camp of marauders. This camp of marauders consisted of 2 block houses. When we reached there found they had left. Lane had [xxx] off the night before falling back to Black Jack 10 miles off & sending for our Co. & Harvey’s Co. When we [xxx] - sent us on travelling all night as the advanced guard. Meantime the marauders had followed Lanes example & retreated. We came back to Black Jack & told Lane of the retreat of the enemy. He was with us to Dow’s camp & then he left us & he went up to Lawrence. When we reached Palmyra we overtook a Santa Fe train which we took & sent up to Lawrence. Cutter gave up every thing he took to the Quartermaster for the general good. Subsequently finding that the Safty Committee at Lawrence would not divide to suit him, demanded back the property. There was no treasure found; nothing except a few log chains & some 10 rifles. We got no provisions of any account. We took two horses & 3 mules. Cutter got back as much of the property from the quarter master as he could, and subsequently took them up to Topeka. After the Bull Creek affair we went up to Lecompton. Col Harvey had been dispatched about 1 o’clock P. M. of [xxx] to go up to Lecompton & lie in ambush on the other side of the river to intercept the inhabitants as they were to flee on the attack upon them on this ride by Lane. Lane was to start at 9 at night of the afternoon when Harvey left. Our folks were all night expecting every minute that orders would be given to march: but it was not until 9 o’clock the next morning when we started: we reached Lecompton in the after part of the day. Returned to Lawrence & then Cutter disbanded his men. I went up to Hickory Point on my own hook having never been lucky enough to get into a fight. After the battle was over, that night we were taken prisoner by the troops & marched up to Lecompton. This was on Monday, the 14th Septr. I remained in prison 10 weeks in all. I was among the convicted. We were placed in an old shell of a house – had to lie on the bare floor – but few blankets amg the men – a little stove in the room for nearly 100 men to cook on. The room which contained this 100 men was about 30 x 20 – out of this
small room there was a piece about 15 ft square. At night there was not room enough for all to lie down so we had to take turns about. We were there 15 or 20 days before any us was taken sick. Then poor Bowles was taken sick & died. A number afterward sicken & at one time there were 10 down sick. When Bowles was first taken sick the boys who had blankets gave them up to make a bed for him. After getting my sentence for 5 yrs with ball & chain I was notified that I must go out to work on the Capitol. That night I concluded to leave as I had been a week at work getting out stone; which was a large stone in the foundation of the building under the floor which we had to cut in order to get at the wall. We picked through the inside wall with a bayonet, several of us taking turns. After I got out I passed the guard over the line & immediately [xxx] about making as if I were going in & at the same time pretending to be pretty drunk. The guard stuck out his musket towards me & ordered me to keep clear of the line, which I did & have kept [xxx] [xxx]. As I was leaving the town the picket guard hailed me & gave chase. The night was so dark they could not see me: & after chasing a while one guard said to another that it was no use chasing as it was mouse chasing [xxx].
The testimony on which I was convicted did not identify me as being in a single battle. Dr. Tibbs swore that we were some of the same men that he arrested on the road between Hickory Point & Lawrence after the battle & that Mr he recognized as being at Hickory Point lying under a waggen without a gun at a distance from the town. While I was in prison some one rode off my horse with saddle & bridle. My trunk was left in question. They are all gone. Now I have nothing left not even a blanket. I got out of prison on Friday night 14th Nov. & reached Lawrence same night about 2 o’clock in the morning. I had $10 or $11.00 which I had saved though all the [xxx[. All the prisoners were covered with vermin. My condition same as the rest. I appled to Mr. Eldridge for a change of clothes. He said he could’nt give me any that I must go to work & earn some:
I now wish to join the company who are going under Col. Harvey to form a settlement.
Continuation of Testimony of McArthur, Hall & Hazen. We reached Topeka on the 13th August without any adventures worth mentioning. As we entered the town we were met & welcomed by the inhabitants: We crossed the river about 1 ½ miles above Topeka in the night of Tuesday & waited the next day until the rest of the train came over. It was about 3 P. M. when we all marched into Topeka. Flags & handkerchiefs were waved by the ladies & great rejoicings at our approach. The people at that time did not seem sorry that “so many more mouths had been sent in by the National Committee to eat up their substance.” We commenced pitching our tents & had scarcely finished driving the tent pins when Capt. Harvey called us from our work into line and said as follows “I want 30 men who dont care whether they live or die to go with me.” Every man of us immediately volunteered. The Capt. selected 30 men, out of our number leaving the rest to take charge of our tents and baggage. We started immediately without provisions. We delayed an hour for the main body to come on. We marched until 2 o’clock in the morning when we reached Rock Creek (within about 3 or 4 miles of Fort Saunders or Washington Creek) when we found 2 or 300 free State men gathered to avenge the death of Major Hoyt. While the main body remained in camp at Rock Creek 20 horsemen were detached to search for the body of Hoyt. This was on Thursday the 14th Septr. After searching nearly all day they found the body of poor Hoyt buried near a ravine under 4 inches of earth. We will here state that our men in searching for the body came across a cabin with 2 pro-slavery women in it. These women denied all knowledge of the murder or the place where Hoyts’body could be found. After we had found it our men went back to the house with the body and then the women owned up & told all about it. They said
that Hoyt has passed there & one of their husband’s had shewn him into Fort Saunders. After Hoyt had been into their camp & was coming away two of the ruffians rode along with him & while one directed his attention, the other fell behind & shot him in the back of his head.”
The body of Hoyt was brought into the camp about dusk. The men were all called
to see it. It was a sad sight. His face was horribly mutilated & cut. The
sight of it roused up the spirits of our men to fury & all upon the instant
swore revenge & were eager to be led at once to the attack. Harvey, Showbre,
Walker, Cutter & others were in command of the various companies
numbering in all from 3 to 400 men. The enemy it is supposed numbered about 80 or 90 well fortified in a double log house, built for a regular fort, with chinks & loopholes. The cannon taken at Franklin was brought up by the Lawrence Stubbs about 8 o’clock in the day. (Thurs 14) Harvey advised that during the night we shuld be stationed around the Fort through the ravine & at early daylight [xxx] the attack when they would be unprepared as men who watch all night generally suppose at daylight the danger is over & are not so careful. This advice was not followed & nothing was done until 2 P. M. of the next day Friday 15th. When we marched for Rock Creek a distance of 4 miles to the Ft. We sent our scouts ahead to reconnoiter while the cannon was brought within 1/3 of a mile covered by the Chicago Co. our scouts [xxx] [xxx] the evacuation of the fort. Their flight was so sudden that they left all their provisions
& arms & Hoyts pony which was taken by Chas. Dick. We took a box of Shannon’s rifles which we found buried on a knoll about ¼ of a mile from the Fort, also a box from the fort. We got considerable plunder. Before we went into the Fort, Harvey scoured the ravine, but the enemy
had fled. One of our scouts followed on their trail & shot one man &
took their flags which had on it the name of Mrs. Hull & Mrs. Tully. The
flag was stars & stripes with the motto “We will reform the laws.”
We reached our encampment at 7 the evening of Friday 15: Remained about 3 hours
in camp when we recd orders to march over to Wakefield: We were engaged in cooking
our supper. Some got something to eat & some got nothing. I should have
mentioned that before leaving Rock Creek a beef had been killed & distributed
& we were in the act of cooking our slices as we were ordered to march against
Fort Saunders. The men were so hungry that those who had not yet toasted their
slices carried them off in their hands & ate it raw. Many of us at this
time, the night of the 15th had not yet eaten our supper and had to start for
Wakefield without any. The whole party were under marching orders. (Lane was
not with us)
Capt. Walker was in command. When near Wakefield advanced guard came upon a band of horse thieves out stealing horses: This was about midnight. It is said that Titus himself was among them. This was by Heathe’s house near the fork of the road. Heathes claim adjoined Wakefield. On discovering our men the thieves fired upon them & they chased them & succeeded in arresting one & killed another. The horse he rode was also wounded: we found it the next day at Titus’ stable. We got one horse. We proceeded half a mile further, had a slap jack a piece & turned in: this was about 2 at night. We had no tents & slept any way. We slept in the wet grass with nothing but our blankets.
On Saturday 16th we were called up by daylight & marched off without any thing to eat about 2 miles to the house of Titus. The order was given by Walker for only the horsemen to go & for the infantry to remain behind. But Harvey said “gear up our teams we will go as well as horsemen” so we started leaving all the main body of infantry behind. We started ahead of the
cannon. When within 20 rods of the house a messenger met us & told us to push on saying there was plenty of fun ahead – that Showbre was killed & 2 or 3 more shot. We were there in line when the cannon arrived though the cannon was drawn by horses.
Harvey ordered us to follow him. We approached the house to within 40 rods or so & took our position on the right of the cannon. Harvey ordered us to fire low. At the first fire the U. S. Troops bugle sounded a retreat. Harvey thinking they were coming up out of the ravine to attack us ordered us to form in line facing the ravine to receive them. After discovery that this was not their intention he ordered us back to our old position. We fired two more volleys: the cannon fired at the same time. This was about 6 in the morning. 4 rounds were fired from the cannon without taking effect. The 5th shot took effect entering the house just above 1st floor and knocking things about some. This ball was made of the type of the Herald of Freedom & was considered a successful edition. And the shot entered & passed through a trunk over which a slave woman had her arm lying: this colored woman came nearer being white on this occasion than at any previous period in her life. And coat, one of Titus’ best, at this time also lost a part of its tail & the end of the warrior sword was also cut off. A slave boy the day before had helped Titus grind this very sword. As we came up to him after the [xxx] Masters said when he saw de sword [xxx] he mean to hab 9 abolitionists for breakfast and I guess dis morning he had [xxx] of dem dan he likes to eat.” After their white flag was observed, the fire ceased, and rushing up to the house our company were the first men in: one of us Mr. Hall arrested Titus & MacArthur was placed guard over him by Harvey. The brave Col Titus was found secreted under the floor boards in a corner. The entire floor had been taken up & an excavation made down in the earth & the earth thrown up against the sides of the house: the
loose boards were piled up in a corner of the room & under these we found Titus looking very much surprised & very pale. He held up his hand streaming with blood exclaiming I surrender as a prisoner of war & ask to be treated as such. We took 19 prisoners besides killing two. They were mostly Dutchmen who had been at work at the Capital at Lecompton & had been passed into service: (according to their statements) they culd scarcely speak English. Capt Walker came up & took possession of Titus when a soldier rushed up with the butt of his musket raised to dash his brains out. Walker ordered him to desist & saved Titus’ life. We set fire to the house & retired. The U. S. Troops came up in seem to witness the burning. We reached Lawrence about 2 P. M. with our prisoners and met with a welcome reception from the inhabitants.
On Sunday 16th Sept Shannon came down & made a treaty with us: we to give up the prisoners & he to deliver up the cannon taken from [Pomeroy?] the destruction of the Hotel at Lawrence, & the 7 prisoners arrested at Franklin after the battle. We found the place about out of ammunition. Lead pipe was [lay?] up at the Steam Mill to be run into bullets & the very type of the Herald of Freedom lying in the mud of the street had been gathered up & melted into balls. In the battles thus far described full one half of the men engaged in them were of those who had come in with the Emigration overland under the auspices of the National Committee and nearly an equal number had remained behind to guard the wall & the bridge which we had built over the big Nemaha & the towns we had planted & the settlements on the way & thus keep open an overland route for our in coming emigrants that they might not be served as we had been on the Missouri. [xxxxxx] things that had been left at our start to Washington Creek before the attack on Fort Saunders. In their going up they met a waggon just east
& had held out two hours & had not been taken at last accounts. Reinforcements were sent out in double quick time of a hundred mounted men from Lawrence to assist. Col Harvey was ordered with his Command to go until he met Father Moore who was expected that day to arrive with arms & munitions from Topeka. About opposite Lecompton a company of Dragoons, who were encamped near Lecompton rode out from their camp & inquired, who had the Command of our Train He was told Col Harvey. He then rode towards Col Harvey who was at the end of the Train & inquired his mission & whether it was hostile or not. Col Harvey answered that he was hostile toward any who intended to interrupt or molest us. While we were encamped at Big Springs, we gave chase to some scouts who had been sent out from Lecompton to spy out our movements but they managed to escape us & fled to Lecompton. We expected to meet Father Moores Train on the road & at this place we were informed that they came as far as within a mile of Tecumseh & fearing an attack on account of the demonstrations which they saw had returned. We continued without interruption until we arrived at Topeka where we found Father Moore with the arms & munitions. We also found Howell & his men who wanted to come through but dare not. We stayed over night – stopping at Garveys & the Topeka house kept by Mr Nichols. Had enough to eat and good beds. In the morning the Party went out on a plundering Expedition under Jamison. We started on our return for Lawrence Sunday 31st. We took a circutous Route, when we came opposite Lecompton to avoid the Troops. Scouts came in sight who had been sent out by Stringfellow. Behind these were over 300 men under his Command who when they saw that we were prepared for them backed out & returned to Lecompton. We had not yet reached Lawrence when we received a message requiring us to hasten so as to go to the aid of Lane on Bull Creek who had started on this Expedition during our abscence.
We arrived at Lawrence about 4 o’clock. Stayed all night & next morning
Monday Sept 1st set out with about 150 men for the relief of Lane. Got 4 miles
when we met a Messenger from him
stating that Lane had made the enemy retreat & that they were preparing to return to Missouri & that Lane was behind on his way to Lawrence. We returned greatly disappointed to our Quarters. We afterward learned that both armies had met when there seemed to be a mutual agreement to withdraw & not fight. In the P. M. we went to Judge Wakefields 7 miles from Lawrence to protect & bring hay & grain to Lawrence. When we had got back we looked in the direction of Lecompton discovering that Judge Ws house was on fire. The enemy burned three houses that night & sacked some others. The 1st Regt were ordered to march at 12 o’clock night. We immediately started & marched to the relief of the Topeka Company who had started from Lawrence at 8 o’clock on their return home & were reported to have been stopped by the Rufains. We went as far as Judge Wakefields & learned there by some one in that vicinity that they had passed unmolested. We then returned arriving at Lawrence at day light. We were very much fatigued, some were so weary & lame that they could scarcely get back. Some remained on the way coming in in the morning. Tuesday 2nd we remained in Camp all day. we received news of the Burning of Ossawatomie & the murder of Young Brown. Also of the driving off of the Ruffains by Genl Lane with 300 Free State men. In the evening we were ordered to take our positions in a Fort south east of the Town where we remained all night. During the night Lanes men came into Town. Wednesday Sept 3d At 9 we were drilled by Lanes. At 2 o’clock we were ordered to march. We took our Blankets crossed thhe River & secreted ourselves in the grass & bushes to intercept some Ruffains that we expected would encamp opposite Lawrence We remained in ambush all night.- We saw no one & recrossed the River at day light.
During this time we had nothing to eat but a few crackers Sept 4th We had orders
to march at a moments warning. We started at one o’clock. We took nothing
but a few hard crackers, some taking nothing at all. There was nothing in fact
to take but flower & as we wished to give no signs to the enemy by making
fires to cook it with we did not take any with us. We reached the Timber opposite
Lecompton about sunset. We secreted ourselves at the Forks of the road where
we remained in ambush all night. During the night it thundered & lightninged
& Stormed furiously. We managed to keep the guns dry by wrapping them in
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$1000. [xxx] they were allowed to keep to pack their Baggage on for which they appeared grateful. We went from this place to one of our old Camping places but there being a scarcity of water we removed about 2 miles from this place where we encamped for the night. The next morning we removed to a house on Walnut Creek that had been robbed by the Ruffains. This house belonged to a Gentleman in New York by the name of Miller. While we remained here a Company was sent out for the purpose of Sacking a town laid out by the Pro Slavery Party Called Alaxandria. The Governor passed on a road of which the house commanded a view Escorted by a Company of Dragoons. This was upon his first arrival in the Territory. Col Harvey thinking it to be the Enemy sent out a detachment to intercept the Train but discovering to whom it belonged allowed it to pass. We remained in this place until nearly night when we left & went about 7 miles & encamped for the night. We ate our suppers & stationed our guards when a messenger came in informing us that a Company of about 40 Carolinians were Encamped on Slew Creek about 8 miles toward Lecompton who were on their way to Atchison. We immediately marched in their pursuit arriving within about ¾ of a mile of them when we hitched our horses to a Corn Field fence and then marched cautiously in single file toward where our pilot Mr Newell told us they were. Col Harvey went in advance causing us to halt occasionally while he reconnoitred. When he got within a short distance of them he went some ways ahead of his Company with a knife in his hand ready to silence the Sentinal the moment he should attempt to give the alarm but discovering none, he returned & caused the whole Company to encircle the house. Marching us so closely that we discovered them lying under their wagons. When one of them happening to discover us gave the alarm “the Enemy are upon us boys” when several of them arose and fired. The fire fortunately did no harm, Except that one shot just grazed our Colonel’s little finger. This fire was instantly answered by 40 or 50 discharges –
from our Boys, killing or rather mortally wounding one of their men besides wounding several others. This caused them to cry earnestly “We Surrender!!! The firing then ceased when the whole gang of about 40 were put under guard until Daylight. When Col Harvey released them allowing them to keep their wagons & oxen to haul their luggage on. Taking possession of their arms munitions & horses of which latter there were about 15, besides some of their plunder when we returned toward our Camp that we had left 2 miles & got our breakfast. After which (on Thursday 11th) we marched toward Lawrence. Encamping within 6 miles of the Town where we remained all night. One of the Carolinians when we fired upon them was saved on account of the Bullet striking his knife which hung by his side. Shivering it in pieces. One of these pieces he begged to be allowed to pick up, remarking that “he wouldn’t part with it for his life” These fellows when they first Surrendered were very mild, but when they ascertained by the guard, telling that they should not be harmed, that Col Harvey would probably release them in the morning they reversed their manners & behaved very saucy & impertinent. One of them challenging the Guard to fight a duel
We captured the Blood Red Flag at this place which was afterward exhibited in the States. Sept 12th Early in the morning we marched toward Lawrence arriving. The whole Chicago Company at 12 o’clock, mounted marching through the Town & to our Quarters west. The Flag which had been taken was borne by one of the Company who rode ahead of the file. Sat. Sept 15th A meeting was held in the course of the day. Called through the instrumentality of Dr Cutter to dispose equally among the several Companies in Lawrence of our horses. Dr Cutter failed in his object. The meeting agreeing that we had well earned them & were therefore entitled to them. Cutter afterward attempted to insite his men & others to attempt to take them from us by force. But the scheme was never attempted. All of the arms that we took in this expedition Col Harvey delivered over to the Commissary, also the powder &
& there munitions. There were over a hundred guns taken.