Col. I. A. Harvey‘s Testimony
I am 29 years of age. (to be [xxx])
Thomas Bedoe native of England, been her 8 yrs. Aged 40. Have wife & 4 children. Eldest a boy 16, next 15, girl 4, baby 8 mo. Came from Rockford 8th July. Sold house & 2 acres of land. Started with self & boy $50.00 with a company of 12. Wife & children came on 3 weeks since. We were all sent out by the Rockford Committee, who promised to sustain us here for 12 months. I reached the Territory with my boy of 15, about 18th August. Had then about $10.00 & my clothes & cooking utensils. We had not been at Topeka over one hour when word came up from Lawrence giving intelligence of the battle at Franklin and also that the pro-slavery men had assembled in large number at Ft. Saunders in the vicinity of Washington Cr. And that the Free State men were gathering about 3 miles from the Ft on Washington Creek. A messenger was sent to us requesting us to join them as soon as our numbers were sufficient. A part of our Co. reached their encampment after having traveled all night about 2 o’clock in the morning. I [xxx] in the camp at Topeka to take charge with some 35 others. While there 2 Missouri waggons drove into town loaded with provisions & they encamped a little way from us. One of the men with the teams was overheard to say that he was on the Star of the West where the Chicago boys were turned back & that they acted like cowards. When we heard this we sent & made them hitch up & drive into camp & set a guard over them that night. the next morning we put them in possession of their property on condition of their selling out in town instead of taking it up to the Big Blue to supply our enemies. They did this & sold out & went home.
I think it was on Sunday Dr Cutter ordered me to pack up the whole encampment & come to Lawrence to Capt Shombre’s funeral. We reached here about 2 hrs after he was buried. About 2 or 3 days after this about the 17th Aug. Holmes came up from Ossawatomie for assistance. I left here with some of the Chicago men & we rode until the middle of the night when we had to stop on the prairie as we could not find our way. Mrs Chandler (own sister to Capt. Cline) was with us. We all slept on the grass. We had but 2 blankets in the camp. We had no tent. Just after day light it commenced rainy & we were all wet & so marched on reaching Stanton 6 miles from Ossawatomie & 1 ½ miles S of the house of preacher White’s farm the man who shot Old Brown’s son Frederick. We found Stanton deserted, having been abandoned the night before by some 12 or 15 families who had left behind them considerable provisions & property. Reached Ossawatomie drenched through. We found this place likewise deserted. Then we found food & plenty of houses for men to go into, but no families. The families had fled to the woods. We sent word to them & some of them came back & did what they could for us. Same day Capt. Shores Co. from Prairie City came in numbering probably 100 men. About the middle of the next night Capt. Cline & his men, some 16 or 18 came in. Next, Brown (Old Brown) came in with some 30 or 40 mounted men. He commenced organizing a larger Co. As soon as we got pretty well fed & dried we sent out scouts. About the 2nd day we heard of a Camp of Georgians on Middle Creek. We started about 4 P.M. & camped about dusk. Next morning at daylight started at 9 reached the timber & then heard we were 1½ miles from their camp. Capt Cline started out on the other side of the timber & run down two Georgian Spies & brought them in & put their horses to use. Sent out more men & captured 2 more spies. These fellows told us that the most of the camp
had gone over to Potawatomie to destroy it & take the free state men prisoners & hang Partridge. Captain Brown & Capt Davis led the Missourians. We started for the camp, at a distance Capt Cline discovered by the aid of his glass a company of men. He ordered 7 men to get on their flank while we attacked their front. As soon as we got on the divide we charged upon them & chased them into camp. We captured 12 prisoners & camp equipage, shot one in the melee whose leg was afterward amputated so he died. We packed up & went back into the timber. Brown met us & remarking that we had made a pretty good haul wheeled off & started with his men for Potawatomie. Capt Cline ordered us all back onto their camp ground to catch them at night as they came back to camp. We heard them about 12 at night, but they smelled a rat & did not come in. Brown had been following their trail all night & in the morning charged upon us supposing he had them in camp. Finding his mistake we all joined & followed after the enemy after having first breakfasted the prisoners & forgiven them exacting a promise that they would go home & never take up arms against us again. Capt Cline’s claim was on Sugar Creek & he had been driven from it by the ruffians who at one time had had a rope about his neck. Capt Clines Co with the Chicago boys visited Capt Davis’ & Capt Browns’ houses the ringleader of the camp we had broken up. At Davis’ we found nothing but one of the prisoners we had let go in the morning. We did not molest him. At Brown’s house we were not under concerned of Cline who had gone off scouting but even under Old Capt Brown who was very much disappointed at not finding his name sake at home. Mrs Brown was very much alarmed. But Old Brown told her she need not be frightened that his men
never hurt women & children as her husband did & then left his complaints saying he had an old a/c to settle with him & regretted his absence. Brought off some free state cattle which had been stolen. We next paid a visit to the squire who had tried Cline & detained his [xxx] at the time. We demanded it & obtained it. We turned & traveled till the middle of the night & lay down in the grass wet with dew. Started next morning & breakfasted on Middle Creek on the Old camp ground of the battle. Here Capt Shore & the Chicago men left us [xxx] We arrived about 3 P.M.at Ossawatomie. The people there were afraid to have us come in for fear the Missourians would hear of us on a/c of our plunder. Next morning we heard some after sunrise that the Missourians were within half a mile of the town. Directly after a little boy came down & saw his uncle was shot in the heart (F. Brown) In 5 min after we saw them approaching the town 3 or 400 strong. Cline’s men had not above 4 or 5 rounds of ammunition – Brown’s men had rather more. Cline gave orders for us to fall back to the creek and tie our horses & then come up in front of the timber. We waited until they were in reach of our Sharp’s rifles and then opened a fire on them. Every round we fired we could hear a huddling motion among them showing that our shot took effect. We fired two rounds when Cline ordered the man on horse with their [xxx] to be [xxx]. The man soon fell. About this time we found that they were bringing a cannon down through the timber. When pretty near the men [xxx] out of the woods & let out on us. None of us were injured. Cline finaly [xxx] all fire orders then horses to be got & be ready for retreat. I fired two rounds after they left & then took to the Creek & crossed in a canoe & traveled all that day & got to the Ottawa at night. After this I went up to Lecompton with Lane. I was also
at the defence of Lawrence. During the month of Sept. [xxx] since I have been sick with fever & ague contracted on Middle Creek sleeping on the wet grass. Previous to that time I had never known sickness. For the last 2 months I have been on the [xxx] & sick most of the time. Paid $10.00 per month. Now due me $22.00. This is due all the men. I have clothes & bed clothes that will do me. I am a tailor by trade. My boy is not well clothed nor my wife. I want to go on to a claim on Ottawa Creek. Bed clothes & cooking utensils is about all I have. We principally need flour. I have no revolver & never had one. Came near losing my life once for want of one. Would be glad of one.