Skip Redundent Navigation
Territorial Kansas Online 1854-1861 Explore Topics Territorial A-Z Map Lesson Plans  
Back to main document information

Untitled Document Testimony of S. P. Hand. Aged 24, unmarried. Came from Binghampton N. Y. State. at Chicago joined the Kansas Emigrants. Am a teacher by profession. Had heard from 2 of my former scholars who gave favorable act. of the county. Thought to better my condition by coming. I expected to help defend the Territory from her invaders. Left a situation of $50.00 per month to come. Left Chicago 17 June by river route & was obliged to ret. On same boat from Leavenworth. With about ½ who [xxx] came to Iowa City & being & being furnished with tent & camp equip – took the overland route. Reached Topeka 13 Aug. We started for Lawrence to cooperate with others in [xxx] up Ft. Saunders. After reaching the F.S. forces on Rock Creek we learned of Hoyt’s murder at Saunders. We learned this on 14 Aug. That day horseman were sent out under Shombre who brought his dead body. We found it buried & his face very much mutilated & disfigured by some chemical preparation. All in camp were permitted to look at him but could scarcely recognize him. They were [xxx] & wanted to march immediately. Shombre had reconnoitered & pronounced it easy to take the murder. Lane overruled the movement although we had 4 or 500 people. We remained a day and a half when some of the

[Page 2]

Captains who were determined to go, Lane or no, started Lane then moving. But the Enemy before we reached their fort, fled leaving 40 guns, the horse of the murdered Hoyt, ammunition & their flag & other plunder. The place was strong enough to have been maintained against double our number. Slept on the ground with a blanket in the open air. Started from the camp after supper for Titus. We traveled all night, about midnight we encountered Titus with about 20 horse thieves robbing in the vicinity of Judge Wakefields. We killed one of their men, one wounded & 2 horses taken with one prisoner who begged piteously for his life. No threats were allowed, he was told his life was safe. Five of us were injured. We encamped till morning, when we recd word that Titus & his gang were in a strong block house about a mile from town. Titus expected us the previous night & had up all Lecompton to defend him, but they had gone in the morning before we came up. The horsemen led by Capt. Shombre started in advance of the main force to attach the force. He surrounded it & marched close to the house calling upon them to surrender, they answered this call by mortally wounding Shombre & injuring several others. They then retreated & sent back messengers to hurry up the rest. (Shombre poor fellow no doubt tried to earn by his doing a glory which cost him his life)

They came up & planted a cannon about ¼ mile of the house the Sharp’s rifle men surrounded the house at a distance. After several rounds, the White flag was sent up. Titus & 18 men being taken prisoners, Titus badly wounded. Remarked that he supposed he had surrendered to gentlemen. Said he was an old soldier. We found 13 prisoners whom he had threatened to kill & who expected to be hung the next morning. We came back to Lawrence where as an invasion was expected we remained under [xxx] of Col Eldridge that our board should be pd. This hard [xxx] [xxx] particularly to the new comers who otherwise would have

[Page 3]

gone off on claims. Col Eldridge distributed the men about through the town until quarters could be prepared, some at Mr Stones & other places. I staid at the Cincinnati House where my bill for a week, board amounted to $4.00 which I had to pay as Eldridge had gone East. When he returned I asked him for the amt. but he replied “he did not know anything about it, it would have to be looked into by the Committee.” He pd but little attention to me, putting on Steamboat & R.R. airs as though he was of some consequence. During the latter part of August & the month of September we were constantly drilling and scouting about when called upon. We heard that the free state men about Easton on the big Stringer were annoyed by the pro-slaveryites. He went up there under Harvey & took from that place about 20 horses & mounted our men. Our Co. consists of about 100. We started back towards Lawrence & encamped for dinner a party of 9 Missourians rode in thinking we were [xxx]. We dismounted then & took their arms & gave them dinner & treated them kindly & let them go. At night after resting we recd a message stating that 30 or 40 Carolinians were encamped toward Lecompton from where we were. Harvey got his men aroused as quietly as possible & started. Reached a cornfield about ¾ of a mile from where they were encamped about midnight where we tied up our horses, arranged ourselves in single file & marched to their camp in a [xxx] below. After [xxx] them cautiously we marched closer & closer until Harvey had approached within ½ a rod of them. The first fellow who jumped up cried “Up boys & fire or we are taken” A few rounds were exchanged when the Missourians cried for quarters. No lives lost. Several Missourians badly wounded. None of our men hurt. Here we captured the lone star flag. At Hickory Point I was taken prisoner by U. S. Troops to Lecompton, arms taken away, Sharp’s rifle, 5 & [xxx] & ammunition. Titus then from Monday morning till Friday night I was detained, had no blanket, so cold I had to get up at night & walk to

[Page 4]

keep warm, applied for blanket to headquarter but could get none. Short of food & poor at that. This state of things led me to try to escape. I passed the guard & walked nearly all night, by the crk crssing I had got back to Lecompton [xxx] got bewildered. I met the pickt guard who did not know me. I stated my desire to go to Topeka & asked him to put me through. He called to the Corporal who put me through never suspecting. I reached Topeka so sapped I was ashen. Much of the time had barely sufficient to keep soul & body together. At the time of Lane’s going up to attack Lecompton Harvey & his men started the night before to lie in ambush. That night with tents we lay upon our guns to keep them dry & slept in the middle of a drenching rain & thunder & lightning, though the very heavens were coming to pieces. For 48 hours we were almost [xxx] without food. When we returned some of our men had to lie down on the ground through sheer exhaustion.

I worked at Topeka a fortnight after my escape then went S of Lawrence upon a claim, a portion of the time have had to avoid being taken by the troops. I am at the present time [xxx] [xxx] nothing owing more than I can pay. After the Central Com. had recd so many funds as to be piled up I applied for mittens, it was a bitter day my hands were cold [xxx]. I also asked Eldridge for the money rightfully owing me. He replied “he hadn’t but 5 or 6 pair & they were for women. They had to [xxx] out & needed them more than I did – spoke very sharp & crabbed. “said I would have to presenting bill to the Com. before I could get it. I asked Hutchinson for the same. He was equally crabbed. His first answer was “I’m busy now, cant see you” I came up in the morning about 8 & waited till 11. Ottawa Jones came in one day to ask about Mr Carpenter’s box & was so rudely treated that he left. Jones felt chagrin at his treatment. I heard him talk about it afterward at home, tell men about it.
[Page 5]

Common rumors says that orders given by the Sub Agents of the Cen. Com have been disregarded. This has been the case to such an extent that Shores & Bell both resigned, people really [xxx] having applied in vain. An index to the spirit in the [xxx] was shown by a large handbill in the [xxx] [xxx] on which was written “No loafing do your business & leave!” Have frequently heard ladies complain of the treatment they recd. Have seen boys abused. The poor boy confessed he [xxx] month but had others to support. Begged piteously for an old ragged coat.

Some change has taken place, a very great change within the past fortnight. I did not intend to apply again. I have been so repulsed, but find that [xxx] others had [xxx] I [xxx] to try. I know of a contemplated plan of over 100 men who were determined to break into the Rooms & get justice. This way about a fortnight ago when the affair was about matured. But just about then we heard of the arrival of some of the National Committee & were informed that justice would be done. The design then was abandoned.

Mr. Bedoes. I have been present at meetings in the camp where measures were discussed & resolutions adopted & the men only restrain from committing violence by Col. Harvey who [xxx] them that now things would go on right as the National Committee had sent to have things investigated and had sent on men to overhaul these [xxx].


The current URL is