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


Untitled Document

DOC 101751

When the Kansas & Nebraska bill passd I was liveing at North Salem N H. at which place I was stationed as a Minister of the M E Church by the N.H. conference, And hearing that the policy of the free states, was to ocupy that territory as soon as possible, I made Known to my people my determination to Emigrate there, who strongly opposed the move, but finally yielded, when they saw my purpose was fixd

We started from Salem about the 1st of Nov. 1854. Our little company consisted of myself, wife & two children. Simeon Cook wife & one child, and Mr Duston a young man about 18 years of age. We joined the fifth party at Boston, and in due time found ourselves at St Louis, where we met Gen. Pomroy, who we where told would give us some advice about Kansas matters I therefor took care to be presant at the time appointed The guy gave us some very good advice, & some not so very good, among the latter was, the advice to heads of families, to take their families to Parksville Mo & leave them there while they went into the territory, &c. Quite a number of us followed the advice to our sorrow, as I will presantly inform you.

One of our party bought an ox team, into which we put our tools & a little provision, & started for Lawrence, which we reached after three days hard travel. The weather was very cold & the accommodations very poor, but as good as we could expect. About 200 of us where hudled together in a building calld the church, which was made of polls & hay.

[Page 2]

The day after our arival in Lawrence was the Sabbath upon which we rested according to the commandment. The day following we where scattered over the country in search of claims &c, &c, quite a number of our party got home sick the first week & returned, (mostly young men,)

But I came to stop, & therefer, after selecting my claim I commenced building a house, which I was compelld to do upon the most economick principles, having but little money & no timber. The manner of construction was as follows. I obtained six poles about 15 feet long & about 7 inches through. I then marked out the size of my house on the ground 15 feel long, & 13 wide. I then took a spad and dug a hole one foot deep at each corner and then one on each side halfway between on the longest sides which made three holes to a side. I then took some poles and pind them together at the top, & spread them at the bottom wide enough to go in the holes. raised them up & closed the earth tightly round them, & so with the others. I then naled on some cross peases, about 1 ½ feet apart & the sides of my frame was compleated ready for coverin, at one end I naled a fiew poles across at a proper distance, & the other end was mostly ocupied with a door & window.

To cover it I procured a large oak tree & split out bords three feet long, which I nailed on like shingles my floore I covered with what the western people call puncheons which I split out of cottonwood.

Twice dureing the progress of building my house was pulld down by some jealous neighbour who wanted to monopolise the claim to sell or for some some selfish purpose.

My next business was to fetch my family In order to save expence, I walkd from

[Page 3]

Lawrence to Parksville which Journey by takeing a direct course across the Indian reservation, I accomplishd in one day. Now I found out the mistake I made in takeing my folks there. Though I had mad a contract for the boarding of my family, the parties where unwilling to abide by it, & instead charged 75 cts per head, which made my bill about 3 times what it should have been. I tried every way to get a reduction but to no purpose & I was compelld to cross the Mo river that night, or in all probability stop in Mo, some weeks as the river was freezing up. So I very reluctantly paid the money and left. It cost me $20.00 for a team to take us to Lawrenc, from which place a neighbour took us to my claim a distance of 4 miles

My household furniture consisted of a cooking stove 1 water pail, 1 wash tub, some crockery ware Knives & forks &c & two bead ticks which I filld with prarie grass. Upon examining the contents of my purses the morning after my arival I found I had but $10.00 left out of about $450.00 with which I started, rather a dark prospect for we had only two days provisions.

Upon going to the Creek Wakarusa to fetch water I saw a quantity of wild ducks, a welcome sight & always after when visiting the creek I took my shot gun & in this way we had an abundant supply of meat all the season. Dureing the winter I made some rails with a view to fenceing in the spring, & by working some for others I managed to get through the winter without geting in debt.

The following March I bought a cow for $25.00 & I assure you we found milk & butter a great luxury

[Page 4]

The first election held in this Territory was in November which of course I attended, saw a much larger company than I supposed lived in this district, many of whom I lurned came from Mo. I particularly noticed a noisy blustery half drunken man who very much wanted to fight as he repeatedly chalenged aney abbolitionist on the ground. This man not finding aney one in town upon whom to try his pujulistick skill, attacted a waggon full of men on their way home to hickery point. He made the attact with a Knife in the front of the waggon, at the driver, whos name was Kibby, who after dodgeing the Knife several times, finally told him if he made another thrust, he would shoot him, the fellow made the thrust & immediately receaved a ball from a pistol in his brest which turminated his existance in about two howers. This affair created great excitement, but every impartial man justified the act as done in self defence

The man whom Kibby Killd was named Davis

I succeeded this Spring in getting about 5 acres of prairie ploughd, which I planted with corn vegetables &c. & succeeded in raising a tolerable crop, which I gathered in the fall & placed it in a yard near my house, filld up my temporary stable with corn stalks &c &c. Intending to let my cow eat her way in & so get shelter by the time the severe wether came on. But alass, I was doomed to disappointment as I will relate in its place. The Month of March 1855 was the time appointed for electing members of the Legislature & council for the organization of this territory, at which time immence hourdes of Missourians came into the territory & took possession of the ballott box in nearly every presinct & thereby elected a majority of members of their own stripe many of whom where not, nor ever had been residents of the territory, & wresting from us our boasted right, to regulate our own domestic institutions in our own way

[Page 5]

The proceedings of that body thus elected, are before the publick so I nead not record them here.

Dureing the summer many threats where made by Mos to whipe out all the free state settlers & towards fall it became evident to all of us than an attempt would be mad to carry those threats into execution, we therefor began to think about defending ourselves & beleaving in the virtue of Sharps rifles we after organizing as a Military company calld the Wakarusa Liberty Guard, we dispatched Mr J B. Abbott, an officer of said company East, to procure a supply, which he succeeded in doing & they arived in safety packd in large barrels, & where distributed among the members. Several attempts where made by the P S party to drive out the free state settlers from Hickery Point & vicinity – the majority being of the former stripe.

And had the latter been of a quarrelsome disposition there would doubtless have been considerable fighting during this summer. But we came here to work, not to fight, to plant fields & build up towns to erect schools & Churches & live peaceable & happy in the enjoyment of the finds of our industry. The proslavery party did not understand us they mistook our quiet disposition for cowardice. How widely they where mistaken, the history of our battles will prove we do not like to fight, but we can & will fight disperately when there is no other alternative.

A man by the name of Coleman living at Hickery Point in order to quarrel with the free state men, commenced cutting timber on a claim belonging to G W Dow with which he burnt a lime Kiln & sold the lime, this was submitted to Coleman supposing he could repeat the act with impunity, commenced cutting for another lime Kiln. Dow hearing him at work went & forbid him

[Page 6]

He, Coleman refused to desist, Dow left & went to the house of Jacob Branson where he boarded, told Branson about Coleman & asked him to accompany him back to the place, as Coleman had a man with him, Branson took his Sharps Rifle & urged Dow to do the same but he refused, when they came to the place Coleman had left, but, the man remained, after some conversation Branson left for his home & Dow for the Blacksmith Shop on the Santifee Road, to get a peace of iron belonging to a waggon mended. While there a man by the name of Buckley a companion of Colemans, came to the doore, & commenced abuseing Dow, & told him if he came out he would shoot him, Dow immediately went out walk up to him & put his hand on his sholder, the man lowered his gun & left. The blacksmith having finished Dows work, the latter left the shop & started for home when he had gone about ½ a mile he came to a house in the course of erection, out of which Coleman came & commenced a course of abuse they both walked along the road till they came to Colemans house. Dow liveing about one mile beyond, here Coleman halted, raised his gun & pulld the trigger, but the gun missd fire. Dow hearing the snap of the gun turned round, by this time Coleman was placeing another cap on the gun, which done he immediately shot Dow in the head, Killing him on the spot.

Coleman then walked into the house & came out again accompanied by Buckley Argus & Waggoner. They all four walked up and look at the body & then returned to the house, It was then about noon and the body remained on the road till five oclock

[Page 7

It was then discovered by a neighbour named Gleason who gave the alarm & the body was taken away by his friends. Next day a number of men met together & searched for the murderer, but without success.

The Wakarusa L. G. of which Dow was a member held a meeting & appointed the following Monday to investigate the circumstances connected with this cold blooded murder & invited the inhabitents all round the country to attend. According a large number assembled on the spot where the Martyr fell, many persons where examined & many important facts wher elicited, which proved that it was part of a preconcerted plan of extermination. Resolutions where passd expressive of the sence of the meeting after which the members of the military comp visited the grave of their murdered brother.

No stone markd the spot but the raised earth pointed out his resting place, silently we approached the grave, & the inmate seamed to say I died a martyr, be firm, & fall like me rather than yeald your rights. We secretly vowd, to stand by our principles regardless of consequences. Never did soldiers fire a salute over a braver man, he was an entire stranger to fear & the only crime he was guilty of towards his murderers was his firm free state principles. Coleman fled to the Shawnee Mission & gave himself up to Gov Shannon, was placed in the custody of an officer & taken to Lecompton, while on his way through Lawrence he got out a peace warrent against, Jacob Branson, which was placed in the hands of S. Jones the bogus Sherif of Douglas Co., who proceeded with a possee to arest him.

[Page 8]

The day which the Sherif had selected to make that arest, hapened to be the same day that we went up to examine in to the circumstances of the murder, and just as we where leaving the ground, two or three well known suspicious characters made their appearance, who told us that Coleman had given himself up, their object doubtless was to see if the course was clear

About noon of the same day Jones with his party arived at Blantons Bridge stopd & got dinner & spent the afternoon in smoking & drinking liquor, which they brought with them, and in the course of conversation which they had with different people it leakd out that they where going to arest Branson. This fact was communicated to Mr J B Abbott as soon as he arived at home, who immediately went down to hear what he could, & after satisfying himself he procured a horse & in company with S.N. Wood Esq. started for Bransons at the same time dispatching some others to collect the neighbors at the house of Wm Estabrooks. When they arived at Bransons they found that the party had been there & taken Branson off, the way they proceeded was thus discribed by Branson himself, he said he had just retired to rest when some one knockd at the door Branson enquired who was there, they said a friend, when he said come in, they immediately rushd in filling the house. Jones presented a pistol, at his head & told him to come with him immediately or he would blow him to hell. Branson tried to expostulate but, it was of no use, they hurried him off scarcely giveing him time to dress.

[Page 9]

They told his wife they where going to take him to Lawrence which she very much doubted, but said she beleaved they intended to Kill him as they had Dow. When Abbott & Wood arived there, they had been gone about 20 minutes, & it was their opinion that they would take Branson to Franklin, they therefor returned by a different road, searching & listening, hoping to find their track in the mean time they dispatched a messenger to Estabrooks requesting all there assembled to come to Abbotts house ½ mile South of Blantons bridge & it was not long before some 12 or 14 where then discussing the matter, they had just aranged to send two men to Franklin & if Branson was there, one of them was to return to Abbotts house, the other was to gow to Lawrence for help when they intended to resque him, this plan was just aranged when some one reported horsemen approaching.

It may be necessary to explane why it was that Jones with his prisoner was so long in getting to Abbotts house as they had been gone from Bransons 20 minutes before Abbot & Wood arived there. The reason was they persued a circuitous rout in order to avoid persuit.

Quick as thought every man sprang to his feet, those who had guns took them, those who had not took any kind of wepon they could get, 5 or 6 had sharps rifles 3 or 4 more had common rifles & shot guns some of which where out of repare. One old Mexican Soldier was without a gun of any Kind but nothing daunted he seazed three or four good size rocks, & took his place with the rest. The house was built on the east side of the road, & the party of horsemen where approaching from the south, so that by getting at the North end of the house the we where out of sight, where we remained till they where within 3 or 4 rods when we filed across the road, which brought them to a halt. When Bogus Jones who was the leader & spokesman demanded what was up, Mr Abbott replied that that was what we wanted to know, & enquired if Branson was there Branson upon hearing his name, replied the he was

[Page 10]

There & a prisoner. Jones said he had him under arrest, &c. Abbott replied that we did not recognize his authority & told branson to come over, when several of the bogus party declared if he moved they would blow his brains out. Branson replied I can die but once & so left them.

Abbott gave them to understand that the first gun fired would be a signal for every one of them to die. They each had double barreld guns & revolvers, but not one of them dare shoot. Every one of us held our guns to our sholdrs ready to fire a given signal.

Branson was rideing a mule which they took with them for that purpose when he left them he said what shall I do with the mule. One of our party, Philip Upps, said let him go to hell, accompanying the remark with a kick on the sturn of the beast. Jones blustered a great deal, made some severe threats, but not succeeding in this, he began to talk mildly, & said though we had been guilty of a high crime, if we would give him Branson up, he would promise that we should not be punished. We told him we had counted the cost & he might do as he pleased. he said he was no coward & to prove it he chalenged to fight aney one of our numbers, but we told him we did not fight for fighting sake. we had accomplished our purpose & should not fight untill attacted, &c, &c. S.N. Wood, Esq told them we where eastern paupers & askd them if we where not pretty good fellows. After some 30 minutes spent in this way they departed Jones declaring that in less than two weeks he would bring 10,000 men up & make us respect his authority.

A fiew more neighbours having by this time arived we fell in double file & marched to Lawrence to the [XXX] of the drum, where we arived about one hower before day.

[Page 11]

A spirited meeting was held, &, some strong resolutions passed, & thus the matter rested.

About 3 weeks after this affair, as I was about my work at home, having just gathered my crop of corn, & secured the fodder in my yard, I saw a number of men on the blue mound about 2 miles east of me. I presantly saw a number of my neighbours running together from different parts, but I was not long in ignorance of the cause of this excitement. The threatened army of invasion was approaching & [XXX] I saw on the mound, where the advance Guard,

Our company soon mustered when we marched to Lawrence & continued there driving the [XXX] I have thus been carefull in stating all the particulars connected with this affair, as it was made the pretext for marching us.

When our enemys had departed, I returned home & found that all my corn & fodder was gone. The enemy having taken what they wanted & the fence being broken down the cattle distroyed the rest. I neglected to mention that during the summer, I traded of a shot gun & revolver for a cow & calf which I again traded off in Nov. for a horse giving $55.00 to boot, this I was compelld to do as I had accepted of a circuit, in the South part of the Territory. This horse I lost in the war or rather he died 3 days after my return home, he was rode to death by the Cavalry. Thus my summers work was entirely gone. I at length succeeded in buying a poney for $50.00 & rode my circuit through the remander of the winter & part of the summer months.

It is well known that early this summer 1856, a large number of men professedly from Georgia & Alabama

[Page 12]

but actually most of them where from Mo – entered the territory. These fellows where scattered about over the country, generally however Keeping together in numbers to assume an imposeing appearance & in some cases to over awe the settlers. About the smallest party of these invaders made a temporary home on a strip of Government land on the east of the Ottoway reservation where they built two log cabbins & set up store keeping. principally selling wiskey to the Indians. I approached these cabbins one evening in July about 4 oclock on my way to my circuit not knowing who had built them, when immediately opposite one of them I was commanded to halt, which of course I did, when some 13 or 14 professd Georgians surrounded me, also a number of half drunken Indians. These fellows asked me a great variety of questions, which I answered as I thought best, though feeling serious I tried to pass the matter off as a joke, telling them I had no objection to stop with them if they would treat me well especially as it was near night & turning to the Indians I asked them to trade poneys, one of them said he had a poney at home he would trade me & as there was some teames in sight the Georgians agreed to let me gow down to the Indians house about 1 ½ miles distant, if they, the Indians, would promise to take care of me till they the Georgians, came down after me. I now began to work my wits how to escape which was not dificult, for the Indians soon began to feel the effects of the whiskey & went to sleep, when I drew my revolver I walked backwards out of the cabbin jumpd on my horse & took to the woods whe I spent the night. The next day I got out of their reach & in the society of my friends on my circuit, went round & returned home in safety, which was the last visit I paid there this year.

[Page 13]

Another of these parties located themselves one the Marais des cydnes about 4 miles below Ossawottamie their number was variously estimated at from 75 to 300. I think that sometimes there was more than the former & less than the lattar number, for frequently a number of small plundering parties where sent out from them which would greatly reduce their numbers, & on the other hand there was constant arivals so that it was dificult even for a close observer to asssertain their real strength.

This was made their principle Depot for all the articles of plunder. The Santifee & California Roads where watched by the wretches & free state men who had been to Mo. For provisions &c. where stopd, their teames & contents taken down to this camp & they alass, many of them have not returned to tell the tale, but are sleeping the sleep of death, having been brutally murdered by these infernal demons, some where left for dead but have recoverd, others where banished some retained prisoners & some fiew where allowd to return home, minus, of course their team & contents. While these parties where enjoyed abroad stealing provisions, those at the camp, where stealing all the horses, guns, ammunition, &c. &c. they could lay their hand on in the neighborood & frequently some of the boldest, but most indiscreet of their party, would openly declare what was there intention. Try to Massacre or drive out, every free state man. Hearing these threats, we thought it time to act & therefer made arangements to dislodge them. When all was ready, we took up our line of march [XXX] then encampment. We started with about 75 men but by the time we arived in the neighborood of the camp, we had increased to something over 100. We determined to attact them in the night

[Page 14]

Where within a few hundred yards we divided our fources & approached cautiously up & demanded a surender, receaveing no reply, some of the man stove in the door, where to our astonishment we discovered, the bird had flown.

They had heard of our approach & beat an hasty retreat, leaveing everything behind but their Guns & horses. We found a quantity of provisions & clothing, some of the latter was recognised as property taken at Lawrence & various other places we loaded up our waggons with as much of the property as was usefull to us, & then set fire to the building, which was a large block house in which had they been corageous they could have defended themselves against twice our numbers. This expedition ocupied 4 days, during which we traveled more than 100 miles.

We where greatly in hopes this would prove a lesson from which they would lurn that we where determined not to allow such fourts to be erected & such roberries to be committed in our midst. But allass, how vain was our hopes. The peacefull pursuits of agraculture to which we had returned was again disturbed & we where calld upon to relinquish the spade & the hoe, for the rifle & the revolver, & march against Franklin which place another of these Southern hoards had made their head quarters. Here they where encouraged by one or two of the residents, to the great anoyance & fear of all the rest, here they stopd & plundered our teames, here travelers where insulted & robbd, here was stored a quantity of rifles stolen from us besides a number of U. S. Muskets to be used for our destruction, & here to they had a brass, 6 ft cannon.

[Page 15]

We surrounded this place in the night of General Lane in command, they having refused to surrender we opened fire upon them, which they returned, the fireing was kept up on both sides for about two howers. But they being in a block house we made no impression on them, while our men who where exposed suffered severely, having one killd & 6 or 7 wonded

Bulletts having no effect upon them we determined to try what virtue there was in fire, & therefer loaded up a waggon with hay & backed it up on front of the house. This extremely dangerous task was performed principally by Major Buckerton amidst a shower of bulletts from within, All being aranged, the match was applied, & soon to All appearance the house was on fire, & the inmates cried aloud for quarters After removing the waggon we found that the house though somewhat scorched had not taken fire About 75 Guns where taken & the 6 pounder together with some provisions

The day before we went to Franklin, Major Hoyt had volunteered to visit a company of men on Washington Creek, who it was reported had fortified themselves & where committing a variety of depredations, to assertain if they had peaceable intentions towards us. Complaint had been made about these men to Gov Shannon with a request that he would remove them which he refused to do, assuring the Committee who waited on him that they where peaceable settlers. A Committee allso visited Major Sedgewick, officer in command of the Draggoon stationed at Lecompton

[Page 16]

who replied that it was none of his business. Notwithstanding the assurances of the Gov we had many fears for the safety of Major Hoyt, & I think he had some apprehension of danger, for he told us when leaving that if he was not back by a certain time, we might conclude there had been foule play.

Allass he did not return but was brutally murdered by these demons & his body partially buried, his arms & legs were left sticking out of the ground, his face having been chopd to peaces with the spade His nonarival at the appointed time decided us to make an attact upon them, & having the 6 pounder we knew we could demolish them first. The free state men encampd upon Rock Creek about 4 miles from their encampment. here we where kept for several days in suspence by General Lane & it seamed as though he was determined to Keep us back untill these murderers escaped. At least so it proved, for when we arived at their encampment they where all gone. The block house was a very strong one, full of post holes & surrounded by a barracade of fence rails & a ditch. Under the floore of this house we found two boxes of U. S. Muskets, & about the premises a variety of impliments of war, having secured all that was usefull we set fire to the house & returned to our camp Ground on Rock Creek

[Page 17]

There yet remained another company to be routed another fourt to be distroyd. But the men who composed it where of a different character to aney of the others. Col. Titus their commander is a [XXX] heartless desperate villin one of those who neather fears God or regards men & the men who had gathered around him where some of the most desperate in all border ruffendans most of whom he paid & all of whom he provisioned at his house about 3 miles east of Lecompton

We remained at our camp ground on Rock Creek long enough to get supper & then took up our march for fourt Titus When near the Californey road our advance guard came in contact with a party of men In the act of stealing horses, some fiew shotts where exchanged, without any injury to our men but proved fatal to one of them, & another was taken prisoner, from whom we lurned that it was Titus’s gang & that the Colonal himself was with them. We stopd near this place the rest of the night determined to make the attact at day break. Very early in the morning a detachment of Cavelry where ordered to advance & surround to house, to cut off a retreat, & stop reinfourcements, Cap Shombrey had the command of this detatchment & he very Injudiciously led us up within a fiew rodds of the house, when a most distructive fire was opened upon us, wonding every fourth man. Captain Shombrey mortally, we fell back & awaited the arival of the Artilery & Infantry, which soon came up. The Cannon was planted in front of the Titus

[Page 18]

House as near as it could be got, for the corn field The balls fired where maide from some of the trype scattered at the distruction of the presses at Lawrence A fiew wel directed shot brought them to their sences one man named Donaldson in the act of drinking swearing he would have another drink before he died, had the bottle shot out of his hand several of them fell on the floor to prevent being hit, when the next shot swept the floor clean, wonding several of them.

The white flag soon appeared, when we surrounded & took possession of the house. A number of Muskets & rifles fell into our hands our hands with some ammunition &c, &c. we burned up the fourt & returned in triumph to Lawrence.

General Lane did not command us in this fight, but mysteriously disappeared the evening before. Had he disappeared a week before I have no doubt we should have captured the murderers of poor Hoyt. Our army amounted at this time to 500, 200 Cavelry & the rest Infantry including a small artillery company.

[Page 19]

Soon after this inteligence reached us that a company of men where pilageing the settlers on Pottawottamie Middle & Sugar Creeks & intended to enter Ossawottamie. Colonal Harvey being in command ordered us down in that neighborood. We staid a day or two at the latter place & then moved on to a branch of Middle Creek & our scouts soon discovered the where abouts of the enemy. A council was held & the plan of attact aranged.

Two small detachments where sent to cross below the forks under Capt Anderson & stationed at 2 crossings to cut off a retreat. The Cavelry where sent round the head of the fork & the infantry marched straight for the camp, which was situated between the forks with a corn field in their rear north of them. The Cavelry when near the head of the creek encountered some of the enemy returning from Pottawottamie Creek with a prisoner, a free state man whom they had taken out of his sick bead named Partridge. They gave them chace & captured some of them the rest made their way to the camp crying to harms, to harms, all was confusion & bustle our men being close upon them, they stood about 3 rounds & then began to scatter. Eight of them made for the crossing where 7 of us was stationed, but 4 of our 7 took up their position so high up the bank that they did no service. 3 of us got down close to the Creek where we commanded a view of the road leading down to it. The first man who approached, refusing to halt I shot through the leg with a Sharps rifle. Close behind him was another, whom I dismounted with my revolver, not having time to relode my rifle. The next one was stopd by a lad with a small

[Page 20]

sporting rifle; the other five seing this destruction whealed round & took to the timber & escaped. Had the rest of our men been where I thought they ought to have been we should have captured all of them. We took between 26 & 30 prisoners, 40 horses & muels, 3 waggons, guns, amunitions, provisions, tents, &c &c &c.

Hearing that there was some moore of them (enemy) in the neighborood we went 10 miles farther down, on to Big Sugar Creek, but not meeting with them we returned to Osawowattomie.

Soon after our arival a dispatch arived, ordering us back to Lawrence for which place we started the same evening, camping for the night near Stanton. Next day we resumed our Journey & campd at nigh on Ottaway Creek. Ne the residence of Cap. Shore.

About midnight that night 200 of reeds army attacted the [XXX] burned the house of Ottoway Jones & the next morning another body of 400 under reed himself, attacted Ossawottamie where there was not moore than 16 fighting men There is no doubt that they where informed of our departure from that place, or they would not have come.

The following morning just as we had finished breakfast, a number of guns where heard about ½ a mile off in the direction of Prarie City. Soon a messenger arived & told us that about 75 of the enemy had surrounded D. Grahams house. We immediately mounted 30 men & made the best of our way to the sceine of action, but they had no notion of such

[Page 21]

an encounter, & therefor galloped off, not allowing us to get within a mile of them. We followed a sufficient distance to assertain the place of their encampment, their strength &c. &c. & then dispatchd a messenger to Lawrence for assistance.

About 3 in the afternoon, General Lane arived, with about 400 men which our companies increased to about 600. we then had about 250 Cavelry, with which we advanced upon the foe. As might be expected we soon out traveled the infantry, & when we arived within in a mile of the enemies camp, they where 2 miles behind us

It was getting dark when we drew up in line of battle before them, they where thrown into great confusion at our appearance, at which time I think we ought to have charged upon them, but no such orders where given. After a great deal of noise in their camp & the fireing of a number of guns, I suppose for the purpose of waking up their sleepy drunken comrades, they succeed in forming in line of battle before us. They numbering about 1200 & we about 250, we stood gazeing at each other untill we where each lost in the darkness. When we receavd orders to about face, & forward march, which greatly disappointed us And though I must confess that our retreat was conducted in a scientific manner, Yet I have allways doubted its pollicy, beleaving that we could have taken advantage of the darkness & surrounded them, rather than have retreated 7 or 8 miles

[Page 22]

and thereby give them an oportunity to escape. We campd that night at the head of Black Jack on the Santifee Road, & the next day advanced towards the foe, but they retreated & strange to say, we where not ordered to persue them, & all that was accomplished was the burning of the house where they had stored their provision amunitions &c &c.

The next day we removed our camp to Hickery Point where we remained two day & then went to Lawrence. Where we remained under harmes site the Mo Armey of 28,00 men came up to take the place. who where prevented from accomplishing their object partly by the courage & daring of our men & partly by the interference of Gov. Gerrey which terminated our war

[Page 23]

I must now relate a few particulars connected with my farming opperations this year.

Early in the Spring I removed my fence & by Joining with a neighbour I succeeded in encloseing about 30 acres, 13 of which I ploughd. but before I planted any, we where calld to Lawrence the enemy being in our midst, [XXX] the Georgians & Allabamans where proling about the country, committing all sorts of outrages frequently I have been obliged to hide my wife & children in the timber wraping them up in blankets & covering them with boughs.

About this time a young man named Jones was shot at Blantons Bridge, he had been to the store to buy his mother who was a widow a sack of meal. When he was surrounded by some of Bufordss men who demanded his revolver, which after some altercation he gave hp & started to go home. he sat on his horse & had the sack of meal behind him when one of them shot him in the back. He lived only a fiew howers, but before he died he calld his brother to his bead side & asked him to take his Sharps rifle & use it in defence of his right & liberties. he promised he would, but failed to do so. We buried poor Jones the next night on the blue mound. I will not attemp to discribe my feelings when I took the last look at his coffin as it was being covered up, but I know I vowed, never, peaceably to submitt to their infumals, nor bow to the autherrity which had calld them into the territory, & that even if they made it a slave state I would stop one year if they did not kill me to harass them

[Page 24]

All through the planting time it was unsafe for any free state man to be alone & in order to plant a little corn we had to unite 8 or 10 together & go from field to field carreying our rifles with us, & all returning to camp at night. In this way I got about 7 acres planted hoping to raise enough to keep my family through the comeing winter. But my labour was all in vaine for it was all distroyd by the cattle before it got ripe, there being no one left at home to take care of eather corn or cattle.

When I returned home in the fall I was much poorer than when I first went on my claim 2 years before & had not our friends at the east come to our assistance, I see nothing to prevent us from starving to death.

But by their assistance, this winter & the exertion of my own good right I am next Summer with the blessing of God, I have no doubt we shall soon be comfortably fixd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

The current URL is http://www.territorialkansasonline.org/~imlskto/cgi-bin/index.php?SCREEN=show_transcript&document_id=101751.
This file was last modified September 12 2013 04:09:26 PM.