Camp near Luella K.T. Feb. 17, 1858
I am still alive and among the living, and in better health than I have been for some time. There is considerable excitement here at the present time; there was a free state man robbed in Fort Scott some time ago by the name of Johnson; he made out to escape with his life and came here to see if he could get any help to recover his property. two or three companies of the Kansas Melitia were ordered out to arrest the men and there could not be but 40 men raised to go to the fort, Out company under Capt. Bayne Montgomery composed the men: we marched into the Fort on the 11th inst. I believe one week ago to day and not with no resistance but the bloody villains had heard of our coming and all fled into the state that night. I had hoped to have the pleasure of gaurding them as they did me but I think if I should have the chance to take a prisoner I should him to save the trouble of guarding.
We have just now heard that a company left the fort to day and report them to attack us to night, but I don't think they will attempt it again they got whipped so bad the other time. Mitchel was in it and I was a prisoner at the Fort as I told you in my last letter which I have had no answer to yet. I and Mitchel have commenced making a lot of shingles, but we have so many alarms we cannot get half a chance to work; we quit once to day and went up to the old battle ground on an alarm, and went up again to night again after I commenced writing on this page. But you must not let such stuff as this alarm you for it has been this way for three months or more but not always so bad. I was offered $500 for my claim this winter, but this is no time to sell claims will be in great demand in the spring. We have had no winter here at all until in this month and this would be called pleasant in Iowa. It was so warm here in Jan. that the grass growed considerable in the bottoms. I should like to know how you and Teppers are getting along in the mill business and whether it pays expenses or not. and what zimmerman is at and what has become of Emma and all of my other girls; tell them I am not dead yet and may be back there
as single as ever and not to despair. Tell John Hinton that if he wants a claim in Kansas he had better come early this spring. there is good chances here yet and the prettiest country he has ever looked at. If I sell my claim I shall take another and pay you a visit next spring. You will see a report of our visit to Fort Scott in the papers. I helped get it up. They promised us when at the fort to return Johnsons property to Barnesville yesterday: we went down to recieve it but it did not appear. him and our Quarter Master start from here in the morning for Lawrence after something that will make Fort Scott pony up quicker. I walked off from the Fort without giving bail; when we was in there the marshall shook hand with me and asked me if I came back to give bail. I told him I had but I did not know whether it would suit him or not and pulled a cartridge for a Sharps rifle from my pocket. he did not like it but could not help himself. I understand they are badly beat to think we had the impudence to march there with only 40 men, they thought we had two companies behind close with a cannon. I have Stuarts Sharps rifle near Lawrence my fellow prisoner.
I have handed my letter in camp all the houses along here are camps in time of trouble this is about a mile from Fort Bain and joining my claim. I saw Lanes report to the Legislature and he left this company and Montgomeries in the field to keep things straight but they lack something of doing it they have too many cowards in their companies. not half will turn out. It is getting late and I must close, write soon and tell me all the news far and near.
Yours as ever, free Kansas