Transcribed from History of Bourbon County, Kansas : to the close of 1865 by T. F. Robley. Fort Scott, Kan.: Press of the Monitor Book & Print. Co., 1894.

1894 Robley's History of Bourbon County, Kansas




IN the early part of 1864 several extensive fortifications were commenced, and finished that spring. These were quite heavy, well constructed earth-works. "Fort Henning" was located on Second street, between National Avenue and Judson street. "Fort Blair" was on First street between Main street and Scott Avenue, and contained the block house now standing across from the post office. "Fort Insley" was on the extreme point northeast of the Plaza. There were some barracks and fortifications commenced on the hill southeast of town, and some rifle pits on what we now call Tower Hill. The old Government Hospital building was used for a hospital, and the old guard house was again utilized for the original purpose.

Dr. Van Duyn was the surgeon in charge of hospitals at this post during 1864.


There was but little partisan political feeling in this County at that time. Public sentiment may have found vent, to some extent, in the action of the City Council at a meeting held January 2, at which Coun-


cilmen Dimon, White and Drake caused the following order to be spread upon the minutes:

"Ordered: That the Street Commissioner cause a sidewalk to be built from the corner of Wall Street, etc., and provided, that said walks be of two planks one foot wide, 12 inches apart, 24 inches thick, slightly elevated, and pinned to terra firma like h—l."

The old party organizations were kept up, but the sentiments of all were simply for the Union and for the suppression of the rebellion.

At a large Democratic convention held May 23rd, 1864, in the City Hall, for the purpose of electing a delegate to the State Democratic Convention to be held at Topeka, the following resolution, among others, was passed:

"Resolved, That we will vote for no man for President or Vice-President who is not pledged to devote all his powers to the suppression of the rebellion, and maintain and defend the Constitution of the Union from all aggression from secession traitors of the South and conspirators of the North."

The meeting was presided over by Robert Blackett. O. Dieffenbaugh was secretary. Charles Bull was chosen delegate to the State Convention.

John E. Himoe, of Mapleton, brother of Dr. S. O. Himoe, while on a trip up the Missouri river, about April 1, 1864, was taken down with the smallpox. He was landed at Boonville with a nurse. While there he became delirious and one night, escaping from the house in that condition, he tried to break in through the window of a neighboring house, and the man inside

Scene on Drywood, near South Line of the County
Scene on Drywood, near South Line of the County


naturally took him for a burglar and shot him dead. Mr. Himoe was at that time County Surveyor of this county.


About the 20th of May, 1864, Henry Taylor, a noted guerrilla of Vernon County, Mo., made a raid in the Drywood valley. He had a large company with him, some say as many as eighty men. He entered Bourbon County on the south, and first went to the house of William Custard, about ten o'clock at night. Custard had been in bed, but by some means he got warning of their approach, and he and his brother, Rufus, made their escape, just in the nick of time. Taylor run into the house and, in the search, he felt in the warm bed, which Custard had just left.

Taylor then robbed several families and committed other depredations. Finally, on his return out of the county he went to the house of Louis L. Ury, at the place where Garland is now, and surrounded it. There were in the house, Mr. Ury and his wife, his son Joe Ury, and the young children, Newt and the two girls, now Mrs. Homer Pond and Mrs. John Withers, and a Mr. T. Cartmell. Taylor had with him Mike Kelley, John Gwynn and several other prisoners that he had picked up, and intended to get Mr. Ury and his son Joe. After capturing the men folks he moved Newt and the two girls out into the corner of the yard preparatory to burning the house. Just then George Pond, James Pitts and Fred Carpenter, a scouting party from the 3d Wisconsin Cavalry, run onto them and


commenced firing, and Joe Ury, as soon as he heard the guns, picked up a stick of wood and knocked Taylor down. When Taylor got up, he called out "shoot the prisoners," and made for his horse. Some of the others of the gang fired at the prisoners, two balls striking Mr. Louis Ury, who was standing in his door. Then the entire party lit out for Missouri, leaving all the prisoners. Mr. Ury's wounds were found to be very serious. His leg had to be amputated and he lingered until the 2nd of July, when he died.

The summer before this occurred, this same Taylor captured a man by the name of Tom Whitesides from the house of Mrs. Beal's, east of Fort Scott, and took him to near the "Line House" and killed him, firing twelve shots into him. After the war Taylor was elected sheriff of Vernon county.

About June 1, 1864, a dozen or more bushwhackers made a raid into the county, up on the head of Pawnee Creek, and captured Rev. Mr. Harryman, Mr. Potter, and two or three colored people, and robbed and burned Mr. Harryman's house. The robbers took alarm at the approach of some parties and hastily left without their prisoners.


On the 1st day of June, 1864, a railroad convention in the interest of the Border Tier railway was held at Paola. The delegates from Bourbon County were Geo. A. Crawford, Geo. Dimon, H. T. Wilson, Isaac Stadden, Dr. Freeman and A. Danford. D. P. Lowe and J. D. Snoddy were among those from Linn County.


This was the first concerted effort in the direction of building railroads in this section of the State. Speeches were made and various committees appointed. One committee was appointed to memorialize Congress to grant lands to a border road, setting forth in their memorial the vast importance of such a road in a military point of view. The people had sat down to an indefinite siege of war. The end seemed far off in the dim future, and they had come to accept it as almost the natural condition.

President Lincoln was nominated for re-election. An immense ratification meeting was held on the 20th day of June, 1864, at Fort Scott. T. T. Insley was President, and J. R. Morley, J. F. White, W. A. Shannon, B. P. McDonald, S. A. Manlove, and Wm. Margrave were Vice-Presidents.

At the Democratic Convention of Topeka, J. Thomas Bridgens of Fort Scott, was appointed one of the candidates for Presidential Elector.

A Republican State Convention met at Topeka on the 8th of September, 1864. On the first ballot for candidate for Governor, George A. Crawford was in the lead, but the opposition concentrated on Samuel J. Crawford, and on the sixth ballot the vote stood: Samuel J. Crawford, 51; Geo. A. Crawford, 31; and Samuel J. Crawford was declared the nominee.


In October, 1864, what is called the Price Raid took place. General Price passed up from Arkansas through


Central Missouri, in the direction of Lexington, on the Missouri river. He recruited his army as he advanced until he had about 20,000 effective men. General S. R. Curtis was at Leavenworth, in command of the Department of Kansas. General Curtis's command consisted of part of the 14th and all of the 15th and 16th Kansas, a battalion of the 3rd Wisconsin, a section of the 2d Kansas Battery, a Colorado battery, and the 9th Wisconsin Battery, a total of about 4,500 men. On the 8th of October he proclaimed martial law, and ordered all the U. S. troops into the field to resist Price. Governor Carney called out the State Militia, and ordered them to the Border under General Deitzler, Major General of State Militia. At Fort Scott there were assembled from various points 1,050 men. The most of these were formed into the 24th Regiment of State Militia, with the following field and staff officers: Colonel, Isaac Stadden; Lieutenant Colonel, John Van Fossen; Major, Joseph Ury; Adjutant, A. Danford; Quartermaster, J. Thomas Bridgens; Surgeons, B. F. Hepler and S. O. Himoe.

The companies in the 24th Regiment were officered as follows: Company A, John F. White and C. B. Hayward; Company B, W. C. Dennison and R. D. Lender; Company C, J. B. Skeen, Thomas Barnes and C. B. Maurice; Company D, J. C. Hinkley and Robt. Stalker; Company E, H. T. Coffman, R. Adams and W. P. Gray; Company F, J. C. Ury. J. B. Cabiness and S. Streeter.

Lieutenant Colonel George P. Eaves, of Uniontown, had a battalion of mounted men, which he raised in the various townships of the county, consisting of seven


companies, which had the following named officers: Company A, D. D. Roberts, I. Burton and C. W. Campbell; Company B, Dyer Smith, D. R. Radden and B. R. Wood; Company C, John J. Stewart, John Blair and E. M. Marshall; Company D, S. B. Mahurin, John Hamilton and J. C. Andrick; Company E, B. F. Gumm, Nathan Baker and William Goff; Company F, Isaac Morris, R. S. Stevens and A. S. Potter; Company G, W. A. Shannon, N. J. Roscoe and D. McComas.

These troops were soon reinforced by militia from Allen and Coffey counties, under Colonel Twiss and Major Goss.

With Colonel Eaves' force and all the mounted troops he could pick up, General Blair left for the field to join Blunt's division, then near Westport, Missouri.

Generals Pleasanton and Sanborn, with about 4,000 men had left Jefferson City, to join the general pursuit.

On the 20th, 21st and 22d, engagements took place respectively at Lexington, Little Blue and Big Blue. The Union troops were victorious. Price was rapidly retreating down the Missouri border, fighting almost continuously. He had 115,000 veteran troops, plenty of field artillery, and such lieutenants as Shelby, Marmaduke, Cabell, Slemmon, Fagan and Graham. Price's army first entered Kansas in Linn county, and a part of it camped, on the 24th of October, just north of the Trading Post, on the exact spot at the base of the big mound near old Jackey Williams' farm, where, on that beautiful May day in 1858, the forerunners of this army of invasion had enacted the prologue of the bloody and disastrous scene which was to follow on the next day.


The old gray haired General could still see on that hallowed ground

"The blush as of roses
   Where rose never grew;
 Great drops on the bunch grass
   But not of the dew."

And in his troubled sleep that night, when the lights burned blue, at the dead of midnight, there may have come to him the visions of those murdered men, as

"With no vain plea for mercy,
     No stout knee was crooked;
 In the mouths of the rifles
     Right manly they looked.
 How paled the May sunshine,
     Green Marais du Cygne,
 When the death-smoke blew over
     Thy lonely ravine!"

On the 25th of October, after a sharp skirmish, the rebel forces retreated to the south side of the Marais des Cygnes, and the entire army was brought to bay, and was formed in line of battle in Mine Creek Valley, near where now stands the City of Pleasanton. It was a grand field for a battle. The open prairie was four or five miles in extent, with only gentle undulations, and the entire force, as well as all the maneuvers of either army, could be plainly seen. The troops under General Blair, Colonel Moonlight and Colonel Crawford were in position nearly on the left flank of the enemy, with Generals Pleasanton, Sanborn, McNiel and Benteen on the center and right. The engagement was general, and for some hours well and hotly contested.


Finally, a brilliant movement was made by Colonels Philips and Benteen, and a brigade under General Cabell of nearly 1000 men was captured, together with nine pieces of artillery. Generals Marmaduke, Cabell, Slemmer and Graham were also taken prisoners. The enemy now rapidly retreated, their deflection into Missouri, to the southeast, being forced in a great measure by the field maneuvers of General Blair and Colonel Crawford.

Another stand was made by the enemy on the Little Osage in Bourbon County, but McNiel and Pleasanton, who were in advance, soon routed them out; and still another on Shiloh Creek in this county, where we captured two pieces of artillery.


On the 20th of October, just before the battle of Mine Creek occurred, a squad of about twenty-five men, belonging to the command of the old guerilla, Jo Shelby, struck the Osage river about the State line, and went up on the north side. When they got up to Fort Lincoln, they halted in front of the store in that place, owned by Knowles & Green. Andrew Stevens and W. H. Green were near the store door. The bushwhackers at once opened fire on the two men, and Stevens was instantly killed. Green escaped by slipping down under the river bank and making for the brush. Then they plundered the store and burned the building, and the residences of Mr. Knowles, Mr. Green and Mr. Hopkins, after robbing Mrs. Hopkins.


They then crossed the river, and robbed all the families living as far west as Primm's and Armstrong's, and burned the dwellings, hay stacks, and barns belonging to Dick Stafford. Turning back down the Osage, and dividing up into squads, they killed Mr. Woodall and Mr. Miller.


Another raid by guerrillas was made into Bourbon County on the 22nd of October, 1864. On Saturday night of that date, about midnight a company of from forty to sixty men, under command of Allen Matthews and Major Courcey, came up from a southern direction to the neighborhood of Marmaton. Before they reached town some of the neighboring farmers had discovered them and came in ahead and gave the alarm. That night there were about thirty Home Guards quartered in the church, under command of Captain Harding, First Lieutenant Ramsey, and Second Lieutenant J. G. Roush. By order of Captain Harding these men were scattered out in squads of eight or ten to picket the several roads leading into town. In the meantime, the guerrillas, presuming such would be the case, left the main road and charged across lots into town, which they thus found without any defense at all. They then commenced capturing every man they could get hold of, and firing on any they saw trying to run away. They first picked up Colonel Horatio Knowles, Daniel M. Brown, Dr. L. M. Chadwick, Joseph Stout, Abner McGonigle and Warren Hawkins. These men they murdered in the most cold-blooded manner, as fast as


they came to them, in some instances taking hold of their victim with one hand and putting a bullet through his head from a revolver in the other. In other cases they would repeatedly shoot into their prisoners while they were down and begging for mercy.

Nelson Ramsey, Wm. Holt, brother of Judge Holt, Rev. Mr. Prigmore, and others, were on the street, and were repeatedly fired at, but they slipped away somehow and hid in the deep ravines near by.

The stores in town were those of Aitkin & Knowles, and Cobb & Jones. These they robbed and then burned. The residence of Mrs. Schoen, widow of Lieutenant Schoen, of Company E, 10th Kansas, the Methodist church, and other buildings were burned.

As soon as possible after the attack, Lieutenant Roush started for Fort Scott to give the alarm and get help in the pursuit of the ruffians. Some of them discovered him and gave him close chase as far as the Catholic Cemetery, when they probably concluded they were near the Fort Scott picket line, and turned back. Lieutenant Roush reported the affair to Colonel Stadden, who ordered out a force in pursuit, but the bushwhackers had too much the start, and being well mounted they got away. In passing out of the county, near Cato, they killed another man, a Mr. Simons, whom Matthews had a special grudge against. They then continued their flight into the Cherokee Nation.

Reliable information is furnished that this Matthews with about twenty of his men, left soon after for the Rocky Mountains, going in a north-westerly direction into the country of the Osage Indians. At a crossing


of the Verdigris river, near where Independence now is, and just after they had crossed, they were met by a large body of Osages who informed them that the Osage people had orders to arrest any and all persons attempting to pass through their country and take them to Fort Scott. Matthews told them they were friends of the tribe, but that they would never submit to be taken alive, especially as prisoners to Fort Scott. A battle then opened, and Matthews and every one of his men were killed. This is the statement as made by Little Bear, who was then Chief of the Osages.

The murders recounted in these raids were the most atrocious and cold-blooded of any that had ever occurred in Bourbon County. The men killed were all good, quiet, peaceable citizens, not identified in any way as partisans, or even active in politics, excepting Horatio Knowles, who had been in the Legislature several years, as has been noted. It was probably not known at the time to what particular rebel command these murderers belonged who raided the Osage valley. The statement is made here that they belonged to the command of the rebel General Jo Shelby, although he was not present in person. The proof of it is given in the following extracts from page 447 of a book published in 1867 by authority of Shelby, called "Shelby and His Men; or War in the West." The author says, in speaking of these raids into Kansas:

"No prisoners were taken, and why should there be? * * Shelby was leaving Kansas and taking terrible adieus. * * Hay stacks, houses, barns, produce, crops, and farming implements were consumed before the


march of his squadrons, and what the flames spared the bullet finished. Shelby was soothing the wounds of Missouri by stabbing the breast of Kansas. For the victims of Lane and Jennison he demanded life for life and blood for blood. The interest had been compounded, but he gathered it to the utmost farthing. Fort Scott lay before him like a picture, mellowed by haze and distance, and the orders for its destruction had gone forth."

And the orders for its destruction would have been fully carried out had it not been for the prompt organization and assembly of the militia.

Price had also determined on the total destruction of the City of Fort Scott. Marmaduke and other rebel officers, while prisoners of war here, repeatedly stated that Price had given orders for the annihilation of Fort Scott as soon as they could get to it.


On the day of the battle of Mine Creek, and for some days previous, the people of Fort Scott and the troops here were naturally in a state of great suspense. They knew, indefinitely, that there had been fighting up north, and that Price was retreating down the border. They had good reason to fear the worst. They had no disposition to cry wolf when there was no wolf, and they fully realized their danger if the rebel army should get at them, and they were nerved up to defend themselves to the best of their ability. They probably did not know at that time of the especial determination and order to destroy the town, but in a general way they


knew Price and his men and his methods, and they had every reason to believe that he would attack and destroy Fort Scott, which was then rich in supplies and plunder.

A part of the defensive force was posted on the hills north of town. Entrenchments were thrown up at the river fords, and preparations made for moving the women and children.

About 3 o'clock on the morning of the 25th the cannon boomed forth the alarm. A scout had just arrived with the news that the enemy was at the Trading Post, and it was presumed that their march on Fort Scott would be unchecked. Every man was at his post, and all exhibited the coolness of veteran troops. The morning was rainy, but it cleared up later in the forenoon, Up to 3 o'clock that afternoon no definite news was had of the operations of the two armies. They could hear the boom of the cannon, but they did not know the result of the day. All kinds of rumors were flying. Late in the day large bodies of troops were seen marching on the city. But it was soon ascertained that they were Union troops under Colonel Moonlight. They then learned of the victory at Mine Creek, and that General Blair's command and other forces of the Union army would soon be here. The revulsion of feeling cannot be described. The tense, rigid feeling of suspense and anxiety which had so long held the courageous militia to their work, gave way to exultation and joy.

That night Generals Curtis, Pleasanton, Blunt and Sanborn and their forces came in, bringing the captured rebel Generals and other prisoners, and the captured


cannon. The next morning they again took up the march in pursuit of Price, except General Pleasanton and his command, who, after remaining a few days, left for St. Louis with the prisoners and captured artillery.

On the 28th, Colonel Stadden of the 24th regiment, issued the following order:

Gen. Order No. 5.
     The Colonel commanding takes pleasure at this time in thanking the brave
men under his command for the heroism and fortitude displayed during the late
crisis. Although not actively engaged in the field, the cheerfulness displayed
is certainly worthy of a veteran corps.
     * * * * Again he assures you that no one will have occasion to blush for
being a member of the "First Bourbon."       I. STADDEN,
     A. DANFORD, Adjutant.                 Colonel Commanding.


On the next Saturday evening a large public meeting was held in Fort Scott. S. A. Manlove was chosen President, and J. R. Morley, George Dimon, G. A. Reynolds, N. Z. Strong and William Margrave, Vice-Presidents. General Blair, who had returned to his post as Commandant, was called on to speak. The General said he was not there to make a political speech, as he had nothing to do with politics since the war began, and would not have until it closed. He said he desired, however, to do justice to the brave men who had left their homes and kept in the front until Kansas was out of danger. He closed with a detailed description of the battle of Mine Creek, and the military operations along the Border.


As has been stated, General Curtis continued the chase after the rebels, pursuing them to their final destruction as an army.

This was the last time Bourbon County was threatened by the invasion of an armed enemy, and the people soon settled down to some degree of peace and quiet.

The general election was held on the 8th day of November. Samuel J. Crawford was elected Governor and Sidney Clarke, Congressman; A. Danford was elected State Senator from Bourbon County. The Representatives were: Fiftieth District, L. D. Clevenger; Fifty-first, D. L. Campbell; Fifty-second, N. Griswold; Fifty-third, N. Z. Strong. D. M. Valentine was elected Judge of the Fourth Judicial District. D. B. Emmert, District Clerk; Wm. Margrave, Probate Judge, and Nelson Griswold, Superintendent of Schools.

Bourbon County cast 960 votes for Lincoln electors and 126 for the McClellan electors.

The year 1864 had been a season of more than usual disquietude and apprehension, in this county. Besides the operations of the regular Confederate armies, there were many roving bands of guerillas, bushwhackers and marauders swarming along the Missouri border, who took every opportunity to slip into Kansas and commit murder, robbery, theft and any depredation that took their fancy or that occasion permitted.

The bordering section of Missouri was practically without law, civil or military, and these men held full sway in their reign of terror. This state of affairs continued until Price's horde was swept down the Border, and the last remnant of rebellion disappeared.