Kansas in the Civil War














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Kansas in the American Civil War

Kansas and the Civil War (1861-1865)

Kansas (1861-1865)

The adoption of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in May, 1854,
abrogated the agreement of the Missouri Compromise of 1820,
prohibiting slavery north of the line 36 30', and left the question
of slavery or no slavery to the people of the respective terri-
tories when they should come to frame their state constitu-
tions. In this act Stephen A. Douglas gave concrete expression
to the doctrine of popular sovereignty, declaring that his main
desire was to take from Congress the decision of a local domestic
question, and leave it to the people vitally interested. The
act sowed the wind, and the whirlwind was not long in coming.
It was regarded throughout the North as the very extravagance
of aggression on the part of the slave interest, the very refine-
ment of bad faith, the expression of a determined purpose
to force slavery upon Kansas, and upon every, territory of
the United States. Its direct result was to precipitate an
even more violent and widespread discussion of the slavery
question than had ever before been known in the country.
In Kansas itself, the result was seven long years of bloody
strife between the Free-state and the Pro-slavery settlers
for the control of the new territory. Civil war in Kansas
was but the angry prelude to the War of the Rebellion. With
the admission of Kansas into the Union as a free state under
the Wyandotte constitution, Jan. 29, 1861, the first decisive
victory against the slave power within the nation was gained,
but the state was not admitted until after seven states had
seceded from the Union, and most of the other Southern senators
had withdrawn (Jan. 21, 1861), from the United States senate.

In Dec, 1859, at an election held under the Wyandotte
constitution, a legislature, state officers and a representative
in Congress had been chosen. When Kansas was admitted
as a state in 1861, under the above constitution, the officers
elected in 1859 became the first state officials. Gov. Charles
Robinson, who had been so long and prominently identified
with the Free-soil movement in Kansas, was at the head of
the state ticket chosen in 1859, and assumed the duties of
his office Feb. 9, 1861. He promptly asked the legislature
to meet on March 26, and also appointed M. F. Conway, Thomas
Ewing, Jr., Henry J. Adams and James C. Stone to represent
Kansas in the "Peace Conference" at Washington. Both
Ewing and Stone voted for peace and compromise.

Kansas had thus barely begun her statehood at the out-
break of the Civil war and she entered on the work of state
organization amid the deep mutterings which betokened the
near approach of the great conflict between the sections. As
her own soil had been rent by factional strife since the beginning
of her organization as a territory, and as the infant state was
now destined to pass through four more years of bitter war-
fare, Kansas may be said to have been conceived in bitter-
ness and strife and cradled in war. She well earned her appella-
tion of "bleeding Kansas." Moreover, in addition to the years
of domestic embroilment and anxiety, Kansas had just passed
through one of the greatest natural calamities recorded in
the nation's history. From June, 1859, to the fall of 1860,
a period of over a year, not a shower fell to soak the parched
earth. Almost every form of vegetation except the prairie
grass perished and much suffering prevailed. It is estimated
that 20,000 people left the territory during this awful time,
while only the generous supplies of money, provisions, cloth-
ing and seed wheat, received from the northern states, warded
off still greater suffering among those who remained. Despite
her own internal difficulties Kansas maintained an attitude
of unswerving loyalty to the Federal government through-
out the Civil war, and the first state message of her first great
war-governor gave forth no uncertain sound. Gov. Robinson
concluded an able and ringing message with the words: "The
position of the Federal executive is a trying one. The govern-
ment, when assumed by him, was rent in twain; the cry against
coercion was heard in every quarter; his hands were tied, and
he had neither men nor money, nor the authority to use either.
While it is the duty of every loyal state to see that equal and
exact justice is done to the citizens of every other state, it is
equally its duty to sustain the chief executive of the nation in
defending the government from foes, whether from within or
without — and Kansas, though last and least of the states in the
Union, will ever be ready to answer the call of her country."
Gov. Robinson impressed one as having most of the qualifica-
tions of a great leader. "He was tall, well-proportioned,
commanding in appearance, yet winning in manner; with a
clear, keen, blue eye; a countenance that denoted culture
and intellect, and a will that few would care to run against.
He would pass anywhere as a good-looking man, and in any
crowd would command attention. With perfect control of
himself, he could rule in the midst of a storm. His magnetism
would inspire men to do and to dare in the cause of human
liberty and the establishment of the great principles of repub-
lican government." Fortunate it was that the services of
this remarkable man were appreciated, and an admiring con-
stituency saw fit to elect him to the highest office within the
gift of the people, that of the first governor of the state. In
the period of crisis which ensued he took high rank among
the war governors of the loyal states.

The Federal census of 1860 gave Kansas a population of
143,643 inhabitants, including Indians, but this total was
much diminished by reason of the drought of 1860, from which
the state had barely emerged when the war began. Con-
sequently her population in 1861 numbered only a few over
107,000. The total number of men called for by the president
of the United States from Kansas during the war was 16,654;
the state not only supplied her full quota under all calls, but
furnished a surplus of 3,443 men, or 20,097 in in all. The
report of the provost-marshal-general is authority for the
statement that Kansas lost 61.01 men killed in action and died
from wounds out of each 1,000, which is in excess of the pro-
portion furnished to the item of mortality by any of the other
loyal states; Vermont ranking second with a loss per 1,000
of 58.22. It is also worthy of note that that no bounty was
ever offered by the state, nor did any city or county offer a
bounty to secure recruits. The state's quotas were always
promptly filled up to the end of the war.

The first state legislature convened at Topeka, pursuant
to call, March 26, 1861, and continued in session until June 4.
The legislature had an overwhelming Republican majority
on joint ballot and on April 4 elected as the first two U. S.
senators from the state, James H. Lane and Samuel C. Pomeroy —
Martin F. Conway then serving as her representative in Congress.
Among the important acts passed was one authorizing the
issue of $150,000 in bonds to provide for the running expenses
of the state, and one providing for the organization of a state
militia. Under the latter act, which was passed only a week
after President Lincoln issued his first call for 75,000 soldiers,
militia companies were rapidly formed in nearly every county
in the state. Altogether 180 companies were organized, divided
into two divisions, four brigades and eleven regiments. April
17, five days after Sumter was fired upon, Capt. Samuel Walker
of Lawrence tendered to Gov. Robinson a company of 100
men. In fact many militia companies were immediately
offered from all parts of the state. Although under the first
call for troops by Lincoln, none were allotted to Kansas, she
nevertheless furnished two regiments — the 1st and 2nd Kansas
infantry. Nowhere did the spirit of loyalty rule stronger
than in the legislature itself. A company was formed of its
members and officers, which drilled daily under the instruction
of a member with some previous military training. But the
sentiment for the Union and "coercion" was by no means
universal throughout the state. This was only natural in
view of the peculiar manner in which the state was settled,
and the strength of the slaveholding interests within her borders.
Besides, she was immediately adjacent to the great slave-
holding state of Missouri, which tended strongly to the support
of the Southern cause. When the first meeting was held in
Atchison to form a military company, "coercion" was voted
down and the Union company was organized with difficulty.
On the other hand, when the steamboat "New Sam Gaty"
arrived at Leavenworth from St. Louis April 13, with a Con-
federate flag flying, an angry crowd gathered on the levee and
compelled the captain to haul down the traitorous emblem
and replace it with the Stars and Stripes.

The fact was soon recognized that the war was not to be
a short one, and the call for three months' militia was not long
after followed by calls for volunteers for three years or during
the war. Kansas responded to each of these early calls with
twice as many men as were demanded. During the term
of her first governor, or until Jan. 12, 1863, Kansas was called
upon to provide 5,006 men, and 10,639 were furnished. Dur-
ing the administration of her second governor, Thomas Carney,
the quotas assigned to Kansas amounted to 11,654 men, but
as the state was already credited with a large surplus, she
was only required to furnish a total of 9,558 men. A complete
list of the volunteer organizations sworn into the service of
the United States includes the following: The 1st, 2nd, 3d,
4th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 13th and 17th infantry; the 1st and 2nd
Colored infantry; the 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, nth, 14th, 15th
and 16th cavalry; the 1st, 2nd and 3d batteries of light artillery,
and an independent Colored battery. Many of these citizen
soldiers of Kansas had become inured to war during territorial
days in their struggles with the "border ruffians" and were
now only too glad to offer their services to the state and nation
in the greater struggle which was at hand. But while the
state as a whole was animated by a spirit of loyalty and patriot-
ism to the Union and gave an eager response to the call to
arms, many who had gained an unenviable notoriety during
the border struggles now came to the surface once more and
made of the war an occasion for a renewal of killing, bushwhack-
ing and plundering in the border counties of Missouri and 
Kansas. The secessionists were struggling to carry Missouri
out of the Union, and the people of Kansas were much aroused.
They remembered the wrongs and indignities sustained at
the hands of the border ruffians, most of whom were inhabitants
of Missouri, and some were now stimulated to acts of revenge,
resulting in a guerrilla warfare all along the border. Armed
bands of bushwhackers visited the towns, plundered the stores,
laid the prominent citizens under contribution, or took them
prisoners, and sometimes murdered them in cold blood. Of
course the counties distant from the border were less disturbed,
though occasional outrages were even perpetrated there. Says
one who lived through these scenes: "For Kansas, the Civil
war was but the continuation of the border troubles. The
embers of that struggle had not been covered with the ashes
of forgetfulness when they blazed again into direst flames.
Along the border the war assumed the character of a vendetta;
a war of revenge, and over all the wide field a war of com-
bats; of ambushes and ambuscades, of swift advances and
hurried retreats; of spies and scouts; of stealth, darkness and
murder. All along the way men riding solitary were shot
down; little companies killed by their camp fires; men fight-
ing on both sides neither asking, giving, nor expecting mercy."
The authorities in both states were desirous of protecting
their citizens from spoliation, and indeed succeeded for a time,
the governor of Kansas returning the spoils taken from Mis-
souri, and authorities in Missouri reciprocating the favor to
citizens of Kansas. It was this condition of affairs which tinged
the war in the west with extreme bitterness and caused the
Kansas troops proper, who were fighting gallantly in the field
to be subjected to much harsh criticism.

The 1st and 2nd infantry left the state early in June, 1861,
and on the 17th, Gov. Robinson called for more troops, under
the second call of the president. The Confederate Gen. Price
and a strong force was advancing on Fort Scott, and this
news stimulated the formation of the new regiments. By
the end of August there had been collected at Fort Scott a
force which came to be known as Lane's brigade, made up of
the 3d and 4th infantry, and the 5th, 6th and 7th cavalry,
numbering in all some 2,500 men. The 1st Kansas battery
was also attached to the brigade. A part of this force, under
Cols. Montgomery, Jennison and Johnson, and Capts. Moon-
light, Ritchie, Williams and Stewart, had a sharp skirmish
with the advance of Gen. Price, under Gen. Rains, at Dry Wood,
Mo., 12 miles east of Fort Scott, Sept. 2. Later the Union
forces retired from Fort Scott in the direction of the Little
Osage and built Fort Lincoln. When Price abandoned his
first attempted invasion of Kansas, and moved to Lexington,
Mo., Lane's brigade operated on his left flank and kept him
out of Kansas.

In Jan., 1862, between 6,000 and 7,000 Indians in the Indian
Territory, chiefly belonging to the tribes of the Creeks, Seminoles
and Cherokees, who had remained loyal to the Federal govern-
ment, sought refuge across the border in southern Kansas.
Large numbers of these refugees were encamped at Leroy,
Coffey county, and suffered greatly during the winter. In
the spring and summer there were organized from these Indians
three mounted regiments, which were officered mostly from
Kansas regiments. They were known as the 1st, 2nd and
3d Indian home guards and were formed into a brigade under
the command of Col. William A. Phillips.

When Maj.-Gen. David Hunter, who had been assigned
to the command of the Department of Kansas, arrived at Fort
Leavenworth, he found the companies comprising the 3d and 4th
regiments below the maximum and recommended to the governor
the consolidation of the two regiments into one, which was done;
and the new organization was designated the 10th infantry.
The 10th should have been numbered the 3d after the con-
solidation, but the matter was not attended to and the numbers
3d and 4th do not again make their appearance in the military
history of the state.

During the winter 1861-62 there was a great deal of talk
about what the newspapers called Gen. Lane's "Southern
Expedition." It was Senator Lane's purpose to organize
and equip a large force under his own command for the purpose
of conducting a campaign south to the Gulf. The proposed
expedition seems to have never received the sympathy or
cooperation of Gen. Hunter, and on Feb. 26, 1862, Lane wrote
to the legislature that he had failed to make a satisfactory
arrangement with Gen. Hunter; that he would not lead the
expedition, and that he had resigned his commission as brigadier-
general and would return to the senate. The expedition was
finally abandoned.

During the year 1862 the president commissioned the follow-
ing Kansas officers brigadier-generals: Robert B. Mitchell,
James G. Blunt, Albert L. Lee and G. W. Deitzler. Col. Thomas
Ewing,Jr. was also commissioned a brigadier-general in 1863,
and Col. Powell Clayton in 1864. On Nov. 29, 1862, Brig.-Gen.
Blunt was promoted major-general, and rendered distinguished
service to the state and nation during the year. On May 2
1862, he was placed in command of the Department of Kansas,
and on Aug. 8 left to assume personal command of the troops
in the field. From Fort Scott he moved southward through 
Missouri and Arkansas and won victories at Newtonia, Old
Fort Wayne, Cane Hill and Prairie Grove. In the last named
action the combined forces of Gens. Blunt and Herron defeated
and scattered a greatly superior force of the enemy under
Gen. Hindman and won a notable victory. On this field were
present the largest number of Kansas troops yet drawn together,
there being with Blunt part of the 2nd, 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th and
13th Kan. regiments, and three Kansas batteries, commanded
by Smith, Tenney and Hopkins.

At the second state election in Nov. 1862, state officers,
a legislature and member of Congress were elected. Thomas
Carney, the Republican candidate, was elected governor for
two years, receiving a majority of 4,545 over his opponent
W. R. Wagstaff, Union Democrat. A. C. Wilder, Republican,
was chosen member of Congress and the legislature was again
overwhelmingly Republican. On Jan. 14, 1863, the senate
unanimously passed a resolution thanking the officers and
soldiers of Blunt's command for their victories at Newtonia,
Old Fort Wayne, Cane Hill, Prairie Grove and Van Buren.

During 1863 the 14th and 15th regiments of cavalry were
organized; the organization of the 1st Colored Kan. was com-
pleted and another colored regiment, the 83d U. S., was organ-
ized and mustered into service Nov. 1. Kansas troops had
particularly distinguished themselves in the operations in
Missouri, Arkansas and the Indian Territory. The state was
exposed to attack and predatory raids on its eastern, southern
and western borders, and was called upon to repel not only
the regular forces of the Confederacy, but also Indians, and
irregular bodies of guerrillas. Numerous minor raids by these
predatory rangers occurred in the border counties in 1861 and
1862, but the most disastrous visitation of this nature took
place in 1863. This was the celebrated Quantrill massacre
at Lawrence Aug. 21, wherein about 150 unarmed and defense-
less men were cruelly slain, leaving some 80 widows and 250
orphans. The Rev. Richard Cordley, pastor of the Lawrence
Congregational church at the time, has left the following account
of the raid: "On the 20th of August, a body of between 300
and 400 crossed the state line at sundown. Riding all night,
they reached Lawrence at daybreak. They dashed into the
town with a yell, shooting at everybody they saw. The sur-
prise was complete. The hotel, and every point where a rally
would be possible, was seized at once, and the ruffians began
the work of destruction. Some of the citizens escaped into
the fields and ravines, and some into the woods, but the larger
portion could not escape at all. Numbers of these were shot
down as they were found, and often brutally mangled. In
many cases the bodies were left in the burning buildings and
consumed. The rebels entered the place about five o'clock,
and left between nine and ten. Troops for the relief of the
town were within six miles when the rebels went out. One
hundred and forty-three were left dead in the streets, and
about 30 desperately wounded. The main street was all burned
except two stores. Thus, about 75 business houses were des-
troyed, and nearly 200 residences. They destroyed something
near $2,000,000 of property, left 80 widows and 250 orphans,
as the result of their four hours' work. Scenes of brutality
were enacted, which have never been surpassed in savage
warfare. The picture is redeemed only by the fact that
women and children were in no case hurt." The first
news of the massacre was brought to Leavenworth by
James F. Legate. The town was without defenders, as the
few recruits there in camp had not yet received their arms, and
were practically wiped out by the first volley, while the militia
company of the place was widely scattered, and their arms
were stored in the armory. It took nearly a week to gather
up and bury the dead, 53 bodies being laid in one trench. A
memorial monument was raised to the victims in 1895, "Dedi-
cated to the memory of the 150 citizens, who, defenseless,
fell victims to the inhuman ferocity of border guerrillas, led
by the infamous Quantrill in his raid upon Lawrence, Aug.
21, 1863." Quantrill had at one time been a resident of Law-
rence. Senator Lane was in the town at the time, but succeeded
in avoiding the raiders, and as Quantrill's force drew off, he
and Lieut. John K. Rankin hastily gathered together a small
force and started in pursuit, but only succeeeded in keeping
the enemy moving. Much indignation was felt by the citizens
of Kansas at the alleged remissness of Gen. Ewing, then in
command of the Department of Kansas and Western Missouri.
The state, "though war-scourged and poor," came promptly
to the relief of the stricken city, the citizens of Leavenworth
alone raising a relief fund of $10,000.

Only two days after the attack. Gen. Ewing issued General
Order No. 11, which practically depopulated some of the border
counties of Missouri, and forced both loyal and disloyal citizens
to vacate and leave their homes. Those who could satisfy
the military authorities of their loyalty were permitted to
remove to any military station in the district, or to any part
of Kansas except the counties on the eastern border of the
state, while all others were required to remove from the district
entirely. This was a harsh measure, but seemed to be necessary
in order to clear the border region of its disaffected elements.

Quantrill and his band of marauders still hovered around
the Kansas border, and on Oct. 6, 1863, about 250 of the guerrillas
suddenly fell upon Gen. Blunt and his little cavalry escort
of about 100 men, near Baxter Springs, and killed 80 of the
party, including several civilians. Gen. Blunt rallied some
15 of his men and by dint of great coolness and courage, held
off the foe and escaped. Among the killed was Maj. H, Z.
Curtis, son of Maj. -Gen. S. R. Curtis. The affair took place
near the little post known as Fort Blair, which was next assailed,
but the enemy was gallantly repelled with loss by Lieut. Pond
of the 3d Wis. cavalry.

On Oct. 6, 1863, the provost-marshal-general stated that
Kansas had furnished for the United States service 4,440 men
in excess of all calls. Her white soldiers numbered 9,613.
This statement did not include the colored regiment, nor 2,262
Indians enrolled in the three regiments in 1862.

At the beginning of the year 1864 Kansas had contributed
nearly 14,000 men to the Federal service, and this number
was materially increased in response to the various calls made
for troops during the year. Many of the men in the old organ-
izations reenlisted as veterans, and the 16th cavalry and the
17th infantry were added to the list of regiments already in
the field. The state was also credited with a considerable num-
ber of enlistments in the 18th U. S. Colored infantry, and in the
8th U. S. Veteran Volunteers. The last military organization
formed in the state during the war was the Independent Col-
ored Kansas battery, which was mustered into the U. S. serv-
ice Jan. 1, 1865, but saw no active service. Speaking of
the number of men furnished by Kansas Gov. Crawford said:
"The state has furnished the Federal army more troops in
proportion to her population than any other state in the Union;
and the entire militia was always in readiness for immediate
action in the field, and was all engaged in rendering efficient
service in repelling the rebel army under Price from our border;
and upon several occasions regiments and independent com-
panies were in actual service, defending the border and fron-
tier."

On Jan. 1, 1864, Kansas was made a military department
with Maj. -Gen. Samuel R. Curtis in command, and on the
29th Gen. Thayer succeeded Gen. McNeil in command of the
District of the Frontier.

In the fall of 1864 Kansas was seriously menaced by one
other raid, called the "Price raid." Price's army was estimated
at from 18,000 to 20,000 men, and as it moved north and west
through Arkansas and Missouri toward the Kansas border,
energetic measures were taken to resist the advance. On
Oct. 2 the concentration of Kansas militia began at Olathe; 
on the 8th Gov. Carney issued his proclamation calling out
the "men of Kansas," and appointed Maj.-Gen. Deitzler as
commander-in-chief. There was a prompt response by the
Kansas militia, and it is estimated that over 16,000 men offered
their services at this time. Fortunately for the state, Gens.,
A. J, Smith and Alfred Pleasonton were close in Price's rear,
while Gen. Deitzler, in command of the state militia, Gen.
Curtis, Gen. Blunt, Cols. Blair, Moonlight, Cloud, Crawford,
and others met him at the border. After fighting a series
of bloody battles, he was finally forced, late in October, to
beat a hasty retreat towards Arkansas, and Kansas was saved
from the threatened invasion. Gen. Curtis, in parting with
his troops, issued the following congratulatory order from
the headquarters of the Army of the Border, Nov. 8, 1864:
"The general tenders his thanks to the officers and soldiers
for their generous support and prompt obedience to orders,
and to his staff for their unceasing efforts to share the toil
incident to the campaign. The pursuit of Price in 1864, and
the battles of Lexington, Little Blue, Big Blue, Westport,
Marais des Cygnes, Osage, Chariot and Newtonia, will be borne
on the banners of the regiments who shared in them; and the
states of Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana,
Wisconsin and Arkansas, may glory in the achievement of
their sons in this short but eventful campaign." During this
campaign Price's retreating army entered Linn county from
the east and moved southward 6 miles to Mine creek, some-
times called Osage, where a decisive battle was fought on Kansas
soil. In this battle 500 prisoners and 8 pieces of artillery were
captured. Among the prisoners were Gens. Marmaduke and
Cabell. The Union losses were light. Gen. Curtis' order
of Oct. 10, proclaiming martial law in Kansas, was revoked
by him after the battle of Mine creek, and on the 27th, Gov.
Carney ordered the militia to return to their homes.

In this battle, as in nearly all the battles west of the Mis-
sissippi, Col. Samuel J. Crawford bore a conspicuous part. When
Fort Sumter was fired upon, he resigned his seat in the Kansas
legislature, and entered the army as a captain in the 2d Kan.
infantry. After the battle of Wilson's creek, his regiment,
which had suffered heavy losses, was ordered to Fort Leaven-
worth, to be reorganized into the 2d Kan. cavalry. By an
order from the war department, Maj. Cloud and Capt. Craw-
ford were retained in the service to perfect the new organiza-
tion. With this regiment he served until Nov. 1, 1863, when
he was promoted to the colonelcy of the 83d U. S. Colored
infantry, and subsequently he was brevetted a brigadier-gen-
eral of volunteers.

On Nov. 8, 1864, while in the army, he was elected governor
of Kansas. At this election the state recorded its first vote
for president of the United States— Mr. Lincoln. On Jan.
9, 1865, the new state officers were sworn in, and on the follow-
ing day the legislature convened. Immediately upon assum-
ing his new duties, Gov. Crawford proceeded to reconstruct
the adjutant-general's office, and organize the militia of the
state, on a fighting basis. At that time the war was raging
on three sides of Kansas — the Confederates on the south and
east and hostile tribes of Indians in the service of the Con-
federacy on the west. Gov. Crawford brought home with
him from the field, tried and true soldiers, to take charge of
military affairs in the state. He appointed Maj. T. J. Ander-
son, adjutant-general; Capt. D. E. Ballard, quartermaster-
general; Capt. J. K. Rankin, paymaster-general, and Col.
W. F. Cloud, major-general of the state militia. Under Maj.
Anderson, the adjutant-general's department was speedily
put in working order; and under Col. Cloud, the militia of
the state was soon placed on a fighting basis. On the south
and east the state was protected from invasion, but on the
west the hostile Indians were not so easily suppressed. As
already stated, the state had furnished more than its full quota
of volunteer troops to the United States, under all calls from
the president, but by an oversight on the part of a former
adjutant-general, all the troops so furnished had not been re-
ported to the war department, and in consequence a draft had
been ordered by the secretary of war, prior to the election
in 1864. Confident that the state was not delinquent, Gov.
Crawford directed the adjutant-general to prepare a report
for the war department, showing the number of troops which
the state had furnished. This report was submitted to the
secretary by Gov. Crawford in February, whereupon the draft
was suspended and the drafted men were returned home and
discharged. The three years term of enlistment of Kansas
troops having expired, many of them reenlisted, and Gov.
Crawford reorganized and consolidated most of the regiments
into veteran battalions, which served until the close of the
war, when the volunteers returned home and were honorably
mustered out of service.

The soldiers of no state of the Union, in proportion to their
numbers, rendered better or more faithful service to the govern-
ment than did the Kansas volunteers. From start to finish,
they were in the fight, and they were always there to stay.
No Kansas regiment, battery or battalion ever faltered in the
face of the enemy. The war of the rebellion over. Gov. Craw-
ford turned his attention to a more savage warfare on the 
western border. The wild tribes of Indians that had been
led into hostility on the frontier by agents of the Confederacy
during the Civil war, were not so easily suppressed. From
1865 to 1869, during Gov. Crawford's two administrations,
a relentless Indian warfare raged along the border settlements
of Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, Gens. Sheridan,
Hancock, Terry, Custer, and other United States officers,
were in the field, but their troops were so limited in numbers,
and the field of operation so extensive, that they had difficulty
in coping with the savages. From early spring until late in
the fall they would sweep the plains — striking a settlement
one day, emigrants the next, and overland trains laden with
merchandise or government military supplies the next. Thus
they kept up their savage warfare until Aug., 1868, when they
raided and laid waste the frontier settlements of northwestern
Kansas for a distance of 30 miles. In this raid they robbed
and burned houses, killed and wounded a large number of
settlers, stole many horses, and carried into captivity a number
of women and children. Being notified of this raid, Gov.
Crawford was soon on the ground with state troops, but the
Indians with their plunder and captives were far away before
he arrived.

After caring for the wounded and quieting the remnant
of settlers who had escaped the scalping knife, he returned
and communicated with the secretary of war and Gens. Sher-
man and Sheridan, as to the best means for driving the hostiles
from the state and preventing further depredations. In view
of the atrocities which had been committed by the Indians,
it was determined to organize and concentrate a force under
the command of Gen. Sheridan for a campaign and follow the
Indians to their winter haunts in the Indian Territory. Sher-
idan not having troops sufficient in Kansas for such an expedi-
tion, requested the secretary of war to call upon Gov. Craw-
ford for a regiment of cavalry to accompany him. His request
was promptly granted and the necessary authority given for
raising, arming, equipping and mustering a regiment of 1,200
men. In the pursuance of this authority. Gov. Crawford
organized the 19th Kan. cavalry and joined Sheridan and
his command at Camp Supply, in the western part of the Indian
Territory, Nov. 26, 1868.

On Dec. 6, with the 7th U. S. cavalry, commanded by Gen.
Custer, and the 19th Kan., commanded by Col. Crawford,
Sheridan moved southward to the Washita river and thence
to the field where Custer had the week previous engaged the
five wild tribes in battle. From the Washita the command
moved in a south-easterly direction, in close pursuit of the 
Indians, to the Wichita mountains, a distance of 150 miles
from Camp Supply, where the Indians, having become exhausted
and unable to escape, surrendered and agreed to give up the
women they had previously captured in Kansas. They also
agreed to turn over their arms to the government and forever
after stay on their reservation. Thus a savage Indian war
with the five wild tribes — the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Comanches,
Kiowas and Apaches — which had roamed the plains and ravaged
the border settlements of Kansas for four years, was brought
to a close. Never afterwards did these Indians come into
Kansas except as friends.

At the close of this campaign, which was made in the dead
of winter, through an untraveled country, in deep snow and
bitter cold weather. Gov. Crawford returned home, and there-
after engaged in the peaceful pursuits of life.

Writing of the services rendered by the soldiers of Kansas
in the Civil war, Noble L. Prentis says in his History of Kansas:
"The soldiers of Kansas were called alternately to repel invasion
and to penetrate the fastnesses of the enemy. The war was
waged in a wild and almost wilderness country; a country of
mountains, defiles, tangled woods and canebrakes, traversed
by countless streams, rapid and roaring, or deep, winding
and sluggish; but for the most part, without bridges or ferries.
In the thousands of miles of marching, the Kansas soldiers
often saw not a rod of smooth and settled highway. They
moved by trails, by traces, over the hills and far away across
the prairies, guided by the sun, the distant and random gun,
the smoke of combat or vengeful burning. They were far
from the region of great and decisive battles, of strategic com-
binations and foreseen results. The columns came and went,
making forced marches for days and nights together — fight-
ing a battle and winning a dear-bought victory — to return
whence they came. They fought, and marched, and camped
in a region that was neither North nor South, and so possessed
a climate with the evil features of both. They met the blind-
ing sleet and snow, were drenched with tropical rainstorms,
and braved alike the blazing fury of the sun, and the bitter
malice of the frost. Far from their bases of supplies, food
and powder must be brought a long, toilsome and dangerous
way, guarded at every step, fought for at every ford and pass.
It was a hard and desperate warfare."

The soldiers of Kansas were, for the most part, of hardy
physique and inured to outdoor life. A large proportion of
them were excellent horsemen and it was therefore only natural
that, of the seventeen white regiments furnished by the state,
nine belonged to the cavalry arm of the service. 

By resolution of the legislature, approved Feb. 21, 1867,
the adjutant-general was required to make a full and com-
plete report of his office, and the report prepared in conformity
therewith by Adjt.-Gen. T. J. Anderson, contains the only
printed record of the soldiers of Kansas who were mustered
into the service of the United States during the war of the
rebellion. This report, unfortunately, does not contain the
names and history of the militia regiments, who performed
gallant service during the dark days of the war in guarding
the border.

In an elaborate statement of casualties embodied in this,
report, it is shown that the 20,097 "men furnished by the state
sustained losses as follows: Officers killed, 34; died of wounds,
12; died of disease, 26; deserted, 2; honorably discharged,
88; discharged for disability, 8; dishonorably discharged, 1;
cashiered, 4; resigned, 281. Enlisted men killed, 762; died
of wounds, 192; died of disease, 2,080; deserted, 1,988; dis-
charged for disability, 1,849; honorably discharged, 999; dis-
honorably discharged, 94; missing in action, 35. Aggregate
casualties, 8,498.

Of the white regiments, the 1st infantry sustained the heaviest
loss in killed and died of wounds, losing 11 officers and 120
enlisted men. The 1st Colored infantry met with the heaviest
loss killed in action — 4 officers and 166 men.

Kansas has done wisely in perpetuating the names of many of
her soldier heroes in the names of her counties; such are Mitchell,
Cloud, Trego, Norton, Clark, Harper, Rooks, Rush, Russell,
Stafford, Cowley, Graham, Jewell, Osborne, Ellis, Gove, Pratt,
Ness, Hodgeman, Crawford and Harvey, — the two last named
commemorating the names of her two soldiers who later sur-
vived as governors of the state. Alfred Gray and Dudley
Haskell, two soldiers from other states, who saw service with
Kansas troops, have also given their names to two counties.

Though the machinery of government in the new state of
Kansas was installed amid the strain and stress of war, it never-
theless continued to work with regularity. Naturally the
state made but slow advance in material prosperity during
the progress of the war and her increase in population was
correspondingly slow. A census of the state taken in May,
1865, as a basis for a new apportionment, showed a gain in
population of only 35,058 in five years, most of which
took place after the war was practically over. With the return
of Kansas soldiers to their homes, taking into account the
natural increase and the great immigration during 1865, it
is probable that at the close of that year, the population had
received sufficient accessions to bring it up to 150,000, or a
gain of nearly fifty per cent over the population at the beginning
of the war. After the year 1865 the prosperity of Kansas
was unparalleled in population, wealth, production, internal
improvements, education, charitable institutions and religion.

See also
 
 
Source: The Union Army, vol. 4































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