Samuel enlisted in Company B, 2nd Regiment, Kansas State Militia, on August 24, 1863, and was called to active duty on October 10, 1864, as the Militia was called up in response to the approach of Price’s Confederate army from Missouri. Muster roles reveal that Sam was detached from his unit and stayed at Topeka to protect the city in case the Confederates broke through and attacked.
After the war, Samuel and his family moved briefly back to Wisconsin, where a son, Robert Edgel was born, and then returned to Topeka, where a third daughter, Minnie, was born. In 1868, both Minnie and Martha Jane died.
In 1869, Samuel married Margaret Grabendike in Topeka and began a second family with the birth of Hattie Belle in 1972. In that same year, the Marshalls moved to Osage City, about 40 miles south of Topeka in Osage County. They had two more children, Edwin Charles, born in 1874, and William Loren, born in 1878. In Osage City, Samuel farmed, traded in real estate, and operated a livery stable and a brick kiln. Here is an item from a local newspaper about his house:
“The brick walls are said to be three or four courses thick, the bricks probably having been made in Marshall’s own nearby brick-making plant. Locally made bricks were also used for several Osage City Business Buildings still in use today . . . . Marshall built his house so that it was warm and dry. He built the kitchen and dining room partially underground, with two large rooms altogether above ground. The Marshall home and his brick factory, with its drying kiln, were both close to Salt Creek [south of Osage City].”
Margaret died in 1913 and Samuel in 1914. Both, along with Edwin, were buried in Osage City Cemetery, as were Hattie and William in later years.
Nelson Holder Ritchie arrived in the Topeka Kansas area around 1860, coming over from western Missouri. Born Nelson Holder in what was later Lawrence County Missouri,he was a man of mixed race who was listed as "white", "black" or "colored" in various census and Civil War Draft Registration records. It has been the subject of discussion amongst Nelson's descendants that he may have been part Cherokee. According to one daughter, "He was a very good looking man over six feet tall, about 200 hundred pounds, black curly hair, a good clean man." Nelson told his descendants that he was raised by an old Scotch lady, as his mother died when he was a baby and his father died before he was born.
Like so many of his peers in the 2nd Kansas Militia, Nelson narrowly escaped the Battle of Mockbee Farm and returned to Topeka, where he rejected an offer from John Ritchie to attend school. Nelson had decided that he would build a life in Kansas, but it would be on his terms. He worked hard, perhaps working construction on one of the numerous buildings sprouting up in the rapidly growing capitol of Kansas and by 1870 he had married and fathered a child. After his wife and child both died in 1871 (Nelson joked with his later family that he thought an old black mammy had poisoned them) Nelson persevered and moved to Great Bend Kansas where he owned and operated a hotel, complete with livery stables and carriages for hire. He remarried and raised quite a large family at Great Bend and in 1892 relocated to Bountiful Utah where he worked for the railroad for many years. His family continued to grow and Nelson was a good father and husband, passing on these enduring qualities to his loved ones before passing away in Bountiful in 1913 at the age of 72.
Nelson passed to the great beyond without giving many details of his experiences with the 2nd Kansas Militia to his friends and family. This seemed to be a common trait among these men who had come so close to death. He had made the most of his humble origins and endured to become the cornerstone of his family as it moved out west. And he found that not only would he be accepted in Kansas, but he would flourish.
Wallis W. True, Co. F
In May of 1864 Wallis True became a member of the 2nd Kansas Militia: a loosely formed Regiment of men from Shawnee County, most of whom had no military training. This Unit, which was formed in August of 1863 after the sacking of Lawrence, Kansas, drilled infrequently and was without weapons or uniforms. By the summer of 1864 the threat of Rebel invasion from the east was replaced by news of Indian uprisings to the west. Although the U.S. Army sent some cavalry units out to quell the Indian threat, Shawnee County was never in any danger and life went on as usual.
October of 1864 brought with it The Price Raid and Wallis and many of his neighbors who formed Company F from Big Springs joined the rest of the 2nd Kansas Militia as it left for Jackson County Missouri to defend the Border. When the 2nd KSM was overwhelmed by Jackman's Brigade at Mockbee Farm, Wallis was among the 70 or so men captured and forced to march roughly 200 miles the next seven days. Wallis survived the ordeal and returned to his family by the middle of November but was physically never the same man again.
Wallis True began to suffer from dysentery in the last days of his captivity in southern Missouri. After he returned to Big Springs he went under the care of Dr. W.H. Brown and waited for the symptoms to disappear, but they persisted and Wallis struggled from loss of appetite and lacked the strength necessary to perform his job as blacksmith. This "running off at the bowels" as it was called back then would have been a common illness among the prisoners from the 2nd KSM as most of them had to drink contaminated water at some point in their captivity. Doctors at the time didn't know the proper treatment for dysentery and Wallis continued to suffer, although he tried not to show it. He was a stubborn man and tried not to let it get the best of him.
In 1867 Wallis decided to go back to his farm in Benton County Arkansas and try to reclaim the life he had known before the War. His house and property were mostly destroyed but with the help of his friends and family he rebuilt it the way it was before. Wallis' health continued to decline though and he was without a Doctor's care until 1874, when he became completely disabled. This once strapping blacksmith and self-sufficient farmer would be forced to apply for help from the Government.
Wallis True finally applied for an Invalid Pension on March 24th, 1879 at the Benton County Courthouse. He stated in his Declaration for Pension that while in the service of the 2nd Kansas Militia he was taken prisoner and suffered the hardships of being exposed to the weather without proper clothing, was struck with the butt of a rifle above his eye by a guard and had contracted dyspepsia and chronic diarrhea which continued to the present day. He also said he had never been treated by a doctor while in the service. But Wallis had waited too long to file; in September of 1883 Wallis' attorney received a letter from the Commissioner of the Pension Office which stated that the cutoff date for filing a claim was July 4th, 1874.
Although Wallis was ineligible for a pension, he did file for and receive compensation of $240 for his livestock and corn that was stolen by the Rebels in 1862.
Through all of these travails Wallis True continued to be the cornerstone of his large family and although he never found relief from his illness which he contracted while a prisoner of war, he persevered. He passed away at his farm in 1907 at the age of 82, still a Union man.
George Veale's life story is impressive had he only been an average citizen of Topeka Kansas who performed courageously as the Colonel of the 2nd Kansas Militia during Price's Raid in October of 1864. The fact of the matter was that Col. Veale's accomplishments and contributions to Kansas made his military history just one of many distinctions which clustered around him
George Veale was born in Daviess County Indiana in 1833 and grew up working on his Father’s farm while attending school about three months a year until he turned 17. He then studied at Wabash College in Crawfordsville IN for two years before landing a job which would eventually lead him out west; he took charge of a steamboat laden with trade-goods and set out for the river-towns of the lower Mississippi River area. This experience led him to Evansville, IN where he worked in various capacities for Fielding Johnson, who owned a wholesale dry-goods business. It was here he met Fielding’s daughter Nancy and they were married in January of 1857. Fielding Johnson had traveled to Kansas Territory in 1856 and gave his consent for Nancy and George to marry if they would join him there. And so began their westward journey. George and Nancy Veale began their honeymoon by embarking on the Steamer “White Cloud” and traveling down the Ohio River, up the Mississippi past St Louis, then up the Missouri River past Kansas City and landing at Quindaro, Kansas Territory. Quindaro was a free-state settlement located on the site of present-day Kansas City, Kansas. Besides becoming a business partner of his Father-in-law, George quickly took the opportunity to become involved in civic life in the bustling new city, editing and publishing a newspaper and was appointed the first sheriff of Wyandotte County.
No amount of drilling would prepare Col. Veale and his men for the events of October 22nd, 1864 as they patrolled the area of the Big Blue River near Byrom's Ford, a few miles south of Westport Missouri. That afternoon around three o'clock, The 2nd Kansas Militia was smashed by a Confederate force many times it's number. After a pitched battle that lasted nearly an hour, the 2nd K.S.M. was finally dislodged from its holdout at a place called The Mockbee Farm and lost nearly 40 percent of its men. Veale's men fought with the toughness and bravery of a veteran unit and delayed the Rebels from using any advantage they might have gained earlier in the afternoon when they drove the Union forces north to defend Kansas City and Westport. While it is conjecture to say that Col. Veale and his 2nd K.S.M. kept General Price from invading Kansas, it is fact that they made the boldest stand and suffered the greatest loss on that day.
George Veale returned Topeka where he continued to help shape the future of Kansas. In 1865 he was one of the founders of Lincoln College, which became Washburn University. He also helped found the National Bank of Topeka and served as its vice-president. In 1866, because of his tact and sound judgment of land values, he was appointed by the Governor of Kansas to be commissioner for the sale of railroad lands in Kansas. He owned a newspaper, The Topeka Commonwealth, and was instrumental in the creation of the Topeka Library. He was a member of the first Kansas legislature under the Leavenworth constitution, serving two terms in the state senate during 1867 and 1868, and served fourteen years in the lower house of the state legislature beginning in 1871. During the grasshopper plague of the early 1870’s, George Veale let the customers of his hardware store buy at cost & on credit so they could quickly rebuild their farms and their lives. Colonel Veale built the Veale block on Quincy Street in Topeka and also built many other business buildings on Kansas Avenue, besides more than one hundred residences. He had receipts to show that he had paid Shawnee County more than $100,000.00 in taxes.
Colonel Veale gained the title of the Grand Old Man of Kansas. He was revered by all classes of people for the services he rendered his city and State in almost every line of public activity. One biographer has said, “When history’s perspective rearranges the men and events of today and yesterday according to the parts they played in the formation of the State, the name of Colonel George W. Veale undoubtedly will be among those at the top of the list. The name of Colonel George W. Veale, Topeka newspaper man, banker, railroad builder, college founder, lobbyist at Washington, debater, legislator, merchant, philanthropist, Indian fighter, pioneer, soldier, recognized leader in all civic endeavor belongs to the annals of Topeka and Kansas.”
Colonel George Veale was all these things and more, but what I will remember him for is his bravery and leadership in battle at the Mockbee Farmhouse on 22 October, 1864. Rest in peace, brave soldier.