The Battle of The Blue

The Battle of The Blue
Rebel forces charge the Topeka Battery at Mockbee farm, original painting by Benjamin Mileham

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

John Freeland, Company B: A Daring Escape

  John Sedwick Freeland found himself in a dangerous predicament: he had just been taken captive by Confederate forces after a pitched battle at the Mockbee farmhouse and was trying to follow the instructions of his desperate captors, who had already killed several unarmed prisoners after the battle.  Would he risk that fate or attempt escape?  He had only a split second to decide. 
  John Freeland was a native of Owens County Indiana, where he was born of pioneer stock in 1826. Seeking cheaper land to the west, John migrated to Illinois in 1847 and then to Kansas in November 1854, settling in Shawnee County.  He was one of the first to arrive at the Monmouth Township and his farm eventually grew to 160 acres.  In 1857 John returned to Illinois to marry his sweetheart, Mary Jane Lindsey and the couple returned to Shawnee County and the farm where they would raise 10 children together. 
  In October 1864 John and his neighbors were called upon to defend Kansas from the threat of the Confederate Army under General Sterling Price.  John became a private in the 2nd Kansas Militia, Company B and was sent across the Missouri-Kansas border to the Big Blue River, where the 300 men of the 2nd would be on guard for the Rebel invasion.  
  On 22 October, the 2nd Kansas Militia was the only thing that stood between the Confederate Army and the Kansas border as the rest of the Union Army had fled north to protect Westport, Missouri.  John Freeland and the rest of the 2nd Regiment were out numbered  and finally out-flanked by the streaming Rebel horde after a battle lasting nearly an hour and order quickly dissolved into chaos .  Rebel Cavalry rode among the fleeing Kansans, attempting to round them up for capture. Some men were disarmed and shot at point-blank range and at least one negro teamster had his throat cut.  In the middle of this storm was John, still holding the reigns of his horse.  What happened next was described in the book, " William G. Cutler's History of Kansas" which featured a biographical sketch of John:   "Made his escape in a novel way. He still held to his horse after capture and having his equipment covered by a citizen's coat that he wore, the Confederates being hotly engaged and wanting all their men, put him on guard duty guarding the prisoners, thinking him one of their men. He accepted the charge willingly, and while their attention was engaged by the action going on, he stole away with his horse and a good shot-gun that a rebel gave him to guard the prisoners, going through a cornfield, and made his escape."   Thanks to his audacity and quick thinking, John spared himself the innumerable hardships he would have suffered had he remained a prisoner.  

                                               J.S Freeland's home in Monmouth Kansas
                                                                              photo courtesy of  Sherrie Warner

  John Freeland remained in Shawnee County another forty years, improving his farm and raising his family.  In the early 1900's John and MaryJane moved to Kingfisher, Oklahoma, following two of their daughters and their families.  John died there in 1922 at the age of 91.
   While researching John Freeland I came across some reminiscences he gave to the Kansas State Historical Society concerning slavery in the Kansas Territory in the 1850's.  This is an interesting insight into Kansas history in John's own words.  Link

Friday, October 12, 2012

Roswell Rose, Co. D: A Family Link and a Discovery.

  Prior to February of 2011, I had no idea that the 2nd Kansas Militia existed or that my Great Great Grandfather, John Francis Bell, had been a private in Company D from Indianola Kansas.   That all changed when I was contacted by a fellow member named Mike Deming.  Mike sent me an e-mail which suggested a link between us: it appeared that his Great Grandmother was the sister of my Great Great Grandmother and that the families were neighbors in Elmont Kansas for many years.  As I studied the two family trees, Mike also mentioned that his Great Grandmother Cynthia Rose had been married to a man named Roswell Rose and that Roswell had fought in a Civil War battle called "The Battle of the Blue".   This fact didn't really mean very much to me; I didn't even know where the battle had been fought. I decided to follow up on Roswell though; I began by Googling the name "Roswell Rose" and a wonderful thing appeared on my computer screen - it was a file contributed by a U.S.Genweb archivist from the book, "History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens".  More specifically it was chapter seven, which was entitled, "Repelling the Price Raid—Second Kansas State Militia—Preparations for War in Topeka—The Home Guards—The Battle of the Blue—Colonel Veale's Regiment in the Conflict—Capt. Ross Burns and His Famous Battery—The Gage Monument." Link   As I read and reread the file, I experienced a strange sensation.  I knew that my ancestor John Bell had been in the Civil War and I was sensing a connection here. Up until this point the only thing I knew about John's service was that he "Was in the Civil War," something that my Grandfather (also named John Bell) had told a family member before he died in 1996.  I kept searching through the file and found Roswell Rose's name in Company D of the "Second Militia Regiment".  I glanced up the page slightly I noticed another name in Company D - "Bell" jumped off the page at me, the first name in the row. Up one row and to the right I saw the initials J.F. and put it together - "J.F.Bell".  I was nearly certain that I had found my G.G.Grandfather John Francis Bell.  I began to read the story of the 2nd Kansas Militia closely now and I realized that this was a special unit, at least as far as Kansas History is concerned.  It appears that they had sacrificed themselves to protect their adopted home state and that many had been killed, wounded and captured. As these thoughts all raced around my mind it occurred to me how lucky I had been to have been led to this discovery. Soon afterward I found the eye-witness account of the "Battle of the Blue" written by Samuel Reader and thus this blog was born.  
    Mike Deming continued his correspondence with me and had much to share.  He provided me not only with the story of the Rose family but many old photos, including one of J.F. Bell and his family taken in the 1880's.  The Rose and Bell families eventually lost contact with one another, but thanks to Mike they have been reunited and their history brought to light.

                            Roswell Rose with his children in front of their home in Elmont Kansas, about 1898
                                                       photo courtesy of Mike Deming

                      The following biography of Roswell Rose was written by Mike Deming.

                                               Roswell Rose (1833-1914) Co. D
   Roswell was born in New York State in 1833.  His family moved to the La Porte County area of Indiana between 1833 and1838. His father died about 1839 and his mother remarried. Roswell spent time as an indentured servant about age 18 for an unknown period of time learning to be a barrel maker and obtaining some schooling.   He and the two older brothers, Elisha and Milton moved to Shawnee County, Kansas about 1857 homesteading near Soldier Creek.  He farmed and worked as a bookkeeper, toll bridge keeper, freighter for several years and enlisted with the Kansas State Militia probably in October 1864, but may have been in the unit as early as 1862.  He served with the KSM Second Regiment in company D, a cavalry unit.  He had to furnish his own horse and was present at the “Battle of the Blue”.  He and parts of the Company did see some action, but when things looked grim for the Second they were ordered to leave with haste and it was every man for himself. He headed for home, but his horse was stolen before he arrived at Indianola.  Roswell married in 1865 having eight children of which six survived to adulthood.  Roswell died in 1914 in Topeka, Kansas.   

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Alfred S. Roberts, Co. F and the Battle of Locust Grove

 As I started researching the lives of the men of the 2nd Kansas Militia, I discovered "William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas".  While reading through the bios of  many of these men, I realized the battle in which they fought at the Mockbee farmhouse had  been given a name back in the 1800's: it was then called  "the Battle of Locust Grove".   With the passage of time this moniker has all but disappeared and the "Battle of the Blue" has been the title given to this battle and the many other actions and skirmishes that took up most of 22 October 1864 near the Big Blue River, Missouri.  The "Battle of Locust Grove" eventually became lost in the bigger picture of the Battle of Westport, fought the following day at nearly the same place.  The fact that Union forces won the Battle of Westport was  partly due to the stubborn resistance of the 2nd Kansas Militia at the Battle of Locust Grove the day previous. 
   The subject of this sketch from Cutler's History of Kansas is Alfred Roberts, who was a private in Co. F and fought at the Battle of Locust Grove. Alfred migrated to Kansas in 1856 and was witness to the border "troubles" which plagued the Kansas/Missouri border in the years preceding the Civil War.  No doubt he had many stories to tell.
ALFRED S. ROBERTS, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 22, P. O. Big Springs, Douglas County. Owns 170 acres, fifty under cultivation, fifty in pasture, sixty in meadow and eleven in timber. He has thirty head of cattle. Came to Kansas in the spring of 1856 with his parents, his father locating on the section west of this. When he was of age he bought and improved a quarter section west of his father, but sold out and went to Chautauqua County in 1869, and remained there eight years, improving a tract of land and dealing extensively in stock, but having lost two children and his family being in poor health, he sold out and went to Colorado for his health. Came back to Leavenworth County, bought eighty acres of land, improved it, sold out and came to his present location in 1880. Has held all the different positions on the school board as well as township. Was in the State militia during the Price raid and was with his command at the engagements on the Big Blue and Locust Grove, in Missouri. He made his escape by having a good horse and taking desperate chances. Mr. R. was born in Ohio, January 7, 1841, and came from there to Kansas. He was married August 23, 1868, to Miss Ellen Crum, and has one child, Rosa. He is a member and elder of the Christian Church. Mr. Roberts' farm was the scene of a bloodless affray during the troublous times of 1856. A party of Texas Rangers came suddenly over a hill on the east side of his farm, but halted at seeing a few men and boys who had met hunting for stray horses. Among them was Mr. R., who on seeing the Rangers started to run, thinking they would make a charge on them, but the Texas Rangers, thinking they were the advance of Lane's men and that they were trying to draw them into pursuit, made a precipitate retreat, never stopping until they had reached the Kansas River.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Private John P. Majors, Co. D: “I Wish the Federal Line Would Wash Right Over Us”

                                             John Pollard Majors (courtesy of Jon Totten)
  John Majors was a natural born wanderer who traveled halfway across the continent in order to join the 2nd Kansas Militia in the summer of 1864.  Unlike most of the other men of Company D from Indianola Kansas, John migrated to Kansas at the beginning of the War for the specific reason of fighting for his country.
  The journey of John Majors began in Wayne County Kentucky, where he was born in 1822.  Like many others at the time, John’s family sought the cheap land and freedom of the western frontier and when he was still a child they had migrated up the Mississippi River to Morgan County, Illinois.  After John’s father died in the early 1840’s, the family moved once again upriver to Mahaska County Iowa where the Majors family claimed a large land tract in the Scott Township.  During a land dispute that erupted between the Major’s and other local citizens, John and his older brother Jacob were taken by a mob to Knoxville Tennessee where they were tarred, feathered and told they must abide by the rules of the land claim association. Undaunted, John returned to Iowa where he met Ezilda Norton and they were married in 1848.  The couple traveled by wagon to California during the Gold Rush but returned to Mahaska County after a short time penniless. After the birth of their first two children, John and his wife decided to try California again - this time with John taking over as Postmaster of Visalia.  John however grew restless with the start of the Civil War and by the early 1860’s the Majors family had travelled back toward the conflict, settling in Burlington Kansas.  
  John had a profound desire to protect the Union and when he heard that a Militia had been formed in nearby Shawnee County he traveled north from Burlington and arrived in Topeka in the middle of June, 1864. He enlisted in the 2nd Kansas Militia, Company D under the command of Captain Sterling Miles.  John Majors was prepared to give his life for the Union cause but instead received what could be thought of as a much crueler fate.
 On the afternoon of 22 October,1864 after the 2nd KSM was defeated at the Battle of Mockbee Farm, John Majors found himself and about 75 other men prisoners under the command of Confederate General Jo Shelby.  These men spent an uneasy night next to the Confederate field hospital and were forced to flee the next day along with the Rebel Army as it drove south toward the Arkansas border. The prisoners were forced to run most of their waking hours and many had inadequate shoes or clothing. John and the others were given very little food or water during the march and by 25 October several had already become seriously ill from fatigue and dehydration. John noticed however that the pursuing Federal forces had gotten very near to the rear of the fleeing Confederate Army and his spirits began to lift. “I wish the Federal line would wash right over us; I’d die right here to see it done.  These words were recalled by fellow prisoner Sam Reader and attributed to John Majors. John's wish was not to be however and the men from the 2nd were hurried south faster than ever, listening to the sounds of the Battle of Mine Creek fade off in the distance.
  Just after noon on October 28th, John and his comrades straggled into Newtonia Missouri, nearly two hundred miles south from where they had started six days earlier. Although a few had escaped, there were still about 75 men who remained captive and most of these could barely walk.  Just as Federal troops once again attacked Shelby’s Division, the General himself appeared and ordered the prisoners to be paroled.  Everyone hastily signed an oath saying they would not take up arms against the Confederacy and then without further ado were left to themselves, barely alive but free.  A Federal search party found them the next day and it seemed to the prisoners from the 2nd Kansas Militia that their ordeal had come to an end.
                             I found this scan of John Majors parole paper on 
    John Majors returned to his family in Burlington Kansas by mid November but was never the same man again.  He, like most of the others who had survived the long march, was suffering from some type of chronic illness; in John’s case “jaundice and general debility” were the symptoms.  It is likely he contracted hepatitis at some point during his captivity and his body began to fail him little by little.  He passed away on the evening of 3 April, 1877 at the home of his brother in Stewartsville, Missouri.  Much later, John’s wife Ezilda filed for a widows pension but it was refused; the government could find no record of John’s service.
  John Majors volunteered for the 2nd Kansas Militia to help preserve the Union which he so dearly loved.  Although he suffered and died as a result of it, I believe that deep in his heart he was satisfied with the result of his sacrifice and I hope he shall always be remembered for it.   

Monday, July 30, 2012

Robert McNown, Co. D: "His Body Was Found Well to the Front"

   During the course of creating this blog I have come across descendants of soldiers of the 2nd Kansas Militia, including those of Robert McNown from Company D.  Robert was an early homesteader in Kansas, arriving at the pro-slavery town of Indianola in 1854.  Although nothing is left of the town these days, Robert left his mark on the area by way of his stubborn conviction that Kansas should be a free-state, a conviction that eventually cost him his life. Among Robert McNown's descendants are the McNown and Zwickel families, who provided most of the information for this biography.

  Robert McNown was born on the Isle of Man in 1814 and moved with his family to Rawdon, Quebec, Canada when he was still a child.  Robert left home about age 18 and found work on a British whaler; due to the severity of discipline aboard that vessel he left for a French whaler where he learned his trade well and soon became first mate.  Deciding to settle down, Robert came to Racine, Wisconsin where he met Sarah Drought and married her on 9 March, 1845.  Weary of the harsh winters in Wisconsin, Robert travelled to Kansas in 1854 and selected his claim, which grew to be 320 acres just east of the Indianola town site.  The main structure on the property was a rectangular two room log cabin – a holdover from the Delaware Indian Reservation and the dwelling which would serve the McNown family for many years. 
   By 1858 the entire McNown family had arrived in Kansas and soon realized they lived amongst many who believed Kansas should be admitted to the Union as a slave state.  Robert had very strong anti-slavery sentiments and was jailed briefly in 1860 for his stance on this subject.  With Kansas' admission to the Union as a free state in 1861, it seemed that Robert and his family could now get down to the business of working and growing their farm.  By October 1864 however, the Civil War was still raging and the Confederate Army, led by General Sterling Price, had invaded Missouri and was heading directly towards Kansas.  Robert joined Company D of the 2nd Kansas Militia and left with about 300 of his Shawnee County neighbors for Jackson County Missouri, where they were placed to defend the border.  As with his brother John at Shiloh two years earlier, Robert was killed on the field of battle at the Battle of the Big Blue River near the Mockbee farmhouse on 22 October, 1864.  Late in the afternoon of 23 October, burial parties moved through the battlefield and reported that they found the body of Robert McNown well to the front, which did not surprise those who knew him.  Robert and fourteen other men from the 2nd killed in battle that day eventually were returned to Topeka and buried in a special section at the Topeka Cemetery, reserved for those who paid the price of freedom that long ago day.  He left behind his wife Sarah and nine children, a tenth child born after his passing.  info.courtesy of the McNown/Zwickel families 

                                          photo courtesy Kansas State Historical Society 
Photo taken on the property of Sam Reader in 1904 includes the son of Robert McNown: From left, John McNown (14 years old at the time of his fathers death), John Armstrong (Topeka Battery), Sam Reader (Company Quartermaster), Henry Winans (2nd Lt. Co. H), and Jacob Orcutt, 5th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry

Friday, June 29, 2012

Samuel Marshall, Company B: Another Muster Role Discovery

                                                        Sam Marshall in the 1870"s
                                                                           photo courtesy of Jeff Phillips

   A few months ago a gentleman named Greg Marshall contacted me about his Great Grandfather, a man named Samuel Marshall.   Greg had come across an obituary for Sam that stated,  In November 1862, he removed to Topeka and reenlisted with Captain Hunton, Co B, Kansas Second State Militia.  While Greg was researching the 2nd KSM he came across this blog and was hopeful of finding Sam's name on the roster. Although Sam's name wasn't there, he did notice a Captain Huntoon in Co. B and sensed he was on the right track.  After exchanging e-mails with me, Greg wisely contacted the Kansas State Historical Society and ordered the muster role for the 2nd Kansas Militia, Co. B.
   The muster role revealed that Samuel Marshal had indeed been enlisted in co. B on 10 October, 1864 and also that he been detached for service at Topeka – meaning that he was one of thirteen soldiers from company B assigned to remain at Topeka and protect the city should the Rebels break through into Kansas.  These men were part of a large force of Militia that stayed in or near the City and were chosen due to the lateness which they arrived at Topeka or because they did not possess a reliable horse.  Sam and the rest of the Militia remained at their posts until they finally received word on Monday, 24 October that the Rebel Army had fled south.  As the balance of the 2nd KSM straggled home, Sam and his fellow soldiers gave what assistance they could to these men and their families - the sense of unity and loss was very palpable as Topeka struggled to recover from the blows it suffered at the Mockbee Farmhouse.     
   The following brief biography is a tribute not only to Samuel Marshall, but the many other men and women who remained at Topeka during Price’s Raid in October,1864 when the fate of Kansas hung in the balance.
    Samuel Marshall was born on December 11, 1837, near Oberlin, OH, into a family that had emigrated from Lincolnshire, England, two years previously.  In 1842, the family moved to southern Wisconsin and acquired farmland northeast of Lake Geneva.  As a young man, Samuel traveled to California during the Gold Rush with his older brother and later accompanied his father to New York City.  In 1857, Samuel came to Kansas, living briefly in Leavenworth, Lawrence, and Topeka, before settling in Breckinridge County, now called Lyon County.  In April 1860, he was married to Martha Jane Courtney.  The couple had two daughters, Allah Nora and Emma Jane, before moving to Topeka in 1862. 
  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 [1962].  . . . 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.  
   Thanks to Greg Marshall for not only submitting the main body of Samuel’s bio but providing the impetus for me to acquire the muster roles of the 2nd Kansas Militia.  Without these roles coming to light the names of the "other" Men of the 2nd KSM would have remained buried in a microfilm canister.

 From thePAYROLL of Captain Huntoon’s Company B of the (cavalry) second Regiment, Kansas State Militia, Colonel George W. Veale, from the 10th day of October, 1864 to the 30th day of October, 1864

 “Detached service at Topeka:”

 1st Corporal Jacob Willets
Pvt. Byron Jewell
Pvt. George Ludington
Pvt. Samuel Mulligan
Pvt. Samuel Marshall
Pvt. Hiram McArthur
Pvt. A. Palmer
Pvt. W.H. Ragland
Pvt. Gabriel Wright
Pvt. William Young
Pvt. David Young
Pvt. Samuel Reese
Pvt. Patrick Tighe

Monday, May 28, 2012

Reverend Richard E. Taylor and the "Kansas Alamo"

  Reverend Richard E.Taylor, who passed away in February of this year, was a preservationist of Kansas history and author of the book "I Love Kansas". Besides saving numerous historic structures from the wrecking ball, Rev. Taylor also attempted to save Kansas History from fading to obscurity, including the story of the 2nd Kansas Militia. He believed that the stand made by the 2nd KSM at the Mockbee Farmhouse should be remembered as the "Kansas Alamo" and was often the subject of newspaper articles where he voiced his beliefs about the rich history of Kansas that was in danger of being forgotten. The following article from the Topeka Capitol-Journal was published Memorial Day Weekend, 1998.   

The Reverend Richard Taylor plans on Monday to honor the Kansas militiamen who kept the confederates from invading the state in October 1864 with a speech at Enterpise Cemetery in Dickinson County.

The Capital-Journal
  John Branner had been wounded in the left elbow by rebel fire and was bleeding badly, but he refused to leave the 22-man crew of the Topeka Battery serving the unit's only gun -- a huge 24-pound brass howitzer, emplaced in a narrow lane just north of the Mockbee house on the way to Westport.
  Twice already the men of Gordon's Regiment, Col. Sidney D. Jackman's Brigade, of Gen. Jo Shelby's Confederate cavalry division had come thundering down the lane six abreast. Each time, the Kansas gunners opened fire at 100 yards' range, shredding them with canister shot.
  Every round was marked with the blood of the 43-year-old German immigrant, the only veteran in the battery.
   The howitzer crew been hurrying north along the lane from Russell's Ford when they were fired upon from a locust grove and orchard east of the Mockbee barn. It was late Saturday afternoon, Oct. 22, 1864, and Lt. Gen. Sterling "Old Pap" Price was swinging west toward Kansas after a raid from Arkansas deep into Missouri.
  Capt. Ross Burns ordered the heavy gun unlimbered, double-canister loaded, and fired into the grove over open sights. The cannon roared and the rebels scrambled back to the north over the ridge and out of sight, about where Watertower Park is today, at 75th and Holmes Road in Kansas City, Mo.
  Burns then ordered the gun relaid and fire resumed on the mass of Shelby's men, assembling several hundred yards downslope to the north.
   As he did so, Col. G.W. Veale arrived with the whole of the Second Regiment, Kansas State Militia -- nearly 300 volunteers. They promptly formed in line of battle -- just in time to receive the Confederates' first charge. The Kansans' first line broke under fire and some fled, but order was restored and the unit held its ground for the rest of the action, nearly an hour total.
   The short and dashing Shelby's action was typical. A wealthy Waverly, Mo., planter and hemp producer and one of the South's finest cavalry commanders, he sent flanking columns out to the left and right and ordered a charge by double columns, nearly 2,000 or 3,000 men.
   This third charge overran the Kansas militia, killing 24, wounding 20 more and capturing 68 prisoners along with the gun and 100 badly scared farm horses.
  It cost the Missourians 43 dead and wounded.
  Jackman's men -- mostly Vernon County who had already been at war with Kansas for eight long years -- nearly beat Burns to death with their carbine butts, leaving the young lawyer unconscious and bleeding in the dirt.
  The prisoners were herded into the yard of a nearby farmhouse for the night, without cover. Guilford G. Gage, for whom Gage Park and Gage Boulevard were named, said later he held the unconscious Burns in his arms like a child throughout the cold night. About 2 a.m. the Confederates came looking for him, and took him in charge until after the war.
   Branner had been wounded again in the head and severely in the right arm, which a Confederate surgeon wanted to amputate. Branner refused. A shoemaker and owner of a highly successful Topeka boot and shoe factory, Branner had joined the militia after his whole work force quit to do the same. He was never again able to work with both arms -- but he kept them.
  The list of unwounded prisoners included Dr. J.A. Huntoon, captain of Company B and the man for whom Huntoon Street is named; Samuel J. Reader, an Indianola farmer who later painted a series of oils depicting the engagement; and a number of men from Topeka, Tecumseh, Indianola, Big Springs, Auburn and Monmouth. One, Lt. Hiram Ward, later died from ill treatment while a prisoner.
   They were lucky. It wasn't unusual for both sides to shoot prisoners, and in fact the captured Kansans had been lined up alongside their blackened and silent cannon -- each confronted by a mounted Missouri cavalryman with revolver in hand, ready to fire. Then Shelby appeared, and put a stop to it.
  But Ben Hughes, the battery teamster, who was black, lay dead in the lane, his throat cut from ear to ear. Lt. William H. Delong was still shot after surrender and died of his wounds in Kansas City. A man named Race from Company A was also shot and died next day. Lt. Col. H. M. Greene was stripped of his clothes and shot three times. Dr. Huntoon, a witness, spurred his horse and tried to escape, but failed.
   All that day, the Confederate cavalry screen had been probing for a suitable crossing of the Big Blue River, producing a series of brief, sharp encounters with Union detachments guarding the major fords. Each time, the rebels retired to look elsewhere. In the rear, time was running out for Price's 30,000 men and his train of 600 wagons.
  After a four-hour battle Sunday morning, Price abandoned his plan of invading Kansas. Instead the rebels turned south, beginning their long retreat back to Arkansas.
  It was a nightmare trip for the prisoners. The Confederates, in hard circumstances themselves, helped themselves to the Kansans' boots and shoes. The militia had been 10 days without a change of clothing already, and hadn't eaten well.
  Now they were divided into parcels of eight, each parcel sandwiched between fours of cavalry riding abreast, and compelled to double-time to avoid being trampled. They marched 40 to 50 miles every 24 hours with little water and less food.
  Gage, recalling it all years later, said they had only a single handful of dry coarse flour between a dawn breakfast Saturday -- before the fight -- and Wednesday night, after he and two other men, J.A. Polley and Nelson Young, escaped 15 or 16 miles east of Fort Scott. They crawled most of the way to Fort Scott to avoid discovery.

 "I am not sure that I knew, during at least a part of the time, precisely what I was doing. The fact is that we all came near to death by exhaustion and thirst; and I, perhaps, no nearer than any other man." He called much of the experience "vague; something like a half-forgotten dream."
  By 6 p.m. Wednesday the prisoners and their cavalry escort were in Carthage, in southwestern Missouri, where seven of the exhausted men were simply left, and an equally exhausted Confederate was hanged from an apple tree.
Horace G. Lyons, a grandson of a Boston Tea Party participant and a Berryton area farmer, escaped near Lamar. Shelby released the rest at Newtonia, 20 miles south of Carthage and 80 miles from their point of capture, eight days after the fight. They spent that night huddled together in the snow for warmth, and found other federals the next day.
  People now seldom pause to remember that Memorial Day started as an occasion to honor the valiant dead of the Civil War, says the Rev. Richard E. Taylor Jr., who lives in the stone house that Lyons built in 1860 southeast of Topeka.
Taylor plans to remedy that at 10 a.m. Monday, when he speaks at Dickinson County's Enterprise cemetery, a mile south of his hometown. "They're going to get the full load," declared Taylor, fresh from researching the role played by the gallant band of Topeka artillerymen.
   He has concluded the battle they gave Shelby at the Big Blue was likely the last critical element preventing Price's army from entering Kansas.

Memorial Day has been a national holiday since 1868, and today there are battle dead of many more wars to honor -- five of them major.
   Still, this is a good time to remember those who died in America's most terrible conflict; a war that cost the lives of one Southern soldier in three and one Northern soldier in six.
  Gage certainly thought so. After fruitlessly begging the Legislature to memorialize his fallen comrades for decades, the brick factory owner finally spent $10,000 from his own pocket to do precisely that.

   It rained in East Topeka Cemetery the morning of May 30, 1895, but at noon a bright sun emerged. An hour later, a handful of survivors dedicated a tall monument honoring the Kansas militiamen killed at the Blue, where most of them slept nearby.

It stands there today.

Copyright 1998 The Topeka Capital-Journal

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Oh Moses, Who Art Thou?

  As I was researching Moses Banks of the 2nd Kansas Militia and why he was added to the muster role of "Company D of the colored troops, irregular service" after his death, I discovered something strange on the muster role for Co. D from Indianola.  The far right hand column of the role entitled "remarks" listed among those killed at the Mockbee farmhouse a private named Moses Kellis.  I knew that this man was never listed among those killed that day and was not among the wounded or prisoners for that matter.  I now began to search for traces of this man in the various places that I seek facts about those who lived long ago:,, Find A Grave. Nothing.  Next I Googled him and again came up empty.  The only paper/cyber trail that Moses Kellis seemed to have left was as a member of the 2nd Kansas Militia in a handful of books devoted to Kansas history. These books appear to have acquired the roster of the 2nd KSM from the same muster roles that I did - It seemed as if Moses Kellis had never existed, save the one document.  One last fact about the muster role of Co. D: Moses Banks name was not on it.
   I was left to conclude that Moses Kellis and Moses Banks were one and the same.  But why would this man enlist in Co. D of the 2nd Kansas Militia on 10 October,1864 under an assumed name?  Why would his real name then be added to the muster role of a different Company a year and a half after he was killed in battle?  Who filed this affidavit?
   There are several possible answers to these questions but my theory is this: Moses Banks was a recent freedman, in all likelyhood escaping slavery in Missouri.  When it became clear that Kansas was in danger of invasion by the Confederates, he decided that he wanted to be part of the fighting.  Had he enlisted in the "Colored" Militia from Shawnee County he knew that he would have been relegated to serving with the Home Guard and not been in the thick of the action.  He talked to the Captain of Company D (Sterling Miles) and convinced Captain Miles to take him on as a regular private, not as a teamster or a cook.  But why did Moses Banks sign on as "Moses Kellis"?   Because he knew he would be venturing back to a place where, if captured, he would be considered mere property. In other words, Moses Banks decided that he would give his life for his freedom but he would never be the property of another man again.  Should he be captured, his alias would make it harder to trace his former owner.
   Moses Banks did ultimately give his life that day at Mockbee Farm and now a problem arose for the family he left behind: how would they receive compensation for the death of a phantom?  Moses' family would be eligible not only for the pay he had accrued while he was alive but also a widow's pension. Thus on 25 May,1866 his name was added to the muster role of the "Colored" Militia from Shawnee County, based on the affidavit of someone who knew the true facts of Moses Banks enlistment.  I believe the former Captain of Co. D Sterling Miles came forward - not only so Moses' family would be compensated for his service, but so his name would be rightly recognized among the men who had died so their neighbors would have the right to live free.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Muster Roles of the 2nd Kansas Militia

  I recently sent for and received the original muster roles of the 2nd Kansas Militia from the Kansas State Historical Society.  These roles provide a wealth of information about the men who volunteered to fight for Shawnee county and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they also contained the full rosters of the companies who didn't fight in the Battle of the Blue. Previously mentioned in this blog only as "home defenders", these companies were part of the 2nd KSM but remained in Topeka to protect the city in case General Price's Army of Missouri broke through and invaded Kansas.  In order to properly identify these mostly unrecognized members of the 2nd Kansas Militia I will reorganize the roster section of this blog and attempt to clarify the rosters of each company during their deployment.

  The muster roles provide information such as where each man joined and was sworn in, the number of days served, pay per day (53 and 1/3 cents on average) and remarks such as if they had been killed, wounded or taken prisoner.  Of interest to me was the muster role of  "Company D of the colored troops, irregular service" under the command of Captain Thomas Archer.  Although there is no indication that this unit saw action at the Big Blue River, there was a familiar name added to the very end of the role: Moses Banks.  Moses had been previously given credit as being a member of Co. D from Indianola and was one of the men historically listed as killed in action. This remark was included on the muster role next to Moses name: "Killed in action Oct 22,1864 Big Blue, Mo, as per annexed affidavit (Name added May 25th, 1866)  Affidavit on file."
  Perhaps "Company D of the colored troops, irregular service" was attached to the 2nd KSM and was  at the Mockbee farm that day.  The muster role doesn't offer much more except this conclusion signed by Adj. General James Hughes on August 26th, 1907: "The muster roles and the payroll of this Co. do not show the Regt. or Col. but there is signed affidavit showing that it belonged to the Second Regt."

Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Collection At

  One of the first resources I discovered when I found out about the story of the 2nd Kansas Militia was a website called Kansas Memory.  Kansas Memory uses primary sources from the Kansas State Historical Society and does a great job organizing these resources by category.  It was at this website where I came across the diary of Samuel Reader - more specifically, the volume of Reader's diary which relates his experiences as a member of the 2nd Kansas Militia. Sam was  the Quartermaster for the 2nd and a lifelong diary keeper. His account provided many essential details for this blog which couldn't be found anywhere else and the Kansas Memory website featured all of its 364 original images.  A text only version of the diary is available, which was a huge time saver for ease in reading.   The drawings which Reader included in this diary greatly enhanced it and I have sprinkled these illustrations liberally throughout the blog - with permission from the KSHS of course. 

   It is a good idea to check Kansas Memory often, as they are constantly adding resources and content.  Yesterday I found yet another hand-written book kept by Sam Reader but it wasn't one of his diaries.  It turns out that Sam was also the secretary for a group of survivors from the 2nd Kansas Militia called " The Society of the Anniversary of the Battle of the Blue". link  This group was organized in May of 1895 at the occasion of the donation of a  monument to the Topeka Cemetery by Guilford Gage.  The Society elected officers and was to meet each year on the 22nd of October to promote keeping the memory of the Battle alive.  The book contains the minutes from each meeting and also vital records such as the roster of the 2nd K.S.M., addresses of survivors and a list of those men who passed away the previous year.  The society apparently faded to obscurity as it lost its members to old age.   
   Lovers of history are fortunate that websites such as Kansas Memory exist.  Without this particular resource, chances are I might have decided not to tackle writing this blog for lack of primary sources.  Lovers of Kansas history are also fortunate that Sam Reader was such a compulsive diarist.  Thanks Sam.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Colonel George W. Veale: One of the Makers of History in Kansas


      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. 
   George quickly realized that transportation systems for hauling goods and people weren’t yet fully developed in Kansas and so he decided to help organize some.  He drove ox-teams loaded with goods from his store to nearby Missouri and became part owner of the steamboat “Otis Webb” which carried goods and services to the many towns springing up along the Kansas and Missouri Rivers.  George also signed the call for the first Kansas Railroad Convention in 1860 and was involved in the organization of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. 
   These first years after George and Nancy Veale arrived in Kansas were prosperous, but danger was lurking in the background: The Border Troubles.  The area was rife with conflict long before the Civil War officially began and although George preferred to stay out of these “troubles” he wasn’t about to let ruffians of any ilk disrupt the progress which he had help achieve.  During the summer of 1861 George raised a company which became part of the 4th Kansas Volunteer Infantry and was commissioned its captain in June of 1861.  Reassigned to the 6th Kansas Cavalry, he rose to the rank of Major and mustered out in 1863 and relocated to Topeka, which was the Capitol of the newly created state of Kansas.  During these times of Border Warfare it became necessary for men to remain close to their families and this point was driven home in August 1863 with the destruction of nearby Lawrence, Kansas.  In May of 1864 George Veale replaced R.A. Randlett as Colonel of the 2nd Regiment of the Kansas State Militia and took control of the small band of farmers, tradesmen and businessman from the Topeka area.  They had no uniforms, weapons or other military equipment but Colonel Veale instilled the importance of being ready to fight in these men - and it stuck.  In October of 1864 when it became clear that the Confederate Army under General Sterling Price would threaten Kansas, the ranks of 2nd K.S.M. swelled to roughly 500 men.  These men became an organized unit under Col. Veale and his hand-picked officers in the three weeks which led up to a Battle which would severly test the Colonel's leadership and skill as a soldier.
  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 greatly felt the loss of his men who were killed, wounded and captured that day at Mockbee Farm.  Two days after the battle, Col. Veale returned to the area and located the rough burial places of 15 of the 24 men who were killed and saw to it that thay had coffins and were re-interred on Kansas soil.  They were re-buried at the Huron Cemetery in Wyandotte County, with Col. Veale paying the entire cost.  When it became certain that Kansas was safe from the Rebel threat the next month, Col. Veale again saw to the removal and re-interment of these men to Topeka, where they were given a heroe's funeral and a special place at the Topeka Cemetery.  In his official report of the battle, George Veale gave testament to the courage of all of his men, writing: “The courage of my men is deserving of the highest praise and valor and coolness displayed by my officers cannot be too highly recommended.” 

   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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wallis True: From Benton County to Big Springs and Back


Wallis True never intended to move to Kansas, but that was how things worked out.  Wallis was 37 years old in 1862 and did very well for himself as a farmer and a blacksmith on his farm, which was located 5 miles south of Bentonville, Arkansas.  He was an ardent Union man during the Civil War and it was because of his beliefs that he was forced to pack up his family and what few possessions they could carry and leave for Shawnee County Kansas in the fall of 1862.
   Ever since the War began the year previous Wallis had been targeted by local groups sympathetic to the Confederate cause: "You're with us or you're against us." - "Join the Rebel cause and your farm will remain safe."  He remained steadfast though and his reputation as a Union loyalist kept Wallis and his family in a perilous and uneasy existence.  Their farm was occasionally raided for corn and fodder by the marauding Rebel Units which haunted the area and Wallis was worried that they would all be killed.  Finally after one of these Bands took seven cows, a pig and three wagon-loads of shucked corn Wallis decided that was all he could take.  He and his wife Golda loaded up their children and a few possessions and headed for Shawnee County under the escort of Union General James G. Blunt and his command.  Soon after arriving in Shawnee County they moved to Big Springs in neighboring Douglas County and waited for the War to end.     

   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.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fort Simple and the Topeka Home Defenders

   In early October of 1864 while the 2nd Regiment of the Kansas Militia was awaiting the next move of General Price's Army near the Missouri border, a battalion of volunteers was organized to defend Topeka from Rebel invasion should they break the Union defences and cross over into Kansas.   Under the command of Major Andrew Stark of the 2nd KSM, these Home Guards were organized into Companies, trenches were dug and a small fort made from cottonwood logs was hastily erected in the middle of town. The only real firepower the Major could muster was one mountain howitzer, which was placed at the fort under the company commanded by Captain Tobias Billings.  As Price's Army drew nearer to the Border, the nervous citizens of Topeka hid their valuables as best they could and wondered if they were safe from the type of massacre which had occurred at nearby Lawrence only a year previously.  They were under the impression that if the Rebels did succeed in breaking the Union line, they would divide their forces into "raiding parties" and sack every town they came to, for they also believed these bands of Rebels blamed the citizens of Kansas for causing the War. 
   Just before noon on Sunday,the 23rd of October 1864, a solitary rider appeared on the horizon of the outskirts of Topeka and rapidly approached the stockade. Here he gave Major Stark a confused statement of Union defeat at the Big Blue River the day previous and the impending Confederate advance. The Major immediately gave the order for each captain to prepare his men for the coming battle and the force of nearly 300 untrained soldiers found their niches at the wall of the fort or their places in the trench.  There were also a few brave women who donned mens clothing without being asked and helped fill the gaps in the line. 
   The quiet Sunday afternoon slowly faded into evening and still there was no sign of invasion, or word from the front-line.  The sleepless Topekans passed the night in a miserable haze of anticipation, but nothing came. At nine o'clock the next morning (Monday) another lone horsemen appeared with the news that Price and his entire Army had been defeated near Westport Missouri the previous day and were retreating South down the State Line.
   The town of Topeka was spared in a sense that it was not physically assaulted but the mental punishment suffered by it's citizens was severe.  They now had to deal with the loss of the many men from the 2nd Regiment who died or suffered the lasting effects of injury or sickness caused by their imprisonment.  They were a hearty breed though and  soon most had moved on with their lives.  On July 3rd, 1869 an article appeared in the "Daily Kansas State Record" of Topeka which gives an almost cheery description of the Fort and the events surrounding it.

From the Daily Kansas State Record, Topeka, July 3, 1869.
"REMINISCENCES.-We are asked by many as to the meaning of the term "Ft. Simple." We will explain. In 1864 when "Pap" Price was on the border, it was thought not improbable but that he would overrun the State. There is but little doubt that he would have done so had it not been for the Kansas militia, who were ordered out en masse and met him at the Big Blue. Price's army there met a check, but at the sacrifice of many of our people, and among them twenty-two citizens of Shawnee county. During the time that Price was on the border, it was considered proper to take some measures to protect the city should any stragglers from Price's command come this way. For that purpose, logs about sixteen feet in length were set in the ground four feet deep at the corner of Kansas and Sixth avenues. They were set in the form of a circle, enclosing a space of about fifty feet in diameter. Holes were cut in the logs in different places, so that those inside could shoot out, should the ragamuffins come in on either of the streets. A cannon was also inside, and an opening left so it could be used if necessary. Happily there was no necessity for using the fortification, so it remained a mooted question whether it would have done any good or not if there had been any necessity for it. After about a year the logs were sawed off, leaving them about seven feet high, and some trees set out inside. About this time someone gave it the nickname of "Ft. Simple," which stuck to it till it was entirely removed. The trees inside did not thrive, and after a year or two the city authorities ordered the logs removed. At the same time the stockade was made, all of the citizens who were not at the front were detailed a certain number of hours each day to throw up rifle pits or trenches in which sharpshooters could lay and fire at an approaching enemy without being exposed. One of these trenches was east of Monroe Street, between Eighth and Ninth, and the outlines of it can yet be traced; another was east of Washburn College (now site of Memorial building). New comers here can hardly realize in these peaceful times that for months our citizens took turns and did picket duty on all the roads leading into the city. The Quantrill and other raids into other portions of our state made it a part of wisdom to do so. Many amusing things transpired during these months. Several times it was reported that the guerrillas were coming, and we recollect one night in particular when many buried their treasures and some lay out in the ravines around town all night. Did space permit we could fill a page of the Record in telling of these things. At another time we may do so."