The Indian Territory in the Civil War Message Board

Re: 14th KS Cav at Ft Smith, Feb 1864

I have found a couple of references on this for you. All are quoted in Whit Edwards' book, "The Prairie was on Fire."

Private George Ross of Company I, Third Indian Home Guard, wrote that a regiment of Kansas cavalry was ordered from Fort Smith and was expected to link up with Col. Phillips' column. He reported that the destination of the expedition was "Boggy or 'Pike's Ditches'."

Colonel D.N. McIntosh wrote that the raid was made at the "mouth of the Little River." He was on his way to the Council but returned to Boggy Depot where he found that his command had already left. He reported that he was unable to overtake them, but that the Federals by then had returned in the direction of Fort Gibson. He noted that they took no prisoners but killed anyone who fell into their hands.

Sgt. Jacob Perryman of the First Indian Home Guard wrote that his unit moved south on February 9, 1864, and returned on the 22nd of that month. He reported that 110 Confederates were killed, "mostly Indians." He went on to note that most of these were "killed at their homes" due to orders from Colonel Phillips not to take prisoners. He noted that the expedition went to Little River, crossed the Canadian and went "near to Boggy" and returned bringing prisoners that had been taken (and obviously not killed) by the 14th Kansas Cavalry.

Brig. Gen. John Thayer reported that his advance, commanded by Major Willetts of the 14th Kansas, had fought a sharp engagement against a force of Seminoles, Choctaws and Texans. He reported that the Southern troops were routed and that 47 were killed. He indicated the number of wounded was not known.

2nd Lt. Riley Perryman of Company H, 1st Creek Mounted Volunteers, wrote that Federal troops had penetrated as far as "Mill Creek in the Chickasaw Nation" before turning back, taking with them all the women and children they captured. He also noted that the Creek troops were scattered at the time of the advance and no one was sure how many had been killed, although it was estimated that at least 30 or 40 had died.

Corp. Christian Isely of Company F, Second Kansas Cavalry, wrote that his unit was part of the column that left Fort Smith. He reported that it crossed the Ouachita River and "took mountain paths and roads" to intercept a Confederate force reported to be at Caddo Gap. They arrived too late, however. He does describe robbing homes and farms and mentioned that a Confederate force "made an attack on our camp and fired briskley among us." He reported only one man wounded and noted that the Confederates fell back across the mountains.

Based on these notes, it would appear that there were at least two expeditions that left Fort Smith at the same time. The 14th Kansas crossed over for Northfork Town, capturing a number of prisoners, while a second expedition that included at least units of the Second Kansas Cavalry that moved south, crossed the Ouachita River and fought a minor skirmish with Confederate troops near Caddo Gap.

I hope this helps.


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