The Emporia News
Emporia, Kansas, Saturday, November 12, 1864
November 2nd, 1864
Ed. Emporia News: I presume your paper has been furnished with a number of reports of the doings of General Blunt’s army since leaving Paola on the 12th of last month. These accounts were perhaps written by different persons who were there, obtaining reliable information than I had and cold give you a more detailed account of the several battles fought, than it is to my power to do. Yet, I was there too, and though like the gospel of Mathew, Mark, Luke and john, their story may be every word true, yet they may have omitted something that I can supply, so with your permission, I will try to give you a very brief history of our marches and fights. We lay over at that place one day. On the 14th, we went to Hickman’s Mill, in Missouri, where we lay over another day or from Friday evening till Sunday evening. It was reported on Sunday evening that Major Anderson, with one or two companies of the eleventh, had been hemmed in at Warrensburgh while scouting, were about to be captured by rebels. At 7 p.m., Gen. Blunt with two brigades of Cavalry, and six or eight pieces of artillery, (Howitzers) started to his relief. The first brigade was commanded by Col. C. R. Jennison, the second by Co. T. Moonlight. We traveled till about 1 o’clock in the morning of the 17th, when we met Major Anderson at Pleasant Hill. He reported the rebels in possession of Warrensburgh, and the command moved on after having rested till daylight and eaten breakfast. We traveled to within ten or fifteen miles of Warrensburgh by 3 p.m. that day, when we halted to feed and get dinner. Inteligence reached us here that the rebs had been driven out of Warrensburgh by Gen. A. J. Smith, and that they were marching toward Lexington. At ten o’clock that night, we took up our line of march for Lexington, where we arrived at 2 o’clock p.m. the next day, having halted once on the way for an hour or two, and eaten breakfast. When our force entered Lexington, it was said that the rebels were drawn up in line of battle about our or five miles southeast of town, expecting us to attack them. Our forces were disposed of in and around the fortifications once occupied by Mulligen, and everything looked as though we expected them to attack us. But there was no attacking done that day by either force, so we finally encamped and took supper, also breakfast and dinner the next day. About 9 p.m. on the 19th, we moved out to fight the enemy, who had attacked our pickets and were marching upon the town. After a great deal of moving, we finally got in a sharp little skirmish, which lasted till nearly dark. Col. Jennison claims the honor of opening the ball, and perhaps that honor belongs to him, for I am certain he was foremost in the retreat. And we did not overhaul him at all till we got to Independence. The eleventh Kansas and a part of the fifth, did all the fighting that I saw done. Company E’s Howitzers wee hotly engaged, but whether they did much execution or not, I am not able to state from personal observation, for my post of duty was behind the Caisson, and too far over the brow of the hill to see what was going on in the rebel ranks. The officer’s however, spoke well of the company, and the way they managed the guns. We were obliged to retreat and if I am a judge of such matters, the retreat was well conducted. Col. Moonlight, with Major Ross’ battalion of the 11th, covered the retreat. We lost but few men and brought off all our guns. That night we camped on the Little Blue, six miles from Independence, rested the next day, and on the 21st had another fight, a regular ‘set to" with the rebs. The fight lasted about six hours, and I think we whipped the rebels that we were fighting with, but by order of Gen. Curtis we again fell back; the reb’s following us to Independence. Our troops all fought well that day, and I do not know that one man deserves praise above another. We lost several men on our side, and the rebel loss must have been much heavier tan ours. Company "M" of our regiment suffered the most in killed and wounded, and did as good fighting as any company in the eleventh. Capt. Gregg of that company, was severally wounded in the right arm, but fired nine shots with his revolver after being wounded. That was company "M’s" first fight, as the company was all new recruits. Fighting between our Cavalry and Price’s advance was going on all day Saturday the 22nd, but, I cannot speak advisedly of that days fight, for company "E’s" battery did not get into the engagement owing to the slow blundering motion of Major Anderson of the eleventh, who undertook to lead us to the scene of action, and got lost in the woods. We returned to Kansas City that night while the rebel lines extended from Independence to Shawnee Mission. Colonel Moonlight flanked the rebels on the left and in this condition two opposing armies parted the night. Sunday morning the fight commenced in earnest. General Pleasonton attacked Price’s rear at Independence while General Curtis’s army attacked him in front. The fight was determined on both sides. Our forces falling back, rallying and driving the rebels till about 11 a.m. where Pleasonton joined his force and help rout the enemy -(a few lines are missing from the print) -
Blunt without orders and the two armies traveled south, leaving us in possession of the field. Generals Marmaduke and Cabell were captured near Mound city, with several pieces of artillery. Price made several attempts to rally and recover his lost ground, but was unsuccessful. Fighting was going on at Newtonia, yesterday P.M. Price shoed a front, ten thousand strong, but we obliged to retreat.
All the Kansas troops who were not left behind on account of not being able to keep up are at the front. Company "E" in following up, or were at latest account. Kansas soldiers are here at Pola, a sorry loong set = jaundice, flux, "Prarie digs," with numerous other diseases, are at work among them. I fancy they’d do some big fighting if attacked = my space is full.