Titus, Henry T., was a native of Kentucky. He was a member of the Lopez expedition against the island of Cuba with the rank of adjutant. He arrived in Kansas about April 1, 1856, in company with Col. Buford and about 1,000 men recruited in the South, and his earliest endeavors in this section were put forth in the interests of the pro-slavery cause. He was present at the sacking of Lawrence on May 21, 1856, and about Aug. 1 of that year he forcibly took possession of a claim about two miles east of Lecompton, belonging to a free-state man named Smith, one of the earliest settlers in the territory. Smith's cabin was torn down during his absence by Titus, who erected thereon a blockhouse for himself. Smith returned later and rebuilt his cabin when Titus at the head of a pro-slavery force burned the building. From the time of his arrival in the territory he seems to have taken an aggressive part against the free-state people and many of early acts smacked strongly of plain horse stealing. After the brutal murder of David S. Hoyt by pro-slavery men near Fort Saunderstheir stronghold on Washington creek, about 12 miles east of Lawrencethe free-state men retaliated by surrounding and making an assault upon "Fort Titus" on Aug. 16. Their fire was returned by the besieged garrison and one free-state man killed. Finding that rifles made no apparent impression on the log fort the free-state men brought out a cannon they had recently captured at Franklin and trained it on the blockhouse. Six shots were fired when Col. Titus signalled that he wished to surrender. He was wounded and one or two of his companions were killed. The prisoners were all taken to Lawrence and some time later were released. His sword, surrendered at the time of the battle, is now preserved in the museum of the Kansas State Historical Society at Topeka. On Oct. 11, 1856, Gov. John W. Geary appointed him special aide-de-camp, his commission dating from Sept. 15. Some time after the battle of Fort Titus he issued a call for his regiment of militia, signing himself "Colonel of the Second Regiment of the First Brigade of the Southern Division of the Kansas Militia." His military career in Kansas begun and ended in 1856. Early in 1857 he became associated with Gen. William Walker in his Nicaraguan expedition, and in February of that year arrived at San Juan del Norte at the head of about 180 men, many of whom had been associated with him in Kansas. His military capabilities as displayed in this expedition proved his incapacity as a commander. He has been ascribed by those who knew him as a swaggering braggart. It was commonly rumored that he lost his life in the Nicaraguan expedition, but this is a mistake, his death occurring in the state of Florida on Aug. 8, 1881.Page 809 from volume II of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I
TITLE PAGE / LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
J | K | L | Mc | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Background and KSGenWeb logo were designed and are copyrighted by
Tom & Carolyn Ward
for the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.
Permission is granted for use only on an official KSGenWeb page.
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project