1894 Robley's History of Bourbon County, Kansas


1861]BATTLE OF DRYWOOD.169

CHAPTER XXIV.

BATTLE OF DRYWOOD.

THE proximity of war in Missouri led J. H. Lane, who was posing as Brigadier General of Volunteers, in command of Kansas troops, to "fortify" Fort Lincoln, on the Osage River. The work done there, in a military or common sense view, was simply idiotic. He went down on the very lowest bottom land of the river, where he threw up an earth-work about the size of a calf-pen and then blazoned it forth as a great military fortification.

In the latter part of August a considerable force was being concentrated at Fort Scott. Old Jim Montgomery had of course, by this time, gotten a regiment together, and five companies of the Third Kansas under him arrived on the 20th of August. Other Kansas troops arrived from time to time until the aggregate force was about two thousand men. Fort Scott was now headquarters for General Lane's brigade.

The rebel Generals, Price and Raines, were operating in Western Missouri with several thousand men, and contemplated an attack on Southeastern Kansas. On the 1st of September General Raines with his division approached within twelve miles of Fort Scott, on the


170HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY.[1861

southeast, and a scouting party came within two miles of town and captured a corral full of mules, and drove in Lane's pickets. A force of 500 cavalry with one 12 pound howitzer, was sent out the next day to reconnoitre. They ran into the rebel pickets and drove them across Drywood creek, where they were reinforced, and quite a rattling good skirmish was fought, until the ammunition of the Union forces gave out, when they fell back in good order on Fort Scott. The official reports give the Union loss in this action as five killed and twelve wounded. The rebel loss was about the same.

In the meantime the infantry force occupied the heights east and southeast of town. These troops were reinforced by an impromptu company, organized that morning, of such men as McDonald, Drake and the other citizens who were not already in line on the hill. This company was sworn into the service, drew arms and ammunition, and marched to the front in two rows like regulars. They still belong to the army. They were never mustered out. Some of them have their arms yet. Drake says his old musket is down in the cellar now, with the same load in it he put in on that day. Some of these days a little Lieutenant may come along and order them out on advance picket with three days' cooked rations, or he may order them to the Soldier's Home. They never drew pay. They are presumably entitled to back pay and bounty up to date. They are certainly all entitled to pensions by reason of rheumatism, superinduced by exposure while in line of duty. But they did their full duty that day, and if there had been a fight would have held on as long as anybody.


1861]THE SIXTH KANSAS.171

The entire force waited on the crest of the hill until night for the expected attack of General Raines. About dark a raging thunder storm—which follows after all great battles—came up, and the boys, concluding that it would affect the rebels just as it did them, returned to town and sought shelter in camp.

That night General Lane ordered the entire force to fall back on Fort Lincoln, twelve miles north, on the Osage, leaving Fort Scott to the mercy of anybody that might come along. A scouting party of fifty men could have gutted and burned the town without opposition. Lane displayed here his usual cowardice when confronted by real danger. It is said that he would have burned the town himself—had actually ordered the torch applied—but he was prevailed on by the citizens to wait at least until the rebel force had crossed the State line. Of course, there was great commotion in town. The non-combatants, women and children—excepting Mrs. Wm. Smith, Mrs. H. T. Wilson, Mrs. John S. Miller and one or two others, who decided to wait awhile,—were loaded into wagons and driven out west toward Marmaton. The torch was ready to be applied to every building in town on the first appearance of the rebel troops on the summit of the eastern hills. But they did not appear. General Raines was at that moment making a forced march on Lexington, Missouri, by order that day received from General Price, and Fort Scott thus escaped utter annihilation.

THE SIXTH KANSAS.

The Sixth Kansas Cavalry was organized at Fort


172HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY.[1861

Scott on the 9th of September, 1861. A large part of this regiment was Bourbon County men. W. R. Judson was Colonel. The first Lieutenant-Colonel was Lewis R. Jewell, who was killed at the battle of Cane Hill, Ark., November 28, 1862. W. T. Campbell was then promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, and served through the war. Wyllys C. Ransom was Major. C. O. Judson was Adjutant until March, 1862. Isaac Stadden was then Adjutant until August, 1862. The Quartermasters were successively Geo. J. Clark, S. B. Gordon, Charles W. Jewell and Levi Bronson. Dr. John S. Redfield was surgeon until February 21, 1865, when he was mustered out and returned home. Capt. John Rogers, Captain of Company K, was killed by bushwhackers near the south line of this county on the 2nd of June, 1864. John G. Harris, lieutenant of Company K, was badly wounded at Cane Hill, Ark., by a ball passing clear through his neck. He recovered, and after the war was Sheriff of Bourbon County. The other line officers of the Sixth Kansas who lived in this county have been mentioned.

Jewell County in this State was named in honor of Colonel Lewis R. Jewell, when that County was organized in 1867, at the instance of Samuel A. Manlove, who was that year a member of the Legislature from Fort Scott.

Fort Scott was again established as a military post and a depot of supplies. From two thousand to ten thousand troops were making transitory stops here, arriving and departing and shifting about as the necessities of the case seemed to require. Long wagon


1861]SOME MORE POLITICS.173

trains, of Government supplies,—hardtack, bacon, beans, rice, coffee and sugar, of the Commissary department, and blue uniforms, boots and shoes, blankets, etc., of the Quartermaster department were constantly coming and going, and the grand chorus of a thousand voices from the mule corral was the first thing heard in the morning and the last at night.

SOME MORE POLITICS.

In October, 1861, the Republican State Committee was petitioned by a large number of voters to nominate a State ticket, and a special and emphatic request was made in the petition that a patriotic and energetic man be named for Governor on a war platform. They claimed that Governor Charles Robinson was impotent and inefficient, and that by the terms of the State Constitution his term of office expired January 1, 1862, notwithstanding the enactment of the Legislature extending the term. The committee in response to these petitioners nominated a full State ticket with George A. Crawford, of Bourbon County, for Governor. There was no other ticket in the field for State officers. The location of the State Capital was to be voted on, and members of the Legislature were to be elected. The election was held on the 5th of November. Mr. Crawford and his ticket received more than one-half as many votes as the total vote polled on the State Capital question, but the State Board of Canvassers refused to canvass the vote. Mr. Crawford took the case to the Supreme Court, and it is the first case


174HISTORY OF BOURBON COUNTY.[1861

reported in the First Kansas reports. It is held by the Court that the act of the Legislature of May 22, 1861, provided for the election of Governor at the general election of 1862, and that the election of the Crawford ticket was null and void.

Topeka received the majority of the vote cast for State Capital.

Eli G. Jewell and Geo. A. Reynolds were elected to the Legislature from Bourbon County.

On the 2nd of December, 1861, General J. W. Denver was ordered to Fort Leavenworth, and placed in command of the Kansas troops.

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Transcribed from History of Bourbon County, Kansas : to the close of 1865 by T. F. Robley. Fort Scott, Kan.: Press of the Monitor Book & Print. Co., 1894.


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