From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.
Eighty-one years ago this month, or to be more explicit, on October 28, 1861, the Seventh Kansas Cavalry was organized in Leavenworth and mustered into the service of the United States under the following officers:
Field and staff--colonel, Charles R. Jennison, Leavenworth; lieutenant colonel, Daniel R. Anthony, Leavenworth; major, Thomas P. Herrick, Highland; adjutant, John T. Snoddy, Mound City; quartermaster, Robert W. Hamer, Leavenworth; surgeon Joseph L. Weaver, Leavenworth; chaplain, Samuel Ayers, Leavenworth.
Among the line officers there were eight Leavenworth men, as follows: Captain Fred Swoyer, of Company B; Captain Wm. S. Jenkins, First Lieutenant Francis M. Ray, and Second Lieutenant James Smith, all of Company C; First Lieutenant Amos Hodgmen, of Company F; Second Lieutenant Christ C. Tomkins, of Company G; First Lietuenant James L. Rafety, and Second Lieutenant Charles E. Gordon, of Company H.
The regiment was ordered into active service directly after its organization. The rebels under Colonel Upton Hays, the Missouri guerilla, were encamped on the Little Blue river, near Kansas City. On November 11, 1861, they were attacked by Companies A, B and H, of the Seventh Kansas under Colonel Anthony, and driven from their camp, when they gained a strong position on the hills which border the river, and here they made a stand. After a furious struggle, in which nine of his little force were killed and 32 wounded, Colonel Anthony after burning the rebel camp and capturing all their horses, withdrew from the field. The regiment subsequently took part in several other engagements in the same locality. From that on the activities of the regiment wwere more or less varied, but its record was marked by a number of meritorious achievements.
Colonel Anthony was arrested and deprived of his command in Tennessee, June 18, 1862, for issuing the following order:
"The impudence and impertinence of the open and armed rebels, traitors, secessionists, and southern-rights men of this section of the state of Tennessee, in arrogantly demanding the right to search our camp for fugitive slaves has become a nuisance, and will no longer be tolerated. Officers will see that this class of men, who visit our camp for this purpose, are excluded from our lines. Should any such person be found within our lines he will be arrested and sent to headquarters. Any officer or soldier of this command, who shall arrest and deliver to his master a fugitive slave, shall be summarily and severely punished, according to the laws relating to such crimes."
Colonel anthony's refusal to countermand the order, incurred the dipleasure of his superior officer, General Mitchell, with the result that he was arrested and deprived of his command by General Mitchell, as aforestated. Within 60 days of this action on the part of General Mitchell, however, General Halleck restored Colonel Anthony to active service, being satisfied that public sentiment sustained Colonel Anthony's course.
The regiment was mustered out and received its discharge at Fort Leavenworth on September 29, 1865. In a list of fatal casualties of the regiment, the following are among the Leavenworth men mentioned as having been killed or died of wounds received in action: James W. Abram, Captain Fred Swoyer, Timothy Mullen, William Popeges, Israel G. Wyrick, Joseph Morrison, Thomas Graham, Captain Amos Hodgman, Sergeant Jesse A. Reese, Henry Dillon, Charles Johnson, James M. Perry, Second Lieutenant Thomas J. Woodburn.
One of the members of the Seventh Kansas Calvary who afterward became famous was Wm. F. Cody "Buffalo Bill.".