Jump to Navigation

Kansas Historical Quarterly - In Pursuit of Quantrill: An Enlisted Man's Response

Edited by William E. Unrau

Autumn 1972 (Vol. 39, No. 3), pages 379 to 391
Transcribed by Tod Roberts; digitized with permission of
the Kansas Historical Society.
NOTE: The numbers in brackets refer to endnotes for this text.

I. INTRODUCTION

WILLIAM QUANTRILL'S surprise raid on Lawrence still stands as one of the most successful -- and vicious -- attacks in the history of American civil conflict. In the wake of his lightning-like assault in the early morning of August 21, 1863, he and his bushwhacker Confederates left a sea of death and destruction: an estimated 150 persons dead, another 30 wounded (of whom some died later), the retail district of Lawrence a wasteland of smoke and rubble, homes destroyed, and horror -- stricken survivors roaming the streets in utter disbelief. [1]

Almost from the beginning the eastern border country of Kansas territory had experienced more than its share of economic and social difficulty. Repeated conflicts with the Indians over their rightful claim to virtually all of the land were aggravated by the squatters' belief in their own moral superiority, as well as the unrestrained aggression of speculators, political hopefuls, and a host of lesser opportunists. Certainly no less distressing was the emergence of the territory as a strategic place for translating ideological arguments over human chattels into acts of uninhibited violence. Whether Quantrill's regrettable action stemmed from an unwavering belief in the virtue of the Proslavery cause is no more certain than characterizing him as a cheap, bloodthirsty thug, whose performance was completely devoid of reason and/or ideological justification. A more balanced view of the problem suggests that the guerrilla leader considered retaliatory action a logical response to the depredations committed in western Missouri by the abolitionists at an early date; that the attack was planned with considerable care; that the quest for plunder was a high priority; and that once the attack was underway, certain individuals and groups for reasons best known to themselves succumbed to a level of senseless brutality. [2]

Quantrill made good his flight back to Missouri, but not before the Unionists had attempted to apprehend him. Sen. James Lane, for example, always ready to reap political benefits when conditions seemed appropriate, hastily collected a motley group of poorly armed citizens, and eventually joined with Maj. Preston B. Plumb and approximately 200 troops of the Ninth and Eleventh regiments, Kansas volunteer cavalry near Baldwin. Later this force joined yet another Union detachment near Paola, under the command of Ltc. Charles S. Clark of the Ninth Kansas volunteer cavalry. However, these troops were able to mount little more than a token counterattack, for they were outnumbered, poorly mounted, disorganized, and hindered by ineffective leadership. By the time Quantrill had reached the heavy timber country of western Missouri in the early afternoon of August 22, any organized Union plan of pursuit was in shambles. [3]

The immediate brunt of responsibility for the disaster fell on the shoulders of Brig. Gen. Thomas Ewing, commander of the District of the Border. Pressured by Lane, and anxious to exonerate himself both militarily and politically, he issued, on August 25, his famous "Order No. 11," which in effect required a massive civilian evacuation of the Missouri border counties from whence future bushwhacker attacks might originate. It was a bold and controversial move, but strategically successful. Although it occasioned great suffering to the civilian population concerned, "Order No. 11" discouraged future attacks on the model of Quantrill's. It created a little reassurance among the terrified citizenry of eastern Kansas, served as a catalyst for increased machinations among the more ambitious Kansas politicos; and, from Ewing's personal point of view, it tended to detract from the purely military role be had played in the troubled hours after he had learned of the Lawrence tragedy. [4]

According to his official report, Ewing was in Leavenworth "on official business" the day of Quantrill's attack. At 10:45 of that fateful morning, upon learning that the Confederate leader was marching on Lawrence (which in fact was about the time Quantrill was beginning his retreat), Ewing immediately assumed command of five companies of the 11th Ohio volunteer cavalry, which had only recently arrived at Fort Leavenworth from Camp Dennison, Ohio, under general orders to report to Fort Laramie as soon as they could be outfitted. [5] In the early afternoon of August 21, then, it was with considerable surprise that about 300 men of this regiment found themselves riding south, and not west. After several arduous hours of forced march in the hot August sun, they certainly were no less surprised to learn that their immediate objective was to engage one of the most notorious guerrilla bands in the trans-Mississippi West. [6]

Brigadier General Ewing led the 11th Ohio due south to the Kansas river. After a time-consuming delay in crossing the river, he continued to DeSoto (for reasons not altogether clear, since he had been advised that Quantrill might "go thence to Topeka"), and then on south to Lanesfield, in present Southwestern Johnson county. Here, at daybreak of the 22d, after learning that Quantrill had passed near that point on his eastern retreat, Ewing "left the command to follow as rapidly as possible," and hurried on to "the point on Grand River where Quantrill's force had scattered." There he met with Lane that night to work out the details for the infamous "Order No. 11." [7] The 11th Ohio was left to fend for itself, which it did with little if any concern for the rather vague orders it had received from Ewing. [8]

The five companies that participated in the abortive Quantrill campaign were recruited largely in Highland county, Ohio, in the late spring and early summer of 1863, by Ltc. William O. Collins of Hillsboro, Ohio. Earlier, in 1861, Collins had recruited a regiment designated the Sixth Ohio volunteer cavalry, to which shortly were assigned four companies of the Seventh Ohio, so as to bring the regiment up to its desired strength. Then, in 1863, with the enrollment of the five companies who saw action under Ewing in Kansas, the combined regiments were permanently designated the 11th Ohio volunteer cavalry, and, more informally, "The Mountain Battalion." After the Quantrill episode the men of the 11th served three years in present eastcentral Wyoming (then Idaho territory), with headquarters at Fort Laramie. [9] At such ostensibly exotic places as Devil's Backbone, Red Buttes, and South Pass their principal duties were to protect emigrants traveling the Oregon and Bozeman trails, guard and operate the Pacific telegraph line, police the Indians of that region, construct military substations, cut ice, hay, and timber, and, on occasion do simply nothing. Indeed, boredom, monotony, and homesickness were some of the most common complaints expressed by the enlisted men of the 11th Ohio. [10]

Hervey Johnson, the author of the letters that follow, was born on June 13, 1839, at Leesburg, Highland county, Ohio. His great grandfather, "Governor" James Johnson, migrated from Botetourt county, Virginia, to Southwestern Ohio in 1812, where he devoted himself primarily to land speculation and town promotion. His progeny, however, including Hervey's father Gerrard, apparently were less footloose, and thus content to settle down as farmers and practitioners of their Quaker faith. [11]

Previous to his enlistment in the 11th Ohio at the age of 24, Hervey Johnson attended Oskaloosa College for an undetermined period of time, [12] after which he too sought security in the agrarian enterprise so fashionable at that time. But as was the case with so many young men of that time, the Civil War changed his life radically. It afforded him, of course, an opportunity to serve his state and nation. More importantly, however, it provided him with a welcomed opportunity to satisfy an abiding curiosity he had concerning the vast, romantic expanses of the Great American West. The 100 letters he wrote during the three years he was stationed in Idaho and Dakota territories are replete with sensitive and perceptive observations regarding the natural wonders of the region, the Indian population of the North-Central Plains, the tribulations of the white emigrants, and the character of frontier military life at the grass roots level.

After commendable service at Fort Laramie, Platte Bridge, Sweetwater and Deer Creek stations, Corporal Johnson was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth on July 14, 1866. He married Elizabeth Engle the following year, raised a family of one son and two daughters, and successively lived in Highland county, Ohio; Laurener county, Tennessee; Mahaska county, Iowa; Todd county, Minnesota; and Sedgwick county, Kansas. He resided in Wichita from 1889 until his death on March 12, 1923. [13]

It should be remembered that the letters reproduced here were written early in Hervey Johnson's military career, and that about a month prior to his arrival at Fort Leavenworth, his regiment had experienced a brief and insignificant encounter with Gen. John Hunt Morgan's Confederate cavalry in the vicinity of Miamitown (near Cincinnati), Ohio. [14] Thus by the time he had arrived in Kansas, Private Johnson had some first-hand experience of the problems to be encountered while attempting to contain bold maneuvers on the part of the enemy. The first letter provides the general setting as Johnson saw it at Fort Leavenworth in August, 1863; the remaining two deal primarily with the abortive pursuit of Quantrill, and especially the confusion and disorganization accompanying Ewing's short-lived command of the raw recruits from Ohio.

II. THE LETTERS

FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS
August 18, 1863

DEAR SISTER SIBIL,

I was just preparing to write thee a letter this morning, when one of my comrades told me he had a letter for me. I thought I would wait, then, till I had read it, before I wrote. I was very glad to hear from home again. This is the first letter I have received since I enlisted. It came up last night on the packet Emile. There is a great stir and confusion in the camp this morning caused by preparations to go after some guerrillas who are prowling in the vicinity. Twenty men were detailed from each company to go. I would have gone if I had not intended to write. Enough volunteered to go without me anyhow.

We arrived at this place last fifth day [15] about four o'clock. I was sick when we got here; had been ever since we embarked at St. Louis and was for two or three days after we got here. We got our bounty (twenty-seven dollars) [16] the next day after our arrival. I soon got well, then; for then I could buy something fit for a sick man to eat. We live well here. The peddlers bring in vegetables every day such as green corn, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, buttermilk ice cream and other luxuries. Fresh tomatoes cured me completely. I would buy them at five cents a dozen and eat a dozen at a time, pretty good sized ones, too. There are several of the company sick, now. One or two in the hospital. The general complaint is diarrhea.

I reckon I must tell something about the country here. Fort Leavenworth lays on a high bluff on the west side of the Missouri River. It commands the river for some miles both above and below. But why it is called a fort is something curious to me. It is a kind of soldiers town with no walls or guns mounted. The only sign of a fort that I have seen is an old ridge of dirt and a row or two of posts set close together. The government buildings here are mostly of brick. The barracks for soldiers are very comfortable. They are all two-story brick. We are living at present in the open air. We have tents but the most of the boys would rather sleep on their blankets outside. I have got so that I can sleep anywhere or anyhow. The weather has been very fine since we came here, almost hot enough to melt a person. This is why the boys prefer to sleep outdoors. Our captain [17] got badly hurt last night. He went down to Leavenworth City about two miles below here and somehow or other his horse got drunk and coming through a bridge on his way back the bridge broke or something happened that the captain got off his horse and had to be carried to his tent. I don't think his horse will get drunk again soon as he don't allow anybody to ride him out but himself. Sam Engle [18] is sitting by me writing to someone at home.

I don't know when we will leave this place. We were to have left today, but it is three o'clock now and we have not started yet. We may start tomorrow and may not this week. But, before this reaches its destination we will have set out on our seven hundred miles horse back ride. It seems hard to look ahead and think of it and we will no doubt endure many privations and hardships. But I hope we will get through it all. I have a nice little bay mare that I think will carry me through. I call her Fanny. She is as spunky and as big a fool as old Bet was, but I think I can manage her. I have not heard, yet, whether there was any draft in Ohio or not. I would like to hear if there was and who of my acquaintance drew tickets. It seems to me that there are no young men about there. Almost all the boys I know are either here or in the Twenty-Fourth Battery. It must be very lonesome to those who are at home, I think. Sam will not stay at home when he gets home from Earlham. I know it will be so lonesome to him. You folks at home have no idea what we soldiers have to endure but it is not soldierly to complain, so we say nothing and console ourselves with the thoughts that it would have been worse had we been drafted and sent south especially at this time of year. Two Kansas boys have enlisted in our company here. They are both in the same tent with me. Their names are George Sebastian and Hervey Merwin. Hervey has been in the western country eight years. He says we will have nothing to do out there in the mountains. He don't know what they want so many men out there for. He has been out there and I suppose he knows the natives. I hope what he says will be true.

I want you to take care of my clothes. Put them where the moths won't get at them. My overcoat that hangs upstairs, I would like to have kept if it can be without too much trouble. If not then let Warren wear it. The bugle has just sounded and I must close.

HERVEY JOHNSON

Hervey Johnson
Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas
Care Capt. Rinehart
Company G. 11th O. V. C.
To follow the Reg't.
Our letter is changed from B to G.

CAMP COLLINS, KANSAS
August 29, 1863

FOLKS AT HOME,

I thought when I wrote my last letter, that the next time I wrote, we would be on our march across the plains. But things have turned out differently. We were to have started the next day [19] after I wrote. We got everything ready, our tents struck, horses saddled, wagons loaded, when there came an order for fifty men from each company armed and mounted. None of us privates knew it though. We were all ready to start, and orders were given to forward. [20] We started, but not toward the west. We went out south through Leavenworth City. When we got there we thought we were going across the river into Missouri, but we kept on south. We soon discovered that we were on a forced march, we knew not whither.

I never saw such a time before. The roads were dusty, and we run our horses so that we could not see three feet before us; we marched on in this way till ten at night, when we came to the Kansas River. We were near three hours crossing the river [21] and while the forward companies were crossing the others were down in the dirt asleep. I got off and tied the halter strap round my wrist, and laid down in the road and slept till it came our turn to cross. We got on the ferry boat and went over. We stopped and got something to eat, and fed our horses at DeSoto, a small town on the southern bank of the Kansas. The officers told us we would not go on till morning; so we unstrapped our blankets and laid down to sleep. We had no more than got to sleep when we were ordered to saddle up and hold ourselves ready to march at a moment's notice. We started about three in the morning, [22] riding like maniacs; several horses stumbled and threw their riders and dragged them in the dust, but no one was hurt much.

At DeSoto we learned why we were called out. The citizens told us that a rebel leader by the name of Quantrill, with five hundred men was committing depredations in Kansas. That he had sacked and burned the town of Lawrence and butchered three hundred of its citizens. That Jim Lane bad him cornered and they were preparing for a fight. We soon found this news to be too true. Men, women, and children were murdered without discrimination. He seemed particularly spiteful against the black inhabitants. They were hunted and shot like dogs. [23] The town was fired and the citizens were not even allowed to escape out of their dwellings, so that many of those who escaped the slaughter met a more fearful and cruel death by being burned with their own homes. This massacre is without parallel since the war began. The inhabitants say it was scarcely equaled by the Indian massacres in the early settlement of the western country.

And it was the perpetrator of this high handed deed that we were in pursuit of, but not likely to overtake, for instead of Jim Lane having him cornered, he could not get near enough to comer him. In fact, Jim came very near being cornered himself. For when Quantrill came to town he went right to Lane's house and intending to take him, but he got out at the back door, just as Quantrill came in at the front. The whole thing was done in the night. He left the Missouri border, marched to Lawrence, plundered, butchered and burned, and just as day was dawning, he started back. In the meantime Jim Lane, who had fled to a cornfield with nothing on but his night clothes, had gathered together about one hundred and fifty men and started in pursuit. Two hundred men were sent from Kansas City; [24] two hundred from some other place [25] and our two hundred and fifty made in all about eight hundred men after him on different roads. Our battalion did not get in sight of him at all; some of the others did. Several of Quantrill's pickets were killed. None of ours that we heard of were injured. He did not come into the state to fight and they could get no fight out of him. I must give the particulars of the remainder of the march.

After leaving DeSoto we reached a small town [26] about sunrise where we stopped and got something to eat and fed again. We soon started again on a fast run and ran for several miles, every moment expecting to come on the enemy. This was on seventh day [27] and there being no breeze on the prairie, the heat was most oppressive. We reached a small river, [28] a branch of the Osage about noon, and stopped to water. Here the first Lieutenant of Company E was killed by sun stroke. [29] His body was sent back to Ft. Leavenworth to be interred. We then marched on, and soon struck the trail where Quantrill had passed along. We followed it for two or three miles. I never saw as hot a day in my life. Men and horses were completely wearied out. We came to a small stream with thinly wooded banks about three in the afternoon. Here our Lieutenant [30] told us to halt and rest for half an hour, though it was directly contrary to the General's orders, which were to follow on the trail as fast as possible. At this place several more of the men were sun struck, though none fatally. Several horses fell down apparently unable to move further. The men appeared to care for nothing. Some tied their horses; some let them loose and all, nearly, laid down in the dirt and went to sleep. Half an hour passed but no order came to move, and nobody moved. We finally concluded to stay all night. The Officer [31] told us to take care of ourselves and horses. We had nothing to eat ourselves nor to give our horses.

Some of the boys went to the fields and got corn. I had half a dozen ears in my feed bag, that I bought at the Fort before we left. I cooked on some coals and ate them. I then thought of my mare. I saddled up and took another boy with me and went to a farm house about a mile off, and asked for our supper and horses fed. They said they reckoned we could have it if we would wait till they cooked something. We told them we were soldiers and often ate cold victuals. They said they had nothing cold. They appeared to [go] about cooking rather reluctantly. We waited, however, and in half an hour we were invited to supper, which consisted of warm cornbread, butter, sliced onions, fat bacon, buttermilk, etc. I then asked the woman what I must pay for any horse feed and supper. She said to speak to the old man about it. He told me to pay the old woman for our supper and we might have our horse feed for nothing. I paid her twenty-five cents for both of us and went back to our men. They had all laid down and we unstrapped our blankets and laid down and had slept an hour or two, when we were ordered to saddle up and move back about a mile to a hill near a farm house, and picket our horses out on the prairie to graze. When we got up there, I tied my mare to the fence, threw my saddle over into the yard and laid down and went to sleep on it. My mare made so much noise, pawing the fence that I did not sleep much till I got up and pulled an armful of grass for her.

Morning came at last and we found ourselves in the vicinity of Marysville '32 a town of twenty or thirty houses. I bridled my mare and rode over to town to get something to eat. I called at a private house. The people seemed very hospitable. They were very willing to cook for the soldiers, of whom there were several there besides myself. As I went back to where the horses were, I met the men coming towards town. They stopped near a spring and picketed the horses. We remained there during the day, putting up tents to keep the sun off us, by sticking our guns and sabres in the ground and spreading our blankets over them. Just at night we were ordered to move again. We started off in a north eastern direction. We did not think we were going after the rebels again, for we were told at that town that Quantrill had got back to Missouri and disbanded his men. Anyhow, we went on and about ten in the evening we encountered a storm. I think it exceeded any storm I was ever out in before. The wind blew a perfect hurricane, the thunder and lightning was terrific, and the rain and bail fell in torrents. About one o'clock we reached Olathe, the county seat of Johnson County. We stopped there. Tom Cooper [33] and I left the company as soon as we stopped and went to hunt a place to dry ourselves and warm, for it seemed almost like winter after the storm. We found the house of a printer. He welcomed us in and made a fire for us and after we were warm and dry we laid down, Tom on the lounge and I on the carpet. In the morning we went someplace else to get our breakfast, for the printer's wife was not at home. We got a very good breakfast and felt much refreshed. We found a wagon load of corn in a yard and every man went for it and fed his horse. Tis getting dark and I must quit for the night.

HERVEY

CAMP COLLINS, KANSAS
September 1, 1863

SISTER SIBIL,

I received thy letter this morning, which was mailed on the twenty-eighth, and has been about five days on the road. Thee talked of receiving my letter, but said nothing about which one. I have written seven or eight letters, and have received but two, and to which of mine they were answers, I am unable to tell. When thee writes of receiving my letters, please name the date of such letters. I was very glad to hear from home and to hear that you were all well. I am in good health and have been for some time. There are but three or four sick boys in the company. I began to write a letter three or four days ago, describing a scouting expedition that we had. I filled two sheets with it, and will finish in this letter.

I believe we were at Olathe when I left off. We went from there to Kansas City. Arrived there in the afternoon, camped in the woods below the city for the night. Next morning Tom Cooper and I took our guns and went to the woods to look after game. Saw two squirrels, shot at them about a dozen times with no effect, got tired of hunting and went back to camp. Got there about two o'clock, found several of the horses saddled, ready to go somewhere. The boys told me that they had an inspection of horses, and those which were disabled were to be sent back to the fort. I saw my mare among the discarded ones so I saddled her at once. We were soon off from camp and took the boat for the fort. Arrived there after night, found nobody there; didn't know what to do. Lieutenant told us to tie to the fence and be ready to start by five in the morning. Another lieutenant told us to go on, that our men and teams were camped about eight miles out on the prairie. Some of the boys went with one, some staid with the other, myself included. We left by eight in the morning, stopped at the groceries along and got something to eat and arrived in camp about one. It being fifteen miles instead of eight. It is getting late or I would describe the camp. I will however say that it is near a splendid spring which bursts out on the prairie. It is about eight or nine times as strong as the spring at grandfather's old place. Day before yesterday the rest of the boys who were left at Kansas City came into camp from the Quantrill scout. The results of which were, when all summed up, as follows: the loss of one of the best men of the Battalion, the loss of several horses, a ride of one hundred and forty or fifty miles over Kansas and Missouri, the loss of two or three weeks of time that we ought to have been on our road across the plains and gained not one thing. There is great bustle in camp this evening, preparing to move tomorrow. [34] It is getting so dark that I can scarcely see the work.

Direct thy letters as before.

Farewell,

HERVEY JOHNSON
CO. G. 11TH O. V. C.

Notes

WILLIAM E. UNRAU, native of Kansas who received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, is professor of history at Wichita State University. He is author of several historical articles and a book The Kansa Indians (Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1971). The three letters quoted here are part of a large collection Unrau is currently preparing for book publication.

1. Albert Castel, William Clarke Quantrill: His Life and Times (New York, 1962), pp. 135-136.
2. Ibid., pp. 141-142; Albert Castel, A Frontier State at War: Kansas, 1861-1865 (Ithaca, 1958), pp. 136-141.
3. Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas Ewing, Jr., U. S. army, commanding District of the Border, August 31, 1863, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, 1888), Set. I, v. 22, pt. 1, pp. 580-581; Castel, A Frontier State at War, pp. 134-135.
4. Ibid., pp. 142-144; Castel, Quantrill, pp. 144-145; report of Ewing, War of the Rebellion, pp. 584-585.
5. Ibid., p. 582.
6. Hervey Johnson to folks at home, August 29, 1863, "Hervey Johnson Correspondence," original copies in possession of John J. Wassall, Jr., Wichita. The author gratefully acknowledges Wassall's permission to edit the Johnson correspondence for publication.
7. Report of Ewing, War of the Rebellion, p. 582.
8. Hervey Johnson to folks at home, August 29, 1863; Hervey Johnson to Sister Sibil, September 1, 1863, "Johnson Correspondence."
9. Thomas M. Vincent to Ltc. W. O. Collins, May 13, 1863, "Muster-In Roll" of Col. W. O. Collins, independent battalion of Sixth Ohio volunteer cavalry, archives division, Ohio Historical Society; History of Ross and Highland Counties, Ohio (Cleveland, 1880), pp. 138-140; Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866 (Akron, 1891), pp. 547-548.
10. "Johnson Correspondence," passim, 1863-1866.
11. History of Ross and Highland Counties, pp. 402, 406-407; William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Geneology (Ann Arbor, 1946), v. 5, pp. 258, 342.
12. Hervey Johnson to Sister Abi, July 10, 1864, "Johnson Correspondence."
13. "Muster-Out Roll" of Cpt. James A. Brown's Co. G., 11th regiment Ohio cavalry, commanded by Thomas L. Mackey, July 14, 1866, archives division, Ohio Historical Society; "Consolidated Military and Pension File," Cpl. Hervey Johnson, Co. G, 11th Ohio volunteer cavalry, National Archives.
14. Hervey Johnson to Sister Sibil, July 18, 1863, "Johnson Correspondence." See, also, Basil W. Duke, A History of Morgan's Cavalry (Bloomington, 1960), pp. 439-446.
15. August 13, 1863.
16.The official records indicate that the bounty paid to Hervey Johnson was $25 at enlistment and $75 at the time he was mustered out, "Muster-Out Roll ... July 14, 1866," archives division, Ohio Historical Society.
17. Cpt. Levi Rinehart. According to his "Consolidated Military File " National Archives, Captain Rinehart was enrolled and appointed captain at Columbus, Ohio, on May 29, 1863, and was "killed in action with Indians at Mouth of La Prelle Greek, D. T., on February 13, 1865." A more explicit version of this tragedy (and, perhaps, an indication of the quality of leadership at Fort Leavenworth in August, 1863) suggests that he was killed by one of his own men at La Prelle creek, and that at the time he was under arrest awaiting trial by court martial for "paying attention to emigrants and squaws to the neglect of his duty to his men." See Hervey Johnson to Sister Sibil, October 23, 1864, and February 19, 1865, "Johnson Correspondence." Recounting a first-hand report of Rinehart's untimely death, Johnson wrote, "I must add that the whole party was drunk, from the Captain down. It was whiskey that did the mischief and nothing else. There were only five Indians there and there were at least twelve men and soldiers. Had they been sober they never would have run from five Indians, or committed the sad blunder that deprived us of the Commander of our company." See Johnson to Sister Sibil, February 26, 1865, "Johnson Correspondence."
18. Samuel Engle, who enlisted at Camp Dennison, Ohio, on July 20, 1863. -- "Consolidated Military File," Pvt. Samuel Engle, Co. C, 11th Ohio volunteer cavalry, National Archives. Engle was Hervey Johnson's future brother-in- law.
19. August 19, 1863.
20. About 1:00 P. M., August 21, 1863, report of Ewing, War of the Rebellion, p. 582.
21. Brig. Gen. Ewing reported "an unavoidable delay of five hours in crossing the Kansas River," ibid.
22. August 22, 1863.
23. Having been warned of Quantrill's attack most of the Negro recruits encamped near Lawrence managed to escape. -- Castel, Quantrill, p. 127.
24. Johnson probably was referring to the combined forces of Maj. Preston B. Plumb, Cpt J. A. Pike, and Cpt. C. F. Coleman, report of Ewing, War of the Rebellion, p. 580.
25. Here Johnson may have been referring to the combined forces of Ltc. C. S. Clark, Maj. James A. Phillips, and Cpt. N. L. Benter, ibid., p. 581.
26. Lanesfield (or Uniontown), in southwestern Johnson county, ibid. See, also, O. B. Gunn and D. T. Mitchell, "Gunn and Mitchell's New Map of Kansas and the Gold Mines" (Lecompton, 1862 ), archives division, Kansas Historical Society.
27. August 22, 1863.
28. Probably Bull creek, "Gunn and Mitchell's New Map."
29. Lt. David S. Dick, report of Ewing, War of the Rebellion, p. 583.
30. 2Lt. Caspar W. Collins, who enlisted at Camp Dennison, Ohio, on July 20, 1863. He was the son of Ltc. William O. Collins, and was killed in action against the Sioux Indian at Platte Bridge, D. T., on July 26, 1865. -- "Consolidated Military File," 2Lt. Caspar W. Collins, Co. G, 11th Ohio volunteer cavalry, National Archives. See, also, Agnes Wright Spring, Caspar Collins: The Life and Exploits of an Indian Fighter of the Sixties (New York, 1927).
31. 2Lt. Caspar W. Collins.
32. St. Marysville, Sec. 9, Twp. 16, R. 23, in northern Miami county, just north of present Hillsdale. This town was founded by H. L. Lyons and James Beets in 1858, and later was renamed Lyons, "Dead Town List," manuscript division, Kansas Historical Society.
33. Pvt. Thomas J. Cooper, who enlisted at Camp Dennison Ohio on July 20, 1863. --"Consolidated Military File," Pvt. Thomas J. Cooper, Co. G. 11th Ohio volunteer cavalry, National Archives. Apparently Cooper was one of Hervey Johnson's boyhood friends.
34. Hervey Johnson's next letter was written on September 20, 1863, from "Camp Near Ft. Kearney, Nebraska Territory." He and the 11th Ohio arrived at Fort Laramie on October 10, 1863.