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The First Day's Battle at Hickory Point

From the Diary and Reminiscenses [sic] of
Samuel James Reader

Edited by George A. Root

November 1931 (Vol. 1, No. 1), pages 28 to 49
Transcribed by Lynn H. Nelson; HTML editing by Tod Roberts;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.


SAMUEL JAMES READER was born in the village of Greenfield, now Coal Center, Pennsylvania, January 25, 1836. He was the son of Francis Reader and Catherine James. His mother died when he was four months old, leaving him and his sister Eliza, aged two years, in the care of their aunt, Miss Eliza James. In 1841 they removed to La Harpe, a frontier town in western Illinois, where in 1843 Miss James married James M. Cole. Mr. Reader attended school in La Harpe until he was sixteen. For a time he worked on a farm and later in a stone quarry near Hillsgrove, sixteen miles from La Harpe.

On May 10, 1855, the family started for Kansas Territory in a covered wagon. By the middle of June they were located on the farm near Indianola, north of Topeka, where Mr. Reader resided until his death. On December 17,1867, he was married at La Harpe, Illinois, to Miss Elizabeth Smith. They had three children, a daughter who died at sixteen, a second daughter Elizabeth, who still lives, and a son who died in infancy. Mrs. Reader died March 30, 1898. After her death Mr. Reader spent most of the winter months with his daughter in Topeka. He died September 15, 1914.

Samuel Reader's unique contribution to Kansas history was a diary which he began when he was thirteen years old and in which he wrote every day to the end of his life. Despite his meager schooling he constantly improved an active and observant mind by reading and study. He taught himself the Pittman shorthand system and acquired a reading knowledge of French. In some places his diary is a strange mixture of shorthand, French and abbreviated English. It is illustrated throughout with marginal and full-page sketches, many in water colors. During his later years he wrote his "Reminiscences," based upon the diary. The volumes of the diary and a copy of the reminiscences are among the prized possessions in the manuscript collections of the Kansas Historical Society, to which they were given by his daughter, Miss Elizabeth Reader, who now lives in San Diego, California.



Mr. Reader observed and experienced much of the Kansas Territorial conflict. He was a free-state sympathizer. The community centering at Indianola was largely proslavery. Mr. Reader was by nature a pacifist and for the most part avoided the clashes that often stirred the neighborhood. He became, however, a member of the Second Kansas State Militia and participated in the first day's fight at Hickory Point. During the Civil War, in 1864 when the Price Raid threatened Kansas, he joined the Topeka contingent that was thrown into the defense. He was captured in the Battle of the Big Blue, but later escaped while being taken as a prisoner to Texas. This ended his military service, for after recovering from the effects of this experience he returned to the farm.

The battle of Hickory Point occurred on September 13 and 14, 1856, and was one of the many collisions between the free-state and proslavery forces. Gov. John W. Geary had just arrived in the territory, and had issued his proclamation ordering all armed forces to disband. Gen. James H. Lane was at or near Topeka and did not hear of the order to disperse. With a small party of men he was about to start out towards Holton when he was met by messengers from the neighborhood of Osawkie, who informed him that proslavery men were committing outrages in the vicinity, that Grasshopper Falls was burned, and that it was their intention to burn other freestate towns and drive the citizens from the country. Lane marched to Osawkie at once, where his force was recruited from the free-state settlers near there. Learning that a large party of proslavery men was at Hickory Point, Lane marched his men to that place. The proslavery men were under command of Capt. H. A. Lowe, and included about forty South Carolinians.

Hickory Point consisted of a few buildings on the Ft. Leavenworth-Ft. Riley military road and the Atchison-Topeka stage road. Its location was five and one-half miles north of the present Oskaloosa and about twenty-eight miles northeast of Topeka.


[In the following extract from the diary the words which were written in shorthand are indicated by small capitals, stars appearing where shorthand characters were undecipherable; the words which were written in French are italicized. An explanation of some of the abbreviations and names follows: Jenner, Dr. Thomas Jenner; Fouts, J. W. Fouts; Captain Whipple, alias of Aaron D. Stevens; C., James M. Cole; Me, Robert McNown; E, Eugene Cole; Cole and Doe, James M. Cole and Dr. M. A. Campdoras; Milne, David Milne;


Young, George L. Young; Kemp, Kemp Ferguson; T-a, Topeka; La, nickname for Eliza Reader; B. R's, Border Ruffians; Pepper box, Allen revolver, 7-shot, commonly dubbed a "pepper box"; I-a, Indianola; Peter, Peter Fiederling; H. P., Hickory Point; Mrs. F. & Kemp, Mrs. Ferguson and Kemp Ferguson; Col. Harvey, Col. James A. Harvey.]

September, 1856.

Monday.8 Cloudy. KANSAS MUST BE FREE. 70ø I no go to war. God for me. I to Jenner's. Dr. bad wounds. Sore. Went to Drs. maison. T. Jenner got me a little nitric acid. I to the spring at Fouts. Saw Stevens, Moffat, Capt. Whipple and Dennis. Came home C. to Mcs trial P. M. I to CLAIM. fenced my stack. E put acid dans son den. It dident smoke like a tar kiln, as old Alley said it would. I beat hens. COLE AND Doc HOME.] . . . . . . Milne* and Me here. He on bail. A DRUNKEN TIME. Cohee jumped INTO creek the morn WE WERE there. He has moved to Topeka.


Mercredi 10 Clair; le soir passe. Chaud. Ther. 75ø I took team drew all my rails etc. 4 load and the stones. Got wood. Came home. Sprinkly, cleared. C. and Kemp to T-a. Len and Johnny left INDIANOLA. Good. P. M. C home. Got horse. A boy took it of Holls. Farnsworth I GUESS. C. to town. I to my claim. Got plums. Warm. Milne here at night. Dr. better. La milked Kaw COW.

Thurs. 11. I put plums to dry. C. to town to head WELL bucket. THER. etais 47°. Warm, clear. TOWN quiet. FIRE (?) TODAY. P. M. mowed. Jenner here. His horse gone. I to claim, cut a board tree with new ax. Home. Another gang IN TOWN. Plundered Fulton. C. saved Milne. Got un chapeau. Buck sick. Mrs. Milne here. Fulton has taken his horse.

Frid. 12. Clear. Kittens play. C. and I mowed. Jenner and others here. Went to river, for horse; met Co. Shook hands with Lane. Home. P. M. Hot. Mowed. Milne here. B.Rs To BE at


Calhoun. C to T-a. I to town. Paper. C. et Penfield here. T-a boys to go to Lane. I to Papans. Helped THEM cross 30 of them. Came on in wagons.

Sat 13. Got to O [zawkie] after sun up. Gen. Lane there. Ate at houses* Started to H. P. [Hickory Point.] Fisher let me ride old grey horse. 11. Got to H. P. They will fight. Fired some. We retreated to O. 3 of our horses and 1 man wounded. Several B.Rs killed; horses etc. Ate watermelons. 8 or 9 started home for fear of U. S., the Gov. etc. I will buy a pepper box $6. Got home late. Sleepy and tired but full of glory.

(*Captain Bainter I guess. Yes.)

Sund 14 Read Ate melons. Young Kemp and others to Ta for help to get horses of Fulton etc. P. M. I wrote got nuts. Kemp Furgeson here. 12 men from I-a. I sick at night. VOMITED. THER. 92. hot windy

Mond 15 Feel better. Windy COOL & agreeable. I read. P. M. Fulton's going to Ia [Indianola]. Got corn. C. to town. I there. Got socks 30 caps 10. DUG UP MY MONEY [and] TOOK OUT $20. WARM . . . Peter here. He wants to fight. Wells drunk. THER 92.

TUESDAY 16 CLEAR. WARM. WROTE. . . . last NIGHT. SOON BE WINTER. AWFUL. WE DREW ONE load of hay. WINDY. I Put a BETTER LOCK ON MY pistol; fired 2 TIMES Shoots well. P. M. THER 92 Hot. McN. here. Will turn out to fight. Got nuts.

WEDNESDAY, 17 Clear. Warm. WINDY. I TO MY CLAIM. CUT A HOLE IN MY HOUSE FOR CHIMNEY. Bruno WANTS TO CUT HAY. Came home. P. M. I made some chimney. A hard N. W. rain. Fisher and a fellow were here; left his gun. Col. Harvey and Lawrence boys drove out B. Rs. from H. P. last Sund. Cold. N.

Jeudi 18. Warm. I made chimney all day. Went to Young's. Paper. A letter to E. FROM S. ONE TO ME FROM pere. Gov. troops at T-a taking us boys.

Frid 19. We drew 2 loads hay. Warm. My glass gone, I think. Bon p-n pie. P. M. Drew other load; all in. GOES To Johnsons . . . . . Dr. quite sick. Got nuts.

Sat. 20. I to claim. MAKE CHIMNEY UP to plates. Chiens avec Mm. Buck cross. C. drew stone from Kemps, and melons. P. M. I with C. for stone. Got nuts. Mrs. F. & Kemp came with us. I took them to ferry to get Nell [mare]. Fine stone from Kemp's.



On September 12 Mr. Cole [1] and I were mowing grass south of Indianola. At 10 a. m. Thomas Jenner [2] and others came to us and reported that his (Jenner's) horse had been "pressed" into military service in the "free-state army," by his having been mistaken for a proslavery horse. Our assistance was asked in recovering the animal. We dropped our scythes and all started for Topeka.

When we reached the Kaw river we saw a body of mounted men who had just crossed at Papan's ferry. [3] They were all armed and equipped and evidently on the warpath.

"There is Lane!" cried my uncle, pointing to a man riding a cream-colored or "clay-bank" horse. When we met, my uncle, who was well acquainted with the general, explained to him our neighbor's trouble in regard to his horse. In the meantime I was looking at the redoubtable chief with great curiosity.

He was a medium-sized, dark-complexioned man, rather thin of face, clean-shaven jaw and chin, and wore a short, black mustache. His eyes seemed dark (what could be seen of them through their half-closed lids), giving them a rather searching expression. The nose was a little irregular in outline; the chin firm and shapely. On the whole he was a harsh-featured, severe-looking man. There was nothing about him to indicate his rank. His wool hat was gray and coarse. He wore a dark-blue flannel overshirt, and his side arms were a Colt's revolver and a large butcher knife.

As we were about to separate Mr. Cole said: "General, this is my nephew, Reader."

General Lane gave me a penetrating glance as he leaned from his


saddle with the murmured words, "I'm happy to make your acquaintance," or something of the kind, and our hands clasped for the first and only time. I felt it an honor to have shaken hands with dim Lane. Seeing him for the first time, I perhaps involuntarily invested him with heroic attributes. He was immensely popular with the "free-state boys"; they made themselves hoarse hurrahing for him, and I might have done so myself, had I been of an excitable temperament.

I also saw Whipple. He was Colonel Whipple [4] now, and he carried a bugle on which he sounded a call. Then came the command, "Second regiment, fall in!" The men mounted, and the gallant band with Lane at its head took the road toward Fort Leavenworth. Many of my former comrades were in the regiment and I was pressingly invited to go along. But I could not; they were all mounted men and I had no horse. So I regretfully returned home to the humdrum of ordinary life.

In the afternoon we began mowing grass again, when David Milne [5] came to us in haste and reported that a band of border ruffians were marching on Calhoun, our county seat. This, if true, would be a serious matter. My uncle threw down his scythe and started for Topeka as soon as possible, while I returned to the house to await events.

Our neighborhood was badly stirred up. Only three days before


a party of free-state men visited Indianola [6] and took from the most rabid proslavery citizens their arms and military stores, together with sundry articles claimed to be contraband of war. The whisky was emptied into the street. I had no hand in it, and whether the act was justifiable or not is not for me to say. It was called a reprisal. Osawkie [7] had taken a dose of the same kind of medicine only the day before (on the 8th). But it was claimed that our ruthless enemies did far worse; besides plundering they added "fire and sword," and numberless outrages on free-state men.

Toward night my uncle returned, and his first words were: "Sam, there is going to be a battle to-morrow -- do you want to go with the Topeka boys?"

Boy like, I was only too eager to be off, but I met with strong opposition on the part of the women of the family. My sister was determined I should not go, and when all arguments failed she hid my gun. But I searched until I found it, and soon had my blanket, powderhorn and ammunition pouch gathered together.

General Lane had sent Guilford Dudley [8] back for reinforcements with orders to join him at Osawkie by sunrise next morning. The journey was to be made in wagons, and the party would not leave Topeka until some time after dark. I started on foot for the ferry and reached it in less than an hour. No one was there; I wrapped my blanket around me and sat down on a log to wait. Hours seemed to pass, and no sign of Dudley or his party. The moon


climbed high and I had almost lost hope when I heard a rumble of wheels coming up the river from the direction of Topeka. It stopped at the landing, opposite.

"Bring over the boat!" shouted a voice.

The ferryman's house was near at hand, but I found it impossible to arouse him to a sense of his duty; he only grunted. I returned to the landing and reported.

"Bring the skiff, and we'll man the boat ourselves!" they called. I crossed to them in the skiff, not without great difficulty, as I knew nothing of the management of a boat. Sometimes I was pulling upstream, sometimes down, and I finally reached shore a long way below the landing.

Four or five men returned with me, and we manned the old flatboat. It was attached to a rope stretched across the river, and we used poles to propel it. In about an hour we had the whole party on the north bank of the river. It consisted of about thirty men and three or four wagons, which were in charge of Quartermaster Chas. A. Sexton. [9] I went to him and asked for transportation which I considered I had fully earned. He answered briefly, "Climb into one of those wagons."

He and Dudley were horseback, as were also, I think, several other men; the rest of us rode in the wagons. We left the river after midnight. Osawkie lay eighteen miles northeast from our starting point. The roads were good and dry and the night was warm and still. At break of day we were on the open prairie a few miles from our destination.

"We would have been crossing the Kaw river about this time if it hadn't been for you," said Dudley, as he rode alongside the wagon in which I sat.

Guilford Dudley was then a beardless youth, younger than myself, and a typical free-state soldier; ardent in his enthusiasm for our cause, and having a gayety that dispensed cheerfulness on all sides. Charley Sexton was a different type of soldier; cool, sedate and taciturn, he might well have been compared to one of Oliver Cromwell's "Ironside Puritans." Between these two extremes, we had with us men smarting under intolerable wrongs visited upon


them by the proslavery faction, others actuated by a restless love of adventure, and, I fear, a very few, by mercenary motives. In the same wagon with me was a man who had been captured at Indianola a few weeks before, on the charge of not having a clear title to the horse he rode. He claimed to be innocent, and he may have been. I did not see him, but was told that some of the proslavery men in town proposed hanging him on general principles. However, cooler heads prevailed and he was taken to Osawkie and put at hard labor in a blacksmith's shop. Here he remained until the 8th of September, when he was released during the raid. Whether he had had any previous political sentiments or not, he now developed into a zealous free-state man, but I could see that the men generally stood aloof from him. During the night he must have gathered from what I said that I was from Indianola, and at the first light of dawn he scanned my face with great curiosity; probably to see if I were not one of his former would-be executioners.

The sun had risen as we reached the high ground west of the Grasshopper [now the Delaware], and the little town of Osawkie could be seen nestling on its banks. Guilford Dudley pointed toward it and cried out, "O-saw-kee! Oh, how we sacked it!".

General Lane and his command were waiting for us, and we were sent to different free-state houses for breakfast. Boyd and I got a very good one at Captain Bainter's. [10] While we were eating the captain came in and hastily buckled on his revolver and bowie knife. His wife looked anxious and distressed, but seemed resigned to the situation.

It was not long before we were on our way to Hickory Point, which was some fifteen miles nearly due east of Osawkie on the military road. The cavalry was in advance, the infantry in wagons next, and perhaps a baggage wagon or two in the rear. We had a number of recruits from the surrounding neighborhood, and it was estimated that we had about a hundred and fifty men all told; some said more, some said less.

When we had gone about half the distance a man named Fisher whom I knew very well, rode up and proposed that I should take


his horse and he take my place in the wagon as a mutual rest. I consented, and the exchange was made. The horse was a large gray with a remarkably prominent spine and a general lack of flesh. Fisher assured me that the noble beast had carried General Lane from the "States" into Kansas; that some of the boys had presented the general with the clay-bank he was then riding, and the gray had become the common property of the regiment.

There was an old quilt strapped to his back but no saddle. I soon found it impossible to make him go faster than a very slow trot. His walk was uncomfortable; his trot was agony, and my feet soon felt as if two flatirons were suspended from them. Some of the boys bantered me; advising that I lose no time in "pressing" a saddle as soon as "we met the enemy and they were ours." I had made a bad bargain, but was obliged to make the best of it.

About one mile from Hickory Point we stopped at a farmhouse for water. The man who lived there was "all right on the goose," or at least a sympathizer of the proslavery party. After I had taken a drink of water from a barrel standing in the yard, I noticed a lot of our men standing at the door of the cabin. I joined them, and looking in, saw General Lane slowly pacing to and fro across the room. Colonel Whipple and some others of our party were seated near the door. Lane had just about finished telling some tale of atrocity said to have been committed by the border ruffians. His listener was a young lady seated near the door of an inner room, where other members of the family could be seen. Then to show the other side of the picture, the general told her what chivalrous, kindly, nice boys we were in comparison, but still the lady seemed incredulous. She happened to mention that she was a school teacher, when Lane promptly offered to assist her in finding a school.

"What is your name?" she asked. Lane glanced inquiringly at Whipple.

"Tell her! Tell her!" laughed the colonel, in his boisterous, hearty way. General Lane turned to the young woman, and said very quietly and impressively

"My name is Lane."

"What?" she asked. "You are James H. Lane?" Lane bowed. "Well," she continued after a slight pause, "as I am not personally acquainted with General Lane you must excuse me for doubting


your identity." There was a general laugh. Whipple fairly shouted, and Lane looked very sheepish.

Just then some one in the yard called out:

"What are we waiting here for? -- let's be going." It certainly did not seem judicious from a military point of view to stop and chat with the neighbors on the eve of a battle.

Some people living in the neighborhood had told us by this time that the "Kickapoo Rangers," [11] some fifty strong, were at Hickory Point. (A man named Boydson [Nathaniel Boydston?] who was one of them, has since told me their number was eighty-five.) We were soon on the road again and toward midday reached the brow of the hill overlooking Hickory Point from the west.

It could not be called a town, as it consisted only of a double log house, of very respectable size for those days, a log blacksmith's shop and a few sheds and outbuildings. They were on the north side of the road nearly at the bottom of the hill, and just west of a small stream of water which had a general course from south to north. A few stunted trees and bushes fringed its banks south of the road, while to the north of the house quite a cluster of trees could be seen. The shop was west of the house and on somewhat higher ground. About 100 yards further up the hill was a slight elevation or "bench," which partly hid the buildings from our station at the top. We could see nearly all of the shop, but only the roof and upper part of the house. A man named Charly Har[d]t [12] lived there in 1855; afterwards a Mr. Lowe owned or occupied it.

From where we stood we had a magnificent view of the surrounding country. We could see the military road after it crossed the stream, winding its way up the opposite slope and appearing on the crests of successive ridges until lost in the distance to the east.


General Lane soon made his dispositions for attack. The cavalry were formed to the south of the road. They crossed the stream and occupied an elevation about four hundred yards southeast of Hickory Point. I think Captain Mitchell was in command of this party.

As my steed seemed hardly in fighting trim I tied him to one of the wagons and fell in with the infantry that was just being formed in line across and to the left of the road. Our formation was one rank and we had at least fifty men. We were commanded by Captain Creitz,13 who was a stranger to me. He worked pretty hard in getting his men properly placed and "dressed up," for some of our new recruits were very "raw." "No crowding," was frequently added to the military commands. At last we were in some kind of shape, and stood at "order arms."

We had all sorts of guns; perhaps not more than one-third of our force had Sharp's rifles. Kickapoo Stevens was armed with a Hall's breechloading rifle, and there were a good many condemned United States rifles and muskets. The rest of us were armed with sporting rifles and shotguns.

e were now all ready for the work before us. The sensations and emotions of soldiers waiting for the signal that may possibly mean death, are as various, perhaps, as the temperaments of the men themselves. For myself I felt almost as if it were a dream, and this feeling of unreality benumbed a latent dread of possible wounds and death. While a sense of duty and a natural curiosity to participate in actual battle; pride and the fear of ridicule and disgrace, all contributed in keeping me at my post.

General Lane was in the saddle less than thirty yards from where I stood, and by his side was the sturdy Whipple and other officers. There was a short consultation, then a horseman left the group carrying a white handkerchief tied to a ramrod. He galloped down the hill waving his flag as he went. We saw two or three men on foot coming to meet him from the direction of the shop. They walked deliberately, and met our messenger near the rising ground. The conference was very brief, and when he returned I heard him say to the general: "The leader of the gang read your summons and returned it with these words, 'Take this dirty paper back to


(I think the name given was Colonel Harvey), [14] 'and tell him we will fight him and all the hireling cutthroats and assassins he can bring against us.'"

I heard afterwards that Lane simply demanded unconditional surrender, stating that resistance would be useless against our force, which he claimed to be 1,500. Evidently he had not signed the paper; why, I never learned.

I heard the bearer of the flag say to a comrade: "I was glad enough to leave those fellows. The leader was a bullet-headed, vicious looking ruffian, and I didn't think myself safe even under the flag of truce."

"Look!" cried some one, "there goes one of their men now." Some five hundred yards to our left we saw a man on foot with a gun on his shoulder, walking briskly in the direction of Hickory Point. A young man named Shepherd left the cavalry line and dashed past out front to engage the Ranger in single combat.

The attention of the entire command was enlisted. With silent, thrilling interest we watched every movement of the actors in this possible tragedy. We could almost imagine ourselves back in the days of chivalry, as Shepherd, like a gallant knight, urged his horse to its utmost speed across the slope, and rapidly neared his man.

The footman saw his pursuer, and changing the direction of his course. a little to the north, ran with great swiftness toward the trees and bushes on the creek. He had too much of a start to be cut off,


but Shepherd succeeded in getting within less than one hundred yards of the Ranger. He then suddenly reined up his horse, quickly dismounted and took deliberate aim at the fugitive. As the man saw Shepherd about to fire, he stooped as he ran, so as to almost resemble a four-footed beast. I could not help mentally wishing he would not be hit -- it looked cold-blooded and cruel. The white puff of smoke came, the report of the rifle followed -- but the human target ran on! If hurt the man was not disabled, and in a few moments he disappeared from view.

"Well!" exclaimed one of the men, "that's the first time I ever saw a man chased and shot at, like a wolf."

But the spectacle was not ended. We saw Shepherd insert a fresh cartridge in his breech-loader, swing himself into the saddle, and ride rapidly in the direction of the rising ground near the shop. When he reached it and was in full view of the enemy, he suddenly checked his horse, took a rapid aim and fired. As he wheeled around and put spurs to his horse, a scattering volley came from the buildings. Shepherd swayed in his saddle from side to side, while his horse galloped zigzag back and forth across the road as he ran in our direction.

"There -- he's shot!" cried one.

"Yes, he's falling from his horse," said another. "He'll keep his seat!" "He'll come out all right!" was heard from all sides, as the rider straightened himself up and urged his horse up the hill. As he neared us, Colonel Whipple rode forward and met him. They were both laughing when they reached our position. Shepherd was unhurt; his pretense of being wounded was a ruse to induce the Rangers to cease firing. There was a reckless daring in the whole performance that was captivating, and the praise of Shepherd's gallantry was heard on all sides. General Lane himself was hardly more popular for the hour.

Captain Creitz stepped to our front. "Attention, Company!" All eyes were directed toward him. "Right shoulder -- shift arms." He glanced along our motley line, then with a sweep of the arm in the direction of our foe, he shouted the single word: "March!"

The line moved forward down the slope, Creitz in advance. His coat was thrown aside, his vest was open in front, and he wore but a single suspender. He was intending us to assault those log buildings, but we had advanced less than fifty paces when the order was given to halt; I think by Lane himself. Creitz looked disappointed. Just


then an elderly man rushed up to him and exclaimed: "Captain, we can't take those houses with the number of men we have -- it will be little better than murder to try; I live here and know how strongly the houses are built." The man's face was twitching with excitement as he spoke. Creitz answered not a word.

General Lane and his staff rode up near our right flank. "Try them with your Sharp's rifles!" he called out. Creitz cautioned us to fire with no other guns. This left me out of the game entirely.

The man who had been released at Osawkie stood second from me to the right. He stepped out in front, dropped on one knee, took careful aim and fired. But the ball fell short; we could see where it struck the ground by the rising dust. Two men who stood at my left now walked out some two or three paces in front. One rested his rifle over the other's shoulder and fired, and again the ball fell short of the mark. Some one remarked that "Sharp's rifles were not what they were cracked up to be." A man near General Lane dismounted and came over to us. He was likely an expert marksman. A carbine was put in his hands. He fired offhand; this time no dust was seen, and we knew the bullet had reached the mark or passed beyond.

In the meantime a cracking fire extended along our entire infantry line. Some of the balls struck the ground, but the shooting seemed better than at first. I think there was little or no firing from the cavalry line. Now and then we could see a puff of smoke from our flanking party on the other side of the stream and hear the distant. sound of the shots.

At last the enemy was awakened. I was looking at the shop when I saw a tiny, circular cloud of white smoke appear; then in the road some thirty paces in front of our line a sudden dash of dust was seen, followed by a fearfully wicked whiz, that came buzzing over our heads like a monster hornet. Our line recoiled a few paces for ten or fifteen feet on either side of the diabolical sound. I was not in the slightest danger, as the glancing bullet sped some dozen feet to my right, but I must acknowledge taking several backward steps. At the stern command of our captain we all dressed up into line again, and there was no more dodging.

The enemy's fire was very deliberate, but their shooting seemed better than our own. None of us were hit, however. Their bullets generally passed over our heads with a clean-cut "zip," that was far


less unpleasant than the nerve-shaking whiz of the introductory one. We were learning to "face the music."

I wanted to take a shot myself. I either saw or fancied I saw some of our men firing with muskets, and I had noticed some spare arms in the wagon where I had tied my horse. Without considering what a breach of discipline I would be committing, I left the line and went back to the wagons. Among the arms was an old United States musket which I eagerly seized upon.

"That gun won't go off," explained a man who appeared to be in charge of the wagon. "Your own gun will serve you better." I returned to my place at the front; not the slightest notice was taken of my absence or return.

The rangers had now ceased firing altogether. They were either sparing of their ammunition or took this course to challenge us to advance. On our side we were wasting good powder and lead against the log walls that concealed our foe. Our own fire soon slackened and then died out completely. It was a regular deadlock; what next?

A small group of men were collected about General Lane. "We can drive them out, but we should lose too many men," he said. "We must wait another day and get artillery."

Preparations were now made for the infantry to withdraw. Considering our military experience it was done with considerable grace and precision. Captain Creitz faced us to the right. We were in Indian file, and at the word "March!" we stepped out marching by the right flank toward the south. Hardly had we gone a dozen paces when the command, "File right!" turned our file-leader sharply at right angles to the west. Some twenty paces were covered, when the same command was repeated, and the head of the file turned to the north. About the same distance was traversed when the command, "File left!" turned our file-leader to the west, and in a moment more were were out of sight of the enemy behind the ridge.

We broke ranks when we reached the wagons, and most of the men got in and started for Osawkie, where, I understood, we were to go into camp for the night. The season was dry, and I think there was no water for the horses nearer than the Grasshopper.

In the meantime our flanking party, that was posted across the creek, returned and joined the main body of cavalry on the ridge. Charley Lenhart was with them and may have been in command. The mounted men remained in nearly their original position over


looking Hickory Point, and acting as a rear guard to cover our retreat.

Fisher was gone and I found that the gray horse was committed to my care again. After adjusting the quilt over his bony structure as well as I could, I climbed on. I was hardly seated when I heard a rifle shot from the cavalry line on the ridge. There was a small group of mounted men to the left and rear of it, and I joined them. The only one whom I knew was Dr. Geo. A. Cutler, [15] a very youthful looking man but no doubt a good surgeon. The buildings were hidden from our position by the crest of the hill in front of us.

There came another shot from the line; then another and still another. Then a brisk scattering fire that increased to quite a hot engagement. There was no sparing of ammunition now, and soon a thin veil of smoke gave the farther end of the line quite a hazy appearance. Most of the men fired from their horses, especially such as had Sharp's rifles, but some dismounted on account of their horses being restive, or for greater ease in loading. Some of the horses were held just behind the line. I could hear the sound of shots from the direction of Hickory Point, accompanied at intervals by fierce yells. A young fellow near me remarked:

"Our men must be hitting them the way they holler." It was not that; it was the embryo Southern war cry or "Rebel yell," afterwards heard on so many battlefields. Our line fought in silence so far as cheering was concerned.

The scene was in the highest degree inspiring. It was a battle.


But a rear view cannot compare with what may be seen in front. I was just kicking up my old Rozinante intending to ride up to the left of the firing party, and at least see what the enemy looked like, when I saw a man leave the line and ride toward us at full speed. Blood was trickling down his face, and I saw that the outer angle of one of his eyebrows was shot away. The ball had apparently glanced from the bone but had cut the skin and flesh completely from it. He rode up to Doctor Cutler and demanded his attention. The doctor tied a bandage over the hurt so as to leave one eye uncovered. The man was either naturally gruff or the pain of his wound made him crabbed, for he gave me a very short answer when I addressed a question to him, coupled with an ugly expletive. But he had true grit, for instead of remaining in the rear, he remounted and dashed back in the midst of the fray.

Immediately after another man joined us from the front; he was not hurt. He looked to be well up in years, and was probably one of our recruits from the neighborhood. As he rode up he exclaimed vehemently.

"I'll swear, if a dozen bullets didn't come within a foot of my head!" and added as if in excuse, as he called our attention to the gun he carried, "I couldn't do a particle of good out there, so I thought I'd better leave."

This made me think that I myself would be out of place if I rode out on the ridge; my own company was gone, and my presence would be utterly useless as my rifle had a range of only 150 yards. For a brief space I halted between two opinions, and when I at last determined to ride forward I found it was too late -- the firing had slackened and died out. It had lasted but a few moments.

The rear guard fell back from the crest of the hill and came into the road. There seemed to be no hurry, and of course no pursuit was now apprehended. I gathered from what was said that the Rangers had left their cover and fought us until our fire drove them back to the shelter of the buildings. It was supposed that their loss amounted to half a dozen or more in killed and wounded. There was no one killed on our side and the man I had seen was the only one wounded. (He was an Irishman, judging from his brogue.) Three horses were hurt, one of them fatally.

We soon resumed our backward march. It was very hot for the time of year -- for several days the thermometer had been over ninety degrees in the shade. There had been no water on the field,


and I was suffering fearfully with thirst. We made a short halt at the Evans house, but I got no water there. But I succeeded in getting Fisher on the old war horse and took my place in the wagon, to my great relief and comfort.

When we were within a few miles of Osawkie our wagon stopped at a settler's cabin for water. General Lane was there, talking to a very fine looking old lady who was at the door. He had evidently been telling her about our skirmish, for as we drove up I heard her inquire how many men the enemy had lost in the affair.

"Six or seven," replied the general promptly. "None of our men were killed, and we had only one wounded; here he comes," added Lane, as the Irishman and several companions rode up and halted near by.

"The poor fellow!" exclaimed the lady. "Oh, sir, won't you come and have some bread and butter? -- The general is going to have some."

But the wounded hero answered curtly, "No, mum." He then said something to a comrade in a low voice. The other produced a flask filled with some kind of amber-colored liquid. The Irishman took off his bandage, poured some of the contents in the hollow of his hand, bent down his head and applied it to his wound. After thoroughly rubbing it in, he put the flask to his lips and allowed quite a quantity of the remedy to run down his throat. Was it the popular cure for snake-bite? It looked like it.

We reached Osawkie rather late in the afternoon, and went into camp west of the Grasshopper. [16] We were close to the town and on the north side of the main road. A little further north of us was an enclosure on a hillside. Fisher came to me and reported that there were "lots of watermelons up there," and added that the proprietor was a good free-state man and was willing we should help ourselves. The patch contained four or five melons less by the time we were through with it. Many thanks to the "good free-state man," for we were nearly famished. A good supper of slapjacks and bacon still further revived us, and we were soon in the best of spirits. As a matter of course our conversation was principally "war talk." We fully discussed the incidents of the day and the probabilities of success of our intended attack in the morning.

General Lane had his headquarters in a house just east of our camp and close to the road. It was here that I first saw Charley


Lenhart [17] to know who he was, and it came about in this way. Lenhart was leaning against the side of the house smoking a cigar when a young man the boys nicknamed "Brick" came around the corner, much exhilarated by stimulants. He was complaining bitterly that some one had accused him of having shown the "white feather."

"Charley Lenhart!" he cried, "you know I didn't act the coward in the fight to-day." Lenhart assured him that he certainly had not, but "Brick" was not satisfied with his words of approval.

"I'm a brick molder of Topeka," he went on excitedly, "and I'll whip any man in the regiment who says I'm a coward. Why, I can whip the whole regiment, if you only come down to the reality of the thing!"

At the name "Lenhart," I took a good look at the possessor of that renowned cognomen. Instead of a dark, fierce-eyed frontiersman, I saw a slender young man with an indolent, inoffensive manner that I could hardly reconcile with his reputation as a daring, reckless, fighting man.

Brick went to Captain Mitchell and different ones in camp, all the time loudly and profanely declaring his ability to whip the entire regiment if the reality could be tested.

"Put that man under arrest!" cried Lane in thundering tones, as he suddenly appeared on the scene. "What, is the whole camp to be kept in an uproar by one man?"

As he was seized, Brick once more cried out, "I could whip the whole regiment!" He was pulled down on his back and held by two stout men, but still he raised his head and shouted, "If you only come down to the reality of the thing !"

Night came and I was looking for a suitable place to spread my blanket, when a rumor crept in among us that to-morrow's battle was "off." Governor Geary was "up and doing," the terrible United States dragoons were to take the field, and we would have two enemies to fight instead of one. We still felt a respect for the soldiers of our country, even when they appeared in the guise of active enemies and oppressors. We were already denounced by the pro


slavery administration as traitors and outlaws, and an armed conflict with the federal troops would have proved our utter ruin.

(I was told long afterwards that Governor Geary sent word to Lane on this Saturday evening, requesting him to disband his men, as our presence as an armed force embarrassed him in the discharge of his official duties.)

Lane immediately sent a messenger to Colonel Harvey at Lawrence, countermanding the order for a field gun and reinforcements; sent the infantry back to Topeka, and started himself for Nebraska with the mounted men the same night. We were in the wagons ready to start about eight or nine o'clock in the evening. The general came out to us and gave us a few words at parting. He ended by saying, "I'll give you a chance at them some other time." It is unnecessary to say that this promise was never fulfilled. It was the last time I ever saw Whipple and Mitchell and many of my comrades, for I never bore arms in the freestate cause again.

With our backs a second time to the foe, we pursued our dreary, sleepy way back to Topeka. Save for the dull rumble of the wheels and the driver's voice urging on his team, a cheerless silence prevailed. Several times we were halted and formed in line to repel some fancied attack. They were all groundless alarms, but they served to awaken us for the time being. It was almost impossible to keep my eyes open, and several times I narrowly escaped falling from the wagon.

I reached home about two or three o'clock the next morning, and a few moments afterwards was lost in the oblivion of sleep, deep and dreamless. It was needed, for in little less than thirty hours I had been transported a distance of seventy miles and had witnessed that most exciting of all human events, an armed conflict.

Sunday, Sept. 14, 1868. The day was far advanced when I awoke. It was warm and clear, with some breeze. On this day was fought what I have generally called, "The second day's battle of Hickory Point." Colonel Harvey attacked the Rangers With musketry and artillery, but failed [18] to dislodge them. After some loss on both sides he withdrew, and nearly all of his command were afterwards captured by the United States troops.

This is a matter of history and is well known, but I have yet to learn that any written account whatever exists of our own attack on the day before, and it is for this reason that I have written out these


additional details. It has been my aim to state nothing but the facts that came under my own personal observation. It may contain some errors, for the memory is often a little treacherous after a lapse of forty years. My diary of 1856 is not voluminous, but it gives all the dates and main incidents, and can be relied upon as correct so far as it goes.

As a private soldier I knew nothing of the plans and motives of our leaders. They were brave men and may have been able, but they certainly proved to be unfortunate. General Lane's friends called him a clear-headed, heroic champion of our cause; his enemies the reverse. He was and still is, a puzzle. Perhaps there was no one who came in personal contact with him who was not swayed more or less by his subtle influence. Some of that influence lingers with me still, and there is a secret pleasure in the knowledge that I was one of "Jim Lane's boys."

But to a cool, dispassionate judgment this Hickory Point affair yields him little credit. It was a series of abortive attempts culminating in an unfortunate blunder that left Colonel Harvey to fight and suffer defeat alone. On the other hand, had Lane disregarded Governor Geary's request and gained a victory at Hickory Point, would our cause have been advanced? The nation was seething, and a successful battle might have acted like a spark to a powder magazine, and precipitated our Civil War four years too soon. Most likely all was ordered for the best. For it was ballots and not bullets that finally freed Kansas from the threatened curse of African slavery.

JANUARY 25, 1896.


1. Joseph M. Cole, uncle of Samuel J. Reader.
2. Dr. Jacob F. Jenner was born in the Kingdom of Wurtemburg, Germany, January 16, 1828. He came to America with his parents in 1838 settling in Vandenburg county, Indiana. After completing his school studies he took up the study of medicine at a medical college at St.- Louis, Mo., where he was graduated. He came to Kansas in 1855, settling near Topeka or Indianola, and took part in some of the early struggles in the territory. In 1857 he married Mary J. Bradshaw. They were parents of five children. Dr. Jenner moved to Grantville and later to St. Marys.
3. Papan's ferry was located at the west end of a large island in the Kansas river at Topeka, west of the Kansas avenue bridge of later days, the south terminal being at the foot of Western avenue. Giles' Thirty Years in Topeka, 1886, pages 16 and 17, says: "The first ferry that is known to have been established on the Kansas river, however, was that by Joseph and Ahcan Papan, in 1842, at the precise site of Topeka. At that time the south bank of the river was four or five hundred feet farther to the north than at present, and the Papan's dwelling house was near the bank. During the great flood of 1844 their house was carried away, as well as their ferry boats, and when the waters subsided they found the site of their home to have become an island, a portion of which still remains above the bridge. It was several years before the Papans reestablished themselves, but their ferry was popular and remunerative." [Within the past forty or fifty years, this island has again become part of the land on the south side of the river.] "the military road from Leavenworth to Santa Fe lay across that stream via Papan's ferry, to the west of Burnett's mound, crossed the Wakarusa near the site of Auburn, and bore away to the southwest."
4. Captain Charles Whipple, whose real name was Aaron Dwight Stevens, was born at Lisbon, Conn., March 15, 1831. He was a son of Capt. Aaron Stevens, of Norwich, Conn. He resided in the vicinity of his birth until about 1845, when he left for Boston where he joined a company of volunteers for the war then beginning with Mexico. He served through the Mexican campaign, and on coming out was honorably discharged. On returning home, he remained there until 1851, when he enlisted as a bugler in a United States Dragoon regiment, commanded by Col. E. V. Sumner, being drafted to the west at once. He served in western Kansas and Nebraska, and in Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. In 1855, when his regiment was returning to Fort Leavenworth, Stevens thoroughly chastised a major who had harshly disciplined a member of the company, and for this attack Stevens was marched across the plains with a ball and chain attached to his ankles. On reaching Fort Leavenworth he was court-martialed and sentenced to be shot. On application to the President this sentence was commuted to three years hard labor, with ball and chain attached to the ankle. He served the government in this way till early in January, 1856, when he deserted and concealed himself among Delaware Indians on the Kaw river. He remained with them about two months, then appeared in Topeka, where he at once identified himself with the freestate cause, assuming his mother's name and being known as "Charles Whipple." He filed on a Preemption claim in Shawnee county. During the spring of 1856, Whipple organized several mounted companies which were formed into the Second Regiment of Free-state volunteers. Later he joined John Brown's command, and during the fight at Harper's Ferry, was dangerously wounded while bearing a flag of truce. He recovered from this, and on March 16, 1806, was hung for his participation in the Harper's Ferry affair.
5. David Milne, a Scotchman, who located at Indianola and built a small half-log shanty in 1854 which he operated for a time as the Milne Hotel. This early hotel later became the Clinton Hotel.
6. Indianola was laid out in November, 1854, by John F. Baker, Hayden F. McMeekin and George H. Perrin. It was situated at the crossing of Soldier Creek, a mile and a half from Papan's ferry, on the road from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley. The land for the townsite was purchased from Louis Vieux, a Pottawatomie-French half-breed, who operated a ferry at this point. The first public sale of town lots was on June 27, 1855. A good frame hotel, the Clinton House, and other buildings were erected, and during the next year or two the town attained quite a degree of prosperity. During the '60s the town was gradually overshadowed by its neighbor, Topeka, and began declining and later disappeared. The last remaining structure on this once flourishing village, that of the old hotel, was used in later years as a barn.
7. Osawkie is the oldest town in Jefferson county. The first settlement was made in the spring of 1854 by W. F. and G. M. Dyer, who erected a store and started a trading ranch on the old military freight road. The Dyers were soon joined by Wm. H. and O. B. Tebbs, and later by R. McCauslin and Morris S. Knight. Early in 1855 a town was laid out by these parties, and when the county was organized, became the county seat. A large hotel was erected at a cost of many thousands of dollars, and for a time the town grew' rapidly. In 1858 the county seat was removed to Oskaloosa. Osawkie, which had been on the decline for several months, now entirely collapsed and was deserted by nearly all its residents. Soon after the removal of the county seat the large hotel was burned down. In later years, after the surrounding country was settled, the town became a quiet little country village.
8. Guilford Dudley was born at Bath, N. Y., in 1835. He came to Kansas in 1856, settling for a time at Lawrence, then locating at Topeka, where he engaged in the real-estate business and also opened a hotel. During the territorial troubles he enrolled himself with the free-state forces and took an active part. In 1859 he was clerk of the territorial legislature city clerk in 1861 and in 1862 was appointed adjutant general of Kansas. In 1869 he started a bank, with which he was connected for more than thirty years. He was a farmer and for years was a breeder of fine stock. He was also president of the Crosby Roller Milling Co., of Topeka, of which he was principal owner. He was married at Topeka, June 5, 1867, to Samantha V. Otis. He died at Topeka April 14, 1905.
9. Charles A. Sexton was one of the pioneers of Shawnee county, and took an active part la the affairs of the early days. A Topeka city directory of 1868 lists him as engaged in the book and stationery business. During the latter 70's he was proprietor of a "racket" store. Radges directory of 1880 lists him as a minister, pastor of the Wesleyan Methodist church; and for 1883- 84 as proprietor of a Faith Cure establishment, and publisher of Good Tidings. In 1887- 88 he was operating a broom factory. Later he was engaged in a small job printing establishment. His death is said to have occurred some years since.
10. Captain Ephraim Rainter was one of the pioneers of Jefferson county, and took a prominent part in the territorial troubles of 1850. He was with Whipple's men at the sacking of Osawkie and with Lane at Hickory Point the day before the battle. He was captured later with other free-state men and was taken to Lecompton, where he was tried and sentenced to six years in the penitentiary. He got out on a furlough and that fall was elected free-state sheriff of Jefferson county. During the period of the Civil War he is said to have been a jayhawker, and eventually got in trouble with the federal government on that account. His later life was uneventful and he was a respected citizen. His death occurred late in April, 1891, and he was buried at Osawkie on the 30th of that month.
11. Hall and Hand's History of Leavenworth County, Kansas, page 320 says: "The term 'Kickapoo Rangers' was a name quite early applied to the northern division of the territorial militia of the Territory of Kansas, They numbered all the way from two to three hundred men. The majority of these men were of proslavery inclination and their officers were all proslavery leaders. A great many of the ruffian acts of territorial days were committed by parties of these men under the guidance and direction of their radical leaders. David R. Atchison, at one time senator from Missouri, was a leader and advisor among them and urged them on to commit many of their atrocities." In Blackmar's History of Kansas we find the following account of a speech made by Atchison, the occasion being immediately after the entering of Lawrence by this body May 21 1856: "Boys, this day I am a Kickapoo Ranger. This day we have entered Lawrence with 'Southern Rights' inscribed on our banner, and not one abolitionist dared to fire a gun. And now, boys, we will go in again with our highly honorable Jones, and test the strength of that Free State hotel and teach the Emigrant Aid Company that Kansas shall be ours. Boys, ladies should, and I hope will, be respected by every gentleman. But, when a woman takes upon herself the garb of a soldier by carrying a Sharp's rifle, she is no longer worthy of respect. Trample her under your feet as you would a snake. If one man or women dare stand before you, blow them to hell with a chunk of cold lead."
12. Charles Hardt settled at Hickory Point in June, 1854, on the government road from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley, and started a trading house. Hardt's house was designated as a voting place in the election of March 30, 1855. In June, 1856 Capt. H. A. Lowe became owner of Hickory Point, and was in possession at the time of the battle.
13. Captain William F. Creitz, was one of the pioneers of Calhoun (now Jackson) county, arriving there in 1856. He took an active part in the territorial troubles in that section. He erected the first house on the townsite of Holton.
14. James A. Harvey arrived in Kansas in August, 1858, at the head of a company of seventy-six emigrants fitted out in Chicago in June of that year. A written statement of Harvey's, found in the Hyatt manuscripts in the Historical Society, gives his age as twenty-nine, and married. Johnson's History of Anderson County, Kansas, states that he was a soldier in the Mexican War. While at Iowa Point, on his way into the Territory, he was elected captain of his company. He and his party arrived at Topeka on August 18, twenty-six of his men having dropped out by the way. Troubles having broken out afresh in the Territory, Harvey and his men were actively engaged in fighting from the time of their arrival. On reaching Lawrence, Harvey was requested to remain and assist in its protection, and was made colonel of the Third Free-state Regiment. He took part in the siege and capture of Fort Titus, Douglas county, August 16, following. Early in September he took part in an expedition against Easton, Leavenworth county. On September 11, 1856, he surprised and captured a proslavery camp on Slough creek, near present Oskaloosa. Two days later his company had a fight with proslavery forces under Lowe and Robertson, at Hickory Point, the battle taking place on an upper branch of Little Slough creek, in the southeast corner of section 32, township 8, range 19, six miles due north of Oskaloosa, the proslavery forces surrendering after a six hours fight. After the battle, and while his men were in the vicinity, they were surrounded by United States troops under Col. P. St. George Cooke, arrested and disarmed, and marched to Lecompton, where they were held prisoners for some time. On being liberated, Harvey and his men made their way to Lawrence where they arrived penniless and stranded in dead of winter. Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, seeking relief for these unemployed men, formed a colony and led them to Anderson county where a town called Hyattville was started, Mr. Harvey being one of the trustees of the new venture. Mr. Hyatt provided tools, agricultural implements and subsistence for the colonists who at once set to work erecting buildings, but were obliged to live in tents for the most part of that winter. This was the first settlement in Anderson county. Mr. Harvey lived on a claim at this place, and died there during the year 1858. Hyattville began declining during the gold rush to Pike's Peak in 1859, and a few years later had disappeared. The sword of Colonel Titus, captured during the taking of his fort, and a South Carolina flag, captured during the Sough Creek fight, are in the museum of the State Historical Society.
15. Dr. George A. Cutler was born in Nashville, Tenn., December 25, 1832. He was a graduate of the University Medical College of New York City, in 1853, and shortly afterwards moved to Gentry county, Missouri, and commenced practicing medicine. Upon the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill he moved to Kansas, settling at Doniphan, which was then being laid out. He took an active part in the free-state struggles. In the spring of 1855 he was selected as the free-state candidate for the territorial legislature, being opposed by Dr. John H. Stringfellow. At the election Cutler received every free-state vote, and Governor Reeder sent him a certificate of election. He was next elected a member of the constitutional convention which met at Topeka, October 22, 1865. Being a member of the Topeka Town Company, at the close of the convention he decided to make Topeka his home. He was elected auditor under the Topeka movement, and reelected again in 1857. In the spring of 1859 he, with others, started a new town at the junction of the Cottonwood and Neosho, in what was then Breckenridge county. He was elected to the first free-state legislature from the counties of Osage, Breckenridge and Coffey. He was appointed by President Lincoln as United States Indian agent to the Creeks. He helped organize the Indian regiments for the Union service. He later resigned from the Indian service and removed to Sherman, Texas, and founded the Sherman Patriot. He later founded the Red River Journal and the Dallas Daily Commercial. He was the originator of the Texas Press Association, and was one of its founders, and its president in 1873. Dr. Cutler was in every battle (with possibly two or three exceptions) fought on Kansas soil. He was married at Topeka, in February, 1857, to Miss Hattie A. Tuttle, of that place, who died in the spring of 1878. He married later Miss Fannie J. Dougherty, by whom he ad three children. Dr. Cutler later removed to Gueda Springs, Sumner county, where in the early 80's he conducted a drug store, practiced his profession, and was postmaster. He later removed to California, where he was living about 1890.
16. Now called Delaware river.
17. Charley Lenhart came to Kansas in the spring of 1855, from Iowa. He was then eighteen or nineteen years old. He began work on the Herald of Freedom as a printer. He was in the Wakarusa war in the fall of 1855, and took an active part in free-state activities later. In 1856 he allied himself with the Lane and Brown factions. From this time on very little is known about him. He was of a reckless, adventurous nature, ardently free-state, and ready to fight for the cause at any time. It was reported that he was shot under the walls of the prison at Charleston, Va., where he was reconnoitering with a view of effecting the escape of Captain John Brown.
18. Error. The Rangers were forced to surrender after a six hours' fight.