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Civil War Round Table of Kansas City

Battlefield Dispatches #61

Foxes & Jayhawkers Killed & Captured

In the Spring of 1862, the Union Forces in Missouri and Kansas were waging a frustrating war against the cunning Confederate Foxes (guerrillas) and the murderous Kansas Jayhawkers (outlaws & redlegs). Violent incidents involving these culprits were especially common and more prevalent along or near the border of Kansas and Missouri. The following after action reports describe the pursuit of the Chief Confederate Fox, Capt. William Clark Quantrill; the killing & capture of some of his men and the killing of some Kansas Jayhawkers in Missouri along the Maris-des-Cygnes River. Both reports are on Pages 57-58 & 63 in Series I, Vol. 13 of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion.

William C. Quantrill

James Totten

Headquarters District of Central Missouri,
Jefferson City, Mo., April 19, 1862.

Captain: I have the honor to state that I have received official reports from Lieut. Colonel E. B. Brown, commanding Jackson & Cass Counties , to the effect that at daylight on the morning of the 14th of April a detachment of the 1st Missouri Cavalry, under Lieut. Nash, attacked Quantrill near the Santa Fe Road and 12 miles from Independence, [Mo.], killing 4, wounding 4 and taking 5 prisoners. The report also states that our troops captured all of the horses, arms [weapons], accouterments and most of the clothing of the OUTLAWS!

JAS. TOTTEN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg., District.


Independence, Mo., April 16, 1862.

Captain: Having through my scouts [normally civilians hired as guides] tracked Quantrill for the past 5 days, I received information last night that gave promise of making a successful ATTACK on his BAND! After making arrangements with one of the scouts to meet the command at Ray Point with reliable information as to his movements, I ordered Lieut. G.W. Nash, with 30 men of the 1st Missouri cavalry to move to that point at Midnight, and be governed in his preparations by the information he received there. The night was dark and a heavy thunderstorm raged until 4 o’clock in the morning, effectually concealing the movements of the command. At daylight it reached a small, old log house, 2 miles from any traveled road and about 12 miles from here, in the direction of Santa Fe, where Quantrill was housed. He was completely surprised, and Lieut. Nash charged on his farm as they were flying to the brush, about 20 rods from the brush, killing 4, wounding 4 and capturing 5 prisoners, all the horses, accouterments, most of their arms and clothing, most of Quantrill’s men running off barefooted and coatless. Lieut. Nash, for his perseverance in pursuing Quantrill and his bravery in the charge, deserves especial notice of the commanding general.

E.B. BROWN, Lieut. Colonel, Commanding.

Egbert B. Brown

Fitz Henry Warren

Headquarters District of Central Missouri,
Jefferson City, Mo., April 16, 1864.

Captain: I have the honor to report that communications from Col. Fitz Henry Warren, 1st Iowa Cavalry, commanding Sub-District of  Bates, Henry, Saint Clair and Vernon counties, headquarters at Butler, have been received, announcing [the] result of two scouts [patrols] under Captains Chase & Caldwell. The former brought 15 prisoners, some of them VERY BAD MEN; the latter assisted by Captain Leffingwell’s Company, from Clinton, 34 prisoners. One of the JAYHAWKERS was KILLED by a rifle shot in attempting an escape. One of our men was captured but retaken, after being robbed of his horse, saddle, arms and clothes except for shirt & drawers. Most of these MEN are of the  WORST [KIND] & OUGHT to be SHOT or HUNG! The whole wooded country of the Marais-des-Cygnes, Osage and their tributaries is FULL of THEM! These scouts took place on the Marais-des-Cygnes and Elk Fork Rivers.

JAS. TOTTEN, Brig. Gen., Cmdg. District.

The Chief Confederate Fox managed to escape again to fight another day, but the war was over for a few of his men and some Jayhawkers.

Civil War Round Table of Kansas City
4125 NW Willow DR
Kansas City, MO 64116

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