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[400] and should not be molested. They were all searched, and everything valuable taken away from them — even the finger-rings of men and women. The whole house was then ransacked, and every thing of value taken out by the guerrillas. The prisoners were marched over to the Whitney House, and there guarded.

By this time most of the plunder had been secured on horses driven together from all parts of the town. The safes had all been broken, some blown up by powder, others deliberately chiselled open. They picked out the horses, only retaining the best, and driving the poorer ones off.

At about seven o'clock they set fire to the court-house. We heard several explosions, which at a distance would have been taken for cannonshots. We heard some person riding down the street, commanding their friends to burn the stores; and we soon heard the crackling of the fire, and saw most of the buildings east and west of us wrapped in flames. To the south we could not see from the houses we were in.

During all this time citizens were being murdered everywhere. Germans and negroes, when caught, were shot immediately. Many persons were shot down after they had been taken prisoners, and had been assured that they would not be hurt if they would surrender. Messrs. Trask and Baker, and two other citizens, were so taken, and while being marched toward the river as prisoners, after being assured that they would not be harmed, some guerrillas asked their names. Mr. Trask gave the names, when they were immediately fired upon, and all four killed on the spot, except Mr. Baker, who is not expected to live, however. Mr. Dix had been taken prisoner and his house set on fire, when one of the fiends told him, if he would give them his money, he would not be killed; otherwise he would. Mr. Dix went into the burning house, and got a thousand dollars, and handed it over. He was told to march toward the river, and had not proceeded twenty steps when he was shot dead from behind. Mr. Hampson, clerk of the Provost-Marshal, had a revolver, and tried to defend the few things he had saved from the Johnson House. His wife interfered, and they told him if he would surrender he should be treated as a prisoner, and be safe from harm. He surrendered, and was immediately shot from behind, the ball entering near the spine, and coming out below the kidneys in front. The wound is not considered fatal.

In one instance, the wife and a daughter of a man threw themselves over his body, begging for his life; but one of the murderers deliberately thrust his revolver down between the two women, and killed the man.

Before ten o'clock the body of the guerrillas left with their plunder, leaving a guard over the prisoners in town, and a few stragglers. The few persons wounded were wounded at this time by the passing fiends. In the earlier part of the day most persons were fired at from very near, and killed instantly.

One of the first persons out was Colonel Deitzler. Mr. Williamson and myself helped him carry off the dead. The sight that met us when coming out, I cannot describe. I have read of outrages committed in the so-called dark ages, and horrible as they appeared to me, they sank into insignificance in comparison with what I was then compelled to witness. Well-known citizens were lying in front of the spot where their stores or residences had been, completely roasted. The bodies were crisp and nearly black. We thought, at first, that they were all negroes, till we recognized some of them. In handling the dead bodies, pieces of roasted flesh would remain in our hands. Soon our strength failed us in this horrible and sickening work. Many could not help crying like children. Women and little children were all over town, hunting for their husbands and fathers, and sad indeed was the scene when they did finally find them among the corpses laid out for recognition. I cannot describe the horrors; language fails me, and the recollection of the scenes I witnessed makes me sick when I am compelled to repeat them.

The town is a complete ruin. The whole of the business part, and all good private residences are burned down. Every thing of value was taken along by the fiends. No store is left, and it is necessary that the good people of Leavenworth send provisions immediately. Persons who were rich yesterday are now utterly destitute.

One of the first places surrounded was the Eldridge House. It seems the guerrillas demanded a surrender before firing into it. After a short consultation the occupants concluded to surrender, and a white flag (sheet) appeared from the balcony, which was greeted with cheers. Quntrell was sent for, and made his appearance. On being asked what were his intentions, he replied, “Plunder;” he finally agreed that they should be protected, and gave them an escort to a place of safety. The last-named place not being found safe on account of indiscriminate shooting by the men, Quantrell allowed them to go to the Whitney House, kept by Mr. Stone. Quantrell said Mr. Stone once saved his life, and he was not the man to forget past favors. As soon as the Eldridge was surrendered, the house was searched. The inmates of the rooms were aroused from their beds, and their money, jewelry, and other valuables, demanded of them. Some gentlemen from Ohio who occupied one room were not as expeditious as the guerrillas thought, and they commenced firing through the door. One ball took effect in the calf of the leg of one of them. This same man was again shot through the shoulder, but is now doing well at the Merchants', in this city. Soon after, the building was destroyed; whether it was fired or caught from the adjoining buildings, we have not heard. It is supposed that a gentleman who has been connected with L. Levenson & Co., who had a store underneath, was burned.

After the second move, the Eldridge House


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