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[516] reached me at Leavenworth City of the burning of Lawrence, and of the avowed purpose of the rebels to go thence to Topeka. I thought it best to go to De Soto, and thence, after an unavoidable delay of five hours in crossing the Kansas River, to Lanesfield. Finding there, at daybreak, that Quantrell had passed east, I left the command to follow as rapidly as possible, and pushed on, reaching, soon after dark, the point on Grand River where Quantrell's force had scattered.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear, with the detachments of the First Missouri, from Warrensburgh and Pleasant Hill, numbering about two hundred men, after failing to find Quantrell on Blackwater on the twenty-second, encountered him at noon on the twenty-third, on Big Creek, broke up his force, and has since had five very successful engagements with different parties of his band.

The pursuit of Quantrell, after our forces had caught up with him at Brooklyn, was so close, that he was unable to commit any further damage to property on his route, but was compelled to abandon almost all his horses, and much of the p plunder from the Lawrence stores; and since he reached Missouri a large part of his men have abandoned their horses, and taken to the brush afoot. The number of equipments so far captured exceeds one hundred, and the number of participants in the massacre already killed is fully as great. The most unremitting efforts are being made to hunt down the remainder of the band, before they recover from the pursuit.

Familiar as many of Quantrell's men were with our prairies — unobstructed as to course by any roads or fords — with a rolling country to traverse, as open as the sea — to head off his wellmounted, compact, and well-disciplined force, was extremely difficult. The troops which followed and overtook him south of Lawrence, without a cooperating force to stop him, were practically useless from exhaustion; and the forces which did not follow, but undertook to head him, failed, though they nearly all exerted themselves to the utmost to accomplish it. There were few of the troops which did not travel one hundred miles in the first twenty-four hours of the pursuit. Many horses were killed. Four men of the Eleventh Ohio were sun-stricken; among them Lieutenant Dick, who accompanied me, fell dead on dismounting to rest. The citizens engaged in pursuit, though they were able generally to keep close upon the enemy between Brooklyn and Paoli, killing and wounding many stragglers and men in the rear-guard, were without the requisite arms, organization, or numbers, to successfully encounter the enemy.

Although Quantrell was nearly eleven hours in Kansas before reaching Lawrence, no information of his approach was conveyed to the people of that town. Captain Pike, at Aubrey, sent no messenger either to Paola, Olathe, or Lawrence, one or the other of which towns, it was plain, was to be attacked. Captain Coleman, on getting the news at Little Santa Fe, at once despatched a messenger to Olathe, asking the commanding officer there to speed it westward, That officer, not knowing in what direction the guerrillas were moving, sent a messenger out on the Santa Fe road, who, when nearly at Gardner, hearing that Quantrell had just passed through there, returned to Olathe.

With one exception, citizens along the route who could well have given the alarm, did not even attempt it. One man excused himself for his neglect on the plea that his horses had been working hard the day before. A boy living ten or twelve miles from Lawrence begged his father to let him mount his pony, and going a by-road alarm the town. But he was not allowed to go. Mr. J. Reed, living in the “Hesper neighborhood,” near Eudora, started ahead of Quantrell from that place to carry the warning to Lawrence, but while riding at full speed, his horse fell and was killed, and he himself so injured that he died next day.

Thus surprised, the people of Lawrence were powerless. They had never, except on the occasion referred to above, thought an attack probable, and feeling strong in their own preparations, never, even then, asked for troops to garrison the town. They had an ambulance of arms in their city arsenal, and could have met Quantrell on half an hour's notice with five hundred men. The guerrillas, reaching the town at sunrise, caught most of the inhabitants asleep, and scattered to the various houses so promptly as to prevent the concentration of any considerable number of the men. They robbed the most of the stores and banks, and burned one hundred and eighty-five buildings, including one fourth of the private residences, and nearly all the business houses of the town, and, with circumstances of the most fiendish atrocity, murdered one hundred and forty unarmed men, among them fourteen recruits of the Fourteenth regiment, and twenty of the Second Kansas colored volunteers. About twenty-four persons were wounded.

Since the fall of Vicksburgh, and the breaking up of large parts of Price's and Marmaduke's armies, great numbers of rebel soldiers, whose families live in Western Missouri, have returned, and being unable or unwilling to live at home, have joined the bands of guerrillas infesting the border. Companies, which before this summer mustered but twenty or thirty, have now grown to fifty or one hundred. All the people of the country, through fear or favor, feed them, and rarely any give information as to their movements. Having all the inhabitants, by good will or compulsion, thus practically their friends, and being familiar with the fastnesses of a country wonderfully adapted by nature to guerrilla warfare, they have been generally able to elude the most energetic pursuit. When assembled in a body of several hundred, they scatter before an inferior force, and when our troops scatter in pursuit, they reassemble to fall on an exposed squad, or a weakened post, or a defenceless strip of the border. I have had seven stations on the line from which patrols have each night and each day traversed every foot of the border for ninety miles. The troops you have been able to spare

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