under Gen. J. H. Lane
, and turned back without a fight-first halting, and refusing to advance against the determined front of the Free-State
men, and finally disappearing in the course of the ensuing night.
The other and smaller party, led by Gen. Reid
, consisted of four to five hundred men, well armed with United States
cannon, muskets, bayonets, and revolvers, and liberally supplied with ammunition.
They pursued a more southerly course, and, at daylight on the morning of August 30th, approached the little village of Osawatomie
, which was defended by barely thirty Free-State men; but their leader was old John Brown
His son Frederick was shot dead, about a mile and a half from the village, by the Rev. Martin White
, who led the pro-Slavery advance or scouting party, before young Brown
was aware of their hostile character.
Two other Free-State men were likewise surprised and killed early in the morning.
, with his thirty compatriots, took position in great haste in the timber on the southern bank of the little river Osage
, here known as the Marais-des-Cygnes, a little to the northwest of the village, and here fought the advance of the foe as they approached, until thirty-one or two of them were killed and from forty to fifty wounded. The Free-State men, fighting generally under cover against an undisciplined and badly managed force, lost but five or six in all; but the disproportion was too great, and, their ammunition becoming exhausted, they were forced to retreat, leaving Osawatomie
to be sacked and burned again.
himself continued steadily firing, as well as directing his men, throughout the conflict, amid an incessant shower of grapeshot and bullets.
Not until he saw the whites of the enemy's eyes did he give the order to his little band to retreat.
The Ruffians killed the only wounded prisoner whom they took, as also a Mr. Williams
, whom they found in Osawatomie
, and who had taken no part in the conflict.
returned to their homes in triumph, boasting that they had killed old Brown
and dispersed his band; but their wagon-loads of dead and wounded created a salutary awe, which was very efficient in preventing future invasions, or rendering them comparatively infrequent.
The Rev. Martin White
, for his services in this expedition, was chosen a member of the next Lecompton
(pro-Slavery) Legislature, which he attended; and, in the course of its deliberations, he entertained his fellow-members with a graphic and humorous account of his killing of Frederick Brown
When the session was finished, he started for home, but never reached it. His body was found cold and stiff on the prairie, with a rifle-ball through his vitals.
Six weeks after the Osawatomie fight, Capt. Brown
was in Lawrence
, stopping over Sunday on his way home from Topeka
, when the startling announcement was made that 2,800 Missourians, under Atchison
, were advancing upon that town.
Not more than two hundred men in all could be rallied for its defense.
was unanimously chosen their leader.
He made a speech from a dry-goods
box in Main-street, opposite the post-office, substantially as follows:
Gentlemen, it is said there are twenty-five