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[187] 1861, the St. Louis Democart stated that ‘Lieutenant Mack, sent out to Vienna with twenty Kansas ranges, returned yesterday. He brought no prisoners, that being a useless operation about played out.’ The Rolla Express of the same date said: ‘A scouting party of rangers, which left this place last week for Maries county, has returned. The boys bring no prisoners—it isn't their style.’

At that time there was not an organized Southern guerilla band in the State. The first organization of that kind was effected in Quantrell. In January, 1862, he had seven men with him and operated in Jackson county. During that month Capt. William Gregg joined with thirteen men, making his force twenty. After that his command increased rapidly. They had many fights and took many prisoners, but always paroled them. In a fight at Little Santa Fe Quantrell and his band were surrounded in a house, the house was set on fire, and they fought their way out, one man being wounded, captured and taken to Fort Leavenworth. Shortly afterward Quantrell captured a Federal lieutenant. He proposed to the Federal commander to exchange the lieutenant for his man. The commander refused. He then paroled the lieutenant and sent him to ask the commander to make the exchange. The commander still refused. The lieutenant reported back, and Quantrell released him unconditionally, but his man was shot.

On the night of the 20th of March, 1862, Quantrell with sixty men camped on Blackwater, four miles from California. Early on the morning of the 21st he got a copy of the St. Louis Republican, which contained General Halleck's proclamation outlawing his band and all other bands of partisan rangers, and ordering Federal officers not to take them prisoners, but to kill them wherever and under whatever circumstances found. Quantrell said nothing of the proclamation until he had formed his men next morning. Then he read it to them,

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