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Doc. 162.-surprise of Quantrell.

Pleasant Hill, September 15, 1863--9 P. M.
Brigadier-General Ewing, Commanding the District of the Border:
Sir: After a week spent in bushwhacking in search of Quantrell's guerrillas, I became convinced that some of his bands continued to secrete themselves upon the waters of the Sinabar and Blue Creeks, in Jackson county, Missouri. [496] This morning I made another night march with a view to surprise him if possible. I crossed the intervening prairie, and entered the timbers of the Sinabar without being observed. At daylight, the command being divided into four detachments, we commenced a thorough scouring of the Sinabar hills. The country is very rugged and filled with almost impenetrable thickets. Half of the different detachments were dismounted and penetrated the woods, deployed as skirmishers — the horses being led in the rear.

By three of the detachments nothing particular was discovered, except evidences that the guerrillas inhabited these woods. Captain Coleman, of the Ninth Kansas, who commanded on the extreme left, in the course of the day fell upon a trail, by following which he soon came upon Quantrell's own camp. He promptly attacked it, killed two of the guerrillas, captured some forty horses, destroyed all their subsistence stores, all their bedding, clothing, ammunition, and some arms. The enemy fired but one volley, and at once disappeared in the thick underwood, where pursuit was impossible.

Too much credit cannot be given to Captain Coleman for the ingenuity, courage, and energy with which he conducted this as well as other attacks upon guerrillas, or to the zeal and bravery of the men of his command in seconding the labors of their chief.

The effect of this surprise and capture is most damaging to the designs of Quantrell in making another raid upon Kansas. The loss of horses and clothing is to him worse than the loss of men, as the country is denuded of both.

The bushwhackers have within a day or two burned a splendid flouring mill at Lone Jack.

To-morrow morning I shall start an expedition to endeavor the capture of another camp of the guerrillas.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

William Weer, Colonel, etc.

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