Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"The Depredators:" The Cleveland-Tough Connection Part II

While the story told by Blue and Moore contains the usual jayhawker hyperbole, and while they are seriously confused about the dates of certain events, their account closely corresponds with the official report written by Captain Irving W. Fuller of the First Missouri Cavalry:"In pursuance of the above order I left Fort Leavenworth with my command at 2 o'clock p. m. of the 20th January, 1862, and proceeded to Atchison, where I arrived at 8 o'clock p. m. of the same day. I reported immediately upon my arrival to Mayor Fairchild (Special Orders, No. 58, revoking that part of Orders No. 57, not having reached me yet). Mayor Fairchild informed me that the citizens had driven the principal jayhawkers (depredators) out of town, but at the same time requested me to arrest certain parties who were suspected to be in league with these depredators and as having the keeping of stolen horses and cattle. In conformity with his request I arrested several of such persons as he pointed out to me and charged with the above crime, but who from want of evidence and with his concurrence were discharged. On the next morning, January 21, 1862, at 4 o'clock a. m., Lieutenant Sprague joined my command with 20 men and reported for duty. At 8 a.m. of the same day I sent out Lieutenant Sprague with 25 men in search of horse-thieves and depredators and stolen property, who succeeded in capturing 5 of the stolen horses and 2 jayhawkers, and re- turned at 2 p. m. of the same day. I then proceeded with the balance of my command to the farm of Sueter Dixon, a noted jayhawker, and took from his farm 20 horses and 2 shot-guns, the property of citizens of Kansas and Missouri, to whom I restored their property upon their bringing satisfactory proof of ownership. January 22, Mayor Fairchild delivered to me 8 horses taken from the jayhawkers by the Home Guards of Atchison previous to my arrival, which were all claimed by citizens of Kansas and delivered to them as above. January 23, made several scouts and searches in the neighborhood of town. I was informed by Messrs. Brown, Dunlap, and Sumers that several horses were brought to their farms by parties unknown for safe-keeping, but that they supposed them to be jayhawked horses, and would like to have an investigation of the matter. I proceeded to the farms of the above-named men, seized the horses, and brought them into town, when they were immediately claimed by their proper owners and delivered to them. January 24, I was notified by Mr. Irving, of Missouri, at 3 o'clock a.m., that 15 jayhawkers had robbed his farm in Missouri and taken therefrom 40 horses and mules and 6 negroes; that they dragged his family, among whom there are several females, out of bed, insulting them in the most revolting manner, robbed them of their jewelry, and finally left and proceeded in the direction of Elwood. I immediately concluded to go in search of this party, and Mr. Irving offering himself and a few neighbors as guides, I consented thereto, but dispatched him in advance. I overtook him at Geary City, where I found that his party had caught 2 and killed the captain (by name Chandler) of jayhawkers, and wounded another. The rest had escaped, 11 in number, and had gone in the direction of Elwood. I then told Mr. Irving that I thought best for him and his party to go home, as I had a force sufficient to answer all purposes. Accordingly Mr. Irving and his party went home. I took the 2 prisoners in my charge and gave chase to the remainder.
I followed them closely. When I came within 8 miles of Elwood I ascertained that the party I was in pursuit of had divided. Five had gone west of Elwood,in the direction of White Cloud, and 6 had gone to Elwood. Accordingly I divided my command. I sent Lieu- tenant Sprague in pursuit of the party of 5 en route to White Cloud, and proceeded myself in pursuit of the other party en route to Elwood, where I captured them. Two hours after Lieutenant Sprague joined me, having been successful in the capture of the party sent after, with all the stolen property in their possession 5 horses, saddles, bridles, & c. The party I captured had in their possession 12 horses, 3 mules, and 4 wagons, all these the property of Mr. Irving. These are the most material points of my proceedings. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, I. W. FULLER, Captain, First Missouri Cavalry."

1 comment:

  1. In his 1915 History of Johnson County, Ed Blair wrote that the Red Legs, "wore, as a distinguishing mark, by which to recognize each other when scouting in the enemy's country, leggings of red morocco, and hence the name of 'red-legs.'" I personally think nothing less likely than the reason for the red leggings was so that a small band of intimates might recognize each other.

    So what was the 'real' reason for the red leggings? Was it merely a symbol used to terrorize Missourians, like riding under a black flag? Or am I missing something?