There is one person on Connelley’s list of Kansas Red Legs that should not be there. Although he certainly knew many individuals associated with the Red Legs, James Butler Hickok, “Wild Bill,” was never a Red Leg. I will discuss this at length in a later blog and hopefully my friend Joe Rosa will provide his thoughts on the matter. As we shall see, however, there were many men who were left off of Connelley’s list.
The individuals included in Connelley’s Kansas Red Leg list fall into two separate and distinct categories. One group of men, more or less, coalesced around “The Chief of the Red Legs,” George H. Hoyt. (Photo on left) Without doubt, Hoyt was instrumental in forming the original “unofficial” organization. From time to time, these men were employed in an official capacity as scouts, spies and detectives, sometimes under the direct leadership of Hoyt. As an example, Hoyt commanded the following group of men during the summer of 1863:
DETECTIVES, SCOUTS AND GUIDES EMPLOYED UNDER GEORGE H. HOYT FOR BRIG. GEN THOMAS EWING, JR., IN 1863:
[Names in bold denote individuals from Connelley’s list of Red Legs]
Albott, Edward, P., Guide & Scout, 5-28 Aug. 1863
Atchison, John, Detective, 6 July-29 Aug.
Bender, John C., Detective, 20 May-10 Aug.
Blachly, John W., Detective, 18 June-28 Aug.
Bliss, J.F., Detective, 20 July-19 Aug.
Bridges, John L., Detective, 18 June-17 Aug.
Carpenter, Samuel W., Detective, 8 July-31 Aug.
Hook, Dawson A., Detective, 16 June-31 Aug.
Hoyt, George H., Chief Detective, 16 June-31 Aug.
Johnson, David, Detective, 6 Aug [Johnson was killed on his first day of employment. I will have the complete story of Johnson’s termination later on in the blog]
Johnson, William Henry Harrison, Detective, 18 June-18 Aug.
Kelsey, Thomas C., Detective, 1 July-16 Aug.
Kingsley, Richard, Detective, 25 July-31 Aug.
Kinsley, George, Detective, 16 June-31 Aug.
Logan, William, Detective, 19 July-18 Aug.
Raynard, Asa, Detective, 26 June-31 Aug.
Shelton, John, Detective, 19 June-31 Aug.
Speer, John L., Detective, 19 July-15 Aug.
Spui, C., [full name missing from document] Scout, 8-29 Aug.
Suley, R., Detective, 14 July-5 Aug.
Tinter, John R., Detective, 12-31 Aug.
Wilson, David, Detective, 1 June-31 Aug.
In my next blog post I will discuss the second group of men to whom the term Red Leg was applied, William Sloan Tough and his "Buckskin" or "Red Legged" scouts.