Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Red Legs and the "Buckskin" or "Red Legged" Scouts Part II

For lengthy periods of time during the war, William Sloan Tough, a former Pony Express rider and wagon freighter, served as “Chief of Scouts” for the Union Army on the Border. He told a reporter in 1863, that during the early days of the war he “belonged to no military organization, but ran an independent concern,” and that the “plunder was divided among his men who would sell it and get pay for their service.” It was also recorded that Tough raised a force of seventy-five men at the beginning of the war and conducted raids into Missouri. His motive was allegedly revenge, for Missouri guerrillas had pilfered his wagons and twice attempted to kill him. I am highly skeptical of this later story and in an upcoming blog post will examine a possible Marshall Cleveland – Tough connection. Tough and his men were a completely separate and distinct organization from Hoyt’s crew and were commonly identified as the “buckskin scouts” and occasionally as “Red Legged” scouts. Tough and two of his men, John Harvey and Wallace or Walter “Walt” Sinclair, appear on Connelley’s list of Red Legs.

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