Indians And Jayhawkers
by R.M. Peck
National Tribune, 28 July 1904
pg. 8, cols 1-5
Humboldt (on the
River) was at the time a small village
of about 200 inhabitants, but, next to Fort
Scott, was the most important place on
the southern border of Kansas.
Several months previous to my visit it had been raided by old Tom Livingston and his gang of rebel bushwhackers from
Missouri, who had plundered the stores and
post office, and burnt several houses, the ruins of which were still in
While lying at Humboldt several days I found considerable entertainment in watching the process of making soldiers out of Indians.
Indians As Soldiers
When the war broke out the various tribes of the Indian Nation were much divided in political sentiments, most of the slave owning class among them joining the rebels.
Those who refused to take up arms against the Government had been driven out of their country by the rebels, and had taken refuge in the southern
As these Indians became charges upon Uncle Sam, he having now to feed, clothe and shelter them, he had concluded to try to utilize the men as soldiers, and had just made up three regiments of them, officering them mostly with white men, some of whom were deserving soldiers selected from the Kansas regiments then in service; but others were men who had no qualifications whatever for the positions, except a political pull.
Many of our volunteer regiments during the war were cursed by just such incompetent officers. This was a source of incalculable injury to our army throughout the struggle, and the prime cause of most of our great and small disasters.
An expedition was now being formed at
to convey the Indian Brigade back to the Nation, drive the rebels out, if
possible, and give the loyal Indians a permanent footing in their own country
again, and an organization that would enable them to hold it. Fort Scott
The Choctaws and Chickasaws had all gone over to the rebels, but the Cherokees, Creeks and Seminoles were probably about equally divided as to numbers, the most intelligent and wealthy, however, the slave owners, who were principally whites and half and quarter breeds- espousing the rebel cause, while the full bloods and some few of the mixed bloods had remained faithful to the Union.
The Osage, whose lands lay a little south of Humboldt, had also become split, part going south.
They were hardly yet beginning to adopt the ways of the white man, most of them showing little more civilization than the “blanket” Indians of the plains. In fact, the majority of the Osages were at this time “blanket” Indians themselves.
One company of these was enlisted in the Indian Brigade at Humboldt, but it was found so difficult to reduce them to anything like military discipline that they were shortly afterwards disbanded and allowed to return to their country, of which the Osage Mission (Catholic), on the Neosho River, about 40 miles south of Humboldt, was considered the headquarters.
It was interesting to notice the use made by the full bloods of the (to them) munificent gifts of Uncle Sam, when clothing and equipments were issued to them. Probably few of them had ever before possessed more clothing than they carried on their persons at one time, and as soon as they received their outfits they would put all on, one article after another, even to the soldiers overcoats; then buckling on their belts with cartridge box and bayonet, wrapping their heavy double U.S. blankets around over all, with a new musket in hand, would strut about camp apparently very proud of being a United States soldier. It seemed to be a matter of duty with them.
They appeared to think that all this stuff was for constant and immediate use, and didn’t know how else to take care of so much worldly wealth. And this in hot, July weather.
The Osages could not be induced to wear the soldier trousers. Some of them cut off the legs and used them as leggings, but the body and seat of the trousers they threw away.
When rations were issued to these “noble red men” for 10 days at a time, as is the rule among white soldiers, they would turn loose to cooking and eating, like gluttons, and keep it up day and night, till the whole amount was consumed- 10 days’ rations generally lasting them about three days- and then go without, or steal or starve the rest of the time.
The full blood Indians are always jealous of and antagonistic to the whites and half-breeds of their tribe, and the Cherokees (and possibly some others) have a secret organization among the full bloods, the sign by which the different members recognize each other being the wearing of a common pin in a certain position on the front of the shirt or coat.
On this account the full bloods are generally spoken of as “pin Injuns.”
The Indians all seemed highly elated at the prospect of returning to their own country. Those of them who have brought their families out of the Nation are to leave these in Kansas, in Uncle Sam’s care, till the warriors re-conquer their own country and get permanently re-established there. They vow vengeance against those of their own tribes who have driven them from their homes, and taken possession of their property; and as their hatred of each other becomes very intense when arrayed on opposite sides, it is presumed that there will be few prisoners taken on either side when Union Indian meets Rebel Indian in war.
An Abolition Fanatic
When they started on the “warpath” from Humboldt south into the Nation, Col. John Ritchie, of the 2d Indian Regiment, was in command of the brigade, I think.
This man, John Ritchie, of
was a fanatic, a monomaniac on the subject of slavery, who through political
influence was appointed Colonel of the 2d Indian Regiment, a position he was
totally unqualified for. His chief
recommendation seemed to be a violent hatred of every one who favored
slavery. Shortly after this time at the
battle of Shirley’s Ford, it was said that he tolerated and encouraged the
killing and scalping of rebel Indians, and atrocious treatment of their
families, in his march through the country. Topeka, Kans.
Our Government never allowed any such cruelties, and when Ritchie began to show to what extremes his violent hatred of slavery was leading, he was placed under arrest, and sent back to Kansas, where, instead of being cashiered as he deserved, his “political pull” succeeded in getting him some nominal position whereby he continued to hold a commission and draw his pay as Colonel till the close of the war. He was never allowed a command in the field again.
While he was under arrest I saw him mount an empty packing box in front of his tent one day down in the Nation, and go to haranguing a lot of soldiers and others who had gathered near; and he soon worked himself up to such a pitch of fury in his violent ravings about slavery that he fairly frothed at the mouth like a maniac.
As the Indians moved out “on the war path” from Humboldt in an irregular, straggling column, they inaugurated the undertaking by a series of yells that I supposed were intended as a ceremonious declaration of war against those who had driven them out of their homes.
One at the head of the column would utter a prolonged, shrill note, and as soon as he ceased the whole body of warriors would give forth in chorus a short, sharp bark like a dog. This was repeated several times. Then the marching column would take to gobbling like turkeys. And this war whooping and gobbling they kept up till they passed several miles on the road.
The gobbling is their note of challenge to their enemies, the turkey gobbler being their emblem of defiance.
They go from Humboldt to Baxter Springs, in the
Land, where they will join the main
invading command from . Fort
Taking transportation with
Underhill’s train, I went to
to look for another job. On applying to
Hugh Kirkendall, Master of Transportation there, I found there was no opening
for a Wagon Master, and accepted the position of Assistant to Underhill, which
Hugh offered me. We immediately loaded
up with commissaries, and under an escort of a company of cavalry, started down
in the Nation to overtake the invading command. Fort Scott
Here, being in the country at present held by the enemy, all wagon trains are guarded and escorted by soldiers.
to Baxter Springs,
60 miles, the country is entirely unsettled.
This strip at that time was called the Fort
and now constitutes the counties of Crawford and Cherokee, in Kansas.
At Baxter Springs, where there was but one house, we caught up with the rear of the invading column, and traveled with it down to Cabin Creek where we found the main command under Brevet Brigadier-General Weir, formerly Colonel of the 10th
A day or two before our arrival Weir had surprised a body of rebels, commanded by the rebel General Cooper, at a place called Locust Grove, and whipped them, capturing their camp and some prisoners.
Chief John Ross, of the Cherokees, and his family joined us at Cabin Creek. He had been playing “fast and loose” with the rebels until our arrival gave him an opportunity to get out of their clutches, of which he promptly availed himself.
John Ross took no active part in the war, but immediately went east with his family to
where he remained till the war ended. He
is reputed to be wealthy.
We moved by easy marches- feeling our way- from Cabin Creek to Flat Rock Creek, within 12 miles of Fort Gibson, where the rebels were said to be in considerable force, under Generals Cooper and Stand Watie. The latter is a full-blooded Cherokee and in command of all rebel Indians. He is described as quite an intelligent and well-educated man, and the ugliest featured man in the Nation.
From Baxter Springs, as we move toward Gibson, the settlements (farms- no towns) become more numerous, but still the country is sparsely settled, the improvements being confined to the choicest localities along the water courses. This is truly a fine country, fairly diversified in prairie and timber, and well watered by numerous fine streams, nearly all of which are bordered by timber.
Whenever we find houses they seem to have been either recently abandoned or are occupied only by women and children or Negroes. A man or boy big enough to bear arms cannot remain at home here, where the country is overrun first by rebels and then Federals; and even the women and children are moving as fast as they can get opportunities, to places of greater security; abandoning live stock, poultry, furniture, crops and everything; some going North, some South, in which ever direction they have friends, or their political sympathies lead them. Some families are still remaining and holding on to their homes and property, loath to abandon and lose what they cannot take away with them; but they have a rough time of it, being subjected to abuse and robbery by roving parties from either army.
Most of the well-to-do families of the Nation own slaves, and the Negroes are not slow to take advantage of the situation to secure their freedom. Those whose masters have gone into the rebel army usually help themselves to the best of their owner’s horses or mules and ride away to Kansas or to the Union camps to seek freedom and employment; some being given work as teamsters and laborers in the Quartermaster’s Department; some securing employment as officers’ servants. Many of the women and girls eagerly accept service as cooks, or to do any kind of work for teamsters, soldiers or any one who can afford to feed them, asking no other compensation.
Our camps soon became so crowded with these suddenly- freed slaves that the Commanding General found it necessary to ship train loads of them to
Kansas, and usually the empty mule
trains returning to are loaded with
Negroes and their plunder. Fort
All horses, mules or other property captured from the rebels, or taken from the families of rebels, are supposed to be confiscated for the use of the Government, and the livestock is turned into a drove called the “contraband herd.”
The country is full of nice fat cattle, and of these the army appropriates what it needs for beef.
Contraband Mule Business
An officer called “Provost Marshal,” in command of a detail of soldiers called “provost-guards,” takes charge of all contraband property until it is turned over to the Quartermaster’s Department for Government use. This “provost-guard” goes around through the camps and seizes all contraband stock it can find in the possession of officers, soldiers or citizens, confiscating it for the use of Uncle Sam. But with all the vigilance of the Provost Marshal and his guards, a great deal of such property is smuggled through to
Each train, or other outfit, leaving the command to return to
Kansas is supposed to be searched by the
provost guards and all stock not bearing a U.S. brand is seized by them unless
the person claiming it has procured a pass from the Provost Marshal.
As it soon became evident that all the best of the contraband stock that was seized by the provost guard was being appropriated by the Provost Marshal and certain other officers and their friends, it soon got to be fashionable to “beat” the “
in all possible ways.
Good mules were the best property, because they were more easily smuggled through, and found ready sale in
Kansas, where Government contractors were
eagerly buying up for the army use all mules that were up to the stipulated
size, age, condition, etc.
Most of the Wagon Masters soon acquired, by private trade or “jay-hawking,” several head of extra mules. We commonly beat the provost guards by working the captured mule in a team, and tying a
mule behind the wagon.
In this way we did considerable speculating “on the side.” As this “beating” the Government was fashionable with all classes, officers, soldiers and citizens, it was considered fairly legitimate- if one didn’t get caught; and if detected, we only lost the stock, which probably had not cost us anything.
These horses and mules were often bought for a song from the Negroes, who had stolen them from their masters-the buyer taking the risk of dodging the Provost Marshal.
One day, while camped at Flat Rock Creek, I saw “Red” Clark, Brigade Wagon Master for the command, steal a fine mule from an old darky in the following smooth style:
A squad of “contrabands,” as escaped slaves were commonly called, had just arrived in camp- each mounted on one of his master’s best mules or horses- and “Red” had steered them to the Adjutant’s tent, as they claimed to have some important information to impart concerning the rebel forces at Fort Gibson.
They had dismounted and were standing in front of the Adjutant’s office, holding their riding animals by the bridle reins.
“Red’s” covetous eye had spotted a superb mule in the hands of an old darky. A number of soldiers and teamsters had gathered around and while the negroes were earnestly talking and answering the questions of Gen. Weir and the Adjutant, Clark walked up to the aforesaid fine mule, whose bridle rein was in the hand of the old negro, tied a rope around its neck, slipped the bridle gently off and handed it to a “pal,” and led the mule away. The old negro was so earnestly engaged in detailing to the commanding officer the supposed important information that he never looked around; and to assure him that his mule was still where he supposed it to be, at the other end of the rein he was holding, “Red’s” pal would occasionally shake the bridle in imitation of the motions of the mule’s head.
When the interview was ended, the old fellow turned around to get his mule, and was rendered almost speechless to find, instead of his fine mule, an innocent looking white man standing there holding his bridle and asking him, “What’s come of your hoss, old man?”
It was only a question as to who should rob the old darky of his mule, for we all knew that, although it would be seized and confiscated by the Provost Marshal, ostensibly “for the use of the Government,” the said Marshal or some of his friends would be smuggling it into
The contraband stock that was generally turned over to the Quartermaster for Uncle Sam’s use was the scrubs that no one wanted.
After remaining at Flat Rock a few days, I was ordered by “Red” Clark to take charge of George Anderson’s train- Anderson having been put under arrest by General Weir for some reason- and take it back to Fort Scott; Anderson accompanying me as a passenger.
I accordingly moved my baggage and “jay-hawked” stock- of which I had several head-over to
train and was put in command of the outfit by Clark.
My Assistant Wagon Master here (
assistant) was Dudley Haskell, later a prominent politician and member of
Congress from Kansas.
Counting up what I had, and several head held by teamsters of the train, I found 13 horses and mules, for which Captain Schuarte promptly procured a pass. On rolling out for
I found the provost-guard waiting for me on the road near the picket post,
ready to overhaul my train and confiscate all contraband stock, but the pass
squared everything, and I went on unmolested. Fort Scott
The road to
was watched by
prowling bands of rebel bushwhackers, who were ever ready to pounce upon small
or defenseless parties, but were not in sufficient force generally to attack
well-escorted outfits. At Chotean Creek,
where we camped on the first night from Flat Rock, as we found evidence of the
recent presence of a party of bushwhackers, I corralled the train out in open
ground some distance from the timber and water, to guard against a surprise or
stampede, but the night passed off quietly. Fort
As we were approaching the rebel Gen. Stand Watie’s old place, near Horse Creek, one morning, I with a couple of soldiers of the escort, was riding some distance in advance of the train, when we noticed several horses hitched to the fence in front of the house, and just then several men came rushing out, hurriedly jumped onto the horses, and rode off as fast as they could scamper into the timber in the rear of the house. From their movements and appearances I was satisfied that we had surprised and frightened off a party of rebel bushwhackers, and galloping up we found that five men, evidently rebels, had camped in the abandoned house during the night, and had been busy cooking their breakfast on the stove when they were frightened away by our approach.
They had all but one, fortunately for them, saddled up before we appeared and had their horses tied to the fence, ready for traveling. The one who had failed to saddle his horse was forced to abandon his saddle and horse-blanket and ride away barebacked. As there was a lot of poultry and other stock left by the owners when they abandoned the house, and a nice lot of vegetables growing in the garden, the rebels had found it a very comfortable stopping place, and had been preparing to treat themselves to a breakfast of milk, eggs, potatoes, onions, and a nice panful of fried chicken, which we found baking in the stove. We had already eaten our breakfast, but found room to stow away most of that which we had frightened the rebels away from.
By this time Capt. Schuarte, with the escort and train, had arrived in front of the house and halted, and the soldiers and mule skinners turned loose on the poultry around the place and soon had caught or killed all the chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys to be found; and as we could not well take the cows along, we turned them and their calves out on the range. We “confiscated” everything in the way of supplies to be found about the place, even to the vegetables in the garden, destroying what we could not take along, to prevent such subsistence from being made use of by the rebels- and incidentally “to fill a long-felt want,” as we had been living on Uncle Sam’s hardtack, pork and beans principally of late, and the poultry and vegetables were a welcome addition to our commissary department.
If the settlements along the road had not been so few and scattering we could have kept ourselves pretty well supplied with such extras by means of this “confiscation” scheme, and at the same time put such supplies out of the way of roving guerrillas; for most of the families who had living along the route had hurriedly evacuated their homes, leaving all kinds of stock, poultry and other property that they could not take, to be carried off by whomsoever desired it.
As we were passing down the road to Flat Rock I had noticed that this Stand Watie house was occupied, and a guard had been placed over it by our commanding officer, to prevent our men from robbing or molesting the family. But as the folks had since abandoned the place, and were presumed to have gone to the rebels, we felt justified in helping ourselves to what they had left, especially as the bushwhackers seemed to be now making it a rendezvous.
On arriving at
, George Anderson,
the arrested Wagon Master whose train I was temporarily running, was released
from arrest and restored to duty. After
turning over the outfit to him and disposing of my contraband stock, all expect
one good riding mule, I concluded to go on to Leavenworth to visit my family. Fort
As before stated, mails were very irregular and uncertain along the border during the war, and important Government papers were usually sent from one military post or camp to another by means of mounted messengers or “express riders,” as they were called.
On drawing my pay at the Quartermaster’s office and mentioning my intention to go to
Capt. Insley, the Quartermaster at , offered me the job
of carrying some dispatches to the post, which I accepted. Express riders were allowed from $3 to $5 a
day and rations, and were generally expected to make as quick time as possible;
but in this instance there was no hurrying required, and as I was riding my own
mule, I took it leisurely. I was
accompanied by one of my late teamsters, Dan Eckenberger, who was also going
home, riding a “jay-hawked” mule. Fort
As the rebels were always on the lookout along the border for these Government dispatch bearers, and anxious to capture or kill them, to secure the papers they carried, this express riding was usually a rather dangerous business. But we met with no interruption on this trip, and got through safely.
The boundary line between
and Arkansas, on one side and Kansas and the Indian Nation on the other, was at this
time (1862) about the dividing line between the rebels and Federal or Union forces. And
although there were no large bodies of the enemy along the border there were
numerous small bands of bushwhackers, such as Quantrill’s, Si Gordon’s and Tom
Livingston’s, infesting that country and making raids over the line whenever
opportunities offered. When they got
back to Missouri or Arkansas they were among sympathizing
friends and comparatively safe.
Bushwhacking, as practiced by those lawless gangs along the border, was a cowardly, barbarous style of warfare, in which gangs of armed and mounted ruffians ranged through the country, acknowledging no law and no military regulations expect the orders of their chiefs, attacking small or unprotected parties of our men whenever they could be caught at a disadvantage; hunting down and killing all Union men, or those suspected of entertaining friendly sentiments towards the Federal cause; after driving their families out and burning their houses; persuading armed men to surrender to them by promising to respect them as prisoners of war, and then mercilessly shooting them down- often with the prisoners’ own arms- as soon as they were disarmed and helpless. Their motto was “Rob, kill and burn, and take no prisoners.”
I know whereof I speak in this matter, for I saw such deeds done, and had some unpleasant experience as a prisoner in the hands of rebel bushwhackers myself, as I shall relate further on.
To the everlasting shame of the Confederate Government this inhuman warfare was not only tolerated but encouraged, and assisted by leaders of the rebellion, from Jeff Davis down; while to the credit of Uncle Sam be it said our Government not only discouraged bushwhacking, as practiced by the rebels, but put it down with a strong hand whenever and wherever such a barbarous style of warfare was attempted on our side.
The most notable attempt that I remember at carrying on bushwhacking on the Union side (or jay-hawking; as it was more commonly called in Kansas) was that of a man who was known in Kansas as Captain Cleveland, and who had the reputation of being an ex-convict, a gambler, counterfeiter, horse-thief, robber, murderer and all other kinds of a criminal.
At the beginning of the war he had been, for a short time, a captain in the 7th Kansas Cavalry, or “Jennison’s Jay-hawkers,” as the regiment was often called; but the restraints of military discipline were irksome to Cleveland, and he soon resigned, and taking advantage of the upset and turbulent condition of affairs along the border between Kansas and Missouri, without asking any authority from the Government, gathered around him a band of lawless men of his own stripe and attempted to carry on a bushwhacking business on the Union side, by making raids along the Missouri line, in imitation of the style of Quantrill, who was then gaining considerable notoriety as a rebel guerrilla chief.
Another item of interest in this “Story of the 7th
“One of the members of Co. H (
Cleveland’s old company) has since become
famous- W. F. Cody, ‘Buffalo Bill.’ He
entered as a veteran recruit and was mustered out with the regiment.”
object was plunder, regardless of parties, he soon took to robbing both Union and rebel folks indiscriminately.
One of his exploits was to ride into Leavenworth City one day at the head of his gang, make a forced exchange of some inferior horses of his men’s for the best riding animals to be found in the city, go to the saddle shops and fit his men out with new saddles and bridles, give the people he despoiled his old horses and saddles and an order on Uncle Sam for the balance of their pay- which order, of course, was worthless- and then coolly right away.
As soon as
depredations came to the notice of the Department Commander, although he was
ostensibly serving the Union cause against the rebels, an order was issued to
turn the Union soldiers out to hunt him down, capture or kill him, and destroy
In the spring of 1862 Cleveland and his gang were operating along the border east of Paola and Osawatomie. His reputed wife had taken up her residence in the latter place, so as to be in easy communication with him. A party of the 6th Kansas Cavalry were camped in the timber near the town, but he managed to elude them for a while. Finally, by watching this women’s room, the soldiers corralled him one night.
On being summoned to surrender,
Cleveland drew his revolvers to shoot his way
out, but his pistols missed fire- he had got the charges wet in swimming his
horse across the river to reach the town- and he was compelled to yield.
While the soldiers were taking him out to their camp he made a break for liberty, and was shot and killed, and was buried near the camp.
This occurred in May 1862 and it was in the following August that Dan Eckenberger and I, en route from Fort Scott to Fort Leavenworth, stopped at the only hotel in Osawatomie to get dinner and have our mules fed.
On entering the men’s sitting room, to wait till the meal was ready, my comrade took a seat, but I, noticing a new tombstone in a further corner of the room, walked over to look at it, and, for the benefit of my companion, read aloud the inscription on it”
“Sacred to the memory of
Captain Marshall L. Cleveland,
Who died May 11th, 1862
“Earth counts one mortal less-
Heaven one angel more.”
I write this from memory, and cannot recall the age given, but think the name, date and quotation on the tombstone were just as I have given them.
The absurdity of such a sentiment on the tomb of such a notorious criminal as
was known to have been, struck me so forcibly that, without thinking where I
was, or who might be in hearing, I blurted out impulsively:
“H--l’s full of such angels!”
I was sorry I had used such ungentlemanly language as soon as I had uttered it, for as I glanced through an open door into what seemed to be the ladies parlor, which I had not before noticed, I saw a black-eyed women “looking daggers” at me, and I feared I had hurt her feelings, whoever she was.
The landlord, hurriedly approaching, as if fearful or another such explosion from me requested:
“Mister, please don’t use such language in the hearing of the lady in the next room. She is Capt. Cleveland’s widow.”
I told him if that was the case I was sorry I had said it, and to express my regrets to the lady for having used such an offensive expression in her presence, and to say to her that had I known she was related to the deceased I should not have said anything to wound her feelings.
“But, landlord,” I added confidentially, “ I can’t take it back, for, between you and me, I believe every word of it.”
But as I could say nothing good of
Cleveland, I promised “to be good”- till I
left the house, at least.
The landlord informed me that “Mrs. Cleveland” had recently brought the tombstone from
to have it placed at the jay-hawker’s grave.
If it still stands there bearing that “misfit” epitaph, it has probably,
ere now, provoked many similar rough expressions of opinion from those who knew
his reputation in life.
It is scarcely necessary to add that
gang of jay-hawkers fell to pieces after his death; but strange to say, some of
his men afterwards became respectable citizens of Kansas, with two of whom I became personally
acquainted. One was, some years ago, a
Justice of the Peace in Leavenworth, and the
other was United States Marshal of Kansas.
I afterwards learned that the women who had passed herself as “Capt. Cleveland’s widow” was never his wife, but had formerly been employed in “Ben Wheeler’s Ten Cent Show”- a disreputable “varieties” dive in Leavenworth- as a comedy actress and “beer slinger.” She was there known has the wife of “Tommy” Pell, the comedian, whom she had deserted to follow the jay-hawker.
The town of Osawatomie, Kansas, where this Cleveland incident occurred, has attained historical fame as having been founded by and the early residence in Kansas of “Old John Brown of Osawatomie renown;” but an article that I recently (1903) read in Volume 7, “Kansas Historical Collections,” written by William Hutchinson, journalist, and one of the pioneers of that State, who is undoubtedly good authority, again shakes my faith in the accuracy of accepted history; and I fear that another one of our fondly-cherished historical facts is doomed to be proven a myth.
The article referred to entitled “Sketches of Kansas Pioneer Experience,” says:
“Osawatomie Brown was Orville C. Brown from
who located and named the town by coining the word out of the names of the two
rivers, Osage and Pottawatomie, that unite just below the town site. Brooklyn, N.Y.
“John Brown never lived in Osawatomie, nor very near there. When he lived on Pottawatomie Creek, near his sons, his nearest post office was at Lane. To those who knew the real “Osawatomie Brown” (Orville C. Brown) as a prominent citizen during our territorial period, it does not appear just to give that appellation to another. All the same, give due praise to John Brown and his brave men who fought in the Osawatomie battle. O.C. Brown was living in
New York when
I last heard tell of him a year ago.”
All the same:
“John Brown’s body lies a-moldering in the grave,
“John Brown’s body lies a-moldering in the grave,
But his soul is marching on!”
I also find in the Kansas Historical Collections the “Story of the 7th Kans.,” by Adjutant General S.M. Fox (who served with the 7th Kansas Cavalry during its entire enlistment, and was mustered out as Regimental Adjutant), a brief account of the career of Cleveland as a captain in the 7th, which I quote:
“Co. H was organized by Capt. Marshall Cleveland, of jay-hawker fame, and was mustered in at
Sept. 27, 1861. Fort Leavenworth
The original company was largely made up of members of
Cleveland’s old band of jay-hawkers, which had operated
along the Missouri
border. Captain Cleveland was one of the
handsomest men I ever saw; tall and rather slender, hair dark, beard dark and
neatly trimmed. He was very neat in his
dress, and his carriage was easy and graceful.
As a horseman he was superb. A
stranger never would get the impression from his appearance that he was the
desperate character that he was. His
real name was Charles Metz. He was a
native of New York State, and had been a stage driver in Ohio, and had served a term in the Missouri penitentiary. After his graduation from this institution,
he had for a time called himself ‘Moore,’ but later settled down onto the name
of ‘ Cleveland.’ He did not remain with the regiment long- he
could not endure the restraint- and one evening, at ,
the culmination came. The regiment
marched out for dress parade, Lieutenant-Colonel D. R. Anthony was receiving
the salute, and, as the regiment was formed, took occasion to censure Captain
Cleveland for appearing in a pair of light-drab trousers tucked in his
boot-tops. Fort Leavenworth
He soon gathered a band of kindred spirits about him, and began his old trade of jay-hawking. He was quite impartial in his dealings with rebels and Union men at the last, and if there was any question he took the benefit of the doubt.
He made his headquarters at
Atchison, and eluded, for a time, all
attempts to capture him; once or twice he captured the posse sent out after
him, and after taking their horses and arms, sent them home on foot, as may be
supposed, somewhat crestfallen.
He finally ran up against the inevitable while trying to escape across the
Marias des Cygnes, when
pursued by Lieutenant Walker, with a squad of Co. E, 6th Kansas Cavalry; he was shot and killed by a
sergeant. He sleeps peacefully in the
The headstone which marks his grave bears this gentle epitaph: St. Joseph, Mo.
“One hero less on earth,
One angel more in heaven.”
From the foregoing extract from Adjutant General Fox’s “Story of the 7th
Kansas.” It appears that Cleveland’s
body must have been removed from Osawatomie, Kans., to
subsequently to the time of the tombstone incident at Osawatomie, in 1862 that
I have related. St.