1862.--Expedition from Fort Leavenworth, Kans., through. Jackson, Cass, Johnson,
and La Fayette Counties, Mo.
Report of Lieut. Col. John T. Burris, Tenth Kansas Infantry.
FORT LEAVENWORTH, September 24, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from department headquarters, I left this post on the 8th instant with Company C, Lieutenant Bechtold, and Company F, Captain Conover, Eighth Kansas Volunteers, Company B, Captain Wagner, Third Wisconsin Cavalry, and one section of the post battery, under Captain Bowman, in pursuit of Quantrill's band of guerrillas.
On the following day I was joined near Westport, Mo., by Major Ransom, with Company L, Captain Derry, Third Wisconsin Cavalry, and Captain Harvey's company, Sixth Kansas Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant Morehead. On the morning of the 10th we came in sight of the enemy on the North Branch of Grand River, in Cass County. He immediately fled. We pursued him from day to day through Jackson, Cass, Johnson, and La Fayette Counties, being sometimes twenty-four hours in his rear, at other times in sight of him, but without being able to bring on an engagement, or to effect anything further than an occasional firing on their rear by our advance guard and the capture by Major Ransom's command of 3 wagons loaded with arms, dry goods, groceries, &c., previously captured by the enemy at Olathe, Kans., until the 19th instant, when, after a chase of 15 miles at almost full speed, I overtook him at Smithfield, 5 miles north of Pleasant Hill, with my advance, being a part of Lieutenant Morehead's squadron and a few of the Fifth Missouri Cavalry, under Captain David, less than 50 in all. Here the enemy, 150 strong, halted, dismounted, and formed line of battle. I immediately attacked him. After a brisk firing for about ten minutes he again broke and fled in confusion, leaving 2 dead on the field and carrying his wounded with him. Our loss was 1 killed and 3 wounded. Among the latter was Adjutant Sachs, who, with Lieutenants Hunt and Goss, my volunteer aides, was in the thickest of the fight. Sergeant [R. F.] Rinker, of Captain Harvey's company, Sixth Kansas Volunteers, distinguished himself by his daring and intrepidity, as also Private J. C. Lowry, of same company, who, although severely wounded, refused to leave the field until the enemy was in full retreat.
Continuing the pursuit on the 20th and 21st, and finding the guerrilla band scattered, I left Captain David, of the Fifth Missouri Cavalry, in search of the detached fragments, and returned with my command to this post, arriving safely on the evening of the 23d. Not being furnished with transportation or subsistence, we foraged on the enemy.
We captured during the expedition over 100 stand of arms, 10,000 rounds of ammunition, nearly 100 head of horses, 4 yoke of oxen, 5 or 6 wagons, a number of tents and other camp equipage, also a considerable quantity of dry goods, groceries, &c., of which the guerrillas had previously robbed the people of Olathe, Kans. We burned the houses, out-buildings, grain, hay, &c., of about a dozen noted marauders whose premises had been favorite haunts for the guerrillas. Upward of 60 loyal colored persons, tired of the rule of rebel masters, furnished their own transportation and subsistence and accompanied my command to Kansas.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN T. BURRIS,
Lieutenant-Colonel Tenth Kansas Vols., Comdg. Expedition.
Capt. J. M. GRAHAM,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of Kansas.
visits since 02/04/2004
page revised 05/25/2006