1863.--Skirmish in Jackson County, Mo.
Report of Col. William Weer, Tenth Kansas Infantry.
PLEASANT HILL, MO., September 15, 1863.
SIR: After a week spent in bushwhacking, in search of Quantrill's guerrillas, I became convinced that his band continued to secrete themselves upon the waters of the Snibar and Blue Creek, in Jackson County, Missouri. This morning I made another night march, with a view to surprise him, if possible. I crossed the intervening prairie, and entered the timber of the Snibar without being observed. At daylight, the command being divided into four detachments, we commenced a thorough scouring of the Snibar Hills. The country is very rugged, and filled with almost impenetrable thickets. Half of the different detachments were dismounted, and penetrated the woods deployed as skirmishers, the horses being led in the rear. By three of the detachments nothing particular was discovered, except evidences that the guerrillas inhabited these woods.
Captain [C. F.] Coleman, of the Ninth Kansas, who commanded on the extreme left, in the course of the day fell upon a trail, by following which he soon came upon Quantrill's own camp. He promptly attacked it, killed 2 of the guerrillas, captured some 40 horses, destroyed all their subsistence stores, including some flour recently stolen from a citizen, all their bedding, clothing, ammunition, and some arms. The enemy fired but one volley, and at once disappeared in the thick underwood, where pursuit was impossible.
Too much credit cannot be given to Captain Coleman for the ingenuity, courage, and energy with which he conducted this as well as other attacks upon guerrillas, or to the zeal and bravery of the men of his command, in seconding the labors of their chief. The effect of this surprise and capture is most damaging to the designs of Quantrill in making another raid upon Kansas. The loss of horses and clothing is to him worse than the loss of men, as the country is denuded of both.
The expedition demonstrates the fact that Quantrill's band is still secreting itself in Jackson County, though evidently preparing for another raid.
The bushwhackers have within a day or two burned the splendid flouring mill at Lone Jack.
To-morrow morning I shall start an expedition to endeavor the capture of another camp of the guerrillas.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commanding District of the Border.
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