November 28, 1863,
Jonathan C. Burnett, Register United States Land Office, to General Thomas Ewing, Jr.
HUMBOLDT, KANS., November 28, 1863.
General THOMAS EWING, Jr.,
Commanding District of the Border, Kansas City, Mo.:
DEAR SIR: Information has reached this place, which we deem to be of the most reliable character, that Stand Watie is contemplating and making active arrangements for a raid up the Neosho Valley between now and Christmas. This information comes from a Mr. Van Greenway, a deserter from the rebel lines, and a gentleman well known to a number of our citizens as a man of veracity. Greenway states that Stand Watie at the time he left (the first part of November) was encamped on the North Fork of the Canadian, about 45 miles in a southwesterly direction from Fort Gibson. His force consisted of about 3,000 men, and Greenway reports that forage is plenty with them, and that, encouraged by the success of Quantrill's raid, they are fitting up and organizing a force of from 500 to 1,000 men, and intend to strike the Neosho valley somewhere near the Catholic Mission (25 miles below here), and thence proceed up the river probably as far as Emporia, then, turning back in a southwesterly direction, be able to reach their starting point without meeting with any serious opposition. The above seems to be further confirmed by a contraband, who escaped from the rebel camp and arrived here a few days since. He reports that they are fitting up their best horses preparatory to a raid into Kansas. A Dr. Lyle, who had lately moved up from the southern border of Kansas, states that Cy. Gordon, while taking dinner at his house a few weeks since, stated in his hearing that he, in the disguise of a Federal captain, had been through the whole country, and that he intended to make it a visit before long.
The above information, taken together, seems to warrant the belief and induce the fear among the people that we are about to be invaded. But at the same time the people feel and say that if they can only have a little notice from the military authorities, that they are ready to turn out and aid them in repelling the invader. But what they most fear is a surprise. If the enemy make a raid, as anticipated, they will probably strike the Arkansas River some distance above the mouth of the Verdigris, thence across to a point on the Verdigris about the mouth of Fall River, thence across the divide to some point on the Neosho between the Missouri and Humboldt. They do, probably, intend to make it before the Osages return from their hunt, which is usually about the 1st of January.
The foregoing information we have given to Captain [Jay] Thompson, in command at this place, and who politely transmits this communication by his messenger.
Hoping that the above and foregoing information may be beneficial to the public service, I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,
JONATHAN C. BURNETT,
Register United States Land Office, Humboldt, Kans.
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