April 30, 1864,
Statement of Samuel McLaren
WARRENSBURG, Mo., April 30, 1864.
Samuel McLaren states that he is a discharged soldier from Company C, First Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, and that on the 28th instant he was in company with Lieutenant Couch and others coming from Chapel Hill to Warrensburg, and that on the road, some 15 miles from this place, they saw some horses hitched to a fence around a house. The first time they saw them it was some three-fourths of a mile. They still moved on, until they came up to within half a mile, when some of these men at the house mounted their horses and came toward us. Lieutenant Couch then rode forward to within 50 or 60 yards of them and asked them who they were. Their answer was, "We are Kansas troops." Lieutenant Couch then told them to send one man forward. They refused to do this, but said it was all right for him (Couch) to go on.
They turned and rode to the house, and we started and had got but a short distance when some 15 or 16 of these men rode up and called for us to halt. We all stopped and they rode up to Couch and the others and commenced shooting. They shot the 3 men and Lieutenant Couch. They then threatened to shoot us, but some one said that they would not kill citizens. One of them said to me and John Speck (who is also a discharged soldier), "I am Quantrill," and flashed us with his revolver, saying he would kill all the damned Yankees he could catch, and told us to tell General E. B. Brown that he had 4 of his men in prison and that he would kill all the Yankees he could find, and that he had killed these 4 men for his having Blunt killed; that these 4 men would pay for Blunt. He also stated that he had 150 men in his command. I should think from the amount of men and horses that I saw that there were some 35 or 40 in all at this house. I cannot remember the name of the people that live at the house where they were.
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