KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas


STATE HISTORY, PART 11

[TOC] [part 12] [part 10] [Cutler's History]

TENTH REGIMENT KANSAS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY.

On the 3d day of April, 1862, the Third and Fourth Kansas Regiments, together with a small portion of the Fifth, were, by order of the War Department, consolidated at Paola, Kan. The regiment formed by such consolidation was designated the Tenth Kansas Infantry, and was at that time organized under the following officers:

Field and Staff - Colonel, William F. Cloud, Emporia; Lieutenant Colonel, Henry H. Williams, Osawatomie; Major, Otis B. Gunn, ____________; Adjutant Casimio B. Zulaoski, Boston, Mass.; Surgeon, Mahlon Bailey, _____________; Chaplain, John H. Drummond, Marysville.

Line Officers - Company A, Captain, Josiah E. Hayes; First Lieutenant, Thomas E. Milhoan, and Second Lieutenant, Fernando H. Burris, all of Olathe. Company B, Captain, Mathew Quigg; First Lieutenant, Seth M. Tucker, and Second Lieutenant, David Whittaker, all of Atchison. Company C, Captain, John A. Foreman, Lawrence; First Lieutenant, Joseph K. Hudson, Salem, Ohio; Second Lieutenant, Isaac M. Ruth, Lawrence. Company D, Captain, Eli Snyder, Osawatomie; First Lieutenant, George D. Brooke, Kansas City, Mo.; Second Lieutenant, Frederick A. Smalley, Osawatomie. Company E, Captain, John F. Broadhead, Mound City; First Lieutenant, David Schoen, Marmaton, and Second Lieutenant, Wm. B. Keith, ___________. Company F, Captain, John J. Boyd, Troy; First Lieutenant, Nathan Price, Geary; Second Lieutenant, Cyrus Leland, Jr., Troy. Company G, Captain, James M. Harvey, Fort Riley; First Lieutenant, James H. Harris, Wyandotte; Second Lieutenant, Josephus D. Warner, Ogden. Company H, Captain, Napoleon B. Blanton, and First Lieutenant, Samuel J. Stewart, both of Humboldt; Second Lieutenant, James H. Signor, Mound City. Company I, Captain, Charles P. Twiss, and First Lieutenant, William C. Jones, both of Iola; Second Lieutenant, John F. Hill, Topeka. Company K, Captain Greenville Watson, Pleasant Plains; First Lieutenant, Jerome T. Kelley, ____________; Second Lieutenant, Horace G. Loring, ______________.

The consolidated companies of the Tenth were organized under the following officers: New Company A, Captain Charles S. Hills, Emporia; First Lieutenant, Cyrus W. Leland, ____________; Second Lieutenant, Robert W. Wood, Osawatomie. New Company B, Captain, Wm. C. Jones, and First Lieutenant, John E. Thorp, both of Iola; Second Lieutenant, John Bryan, Troy. New Company C, Captain, George Brooke, Kansas City; First Lieutenant, William B. Stone, Olathe; Second Lieutenant, George W. May, Pleasant Plains. New Company D, First Lieutenant, Fred A. Smalley, Osawatomie; Second Lieutenant, George W. May, Pleasant Plains.

The regiment was ordered from Paola to Fort Scott, soon after this organization was effected, and, with the exception of four companies, which were attached to Col. Doubleday's expedition into the Cherokee Nation, remained at that post until the 1st of June. It having been decided by the War Department that Col. Weer, Lieut. Col. Burris, Adjt. Phillips and Surgeon Scott, all formerly of the Fourth, were entitled to retain their respective offices in the Tenth, they assumed their commands early in June. Col. Cloud was transferred to the Second Kansas Cavalry, Lieut. Col. Williams resumed his position as Major (O. B. Gunn having resigned), and Adjt. Zulaoski was removed per order of War Department.

The Indian expedition, now ready to march, was placed in command of Col. Weer, Adjt. James A. Phillips serving on his staff as Acting Assistant Adjutant General. Lieut. Col. Burris was assigned to the command at Fort Leavenworth, and Maj. Williams to the command of the regiment, Lieut. Leland serving as Adjutant.

The regiment marched on the expedition under command of Capt. Mathew Quigg. Company B, Maj. Williams having leave of absence, Leaving Fort Scott June 13, 1862, it marched to Osage Mission, and thence to Humboldt. After remaining there a few days, it marched with four companies of the Ninth Kansas, the Indian regiments and First Kansas Battery, down the Neosho River, and thence across the country to Baxter's Springs, where it was attached to Col. Solomon's brigade. The regiment moved with the command to Cowskin Prairie, the Indians, under Stand-Waitie retreating south on the approach of the cavalry. The division continued its march toward the south, with the hope of surprising and capturing Col. Clarkson and his command in camp, for which purpose Col. Weer detailed one Indian regiment, and a detachment composed companies from several Kansas regiments, including one hundred men of the Tenth, under Capt. Quigg, and marching all night, arrived at the rebel camp about sunrise on the morning of July 3, 1862. The hill upon which the camp was situated was steep and rocky, a narrow path leading up the southern assent. Two companies of the Ninth (mounted) were stationed to the northeast, the Indians (also mounted) to the southeast.

The detachment of the Tenth charged the camp from the west, the cavalry driving in the pickets, and charging up the hill from their respective stations. The rebels, after making one feeble attempt at defense, broke and fled over the rocks, and into the dense woods that covered two sides of the hill. A large number were killed, and 155, including Col. Clarkson, taken prisoners - also a large amount of camp equipage. The loss of the Tenth was small - a few wounded.

The detachment rejoined the command at Wolf Creek, and after a few days marched to Flat Rock Creek, where Capt. Foreman, of Company C, was promoted to Major of Third Indian Regiment.

The regiment returned to Fort Scott in August, arriving on the 15th. Gen. Blunt was assigned to the command of the frontier division, and Col. Weer to the command of the Second Brigade, to which the Tenth was now attached.

The regiment formed a part of the force that marched into Missouri in pursuit of Cols. Coffey and Cockrell, and afterward participated in the engagement at Newtonia, and in the pursuit that followed. Leaving Camp Babcock on the 27th of November, it marched, with the Second and Third Brigades, to Cane Hill, meeting at that place the advanced cavalry of Gen. Hindman's army, which was speedily put to flight. Gen. Hindman, instead of giving battle at Cane Hill, moved to the right, flanked Gen. Blunt and gaining the Fayetteville road, attacked Gen. Herron at Prairie Grove. The First Division marched to his relief, arriving on the field about 3 o'clock on the afternoon of the 7th of December, 1862.

The following is from Maj. William's report of the part performed by the Tenth Kansas in the engagement at Prairie Grove:

The regiment entered the Grove on the enemy's left, by order of Col. William Weer, commanding the Second Brigade, about 3 o'clock P. M. Upon entering the timber, which was very dense. I ordered Company B, Capt. Quigg, to deploy as skirmishers, to find the enemy. They had but just formed, and the skirmishers advanced thirty yards, before the enemy opened on us, and the regiment was engaged under a terrific fire, which lasted for half an hour, when, by order of Gen. Blunt, I withdrew the regiment to the open ground adjoining the timber; but after a few moments' respite, we moved again to the front, about thirty yards in advance of our former position, obliquing our line of battle to the right, as the rebels had had moved a large force to their left, extending far beyond our right. Our line, at this time, was in a hallow or depression in the ground, and the command, by lying down, escaped most of the leaden hail which was hurled at them, by more than three times their number, for one hour and a half exposed to a deadly fire, during that time, from the front and both flanks. It seems almost a miracle that the command was not annihilated.

About sunset the rebels charged with two regiments upon and turned our right flank, and I ordered the regiment to retreat, which they did in good style, to the open ground in our rear. In the meantime, the First Kansas Battery, Lieut. Tenney commanding, which was in our rear, opened upon the rebels obliquely across our right with canister, which checked the force of rebels extending beyond our right, and sent them in disorder to the brush. The Tenth then formed on the right of the battery, when the rebels commenced playing upon us with a battery of artillery which they had planted on their extreme right, but it was quickly silenced by a few well-directed shots from Tenney's First Kansas Battery. By this time, it being quite dark, both parties ceased firing, and the engagement ended.

The Tenth joined in the pursuit of Hindman's army to Van Buren, which took place in the last week of December, and finished the winter's campaign in Arkansas. After marching to Elm Springs, and remaining a short time in camp, the Tenth, with a brigade of cavalry, was ordered to the relief of the small garrison at Springfield, Mo., then threatened by Marmaduke. On the re-enforcement of the garrison, the rebel force retreated, followed by the brigade as far as Sand Springs, when the command returned and went into camp at Springfield, remaining until the27th of February, 1863, when it moved to another camp near Mount Vernon, whence it marched on the 15th of March toward White River, and thence to camp near Fort Scott, where a part of the regiment was granted a furlough of twenty days.

During the summer and fall of 1863, the Tenth was at Rolla, Mo., on provost duty; in Indiana, to join the forces gathering there to repel Gen. Morgan; in the Sni Hills in pursuit of Quantrell; on duty in the vicinity of Kansas City, and in January, 1864, was ordered to Alton, Ill., to take charge of the military prison at that place. From May until August, 1884, the regiment was at St. Louis, serving as provost guard of the city, when it was ordered to Fort Leavenworth to be mustered out of service.

The Tenth Kansas Veteran Regiment was composed of four companies, the Veterans, with the recruits of Companies F and I forming the New Companies A and B. The regiment was commanded by Maj. Henry H. Williams, from its organization until the last of August. 1884, when he was placed in charge of Schofield Barracks, St. Louis. The Tenth left St. Louis for Pilot Knob, Mo., under command of Lieut. F. A. Smiley, Company D. and on its arrival the command was transferred to Capt. George D. Brooke, Company C. On the 7th of November, the regiment embarked at St. Louis for Paducah, Ky., and on its arrival at that place, Capt. William C. Jones, of Company B, took command. November 28, it arrived at Nashville, and the next day at Columbia, Tenn., being at the latter place assigned to the Fourth Army Corps, Gen. Stanley commanding. The regiment fell back with the army of Gen. Schofield after the battle of Franklin, and on reaching Nashville was employed on the defenses of the city until December 16, having been in the meantime transferred to the Seventeenth, afterward Sixteenth, Army Corps. Second Brigade, Second Division. In the assault of the 15th, on Hood's works, before Nashville, the Tenth was deployed as skirmishers in advance of the Second Brigade, and succeeded in driving back the rebel skirmish line, silencing the battery at the first line of works, and holding a position about two hundred yards from their front until the main line came up. The regiment participated in the actions of the 16th and 17th and in the pursuit which followed the victory.

On the 21st of December, 1864, Capt. Charles S. Hills assumed command of the regiment, which marched for Clinton, on the Tennessee River, the following day, arriving on the 2d of January, 1865, a distance of 120 miles, in mid-winter, without tents or blankets, and many of the men without shoes or overcoats. On the 4th of January, the regiment went up the Tennessee River on transports as far as Eastport, Miss., where it went into camp. During January, it made an expedition into the surrounding country to learn the strength and position of the enemy, and the latter part of the month marched to Waterloo, Ala., remaining at that place on outpost duty until February 8, when it embarked for Vicksburg, arriving February 14. On the 19th, it re-embarked, and arrived at New Orleans on the 21st, remaining in camp at Chalmette, six miles below the city, until March 7. While at this camp, Capt. Charles S. Hills was mustered in as Lieutenant Colonel of the Tenth, the battalion being now of sufficient size to warrant it, and Maj. Williams having been mustered out on the expiration of his term of office, a short time before. Lieut. Robert W. Wood was mustered in as Captain of Company A, in place of Capt. Hills. On the 7th, the command again embarked on the Mobile expedition, passed down the Mississippi to the Gulf, and disembarking at Fort Gaines, went into camp on Dauphin Island, at the foot of Mobile Bay. On the 20th, with the fleet, it proceeded up the bay to the mouth of Fish River, which empties into Mobile Bay from the east. Proceeding up the river to Donnelly's Mills, the regiment went into camp and awaited the arrival of Gen. Granger's Corps to commence the joint advance on the fortifications around Mobile. The army moved from Fish River on the 25th, the Tenth being deployed as skirmishers. On the 27th, the Second Division was thrown to the right toward Fort Blakely. Gen. Granger's Corps investing Spanish Fort to the left. On arriving within eight miles of Fort Blakely, the Second Division selected a position, which it intrenched and held until April 2, when it joined the forces of Gen. Steele before Fort Blakely, and on the following day threw up works and commenced the siege. The position was a very strong one; its front extending nearly three miles, fortified at every point, its cannon sweeping every approach; a wide, deep ditch at the base of the fort; rifle pits and lines of abatis to be cleared before the heavy walls could be reached and the final struggle made. The Tenth Kansas was deployed as skirmishers in front of the entire brigade, the line being formed in the following order: Right wing, detachment Company B, Twenty-seventh Iowa, and Company B, Tenth Kansas, under Capt. W. C. Jones, of the latter. Left wing, Companies C and D, Tenth Kansas, under Capt. George D. Brooke. Centre, Company D, Tenth Kansas, under Capt. R. W. Wood.

Lieut. Col. C. H: Hills, commanding the regiment, in his report, tells the story of the part borne by his command in the following words:

At 4 o'clock P. M., Gen. Gilbert notified me that the advance on the rebel works would be made at 3 o'clock, commencing on the left and continuing through the line, each man following the one on his left, my left immediately following the right of the Third Brigade skirmishers; that I should advance my tine with my right retired, and drive the enemy's pickets from their pits, draw the fire of his main line, and ascertain his strength as well as his weak points, and in the event that he should open on the line with spirit and expose it to too hot a fire, I should take advantage of whatever cover the fallen timber and irregular ground offered, and lie down and await the arrival of the main line.

At 5:30 P. M., the movement commenced as directed The men, leaping over our intrenchments, advanced on a run to the enemy's first line of rifle pits, which were abandoned without much resistance, as also was the second line. While descending the slope to the ravine which lay in my front, the enemy opened with a galling fire of artillery and musketry using shell, spherical case, canister and grape, which induced me to look for shelter in the ravine, in accordance with previous instructions, but which, on reaching, I found to be enfiladed, and affording no shelter whatever. For this reason, no halt was ordered, our safety depending on breaking through the main works on my left if possible; if not, then at any point, take him on the flank and double him up. On gaining the high ground beyond the ravine, the firing became more rapid, and had it been well directed would have been very destructive. No one in the line returned the fire, but each devoted his whole energy to reach the woods as soon as possible. Climbing over fallen trees, with scarce an effort they cleared each line of abatis at a single leap, and, scarcely noticing the ditch, mounted the parapets, or poured through the embrasures at the recoil of the guns, which their last discharge had opened for them, and their line was broken. Turning the left of my line (which after entering the fort had become a column) to the right, and being joined by those who last climbed the parapets, it swept down on their flank with fixed bayonets with scarcely any opposition, the men throwing down their guns and surrendering, and officers waiving white handkerchiefs and delivering up their swords. Here, for the first time, I discovered that the left of the skirmishers of the Thirteenth Corps did not connect with my right, but had made an interval of some eighty yards, and having a greater distance to pass over than my line, had not yet reached the works. Fearing that the enemy's line in their front, with those who had escaped from my column might discover our weakness and give us trouble if allowed to concentrate, I pushed on down the line, so that he might not have time to recover from his panic, when I found that my right had already captured the men and guns at the center fort and the infantry support on the right; most of the left having been down the ravine to the rear for the time escaped capture. A portion of the Thirteenth Corps having now arrived and all resistance being at an end and prisoners secure, I halted my command, re-formed it, and rested the men until I received orders to rejoin the brigade. Thc distance from my right, where it left the picket line to where it struck the enemy's work, was five hundred and fifty yards, and the length of works captured five hundred and sixty yards. I am unable to give the exact number or rank of the prisoners captured by my command, as the success of the assault depended upon it, being rapidly followed up after the line was broken, and leaving the prisoners and trophies in other hands, which was done. I cannot, however, do justice to my command in fixing the number of prisoners captured by them at less than 800, being one entire brigade, and two batteries, 800 stand of small arms, and accouterment, and nine pieces of artillery, as follows: One thirty-pounder Parrott gun, carriage and limber, with chest; two seven-inch siege guns with carriages, and six field pieces with limbers.

At night, the army had quarters in the captured fort; on the next day the evacuation of Mobile commenced; on the 11th it was completed, and on the 12th the Union flag was waving over the last important sea-port hitherto held by the confederates. On the 13th, the Tenth marched for Montgomery, Ala., arriving on the 25th, and remaining at that place on provost duty, with headquarters at Greenville, until the following August, at which time the Sixteenth Corps was disbanded and many of the troops mustered out. The Tenth remained on duty until the last of the month, when it was also mustered out at Montgomery, Ala., and on September 20, 1865, received payment and final discharge at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The Tenth at its first organization was composed of men who had seen service, and who understood fully what a soldier's life meant. They knew that it was no holiday parade, but a long, hard, stern struggle that lay before them, and looking the situation squarely in the face, they went straight on, doing the duty that came nearest, whether it might be to guard their own fair State from the violent bands of marauders that so long threatened it, or to assail the rebel stronghold of Fort Blakely. Perhaps the best eulogium that can be awarded the regiment is the testimonial of Gen. Gilbert, their brigade commander at the siege of Fort Blakely; he says:

"The Tenth Kansas, a little band of heroes, rushed forward as into the jaws of death, with a determination to conquer or to die. * * * * Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon them. I am at a loss for words to express my admiration of them and their gallant officers, and when I say that Lieut. Col. Hills is worthy to command such men, language is exhausted in his praise."

FATAL CASUALTIES.

New Company A - Killed at Fort Blakely, Ala., April 9, 1865, Sergt. George Daller, Paola; Corp. John L. Buxton, William Agnew and Andrew F. Witten, all of Humboldt. Died of wounds received at Fort Blakely, William J. Brooks, Lewistown.

Company B - Killed at Prairie Grove, Ark., Joshua Taylor. Lawrence.

New Company B - Killed at Fort Blakely, Ala., Corp. John W. Thompson, Spring Hill and William A. Priddy, New Lancaster. Died of wounds received at Fort Blakely, Second Lieut. John Bryan, Troy, and Privates Whitfield Pritchett and Simeon B. Plummer, Osawatomie.

Company C - Killed by guerrillas in Bates County, Mo., Christopher Lupton and William Vance, Papinsville, Mo.

New Company C - Died of wounds received at Nashville, Tenn., December 18, 1864, John J. Morgan.

Company D - Killed at Butler, Mo., December 14, 1861, William W. Durno, Osawatomie. Died of wounds received at Prairie Grove, Ark., William Butner, Blooming Grove.

Company E - Killed at Prairie Grove, Ark., Charles D. Rice, Fort Scott. Died of wounds received at Prairie Grove, First Lieut. David Schorn, Marmaton.

Company G - Killed at Prairie Grove, Ark., Charles Kyer, Fort Riley.

Company H - Killed at Prairie Grove, Ark., John M. Beck, Humboldt.

Company K - Killed at Prairie Grove, Ark., William C. Calvin, and William C. Wilson, both of Columbus.

[TOC] [part 12] [part 10] [Cutler's History]