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


[TOC] [part 16] [part 14] [Cutler's History]


The official records of this organization are very meager. Its first officers were mustered into service July 24, 1861, about fifty artillerymen enlisting during the same month.

The organization was as follows: Captain, Thomas Bickerton, First Lieutenant, Norman Allen, both of Lawrence; Second Lieutenant, Hartson R. Brown; First Sergeant, John B. Cook, Auburn; Second Sergeant, Shelby Sprague, Prairie City; Corporal, John S. Gray, Mound City.

Many recruits were added to the battery during the early part of 1862, and the records show that it participated in the battle at Prairie Grove. The Battery left Rolla, Mo., July 9, 1863, for St. Louis. In consequence of the death of Capt. Norman Allen, who was promoted February 25, 1862, and who died of pneumonia at St. Louis July 10, 1863, the command devolved on Lieut. Thomas Taylor, Lieut. H. R. Brown having been mustered out February 15, 1862. In regard to its subsequent movements, the Adjutant General's report says: "Directly succeeding this (the death of Capt. Allen), they were ordered to Indiana, and took an active part in capturing Morgan's guerrilla band, then on their celebrated raid through that State. After this, they were ordered to St. Louis, and subsequently to Columbus, Ky. They served with distinction in all the principal actions in which the armies of the Tennessee and Mississippi were engaged, and their numbers were greatly reduced by the casualties of war, and by disease."

The First Kansas Battery was mustered out of service at Leavenworth, Kansas, July 17, 1865.


Killed at Prairie Grove, Dec. 7, 1882, John Deshane. At Waverly, Tenn., by guerrillas, December 18, 1883, Fletcher A. Willey; January 27, 1864, James A. Leonard. Died of wounds received at Prairie Grove, DeWitt C. Huff.


The work of organizing this battery was commenced in August, 1862, under the supervision of Maj. C. W. Blair, of the Second Kansas Cavalry. Its organization was completed on the 19th of September following, its officers being as follows:

Charles W. Blair, Fort Scott, commanding; First Lieutenant, Edward A. Smith; First Lieutenant, David C. Knowles; Second Lieutenant, Andrew G. Clark, all of Fort Scott; Second Lieutenant, Aristarchus Wilson, Mapleton; First Sergeant, William Requa, Mount Gilead; Quartermaster Sergeant, William H. Boyd, Mansfield.

At the time the battery was mustered Into the United States service at Fort Scott, its entire force was 123 officers and men, 2 twelve-pounder field howitzers, and 4 six-pounder guns. The battery was assigned to First Brigade. Gen. Soloman, First Division, Gen. Blunt, of the Army of the Frontier, then consolidated under Gen. Schofield at Pea Ridge, the locality of the celebrated battle fought by Gen. Curtis the preceding March.

On time 13th of September, one section of the battery, under command of Lieut. Clark, accompanied the brigade of Gen. Soloman into Missouri, moved east as far as Greenfield, returned to Sarcoxie the 1st of October, and when the rebels, under Gen. Hindman, hastily evacuated Newtonia on the 4th of October, took part in the pursuit, arriving, by way of Keetville, Mo., at Pea Ridge on the 18th of October. This detachment was joined the following day by another section under Lieut. Smith, who, after a short expedition to Monticello, Mo., left Fort Smith on the 12th of October and arrived at Pea Ridge in company with the Eleventh Kansas, having in charge an ammunition train. The command of the battery then devolved on Lieut. Smith, the sections being commanded by Lieuts. Clark and Wilson.

On the 29th of October, the brigade to which the Second Battery was attached, marched from Pea Ridge, and via Bentonville, Maysville and Spavinaw, Ark., arrived at Lindsay's Prairie, Ark., on the 13th of November, and there formed a camp known as Camp Babcock.

Gen. Blunt's Division left camp at this place on the 27th to meet the enemy at Cane Hill, leaving the battery to guard the supply trains, which were left at Lindsay's Prairie, but, two days afterward, were ordered forward to Rhea's Mills, a few miles from Cane Hill. The battery was ordered back to Fort Scott for payment and re-organization, and marching from Rhea's Mills on the 3d of December it arrived at the post on the 10th, where it remained until May, 1863.

When the post of Baxter Springs was established in May, a section of the battery, under Lieut. Knowles, together with the First Kansas, Colored, was stationed at that point. A detachment of the battery, accompanying a forage party into Missouri, was attacked by a party of guerrillas, under Livingston, near Sherwood, and after resisting the vastly superior force as long as possible, was driven back to Spring River with a loss of 3 killed and 2 prisoners. The same day, Livingston captured the herd belonging to the battery, killing 1 of the guards and taking 2 prisoners, both of whom were afterward murdered.

On the 24th of June, the section of the Second Battery, then at Baxter Springs, was transferred to Capt. Armstrong, Company D, First Kansas Colored, and Lieut. Smith, with his detachment, returned to Fort Smith.

Lieut. Wilson, with his section, accompanied Lieut. Col. Dodd, Second Colorado Infantry, as escort to a supply train from Fort Scott to Fort Gibson, in the latter part of June, 1861, participated in the action at the crossing of Cabin Creek, on July 1, and arriving at Fort Gibson on the 4th. On the same day, Lieut. Smith was mustered in as Captain at Fort Scott, Maj. Blair having been assigned to the command of that post.

The threatening aspect of affairs in the vicinity of Fort Blunt, our advanced post, made it necessary that a larger force than that of Col. Phillips, which formed the garrison at that point, should be speedily concentrated to put an end to the harassing attacks of Cooper, Coffey and Stand-Waitie on trains, herds and outposts. Gen. Blunt left Fort Scott on the 5th of July, with a detachment of cavalry, accompanied by Capt. Smith, with his section of the Second Kansas battery, and, after a forced march of 165 miles, arrived on the 12th, and immediately commenced his preparations for attacking the enemy under Cooper, at Honey Springs.

About midnight of the 16th, the Sixth Kansas Cavalry and Lieut. Wilson's section of the battery, under command of Gen. Blunt, set out from Fort Gibson, and arriving at the ford of the Arkansas, about 13 miles farther up, toward daylight crossed without opposition, and came down the south bank to the point opposite the mouth of Grand River, and about 5 miles from Elm Creek. Here he was met by his entire force, about 3,000 men, with 12 light guns. The command commenced to cross immediately, partly by fording and partly in boats; but the passage, owing to the depth and rapidity of the current, was not accomplished until evening.

The next morning, the enemy's pickets were driven in, and, advancing five miles, Cooper's main force was encountered at Elm Creek, near Honey Springs. The battery took a prominent part in the engagement which followed, and escaped with the slight loss of one man wounded and eleven horses disabled. The return march was accomplished during the night of the 18th, and the battery remained in camp at Fort Gibson until the 22d of August.

During the pursuit of the rebels into the Choctaw Nation, the brigade, to which the battery was attached, marched over one hundred and sixty miles, returning to Fort Davis, opposite Fort Gibson, on the 31st of August.

The battery was ordered to Fort Smith, Ark., in November, and in December was rejoined by Capt. Smith, who had been absent to procure new guns. He obtained four ten-pounder Parrotts at St. Louis. The battery remained at Fort Smith until June, 1864, when Lieut. Clark's section was ordered to Clarksville, Ark., where it remained about a month. With the exception of an occasional brief absence, Capt. Smith's command remained at Fort Smith until it was joined, in the summer of 1865, by the section under Lieut. Knowles, which had been left, July, 1863, at Fort Scott, and which had in the meantime been employed as escort to trains, and to strengthen points threatened by the rebels. It also, in October, 1864, formed a part of Col. Blair's brigade, taking part with that command in the various engagements during the so-called Price raid.

On the 21st of July, they, having transferred all Government property to proper officers, embarked at Fort Smith under orders to report at Leavenworth for final muster out and discharge. After a passage of seventeen days, it arrived at its destination, was mustered out on the 11th of August, and received pay and final discharge on the 15th, just three years from the date of the first enlistment.

The following are the names of officers and men of the battery, given in the official report as killed in action:

Sherwood, Mo., May 18, 1863 - Corp. Van Rensselaer Hancock, Fort Scott; Garrett Cameron, Mount Gilead; Joseph Endecott, Fort Scott. Baxter Springs, July, 1, 1863, killed, Arthur W. Gaines. Taken prisoners and murdered, Corp. Thomas Larkin and private James Martin.


This military organization, afterward known as the Third Kansas Battery, was originally recruited as a cavalry company, by Henry Hopkins and John F. Aduddell, in the latter part of 1861, and on the formation of the Second Kansas Cavalry, February 28, 1862, was assigned to that regiment as Company B, its officers being as follows: Captain, Henry Hopkins; and First Lieutenant, John F. Aduddell, both of Albion, Ill.; Second Lieutenant, Oscar F. Dunlap, Topeka.

In April, the regiment was ordered to Fort Riley, where troops were concentrating for the contemplated 'ew Mexico expedition.'

May 15, 1862, Bradford S. Bassett, of Galesburg, Ill., was mustered in as Second Lieutenant, in place of Oscar F. Dunlap, resigned.

The New Mexico expedition having been abandoned, the company, under command of Lieut. Aduddell (Capt. Hopkins having been ordered to the command of a battery of light artillery, then known as Hollister's battery), marched to Fort Larned, Kan., and on the return of Maj. Fisk, of the Second Kansas, from Fort Union, Colo., with the other squadrons under his command, marched to rejoin the regiment at Drywood Creek, arriving at that point September 23, 1862, having marched, since leaving the regiment, 536 miles. The company, having participated in the various movements of the regiment to which it was attached, arrived at Newtonia in time to re-enforce Gen. Soloman and take part in the engagement at that place and in the pursuit which followed. After the capture of the rebel battery at Old Fort Wayne, October 20, 1862, Company B was detached from the Second Kansas Cavalry and ordered to man the prize, which was thenceforward known as "Hopkins' Kansas Battery," and consisted, at the time it was taken, of four guns - three six-pounders, and one twelve-pounder howitzer.

The command moved from camp at Old Fort Wayne, November 27, 1862, and marching south about thirty miles, participated in the engagement at Cane Hill, Ark., the battery being employed to shell the woods in front of the town until the rebel cavalry were driven to the Boston Mountains beyond, and also in dislodging a rebel battery from its position on a commanding hill to the left of the town, The men proved themselves adepts in the art of managing the guns, and their efficiency elicited hearty encomiums from their superior officers.

At the battle of Prairie Grove, December 7, 1862, the battery was ordered into position in an open field on the left of Gen. Blunt's division, and was at first supported only by a small detachment of dismounted cavalry, under command of Lieut. Mitchell of Second Kansas, afterward re-enforced, as the contest grew hotter, by a regiment of Iowa troops. The battery did splendid service, and in conjunction with Rabb's Indiana, was largely instrumental in wringing victory out of threatened defeat.

Lieut. Bassett was taken prisoner in this action, released on parole, and exchanged about two weeks later, in accordance with regulations of war.

Soon after its return from the pursuit of Gen. Hindman's army to Van Buren, Ark., the First Division, Army of the Frontier, was re-organized, and Hopkins' battery was transferred from the Third Brigade, Col. Cloud commanding, to the Indian Brigade, Col. William A. Phillips, commanding, and consisting besides of the three Indian regiments and a battalion of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry.

The brigade remained on the Arkansas frontier until spring, moving to Fort Gibson, C. N., early in March, 1863, the battery soon forming part of the command sent against a force of rebels at Weber's Falls on the Arkansas, April 27.

On May 14, Gen. Cooper made an attack on the troops that were employed in guarding the Government herds that were grazing on the prairies surrounding Fort Gibson, hoping to surprise and capture the valuable prize. Lieut. Bassett received orders to make his battery immediately ready for action, and he accordingly assembled his men, placed guns in position, and awaited further orders. He soon was directed to move with all possible haste to the front, with one section of artillery, which he did, and adding the fire of his guns to the other force already employed, the rebels soon retreated.

The battery took part in the engagements at Cabin Creek, C. N., May 26, and Honey Springs, July 17, 1863, after which it was assigned to the brigade of Col. Thomas Bowen, and after several weeks went into camp September 2, 1863, at Van Buren, Ark.

October 1, 1863, the battery, by order of the War Department, was organized into a permanent battery of light artillery, to be thereafter known as the 'Third Kansas Battery.' At the same date, Capt. Henry Hopkins was mustered as Major of the Second Kansas Cavalry, and on the 26th of the following January, First and Second Lieuts. Aduddell and Bassett were promoted respectively to the rank of Captain and First Lieutenant.

In June, 1864, Lieut. Bassett, with a detachment of sixty men was sent to Little Rock, Ark., for the purpose of obtaining a new and complete battery. Remaining at Little Rock until September, Lieut. Bassett was accidentally disabled, and the detachment was assigned to duty with battery K, First Missouri Artillery. January 1, 1865, the commissioned officers, and that portion of the enlisted men whose term of office had expired, were ordered to Fort Leavenworth, and on the 19th of January, 1865, were mustered out of service. The remainder, about fifty, still in service, were assigned to duty with the Second Kansas Battery, but were kept at Little Rock on detached service until on the 21st of July, 1865, that organization was also ordered home for muster out. The Second was mustered out at Leavenworth on the 11th of August, 1865.


Killed in action at Honey Springs, C. N., July 17, 1863, Sergts. Daniel Sayre and Joel Booth. Killed in action with guerrillas, September 26, 1863, William H. Lee.


On the 22d May, 1862, orders were received directing the detail of 150 non-commissioned officers and privates from the Second Kansas Cavalry, to man a battery of six-pounder Parrott guns at Fort Leavenworth. The following officers were assigned to duty with the battery: From Company B, Captain, Henry Hopkins; from Company I, First Lieutenant, R. H. Hunt; from Company H, Second Lieutenant, J. R. Rankin. Second Battalion Adjutant, Second Lieutenant, Joseph Cracklin. After the assignment of officers, the name of the battery was changed from Hollister's to Hopkins' Battery, and on the 28th of May, the command embarked on a steamer at Leavenworth, and proceeded to Columbus, Ky., arriving the 6th of June, and remaining several days at that place. After several marches and countermarches in Tennessee and Kentucky, the battery was ordered to Humboldt, Tenn., for pay, June 30. In July, the command marched to Jackson, thence to Corinth, where it was assigned to Rosecrans' army, and remained until the last of July.

In August, by order of Gen. Grant, Capt. Hopkins, First Lieut. Hunt and Second Lieut. Cracklin re-joined their regiment in Kansas, and the men were mounted and assigned to Gen. Philip Sheridan's brigade, where they remained three days on provost guard duty, and were then transferred to Gen. Mitchell's command, joining him at Iuka, Miss., on the 17th of August.

On the 18th, the troops moved to join Gen. Buell, crossing the Tennessee at Eastport, passing through Florence, Ala., and thence north through Columbia, Franklin and Triune to Murfreesboro, from which place, with the army of Buell, they moved to Nashville. The detachment again moved with the army of Gen. Buell from Louisville, Ky., September 28, through Bardstown to Perryville, taking part in the battle at that place, Lieut. Rankin acting as aid-de-camp to Brig. Gen. Mitchell, and Sergeant Hugh Quinn, of Company A, commanding the detachment.

On the retreat of Morgan to Lancaster, after the battle the detachment of the Second Kansas held the advance in the pursuit, and at time engagement at that place secured two pieces of a battery which were just about to fall into the hands of the rebels. It was the first to enter Lancaster, capturing there a rebel flag and 24 prisoners. The detachment, with the division of Gen. Mitchell, joined time main army of Gen. Buell, at Crab Orchard; from thence marched to Bardstown as escort to prisoners, and thence proceeded, per order of Secretary of War, directing all detachments to report to their respective organizations to Fort Leavenworth, arriving October 23, 1862.

[TOC] [part 16] [part 14] [Cutler's History]