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


[TOC] [part 19] [part 17] [Cutler's History]


The Price raid and Curtis expedition cost the citizens of Kansas, besides the labor, loss of life, and such incidental losses as could not be computed, not less than half a million dollars. The Government was of course bound to reimburse them, so far as the losses could be established as valid claims, growing out of the war in which the country was then engaged. The Legislature of 1865 made provision for the assumption and payment of the claims by the State, looking to the General Government for reimbursement. A commission was appointed to examine and audit such claims as might he presented. In addition to the just claims which came before the committee, came an avalanche of bogus claims. The aggregate amount of claims presented was upward of $2,000,000. One half of them required little consideration to be rejected. The Commissioners allowed, as appears by the report of T. J. Anderson, Adjutant General, November 30, 1866, the following:

Services rendered $197,327 34
Materials, supplies and transportation furnished 152,530 54
Damage sustained 106,806 05
Miscellaneous 36,290 90
Total $492,644 83

The Commissioners further reported several claims received subsequent to November 1, on which no action had been taken.

The Legislature of 1867 assumed the payment of the awards, and again referred them to a special committee to be re-audited and corrected.

This Examining Board of Commissioners was appointed by Gov. Crawford March 26. The members were: D. E. Ballard. W. H. Fitzpatrick and William N. Hamby. It entered upon the work of re-examination April 1, and reported to the Governor July 1. The awards made were as follows:

Amount allowed for services $197,327 34
Allowed for supplies and transportation 81,682 32
Allowed for damage sustained 131,693 83
Allowed for property lost, and miscellaneous 35,518 47
Total awards $467,293 37

The amount allowed for "services" by the above report exceeded the awards of the first auditing Commission $21,061,41; on the items of supplies, transportation, damages, property lost,. etc., the committee made large deductions. The Governor, in his message, January, 1868, says:

A portion of this discrepancy can doubtless he accounted for by an honest difference of opinion between the two boards in regard to the prices of material, etc.; while another portion, I regret to say, can only he accounted for by a package of forged or fabricated vouchers, amounting to some $18,000, which were placed in my possession by the Examining Commission when they made their report, in compliance with the law. These forged or fabricated claims purport to have been sworn to before the Secretary of the Price Raid Commission. Whether he has been imposed upon by unknown parties is not for me to determine; but I respectfully refer the whole subject to the Legislature, with the earnest recommendation that a thorough and searching investigation he made of the entire affair, so as to prevent undue suspicion from attaching to those who might he farthest from the commission of such a crime. Besides, if the Commissioners should have been mistaken in judging these claims to he forged, when in fact they were genuine, then an investigation is due, in order that the innocent may not suffer.

An investigation committee reviewed the original Price raid awards, and, in January, 1868, reported that it found many claims dishonestly allowed. The Legislature, March 3, passed a new Price raid bill.

The Legislature of 1869 provided for a third Board of Commissioners, to audit the Price raid and Curtis expedition claims. The new Commissioners were Levi Woodward, David Whittaker and T. J. Taylor. The awards of the committee, as reported to Adjt. Gen. Whittaker, September 1, 1869, were as follows:

Services rendered $233,345 47
Materials, supplies and transportation 111,352 53
Damages sustained 159,191 34
Miscellaneous claims 36,627 64
  $540,516 98

The Adjutant General further reported, January 12, 1870, that, in addition to the above, there had been allowed by various committees of the Legislature, and by the State Auditor and Treasurer, $6,701.13, making the total amount of the debt accruing from the Price raid and the Indian expedition of Gen. Curtis, $547,218.11. The State had previously assumed $500,000 of this debt, and the Adjutant General, in his report, suggested to the Governor that he recommend the assumption of the balance ($47,218.11).

The amount of the claims being thus finally settled by the State, the claim was pressed upon the Government for settlement, February 2, 1871. Congress passed a bill providing for the auditing of the claims. Under its provisions, a commission was appointed by the Secretary of War to audit the Price raid claims. Its members were: James A. Hardee, Inspector General U.S.A.; J. D. Bingham, Quartermaster U. S. A. and T. H. Stanton, Paymaster U. S. A. The members of the commission met at Topeka March 17, and having duly investigated the claims in detail, rep aired to Washington late in the month, and reported their award to the Secretary of War, as the basis of an appropriation for the settlement of the claims. On their report, the House Committee on Claims reported to appropriate the sum of $337,054.00 for the payment of the Price raid claims. June 8, 1872, Congress appropriated that sum as recommended, and on August 13, Gov. Harvey, in behalf of the State, received the amount awarded. The amount was received by State Treasurer Hayes, and disbursed, as stated in his report of December 30, 1872, as follows:

On the seventeenth of August, I received the sum of $336,817.37 which had been appropriated by act of Congress to the State of Kansas, in payment for a certain class of military claims; while for the interest on the debt thus paid, and further classes of claims contracted at the same time, and for which Union Military Scrip had been issued, so provision was made. There being no law governing my action in case of partial payment, and believing it would be wronging the claimants, either to wait action by the Legislature or to pay those first presented in full I decided to pay without interest that class of scrip only which had been allowed by Congress, and to issue certificates showing the amount of interest then due on the same.

The scrip issued for the Curtis expedition against the Indians, and for the services of certain irregular companies in the Price raid, although not allowed by Congress, has been paid, as it was found impossible to distinguish by the warrants for what kind of service they had been issued. There will therefore be a deficiency in the funds for the payment of scrip issued for services, transportation, supplies and miscellaneous, including the Curtis expedition, to the amount of $94,348.48 exclusive of interest; in addition to which there till remains outstanding interest certificates issued on scrip paid to the amount of $124,000, and scrip given for damages, $151,191.34 - all of which I would respectfully call your attention, and recommend that some early and final disposal he made of the same.

The manner in which Treasurer Hayes disbursed the funds and other suspected misdemeanors led to articles of impeachment being found against him. He resigned, and the impeachment was not prosecuted.*

* See "Legislative and Political Annals," in this work.

The Legislature of 1873 created another Price Raid Commission, to audit the outstanding claims, after deducting what had already been paid out of the Congressional appropriation. The final report, made February 25, 1874, shows the following outstanding claims:

Damage scrip $159,191 34
Estimated interest on same 78,000 00
Service and other scrip 94,348 45
Estimated interest on same 46,009 00
Additional claims of 1872 1,018 16
Additional claims of 1873 236 50

Total outstanding scrip

$378,794 48

Adding the Congressional appropriation of $336,817.37, the total cost of the Price raid and Curtis expedition was $715,611.85, of which sum $378,794.48 fell upon the State.

In 1879, a new Price Raid Committee was appointed, which reported February 17, 1881, claims still outstanding, amounting to $75,047.71, besides certificates of interest issued for $67,561, by Treasurer Hayes in 1872, on military scrip, the principal of which was paid by him. The additional claims audited by the lust committee and reported by them as still outstanding will largely increase the amount of expense to the State over that above stated. To the future historian is left the task of making a final summary.


Three Indian regiments were actively engaged in the United States service during the war of the rebellion, which were officered and almost entirely recruited in Kansas. The recruits were chiefly from the loyal refugee Seminole and Creek Indians, who had taken refuge from the encroachments of hostile Indians under Stand-Waitie, in the southern border of the State. A few were resident Indians, having homes and families in Kansas.

The officers of the regiments were:

First Indian Regiment. - Majors, William A. Phillips and James A. Phillips; First Lieutenant and Adjutant, J. H. Gillpatrick; First Lieutenants and Regimental Quartermasters, Salmon S. Prouty and John T. Cox; First Lieutenant and Adjutant, John Chess; First Lieutenants, Alfred F. Bicking, Ferdinand R. Jacobs, Robert T. Thompson, Francis J. Fox, Albert Flanders, Benjamin F. Ayres, Milford J. Burlingame, Frederick Crafts, Eli C. Lowe; Second Lieutenants, William Roberts and John D. Young.

Second Indian Regiment. - Colonel, John Ritchie; Lieutenant Colonel, Fred W. Schuarte; First Lieutenants and Adjutants, E. W. Robinson and John C. Palmer; First Lieutenant and Regimental Quartermaster, George Huston; Surgeon, A. J. Ritchie; Assistant Surgeon, M. A. Campdorus; Captains, James R. Bruce and Joel Moody, First Lieutenants, Charles Lenhart, John M. Hunter, James R. Bruce, William R. Kendall, John Moffit, E. P. Gillpatrick, A. J. Waterhouse, Silas Hunter, David A. Painter, _________ Scott.

Third Indian Regiment. - Colonel, William A. Phillips; Major, John A. Foreman; First Lieutenant and Adjutant, William Galore; First Lieutenant and Regimental Quartermaster, Alfred Larzelere; Captains, A. C. Spillman, Henry S. Anderson, Maxwell Phillips and Solomon Kaufman; First Lieutenants, Luke F. Parsons, John S. Hanway, Andrew W. Robb, Harmon Scott, Benjamin Whitlow and Charles Brown; Second Lieutenants, William McCullock, Basil G. McCrea and Jule C. Cayott.

Until the re-organization of the 'Army of the Frontier,' January, 1863, the history of the Indian regiments is intermixed and interwoven with that of other portions of the command of Gen. Blunt.

In July, 1862, Col. Weer, commanding the Indian expedition, sent a detachment of sixty men of the Sixth Kansas and 100 loyal Indians, under command of Capt. Greeno, of Company C of the Sixth Kansas, to Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, which was entirely under rebel influence; the Indiana having organized under command of Stand-Waitie, one of their chiefs, and joined the forces of Col. Clarkson and other rebel leaders. Capt. Greeno succeeded in capturing John Ross, the principal chief, and several of the leading Indian officers. When the Union forces withdrew from the Indian Territory after this capture, thousands of loyal Indians - Cherokees. Creeks and Seminoles followed the army as far north as Baxter Springs, seeking the protection of the Government. While here, they were clothed and fed by the Government, and a post was afterward established for their benefit at Neosho, Mo., called Refugee Camp, which was placed under the charge of Maj. John A. Foreman, of the Third Indian Regiment.

When the Army of the Frontier was re-organized in January, 1863, Col. W. A. Phillips, of the Third Indian Regiment, was placed in charge of the 'Indian Division,' which embraced all of the Indian troops, one battalion of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry, and Capt. Hopkins' Battery. With this force, he was ordered by Gen. Schofield, then in command of the Army of the Frontier, to proceed to the line of the Cherokee Nation, and take up his position near Maysville, Ark. He arrived at the designated point, which was shout 125 miles from Fort Scott, on the 11th of January, and went into camp. He was obliged to send to Fort Scott for his supplies, and with the guerrillas, the cold, snowy weather, and the extreme scarcity of forage, Camp Curtis proved an uncomfortable location. He soon removed twenty-two miles north, and encamped on the bank of Cowskin or Elk River, for the purpose of procuring forage, and the advantage of a flouring mill which was there. Col. Phillips' department at this time embraced Southwest Missouri, Northwest Arkansas, and the entire Cherokee Nation.

On the 21st of February the camp was changed to a location near Pineville, McDonald County, Mo., and again on the 27th to Bentonville, Ark. During this month, Lieut. Maxwell Phillips, brother of the Colonel, was wounded in a skirmish with bushwhackers.

At Bentonville the small-pox broke out in the Indian camp, but did not spread very much among the whites. The discipline of the camp was wonderfully good - the Indian troops, from the necessity of the case, were comparatively ignorant of the details of military rules, and perhaps could hardly comprehend them if instructed; but they soon learned, under the skillful but strict discipline of Col. Phillips, that the one important duty for them was obedience to the simple orders they did comprehend. On the 17th of March the command moved fifteen miles southwest to Big Springs, where Camp Moonlight was established, so named in honor of Col. Moonlight of the Eleventh Kansas. While stationed here, Capt. David Mefford, of the Sixth Kansas, had a skirmish with Livingstone's band of guerrillas at Neosho, sixteen miles north; seven of the rebels were killed and the rest put to flight.

On the 24th, Col. Phillips moved twelve miles south, and again went into camp for about two weeks, and on the 6th of April he entered the Indian Territory. Two days later, he encamped at Park Hill, near the residence of John Ross, and about seven miles southeast of Tahlequah, where he awaited the arrival of a refugee train from Neosho. On the 9th the train arrived, bringing nearly a thousand families back to their homes. The division remained at this point until a reconnaissance could be made, preparatory to moving to Fort Gibson, by a company of the Sixth Kansas, and a part of the Second Indian Regiment under command of Col. D. B. Corwin.

Maj. Foreman, who was sent on the 8th, with 300 men to the southeast, had a skirmish with the enemy near the mouth of Illinois River, killing six, taking several prisoners, and capturing about 800 head of cattle. Three or four of his men were wounded.

On the 18th, the command marched to Fort Gibson, about eighteen miles west, and three miles north of the Arkansas river, on the east side of the Grand. Fort Gibson, at this time, consisted of wooden barracks for officers and soldiers, and two stone buildings, large enough to contain one month's supplies for the division. The post was situated on a bluff, about two miles east of Grand River. When Col. Phillips arrived at Fort Gibson, his force consisted of about 2,000 men. He immediately strengthened the post as much as possible by throwing up a line of breastworks, and, as soon as his preparations were complete, on the 24th crossed the Arkansas, with a detachment, and made an attack on a portion of Gen. Cooper's force, which was stationed at Webber's Falls. The camp was taken completely by surprise, and the rebels retreated toward Fort Smith and North Forktown, to the main force of Cooper, with a loss of 15 killed and as many wounded. Gen. Phillips lost 1 Indian killed and 10 men wounded, during the engagement. Dr. Gillpatrick was here killed while dressing the wound of a rebel soldier on the field.

The camp of the enemy was destroyed, and a large quantity of supplies taken.

During the early part of May. Gen. Cooper moved his force of Texans and Indians, estimated at 5,000 to 7,000, to the heights, south of the Arkansas River, and about five or six miles south of Fort Gibson. On the 20th, a force of rebels crossed the river and attacked the Union pickets, who were stationed to the south of Fort Gibson. Several were killed at the outer stations, and others were driven in. The herders were also killed and many animals driven off. The enemy were subsequently driven, but not until they had inflicted quite a severe loss.

On the 24th of the same month, a large supply train was due at Port Gibson from Fort Scott. Learning this fact, Gen. Cooper sent a force of cavalry north to intercept, and if possible, capture the prize. Col. Phillips also sent out all his available cavalry to the relief of the train, which he met the same day. He was attacked on the morning of the 25th, but succeeded in driving the rebels, who left 26 dead on the field. He arrived with the train at Fort Gibson the next morning - not too soon - for the men had only one day's full rations left.

Early in June, Gen. Cooper moved his force south about twenty miles to Elk Creek, and there intrenched (sic) himself in a strong position on the south bank of that stream.

An account of the engagement at Cabin Creek, in which Maj. Foreman, with his Indian troops, participated, is given in the sketch of the 'First Kansas Colored Infantry.'

In the battle of Honey Springs on the 17th of July, the Indian regiments, under Col. Phillips, did faithful service. The division participated in the attack on Gen. Cooper's force in August, and subsequently returned to Fort Gibson, which remained headquarters thereafter, detachments being detailed on various expeditions into the enemy's country. The post was attacked by a force, under Stand-Waitie, in December, who was repulsed by Col. Phillips.

No official report of the Indian regiments being made, the record of their service is necessarily meager, the special part they took in the various, engagements while connected with the 'army of the Frontier' not being mentioned in the histories of the other regiments.



April 15, 1861, for 15,000 militia Three months --- 650
May 3, July 22 and 25, 1861, for 500,000 men Three years 3235 6953
July 2, 1862, for 300,000 men Three years 1771 2936
August 4, 1862, for 300,000 militia Nine months 1771 ---
Oct. 17, 1863, and Feb. 1, 1864, for 500,000 men Three years 3523 5374
March 14, 1864, for 200,000 men Three years 1409 2563
April 23, 1864, militia One hundred days --- 441
July 18, 1864, for 500,000 men One, two and three years 3729 351
December 19, 1864, for 300,000 men One, two and three years 1222 829


NOTE. - Surplus, 3,443

  16654 20097

[TOC] [part 19] [part 17] [Cutler's History]