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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Battlefield Dispatches No. 267: 'Record of Events'

Friday, June 3, 2011

During the Civil War each Union regiment and company was required to keep a written record or diary that documented a brief history of their respective unit. This document was entitled the "Record of Events" and provides a brief but detailed history of the movements of a specific regiment and all of its companies throughout the war. This information is very important in the study of the Civil War because it is often summarized and many of the details are omitted from the "Official Reports."

The Kansas regiments are located in Volume 21 of the Record of Events which is a subset of books in the 125 volume supplemental set of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. The following are the 1861 histories of CompanyIES A and G of the 5th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry Regiment and are located on Pages 249 -- 251 and 263 in Volume 21.

"Company A"

July 16-18, 1861: The company mustered into service at Fort Leavenworth and was armed with Sharps Rifles on July 18, marched to Kansas City, 30 miles, from thence to Harrisonville via of Austin, when after a slight skirmish (small battle) we dispersed several hundred rebels. Marched back to Kansas City, marching about 150 miles.

Aug. 1-11: After a few days rest started for Fort Scott, acting as escort for a government (supply) train bound to that point under the command of Colonel William Weer; arrived (at Fort Scott) Oct. 11, distance 100 miles. From (Fort Scott) thence made several short marches into the Dixie Land and Ball's Mill, (north of Nevada, Mo.), destroying at the latter place a strong fortification commanding the (Little) Osage passage.

Sept. 1: The company in connection with several others of the fifth regiment, was dispatched in pursuit of a large body of rebel cavalry, who had driven a number of (U.S.) government mules and taken two of the company prisoner. After some sharp skirmishing, the enemy fell back to their main body. The company then returned to Fort Scott.

Sept. 2: Marched to Dry Wood Creek (near Deerfield, Mo.); took an active part in the engagement (The Battle of the Mules) that ensued, returning the same evening to Fort Scott.

Sept. 5: Marched to Papinsville (Mo., north of Nevada, Mo.) to reconnoiter the position of the enemy, thence to Fort Lincoln (three miles west of Fulton, Kan., on the north bank of the Little Osage River), distance 75 miles.

Sept. 9-11: Marched to Barnesville (in northeastern Bourbon County), from thence on Sept. 11 to a point near the Missouri line known as the Trading Post; made a night march upon Butler, Bates County, Mo., from thence to West Point, Mo., marching 75 miles.

Sept. 16: Made a night march to Morristown, Mo., a rebel station, attacking them on the morning of Sept. 17, completely routing them, losing our Col. Hamilton P. Johnson and Pvt. James M. Copeland and several wounded. Marched back to West Point on Sept. 25, distance 150 miles.

Sept. 19-25: Marched upon Osceola, Mo., took and destroyed the town; returned to West point on Sept. 25, distance 150 miles.

Sept. 27 -- Oct. 12: Marched upon Kansas City; arrived there on Sept. 30, distance 70 miles (from West Point); made several scouting marches and on Oct. 12 marched toward Springfield, Mo., via Pleasant Hill, Kingsville, Clinton and Osceola. At Kingsville the company, with several others, made a night march in pursuit of a body of rebels who were on the road to join Gen. Sterling Price.

Marched about 40 miles during the night; overtook and captured them; rejoined the brigade at Clinton, arrived at Weaubleau. Received orders to march toward Fort Scott; marched as far as Montevallo. Received orders to march to Springfield via Greenfield, distance 75 miles where we still remain.

Nov. 3: Arrived at Springfield, Mo.

Nov. 6: Made a scouting expedition about 25 miles southwest of Springfield and seized about 400 bushels of wheat.

Nov. 9: Marched upon Fort Scott via of Lamar.

Nov. 12: The cavalry marched upon the rebels, 30 miles south of Lamar at Bowers Mill. The rebels retreated without an engagement.

Nov. 14: Arrived at Fort Scott.

Nov. 20-28: Marched on Carthage via of Lamar; found no rebels in force; returned to Fort Scott, Nov. 28.

Nov. 30-Dec. 2: Marched to Osawatomie, a distance of 60 miles; arrived there Dec. 2.

Dec. 9: Marched on Barnesville, where we now remain."

"Company G"

Oct. 21-31, 1861: Stationed at Kansas City, Mo.

Nov. -- Dec., 1861: Stationed at "Camp Denver."

(Note: Camp Denver was located approximately three miles east of Barnesville, Kan., in north eastern Bourbon County within a few miles of the Missouri/ Kansas state line.)

Nov. 6: Action at Little Santa Fe, Mo. Two horses killed and guns lost.

Nov. 8: Escort to Captain Miley's )supply) train to Fort Scott.

Nov. 15: Arrived at Fort Scott.

Nov. 19: Left Fort Scott and marched to Carthage, Mo.

Nov. 23-24: Lamar, Mo. Capt. Wilton A. Jenkins ordered to march with 50 men. Marched all night, 30 miles. Skirmished with Smith, no horses lost; killed one, wounded one (rebels, not horses) and took Smith prisoner. Returned Nov. 24.

Nov. 25: Marched to Carthage, Mo.

Nov. 27: Forced march, 35 miles. (destination Osawa-tomie.)

Nov. 30: Forced march.

Dec. 1: Forced march to Osawatomie, two horses died.

Dec. 6: Lt. M. Comas took company to Parkville, Mo.; surprised a squad of rebels, killing one, taking one prisoner, lost one horse in action.

Dec. 14: Pvt. Gideon D. Miller died in hospital at Fort Scott. (Note: Pvt. Gideon was probably buried in the town cemetery as the National Military Cemetery did not exist in 1861.)

Dec. 17: Inspected by O.E. Leonard.

Dec. 18: Marched to Camp Denver.

Dec. 20: Inspected by Maj. Biard.

Dec. 31: Pvt. John C. Lawrence died at 10 o'clock a.m. (and was probably buried in the Barnesville Cemetery.)"

The 5th Ks. Vol. Cav. Regiment remained in "winter quarters" at Camp Denver just east of Barnesville until March of 1862 when it marched to and was stationed at Camp Hunter near Springfield, Mo., until April and, of course, the war went on!

Arnold W. Schofield
Battlefield Dispatches