Thomas Moonlight was born to a poor farmer at Boysack Muir near Arbroath in the county of Forfarshire, Scotland. He emigrated to the United States alone aged just twelve. He initially worked on farms in the east until he enlisted at the age of twenty.
He served for five years as a first sergeant in the 4th U.S. Artillery regiment. During the American Civil War Moonlight raised a company of artillery for the 4th Kansas Infantry, but the regiment never completed organization. The recruits to the company (and another regiment) were reassigned to the 1st Kansas Battery; Moonlight briefly served as its captain. Moonlight later joined the 11th Kansas Infantry as its lieutenant colonel. The regiment became the 11th Kansas Cavalry and Moonlight its colonel. (Moonlight briefly commanded the 14th Kansas Cavalry as lieutenant colonel, before being ordered to return to the 11th Kansas Cavalry.) His service during the war was primarily in Kansas against bushwhackers and border guerrillas. He also pursued William C. Quantrill's raiders following the Lawrence Massacre. In 1864 he commanded the 3rd Sub-district in the District of South Kansas. During Sterling Price's Missouri Raid in 1864, Colonel Moonlight commanded the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division in the Army of the Border and was conspicuous at the Battle of Westport.
Toward the end of the war, he was in command of the District of Colorado and campaigned against Indians on the plains. He was given a brevet promotion to brigadier general in 1865. After the war, he returned to his farm and became involved in politics in the state of Kansas. He served as the Kansas Secretary of State, and also as state senator. From 1887 to 1889 Moonlight served as the governor of the Wyoming Territory. After his term as governor he served as U.S. Minister to Bolivia.
He died at Leavenworth, Kansas, and is buried there in Mount Muncie Cemetery.
Civil War, reports By Thomas Moonlight.
No. 2. Report of Colonel Thomas Moonlight, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, commanding District of Colorado. DENVER, January 7, 1865.
Indians attacked train at Valley Station; burned. Killed some 12 men. Attacked train at Julesburg. Were driven off. Two killed each side. Operators have left station since. Unless troops are hurried out from Kearny, Lyon, or some point, people must starve. Immense excitement. I have no body to re-enforce with.
MAY 3-21, 1865. -Expedition from Fort Laramie to Wind River, Dak. Ter.
Report of Colonel Thomas Moonlight, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, commanding Northern Sub-District of the Plains.
HDQRS. NORTHERN SUB-DISTRICT OF THE PLAINS,
Fort Laramie, Dak. Ter., June 6, 1865.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit, for the information of the general commanding, the following as my report of an expedition lately made as far west as Wind River:
I left here on the 3rd of May with about seventy-five men of the Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry and Seventh Iowa Cavalry, under command of Captain Wilcox, of the latter regiment, for Platte Bridge. At the same time I sent Captain Krumme, of the First Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, with about sixty men of that regiment by way of Laramie Peak, to scout the country thoroughly and meet me at Platte Bridge, which he did, seeing no signs of Indians. Receiving what was considered reliable information that there were about 300 Cheyenne lodges over near Wind River, I concentrated about 500 cavalry-400 of the Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Plumb, and the balance under Captain Wilcox. We marched at sundown on the 8th with seven days ration on horse and three on pack-mules, taken out of teams for that purpose, each officer and soldier having only one wool blanket, one gum blanket, and an overcoat. I snowed for two days and nights, covering up the grass so that the horses were nearly famished.
The command suffered terribly with cold, as there was no wood, having to rely upon a scanty supply of sagebrush. My marches were all made during the night, as the moon was favorable, and the better to beguile the Indians. The Cheyenne trail was struck on the morning of the 12th, but had every sign of being old. This was on Lake Fork, tributary of Wind River. Scouts were immediately scattered all over the country and brought back positive information that the Indians, after making a circuit toward Sweetwater Mountains, turned due north and crossed Beaver Creek Pass road toward Powder River. One scout went as far as Wind River and reported that the Indians had merely passed by with their lodges in the direction we were then encamped, but without halting.
The village had evidently come down from Powder River Mountains with the intention of finding a suitable encampment somewhere in our vicinity, but finding the grass and game scarce were compelled to go back again. I had not rations to carry me any farther away from the bridge, as I had marched four days at the rate of thirty-five miles each day. Nearly one-half of my horses were given out, for the grass was not sufficient to keep them in heart. I have never traveled a country where there was less for the animals to subsist on, and old Mr. Bridger, of mountain fame, who accompanied me as a guide, assured me that although the country in that section was usually barren, yet in all his experience he had never seen it as it was then.
On the evening of the 12th I started Captain Wilcox back to Platte Bridge with his command and broken-down horses of the Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, keeping close to the north side of the Sweetwater Mountains, for the purpose of picking up any straggling war party, and with the balance of the command I made for Sweetwater bridge, by the south side of the mountains, sending a large scout by the head of Popoagie River toward Three Crossings. No Indians were seen or even other than old trails. I arrived at Platte Bridge on the 17th and returned here on the 21st, having traveled a distance of 450 miles. The Indian scouts must have kept watch of us, for no sooner had we returned to the line than their war parties were harassing the stations at all points.
It is no manner of use to attempt doing anything unless an expedition is started, striking Powder River about 100 miles north of where I was; that is, north of here and west, where a large and strong fort should be built and a supply of rations kept on hand to replenish the pack-saddles from time to time. A campaign must be made with pack-mules to transport supplies. From Powder River the villages could be struck. The war parties now harassing us would draw in to defend villages, and thus a fight of some magnitude might be gotten, as they are keen for a tussle, believing they can clean us out, and there is some semblance of excuse for this belief from their recent successes. I prefer they should feel that way, at least until they concentrate for action. The Cheyennes, and Sioux who are with them, will number about 4,000 fighting men. No time is to be lost in making campaign, but horses are in a woeful condition, having had no corn for a month.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.
Numbers 3. Report of Colonel Thomas Moonlight, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, commanding expedition.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, DISTRICT OF SOUTH KANSAS,
Mound City, Kans., June 26, 1864.
In obedience to the following dispatch by messenger, marked A, and also one by telegraph, marked B, I proceeded as directed, by stage, to Paola at 12 m., 14th instant, from thence by special conveyance same night to Olathe, where I arrived at midnight, and made the proper arrangements with the commissary and quartermaster departments, Lieutenant Nichols, Fifteenth Kansas, in charge. Next morning I proceed to Aubrey, where I found the following concentration of troops: Lieutenant-Colonel Hoyt, Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry, in command; Companies A and D, Eleventh Kansas cavalry, in their proper encampment, Aubrey being their station; Companies I and K, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, from Shawnee Mission and Oxford; Companies F and G, Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry, from Olathe; Companies B and C, Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry, from Coldwater Grove and Rockville, and Company L, Fifth Kansas Cavalry, from Camp Clayton. During the day Company F, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, arrived from Potosi; Company B, same Regiment, from this place, making splendid marches, and Company E, same regiiment, from Lawrence, making in all twelve companies, with four mountain howitzers. As it was necessary to communicate, if passible, with Colonel Ford, commanding sub-district of Missouri, where the bushwhackers were reported, I detached Company K, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, Captain Allen commanding, with instructions to proceed to Raytown and deliver my message to Colonel Ford, reporteed there.
I may here say, en passant, that at 10 a. m. 15th, it commenced raining, continuing twenty-four hours. Captain Allen returned at 3 a. m. 16th having marched about 36 miles without meeting Colonel Ford, as he had on the 15th marched to Pleasant Hill, Mo., where I determined to join him early the next day. As suggested by the general commanding this district, to insure safety on the border during my absence with the command, the following companies were left: A and D, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, at Aubrey, Captain Kunkel, Eleventh Kansas, commanding; two howitzers with Company A; Company E, eleventh, at Oxford with two howitzers, Captain Walker commanding; Company L, Fifth Kansas Cavalry, at Camp Clayton, Lieutenant Hadley commanding. these companies had instructions to scout thoroughly the country into Missouri.
At noon on the 16th, the command marched in two columns as follows: Companies B, C, F, and G, Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hoyt, with instructions to join Major Pritchard at Raytown and scour the timber hills of the Blue. (See report of Colonel Hoyt regarding his part of the expedition, herewith inclosed.) Companies B, F, I, and K, of the Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, under my own command, struck the headwaters of the north fork of Grand River and scoured that country thoroughly, part of the command crossing at Morristown and part some 8 miles below. A portion of the command went through Harrisonville and scouted the timber of Big Creek up to Pleasant Hill, while the other portion went farther north, all arriving at Pleasant Hill by noon, 17th, a distance of about 50 miles. So thoroughly was the country scouted between Pleasant Hill and Kansas, yet without seeing the sing of an enemy, that I am confided no force has been there since growing of grass.
I met Colonel Ford, Second Colorado Cavalry, commanding subdistrict, at Pleasant Hill. My command was warmly received, and their wants promptly attended to. General Brown, commanding district in which we then were, directed Colonel Ford to send me with my command to Hickman Mills, and Colonel Hoyt with his to Little Santa Fe, on the line. Colonel Ford tried to open communication with Colonel Hoyt, but failed, so that he was permitted thereby to give the brush such a raking as it never got before. That night Captain Joy, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, with his company (I), started east to the line of Johnson and Cass Counties, and scouted south as far as east Harrisonville, returning next day up the timber to Hickman Mills. This scout was to prevent a movement of the enemy into Kansas without my knowledge during my absence. Companies F and K, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, marched for Hickman Mills next morning to wait my return. At 2 in the morning (18th) Colonel Ford, with about 100 Second Colorado Cavalry, a few footmen, and Company B, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, Lieutenant Taber commanding, started for the purpose of intercepting the enemy likely to be driven out by Colonel Hoyt. I accompanied Colonel Ford at his request. We reached Lone Jack at daylight, and proceeded to give the Sni Hills a general inspection. But few bushwhackers were seen, as it was evident they were leaving for La Fayette and Johnson Counties. We struck a gang of 15 some 5 miles in La Fayette County. A skirmish ensued, without damage on either side. About an hour afterward a gang of 50 was run into by our flanking party; the enemy broke and ran. Company B, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, on the south flank, captured 2 U. S. mules and a U. S. horse, which was proven by Colonel Ford as one of Company M's horses, Second Colorado. He was accordingly given up. The 2 mules are still in the possession of Lieutenant Taber, and will be sent up to the provost-marshal first opportunity.
Lieutenant-Colonel Hoyt joined us that night with his command at Mr. Robinson's, some 5 miles from Sibley, which is one the Missouri River. During that day we marched about 55 miles. From every sign and signal we were all convinced that the bushwhackers were concentrating on Black Water, in Johnson County, and as the border tier of counties were once freed from their sway, I deemed it prudent and right to return as rapidly as possible, which was done, the entire command recrossing the border about noon on the 20th. I remained at Aubrey that night, making the proper disposition of the troops, and returned here on the evening of the 21st.
The entire command started with only five days' hard bread in their saddle-bags, a blanket and overcoat apiece on their horses. This includes the officers from myself down, and while the weather was oppressively warm and the marches long, hazardous, and rough, not a single complaint ever reached my ears. Officers and soldiers seemed to strive and vie with each other in the line of duty. Where all exhibited in a marked degree patriotism, endurance, and gallantry, it is difficult to particularize. To Lieutenant-Colonel Hoytis due much credit for his promptitude and gallantry during the entire expedition, and to his adjutant, Lieutenant Goble, Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry, who assisted me prior to the division of the command (I had no staff officers).
Lieutenant Nichols, Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry, quartermaster and commissary at Olathe, is deserving of special mention for the deep interest he took in the welfare of the command. I had nearly forgotten to say that Assistant Surgeon Erikson, Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry, accompanied me on the expedition, heroically enduring every trial and hardship like a true soldier. His instruments and medicines were strapped on a mule, yclept ambulance, and the doctor was at all times on hand administering to the wants of the men, several of whom, had he not been present, would have suffered. He volunteered for the trip and is entitled to more than ordinary credit. the expedition throughout reflects credit on the troops, District and Department of Kansas, and I think the moral effect it had on the bushwhackers will be greater than anything heretofore done. They now feel that we will cross into Missouri when danger threatens our border, and that we will not wait until Kansas is invaded before we strike at them. I would also state that I was cordially through your headquarters by the commissary and quartermaster depot at Paola.
Permit me again to say that Colonel Ford, Second Colorado Cavalry, and his officers are not only entitled to our thanks but gratitude for the soldierly and manly way in which we were treated. Their desire is to co-operate heartily with us in the border troubles. One thing is worthy of notice. Wherever we found settlements there we found of bushwhackers, and vice versa. Around Hickman Mills, Pleasant Hill, and the Sni Hills there are a good many farmers returned under the order of General Brown, all of them bearing protection papers, either from General Brown's headquarters or headquarters Saint Louis. From Westport down the border, say a breadth of 15 or 20 miles, there are but few settlers except around Hickman Mills. If a raid is made into Kansas, so far as my border extends, I think it will be by a concentration on Black Water timber, in Johnson County, and making the march from there during the night, between Harrisonville and Pleasant Hill.
Colonel Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.
Numbers 82. Report of Colonel Thomas Moonlight, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, commanding Second Brigade.
HDQRS. 2nd Brigadier, 1ST DIV., ARMY OF THE BORDER,
Paola, Kans., December 15, 1864.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command during the late campaign against the rebel General Sterling Price:
On the 15th of October, at Hickman Mills, Mo., the Second Brigade was organized as follows: The Eleventh Regiment Kansas Volunteer Cavalry; Companies L and M, Fifth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry; Companies A and D, Sixteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. Four mountain howitzers were in the Eleventh, manned by Company E. On the 16th the brigade marched into Missouri, in company with the First Brigade (all under Major-General Blunt), in search of Price's army. After having gone in a southeasterly direction as far as Holden, Mo., on the Warrensburg road, our course was changed to Lexington, Mo., which was captured by the Second Brigade on the 18th. Company B, Eleventh, had the advance, and skirmished with some bushwhackers in the streets, killing and wounding several and capturing some prisoners. Our camp was formed near the college, and it fell to the lot of the Second Brigade to picket the road leading south, and on which Price was advancing. Captain Green, Company B, Eleventh commanded the picket on the Warrensburg road, composed of his own company and Company A, Sixteenth. Captain Palmer, Company A, Eleventh, commanded the picket on the Dover road, composed of his own company and Company F, Eleventh.
I am particular in mentioning these facts, because much credit is due these companies for maintaining their position and holding the rebel advance in check as long as they did. When, at the battle of Lexington, on the 19th, a retreat was ordered, the Second Brigade was in the advance and a portion of it dismounted, so that it fell to our lot to cover the retreat. To enable the division to move out it became necessary to face the enemy with every man and use every weapon. The howitzers here did good service, but on leaving the field the tongue of one of the pieces got broken so that it was necessary to last the timber and piece to other pieces in order to save them, which was done in the very face of the enemy and under his fire.
The enemy persistently followed us for several miles, and long after dark we were compelled to fight him on every piece of ground favorable for making a stand. The enemy outnumbered us more than ten to one, so that they were enabled to flank us, as well as press us in the rear, thereby making our position a warm one and giving us lively work. Every officer and soldier did well and nobly under the most trying of all positions. The retreat was continued all night until 2 next morning. On the same day the division took up position on the west bank of the Little Blue, eighth miles from Independence, and in the afternoon the Second Brigade was left alone to watch the enemy, fight him at the crossing, and burn the bridge.
It is proper to state here that the two companies of the Fifth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry were not with the brigade, as they had been left on the border of Kansas to watch the guerrillas, and when the balance of the division was withdrawn from the Little Blue the two companies of the Sixteenth also went, leaving me only ten companies of the Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. Company G of that regiment being escort for Major-General Curtis, and Company L, at Fort Riley, my force being reduced, and the stream being fordable almost any point, it was no easy matter to hold an enemy so numerous and active, all being cavalry. Major Anderson, Eleventh, with two companies, had command of the bridge, which he set on fire and held until it was fairly burning, after which he fell back on the hill and joined the command, who then opened fire on the enemy. Captain Greer, with his company (I, Eleventh), had been stationed at a ford about one mile below the bridge, with instructions to hold the enemy as long as possible. He retired without firing a shot, but claims that it was not possible to do otherwise, as the enemy were crossing at all points.
Being thus menaced on all sides and the object for which I was left accomplished, the command slowly fell back about two miles, fighting. A favorable piece of ground here presenting itself, a new line of battle was formed on the left of the Independence road, and we slowly began to drive the enemy back over the ground again, dismounting every man for the purpose of shelter behind some walls, fences, and houses, some of which were then held by the enemy, who, after a vigorous assault, were dislodged, thus affording us an advantage which accounts for the few killed and wounded on our side, compared with the enemy, who suffered terribly. The Eleventh Regiment here behaved like old veterans, and gave renewed proof of their fighting qualities, driving an enemy greatly their superior in numbers to the very ground occupied in the morning. By this time General blunt had come up, and other troops were being thrown in on the right to my support.
About 200 of the Sixteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, of that regiment, reported to me and did splendid service on the left. Major Hunt, Fifteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, chief of artillery for Department of Kansas, reported about this time with some mountain howitzers, and rendered such service as only a brave and gallant officer can render. We thus held the enemy back for hours, a great portion of the time without any ammunition, supplying its place with lusty and defiant cheers. It became necessary to withdraw the command a short distance and take up a new position, as the enemy, ten to one, were flanking us in perfect safety. Shortly after gaining the new position I received orders to withdraw my men and mount. The first movement had to be accomplished in the very face of the enemy, and giving up to them a line of stone walls rendered the movement a dangerous one, and had it not been for the command already referred to, under Colonel Walker, opening a flank fire by my directions, I question much if the retreat would not have been a fatal one and yet it had to be done, as the ammunition train by some mistake was away in the rear, where I joined it, and supplied my command anew. By this time the entire command had fallen back, and the Second Brigade, as ordered, formed a new line of battalion the east side of Independence.
About this time Captain Hunton, with his company (H) of the Eleventh, joined the command. The captain had, by my order the day previous, been sent up Little Blue about four miles to guard a ford and check the enemy, which he did in his usual gallant style, never abandoning his position, although pressed, in a manner isolated, and knowing we were being driven back on his left. The covering of the retreat from this point was given the Second Brigade, and to Companies B and H was the work assigned, under my own supervision. The enemy was held for some time at bay. A skirmish was kept up in the streets of Independence and as far as the railroad bridge, when the enemy abandoned the pursuit; it was then dark.
We arrived in camp on Big Blue about midnight, where the entire force was concentrated. Throughout the entire engagement on Little Blue I was ably assisted by the field officers of the Eleventh, viz, Lieutenant-Colonel Plumb, Majors Anderson and Ross (the latter had two horses shot under him), as also my adjutant, Lieutenant Taber, together with those already named of other regiments. The entire command behaved with the utmost coolness and gallantry, commanding officers of companies vieing with each other in the discharge of their duties. I regret to say that in this engagement Captain N. P. Gregg, Company M, Eleventh, received a severe gunshot wound in the right arm which is likely to disable him for life. The captains is one of the best officers in the service and it is to be hoped that he will yet be spared for future fields of operations. At Big Blue, on the 23rd [22nd], the Second Brigade was ordered to hold Simmons' Ford, and report the movements of the enemy. None coming, and the First Brigade at Byram's Ford retreating, the Second Brigade in double-quick whipped around by Westport and met the enemy on the State line, checked his advance into Kansas, and by the setting of the sun drove him back over into Missouri. The fight continued until dark, after which the pursuit was abandoned, and my command moved up to Shawnee Mission, for the purpose of procuring forage and rations.
It is but to say that the Second Brigade had been so actively engaged for several days that little or no rations had been obtained; yet all were eager for the fight, and determined that Price could only invade Kansas when the little band no longer existed. The battle of the Line, or Big Blue as it is called, was a very pretty one and satisfied my mind that the enemy's cavalry was no match for ours on the prairie. In this fight Company G, of the Eleventh, escort for General Curtis, joined my command on the occasion and participated in the fight, as also the howitzers mentioned as commanded by Major Hunt on Little Blue. A militia force, I think Johnson County, under Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, was also prevent; another militia force camped with the brigade that night, but I have forgotten what regiment. Several prisoners were captured during the engagement and properly forwarded to the headquarters of Major-General Curtis.
Early on the morning of the 24th [23d] I received orders to supply my command with ammunition and rations and take the right of the line of battle about to be formed a little south of Westport. This was promptly done, and in front of the Second Brigade the enemy were driven back for over a mile after a stubborn resistance. The command on the left had fallen back, so that I was not supported in that direction, allowing the enemy to come up on my flank and deliver a raking fire. To meet this fire and preserve order it was necessary to wheel two squadrons to the left, which was done in fine style by Companies A and I, Eleventh (Lieutenant Drew commanded Company I after the battle of Little Blue). My command fell back in good order, handsomely protected on the right flank by Lieutenant-Colonel Woodworth, Twelfth Kansas State Militia, who reported to me that morning with a part of the regiment.
Colonel Woodworth is deserving of much praise for dashing on the enemy's flank of skirmishers in the manner in which he did. After falling back to Westport I received orders from General Blunt to pass around the right flank of the enemy and keep in between him and Kansas, which were putting. Price to rout the Second Brigade whipped in on the right flank in hot pursuit of that portion of the enemy invading Kansas. At Little Santa Fe my advance company (H, Eleventh, under Captain Huntoon) struck the rear of the enemy and drove him out of Kansas. This was gallantly done and saved that portion of the State from the flames.
The command pushed on that night to Aubrey, where a few hours' rest was obtained, and forage procured. Early next morning we again marched for Coldwater Grove, where we struck the center of the enemy, skirmished awhile,and held him in check as long as possible. Seeing from the route the enemy was taking he must necessarily camp about the Trading Post and that Mound City was danger of being destroyed I pushed on, marching all night, a distance of sixty-five miles; arrived there at 2 a. m. on the 25th. Early in the morning the enemy made his appearance but was quickly driven back and the town saved. About this time I received an order from General Blunt to make for Fort Scott and hold it at all hazards, so that no time was lost, after procuring some rations for my starving command, in striking for that place.
At Fort Lincoln the enemy had possession and disputed our passage. After vainly trying to dislodge him I moved off by the right flank, leaving a battalion to engage his attention until the command crossed the stream above. Arrived in Fort Scott about 4 p. m.; found the place in the most intense excitement. The same evening Generals Curtis and Blunt arrived, and the next morning we again started in pursuit. I would here state that near Coldwater Grove I was joined by the Lyon county Militia under Colonel Mitchell, who accompanied me all the way to Fort Scott, doing excellent service, performing the night march and bearing up under the many trials incident to a camp life with commendable fortitude.
Nothing of importance occurred in the pursuit until the 28th, when General Blunt overtook the enemy at Newtonia, Mo., and drove him from his position. The Second Brigade was deprived of the pleasure of participating in this fight, as instructions had been received to await rations,then forty-eighth hours due. At Newtonia, on the 29th, after returning Neosho, the brigade was joined by Company L, Fifth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, Captain young commanding, who was appointed acting assistant quartermaster and acting commissary of subsistence for the brigade, which position he still retains. Nothing of importance transpired during the balance of the pursuit via Cassville, Keetsville, Elkhorn, Bentonville, Elm Springs,
Fayetteville Prairie Grove, Cane Hill, Dutchtown, and to the Arkansas River, half way between Forts Gibson and Smith. On November the 9th, after the pursuit had been abandoned and the division broken up, the Second Brigade marched for Fort Smith with Major-General Blunt. Remained at Fort Smith awaiting forage and rations until the 19th, when the march was taken up for this place. Arrived at Fort Gibson on the 23d, remained one day to feed hay, marched for Fort Scott. Met on the south bank of Neosho a large supply train going south. Said with it one day, as reports had been received that the rebel Generals Cooper and Gano had crossed the Arkansas River for the purpose of capturing it. Sent out Major Ross with every horse able to walk to reconnoiter; found no enemy and returned. Marched the following day via the Catholic Mission for grazing purposes in the Neosho bottom. Arrived in Fort Scott December 7. Remained two days to recruit animals; arrived in Paola December 12, having been absent exactly two months. During one-half of this time not more than one-fourth forage could be obtained, so that with the continuous and rapid marches a very great many horses have been abandoned as well as a great many killed in battle.
In conclusion, I desire to call the attention of the department to the uniform gallantry and efficiency of the following named officers, who came prominently under my immediate observation and who behaved themselves throughout the entire campaign in a manner worthy of special mention, viz, Lieutenant-Colonel Plumb and Majors Anderson and Ross, battalion commanders of the Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry; Surgeon Ainsworth and Assistant Surgeon Adams, Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, in charge of medical department, and Captain Young, Fifth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, acting assistant quartermaster and acting commissary of subsistence from the time he joined the command. The campaign was an unusually severe one, marching day and night, with often little or no rations, yet every officer and soldier bore up under the difficulties and hardships without ever grumbling, ever prompt and obedient.
To lieutenant and regimental adjutant* Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, my acting assistant adjutant-general I am especially indebted for his zeal, activity, and vigilance, and I earnestly recommend him to the department for promotion in the adjutant-general's department. I cannot close without mentioning the following enlisted men to whom special praise is due for their services on the battle-fields as aides; I had none other, nor could I have had better, viz: Sergt. Major I. H. Isbell, Quartermaster Sergt. W. H. Cowan, Chief Bugler N. D. Horton, all of the Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. These non-commissioned officers well merit promotion. I had forgotten to mention that Lieutenant W. F. Goble, Company L, Fifth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, served in the brigade from the beginning as battalion adjutant for Colonel Plumb and is reported by him as being an officer of uniform good conduct and high standing. The following is a list of casualties during the campaign.+ Forty-five horses were killed and 272 abandoned.
Colonel Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, Commanding.