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Kanza in the Civil War

mapA number of Kanza men served the Union Army in the Civil War between 1863 and 1865. They enumerated Company L of the ninth Kansas Cavalry. By the end of the war, a total
of 87 Kanza men had fought in the company. In an October 1864 report filed from Duvall’s Bluff, Ark., Benjamin Woodward stated, “Company L of this regiment is composed exclusively of Caw Indians. A finer body of men was never seen and the officers of this regiment say they are the best and most reliable scouts, and most splendid horsemen.”

Company L reported to Topeka in 1863 to get uniforms. They chased Quantrill’s Raiders in the Lawrence area. William Quantrill and his raiders had torched Lawrence and killed 150 people. Along with other troops, they killed several raiders and reclaimed some of the stolen property. From December 1863 to February 1864, they were stationed at Fort Scott, Kansas. Their missions took them to Missouri and Arkansas. In late 1864, they were stationed at DeVall’s Bluff, Ark., where they were mustered out.

On Dec. 3, 1864, 57 Kanza scouts signed in at Duvall’s Bluff.

An official military history of Kansas regiments determined that since the companies were so scattered, detailing each battle was “impossible.”

Big Henry PappanIn addition to those in Company L, a few Kanza soldiers were included in Company F of the 15th Kansas Cavalry Regiment. Among them were Joe Bellmard, Big Louis Pappan, Big Henry Pappan and Orren
Curtis, the father of Charles Curtis.

Twenty-four Kanza soldiers died in service. Twenty-one Kanza scouts died in the war.

A letter from Abram Munroe to Kaw Agent Farnsworth dated July 31, 1864, from Little Rock, Ark., read, “I take the present opportunity to inform you that my brother “Hard Wind” is sick… I just returned a few days ago from a scout & brought in four prisoners. When the Rebels see the Federals coming they always run and don’t stop to show fight… I have heard that the Chiefs have gone to Washington to make a treaty of their land and if it is true let me know immediately. The boys are all anxious about it do not want them while they are down here fighting for their country to sell their land and we ask you to see that they do not do so…. I and my boys are down here exposed to danger both of being killed and dying from sickness…. Tell Frank James if he is there to come back as we have no information and want him for that purpose tell him to come to Ft. Scott then to Ft. Smith then he can come here in a boat. Tell my brothers and sisters that this is a good country and that we get plenty to eat and plenty of forage for our horses. I am down here hunting Rebels and don’t think I will get home for some time… Tell the Chiefs that we have just as hard boys here as they have and that they can’t get ahead of us in that line.”

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