Does anyone have any information on the Battle of Baxter Springs, my
great-great-great grandfather was a member of Co. I 3rd Wis Cav?
"Military History of Wisconsin in the War for the Union," by
E. B. Quiner, 1866;
The command had been split, 40 men of Co. "I", under Lt.
H. D. Bannister were involved in the following action, along
with 43 men of Co. "A" of the 14th Kansas Cavalry, this detatchment
under the command of Lt. J. G. Cavart of the 3rd WI Cavalry.
"At noon, on the 6th of September, when within a short distance
of a camp near Baxter Springs, in the Cherokee Nation, the command
was halted, to permit the train to come up. Soon after, a column of
men was seen coming out of the woods, about eighty rods to the
left, and forming into line. The escort was immediately formed in
line of battle, and the train took up a position to the rear. A scout
soon came in, informing General Blunt that the force in front,
disguised in Federal uniforms, were enemies and that an engagement
was taking place at the camp of Lieutenant Pond, who was in command
at Baxter's Springs. Of the men comprising the escort, twenty were
acting as rear guard to the train, leaving but sixty-five to form the line
of battle and receive the charge of a force from 300 to 500 men. The
lines were not more than 200 yards distant. The enemy advanced at
a walk, firing. The men of Co. A, Fourteenth Kansas began to break,
which the enemy perceiving, the charge was ordered, and the whole
rebel line advanced with a shout., at which the remained of Company
A broke and could not be rallied. In the meantime, a full volley was
fired by Company I, Third Wisconsin Cavalry. The enemy however,
continued to advance. Company I stood, firing their revolvers, till the
enemy was within twenty feet of them, when they turned to escape,
but before any distance could be made, the enemy were in their midst,
who shot down the fleeing men, and murdered such as were merely
wounded. Of the forty men of Company "I", who composed part of the
escort, twenty-two were killed, and four were wounded and left on the
field for dead."
T he remainder of the force at Baxter's Springs were briefly under
attack, but the attacking force was drawn off by the attack of the
supply train. This "rebel" force was led by William Clarke Quantrill.
The wagons were captured and plundered.
The dead of Company "I" in this action were:
Sgt. Joseph Burlingame; Cpls. David Beam, William C. Hooper,
Samuel P. Hart, and Robert Murphy; Pvts. Henry Brewer, William C.
Clarke, Jas Dimpsey , Stephen V. Gallea, John Gainer, Alfred Green,
William M. Gifford, Frank Galvin, G. F. Mossinger, Henry A. Pond,
Lincoln S. Rice, Marion Rickard, D. Smith, Francis Van Camp,
Abram Woodfall, John C. Wright, and John Zaher.
The wounded of Company "I" in this action were:
Sgt. J. Splain, Pvts A. McCune, F. Arnold, and Jesse Smith.
Company "I" suffered no casualties in the attack on the position
at Baxter's Springs.
You can find further accounts of the action in "Quantrill's War,"
by Duane Schultz, pages 255 - 258.
Regards, Dave Gorski