Today in History:

Report of Captain John Ballinger on William Quantrill's attack on Lawrence Kansas

Numbers 7. Report of Captain John Ballinger, First Missouri State Militia Cavalry.

KANSAS CITY, MO., August 27, 1863.

GENERAL: In compliance with your order, you will find a brief statement of such facts as I have been able to obtain relative to the Quantrill raid.

On the night of the 20th of August, Lieutenant Colonel B. F. Lazear informed Major [A. W.] Mullins that a large body of guerrillas were reported to be in the neighborhood of Chapel Hill, and ordered him to move without delay with the effective portion of his command in that direction. Accordingly, Major Mullins moved, with 126 men; formed a junction in the vicinity of Lone Jack, or Chapel Hill, with Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear; ascertained that the guerrillas had gone toward Kansas. The whole force, about 300 strong, met Quantrill and his band of murderers and thieves 5 miles west of Pleasant Hill about 2 o'clock Saturday, when, after a short parley, which was thought necessary in order to ascertain who they were. As soon as this was done our gallant lieutenant-colonel ordered the boys of the First Cavalry, and a portion of the Fifths Provisional Regiment, under Colonel Neill, to open fire on them, which was done with a will. The bushwhackers fled in great confusion, hotly pursued by our soldiers. I am credibly informed that there were 5 of the enemy killed in this engagement, and 10 wounded. Several horses were killed, some captured, and plunder, from a horse to a finger ring, all of which was turned over, by order of Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear, to the quartermaster First Missouri State Militia Cavalry.

After this the lieutenant-colonel divided his forces and began to scour the brush in the neighborhood of Pleasant Hill. A detachment of his force, G and K, under command of Camp. [H. F.] Peery, had an engagement with some stragglers and succeeded in killing 5. Next day 2 prisoners were captured, from whom some valuable information was obtained. This band of bushwhackers, whom it is supposed was commanded by Quantrill, passed through or near Lone Jack ont he night of the 19th of August, came within 1 1/2 of 2 miles of Pleasant Hill, and then turned abruptly north for a distance of 5 miles, then west toward the headquarters of Grand River.

The above is a rough statement of such facts as I have been able to obtain.

I am, general, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding Detachment First Missouri State Militia Cavalry.

General EWING.

P. S.- Some papers were captured that had been instructed to care of Captain Quantrill. &c.