The following was copied from the excellent iste located at http://www.kansasguardmuseum.org/14ksvls.html
Museum of the Kansas National Guard
The 14th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry Regiment
In the spring of 1863, Maj. Gen. Blunt received authority from the War
Department to recruit a battalion of cavalry as his personal escort.
This was intended to be composed of four companies of picked men. They
were speedily obtained; so speedily, indeed, that inasmuch as the
necessity was at that time urgent for more troops, Gen. Blunt had the
order so extended and altered as to authorize the enlistment of a full
regiment of cavalry for the current wants of the service.
Under this authority Gen. Blunt, through his recruiting commissioner,
Maj. Anderson, (afterwards Adjutant General of the State), aided by the
efforts of Gov. Carney, soon had the requisite number of men recruited,
and in November 1863 the 14th Kansas Cavalry was in effect organized
and placed in the field.
On the 20th of this month, (November), by order of General Blunt, the
regiment moved from Fort Scott (which was its place of rendezvous) en
route for Fort Smith, Ark., under command of Lieut. Col. Thomas
Moonlight, 11th Kansas Volunteers. It arrived at Fort Smith December
3d, 1863, and was at once placed under active duty by Gen. John McNeil,
who then commanded at that place. The regiment (being well mounted, and
cavalry being much need at the post) at once entered upon an active
career of scouting, foraging, picket and other duties. This was kept up
during the winter, or until the 23d of February.
Just before this time, Col. Moonlight was relieved from the command of
the regiment, Maj. J. G. Brown succeeding him. Under this officer the
14th Kansas marched during the month of February on an expedition into
the beautiful but almost deserted Choctaw country. The line of its
march was that of Lieutenant Whipple's survey for the Southern Pacific
Railway via Sherman, Texas. Many of the iron bridges built by that
pioneer of the Pacific Railroad, the Overland Mail Company, yet
remained. The expedition was intended to penetrate to Boggy Depot, C.
N., and was to co-operate with a force from Fort Gibson, C. N., under
command of Col. Wm. A. Phillips. ON account of orders received from
Headquarters District of the Frontier, the entire regiment did not
proceed farther than North Fork Town, on the Canadian river, eight
companies of the regiment returned to Fort Smith under Maj. Brown, and
cos. B, K, L and M accompanied Col. Phillips. As the only cavalry with
the force, it acted as the advance of the command while penetrating the
enemy's country, and when within twenty miles of Boggy Depot, it was
found necessary to retreat to avoid a largely superior force, this
battalion of cavalry acted as the rear guard of Col. Phillips' little
army, doing signal service throughout.
Upon returning to Fort Smith, the regiment, under command of Maj.
Brown, was ordered to proceed to and garrison the temporary post of
Ozark, Ark. It arrived at that place, which is situated on the Arkansas
River fifty miles below Fort Smith, on the 28th of February. Here it
remained until the 6th of April, '64, constantly scouting the country,
and rendering secure the navigation of the Arkansas River within its
scouting limits. The 14th Kansas Cavalry afforded the loyal citizens of
Franklin county an opportunity of voting at the important State
election held during the occupancy of Ozark by the regiment, and were
much gratified to witness the loyalty with which the citizens exercised
the right of suffrage.
About the 6th of April the regiment marched in obedience to orders on
the famous Camden Expedition, in company with the balance of General
Thayer's forces, forming the Frontier Division, which it joined at
Danville, Ark. A junction was formed with Gen. Steele's main force at
the Crossing of the Little Missouri River on the 11th of April. On the
13th the battle of Prairie de Anne was fought and the rebels defeated.
In this engagement the regiment bore an honorable part. On the next day
the 14th Kansas Cavalry was detailed as rear guard of the entire army.
Acting in this capacity, it received and repulsed a furious onset made
by an overwhelming force of the enemy under the rebel General Dockery.
The whole of the 3d Brigade composed of the 2d, 6th and 14th Kansas
Cavalry becoming engaged, the Battle of Moscow ensued, and the enemy
were driven with considerable loss into their entrenchments beyond the
Prairie de Anne.
The brunt of this engagement was borne by the 14th Kansas Cavalry. The
two howitzers belonging to the regiment were worked with signal ability
by Lieut. Rickabaugh, and the regiment was complimented by General
Thayer for its coolness and bravery.
A detachment of the regiment, consisting of some sixty men, was engaged
in the sanguinary battle of Poison Springs on the 17th of April. Some
twelve of this number were killed or taken prisoners by the enemy. Some
of these died a lingering death in the miserable prison pen of the
rebels at Tyler, Texas.
During the march from Camden (after its evacuation) towards Little
Rock, two squadrons of the 14th Kansas Cavalry -- Cos. F and G, with
their officers -- participated in the bloody engagement of Jenkins'
Ferry on the 30th of April. They were the only cavalry upon the Federal
side engaged, all the balance of the cavalry force of Gen. Steele's
army having been pushed forward to repel a threatened attack upon
Little Rock. The duties of this little handful of cavalry at the Battle
of Jenkins' Ferry was therefore arduous and of such a nature as to call
forth the greatest display of coolness. They were mostly employed as
mounted skirmishers, couriers and orderlies, and behaved themselves
with commendable tact and bravery.
About the middle of May the regiment returned to Fort Smith, doing
guard, picket, scouting and escort duty. Its losses from these causes
were severe during this period.
Company E, with its officers, was engaged in the different Battles of
the Border with the rebel General Price during the fall of '64. This
company with its brace and accomplished commanding officer, Lieut. Wm.
B. Clark, acted as the person escort to Maj. Gen. Blunt.
They had just before this greatly distinguished themselves at Cabin
Creek. At Westport they were hotly engaged, and had seven men killed
and wounded. At Mine Creek and at Newtonia they were in the front of
battle, and added fresh laurels to their already splendid reputation.
It is but just to state that three other officers of the regiment were
engaged with Gen. Curtis' force in the memorable Battles of the Border.
All of them were on detached duty at the time. First, and most
conspicuous, was Col. Charles W. Blair, who commanded a brigade of
militia and volunteer artillery, and whose bravery and self-sacrificing
efforts during these troublous times, will never be forgotten by the
people of Kansas.
Col. Blair's brigade, under his efficient leadership, won imperishable
honor upon the fields of Mine Creek and Westport. At the former
engagement, Col. Blair received the formal surrender of Gen. Marmaduke,
and conducted him in person into the presence of Gen. Curtis, to whom
he delivered him as a prisoner of war.
Surgeon A. W. Chenowith accompanied Col. Blair as his acting Medical
Director. He had charge of the revel wounded at Mine Creek, and
rendered arduous and effective service.
Capt. Geo. J. Clark, long the able and efficient Ordnance Officer at
Fort Scott, accompanied the army as chief Ordnance Officer on Gen.
Curtis' staff. He had charge of the ammunition train, and his duties,
which were discharged with great zeal and promptness, necessitated
almost constant labor by night as well as by day.
On the 1st day of January, 1865, the regiment was ordered to
Clarksville, Ark., whither it went under command of Maj. Chas. Willits,
who had succeeded Lieut. Col. Brown.
Its duty, in connection with the balance of the 3d Brigade stationed at
Clarksville, was to scout and police the country so as to render the
navigation of the Arkansas river as safe as possible. Although
stationed north of the river, they scouted both sides of the stream,
crossing by the uncertain means of rafts or hastily-constructed boats,
to surprise some detachment of a partizan force and annihilate it. The
whole country swarmed with guerrillas. Engagements with them were of
almost daily occurrence. Our troops fought them in their mountain
fastnesses, or in their camps in the midst of the dense and almost
impassable thickets of cane bordering the Arkansas river, and always
with that general success which attends the patriotic brave who battle
in a just cause.
Thus did our soldiers brave disease and death in all its forms and thus
upon the line of the Arkansas river, did the brave men of Kansas defend
their homes “far away.”
The people of Kansas were secure just in proportion as this line of
defense was maintained. It is hoped that they will remember, with
becomingly grateful feelings, the devotion and bravery of those men who
gave them immunity from danger amid the troubles and trials of the
greatest civil war that history records.
But all the activity an energy of these troops could not prevent the
enemy from occasionally interfering with the navigation of the river.
The only serious interference, however, was that of the rebel Col.
Brooks, who, with fifteen hundred men and two pieces of artillery,
intercepted, captured and destroyed the steamer Chippewa, and disabled
the steamer Annie Jacobs, fifteen miles above Clarksville, the rebels
advancing from the south side of the river. Timely aid was rendered the
wounded soldiers; passengers and crew, and they were brought to
Clarksville and tenderly cared for. In the relief afforded these
unfortunate sufferers, the 14th Kansas Cavalry bore a conspicuous part.
A battalion of the regiment, under the brave Capt. Larimer, remained
with the disabled steamer until she was repaired and once more afloat.
While the 14th Kansas Cavalry remained at Clarksville, an important
scout was made by a battalion of the regiment led by Maj. Chas. Willits
in person. It was into what is known as the Bear Creek country, Searcy
county, Arkansas. The Surgeon of the regiment and Adjutant Nieman,
together with Capt. Teeple and some other officers, accompanied the
party. A region of country was penetrated one hundred and twenty-five
miles northeast of Clarksville, which had not before been visited by
Union scouts. The narrow, rich valleys were found teeming with
provisions and forage. The party was absent some tend days, and enjoyed
themselves in leisurely contemplating some of the finest natural
scenery in the world. A small band of guerrillas was surprised, and two
of its most notorious members were killed. Their names were ascertained
to be Sam Halstead and Abb Cook.
Returning from this scout, orders were found awaiting us transferring
the 14th Kansas Cavalry to the 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 7th Army Corps,
and ordering that the regiment report at once to the commanding officer
at Pine Bluff, Ark., for duty. The order was complied with, and on the
25th of February, '65, the regiment embarked on board the Government
steamer Ad. Hines for destination. Arriving at Pine Bluff on the 27th
of February, the regiment found its new arms - the Spencer carbine -
awaiting them. These splendid weapons were procured through the
energetic efforts of the Lieut. Colonel of the regiment, J. Finn Hill.
This officer had lately been commissioned and mustered vice Brown,
resigned. His arrival was anxiously looked for by the entire regiment.
In the month of March he was heard from at Little Rock, sick in the
officer's hospital; later, by advice of his attending surgeon, he was
transferred to the officer's hospital at St. Louis, Mo. He did not long
survive his arrival at that place. Lieut. Colonel Hill died of
consumption, incurred through hard service during four years of duty in
every grade. He rose from the ranks, having entered the service as a
private, and having secured his promotion through sterling worth and
unquestioned ability. His premature death was sincerely mourned by his
intimate friends, and his decease was justly regarded as one of the
most precious offered upon the altar of a free government and undivided
Lieut. J. G. Haskell, who had been commissary of the regiment from its
organization, died on board the steamer Linnie Drown, on the 4th of
May, 1865, while the boat lay at Little Rock. He died of pneumonia.
Lieut. Haskell was an excellent officer, and being a perfect gentleman
and highly Kell was an excellent officer, and being a perfect gentleman
and highly respected by all, his death was greatly regretted.
At Pine Bluff the 14th Kansas Cavalry did a great deal of duty. The
regiment was now almost entirely dismounted and serving on foot, doing
the duty of infantry.
Lieutenant Colonel Hill was succeeded by Albert J. Briggs, (formerly
Captain of Company F,) who was elected to the vacancy with great
unanimity. He was mustered Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment the
latter part of May. The regiment was ow at Fort Gibson, C. N., whither
it had gone in the early part of the month, in obedience to orders.
It reported to Major General Blunt at this post, and it was expected
that the 14th would accompany that gallant officer on an expedition
into Texas. The great final scenes of the war were now closing in upon
us, and their occurrence rendered the expedition of General Blunt
unnecessary, and also made it possible for a portion of the troops
intended to accompany it to be mustered out of the United States
service. Accordingly, on the 25th day of June, the 14th Kansas Cavalry,
having been included in order to muster out dismounted cavalry in the
Department of Arkansas, on that day, by Lieutenant Fred W. Schwarte, 2d
United States Cavalry, and Assistant Commissary Musters, 4th Division
7th Army Corps, the regiment was at once placed en route for Lawrence,
Kansas, the place designated for final discharge and payment.
It arrived at this point on the 11th day of July; but from some
unaccountable delay, the final muster-out and payment of the regiment
was not accomplished until the 20th of August following.
A review of the duty performed by the 14th Kansas Cavalry, during the
two years of its history, will show that the part it performed in
subduing the great rebellion, was of an important and onerous
character. For the most part is served in a region of country destitute
of supplies, and so far from a base that it was a great portion of the
time on diminished rations of subsistence and forage. The men endured
many privations in consequence, and the horses were soon lost from the
While mounted, the men were almost constantly in the saddle, for they
entered the service at a time when the power and force of the rebellion
seemed to have culminated, and when our troops were kept in ceaseless
activity to prevent any advantage from being taken by an unscrupulous
foe. The 14th Kansas Cavalry did its part well in defending the line of
the Arkansas river, and in all the important campaigns and expeditions
undertaken by the troops serving in the Department of Arkansas from
December, 1863, to June, 1865.
Many of the boys “sleep the sleep that knows no waking” in that far off
region. Nobly did they perform their duties; gallantly did they demean
themselves in battle; heroically did they yield up their lives “that
the Nation might live.”
(Source: Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas,
1861-’65. Reprint Edition. Topeka, Kansas: Kansas State Printing Plant
(1896). Transcription courtesy of Bryce Benedict, Civil War Round Table
of Eastern Kansas.)