From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.

The Anthony Letters

Commanding Is Hard Work But Men Generally Look Well

Leavenworth Times, 1956-7


Hqrs First Kan. Cavly

Camp Hunter, Humbolt, Kas

Feby 19, 1862

Dear Aaron:

We are now here drilling and disciplining our men. They are generally clean, well fed and clothed, and look well.

Col. Jennison is now an acting Brigadier General which leaves me in command of the regiment.

I do not learn when we have marching orders. We are ordered to be in readiness at an hour's notice. The weather is extremely cold, frozen and windy -- the coldest season ever experienced here. Rec'd Susan's letter from Seneca Falls, today.


D. R. Anthony



Camp Hunter, Humbolt, Kan.

Feby 22, 1862

Dear Mother:

Here I am in this out of the world place, the town the Secesh from Missouri and Indian country burned some two months ago.

The few houses remaining standing on the prairie about one mile east of the Neosho River, one of the largest rivers of southern Kansas. It empties into the Arkansas.

One camp is near the bank of the river in an oak grove. Although the weather has been intensely cold our men have lived comfortably. I live in a house about ¼ mile south of camp.

Commanding this regiment in camp is hard work with so many restless men who have lived among rebels so long that it now comes hard for them to respect the person and property of loyal citizens. they have lived so long on chickens, turkeys, apples, jellies taken from Secesh -- and now have to come down to regular army rations.

My living is not half as good as when in Missouri. I have good beefsteaks, good hot bread and coffee -- very little change. I did board but now I have my black boy cook for me.

Our men are constantly parading in front of my quarters. We have three hours drill in the morning, and two hours in the afternoon. I command the regimental drill of one hour from 4 to 5 P.M. each day, also parades, inspections, and reviews. Today we have a review with 34 guns in memory of Washington; also in honor recent victories at Fort Donaldson by Gen'l Sigel.

I hope to hear of Merritt's recovery. I think he would like to go with us. I hope to hear from you. Susan is about the only one who writes much.

With love to yourself and all, I am your son,

D. R. Anthony



Camp Hunter, Humbolt, Kan.

March 8, 1862

Dear Sister Susan:

Here we continue to remain -- how long the Lord only knows. Today, we shot one man for desertion and attempting to go over to the enemy. He stole my horse, a valuable black with saddle, bridle, halter and blanket. I offered $200 reward and caught him. Gen'l Jennison ordered a court martial but I declined to have anything to do with the trial for the reason I had offered the reward.

Our matters are in good condition except we all want to move. Gen'l Jennison continues unwell. I do wish he was well. Maj. Lee goes tomorrow to Ft. Leavenworth to see what is to be our fate or destination. Considering all things Jennison ought to be a brig gen'l. I want him to have it because it would promote me to colonelcy. I have had full command of the regiment for most of the time and now for six weeks have had absolute command. I have mastered the tactics so that I can now put them through all the maneuvers and evolutions. With love to all I am as ever,

D. R. Anthony

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