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

Captain Could Get $150 Plus Lot of Hard, Wet, Cold Riding

Leavenworth Times, 1956-7


Headquarters, Camp Johnson

Morristown, Mo., Dec. 28, 1861

Dear Aaron:

Don't you want a captain's commission in the 1st Kansas Cavalry? If so, I think I can get you one. It would mean $150 per month and plenty of hard, wet, cold riding and sleeping in tent to do.

The news is that the enemy have gone south 150 miles and we have no fighting to do unless we move down to them.

I fear by body servant, Griff, has gone to his long home. Ten days ago I sent him from Independence, Mo., with a long train of wagons and 120 negroes to Leavenworth. He arrived safely but must have lost his way or been captured on his return through Missouri. I hate to lose him as he is invaluable--a good servant rare to be found.

Col. Jennison and lady arrived in camp today and this evening at 8 o'clock we compliment them with music from our infantry brass band. Also a dash of the bugle blast -- 22 strong.

How does Merritt get along? He ought to be here at work.

We now have a daily messenger from here to Leavenworth and from here south to Fort Scott.

From present prospects we shall soon move as the advance guard of the Grand Army of the West into the Cherokee Nation, Arkansas, and south until we meet an enemy in force. This Grand Army will number about 20,000 men. While the advance guard detail is the most dangerous, it is thought the most honorable, and most of our men welcome it.


D. R. Anthony



Mound City, Kansas

Feby 3rd, 1862

Dear Sister:

Our command arrived here yesterday afternoon. We march tomorrow for Humbolt, 45 miles south from this place. We have been three days on the march from our old camp at Morristown, Mo., which is 50 miles northeast from this point. Our men have had to sleep out in the snow and the weather has been cold and cutting. Today is sleeting, freezing, and wet.

After resting a few days I propose to take 500 men and our mountain howitzers and go south 100 miles into the Cherokee Nation. Fifty miles south of Humbolt there are 6,000 or 7,000 friendly Indians. We are now sending them food and clothing. They send me word they anxiously awaiting for us -- that they are ready to fight all rebeldom. They seem to understand the issue.

Col. Jennison is now at Leavenworth. He expects to command a brigade in that case, I of course to command the regiment.

In our march we free every slave, every man of all nations, kindred tongue and color. We arm them or use them in such manner as will best aid us in putting down rebels. We hope to stir up an insurrection among the negroes.

Many men, whites and blacks, ask why don't Fred Douglass come out here -- raise a regiment of blacks. I know the reasons why. But if Fred could get $10,000 he could raise a regiment and our Maj. Gen'l would not refuse them. Blacks can soonest gain the confidence of the slaves, and rebels fear nothing more than the loss of a baby darkie or an insurrection.

I hope to do something in my southern trip. Gen'l Hunter told me to go as far south as I pleased. If I can't fight I can run. We can do nothing until the weather moderates, as we must march without tents and luggage--go with celerity and boldness to win.

Capt. John Brown Jr. is now with us. I like him much. He remembers you and seems glad to be with us.


D. R. Anthony

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