The Missouri in the Civil War Message Board

Red Legs at Lawrence

Below is a copy of Blunt's Red Leg dispersal order from November 1862. Two of the men "discharged" are Thos. H Kelsey and J.C. Bender. The next document is from the summer of 1863, a list of Hoyt's detectives. Kelsey and Bender are also on this list. I believe everyone on the detective list should be classified as a Red Leg. I also think that there was a large group of Lawrence citizens who rode with Hoyt into Lafayette County in the spring of 1863, killing 30-50 Missourians. These men were short term members, but Red Legs nonetheless See, "Going home to Lawrence,"
While I am still researching this, it would appear that Quantrill and his men did, in fact, kill one Red Leg in Lawrence. On the list of Hoyt's detectives appears the name John L. Speer. I am fairly sure that this is John Speer Jr. the son of John Speer Sr.


Fort Leavenworth, Kansas,
Nov. 15, 1862.

I. The following Detectives, Provost Marshals and Special Agents are hereby discharged from employment in the United States service, viz: A. H. Thacher, Wm. Freeland, Jas. Pollard, Monroe M. Gay, A. F. Pratt, J. H. Larned, James Smith, Horace Pardee, J. E. Hall, H. H. Sawyer, Thomas Russell, C. G. Gillett, D. S. McIntosh, W. H. Hays, D. J. Baldwin, William Cable, Amos Avery, Thos. H. Kelsey, George F. Williams, J. C. Bender.

II. All other persons employed as detectives in the northern district of Kansas, are directed to report at once in person at these headquarters for orders.

III. The band of irresponsible men, popularly known as 'Red Legs,' or 'The Forty Thieves,' organized under the auspices of Capt. Stout, late Provost Marshal, are commanded to disperse.
Commanders of posts, regiments, companies and detachments are ordered to be vigilant in promptly arresting these marauders whenever they may be found exercising any police or other authority; and to send them under guard to this post, with written statements, setting forth all the facts leading to their arrest.

IV. Where the civil authority is unable to afford protection to life and property, application will be made to Lieut. Col. Burris, commanding post at Fort Leavenworth, who will co-operate with them in the suppression of all disturbances.

By order of Brig. Gen. J. G. Blunt,
T. J. WEED, Maj. and A.A.A. Gen."


[Names in bold denote individuals from Connelley’s list of Red Legs]

Albott, Edward, P., Guide & Scout, 5-28 Aug. 1863
Atchison, John, Detective, 6 July-29 Aug.
Bender, John C., Detective, 20 May-10 Aug.
Blachly, John W., Detective, 18 June-28 Aug.
Bliss, J.F., Detective, 20 July-19 Aug.
Bridges, John L., Detective, 18 June-17 Aug.
Carpenter, Samuel W., Detective, 8 July-31 Aug.
Hook, Dawson A., Detective, 16 June-31 Aug.
Hoyt, George H., Chief Detective, 16 June-31 Aug.
Johnson, David, Detective, 6 Aug [Johnson was killed on his first day of employment. I will have the complete story of Johnson’s termination later on in the blog]
Johnson, William Henry Harrison, Detective, 18 June-18 Aug.
Kelsey, Thomas C., Detective, 1 July-16 Aug.
Kingsley, Richard, Detective, 25 July-31 Aug.
Kinsley, George, Detective, 16 June-31 Aug.
Logan, William, Detective, 19 July-18 Aug.
Raynard, Asa, Detective, 26 June-31 Aug.
Shelton, John, Detective, 19 June-31 Aug.
Speer, John L., Detective, 19 July-15 Aug.
Spui, C., [full name missing from document] Scout, 8-29 Aug.
Suley, R., Detective, 14 July-5 Aug.
Tinter, John R., Detective, 12-31 Aug.
Wilson, David, Detective, 1 June-31 Aug.

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