Murder, Pillage & Rape, The Rest Of The Story Of The Jawhawker Raids To "Free" The Missouri Slaves

The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 instigated hoards of Northern Abolitionists swarming into Kansas Territory to vote in the upcoming elections to make Kansas a free state. Their righteous fervor extended across the State line into Missouri as they preyed upon wealthy slave-owners. Whether young or old the Jayhawkers had no mercy as even elderly citizens were not exempt from Federal cruelty. Their slave stealing raids often resulted in murder, rape and pillage. One such episode of the Border Warfare is described in the following incident.

Colonel William Clarke Quantrill's adjutant, Captain William Gregg often told the story about one Jayhawker atrocity in particular. Gregg mentions an elderly citizen, Howell Lewis killed by Federals along the border.         Below is a post conflict image of Gregg.

In 1856, a Negro slave had run away from Judge Howell Lewis of Saline County and escaped into Kansas. A reward of $100 was offered for his return and he was finally captured. He was brought to Wellington, where his owner took charge of him. After eating dinner, Judge Lewis discovered that the Negro was missing again. A search was begun. One of the searchers was a stranger from New York named Horace G. Loring. Sometime later a slave woman belonging to Boone Majors said that the Negro was hiding in a barn in the rear of the hotel.

The Negro was asked who had helped him to hide and he pointed out Loring who had befriended him. There was considerable talk about lynching but Judge Lewis instead urged an informal jury trial. Judge Lewis, Gideon Flournoy, Richard Lee, James Renick, Walter Nutter and Nathan Crews were selected as jurymen and the trial took place in the lobby of the hotel. A verdict was soon reached and the accused was to be given forty lashes on the bare back. Kibbell Stoval administered the lashes. Loring soon left town.

In 1862 two men rode into Wellington from the west. In the advance guard was 2ndLt Horace G. Loring, Company K, of the 10th Kansas Jayhawker Regiment. In the middle of town the two men met Kibbell Stoval. Stoval was unarmed and started to run. He had gone two blocks and was trying to get over a fence when a bullet brought him down. He died almost instantly.

By this time the rest of the company were on the scene. A party of men then rode to the farm of Nathan Crews. Crews escaped death by being away from home but all his buildings were burned. They then went to the farm of Richard Young, a neighbor of Crews. Young was at home and met the same fate as Stoval.

The last victim was eighty–one year old Judge Howell Lewis, who had earlier pleaded for clemency towards Loring's criminal enterprise. For some reason, Lewis was brought back to town and shot to death in front of the local church.

 Scenes such as these repeated themselves hundreds of times during the war. The only group who aided and served as a retaliatory force against such brutality were the guerrilla soldiers serving under Quantrill. Confederate General Sterling Price later testified that the Confederacy and the world would eventually learn about  the murderous and uncivilized warfare, which the Jayhawkers themselves inaugurated, and "thus be able to appreciate their cowardly shrieks and howls when with a just retaliation the same “measure is meted out to them.”

Paul R. Petersen © 2013 Quantrillsguerrillas.com."Permission should be requested and agreed to before using this copyrighted essay and/or image." 

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