KANSAS in the CIVIL WAR: 1861-1865


5th Kansas Cavalry
9th Kansas Cavalry
12th Kansas Infantry
2nd Colored Artillery
1st Colored Home Guard
56th Colored Infantry
60th Colored Infantry
2nd Colored Volunteer Infantry Kansas,Battery 'E'
First Indian Regiment: Creeks and Seminoles
Second Indian Regiment: Cherokee, Osage, Delaware, Quapaw, Shawnee
Third Indian Regiment: Cherokees formed after the battle at Locust Grove
Fifth Indian Home Guard: Stationed at Fort Gibson.

Kansas in the Civil War
By late spring 1862, there were 8 to 10 thousand Indian refugees in Kansas from many different tribes. Perhaps one-fifth of them were able-bodied men eager to enlist, the majority of whom were Cherokees, Creeks, and Seminoles. These men were later formed into Union regiments.

Kansas Military History Kansas in the Civil War : William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas

In May, 1862, the First and Second Indian regiments were organized at Le Roy from Refugee Indians. In 1861, Col. W. G. Coffin, of Indiana, had been appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern Superintendency. The headquarters of that superintendency were at Tahlequah, Indian Territory. In the fall of that year he attempted to go to his headquarters with $60,000 in gold for the Cherokee Indians in a Government ambulance, and with a small army escort. From the Osage Mission he was accompanied to Crawford Seminary by Father Schoenmaker, the founder of the Osage Mission. Deeming it unsafe to proceed further, Col. Coffin sent word to John Ross, principal chief of the Cherokees at Tahlequah, that the money for the Cherokees was at Crawford Seminary and could be obtained upon application for it at that place by Mr. Ross. After waiting several days and receiving neither a visit from Mr. Ross or agent, nor any message from him, the Colonel grew uneasy. Upon the urgent request of a scout named Bill Brooks (a nephew of Preston S. Brooks, of South Carolina), the Colonel turned back and went to Washington, and subsequent events proved that his retreat was made none to (sic) soon, as Mr. Ross was scheming to capture the Colonel and money, with the probable intention of appropriating the money to his personal use. During Col. Coffin's absence in Washington several thousand Indians from the Indian Territory, who had been driven from their homes by rebel Indians, took refuge on the Verdigris River, near the present town of Coyville. They arrived there during the months of November and December, 1861. Their leader was Opothleoholo, a Creek, who had fought Jackson in the Creek war in Georgia and who was believed to be over one hundred years old at the time of this exodus. Two or three severe battles were fought in the Indian Territory between these refugees and the rebel Indians. They were accompanied on their march by their squaws and papooses. Their only means of transportation were ponies. Their sufferings were intense, and many died from exposure and hunger.

Col. Coffin having succeeded in securing the removal of his headquarters from Tahlequah to Le Roy, removed the refugees to that place during the winter of 1861-'62. The tribes represented there were Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, Uchee, Quawpaw, Keechi, Southern Shawnee, and Southern Delaware. The refugees numbered about 8,000 souls. In May, 1862, the First and Second Indian Regiments were organized at Le Roy. The field and staff officers were white men.

First Indian Regiment were as follows:

Lieut. Prouty served as Quartermaster until February 28, 1863, when he was relieved by Lieut. John T. Cox, who served until September, 1863. Lieut. Prouty then succeeded Lieut. Cox and filled the position until mustered out, October 12, 1864. John Chess, of Le Roy, was commissioned First Lieutenant and Adjutant May 28, 1863, and served as such until the regiment was mustered out.

Second Indian Regiment were as follows:

Third Indian Regiment,  Organized after the battle at Locust Grove, Indian Territory

Fifth Indian Home Guard: Stationed at Fort Gibson

Most of the teamsters of the First Indian Regiment were citizen employees, and were residents of Coffey County. Charles Puffer, of Burlington, served six months under Lieut. Prouty in the capacity of Quartermaster Sergeant, though he was never mustered into the service.

During the campaign in the Indian Territory, during the summer of 1862, over one-half of the soldiers of the First Indian Regiment deserted and returned to Le Roy owing to the want of military discipline. In November of that year Lieut. Prouty was ordered by Gen. Blunt, commanding the army of the frontier, then operating in northwestern Arkansas, to go to Coffey County and make an effort to induce the deserters to return to their command. The Lieutenant, accompanied by Sergt. Puffer and a couple of Indian soldiers, proceeded to Burlington, and there established his headquarters. A supply train, filled with commissary stores and clothing, followed him from Fort Scott. By good tact and management on the part of Lieut. Prouty and his assistants, all of the deserters were soon in camp in Burlington and over a hundred new men enlisted. About six hundred Indian soldiers were encamped at Burlington, with only one white officer to command them. The Lieutenant divided his command into four companies, over which he placed an Indian commissioned officer, supplied his men with clothing, arms and rations, marched his men a distance of two hundred and fifty miles, and delivered them to the regiment at Rhea's Mill, Arkansas, without the desertion of a man.

Civil War Units of Kansas

Men Killed Serving Kansas

Old West Kansas Page


Memoirs of Sarah M. Shawbell-Minehouse-Stout,b. 20 Sep 1848 PA d. aft 1928 KS.

'Reminiscences in Ottumwa' - ©Coffey County Historical Society. Written at her home in Fort Dodge, Kansas at age 80 on 8 Dec 1928.

Pro-slavery men were trying to make Kansas a slave state. One morning a note was found under our door warning us that we had 24 hours to get out or my father would be hung, as there was no place in Kansas for a free-state man.

I was only eight years old when we were in Ft. Leavenworth. I saw pro-slavery men with guns in their hands riding unmolested thru the streets with a man's head stuck on a big pole. The jail was just back of our house, across a deep ditch, I saw a mob of men pry the jail door open and take a prisoner out, tie a rope around his neck and drag him to 'Hangman's Tree'. I was glad we all moved down to Coffey County.

In the spring of 1861 when the Civil War broke out most all the men in Ottumwa obeyed the call to go to the Civil War, John Shawbell, my father went. My husband, Will Minehouse and many others enlisted in the 9th Kansas. Harrison Kelley and others in the 5th Kansas, all but some boys, John Darnel and Mr. Harris, store keepers and Grandpa or Samuel Knotts who was our postmaster. Those were hard times. The men came back in September 1864.


All the men in Ottumwa and Coffey County answered the call including, John G. Shawbell, his sister Margaret's husband, Solomon Martz. William H. Minehouse, daughter Sarah Shawbell's future husband (m. 1865).

Samuel Browning (m. Anna W. Shawbell, 1875) was living in Ohio when he enlisted and served in the 89th Regiment Ohio Infantry Co. 'H' . George S. Allen (m. Clementine S. Shawbell, 1879. Her first husband.) was living in Pennsylvania when he enlisted in the 102nd Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry Co. 'A' .

Among the notables of Ottumwa was Harrison Kelly. Harrison was a Lieutenant in the 5th Kansas Calvary, and later a Captain. The 5th Kansas Calvary is responsible for the name 'Jayhawking'. These were men who used quick skirmishes into Missouri and outlying areas to loot and plunder...they were called 'Jayhawkers'. It was these men who infuriated the Missourians and caused many to embrace the ranks of the Confedrates as Missouri Home Guards, as did all the member's of our Seney Ancestor's in Missouri.

The Seney Family entered our ancestral lineage with the marriage of Lewis Evans Shawbell (age 37) and Katherine Susan Seney (age 19) in 1888, twenty-three years after the end of the Civil War.


Sammers
5th Regiment Kansas Cavalry

Thomas Sammers, Rank: Unk b. 8 Sep 1834 in Lyons, N. Y. Enlisted in Company G, Fifth Regiment of Kansas Volunteer Cavalry 1 Oct 1861 in Ottumwa, Coffey Co., KS.

Thomas scouted most of the time; he had a horse shot from under him; in a few days he had his gun shot to pieces in his hands. April 2, 1863 he received a gunshot wound in the eye; he then remained in the hospital until fall; then was discharged November 19, 1863.

Spent his early childhood in New York. He then left his parents and went to Wisconsin, and remained there until 1857, settling  in Ottumwa, Coffey Co. KS. He married, May 31, 1865, to Miss Celidia C. Martz, who died February 15, 1877. They had two sons - Edward S. and George.


Shawbell ~ Minehouse
9th Regiment Kansas Cavalry


'Lane's Brigade'- Apr 1861
*3rd Regiment Kansas Infantry, Co. K- 24 Jul 1861 to 31 Dec 1861
*3rd Regiment Kansas Infantry, Co. I - Jan to Feb 1862
9th Regiment Kansas Cavalry Volunteers,Co.'C'.- March 1862 to Dec 1864

*Both Regiments subesquently became Co.'C' 9th Regiment Kansas Cavalry Volunteers

John G. Shawbell first enlisted in local leader, James M. Lane's 'Lane's Brigade' in 1861 at Osawatomie, Miami Co. KS as a Pvt., was a Blacksmith and was 41 yrs. old. John was listed as in the 3rd Regm't KS Infry Co.K, the 3rd Regm't KS Infry Co. I, both Companies were mustered into the 9th Kansas Cavalry Volunteers Co.'C'. The 9th Regiment Kansas Cavalry Volunteers was organized on March 27, 1862 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas by the consolidation of Battalions and Brigade's already formed by local leaders in the State. The Regiment was mustered out on July 17, 1865. John G. Shawbell was discharged on 7 Dec 1864 at Little Rock, Arkansas, after serving three years.

  • William Minehouse enlisted in 9th Kansas Cavalry Volunteers Co. 'C'. (John's son-in-law, m. Sarah M. Shawbell.

    Both men were at the Battle of Honey Springs.

    The Regiment lost during service 1 Officer and 52 Enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, and 2 Officer's, and 140 Enlisted men by disease. Total 195.


    Martz
    12th Regiment Kansas Infantry

    12th Regiment Kansas Infantry Volunteers, Co.'F'

    Solomon Martz Enlisted 12th Regiment Kansas Infantry, Co. F at Paola, Miami Co., Kansas as a Private. He was 46 years old. Solomon died of typhoid at Paola, Miami Co.,KS on December 13, 1862. Buried: Ottumwa, Coffey Co., Kansas. He was the husband of Margaret Shawbell, sister to John G. Shawbell.

    The 12th Regiment Kansas Infantry was organized at Paola, Miami County, Kansas in September 1862. Company F organized as Home Guard-Scout/Patrol Duty, Paola,KS - Oct 1861- Dec1862. Attached to the Dept. of Kansas to June 1863. The Regiment was unattached to the Border Dept. Missouri from June 1863 to Jan. 1864 after which it was unattached to District of Border, 7th Corps, Dept. of Arkansas from Jan. 1864 to March 1864. Second Brigade, Frontier Division from March 1864 to May 1864. To 1st Brigade, Dist. of the Frontier, 7th Corps Feb. 1865. To 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 7th Corps Feb 1865 and then lastly to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 7th Corps to June 1865. The Regiment was assigned to duty by detachments on line between Kansas and Missouri until November 1863. At Olathe,KS Paola,KS Wyandotte, Ind..Terr., Mound City, Shawnee Trading Post, KS Fort Scott,KS Leavenworth,KS and Riley, KS. Company at Fort Smith, AR, also occupied Kansas City,KS, Westport and Hickman's Mill's, Mo. guarding trains and operating against guerillas. The only operations they were envolved in was the Jackson County rout of Quantrell November 2-5, 1862

    The Regiment was mustered out on June 3, 1865. The Regiment lost during service 2 Officer's and 10 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded, and 2 Officer's and 121 Enlisted men by disease. Total 135.


    Gingerich
    3rd Indian Regiment Home Guards

    3rd Regiment Indian Home Guards

    • John S. Gingerich Chaplain, John came to Lawrence, Kansas from Pennsylvania in 1855 as a circuit preacher. He was under the elder, S. Snyder, who was killed in Quantrill's raid on Lawrence. He served as Chaplain at Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation. John was a first cousin to Maria Anna Evans-Shawbell, John G. Shawbell's wife.


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