Dragoon Creek During the Civil War

As a result of the admission of Kansas as a free state and the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, seven of the southern states seceded and organized an army in rebellion against the United States government. April 15, 1861, President Lincoln made the first call for soldiers to put down the rebellion, and for the war which followed Kansas furnished more troops according to her population than any other state in the Union. Dragoon creek settlement furnished a large proportion. All the able-bodied men were in the volunteer service, the militia against Price and his raiders, or in the Indian war. The following is a list of the soldiers from this settlement and the regiments in which they served:

  1. John Greelish, enlisted November 5, 1861, as first lieutenant. Company E, Eighth Kansas; he was promoted to captain the same day; resigned June 6, 1864. Wounded in action at Chickamauga, Ga., September 19, 1863.
  2. Gilmer Young, enlisted in Company F, First Kansas infantry. May 25, 1861, age 32 years. Killed in battle August 10, 1861, at Wilson Creek, Mo.
  3. Eli Walton, enlisted in First Kansas battery, July 24, 1861, age 21 years, mustered out September 7, 1864.
  4. Merrill E. Cowee, enlisted August 25, 1862, in Company I, Second Kansas cavalry. Mustered out June 22, 1865.
  5. Samuel B. Easter, enlisted June 19, 1862, in Company F, Second Kansas cavalry, age 18 years. Mustered out June 22, 1865.
  6. Gary Walton, enlisted July 12, 1862, in Company I, Second Kansas cavalry, age 20 years. Mustered out June 22, 1865.
  7. Paul Bryan, enlisted September 5, 1861, in Company B, Seventh Kansas cavalry. Mustered out September 29, 1865.
  8. Henry C. Thomson, enlisted in Company I, Eleventh Kansas cavalry, August 20, 1862. Mustered out September 26, 1865.
  9. Ira Hodgson, enlisted in Company E, Eleventh Kansas cavalry, September 5, 1862, age 16 years. Mustered out August 7, 1865.
  10. George Hodgson, enlisted in Company E, Eleventh Kansas cavalry, August 1, 1863, age 15 years. Died at Lawrence, Kan., May 26, 1864.
  11. Alonzo D. McCoy, enlisted August 28, 1862, in Company E, Eleventh Kansas cavalry, age 16 years. Died at Springfield, Mo., February 12, 1863.
  12. Jehu Hodgson, enlisted in Company C, Seventeenth Kansas infantry, July 16, 1864, age 34 years. Died November 3, 1864.
  13. Henry Harvey, jr., enlisted September 13, 1861, in Company E, Eighth Kansas infantry, age 20 years. Died at Iuka. Miss., August 30, 1862.
  14. William Blankenship, enlisted September 13, 1861, in Company E, Eighth Kansas infantry, age 23 years. Died at Chattanooga, Tenn. November 28. 1863.
  15. Lucius P. Calkins, enlisted September 13, 1861, in Company E, Eighth Kansas infantry, age 18 years. Killed in battle at Chickamauga, Ga.. September 20, 1863.
  16. Daniel Spear, enlisted September 13, 1861, in Company E, Eighth Kansas infantry, age 31 years. Discharged for disability at Louisville, Ky., February 28, 1863.
  17. Andrew W. Harris, enlisted April 22, 1862, in Company E, Eighth Kansas infantry, age-19 years. He left the regiment at Atlanta, Ga., April 21, 1865, and died of disease, caused by severe service, some three months later, July 30, 1865.
  18. Haynie Thomson, enlisted October 23, 1861, in Company E, Eighth Kansas infantry, age 23 years. Died at Louisville, Ky., December 2, 1862.
  19. John W. Johnson, enlisted April 22, 1862, in Company E, Eighth Kansas infantry, age 18 years. Died at Jacinto, Miss., August 2, 1862.
  20. Stephen J. Spear, enlisted April 22, 1862, in Company E, Eighth Kansas infantry, age 27 years. Mustered out at Washington, D. C, April 22, 1865.
  21. Albert Harvey, jr., went to Ohio, and enlisted in Company L Twelfth Ohio infantry, June 25, 1861, age 19 years. Transferred to Company B, July, 1861; appointed sergeant from private, Jan. 1, 1864. Died at Fayette, W. Va., March 24, 1864.
  22. Aaron Garinger also enlisted in one of the Ohio regiments and was mustered out and returned to Kansas at the close of the war.

Of the twenty-two soldiers mentioned, but nine were over twenty-one years of age at the date of enlistment.

Besides the soldiers in the volunteer service the following men were members of a militia company raised in the Dragoon creek settlement in October, 1864, to help drive Price and his army from the eastern border of the state. They formed part of Company A, Santa Fe battalion, of which M. M. Murdock was colonel. Jehu Hodgson was captain of the company during October, 1864, but was in the one-hundred-day service, consequently the command, October 8-28, fell to Levi Smith, first lieutenant. Robert J. Marrs was second lieutenant, Jesse E. Evans, fourth sergeant; other members of the company were J. Q. Cowee, Isaiah Harris, Allen Hodgson, Samuel C. Harvey, John Garinger, Joseph Johnson, Samuel Woods, George Wood and Eli Walton. Walton had been mustered out after three years’ service in the First Kansas battery, and reaching home the night before the militia company started east he volunteered to go with them.

Two of the twelve men named above were detailed by Colonel Murdock to remain in the settlement and get wood and other supplies for the families of those going to the front.

The Nineteenth Kansas cavalry, organized October 20, 1868, and mustered out April 18, 1869, also drew on Dragoon creek settlement, the following boys enlisting from there: Francis Marion Snyder, Albert A. Stubbs. and Thomas R. Johnson, all in Company M, Hurbert Calkins in Company I, Governor Samuel J. Crawford was colonel of the Nineteenth, resigning from office to take command. The regiment was called into service to protect settlers on the frontier, the western part of the state having been raided by hostile Indians, with much loss of life.

For the Civil War Dragoon settlement furnished twenty-one men; for militia service, Price’s raid, twelve men; for Indian service, four men, making a total of thirty-seven men in military service, 1861- ’69. Of these, fourteen were under twenty-one years of age. The entire population of the settlement was not over ninety-three people, and of the male portion two were invalids.

Of Company E, Eighth Kansas infantry, about one-half were recruited from the vicinity of Dragoon creek, Elm creek and Wilmington. Of this number but eleven are known to be alive to-day [May 27, 1914]. The total enrollment of Company E, from September 13, 1861, to November, 1865, was one hundred.

John A. Martin was lieutenant-colonel of the Eighth regiment when it was organized, August, 1861, but was placed in command by Colonel Wessels when on February 7, 1862, that officer was ordered to rejoin his own regiment, the Sixth U. S. infantry. The latter part of the month, February 28, an order was issued reorganizing a number of Kansas regiments, and under its terms the Eighth was consolidated with a battalion raised in New Mexico, and Colonel Robert H. Graham was assigned to the command. Late in May the regiment was ordered to Corinth, Miss. It rendezvoused at Fort Leaven-worth, and on May 28, 1862, embarked on the steamer Emma, starting down the Missouri the next morning. Colonel Graham was taken sick at St. Louis and left the regiment at that place, turning over the command to Lieu-tenant Colonel Martin, who, on November 1, 1862, received his commission as colonel of the regiment. Colonel Graham having died.

The following extracts have been taken from the report of the adjutant general of Kansas. 1 The largest aggregate strength of the Eighth Kansas regiment was in March, 1862, when eight hundred and seventy-seven men were on the rolls, and six hundred and fifty-six were present for duty. The regiment carried three flags, the first until it went on veteran furlough early in 1864. Under that flag it marched three thousand six hundred and eighty-one miles; lost forty-seven men killed in battle, two hundred and eleven wounded and twenty missing. Under the second flag, carried until after the battle of Nashville, Tenn., it marched two thousand six hundred and sixty miles and lost in battle eighteen killed and sixty-one wounded. Under its third flag it traveled four thousand four hundred and nine miles, making a total of ten thousand seven hundred and fifty miles traveled by the regiment during its term of service. There were in the Eighth, from the organization to final muster out, one thousand and eighty-one officers and men. The greatest loss in one battle was at Chickamauga, Ga., September 19 and 20, 1863; there were present for duty on September 19 four hundred and six men; of that number two hundred and forty-three were killed or wounded.

In the battle of Chickamauga Company E furnished the following list of casualties; killed – Richard M. Kendall, Lucius P. Calkins, John H. Dunmire, John Salior, William L. Wendell, Woodward Hindman, Thomas Stamp, David Hardin and Frainy Blaise; total, nine; wounded – Captain John Greelish, William Richardson, William Blankenship, Theodore Ingersoll, Zephaniah Johnson, Amos Reese, Melvin G. Bush, James Stewart, Ferdinand J. Wendell, Hector Spurgeon, James Nichols and Richard Russell; total, twelve. At bugle call on the morning of September 19, 1863, the first of the two days’ battle at Chickamauga, there were not over forty members of Company E present for duty. Two of the company were in the band, one in the quartermaster’s department, and three in the pioneer corps. In that battle the company lost a total of twenty killed and wounded out of the forty present for duty.

The Eighth regiment participated in fifteen battles and eighteen skirmishes. The aggregate loss in battle, killed and wounded, was three hundred and thirty-seven officers and men, and one officer and twenty men missing – a total loss of three hundred and fifty-eight men.Citations:

  1. Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas, 1861-1865, vol. 2, p. 159 et seq. Two paginations in vol. 2.[]


Spear, Stephen Jackson. Reminiscences of the early settlement of Dragoon Creek, Wabaunsee County. Reprinted from Vol. XIII, Collections Kansas State Historical Society. 1915.

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