A Deadly Trap in Quantrill's Territory
Blue Springs, Mo., Tuesday, Jan. 28th, 1862 - This is the headquarters of the famous guerrilla chief Quantrail. People here say that he taught school here before the war, and that his proper name is Heart. We have only their word for that.
As we have no tents we got such shelter last night as we could. Some of my companions and myself took possession of a small corn crib. It was open but had a good roof that sheltered us from the rain that fell during the fore part of the night, then turned to snow and froze.
Two of our men who were acting as scouts were shot last night. They had called at a house just outside of our lines in the early evening. The family, a man and his wife and grown daughter, offered them refreshments which they gladly accepted. They appeared very friendly and pressed the boys to stay over night. As a good fire in a large fire-place and the offer of a good bed was more attractive on a stormy night than such accommodations as an outdoor camp afforded, and under the effects of peach brandy which was freely furnished them, they threw off their usual caution and fell into the trap which was so cunningly laid for them. After a pleasant hour or two the daughter left the room. Sometime later the parents excused themselves for a time. Almost immediately shots were fired in through the window and from doors which were entered by the enemy. One of the men was killed. The other was badly wounded in the left shoulder, but succeeded in escaping out into the darkness and into the woods. The firing was heard in camp and a detachment was hurried out, but as the enemy had fled and all was quiet, they found nothing. The wounded man, after keeping low until he thought he could venture out, came into camp a bit before daylight.
A company was sent out to the place at once. The dead comrade had been thrown out into the slush and had frozen down so that the body had to be cut loose with an ax. The house was deserted. Feeling that the inmates had conspired to the death of our comrades, it was burned.
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