Monday, March 4, 2013

Border Scouts – A Thrilling Adventure

Among the most active and daring of the Union scouts in the Southwest are four young men known as the Norrises and Breedins Acquainted with every cross road and by way, they scour the country for a radius of seventy-five miles south and east of Fort Scott.  Their very names are a terror to secession and every plan that ingenuity could devise has been reported to effect their destruction.  Not long since the younger Norris was wounded in a skirmish near Shanghai in which sic out of a party of twelve under Lieutenant Lewis met with a similar fate while contending against treble their number of the enemy.  He is in the saddle, again however and ready for the field.  These men formerly lived in Golden Grove, Mo., fifteen miles beyond Lamar, in the direction of Greenfield.  The elder Breedin has a wife and family still living there.

A couple of weeks ago being anxious to visit his family he took with him a party of six well armed and determined men and went down.  Their arrival in the settlement became known to some of his secession neighbors and a plan was instantly set on foot to take them in.  On the third night being apprehensive of an attack they assembled at a house in the settlement where after making all necessary preparations, they betook themselves to sleep.  About two o’clock they were awakened by the approach of the enemy.  They quietly took their places behind the fence surrounding the house, ready to give the foe a warm reception.  The secession force approached to within 30 yards, halted and most of them dismounted for the attack.  Now, said the captain, ‘creep up cautiously and when I fire the signal gun make a rush for the house and surround it.’  Breedin and his comrades lay quietly in their corners until the enemy were within a few yards of them when they delivered their fire with terrible effect just as the sesech Captain was about to fire his signal gun.  A prisoner whom the attacking party had with them shouted as he heard the discharge, “d—m it gentlemen there’s a good many signal guns there.  For a few minutes the skirmish was a hot one when four of our men having emptied all of our rifles and pistols and fearing that they might be surrounded retired past the house into the timber and made their way to Fort Scott on foot leaving Breedin, Carpenter and Jones still at the fence fighting.  Jones had nothing but a musket, but he made every shot tell.  Carpenter, a boy of eighteen or nineteen years, had left his revolver in the house.  After firing his sharps rifle, he threw it down, ran into the house, got his revolver, and coolly closing the door after him returned to his post at the fence.  Astonished at the telling and rapid fire from the fence the enemy became panic stricken, and rushing to their horses with loud cries of ‘We’re whipped, we can’t stand the Minies,’ &c., fled in utter confusion on the Greenfield road, leaving two dead and six wounded – two of whom have since died – on the field.  They continued their flight about three miles when the captain succeeded in stopping a few of them but the barking of some dogs started them again, and no more halts were made until they reached Greenfield.  A messenger was immediately sent to Price for a regiment of troops to come and drive Breedin out of the country.

Eight horses were left by the enemy in their flight, these were captured by Breedin and his companions and after scouring the country two days longer they returned to Fort Scott, bringing two prisoners, the eight secession horses and the horses left by their own party.  The distance is about seventy miles.  The secession party by their own account numbered not less than one hundred and thirty men. – Breedin’s whole force as we before stated, was about seven. – {Leavenworth Conservative.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, February 8, 1862, p. 2

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