Saturday, April 6, 2013

IT WASN'T PRETTY...This bunch gave back the same treatment they were given. 

Thomas Coleman Younger, (always called "Cole"), was one of the best and most distinguished fighters of the Quantrill guerrilla band. Indeed, there is no doubt that the outrages inflicted upon his family, was a heavy weight on his mind and heart, and the cause of him being such a brave distinguished fighter. He was loyal, generous and kind, and was always ready to extend a helping hand to his friends, which made him an anomaly among his fellow guerrilla fighters.

August 1863, Cole Younger left Quantrill and joined the regular Confederate Army of Missouri under the command of General Sterling Price. Very soon after joining General Price's forces, Cole went to Bonham, Texas, and reported for duty to General Henry E. McCulloch. General McCulloch formed a warm attachment for Cole Younger as he had done a great deal of brilliant scouting for him.

General McCulloch sent Captain Younger with a flattering letter of introduction to General Kirby Smith, Commanding General of the Trans-Mississippi Department, with headquarters at Shreveport. With Younger were David Poole, William Greenwood, and Captain John Jarrette, brother-in-law of Younger, all old guerrilla fighters under Quantrill in the Missouri and Kansas Border Wars. Poole and Younger were each in command of a company, and Jarrette commanded the united forces. 

They stopped at Bastrop, Louisiana for a short time to obtain the necessary horses and certain supplies for the men. Leaving Bastrop they crossed the Boeuf River at Wallace's Ferry, making their way to the town of Floyd on Bayou Macon in Carroll Parish. They crossed Bayou Macon the next morning at Lester's Ferry, which placed them well within the Federal lines. After covering about five miles they saw a cotton train with fourteen six-mule teams convoyed by fifty cavalrymen. 

The Federals were surprised by the appearance of Confederate troops as they expected no opposition. All the Union troops were killed but ten, and the driver of every team was shot. In an ambulance bringing up the rear were four cotton buyers, two from Chicago, one from Cincinnati, and one from Springfield, Illinois. They had in their possession $180,000, which they handed over to their Confederate captors. 

Since the surprise attack took place in an open field with no trees close by, the cotton buyers were taken to a nearby gin where four ropes were placed over one of the beams. They made all kinds of promises and offered everything for their lives; some of the least hardened Guerrillas turned their heads, and felt something about their hearts that they had never felt before. However, their pleas didn't stop the gruesome job, which they felt was necessary. They were all four hanged.

The wagons, mules, ambulance, and the $180,000 were sent back to Bastrop by Lieutenant Greenwood for safekeeping. Jarrette, being well pleased with his first success, pushed on toward the Mississippi River. After crossing Bayou Tensas and coming to the higher lands, Captain Younger noticed a large plantation. 

Looking in the distance across the fields he could see something fleecy white, speckled with blue -- wagonloads of cotton and blue uniforms. A bayou by the name of Monticello was between him and the enemy. He had much trouble crossing the bayou, and no doubt thinking it wasn’t deep. The rest of the men seeing the trouble he was having in making the crossing rode up the bayou a short distance and crossed at a ford. 

For a few minutes this left Captain Younger fighting the Federals alone. He rode his horse as fast as he could in every direction, shooting here, there, and yonder, killing three and wounding two. In a very short length of time his men came to his assistance and the fight was soon over. There were fifty-two Negro soldiers guarding this cotton train of eighteen wagons and teams. All of the Negroes were killed and the wagons and teams captured "Vignettes" of the Civil War By Francis McRae Ward


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