The pursuit forces thus thrown behind, Quantrill passed out of Kansas and got to the timber of the Middle Fork of Grand River in Missouri, near his last rendezvous before starting, about noon of the 22nd, and hour in advance of the head of the pursuit column. There his force scattered, many dismounted, or, worn out through fatigue or wounds, sought concealment and safety in the fastness of that region. About 100 moved down Grand River, while the chief part of the force passed northeast toward Chapel Hill. Our forces divided in like manner at that point, Major Plumb and Major Thacher following the main body.
On the 20th of August, I went to Leavenworth on official business. The dispatches of Captain Pike were not sent to Leavenworth until 8 a. m. on the morning of the 21st, because the telegraph offices at Leavenworth City and Fort Leavenworth close at 11 p. m. for want of relief of operators. I received those dispatches, and the one announcing that Quantrill had passed throughout Gardner going toward Lawrence, not until 10.45 a. m. on the 21st. There was no cavalry stationed at Fort Leavenworth, though five companies of the Eleventh Ohio were there outfitting for Fort Laramie, but without arms. There was one company at Leavenworth City, just receiving horses equipments. Arms and horse equipments were issued at once, and at 1 p. m. I started from Fort Leavenworth with near 300 men of these companies. News reaching me at Leavenworth City of the burning of Lawrence, and of the avowed purpose of the rebels to go thence to Topeka, I thought it best to go to De Soto, and thence, after an unavoidable delay of five hours in crossing the Kansas River, to Lanesfield. Finding there, at daybreak, that Quantrill had passed east, I left the command to follow as rapidly as possible, and pushed on, reaching, soon after dark, the point on Grand River where Quantrill's force had scattered.
Lieutenant-Colonel Lazear, with the detachments of the First Missouri, from Warrensburg and Pleasant Hill, numbering about 200 men, after failing to find Quantrill on Blackwater on the 20th, encountered him at noon of the 21st on Big Creek, broke up his force, and has since had five very successful engagements with different parties of his band. The pursuit of Quantrill, after our forces had caught up with him at Brooklyn, was so close that he was unable to commit any further damage to property on his route, but was compelled to abandon almost all his horse and much of the plunder from the Lawrence stores; and since he reached Missouri a large part of his men have abandoned their horses and taken to the brush afoot. The number of equipments so far captured exceeds one hundred, and the number of participants in the massacre already killed is fully as great. The most unremitting efforts