Missouri Republican, St. Louis, MO, October 3, 1885

One More from Lone Jack

[Editor Republican.-] I am very much pleased to see that you are inclined to bring
out all the facts about the affair at Lone Jack. Perhaps there has been enough
said already about it, quite likely too much, as a good portion
of the statements exist only in imagination. For instance, Maj. Foster's imagination
was busy when he told how he surprised Col. Coffee on the evening of the 15th.
Now, I was a member of Capt. Allison's company, Tracy's regiment, and a soldier
only six days old on the morning of the battle.

When Foster arrived at Lone Jack on the evening in question he sounded his halt
by a bugle blast. An 80-acre cornfield lay between our camp and the village.
When the head of the column struck the Pleasant Hill road it turned south and
halted just as Allison's company was at the angle of the two roads.

Here a small number of men, some ten or twenty, a flank guard, or, perhaps, a
rear guard, fled off north toward town. In ten or fifteen minutes a fusillade of
small-arms rang out, followed by a crash of artillery. The first cannon shot passed
just above the tops of the fence-stakes of our right (west), the rest further to the
right, inside the field. After the small-arms firing had died out and only an
occasional cannon shot came from the enemy we moved south on the Pleasant
Hill road a short distance, then  swerved to the right, west, and an all-night march
followed. We joined Col. Cockrell's command about 3 o'clock the next morning on
the Independence road, not far from Lone Jack. And so this is all there was of the
events of the evening of the 15th. I also think Col. Jackman's imagination was
hard at work when he accused Col. Tracy of cowardice. He is the first man I ever
heard speak to the detriment of Col. Tracy's courage. Tracy certainly did not
show any sign of cowardice while leading his regiment to the charge on that fated
morning; he faced "the music" like a little man to my certain knowledge up to the
time of his wound. What he did afterwards, I, of course don't know, but I don't
believe he acted the pusillanimous cur that Jackman describes. If Col. Tracy was
a coward, how did he come to get his wound so close up to the enemy's guns?
How, also, did it happen that his men didn't happen to hang up on the first "rail
fence" they came to, as Jackman says his did, and "there fight it out?" But
instead they captured the enemy's artillery and drove him into the cornfield to the
east, then pushed him back south upon his center and held him there until about
the time the roof of the hotel caved in at 9 o'clock. It was here- almost east of the
hotel-that the writer was wounded, just on the inside of the hedge fence (east),
and here that Tracy's men suffered from the fire of their friend on the west side of
the street, and it was not Hay's men, whom Jackman supposed. The writer, while
being carried from the field to a temporary hospital at the mill, met Hay's
command marching to the battlefield. He carried a small confederate flag, and the
men cheered lustily as they passed by, but did not get there in time to support
Tracy's men, whose ammunition had been exhausted sometime before, and
prevent the enemy from recapturing their artillery. Allison's company lost in killed
and wounded thirteen men out of about forty who had arms and went into the
battle, including the captain and first lieutenant, his brother, wounded. So let the
honors fall on those who deserve them. But after the sad story is all and truly told
it reveals the sorry spectacle of contention for the honor of superiority in
command among the officers, where unity should have existed. Even at this late
day we see that the venom has not all been exhausted. No wonder the
confederacy collapsed.

Henry C. Luttrell
Hindman's Escort, Company G
Tenth Missouri Cavalry, C.S.A.