Halleck (Henry W.) Papers, 1862, 1 Item

Administrative Information


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Copyright: The copyright of these letters is held by Navarro College Archives, Navarro College, 3200 W. 7th Ave., Corsicana, Texas. Internet: archives@navarrocollege.edu.

Cite As:Henry W. Halleck Papers, 1862, Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas

Forms Part of: Pearce Civil War Collection

Location: 1-S10

Transcription(s): Yes

Scanned Copies on File: No

Accession Number: 2001.244

Processed by: Emily Brickhouse, September 2003

Reproductions of original materials and transcriptions may be available. Please contact the archivist for further information.

Abstract: Letter dated March 14, 1862 and signed by General Henry Halleck, then commander of the Department of Mississippi. Halleck writes to Major W.E. Prince with orders to deploy one regiment into Kansas to protect the major cities from Confederate raiders.

Biographical/Historical Sketch

Henry W. Halleck (“Old Brains”) was born January 16, 1815 in Westernville, New York. He attended Hudson Academy and graduated as a cadet. He followed a military career but also preformed services as a lawyer and publisher. Halleck was promoted to Major General in the Union army on August 18, 1861. Halleck served most of the war as President Lincoln’s military advisor and General-in-Chief. He was replaced as General-in-Chief on March 9, 1864 by General Ulysses S. Grant and given the title Chief of Staff. However, previous to his appointment as General-in-Chief, Halleck served as commander of the Department of Missouri, renamed Department of Mississippi in March of 1862 (November 9, 1861 to July 11, 1862). When the war ended, Halleck was given command of the military Division of the Pacific (1865-1869) and then the military Division of the South (1869-1872). Halleck died January 9, 1872 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Scope and Content Note

Major General Henry W. Halleck directed orders to Major W.E. Prince, Union commander at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. “If there is any regiment of cavalry (not Kansas troops) available in your command, I wish it sent to Kansas city & Independence, leaving one company to each place, & then move south through Jackson, Johnson & other counties to break all marauding bands of rebels.”

Halleck was concerned about the guerilla raids led by William Clarke Quantrill. Quantrill’s Raiders was a group of about a dozen men that harassed northern sympathizers and Union soldiers along the Kansas-Missouri border. The Union had declared Quantrill and outlaw while the Confederacy promoted him to a captain. Quantrill’s Raiders’ most atrocious act occurred on August 21, 1863 in Lawrence, Kansas. The Raiders, 450 men strong, invaded the town of strong free-soil supporters and killed 183 men and boys. Most of those killed were pulled from their houses and killed in front of their families.

Quantrill was finally killed in 1865 while on a raid in Kentucky. The members of his Raiders then split into smaller groups and continued with their guerilla warfare.


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