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Monday, November 26, 2012
Plundering the enemy in the Civil War
In Missouri, for example, the 10th Kansas Volunteer Infantry was moving through western Missouri hunting Confederate bushwhackers in September of 1862. They burned the houses, outbuildings, and provisions of a dozen known guerrillas and took 100 stand of arms, 10,000 rounds of ammunition, four yoke of oxen, five wagons, a number of tents, dry goods, and camp equipment. Presumably these were found in the houses, as no actual combat is recorded. They also recovered property stolen during Quantrill's raid on Olathe, Kansas, on September 6. As the regiment headed back to Kansas, some sixty African-Americans followed them to freedom.
The rebels did some prize taking themselves. A report from September 11 says, "Confederates made off today with a 24-pounder howitzer in a skirmish at Bloomfield. They are now headed toward Holcomb's Island with the howitzer in tow."
Photo courtesy Library of Congress. This ruined home is actually in Petersburg, Virginia.