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Army of the South West Arkansas Document signed by Officer Murdered by Quantrill at Baxter Springs
Army of the South West Arkansas document signed by officer murdered by Quantrill at Baxter Springs.
"Special Orders No. 229" issued at Helena, Arkansas on July 14th, 1862. A furlough of twenty days is given to the nephew of General Samuel R, Curtis.
Boldly signed by Henry Z. Curtis, the general's son, who would be murdered by Quatrill's guerrillas at Baxter Spring's, Kansas in 1863.

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"Major Curtis came very near escaping, although his full uniform and showy horse made him a conspicuous mark; he was some distance in advance of his pursuers, when, just as his horse was gathering himself to spring over a deep ravine, he was struck on the hip with a ball, which so stung or frightened him, that he missed his leap, and falling short, threw the Major over his head. The horse gathered himself almost instantly and galloped wildly over the prairie. The Major was first taken prisoner and then brutally murdered. Thus died as gallant a soldier and as true a gentleman as ever drew a sword in defence of his country. It may well be said of him, as of Chevalier Bayard of old, “he was without fear and without reproach.”

"...When the carnage was complete, the entire episode was actually very short in duration, Quantrill's men celebrated gleefully. Finding the body of a heavily ornamented officer on the prairie, Quantrill believed that he had done what no other commissioned Confederate officer had been able to do. He was in the belief that he had killed the hated Gen. Blunt. In actuality, the officer was Major Z. Curtis, General Blunt's Adjutant. In their revelry, Quantrill's men scavenged every item they could find in the wagons, taking virtually everything of value. They completed the rout by destroying everything left. Discovering the General's supply of medical alcohol, Quantrill even joined in the drunken revelry. Surviving band members, in later years, stated that this was the only instance that Quantrill was ever observed being inebriated..."

"...General Blunt and Major Curtis had tried to stop the flight of our troops from the start, and had several very narrow escapes in doing so, as the enemy were close upon them, and finally the General succeeded in collecting about ten men, and with these he worried the enemy, attacking them in small parties, and when pursued by too large a force, falling back until they turned, and then in turn, following them, so that at no time was he out of sight of the enemy, and most of the time close enough to worry and harass them. As they withdrew from the field, he searched for and took care of up," and in response to his order only seven the wounded, and remained upon the ground till- they were all taken in and cared for, and then went into camp. The ground on which the fight took place, is a rolling prairie, extending west a long distance, covered with grass and intersected with deep ravines, gullies, on the banks of which grow willow bushes, sufficient to conceal any difficulty in crossing, but not sufficient to protect from observation; and in retreating, many of our men were overtaken at these ravines, and killed while endeavoring to cross. Major Curtis had become separated from the General, and while riding by the side of Lieutenant Pierce, his horse was shot and fell. All supposed he was taken prisoner by the enemy, being close upon them, and Lieutenant Pierce saw him alive in their hands. The next day his body was found where his horse had fallen, and he was, without doubt, killed, after having surrendered. Thus fell one of the noblest of all the patriots who have offered up their lives for the cause of their country.
Major H. Z. Curtis was a son of Major-General Curtis, and served with his father during his memorable campaign through Arkansas, and was present with him at the battle of Pea Ridge, where he did good service as aid to his father. When General Curtis took command of the Department of Missouri, the Major remained with him as Assistant Adjutant-General on his staff. and when General Curtis was relieved of that command, the Major sought for and obtained an order to report to General Blunt as Assistant Adjutant-General, and in that position had done much toward regulating and systematizing the business of district headquarters of Kansas and the Frontier; and on General Blunt determining to take the field, Major Curtis accompanied him with alacrity, parting with his young and affectionate wife at Fort Scott, on the fourth of October, and met his horrible fate at Baxter's Springs, on Tuesday, sixth October. . . All who knew Major Curtis, acknowledged his superior abilities, and in his particular duties he had no equal. Beloved by the General and all his staff his loss has cast a gloom over us, “whose business is to die,” unusual and heartfelt..."