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Fight at Charles Younger’s Farm
THE new organization was about to be baptized. Burris, raiding generally along the Missouri border, had a detachment foraging in the neighborhood of Charles Younger’s farm. This Charles Younger was an uncle of Coleman, and he lived within three miles of Independence, Missouri, the county seat of Jackson County. The militia detachment numbered eighty-four and the Guerrillas thirty-two. At sunset Quantrell struck their camp. Forewarned of his coming, they were already in line. One volley settled them. Five fell at the first fire and seven more were killed in the chase. The shelter of Independence alone, where the balance of the regiment was as a breakwater saved the detachment from utter extinction. On this day—the 10th of November, 1861—Cole Younger killed a militiaman seventy-one measured yards. The pistol practice was bearing fruit.
Independence was essentially a city of fruits and flowers. About every house there was a parterre and contiguous to every parterre there was an orchard. Built where the woods and the prairies met, when it was most desirable there was sunlight, and when it was most needed there was shade. The war found it rich, prosperous and contented, and it left it as an orange that had been devoured. Lane hated it because it was a hive of secession, and Jennison preyed upon36 it because Guerrilla bees flew in and out. On one side the devil, on the other the deep sea. Patriotism, that it might not be tempted, ran the risk very often of being drowned. Something also of Spanish intercourse and connection belonged to it. Its square was a plaza; its streets centered there; its courthouse was a citadel. Truer people never occupied a town; braver fathers never sent their sons to war; grander matrons never prayed to God for right, and purer women never waited through it all—the siege, the sack, the pillage and the battle—for the light to break in the East at last, the end to come in fate’s own good and appointed time.

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