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Quantrell and Todd Go After Ammunition
CLAD in the full uniform of Federal majors—a supply of which Quantrell kept always on hand, even in a day so early in the war as this—Quantrell and Todd rode into Hamilton, a little town on the Hannibal & St. Louis Railroad, and remained for the night at the principal hotel. A Federal garrison was there—two companies of Iowa infantry—and the captain commanding took a great fancy to Todd, insisting that he should leave the hotel for his quarters and share his blankets with him.
Two days were spent in Hannibal, where an entire Feneral regiment was stationed. Here Quantrell was more circumspect. When asked to give an account of himself and his companion, he replied promptly that Todd was a major of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry and himself the major of the Ninth. Unacquainted with either organization, the commander at Hannibal had no reason to believe otherwise. Then he asked about that special cut-throat Quantrell. Was it true that he fought under a black flag? Had he ever really belonged to the Jayhawkers? How much truth was there in the stories of the newspapers about his operations and prowess? Quantrell became voluble. In rapid yet picturesque language he painted a perfect picture of the war along the border. He told of Todd, Jarrette, Blunt, Younger, Haller, Poole, Shepherd,69 Gregg, Little, the Cogers, and all of his best men just as they were, and himself also just as he was, and closed the conversation emphatically by remarking: “If you were here, Colonel, surrounded as you are by a thousand soldiers, and they wanted you, they would come and get you.”
From Hannibal—after buying quietly and at various times and in various places fifty thousand revolver caps—Quantrell and Todd went boldly into St. Joseph. This city was full of soldiers. Colonel Harrison B. Branch was there in command of a regiment of militia—a brave, conservative, right-thinking soldier—and Quantrell introduced himself to Branch as Major Henderson of the Sixth Missouri. Todd, by this time, had put on, in lieu of a major’s epaulettes, with its distinguishing leaf, the barred ones of a captain. “Too many majors traveling together,” quaintly remarked Todd, “are like too many roses in a boquet: the other flowers don’t have a chance. Let me be a capta............
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