The Battle of Cane Hill!

The Battle of Cane Hill: In the fall of 1862, with winter coming on, Quantrill took his command to Arkansas and united with Marmadukes’s and Shelby’s cavalry. The guerrillas were specifically assigned to Colonel Jo Shelby’s 9th Missouri Cavalry (aka: Iron Brigade) with Elliot’s Scouts. Colonel John Holt was also a member of this command and he would later join Quantrill in his raid on Lawrence, Kansas.

Shortly after their arrival, Quantrill left for Richmond, Virginia, in hopes of receiving a Colonel’s commission from Jefferson Davis. Before leaving, he put Lieutenant William Gregg in command of his men.

On November 28, 1862, Union General James G. Blunt attacked these Confederate troops at Cane Hill, Arkansas. After skirmishing with the Federal forces, Marmaduke was forced out of town and he ordered Shelby to form a rear guard to hold back the Union forces.

As the Confederates retreated over the Boston Mountains, Shelby halted his men from time to time and fired on their enemy to slow their advance. This continued until the end of the day. At that time, Lt. Colonel, L. R. Jewell, of the 6th Kansas Cavalry, believed he could overrun the Confederate rear guard and ordered his men to charge. Jewell led the attack but was unaware that Jo Shelby was waiting for him in ambush. Unbeknownst to the Federals, Shelby’s men with William Gregg, John McCorkle and other guerrillas had slipped behind some boulders and were waiting for them to ride by. As Jewell and his men advanced, the guerrillas rose and fired at them point blank. In this volley, Lt. Col. Jewell was mortally wounded and his troops retreated. It was the last time that the Federals attempted to attack the Confederate rear.

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3 thoughts on “The Battle of Cane Hill!

  1. Did Col. Holt have a connection to Holt, Mo..?


    1. Hello Hug Ryon, that’s a good question! I have done a little research into this subject – I do believe Col. Holt had a connection to the Holt family that Holt was named after (Holt was named for a Jerre A. Holt from North Carolina who settled in the vicinity in 1837 and on whose land the town was established). There does appear to be evidence that he may have lived in Holt for a time too. But I have yet to find the genealogical connection there. Thanks!


      1. Thank you for the answer on Holt, Mo.


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