EXPECTED A VISIT FROM GENERAL PRICE. ~ Forty-Four Years Ago Kansas Cityans United to Tender Him an Informal Reception.

November 1, 1908

Forty-Four Years Ago
Kansas Cityans United
to Tender Him an In-
formal Reception.

Forty-four years ago last week Kansas City was in a turmoil of excitement. Citizens were in arms and daily expecting a raid from General Price. From the meager information that could be secured at the time, and always several days late, General Price was first at Jefferson City and then, a few days later, had left there and was marching West with his entire force.

Obviously, he was headed for Kansas City, the gateway to Kansas. The news brought with it a frenzy of excitement and military and civic authorities joined in a hurried fortification of the city. Bushwackers were still prevalent at that time and were causing considerable trouble. An idea of the general consternation that prevailed may be gained from the files of the Western Journal of Commerce under the date of October 15, 1864. Here are some of the items, most of which relate particularly to military matters:
The governor of Kansas has called out the entire state militia of that state. This is a most wise and necessary step, but it ought to have been done several days sooner.

Telegraphic communication was maintained with Jefferson City yesterday all day. Our forces still hold that place. There had been cannonading all day, some five miles out, at the front we suppose. The longer Price waits there, the less likelihood that he will get away at all. General Rosecrans, we may be sure, is not idle.

The telegraph dispatches to General Curtis show us what danger we are in. Are any efficient measures being taken to prepare for the storm which may suddenly burst upon us? If Kansas City falls, the whole of Kansas is open to devastation. What is done to meet the danger should be done quickly.

We learn that a gang of bushwhackers robbed Mr. Warnel, about four miles from Westport, living close to the state line, night before last. They took his watch, money and all his clothing, even to the coat on his back and his underclothing, also two horses. There were eight in the gang. Other parties were robbed near the same neighborhood.

Captain Greer of the Twelfth Kansas, stationed near Shawnee Mission, immediately sent out a scout in pursuit, who followed them some twenty-five miles, crossing the Blue at Bryan's ford, but were unable to overhaul them. A part of the horses they rode were shod and a part unshod.

We learn that intelligence was received in town yesterday that Price had abandoned Jefferson City and was marching West. Rosecrans, we will venture, is close on his track and he will have to make tracks lively if he escapes. We do not believe Price meditates coming here, but he may send a detachment up this way to make a diversion in his own favor. We should be on the alert for such a movement.

We do not wish to seem to obtrude suggestions upon our city or military authorities, but we are certainly of the opinion that no time should be lost in throwing up rifle pits and breastwork to guard the approaches of this town. If we should have the attack of any considerable body of the enemy to repel, such intrenchments would be most important. The whole experience of the war has shown that behind even hastily constructed intrenchments new troops will fight well and can repulse vastly superior numbers.

We ought not to wait until the enemy are fairly upon us before we attend to this matter. It should be done now. Even if this storm passes over with damage, the intrenchments will be good for the future. The town ought to have been permanently fortified three years ago.

The city presented a purely military aspect yesterday. All places of business were closed early in the day and the men were busily at work on the fortifications. The works are progressing finely, and are already very formidable.

A lot of artillery arrived in town last evening.

Theater - The excitement being somewhat over, the manager will reopen with a splendid bill tonight. Let every one attend, if it is only to get soothed.
Also see: The Battle of Westport, October 23, 1864