During the early part of the
Missouri was infested with bands of guerrillas, and it was no
uncommon occurrence for some of these lawless gangs to cross the border and
commit depredations in Kansas.
To guard against these incursions, and otherwise to aid the
Union cause, a
company of border scouts was formed sometime in the year 1862. As it was an
independent organization, never regularly mustered into the United States
service, no official record of it has been preserved. The men composing the
company became known as "Red Legs," from the fact that they wore leggings of
red or tan-colored leather.
It was a secret
Union military society, organized in late
Thomas Ewing and James Blunt for desperate service
along the border, and numbered as many as 100 men.
Kansas Redlegs, so called because they wore red leggings.