On the 23d. Mark Warren Esq., county Atty. for Meeker county, was arrested at Monticello and returned to Forest City under guard, on the grave charge of being a “Copperhead.” Copperheads were supposed to be in league with the Indians as well as the South. Warren was furloughed at Forest City.
On the night of the 27th, while Jesse V. Branham Jr., was standing guard at the creek just out of Forest City on the south, A. C. Smith, E. S. Fitch and Mark Warren taking a circuit of the guard, came up to sentinel Branham, and while conversing with the sentinel, Warren disappeared in the starlight and was not seen again till the next spring. When Warren departed Jesse duly exercised his lungs in affectionate efforts for his return, but concluded not to follow him many miles south that night as it was too dark to use a needle gun!
When Warren returned he had a couple of Indian ponies and said he had been off on the plains as a guide for Col. Sibley. He was a singular genius-the world would never have been complete without. Educated as a lawyer in the office of Hon. T. M. McShafter, then of Vermont—since of California—he early settled on a preemption claim in the town of Rice City in this County, where he lived a number of years, was County Commissioner at times, exhibiting in business transactions a good sound judgment, made but little improvement on his farm, was at peace with all the world, no enemies, a democrat from childhood, his time was principally divided in his cabin between praying and swearing—’twas difficult to tell which service he engaged in with the most zeal. He was one fall a Democratic candidate for the Legislature and instead of electioneering for votes, kept steady at his work, and one day while he was carrying the hod, tending mason at Greenleaf, the Hon. Thomas Cowan from St. Peter, who was that season stumping this Congressional District, arrived at Greenleaf and running against a man working mortar with a hoe, enquired for Hon. Mark Warren, candidate for the Legislature from this District.
Mark looked at Cowan for a moment encased in black broad cloth and kid gloves, then dropping his hoe, raised both hands above his head and exclaimed, loud enough to be heard half a mile, “I’m your man by God sir.” Should friend Warren still be in the land of the living and his eve chance to meet this, he will be after us with a sharp stick for some part of his “descriptive roll.”
On the 30th, (Saturday) a detail was made of 24 men to go to Hutchinson with the view of obtaining the guns left there by Whitcomb, but the paucity of their defensive implements induced the Hutchinson boys to hold on to the guns.
The detail returned to Forest City on Sunday the 31st. On the first of September another detail was made of 17 men of the company and several citizens for the purpose of visiting Green Lake, and for the ostensible purpose of relieving a family said to be on the island in said lake in a helpless condition. It probably should have been Norway Lake as there are no islands in Green Lake where a family could have been secreted.
The history of this detail is not material as it returned the same day reporting a skirmish at Swede Grove with the Indians. Two Indians reported killed and one of our men Sam. Hutchins, wounded in the thigh by a musket ball.
Smith, A. C., A random historical sketch of Meeker County, Minnesota: from its first settlement to July 4th, 1876,;Litchfield, Minn.: Belfoy & Joubert, 1877.