Kansas in the American Civil War


Kansas in the American Civil War

At the commencement of the Civil War, the Kansas government had no well-organized militia, no arms, accoutrements or supplies, nothing with which to meet the demands, except the united will of officials and citizens. During the years 1859 to 1860, the military organizations had fallen into disuse or been entirely broken up.

The first Kansas regiment was called on June 3, 1861, and the seventeenth, the last raised during the Civil War, July 28, 1864. The entire quota assigned to the Kansas was 16,654, and the number raised was 20,097, leaving a surplus of 3,443 to the credit of Kansas. Statistics indicated that losses of Kansas regiments in killed in battle and from disease are greater per thousand than those of any other State.

The Battle of Baxter Springs, sometimes called the Baxter Springs Massacre, was a minor battle in the War, fought on October 6, 1863, near the modern-day town of Baxter Springs, Kansas. The Battle of Mine Creek, also known as the Battle of the Osage was a cavalry battle that occurred in Kansas during the war. On October 25, 1864, the Battle of Marais des Cygnes occurred in Linn County, Kansas. This Battle of Trading Post was between Major General Sterling Price leading a Missouri expedition against Union forces under Major General Alfred Pleasonton. Price, after going south from Kansas City, was met by Pleasonton at Marais des Cygnes. The Confederates were forced to withdraw after an assault by Union forces.

Lawrence Massacre

After General Ewing ordered the imprisonment of women and children relatives of known Missouri guerrillas in a Missouri jail, the jail's roof tragically collapsed and killed a number of prisoners. These deaths enraged Missourians. On August 21, 1863, William Quantrill led Quantrill's Raid into Lawrence destroying much of the city and murdering over 150 unarmed men and boys. The Confederate partisans in Missouri rode to Lawrence (a town long hated by Quantrill and many Southerners) in response to the deaths of women and children. Quantrill also rationalized, an attack on this citadel of abolition would bring revenge for any wrongs, real or imagined that the Southerners had suffered. By the time the raid was over, Quantrill and his men had killed approximately 150-200 men, both young and old.


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