Defense of Kansas during the Civil War

    A glance at the map shows Kansas was susceptible to attack along her southern and
    eastern borders.  At the outset of the Civil War there was much excitement along the
    eastern border of Kansas due to anticipated invasion by Confederate forces.  Kansans
    knew western Missouri still harbored strong feelings over abolitionist raids and in the
    southwest corner of Missouri, lead mines were important to the southern war effort.         

          RICHMOND, October 11, 1861.        
          General B. McCULLOCH,
          Fort Smith, Ark., via Memphis and Little Rock: The quartermaster at Fort Smith
    telegraphs that         he can haul on his return trains 200,000 pounds lead per month from
    the Granby (MO) mines.         You are instructed to cooperate with him in this as far as
    consistent with your military         operations.
                                  J. P. BENJAMIN,
                                  Acting Secretary of War
                                  
          In order to protect Kansas’s border, Senator/General James H. Lane opened a
    recruiting office in Leavenworth on August 4, 1861.  That same evening, Lane “held a
    ‘Great War Meeting’ in front of the Planters’ house.” According to Castel, Lane told the
    crowd that Kansas was in immediate danger of invasion and Kansas would have to be
    defended by its own men.
    In December 1861, the Union Army established a military post at Paola.  The 10th Kansas
    Volunteer Infantry was organized at Paola on April 3, 1862.  The 12th Kansas Volunteer
    Infantry was mustered into service at Paola in September 1862.  
          Paola was very active during the Civil War.  The administration of Union forces was
    conducted as a District and Sub-District Headquarters.  Paola was a major supply and re-
    supply depot for Union military unites as they passed through on their way to engagements
    in Missouri, Arkansas, and Indian Territory.  Kansas soldiers fought east of Mississippi
    River: an example, the 10th Kansas Vol. Inf. fought with distinction in Tennessee,
    Mississippi, and ended it service in 1865 at Montgomery, Alabama.
          During the Civil War, Union troops assigned to Paola defended Kansas’s east central
    border by a series of out-post established at Aubrey, Coldwater Grove, Rockville, and
    Trading Post.  

    Partial List of Units assigned to Miami County
          Coldwater Grove, Kans.
    9th Kansas Cavalry, Company F, Lieutenant Henry H. Opdyke.
    11th Kansas Cavalry, Company C, Captain Henry Pearce
    15th Kansas Cavalry, Company B, Captain John L. Thompson
          Osawatomie, Kans.
    16th Kansas Cavalry, Company L, Lieutenant George Wolfe.
    16th Kansas Cavalry, Company I, Lieutenant George R. Barricklow
          Paola, Kans.
    5th Kansas Cavalry, Company M, Lieutenant Livingston G. Parker.
    9th Kansas Cavalry (six companies), Colonel Edward Lynde.
    11th Kansas, Cavalry, Company B, Captain Louis F. Green.
    11th Kansas Cavalry, Company E, Captain John D. Walker.
    11th Kansas Cavalry, Company H, Captain Joel Huntoon.
    11th Kansas Cavalry, Company M, Captain Nathan P. Gregg.
    11th Kansas City, Company H, Lieutenant John W. Ridgway.
    15th Kansas Cavalry, Company C, Captain Benjamin F. Simpson.
    16th Kansas Cavalry, Company L, Lieutenant George Wolfe
    16th Kansas Cavalry, Companies A and L, Captain Nathan Ames.
    17th Kansas, Company B, Captain William C. Barnes.
    17th Kansas, Company E, Captain Herbert Robinson.

           On September 19th, 1864, Major General Sterling Price’s army crossed the Missouri
    border: thus began the final Confederate thrust into Missouri.  Military intelligence
    anticipated Price’s invasion; but not when or where, he would cross into Missouri.
          Rumors spread by Confederate spies told of the Rebel’s marching toward Kansas with
    the intent to capture supplies and stores along there the way to Ft. Leavenworth.  The
    telegraph lines hummed with false reports of an impending attack on Fort Scott.  These
    reports caused the Union army to prepare for the defense of Kansas.

          HDQRS. SUB-DISTRICT No. 3, DIST. OF SOUTH KANSAS,
          Paola, September 1, 1864.
          Capt. HENRY PEARCE,
          Company C, Eleventh Kans. Vol. Cav., Coldwater Grove, Kans.:
          CAPTAIN: Lient. Col. P. B. Plumb has made the following change in the patrol system in
    his command on the border, to wit: Two men will leave Aubrey, going south, every ten
    minutes after 7 p. m. for two hours, making twenty-four men. They will go to a point halfway
    below, on the Aubrey and Coldwater Grove road, and meet the pickets from Coldwater, and
    then go east or west, as the case may be, to another road, and observe the same order in
    going back. North of Aubrey the patrol will consist of one man instead of two. You will make
    the same change in your system of patrols until further orders.
          By order of Colonel Moonlight:
    IRA I. TABEII,
    First Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

          In early September 1864, the 17th Kansas Volunteer Infantry was order to Paola to
    protect the vital military supplies on hand.  In preparation for the defense of Paola, a fort
    was built on Tower Street.  In fact, Colonel Drake received order to hold Paola at “all
    hazard”.
          By mid-October, Price’s army had by-passed Columbia, Missouri and was headed
    toward Kansas City.
          The first Kansas troops dispatched to the defense of Westport were gathered at Paola
    and moved to Hickman Mills, Missouri on October 15, 1864.

                  SPECIAL
                  HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, FIELD ORDERS,
                  ARMY OF THE BORDER, Numbers 3.
                  In the Field, Hickman Mills, October 16, 1864.
                  III. Colonel G. A. Colton, Fifth Regiment Kansas State Militia.
                  Colonel William Pennock, Tenth Kansas State Militia.
                  Captain Charles Barnes, Company A, Sixth Regiment Kansas State Militia.
          Will report with their respective commands immediately to Colonel C. W.
    Blair,                         By command of Major-General Blunt

          In a letter written to the editor of the Western Spirit on August 31st, 1886 Francis
    McShane of the 11th Kansas, summed up the defense of Kansas by Kansans who fought in
    four engagements: the most important being the Battle of Prairie Grove, AR; the second,
    Battle of Westport; then the defense at Cold Water Grove (a large number of Confederate
    troop were marching to destroy Paola, then down the wire road to Mound City and then to
    Fort Scott); and the Battle of Mine Creek.

    Sources: U. S. War Dept.: The war of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official
    Records                         of the Union and Confederate Armies.
             W. S. Burke, Official Military History of Kansas Regiments.
             Albert Castel, Civil War in Kansas.
             William C. Pollard, Forts and Military Post in Kansas, 1854-1865, Ph.
    D                                 Dissertation.
              Pearl T. Ponce, Kansas’s War.
              Francis McShane, Honor to Whom Honor is Due, Western Spirit, September
    24,                         1886.
             (Initials) R.S., Reminiscences of the Price Raid, Western Spirit, March 11, 1887.
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