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Civil War Exhibit

The Border War and Civil War in Bates County

     By the late 1850s, raiders from Kansas were terrorizing Bates County.  John Brown's raid on the Lawrence family farm was uncomfortably close and in January 1859 the Bates County Court ordered Sheriff John Clem to organize a home guard to protect citizens from the mauraders.  War came early to the Missouri-Kansas Border and its grip did not lessen until almost one year after the War's end.

     General Jim Lane, Doc Jennison, Daniel Anthony and James Montgomery are infamous names in Bates County.  These men raided and burned farms and towns. Many Missouri men died at their hands.  In 1861, Lane's men burned parts of West Point, Butler and Papinville enroute to Osceola, St. Clair County.  By 1862, most Bates County men had chosen the Southern cause because the northern aggression proved to be too much to bear.  Partisans, guerrillas, bushwhackers - many local settlers were now labeled by the Federal's as black-flag enemies. 

     Confederate Colonel Sidney Jackman, Papinville, often served as liason between the Southern army and Bates County men.  Bill Turman was the local partisan captain and he played a prominent role in organized harrassment toward the Federals.  By the summer of 1862, recently recruited Bates County men fought for the south in the Battle of Lone Jack.  Bates Countian, Captain John Newberry of Butler, led the Union Army's Enrolled Missouri Militia.  He and his men also fought at the Battle of Lone Jack.  Brother against brother.  Neighbor against neighbor.  It was bloody and brutal.

     By the summer of 863 the Federal army grew weary of trying to stop the partisan guerrillas.  In July they began arresting female family members of suspected guerrillas.  Holding them in a makeshift jail in Kansas City, the building collapsed, both killing and wounding the girls and women.  Outrage and fury was the southern response.  On August 21st, Quantrill led a raid on Lawrence, Kansas, the center of all the evil that had been perpetrated on the people of western Missouri.  Four days later, Union General Thomas Ewing issued Order No. 11, ordering the evacuation of every living soul in Bates County.  The counties of Jackson, Cass and Vernon were also included but not all their citizens were effect.  Only in Bates was everyone forced to flee.  Within 15 days, the Federals burned every farm and town to the ground.   Only the chimney's were left.  There was no county business officially conducted again until 1866.  Only about 30% of the population returned, and those who did owed three years back taxes.  Land was sold for unpaid taxes and a new wave of emmigrants settled in.  Bates County was forever changed. 


           United Confederate Veterans at the Courthouse                                         Civil War Display in the TimeLine Room   



    General JO Shelby of Shelby's Iron Brigade.                                                     Civil War Veterans Display in the TimeLine Room
   General JO Shelby moved to Bates County in 1883.

     Shelby was appointed US Marshal of Western
     Missouri in 1893.  He appointed the first African-
     American Deputy Marshal in his office.

Bates County, MO Museum, More Than You Expect!

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