Saturday, June 19, 2010

Civil War Battle Sites

Kansas statehood came less than three months before the beginning of open hostilities in the American Civil War. For the next four years Union and Confederate troops fought a devastating war that took the lives of over 600,000 combatants. During this same time Kansas struggled to develop a state government in the midst of guerilla warfare that might have rivaled some civil conflicts in the world today.

Although the conflicts in Kansas were generally small in comparison to what was being played out to the east there were several battles within the new state. Below are links to resources, graphics and information on Civil War battlefield sites in Kansas as well as some general Kansas Civil War information.


Civil War Battles in Kansas
(A map and list of the four major Civil War battles in Kansas. Includes a summary of basic information on date, location, casualties, major combatants and outcome)

Civil War Timeline of Events in Kansas
(Skirmishes, raids and battles are listed)

Kansas in the Civil War
(Kansas State Historical Society)

Kansas in the Civil War
(Kansas Genweb)

Kansas Memory
(Original documents, manuscripts and graphics provided by the Kansas State Historical Society)

Centennial of the Civil War
Kansas Historical Quarterly
Spring, 1965 (Vol. 31, No. 1), pages 62-66

(Library holdings of the Kansas State Historical Society, State Library of Kansas, Kansas Supreme Court and Washburn University)
Kansas -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865


The Battle of Fort Blair, sometimes called the Fort Baxter Massacre, or the Battle of Fort Baxter was fought on October 6, 1863, near the modern-day town of Baxter Springs, Kansas.

Battle Summary (National Parks Service)

Fort Blair and Baxter Springs Massacre

William Quantrill Attacks Baxter Springs, Kansas

"Incidents at Baxter Springs on October 6, 1863"
by Lary C. Rampp
Kansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 36, no. 2 (summer, 1970), p. 183-197
(Get a copy of this article via interlibrary loan from the State Library of Kansas)

The Lawrence Massacre, also known as Quantrill's Raid, was a rebel guerrilla attack by Quantrill's Raiders, led by William Clarke Quantrill, on the pro-Union town of Lawrence, Kansas. Quantill's Raid on Lawrence in 1863 is well known through books, articles and motion pictures.

Battle Summary (National Parks Service)

Eyewitness Reports on Quantrill's Raid
Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains
Summer 2005 (Vol. 28, No. 2), p. 94-103

Erastus D. Ladd's Description of the Lawrence Massacre
Kansas Historical Quarterly
Summer 1963 (Vol. 29, No. 2), pages 113 to 121

In Pursuit of Quantrill: an Enlisted Man's Response
Kansas Historical Quarterly
Autumn 1972 (Vol. 39, No. 3), p. 379 to 391

The Battle of Marais des Cygnes took place on October 25, 1864, in Linn County, Kansas during Price's Missouri Raid. It is also called the Battle of Osage, and the Battle of Trading Post. It proved to be the first of three interconnected actions on this same day, all involving elements of Major General Sterling Price's Confederate Army of Missouri and the Union's Provisional Cavalry Division commanded by Major General Alfred Pleasonton.

Battle Summary (National Parks Service)

Price's Missouri Expedition

Price's Raid and the Battles of Linn County

Report of Maj. Gen. Sterling Price

Books/Articles on the Battle
(Holdings within Topeka ATLAS Consortium libraries)

"On October 25, 1864, approximately 2,800 Union troops attacked and defeated about 8,000 Confederates along the banks of Mine Creek. This was one of the largest cavalry battles in the Civil War and a major battle fought in Kansas."

Battle Summary (National Parks Service)

Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Site

Mine Creek Battlefield Foundation

Books/Articles on the Battle
(Holdings within Topeka ATLAS Consortium libraries)


Diamond Springs
(Report of a small skirmish at Diamond Springs)

Article by: Bill Sowers
My thanks to Roy Bird for supplying some of the links in this article
Please use the "Comments" link/box below for questions and comments.

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