Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kansas in the Civil War

Kansas in the Civil War
According to the 1860 U.S. census, Kansas had a free population of 107,204 and an additional slave population of 2.
After years of small-scale civil war, Kansas was admitted into the Union as a free state under the "Wyandotte Constitution" on January 29, 1861. Most people gave strong support for the Union cause. However, guerrilla warfare and raids from pro-slavery forces, many spilling over from Missouri, occurred during the Civil War. See also Kansas Civil War History and Missouri Civil War History.
The Union Army, vol. 4, states, "The Federal census of 1860 gave Kansas a population of 143,643 inhabitants, including Indians, but this total was much diminished by reason of the drought of 1860, from which the state had barely emerged when the war began. Consequently her population in 1861 numbered only a few over 107,000. The total number of men called for by the president of the United States from Kansas during the war was 16,654; the state not only supplied her full quota under all calls, but furnished a surplus of 3,443 men, or 20,097 in in all. The report of the provost-marshal-general is authority for the statement that Kansas lost 61.01 men killed in action and died from wounds out of each 1,000, which is in excess of the proportion furnished to the item of mortality by any of the other loyal states; Vermont ranking second with a loss per 1,000 of 58.22. It is also worthy of note that that no bounty was ever offered by the state, nor did any city or county offer a bounty to secure recruits. The state's quotas were always promptly filled up to the end of the war." See also Kansas in the American Civil War (1861-1865).
The soldiers of Kansas were, for the most part, of hardy physique and inured to outdoor life. A large proportion of them were excellent horsemen and it was therefore only natural that, of the 19 regiments furnished by the state, 9 belonged to the cavalry. Kansans in the Union Army served in 10 regiments and 5 companies of infantry, 9 cavalry regiments, and 3 artillery batteries. Many Kansans also served in independent, unattached, state and militia units.

At the start of the war in April 1861, 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. Statistics indicated that losses of Kansas regiments in killed in battle and from disease are greater per thousand than those of any other State. Of the Kansas regiments, the 1st infantry sustained the heaviest loss in killed and died of wounds, losing 11 officers and 120 enlisted men. The 1st Colored infantry met with the heaviest loss killed in action — 4 officers and 166 men.

Apart from small formal battles, there were 29 Confederate raids into Kansas during the war. The most serious episode came when Lawrence, Kansas came under attack on August 21, 1863, by guerrillas, known as Quantrill's Raidersled by William Clarke Quantrill. It was in part retaliation for "Jayhawker" raids against pro-Confederate settlements in Missouri.

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 that 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.
The Battle of Baxter Springs, also known as 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, a series of three battles occurred, the first two in Linn County, Kansas, with the final in Vernon County, Missouri. The first was the Battle of Marais des Cygnes (also called the "Battle of Trading Post"), the second was the Battle of Mine Creek, and the third was the Battle of Marmiton River (over the border in Missouri). They were between Major General Sterling Price, leading the Missouri expedition, against Union forces under Major General Alfred Pleasonton. Price, after going south from Kansas City, was initially met by Pleasonton at Marais des Cygnes. At the end of the day, the Confederates were forced to withdraw after attacks and assaults by Union forces. See also Kansas Civil War History and Kansas in the American Civil War (1861-1865).
"In an elaborate statement of casualties embodied in this, report, it is shown that the 20,097 men furnished by the state sustained losses as follows: Officers killed, 34; died of wounds, 12; died of disease, 26; deserted, 2; honorably discharged, 88; discharged for disability, 8; dishonorably discharged, 1; cashiered, 4; resigned, 281. Enlisted men killed, 762; died of wounds, 192; died of disease, 2,080; deserted, 1,988; discharged for disability, 1,849; honorably discharged, 999; dishonorably discharged, 94; missing in action, 35. Aggregate casualties, 8,498." The Union Army, vol. 4. 

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