Category Archives: Kansas

July 29, 1862: Kansas Zouaves D’Afrique

Sgt. Tom Strawn (not a Kansas Zouave, sorry) The Richmond Daily Dispatch notes here without comment an item from Kansas, calling for volunteers for a black regiment of Union troops. The Kansas Zouaves D’Afrique were actually mustered in January, 1863, … Continue reading

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December 6, 1861: Those darn abolitionists

Jayhawker Charles Jennison Apparently one of the primary outrages committed by the notorious Jayhawker Charles Jennison was stealing slaves from secessionists and freeing them in Kansas. The Richmond Daily Dispatch, castigating Jennison for freeing slaves, reminds us of the Southern … Continue reading

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December 1, 1861: Jennison’s guerrillas in Missouri

Charles R. Jennison Jennison, a Kansas officer, led a group of Jayhawkers knows as the Red-Legs. He was known as one of the worst of the Union guerrillas in Missouri. From the New York Times: REPORTS FROM SEDALIA. SEDALIA, Mo., … Continue reading

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November 28, 1861: Thanksgiving

There was no nationally standardized date for Thanksgiving in 1861, but twenty states declared it on Nov. 28. The Times reproduced the Thanksgiving proclamations of the Governor of New York and the Mayor of New York City. From the New … Continue reading

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November 24, 1861: Criticism of the Jayhawkers

Jayhawkers in Missouri As noted earlier, the defeated secessionists in western Missouri were fleeing to Arkansas and Texas, often driven by unorganized bands of “Jayhawkers” raiding across the border from Kansas. Here even the Unionist Leavenworth Times decries these marauders. … Continue reading

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November 23, 1861: Missouri refugees in Texas

Refugees from Missouri were pouring into the South; we’ve seen reports from Arkansas, and here’s one from Texas. The secessionist troops having been defeated, their sympathizers in Missouri were poorly treated — whether by regular Union troops or “Jayhawkers”, it’s … Continue reading

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June 26, 1861: Plans to invade Missouri or Kansas

Benjamin McCulloch The Confederacy encouraged McCulloch to act in Missouri, if necessary via Kansas. With fugitive governor Jackson fleeing toward the southwest corner of Missouri, support from Arkansas was becoming a more urgent necessity if there was to be any … Continue reading

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June 18, 1861: Indians divide their loyalties

John Ross, Chief of the Cherokee Both sides were trying hard to forge alliances with Indian tribes, who had the potential to provide a lot of troops in the thinly settled west. The Choctaws had early declared for the Confederacy, … Continue reading

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June 15, 1861: Federal troops take Independence, MO

The situation in Missouri was rapidly approaching open warfare. I’m not sure which Federal troops were involved in the action below — they may have been regulars from Kansas. From the New York Times: A correspondent of the Leavenworth Conservative … Continue reading

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March 31, 1861: Choctaws go with the South

Peter Pitchlynn, in 1860 Principal Chief of the Choctaw Nation From the Leavenworth (Kansas) Times: Fort Washita, C. N., March 31, 1861.     Editor Times: Since my last, I have not had an opportunity to inform you of the doings here, … Continue reading

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