JR-Host - Greetings To All!
JR-Host - Imagine if you were late for your own discussion? My bad, but there was a storm.
JR-Host - Are we ready to go?
JR-Host - Alright. One request. This can be a heated topic. John Brown will be mentioned. please, no flame wars rudeness or insults. Any such incidents will be directed to Henry's attention.
JR-Host - Ok, if there are no objections, here we go!
JR-Host - For half a decade before the American Civil War, residents of the neighboring states of Kansas and Missouri waged their own civil war, though in all reality, this conflict was often extremely violent, with excesses of passion and bloodshed on both sides.
Xan - JR, what's the overall topic? I have been out of town and am out of date. And I am older than I used to be, too.
JR-Host - "Bushwhackers, Jayhawkers and Bleeding Kansas, Pt. 1"
JR-Host - The first military action in Missouri took place about a month after the bombardment of Ft. Sumter. This incident was discussed previously, but briefly, on May 10, 1861, Federal trops led by the red-bearded and equally hot-tempered Capt. Nathaniel Lyon took over Camp Jackson, the training ground for the Volunteer Missouri Militia, an organization that was planning on seizing the St. Louis arsenal. The VMM surrendered and the men were taken prisoner.
JR-Host - While parading his prisoners through the streets of St. Louis, a riot broke out and Lyon's men fired into a mob of Southern sympathizers, leaving 20 dead. It was an oninous beginning to official hostilities.
JR-Host - Three years later, Confederate Major General Sterling Price, of Missouri State Guard fame, led a last-hope raid across Missouri. Forced to bypass St. Louis because of large numbers of Federal troops, Price's men moved through Hermann, Boonville, Glasgow, Lexington and Independence, before losing a fight at Westport and retreating into Arkansas.
JR-Host - Westport was the last major battle west of the Mississippi River, but it was one of at least 1100 battles and skirmishes fought in Missouri during the Civil War.
Xan - JR, not to interrupt but I know of NO evidence either way as to who started shooting first in St. Louis, Lyon's men or the crowd members, many of whom were drunk.
JR-Host - Events across the River usually receive little mention in the history of the war, but it is here that the true character of the war in Missouri and Kansas is revealed. This dark soul is epitomized by two words: Bushwhackers and Jayhawkers.
JR-Host - Let's do Jayhawkers first, shall we? What do we know about them?
WuzReb - Umm.... Jim Lane's boys? Kansas radical abolitionists, became known for red leggings they affected? Close? Just as nasty as any bushwacker, too.
JR-Host - Jayhawkers in general, Wuz, but you are on the right track.
JR-Host - A Jayhawker was one of a band of anti-slavery, pro-union guerillas in Kansas and Missouri. Driven more by malice than charity, Jayhawkers were undisciplined, unprincipled, often murderous and always theiving. In fact, the word Jayhawking was soon to become a synonym for stealing.
JR-Host - Jayhawking carried no social stigma, however. Many prominent, influencial, and highly respected leaders took to Jayhawking. Among them was James Henry Lane, the "Grim Chieftan" as he was called. He had a bio that included terms in the US Senate and House of Representatives, a penchant for fiery oratory, and a tendency not to repay his debts.
JR-Host - Another was New England born Dan Anthony, an ardent abolitionist and brother of Susan B. Anthony, the mother of women's suffrage in the US.
Xan - JR, were you going to back up and discuss the evil political machinations that led to this savagery? The issue of slavery was supposed to be settled by the Missouri Compromise, authored by Stephen Douglas. But then....
Xan - ...Douglas screwed up a system that was working well by introducing the concept of "Local Sovereignty", i.e. the question of Slavery or Non in the territories would be settled by majority vote rather than geography.
JR-Host - I have been advised that a discussion on slavery may result in ill-feelings, hot-headedness and bad tempers, and it has been suggested that such a discussion should be avoided.
JR-Host - But we are headed in that direction, Xan, using Kansas and its political problems as the example.
Scarlet - LOL, JR, we have had hot headedness, bad tempers and nasty dispositioins in here before, LOL
Xan - JR, I think there needs to be SOME discussion of why these two groups were being so wildly vicious to each other! I mean, you did not have border wars between the settlers of Iowa and Minnesota for heaven's sake!
JR-Host - One of the most notable Jayhawkers was Charles R. "Doc" Jennison. A runty, consumptive man, originally from New York, he practiced medicine in Wisconsin before coming to Kansas to be a horse thief. For years, the lineage of many good horses in Iowa and Illionois was said to be "out of Missouri by Jennison."
shari - Xan, by Local Sovereignty, is that popular soverignity?
JR-Host - In due time, xan. Now, I am just introducing the major players in this tragedy.
JR-Host - Jennison's skill at stealing horses was surpassed only by his strong abolitionist stance. In 1860, he led a posse that hanged two unfortunate Missourans caught returning runaway slaves to their masters.
JR-Host - Thus, the Jayhawkers are introduced. Now, on to the Bushwhackers. Who can tell me something about them?
Xan - Same thing, JR, as far as I know. Point being, the more of Your Side you could get into the territory, and the more of the Other Side you could kill or run off, the better. GREAT work there, Mr. Douglas!
WuzReb - Ditto what Xan said. Bushwackers being the pro-Southern or at least pro-local sovereignty side of the coin....
JR-Host - The difference between Jayhawkers and Bushwhackers was that, while Jayhawkers were Unionist in sentiment, Bushwhackers favored the Confederacy. Some Bushwhackers were semi-legitimate soldiers, even acknowledged as such by the Confederate government. Men such as Wm. Clarke Quantrill, Bill Anderson, John Thraikill and David Pool were in this category. Others were simply renegades who used the war as an excuse for vengeful ambush, robbery, murder, arson, rape and plunder.
JR-Host - Bushwhacking was excellent training for the postwar careers of some famous Bushwhackers. Frank and Jesse James, and Cole and Jim Younger got their start with Quantrill and used what they learned to acheive fame and notoriety after the war. This area was fertile training ground for bandits of all types.
JR-Host - Newspapermen Horace Greely and James redpath labelled these men "border ruffians", but that was too kind. Murderers would have been more appropriate.
JR-Host - Price and Lyon, Lane and Jennison, and Quantrill and Anderson are among those most remembered, but the many victims, the slain men, women and children, however, were the forgotten victims of the undeclared border war that raged in Kansas and Missouri during the 1850's.
JR-Host - Kansas was the catalyst for spiraling violence. In 1854, Kansas was a territory, sparsely settled, but a strong candidate for statehood under provisions of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which left the decision of slavery up to the residents of the territory.
JR-Host - At polar extremes were the Northern abolitionists, very strong in New England, who detested slavery and wanted Kansas admitted as a free state, and the pro-slavery Southerners, who feared Yankee domination of Kansas and wanted it to be a slave state. They were afraid that if Kansas was a non-slave state, their grip on Congressional power would weaken, threatening their political, cultural and economic existence.
JR-Host - Representatives of both viewpoints rushed to stake property claims and establish voting rights in the contested territory.
JR-Host - From slaveholding Missouri came hundreds of "settlers" to vote on the vital statehood issue. Slave or Free? The answer: Slave. And the voters? Gone, most of them back to their homes in Missouri. As can be expected, the Free-staters were not happy and cried "Foul!"
JR-Host - I do hope I didn't bore you all to sleep.
Scarlet - Hello Dameron and Ashley, I am reading the posts JR, keep going!
shari - I'm not asleep, JR, continue.....
JR-Host - As tempers rose, people began to die unusually violent deaths. Near Lawrence, Kansas, on Nov. 21, 1855, Franklin Coleman, a pro-slavery property claim jumper from Missouri gunned down Charles Dow, a neighboring free-stater from Ohio, shooting him in the back.
newyawk - Hello Dameron, Ashley...I'm here JR
WuzReb - Not at all, JR, I am listening intently.
Scarlet - Was that the beginning of the troulbe that culminated in the burning and destruction of Lawrence, JR?
JR-Host - Pro-slavery Sheriff Samuel Jones of Westport used the murder to arrest Dow's companion Jacob Branson and gather 1500 pro-slavers from Missouri for an attack on Lawrence.
JR-Host - Lawrence had many problems throughout, Scarlet, beginning with this incident and culminating with Quantrill's bloddy massacre later on.
WuzReb - Scarlet, for the first attack on Lawrence.... which would set the stage for the later, more famous one...
Scarlet - thanks JR and Wuz
JR-Host - The ensuing "War on Waruska" consisted more of diplomatic maneuvering than bloodshed, but it did further polarize and inflame passions in the area. It also spurred the gathering of armed free-staters in Lawrence under the command of Dr. Charles Robinson. Second in command was "Colonel" James Lane.
newyawk - Didn't John Brown attack Lawrence?
JR-Host - Two weeks later, Thomas W. Barber, a free-stater, was murdered near lawrence by pro-slaver George Clark. During election violence in Jan., 1856, E.P. Brown of Leavenworth was killed in a skirmish as a member of a free-state company attempting to drive ruffians from the county. Another unlucky Brown, R.P., was brutally hatcheted in the head the same year.
shari - I don't think so, newyawk...I thought he killed some settlers at Pottawamie (sp?)
JR-Host - No, newlawk, but he did gain fame in a similar fashion. His story is coming up directly.
WuzReb - Newyawk, no, John Brown did not, that I am aware of. Lawrence would have been a town he considered as on "his side," I expect, since it was anti-slave.
JR-Host - On Apr. 23, Sheriff Jones, still harassing free-staters, was shot and severely wounded, as was free-stater J.N. Mace five days later. Seeking vengeance, a posse led by Marshal Israel B. Donaldson murdered a free-state boy named Jones and a friend of his near Lawrence on May 19. The boy had been returning home to care for his widowed mother. Free-staters were infuriated by the senseless killing.
JR-Host - as can be seen, one incident in this drama inflamed passions, often leading to a retaliation by the other side, escalating in fury as time went on. It truly was a situation out of control.
JR-Host - Violence grew in scale 3 days later, when a band of about 800 ruffians assaulted Lawrence. Among their leaders was Missouri Senator David Rice Atchison, nicknamed "Staggering Davy" for his alleged fondness for hard drink. The mob destroyed two free-state newspaper offices, looted more than $150,000 in merchandise, and burned the home of Gov. Charles Robinson.
JR-Host - Another target was "The Free State Hotel", a bastion for free-staters. A 12lb. howitzer was aimed at the hotel. The first shot was fired by Staggering Davy but missed its mark. The hotel withstood more than 50 shots and an attempt to blow it up with gunpowder but finally burned. The raid produced only two fatalities though, a raider who accidentally shot himself, and another ruffian killed by a brick falling from the hotel.
JR-Host - Claiming revenge for the raid on Lawrence, fanatic abolitionist John Brown and seven followers shot and hacked five settlers to death near Dutch Henry's Crossing of Pottawatomie Creek, west of Osawatomie. Brown would again be heard from later on in the East, but that is a subject for another discussion, possibly.
JR-Host - Now, to sidestep this for one brief moment, in looking for material for this, i stumbled across someone with a new theory on why John Brown did what he did.
JR-Host - I do not know enough about the incident to say one way or another, but the new theory is that John Brown was attempting to steal horses to help ease his financial situation. He was badly in debt and in financial ruin. The thought is that he was discovered trying to steal the horses, and as a result, murdered the family to escape without leaving behind any witnesses. Anyone else heard the same or have any thoughts?
WuzReb - JR, I had not heard of that. I was under the impression that the settlers he killed were not all in one household, but rather a couple, separate homesteads. Am I mistaken in that?
shari - I had not heard that theory, JR....based on what I've read about him, I'd not be inclined to believe it....IMHO, of course
Xan2 - I had not heard that JR but find it dubious. John Brown was in financial trouble nearly all his life (largely due to his rabbit-like reproductive behavior, I think he had something like 17 children) but never murdered anybody until the Slavery question started burning holes in his brain.
JR-Host - That I am not quite sure of, Wuz. didn't have the time this week to look into it as I had planned.
shari - 17? by one woman, Xan???
JR-Host - My thoughts as well, Xan, but anyway, to carry on, here we go again.
JR-Host - On May 19, 1858, a pro-slavery band led by Charles Hamelton executed unarmed free-state men near Marais de Cygnes on the Kansas-Missouri border. A native Georgian who had been forced into Missouri, Hamelton assembled about 30 followers and went into Kansas. Along the way, they captured 11 free-staters, some of whom were Hamelton's former neighbors and expected no harm, but they were hearded into a ravine and shot. 5 died, and Hamelton returned to Missouri.
Scarlet - LOL< maybe it was all those kids that affected his brain Xan
Xan2 - Shari, I don't remember for sure, he might have worn out one wife and started again with another. We can just thank heaven that he was not a Mormon.
JR-Host - Abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poem about the incident that appeared in an issue of Atlantic Monthly and further inflamed abolitionist sentiment as intended.
shari - you're not kidding Xan...
Scarlet - LOL< at Xan, and that is horrible JR! some friend and neighbor!
JR-Host - Such was the feelings at the time, Scarlet. Hence the term Bushwhackers. as we have seen, this was not uncommon during this time.
JR-Host - Such incidents were by no means isolated. 200 people died in the border dispute between Nov. 1855 and Dec. 1856 alone. The Civil War was not merely an extension of "Bleeding Kansas", but in many ways a direct result of it.
JR-Host - Any comments or questions before we move on?
JR-Host - This one will be shorter than most, as I annot stick around as long as I would like, but we've still got a little more to go.
WuzReb - No questions, but I am learning stuff, here. Do continue!
JR-Host - One of the most notorious individual units operating in Kansas was the 7th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. "Doc" Jennison started it but was not around at the end. Dan Anthony led it for awhile. To friends and foes alike, it was known as "Jennison's Jayhawkers" and was billed as the "Independent Kansas Jayhawkers" on the original recruiting poster in Aug. of 1861.
shari - I have a question, and it's jumping the gun....but I might forget it...How long after the CW ended did the hostilities between Kansas and Missouri go on?
Scarlet - Shari I think some of them are still going on today
Basecat - JR..If I can add something.....Have visited the House where Brown and ganag walked from to Harper's Ferry...and believe a placque here mentions that his 2nd wife was there at the house...and she bore the majority of the 17 kids....the eldest involved in the raid came from wife # 1...
Xan2 - Not to break JR's flow of discussion but it should be pointed out that the US Army had considerable presence in Kansas at this time, Natty Lyon being one such. They were just completely incapable of holding off Indians and coping with this mess at the same time. But they tried.
WuzReb - Shari, hard to say... Until Jesse James was killed, is one way to look at it! The hostilities gradually toned down, but I think hard feelings and trouble lingered for sheesh, a couple decades after, and the emotions are still around, today!
JR-Host - No definite answer to that one, shari. feelings were bad and emotions were high. Some people wanted revenge. As I'm sure my pard CoB2mo would be quick to add, there are some places in Missouri today that, although the violence has ended, the wounds hve never totally healed.
shari - Wuz and Scarlet, I am inclined to think the same.
JR-Host - Political ambitions fed the ego not only of Jennison, but of Anthony and Lane as well. On Oct. 28, 1861, the 7th Kansas was mustered into service. Jennison was the Colonel and Anthony was a Lt. Col. The regiment became part of Jim Lane's Kansas brigade. Jennison referred to his men as 'self-sustaining', meaning that each ride into Missouri brought back more supplies than were taken in.
JR-Host - Contraband from Southern sympathizers included horses, livestock and wagonloads of farm goods. Few of those items were actually turned over to the Federal comissary. Slaves followed the raiders to freedom in Kansas. If other items, such as civilian furniture, silverware and money, found their way into the Jayhawkers' possession, then such was the price of secession. And, if a few Secesh homes caught fire along the way, that too was the price for rebellion.
JR-Host - Jennison's depridation seemed pointless at times. In Harrisonburg, Mo., another outfit had looted the American Bible Societies stores before the 7th Kansas arrived, leaving only the stock of bibles behind, but the 7th took the bibles. Webster Moses of the regiment wrote about a foray near Lone Jack, "About 10 of us went out jayhawking...and before breakfast ...caught their horses and took the best ones...found some silverware...some of the boys got in places about $100 worth of silverware and considerable money."
JR-Host - Although this continued for less than five months, it left a big mark on Missouri, which still was in the Union. Many of the citizens robbed by the 7th were loyal Unionists. Federal authorities feared they would create more Rebels by their actions than they would conquer, so in 1862, the regiment was transferred first to Kentucky and the to Tennessee and did not return to Kansas until mustered out in 1865.
JR-Host - Jennison was rarely with the regiment in the field and departed it in April of 1862. Anthony resigned four months later. Both pursued successful postwar commercial and political careers in Leavenworth, and the regiment, under new and more capable military leadership, performed well in later campaigns, Jayhawking less but followed to the end by the bad reputation it had earned.
WuzReb - Did their behavor improve at all, once removed out of state? I rather expect not..
JR-Host - So, we see that the years up to and including the Civil war were very violent and very bloody, especially on the residents of the Kansas-Missouri border region. Passions often ran high, and those most often affected were usually innocent civilians, men, women and children who were unfortunately in the wrong place at a bad time. This truly is one of the darkest periods in US history.
WuzReb - Oops, spoke too soon...
Xan2 - Actually there was a perfectly rational reason for looting the Bible Society property. Abolitionists had used the creative tactic of shipping "boxes of Bibles" to Kansas. Under one layer of Bibles was hidden large numbers of rifles. Tricky!
JR-Host - Yes, Wuz, to a good extent. Being lead more by military men and less by horse thieves (remember what was said of Jennison earlier?), but they had a terribly bad reputation wherever they went, and that in itself is a hard thing to get rid of.
shari - sad period in US history....
Basecat - JR...IMHO....That is where the war really started...and was an ome for what was to come...in terms of the slaughter....
JR-Host - But see, Xan, in this instance, Jennison was an abolitionist and a Union man.
shari - Hence, Beecher's bibles.....
Jim TNO - Its intersting how their passions, emotions persay govern the way they thought and acted...... Still ugly!
JR-Host - In Pt. 2 of this discussion, we will be introduced to Wm. Clarke Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson, and will learn more about Jim Lane and others. We also will discuss the sacking of Lawrence, Kansas and the resulting Order Number 11 and its affect on the residents of this region.
Xan2 - LOL JR, does this mean he would turn down a batch of "Beecher's Bibles" if he ran across them? This would be irresponsible, it would seem. They might fall into the wrong hands.
WuzReb - Shari, thanks, was trying to recall that... Beecher's Bibles...
JR-Host - Finally, we will see that though the war ended in 1865, the violence and atrocities transcended this period and the wounds inflicted were slow to heal. In some areas, the wounds never have healed completely.
newyawk - JR when will Part. II be?
Basecat - Shari...IIRC...Beecher's son was the comander of one of the USCT bigades organized after Battery Wagner....
JR-Host - Are there any questions, comments or suggestions? If not, then I thank you for being here. I hope to finish this one next Sunday night.
newyawk - Ahh well thank you again JR....was interesting, especially since I know little of that period in time
Basecat - JR...Your going to talk about the origin of the 1st Kansas Colored?
shari - I didn't know that, Basecat...interesting
WuzReb - JR, I'm looking forward to it! The pre-war part of the MO/KS troubles is a big gap in my already lacking knowledge!
JR-Host - It all depends on how the week goes, Basecat. We'll see.
shari - *APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE* Verra good discussion, JR!
Xan2 - WuzReb, look into the politics and economics of the Mo/Kan business, especially the Compromises. It really is a microcosm of the whole buildup to war. These people did not just start slaughtering their neighbors because the moon was full or they ate bad mushrooms or something.
WuzReb - Xan, I hear ya. I
Basecat - JR....Reason why I ask...Ist Kansas Colored Troops..were trained at Baxter Springs, KS....which is in SEK...Have been reding about them in Trudeau's excellent book on Colored Troops in the war....
JR-Host - <~~~is late for a very important engagement, and therefore must depart rapidly, without so much as a quick good night!
JR-Host - Has Left The Camp.