:: The Battle of Island Mound

This Civil War battle was significant because it was the first battle fought by trained black soldiers under the command of black officers.

The Battle of Island Mound began on October 27, 1862, when over 200 1st Kansas troops marched into Bates County from   Ft. Lincoln, Kansas.  Their mission was to clear out a confederate stronghold on Hog Island.  They commandeered the Enoch and Christiana Toothman farm which was on the old Butler, Ft.Scott road.  The battle occurred on October 29th and marked the first time in American history that black soldiers engaged the enemy during the Civil War.

Because of the attack on Lawrence, Kansas in August 1863 by Missouri guerrillas, General Thomas Ewing issued his infamous Order #11.  This order included the counties of Jackson, Cass, Bates and Vernon and forced the residents in Bates County to vacate their homes within 15 days.  Bates County was the only county that was totally depopulated and left in absolute ruins.  When the people of Bates County returned, they found burnt out structures and desolate land.  During this time, courts were held in locations other than the county seat.

 In October 2008 the citizens of Bates County dedicated a statue of 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantryman, which is located on the grounds of the Courthouse.  The State of Missouri purchased a portion of the Toothman farm and developed the State's newest State Historic Site, "Battle of Island Mound".  Bates County is proud to remember and honor its past.  The people who endured this time and place are a testament to the American spirit.  Remembering our ancestors and honoring them for their sacrifices gives even greater meaning to the high cost of freedom and liberties enjoyed today by all Americans. Photo: Statue on the courthouse lawn honoring the 1st Kansas Colored Soldiers.




Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site accepted into National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 41-071 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2013
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site was recently accepted into the National Park Services’ “National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.” Sites selected for inclusion in the Network to Freedom make a significant contribution to the understanding of the Underground Railroad in American history.
Battle of Island Mound, the newest historic site in Missouri State Parks, was dedicated on October 28, 2012, on the 150th anniversary of the actual battle. The Battle of Island Mound marked the first time that African-American troops were engaged in Civil War combat. Battle of Island Mound State Historic site encompasses Fort Africa, where the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry were camped in 1862 before a pitched battle with pro-Confederate forces near a low hill named Island Mound.
The site features a kiosk with three large interpretive panels and additional interpretive panels located along Courage Trail explain how the battle occurred and the significance of its outcome. The bravery of these men is reflected in a monument to them that concludes “…Here their bravery and determination helped our nation better understand the founding fathers’ words “all men are created equal.”
The Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site is located in Bates County, Missouri about 7 miles west of Butler, Missouri. For information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.



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