Weekly Missouri State Times, Jefferson City, Missouri
Vol 5, No. 33; pg 2
August 23, 1867
IMMENSE GATHERING AT LONE JACK
Five thousand Union soldiers and citizens in attendance—Solemn and
impressive Ceremonies—Organization of Monumental Association—
[From the Kansas City Journal]
Only a few days since, some of the survivors of the memorable battle of
Lone Jack, together with their loyal friends residing at Pleasant Hill and
vicinity, determined to celebrate the anniversary of the battle by a gathering
at the found, and the organization of an association having for its object the
erection of a monument which should perpetuate to the latest posterity, the
memory of the brave men who fell on that ensanguined field. Accordingly,
as extensive notice was given as the limited time would permit, and
preparations were actively made for rendering the occasion as solemn and
interesting as possible.
Departure from Kansas City
On Thursday evening a numerous delegation accompanied by the Kansas
City Silver Band, under the leadership of Prof. D. Bantie, left the depot to
join in the celebration of the coming day. At Independence they were joined
by a number of the old soldiers of that city, and a short ride in the
refreshing cool of the evening brought us to Pleasant Hill, where an
immense crowd had gathered to welcome the delegation from the West.
The party left the train amid the strains of music, the deafening cheers of
the assembled multitudes, and the thunder of a section of light artillery,
served by that old soldier, Capt. John P. duff, formerly of the second
Battalion (Newgent’s) MSM and the Sixth Kansas Cavalry. The committee
of arrangements were in waiting, and the band, together with the Kansas
City people , were conducted to the Sherman House, where a substantial
supper was in waiting for them.
After supper our band, although weary with the fatigues of the celebration at
the Wyandotte bridge, kindly went out on the platform and entertained an
assemble multitude with their sweet music, until nearly midnight, at which
time all retired to rest, full of anticipations for the morrow.
At four in the morning, the Eastern Express arrived, bringing Governor
Fletcher and family, Senator Townsley and General Montgomery, of
Sedalia, and a large crowd of people form Johnson, Pettis and other
eastern counties. During the night large delegations had arrived form
Bates, Henry and Cass counties, so that be early morning an immense
crowd were in attendance.
At 7 o’clock the procession was formed under the direction of the Chief
marshal and assistants, and the line of march taken up for Lone Jack.
Rarely have we seen a more beautiful spectacle than was presented on that
bright summer morning. The procession, over a mile in length, with the
stars and strips, and tattered and battle-worn guidons, displayed from
almost every wagon, all of which were crowed with the brave and fair of
Western Missouri, dragged its slow length along, and at 10 o’clock, arrived
at Lone Jack.
This town previous to the war was but a little hamlet, deriving its name from
a lone oak which stood out in the surrounding prairie. It consisted of about
twenty houses, and early in the late rebellion, became distinguished for the
disloyalty of its people, and as a plotting place against the peace and
loyalty of the surrounding country. During the war it was swept with the
bosom of destruction and nearly blotted out of existence, while most of the
traitors who concocted treason there, long since filled unknown graves.
Only about half of the former building now remain, and they are riddled and
torn with shot, and marks of the terrible affray that transpired there five
The Battle of Lone Jack, in proportion to the numbers engaged, was one of
the most sanguinary of the war. On the evening of the 15th of August,
1862. major E. foster, with about six hundred Missouri troops, and two
pieces of artillery, encamped in the town of Lone Jack. At daylight the
following morning this little handful of men was attached by a rebel force of
not less than three thousand, under the command of Cols. Coffee,
Thompson and Hays. The battle raged with unabated furry for more than
three hours, much of the time being almost a hand to hand conflict, and the
artillery having been captured by and taken from the rebels no less than
three times. The rebels finally retired from the field, leaving it in our
possession, with their dead and wounded. But learning that the rebels were
every moment expecting large reinforcements under Gen. Shelby, our
troops shortly retreated, and all the horses being killed, were obliged to
abandon their artillery. Of the Federal force engaged, one-third were either
killed or wounded, while the loss of the rebels was much larger, embracing
many disloyal citizens of the vicinity who had volunteered their services to
assist in crushing the devoted band who so valiantly defended the old flag
on that bloody day. Among the slain was Capt. Long, while Major e.
Foster, Lieut. E Rodgers, now of worthy officers, were dangerously
wounded. Major Balis, Adjutant of Newgent’s Battalion, was captured by
The battlefield, aside from the houses standing now, presents but few
marks of the terrible strife that made it historic ground. Beautiful fields of
ripening corn now wave over its undulating surface, while so quiet and
serene was the scene, that everywhere presented itself to the admiring eye,
it hardly seemed possible that only five short years ago, the demon of civil
war here held unbridled sway. The dead who fell were buried by the rebels,
their own in a long line of separate graves while the Federal slain were
placed in a trench on the left of the rebels, only a pace distant, with neiher
head board or stone to mark the place of their quiet graves. The “Lone
Jack”, which marked the right of the rebel graves, withered and died from
the day of battle, as if unwilling to perform monumental service for the
disloyal sleepers below, while a mass of tangled and noisome briars and
weeds cover the rebel graves.—Strange as it may seem, although left in
silent neglect, a close and well set turf has spread its protecting mantle
above the breast of the Federal dead, and the flowers of spring bloom in
profusion on their honored dust.
The exercises at the grove, where had assembled and were awaiting our
arrival, a numerous throng from the surrounding country, were commenced
(Dr. W.H.H. Cundiff, of Pleasant Hill, presiding,) with an impressive prayer
bu the Rev. Mr. Demoft of the M.E. Church. The eulogy to the memory of
the fallen was then pronounce by the Rev. Mr. Miller, of Pleasant Hill, and
was an effort characterized by the much beauty, earnestness and thought.—
Governor Fletcher then followed in a speech beautiful, eloquent and every
way worthy of the occasion. We regret that time and space do not permit
us to give at least an outline of their remarks.
A splendid collation beneath the generous shade of the leafy trees from
well filled baskets was then partaken of by the assembled crowd, with the
zest and quiet enjoyment that an entire satisfaction imparted to the
interesting occasion. This part of the proceedings over, the Lone Jack
Monumental Association was organized by the election of permanent
officers as follows: President, Dr. W.H.H. Cundiff, of Pleasant Hill, Vice
President, Col. E.F. Rodgers, of Kansas City, Secretary, Judge L.
Williams, of Pleasant Hill, Treasurer, Martin Rice, Jackson county.
Directors—Col. A.G. Newgent, Kansas City; Col. J.P. St. John,
Independence; Maj. J.M. Hubbard, Holden; Capt. A.J. Briggs, Harrisonville;
Capt. John Adherison, Austin: Maj. E. Foster, Johnson county; Capt.
Foster, Pleasant Hill. And the necessary complement of Assistant
Treasurers, Secretaries, &c. Several hundred membership tickets were
promptly disposed of at $1.00 each, and no doubt is entertained that
sufficient means will be speedily realized to erect a monument every way
worthy of the honored dead. The Association proposes to complete the
monument in time for its dedication on the next anniversary of the battle.
Eloquent and impressive speeches followed by Col. A.H. Jenkins and H.B.
Johnson of Kansas City, Col. St. John of Independence, and Mr. Terrell of
Harrisonville, when the procession reformed and proceeded to the battle
ground, by the silent resting place of the fallen patriots, where homage and
honors of the most solemn character were paid to their cherished memory.
The multitude uncovered with one accord, the band performed a solemn
dirge, while the thunders of artillery in a national salute rolled over the
graves of the departed heroes, who had lived without dishonor and died in
glory. The crowd then silently separated toward their respective homes, all
well satisfied with the occasion which had passed off without a single
incident calculated to mar the interest of the ceremonies.
A REASONABLE AND PATRIOTIC PROPOSITION?
It is said that the owner of the ground on which the dead of Lone Jack are
buried, proposes to charge the Association the sum of five hundred dollars
for the same, unless the proposed monument shall be erected to the
memory of all those who fell in battled there, rebel as well as Federal, to be
surrounded with an enclosure. At an informal meeting of the officers of the
Association it was determined that if this ridiculous demand should be
persisted in, to promptly remove the Federal dead to another spot near by,
which will be tendered gratis to the Association for that purpose.