Samuel J. Reader settled on a farm near Indianola, Kansas in 1855. At the age of 13 he began writing and illustrating a diary, which he kept throughout his life. Here Reader transfers an event recorded in his diary to canvas: his capture in 1864 by General Sterling Price's troops in the Battle of the Big Blue. A prisoner of Confederate forces en route to Texas, Reader escaped from his captors in southeastern Kansas. He then returned to his farm in Indianola where he lived until his death in 1914 at the age of 78.
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