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Military - Wars - Civil War - Kansas Units - State Militia - 2nd Kansas State Militia Infantry

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B.F. Dawson to Colonel of the Second Kansas militia

B.F. Dawson to Colonel of the Second Kansas militia
Creator: Dawson, B.F.
Date: Between 1865 and 1866
This letter is from B.F. Dawson to the Colonel of the Second Kansas Militia, in Topeka, Kansas. The letter contains Dawson's recollections of the Battle of the Blue, which happened on October 22, 1864, in Jackson County, Missouri. Dawson wrote the letter in Topeka, Kansas.


Battle of the Blue

Battle of the Blue
Creator: Mileham, Benjamin D.
Date: 1896
This painting depicts the Battle of Byram's Ford (a.k.a. Battle of the Big Blue), which took place on October 22, 1864, in Jackson County, Missouri. During the battle, the 2nd Regiment of the Kansas State Militia, which was aided by the Topeka Battery of Artillery, fought the Confederate forces of Sterling Price. Captain Ross Burns commanded that artillery battery. Ross may have commissioned artist Benjamin Mileham to execute this painting. Mrs. Ross Burns later donated it the Shawnee County Commissioners and the Grand Army of Republic in memory of her then deceased husband.


Candle lantern

Candle lantern
Date: between 1800 and 1850
This is a pressed and pierced tin candle lantern. Half-round lantern has clear glass pane beneath pierced conical top. Hinged metal door with snap latch opens to reveal candle socket on interior. Hiram C. Coville brought this lantern to Kansas Territory from Ohio. The Covilles were early settlers, landing first in Lawrence and quickly moving west to the Topeka area in 1855. Hiram was a soldier in the 2nd Kansas Militia, Company B, when he was killed during the Price Raid in 1864. His son, Allen, also used the lantern on the farm in Shawnee County.


G.W. Veale to General George W. Dietzler

G.W. Veale to General George W. Dietzler
Creator: Veale, George Washington, 1833-1916
Date: October 30, 1864
This letter is from G.W. Veale to General George W. Dietzler, Commander of the Kansas State Militia. Veale, who was colonel of the Second Kansas Militia, recounts his role and his regiments, in the Battle of the Blue. He wrote the letter from the headquarters of the 2nd Regiment, Kansas State Militia, in Topeka, Kansas.


Nightstick

Nightstick
Date: 1889
This is a short wooden nightstick turned of a single piece of wood removed from the floor of Libby Prison. Libby was a notorious jail for Union officers operated by the Confederacy at Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War. The building was dismantled in 1889 and moved to Chicago, Illinois, where it was reassembled as a museum. The person in charge of the disassembly was John W. Woodward, whom the donor, W.W. Phillips, convinced to turn over a section of the prison floor. Phillips then took the wood to a factory and watched while it was turned into three canes and three nightsticks. Phillips was an early Kansas settler and a Civil War veteran, having served in the Second Kansas Militia which was active in the Battle of the Blue in 1864.


Price Raid

Price Raid
Creator: Reader, Samuel James
Date: 1865
This watercolor with pencil shading was done by Samuel J. Reader of Indianola, Kansas. The painting depicts Confederate soldiers marching Union prisoners of war while a haystack burns in the background. The artist was an eyewitness to the scene, having been captured with other members of the Second Kansas Militia following General Sterling Price's Raid into Kansas. The Price Raid was a multi-day running battle that happened very near the Kansas-Missouri border in the fall of 1864. Samuel Reader was Quartermaster for the Second Kansas during the raid's Battle of the Big Blue on October 22, where Union forces were routed. The prisoners later were marched to Tyler, Texas. Reader escaped by tricking his captors into believing he was a Confederate soldier. A four-day walk brought him home to Indianola, just north of Topeka, where he recorded his adventures in a journal.


Samuel J. Reader correspondence

Samuel J. Reader correspondence
Date: 1895-1914
These letters from numerous individuals were received by Samuel James Reader. Only two of the letters, dated September 24, 1898, and October 11, 1899, were written by Reader. Many of the letters refer to the Battle of the Blue, which was Reader's only war experience. The battle occurred on October 22, 1864, in Jackson County, Missouri. The authors of some letters wish to thank Reader for sending them photographs relating to the battle, and others are former comrades from the 2nd Kansas Regiment responding to Reader's letters. Reader received letters from Salmon Brown, the surviving son of John Brown, and Jesse R. Grant, son of Ulysses S. Grant. Six of the letters, dated 1908 and 1909, come from Reader's "boyhood acquaintance" Joseph Smith III, who lived in Independence, Missouri. In one letter, Smith reminisces on time spent in La Harpe, Illinois, where Reader once lived. Smith also acknowledges that he was an abolitionist, who "sympathized with Kansas and her Free State men who prevented the accomplishment of the wicked intent of the Missouri Compromise."


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
This is a hand painted lanternslide in handmade wood frame. This slide is part of a collection made by Samuel Reader between 1866 and 1913. Reader was a Kansas farmer who was active in the early Topeka community. He built two of his own homes, served in the Civil War, and wrote in a diary nearly every day for 64 years. This slide depicts four Union soldiers surrounding a campfire and being guarded by a Confederate soldier. Reader and other soldiers in the 2nd Kansas Militia were captured by Confederates at the Battle of the Big Blue on October 22, 1864. The slide's reference to "Southern hospitality" is ironic given that the captured Union soldiers received little food or water. On October 23 they mixed flour with water, placed the dough on a forked stick, and cooked it over a campfire. Reader escaped a few days later by disguising himself as a Confederate soldier and pretending to be in search of a lost horse.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
This is a hand painted lanternslide with handmade wooden frame. This slide is part of a collection made by Samuel James Reader documenting his experiences in the Civil War. It shows Union soldiers at to the Battle of the Big Blue on October 22, 1864. Reader was a soldier in the 2nd Kansas State Militia, and kept a diary that included his experiences at this battle and as a prisoner of war. Reader was an early settler in Kansas, building his own home just north of Topeka. He began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
This is a hand painted lanternslide with handmade wooden frame. This slide is part of a collection of slides made by Samuel James Reader depicting his experiences in the Civil War. It shows the Second Kansas State Militia leaving Topeka on Oct. 12, 1864, and headed for battle. Reader rode his horse, Fox, and later noted that the animal was so excited he passed to the front of the line with the commander. Reader was a Kansas farmer who was active in the early Topeka community. He built two of his own homes, served in the Civil War, and wrote in a diary nearly every day for 64 years. Reader began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
This is a hand painted lanternslide depicting the face of a frightened man, his mouth hanging open in a frown, inside a handmade wooden frame. The slide can be manipulated so the man's eyes and tongue move from left to right. Part of a collection made by Samuel James Reader documenting his experiences in the Civil War, showing "How some of the boys / looked when the / Rebels / began to shoot bullets" at the Battle of the Big Blue on October 22, 1864. Samuel was a soldier in the 2nd Kansas State Militia, and kept a diary that included his experiences at this battle and as a prisoner of war. Reader was an early settler in Kansas, building his own home just north of Topeka. He began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows with the local community by putting on slide shows in his house or at church.


Samuel Reader lanternslide, Capturing a Yank at Big Blue

Samuel Reader lanternslide, Capturing a Yank at Big Blue
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
This is a hand painted lanternslide with handmade wooden frame. This slide is part of a collection made by Samuel James Reader documenting his experiences in the Civil War. It shows the capture of a soldier during the Battle of the Big Blue on October 22, 1864, and may depict Reader's own story. He was a soldier in the 2nd Kansas State Militia and was captured during the battle, then later escaped by disguising himself as a Confederate soldier. Reader kept a diary that included his experiences at this battle and as a prisoner of war. Reader was an early settler in Kansas, building his own home just north of Topeka. He began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church.


Society of the Anniversary of the Battle of the Blue minutes and roster of the 2nd Regiment, Kansas militia

Society of the Anniversary of the Battle of the Blue minutes and roster of the 2nd Regiment, Kansas militia
Date: 1895-1905
This notebook contains the roster of the 2nd Regiment of the Kansas Militia during the Battle of the Blue, which occurred on October 22, 1864, in Jackson County, Missouri. Members of the regiment are divided by company and identified by rank. Some individuals are listed as killed, wounded, or taken prisoner, in addition to their place of residence. The notebook also contains the meeting minutes for the Society of the Anniversary of the Battle of the Blue. Surviving members of the 2nd Regiment convened on May 30, 1895, in Topeka, Kansas, and voted for a permanent organization to meet on October 22 of each year. Samuel J. Reader was elected secretary.


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