Battle of Island Mound

The Battle of Island Mound occurred in Bates County, Missouri about 7 miles west of Butler, Missouri, and 9 miles east of the Missouri/Kansas Border. The Battle is of historical note, not because of its overall impact on the war, but rather because it was the first known event where an African-American regiment battled Confederate forces.
At this point in history, President Lincoln did not allow colored troops to join the army because he did not want to anger Union slave states, such as Missouri, by enlisting colored soldiers. The Union Army did not officially accept colored soldiers until 1863, after the Emancipation Proclamation.
Due to space limitations, I’m only going to provide the “Cliff Notes” version of the battle but I encourage you to search online where you can find much more information as well as videos that further describe the event.
The 1st Kansas, with 240 men, was ordered from Fort Scott into Bates County, Missouri, to break up a guerrilla camp located on Hog Island, near the Marais des Cygnes River. The Union force was about a mile from Hog Island when scouts informed them of a large guerrilla force of 350 – 400 men at Hog Island. The Union soldiers quickly established a camp on the homestead of Enoch Toothman, a known southern sympathizer.
On Monday, August 27th the union force took over the Toothman and farm and renamed it “Fort Africa”. The next day, the rebels made several small harassing runs at Fort Africa, but the superior rifles used by the 1st Kansas unit kept the mounted guerrillas at bay. The rebels then set grass fires around the farm to drive the 1st Kansas out of Fort Africa.
On August 29th, the outnumbered Union soldiers did come out of their “fort” and fight in skirmish lines against the mounted guerrillas. The smoke from the prairie fires created great confusion on the battlefield where eventually the union lines were split which created a sort of gauntlet that the mounted rebels were riding through. In the end, the rebels retreated from the field.
The New York Times trumpeted the Union Victory and specifically the “desperate bravery” of the colored soldiers. The paper noted the fact that the colored soldiers were “fighting for their freedom, to ensure they never went back to slavery”. #BorderWarTour
The Battle of Island Mound occurred in Bates County, Missouri about 7 miles west of Butler, Missouri, and 9 miles east of the Missouri/Kansas Border. The Battle is of historical note, not because of its overall impact on the war, but rather because it was the first known event where an African-American regiment battled Confederate forces.
At this point in history, President Lincoln did not allow colored troops to join the army because he did not want to anger Union slave states, such as Missouri, by enlisting colored soldiers. The Union Army did not officially accept colored soldiers until 1863, after the Emancipation Proclamation.
Due to space limitations, I’m only going to provide the “Cliff Notes” version of the battle but I encourage you to search online where you can find much more information as well as videos that further describe the event.
The 1st Kansas, with 240 men, was ordered from Fort Scott into Bates County, Missouri, to break up a guerrilla camp located on Hog Island, near the Marais des Cygnes River. The Union force was about a mile from Hog Island when scouts informed them of a large guerrilla force of 350 – 400 men at Hog Island. The Union soldiers quickly established a camp on the homestead of Enoch Toothman, a known southern sympathizer.
On Monday, August 27th the union force took over the Toothman and farm and renamed it “Fort Africa”. The next day, the rebels made several small harassing runs at Fort Africa, but the superior rifles used by the 1st Kansas unit kept the mounted guerrillas at bay. The rebels then set grass fires around the farm to drive the 1st Kansas out of Fort Africa.
On August 29th, the outnumbered Union soldiers did come out of their “fort” and fight in skirmish lines against the mounted guerrillas. The smoke from the prairie fires created great confusion on the battlefield where eventually the union lines were split which created a sort of gauntlet that the mounted rebels were riding through. In the end, the rebels retreated from the field.
The New York Times trumpeted the Union Victory and specifically the “desperate bravery” of the colored soldiers. The paper noted the fact that the colored soldiers were “fighting for their freedom, to ensure they never went back to slavery”. #BorderWarTour