Butler in Bates County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
“First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry”
They Fought Like Tigers
The 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry fought and won the Battle of Island Mound, also known as The Battle at Fort Toothman on October 28 & 29, 1862 in Charlotte Township approx. 7.5 miles southwest of Butler. It is said to have been the only battle fought on Bates County soil, in which regular U.S. troops were involved. The First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry was the first black unit to fight in the Civil War. Reportedly Southern rebels outnumbered the black troops five to one, attacked the fort and fierce hand-to-hand combat ensued.
Of the Kansas Infantry's involvement it was written, "They Fought Like Tigers"
Erected 2008 by The Amen Society.
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is October 28, 1862.
Location. 38° 15.499′ N, 94° 19.952′ W. Marker is in Butler, Missouri, in Bates County. Memorial is at the intersection of Ohio Street and Delaware Street, on the left when traveling west on Ohio Street. Memorial is on the north grounds of the county courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 North Delaware Street, Butler MO 64730, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Order No. 11 (here, next to this marker); Bates County World War I Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Eugene S. Hurt Chapter 67 D.A.V. Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Palace Office Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Butler History Murals (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); North Field (approx. 0.4 miles away); Replica of the Statue of Liberty (approx. 0.4 miles away); David Clayton Wolfe (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Butler.
Also see . . .
1. First To Serve. (Submitted on January 23, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry. (Submitted on January 23, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. First Kansas Colored Infantry. (Submitted on January 23, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Battle of Mound Island. (Submitted on January 24, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
5. Battle of Fort Toothman. (Submitted on January 24, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
1. About Elenora L. Burton
In 1999 Rev Larry D. Coleman, the pastor of a small church in Butler, Mo, was in a bookstore in Fort Scott, Kansas, and came across the book Black Soldiers. When he began reading it he found out about the 1st Kansas Colored and the Battle of Island Mound. He called a special meeting following church services the following Sunday and expressed interest in if nothing more than maybe having a small Black History program at the church to honor the men that had fought and maybe raise enough money to at least purchase a marker at the battle site in recognition of the soldiers. Keep in mind that at that time the church consisted of about 5, yes I said 5, members. He asked for someone to get the program together and head it up. My Mama, Elenora L. Burton, being a lover of Black History herself, volunteered.
It started as just a program but as she made calls and wrote letters and worked tirelessly it grew and the Black History program went from being a special Sunday service to a bigger Sunday service including re-enactors and talks by history professors and musicians and artists and many others. From this the AMEN Society was formed with her as the founding president.
This turned into an annual undertaking that grew bigger and better each year with her heading it up and organizing events. It became a passion to her. There were letters
The day that statue was unveiled was bittersweet for me. After that tarp was removed and we saw this work of art and I saw that memorial plaque on the back I have never been more proud nor have I ever been more overcome with so many emotions. Sitting here typing this I do not know whether to smile or cry and I guess I have done a little of both. My mother was just a little 5'1 black lady with gorgeous skin and a beautiful smile; she was a respiratory therapist for over 30 years she was a fantastic church pianist, and an incredible woman of God full of great faith—but to me she was just “Mama.”
There is no one like your mama and as you can probably tell I loved mine and still miss her and I make no apologies about that at all.
One other quick thing here: when my sister and I helped to design her headstone we put a piano and the words of an old negro chorus on the front. On the back we put a scripture. That scripture is found in
— Submitted November 20, 2011, by Renee Burton of Butler, Missouri.
2. The Sculptor
The sculptor of this marker is: Joel Randell of Edmond,Ok.
— Submitted April 5, 2012, by Renee Burton of Butler, Missouri.
3. Island Mound State Historical Park
I had the privilege today of being a part of the dedication ceremony for the dedication of the Battle Of Island Mound State Historical Park. What a blessing to have been involved in this emotional service. "It's been a long time comin . . ." What pride to know the small part that my mama played in this day becoming a reality. 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry you fought a good fight and we salute you. Soldiers, take your rest!!
— Submitted October 27, 2012, by Renee Burton of Butler, Missouri.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 23, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 2,587 times since then and 56 times this year. Last updated on April 4, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 23, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 3. submitted on January 8, 2020, by Michael E Sanchez, Jr. of Kansas City, Missouri. 4. submitted on January 23, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 5. submitted on November 20, 2011, by Renee Burton of Butler, Missouri. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.