Butler in Bates County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Order No. 11
August 25, 1863
—Forced Evacuation and Burning of Bates County —
By 1863 the Union Army’s inability to control Confederate Guerrilla activity in western Missouri exploded. On August 25, 1863, Union General Thomas Ewing issued Order No. 11 four days after Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence, Kansas. Residents in Bates County, and parts of Cass, Jackson and Vernon Counties, were forced to evacuate in an effort to disrupt Confederate supply lines of food, horses, and shelter.
The entire population of Bates County was banished. Union soldiers torched homes and towns. Fire consumed the land. Residents became refugees regardless of allegiances. Hardships inflicted upon civilians were stern and merciless.
Official county business was not conducted again until 1866. Only about one-third of the residents returned. Awaiting them was total devastation and tax bills for three years’ delinquent property taxes. The land of those who did not return was forfeited and sold to new settlers, many being from northern states. Bates County was changed forever.
Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham, a Union officer, memorialized the cruelty of Order No. 11 in his 1868 painting, “Martial Law.” The people who endured the dark days of Order No. 11 have not been forgotten. Their stories and sacrifices continue to be remembered.
Erected 2014 by Bates County Historical Society & Museum.
Location. 38° 15.499′ N, 94° 19.952′ W. Marker is in Butler, Missouri, in Bates County. Marker is on West Ohio Street east of North Delaware Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located on the grounds of the Bates County Courthouse on the north side of the building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 North Delaware Street, Butler MO 64730, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. “First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry” (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.
Regarding Order No. 11. This is the only marker in Bates County that commemorates Order No. 11.
Additional keywords. Burnt District, Border War, Bleeding Kansas, Kansas Jayhawkers, Bushwhackers, Missouri Partisans
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 30, 2014, by Peggy Buhr of Butler, Missouri. This page has been viewed 415 times since then and 32 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on May 30, 2014, by Peggy Buhr of Butler, Missouri. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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