The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 18, 2013

Civil War committee honors sacrifice of soldiers ambushed at Rader Farm

JOPLIN, Mo. — Dozens of local residents gathered Saturday at the Rader Farm on the 150th anniversary of the massacre of 15 soldiers of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry and three white soldiers from the 2nd Kansas Volunteer Artillery Battery by guerrilla Confederate forces.

Located near the intersection of Peace Church and Fountain Roads outside of Joplin, the five acres of land where the skirmish took place was purchased by the Jasper County Commission in 2009. Since then, members of the Sherwood-Rader Farm Jasper County Civil War Park Committee have worked toward establishing a living history homestead that will recognize the role that Jasper County played during the war. Committee member Steve Weldon said that Saturday’s event, which included a walk through of the nearby field by reenactors, helped draw attention to the importance of the site and the committee’s fundraising efforts.

“We were at the edge of the frontier here and this place played a pivotal role in how events unfolded,” Weldon said. “When the soldiers came out, I wanted people to see what they saw. Eventually, we want to be able to tell the whole region’s story that way.”

The committee has set a fundraising goal of $100,000 for the project, which will include a replication of the Rader farmhouse, a primitive cabin and a split-rail fence around the property.

On May 18, 1863, 25 black soldiers of the 1st Kansas and 22 white soldiers with the 2nd Kansas arrived at Rader’s farmhouse. The black soldiers had put their weapons aside to secure supplies from the location. Seventy of Confederate guerrilla leader Thomas Livingston’s men descended upon the farm, surprising the Union soldiers. Most of the white soldiers quickly took off on horseback, leaving many of the black soldiers to a harsh fate. Reading from a first-person account from Union soldier Hugh L. Thompson, Missouri Southern State University professor Jim Lile summed up the 10-minute battle in five words during Saturday’s ceremony.

“We rode into an ambush,” Lile said as he read from the account.

Retired MSSU professor Virginia Laas also spoke Saturday on the importance of the site’s role in shaping regional history during the Civil War.

“We had to evaluate what freedom, equality and citizenship meant to our country and our commitment to the republic,” Laas said during her remarks. “What happened in our county mirrored what happened nationally. We saw armed civilians acting independently of organized government. We saw civilians in Jasper County supporting different sides. The war was in our backyard.”

Laas also spoke on the importance of the African-American soldiers, many of whom were former slaves, in fighting the war.

“It wasn’t just the end of slavery that they were fighting for, but it was their guarantee of citizenship,” Laas said. “Some 180,000 black men fought to secure their freedom, including the men that died here.”

Members of the Supply 203rd National Guard unit in Joplin placed a wreath in the field to commemorate the military sacrifice that was made. For Spc. Gregory Coopwood, the Kansas infantry’s sacrifice had extra importance.

“As an African-American soldier, their sacrifice meant a lot and it made me feel honored to be a part of today,” Coopwood said. “There are so many untold stories about what happened in the war, but a day like today helps tell that story. I want to see that story keep going.”

Funding

Thus far, money toward the Rader Farm project has been a $25,000 donation by Ed and Allison Hershewe, used to buy the tract of land, and $7,500 set aside by Jasper County for incidental expenses in the project’s development.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: ‘Annie’ production is a family thing

    There’s a twist to this week’s production of “Annie” at Memorial Auditorium. The show, a beloved classic tale of an orphan girl in search of a family, is full of real-life family members.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 Band Box.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage icon continues to play in local restaurant

    Chicago Coin’s Band-Box, also known as “Strike Up the Band,” has been a Carthage icon since the mid- to late 1950s. Any customer who frequented Red’s Diner, or Ray’s Cafe, and now the Pancake Hut is familiar with the pulsating rhythms and movements of this mechanical device.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Gubernatorial hopefuls make area appearances

    Three potential candidates for Missouri governor in 2016 made stops in the Joplin area this past week.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • shoalcreekcleanup.jpg Wildcat Glades center puts on service day at Shoal Creek

    About 20 people on Saturday pulled trash out of Shoal Creek as they paddled in canoes and kayaks from Grand Falls to Zan’s Creekside Campground in Joplin.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearts & Hammers plans annual home repair event

    Since 2003, volunteers with Hearts & Hammers of Southwest Missouri have made free improvements to more than 170 homes owned by the elderly, physically disabled, and single parent or low-income families.

    July 26, 2014

  • Money clouds farm fight

    For much of the summer, while the campaign surrounding “right to farm” has been focused on its impact on “small, family farmers,” the bulk of the money pouring into the fight has come from big agriculture interests.

    July 26, 2014

  • jameswelbornupdate.jpg Local teen completes half of solo river trip

    James Welborn, a recent Webb City High School graduate, has reached the halfway point of his solo canoe trip down the Mississippi River — just in time to celebrate his 19th birthday with family.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Neosho police warn residents of phone scam

    The Neosho Police Department has received complaints from residents saying someone impersonating a lieutenant from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office warrants division has been calling them.

    July 26, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter