Baxter Spring City Cemetery

(Frank) Okay. Who’s going to start? [Laughs] I guess, I will. Hi, welcome back. Southeast Kansas, I don’t know how many of you have been down there but there’s a lot of history. So anyway, we wanted to talk about Baxter Springs. (Deb) Baxter Springs and the City Cemetery there, there is a corner of that that is the soldier’s lot. And that is another one of our national cemeteries. And Baxter Springs happened a little bit by accident, sort of like the Arlington Cemetery did. Its roots go back to the Civil War with Quantrill’s Raid on Baxter Springs and this followed shortly after the raid on Lawrence. And it was a really terrible affair. And the people who died in that, the soldiers who died in that were buried there. And I think the segment may talk a little bit about that but again just like Arlington our first National Cemetery, it has roots in the Civil War. And on a related note another great book is the Baxter Springs Massacre. And it is written by a descendant of a man who was killed there. And we talked about it on the Star Wars connection, remember that? We talked about the Star Wars connection. So another plug for that Baxter Springs Massacre book, it’s really good. So let’s take a look at this very small but very significant national cemetery. (Frank) I think our chicken is here– (Deb) Oh great, we’ll be back. (Deb) Baxter Springs soldiers’ lot is located in the North Central portion of the City Cemetery in Baxter Springs. The earliest burials in the plot include 132 union soldiers and officers killed on October 6th 1863 during the Battle of Baxter Springs. The battle often referred to as the Baxter Springs Massacre, followed closely on the heels of the Lawrence Massacre. William Clarke Quantrill and his confederate guerrillas were responsible for both. The Federal government intended to remove the bodies of the men who died during the massacre to Springfield Missouri National Cemetery. But the citizens of Baxter Springs petitioned to keep them. As part of the arrangement to retain the burials, the City of Baxter Springs donated the tract of land to the government and agreed to keep the graves in good order. In 1886, the federal government erected a large marble and granite monument at the soldiers’ lot, in memory of the man killed in the Battle of Baxter Springs, as well as soldiers and officers killed and other nearby engagements. Funds were appropriated to build the monument after the local Grand Army of the Republic; GAR Post launched a petition drive in 1885, collecting signatures from more than 7000 veterans. The monument was fabricated by Mitchell Granite Works of Quincy Massachusetts, at a cost of $4,000. Dedicated on Decoration Day 1886. The monument is inscribed with the names of 163 soldiers and officers. The monument is over 20 feet high and it’s surmounted with a marble statue of a union soldier, at parade rest. From 1853, 24-pound siege gun cannons mounted in concrete bases are located within the monuments perimeter one at each corner.

(Frank) Well the chicken was delicious. (Deb) Yes, it was. (Frank) I’m Frank. (Deb) I’m Deb. (Frank) And we will see you somewhere (Both) Around Kansas.

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