Jul. 27, 2017
Horatius at the Bridge, publication of the JKBA on Dan McCook
Location: Keenesaw Mountain, GA
Sponsor: Kansas Bar Association, Topeka KS
Aug. 31, 2017
Daniel McCook was one of two senior general officers of the Union Army that William T. Sherman, in his 1891 memoirs, lamented as irreplacable men. The other was James B. McPherson, the highest ranking Union officer to die under fire in the civil war.
McCook and Sherman were law partners in Leavenworth Kansas before the war. Ron Smith has authored another article of the law practice of the pre-statehood lawyers of Kansas. Read about the law practice, and the deadly fight by McCook's Brigade at the Dead Angle at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, in the June 2014 edition of the Journal of the Kansas Bar Association. Reprints are available. Contact the Kansas Bar Association.
JKBA Article on Ron
Time: 9:00 AM
Sponsor: Journal of the Kansas Bar Association
Sep. 1, 2017
The September issue of the Journal of the Kansas Bar Association features Ron's new novel, The Wastage. The Journal is the communications arm fo the KBA which is a voluntary bar association with over 7,000 members statewide and around the world. The Journal goes to all members.
Time: 5:00 AM
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Sep. 27, 2017
Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, August 21, 1863, killed 150 men and teenage boys. "Every man who can carry a rifle," Quantrill ordered killed. It was one of the great atrocities in the bitter civil war, and the body count exceeded many of the battles and skirmishes elsewhere.
I devote a whole chapter of my 2008 book, "Thomas Ewing Jr.; Frontier Lawyer and Civil War General," to describing the attack, and the political and military aftermath. This book is available on Amazon or from the University of Missouri Press.
Battle of Pilot Knob Reenactment
Location: Fort Davidson
Pilot Knob, MO
Oct. 25, 2017
Every third year a full-scale reenactment of the Battle of Pilot Knob is staged, attracting tens of thousands of spectators. The 2014 re-enactment commemorated the 150th anniversary of this pivotal battle in the West. The assault on Fort Davidson in 1864 by Confederate troops left 1,300 of their most experienced soldiers dead, missing or wounded and thwarted the last best hope the Confederacy had to sweep Missouri back into the Confederacy, destroy St. Louis, and embarrass the Lincoln Administration, perhaps costing Lincoln the 1864 presidential campaign.
The fort and site are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Battle of Mine Creek
Location: South of Pleasonton, Kansas
Sponsor: Kansas History
The Battle of Mine Creek was the aftermath and final downfall of Confederate General Sterling Price's ill-fated attempt to invade Missouri and then Kansas during late 1864. As stated in Jeff Stalnaker’s excellent book on this battle, “Union troops controlled much of the South, Sherman's men marched with impunity through Georgia and defeat at Gettysburg was a painful and distant memory,” and Grant and Lee were stalemated in the east in the Petersburg trenches. “The Confederacy needed to stem the tide. Confederate major general Sterling Price led an army of twelve thousand mounted infantry on a desperate charge through Missouri to deliver the state to the Confederacy and dash President Lincoln's hopes for reelection. This daring campaign culminated with the Battle of Mine Creek. A severely outnumbered Union army crushed the Confederate forces in one of the war's largest and most audacious cavalry charges.”
Imagine what the Confederals saw: two brigades of Union cavalry, several thousand horses, in two long lines thundering toward your positions, with your backs to a swollen river and trying to protect wagons loaded with plunder and loot from the Missouri campaign. Mine Creek was a disaster for the Confederacy. The clash of the outnumbered Union force against a hamstrung CSA line of battle was an overwhelming Union victory. Price's army scattered and remnants limped back into Arkansas. Actual CSA casualties from Price's Missouri raid are unknown but some historians place the losses at 75% killed, wounded, or missing.