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Trans-Mississippi Musings

“Blood & Ashes,” Order Number 11 Sesquicentennial Commemoration

Posted by The Muse (themuse) on Jul 29 2013
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 Martial Law by George Caleb Bingham (Library of Congress)

Brigadier-General Thomas Ewing, Jr. (Library of Congress)

Although it’s true that Ewing issued the order as a direct result of Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence, Kansas, the Federal authorities had been planning the order for awhile. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting about the events leading up to and following “Order Number 11.”

Major-General John M. Schofield (Library of Congress)Following Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, Major-General John M. Schofield realized that more drastic measures were going to be necessary in order to defeat the guerrillas in Missouri. On August 25, Schofield sent the draft of an order to Brigadier-General Thomas Ewing, Jr. In the draft, Schofield wrote that “the disloyal people of Jackson, Cass, and Bates Counties” would be banished from the area and their property destroyed or appropriated for Federal use.

But Brigadier-General Thomas Ewing, Jr. had already acted and issued District of the Border, General Orders, No. 11. After receiving Schofield's message, Ewing immediately replied informing Schofield of his order.

I send in inclosed paper General Orders, No. 11, which I found it necessary to issue at once. The excitement in Kansas is great, and there is (or was before this order) great danger of a raid of citizens for the purpose of destroying the towns along the border. My political enemies are fanning the flames, and wish me for a burnt-offering to satisfy the just passion of the people.

I also wanted to let everyone know of a series of events happening here in the greater Kansas City Metropolitan area. “Blood & Ashes” is a series of commemorative events observing the 150th anniversary of General Order #11 is produced by the Jackson County Historical Society in cooperation with The Wornall/Majors House Museums, Wide Awake Films, The Rice-Tremonti Home, and Wine Walk on Delaware. For More info, go to the Blood & Ashes website.

Commemoration Events

Sunday, August 4, 2013 Alexander Majors House Issuance of Order No. 10

This will be a first person event commemorating Order No. 10 that was issued by General Ewing on August 18, 1863. For More info, go to the Blood & Ashes website

Saturday, August 17, 2013 Pacific House on Delaware Street Issuance of Order No. 11

This event will be held on or about the Pacific House near 6th & Delaware Street in the River Market of Kansas City (then commonly known as Westport Landing). For More info, go to the Blood & Ashes website.

Saturday, September 14, 2013 The Rice-Tremonti Home Issuance of Order No. 11

With the backdrop of the historic site of the Rice-Tremonti Home in Raytown, Missouri located on the Santa Fe Trail, JCHS along with The Friends of Rice-Tremonti Home Association and a large group of living historians will be recreating several scenarios surrounding actual accounts of those who experienced the complete depopulation of all citizens regardless of their political support for the south or the north from the western border counties of Missouri located within the District of the Border (the Counties affected were Jackson, Cass, Bates & Vernon County, north of the Osage River).

This will be an all-day event at the Rice-Tremonti Home (10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and it will be followed by a candlelight tour during the evening scheduled from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. For More info, go to the Blood & Ashes website.

Image Credits

  • Martial Law by George Caleb Bingham [LC-DIG-pga-02633, image courtesy of the Library of Congress]

  • Thomas Ewing, Jr. [LC-DIG-cwpbh-03226, image courtesy of the Library of Congress]

  • John M. Schofield [LC-DIG-cwpb-05934, image courtesy of the Library of Congress]


United States War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume 22. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1880-1901. [p. 388-389, 394].


Dick Titterington, July 29, 2013




Last changed: Jul 29 2013 at 7:46 AM