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Trans-Mississippi Musings

Six Civilians Murdered in Lone Jack

Posted by The Muse (themuse) on Sep 06 2013
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Six Man CemeteryOne of the many tragic incidents results from Order Number 11 occurred 150 years ago today. More than half of the Federal cavalry that Brigadier-General Thomas Ewing, Jr. had under his command in the District of the Border were Kansas volunteers. Ewing assigned to many of these Kansas troops the responsibility of enforcing the evacuation by Missourians of their homes required by Order Number 11. In Lone Jack, Missouri six civilians were executed on September 6, 1863. There is a monument in Lone Jack where five of the dead are buried.

On September 6, 1863, Captain Charles F. Coleman and a squad of the Ninth Kansas Cavalry came upon some Missourians at a location four miles Southeast of Lone Jack, Missouri. When Coleman's men arrived the residents of this area were making preparations to evacuate the area in compliance Order Number 11. By the time he was through Captain Coleman had arrested eight Missourians including one Martin Rice and his son Isaac. Among their prisoners was 75 year old Benjamin Potter, on whose farm Quantrill and his guerrilla band has rested before heading west to Lawrence. Captain Coleman took the prisoners back to the Federal camp of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles S. Clark, Ninth Kansas Cavalry. Martin Rice had sworn an oath of loyalty to the Union and showed the papers to Lieutenant-Colonel Clark. After a moment’s reflection, Clark ordered Rice and his son to be released. While Rice and his son were leaving the Federal camp, they heard a volley of shots fired. The remaining six prisoners had been shot to death by the Kansas Federals.

“Soldiers Came Suddenly Upon Us”

Martin RiceMartin Rice's description of what happened on the Roupe Farm in Lone Jack:

On the morning of the 6th of September, as we were making arrangements to leave, a squad of soldiers of the Kansas 9th Regiment came suddenly upon us, making prisoners of me, my son Isaac, and my son-in-law. . . Eight of us now were marched on three-quarters of a mile to the place of encampment. Here Col. Clark … took down the name of each prisoner … and we were permitted to sit down by the fence.
When first taken, I had shown the captain the certificate that Captain Ballinger had given me the day before; none of the others had any … [The Federal Captain] came to me and said, “You will take your son and travel.” … We immediately left as commanded, leaving our friends and neighbors behind, never to see them in life again; for in a very short time after reaching home, the report of several guns in quick succession alarmed us still more … Miss Jane Cave heroically repaired to the spot, and found the company gone and the six prisoners all dead, some of them pierced with many balls.

“Killed Six Bushwhackers”

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles S. Clark, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, later reported about the incident on the Roupe Farm. The killings occurred on September 6. Order Number 11 gave Missourians 15 days from August 25 to leave the proscribed areas. Fifteen days would have been September 9.

On the morning of the 4th of September, 1863, I ordered a scout of 40 men … to accompany me to Pleasant Hill … The same night we marched 15 miles east, concealed our men in the brush, dismounted, and sent out four parties, of 12 men each … Killed 6 bushwhackers, remounted, marched 4 miles south; divided the command; the scout from this station to scour Big Creek, in the direction of Pleasant Hill; Captain Coleman, with his command, was to take in those run off Big Creek, and scour the brush east.

Kansas City Star Article

The Kansas City Star featured an article in their “Civil War One Fifty” series about this event. It was entitled “Five buried in the ‘Six-Man Cemetery’ were his kin” written by Mará Rose Williams.

Six Man Cemetery

There is a monument in Lone Jack commemorating this incident. It is located in the “Six Man Cemetery.” If you are interested in visiting this cemetery, you should check in with the folks at the Lone Jack Battlefield Museum. They can give you directions and instructions for getting permission. The cemetery is located on private property. The inscription on the monument …

Confederate Cemetery
John D. Hunter, born 9-28-1831 D 9-6-1863
Andrew W. Ousley, died 9-6-1863, age 17 years
Benjamin Potter, born 5-17-1788, died 9-6-1863
John S. Cave, born 9-18-1809, died 9-6-1863
Wm J. Hunter, died 9-6-1863, age 48 years
Wm C. Tate, born 1-23-1831, died 9-6-1863

For more info visit the Find A Grave website.

Image Credits

• Martin Rice, from Rural Rhymes by Rice.
• Six Man Cemetery, from “Find A Grave” website.


Brown, William K. II. “The Massacre at Lone Jack, Missouri” in The Missouri Confederate The Official Newsletter of the Missouri Division - Sons of Confederate Veterans Volume V - Issue I January 2003: 6.
Rice, Martin. Rural Rhymes, and Talks and Tales of Olden Times. Kansas City: Hudson-Kimberly Pub. Co., 1893.
United States War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 70 volumes in 4 series. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1880-1901. Series 1, Volume 22.

Dick Titterington, September 6, 2013.

Last changed: Sep 06 2013 at 1:06 PM