Tuesday, April 8, 2008

General Order Number 11

Quantrill's raid and the sack of Lawrence provide the impetus for a measure previously under consideration by the Union authorities in western Missouri. On August 25, General Thomas L. Ewing issues General Order No. 11: everyone living in the Missouri counties of Jackson, Cass, Bates and Vernon, on the Kansas border, are ordered to leave within 2 weeks. Anyone living within one mile of Kansas City or 4 other towns may remain by taking an oath and posting a bond; everyone else has to pack up and go. This rule had been considered before; the Lawrence massacre renders it a practical necessity.

The area depopulated by the Order is known as the burnt district. Federal troops and Missouri State Militia patrol the area, burning abandoned crops, houses, barns and buildings and killing stock and abandoned animals. In Cass County, population 10,000 in 1860, only 600 people remained. The exodus is practically total, only 10% of the population remaining in what amounts to a chain of reservations.

The refugees are aided by Union soldiers but only with feelings of pity, not guilt: Quantrill's men had subsisted resided in these counties for months. Through August, September and into October, suspected Lawrence raiders were captured, interrogated and usually shot.

Here is the text of the order:
First, All persons living in Jackson, Cass and Bates Counties, Missouri, and in that part of Vernon included in this district, except those living within one mile of the limits of Harrisonville, Hickman Mills, Independence and Pleasant Hill and Harrisonville, and except those in the part of Kaw Township, Jackson County, north of Brush Creek and west of the Big Blue, embracing Kansas City and Westport, are hereby ordered to remove from their present places of residence within fifteen days from the date hereof. Those who, within that time, establish their loyalty to the satisfaction of the commanding officer of the military station nearest their present places of residence will receive from him certificates stating the fact of their loyalty, and the names of the witnesses by whom it can be shown. All who receive such certificates will be permitted to remove to any military station in the district, or to any part of the State of Kansas except the counties on the eastern border of the State. All others shall remove out of the district. Officers commanding companies and detachments serving in the counties named will see that this paragraph is promptly obeyed.

Second, All hay and grain in the field, or under shelter in the district, from which the inhabitants are required to remove, within the reach of the military stations, after the 9th of September, next, will be taken to such stations and turned over to the proper officers there; and reports of the amounts so turned over made to district headquarters, specifying the name of all loyal owners and the amount of such produce taken from them. All grain and hay found in such district after the 9th of September, next, not convenient to such stations, will be destroyed.

The artist George Caleb Bingham created an excellent painting of the order being implemented.


Melinda22 said...

I am a fourth generation descendant of Jews expelled by General Order 11.best registry cleaner!adirondack chair plans

HankC said...

Thanks, Melinda22.

of course, they were not expelled because they were Jews, but because they were living in one of the impacted counties...

Datafreak said...

There were two General Order No. 11's. One was issued by Major-General Ulysses S. Grant on December 17, 1862 expelling all Jews around Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. The other was issued by General Thomas Ewing Jr on August 25, 1863 evacuating rural areas of Jackson, Cass, Bates and Vernon counties in Missouri which this blog was about.