General Order No. 11.During the early years of the great Civil war, bands of guerrillas and bushwhackers were harbored and supported by the people of some of the western counties of Missouri, whence they would make frequent raids across the border into Kansas. One of the most destructive of these raids was that made by the notorious Quantrill upon the city of Lawrence on Aug. 21, 1863. Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia for 1863 says: "Much indignation was felt by the citizens of Kansas at the alleged remissness of Gen. Ewing, who was in command of the district of Kansas and western Missouri, and of Gen. Schofield, who commanded the Department of Missouri."
Whether or not these officers were really remiss in the performance of their duties, Ewing undoubtedly felt the effects of this criticism and indignation, and on Aug. 25, 1863, just four days after the Quantrill raid, he issued his famous "General Order No. 11," which was as follows:
"IAll 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 Independence, Hickman's Mills, Pleasant Hill and Harrisonville, and except those in that part of Kaw township, Jackson county, north of Brush creek and west of the Big Blue, 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 this 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 this district. Officers commanding companies and detachments in the counties named, will see this paragraph is promptly obeyed.
"IIAll grain and hay in the field or under shelter, in the districts from which the inhabitants are required to remove, within reach of military stations, after the 9th day of September next, will be taken to such stations, and turned over to the proper officers there; and report of the amount so turned over made to district headquarters, specifying the names of all loyal owners, and the amount of such produce taken from them. All grain and hay found in such district after the 9th day of September next, not convenient to such stations, will be destroyed.
"IIIThe provisions of General Orders No. 10 from these headquarters will be at once vigorously executed by officers commanding in the parts of districts, and at the stations, not subject to the operation of Paragraph I of this orderand especially in the towns of Independence, Westport and Kansas City.
"IVParagraph 3, General Orders No. 10, is revoked as to all who have borne arms against the government since the 20th day of August, 1863."
General Order No. 10, above referred to, provided for an escort to all loyal persons desiring to remove to a military post in the district; ordered the arrest of all persons, except women, who as heads of families gave aid to guerrillas; wives and children of known guerrillas, women, who as heads of families wilfully engaged in assisting guerrillas, were to remove out of the district unmolested, and if they refused to remove they were to be taken to Kansas City for shipment to some point within the Confederate lines. The clause rescinded by Paragraph 4 of General Order No. 11 provided that persons who laid down their arms and surrendered themselves, to be banished with their families, were to be sent to such point as the commanding officer might direct.
The purpose of General Order No. 11 was to prevent guerrillas, particularly Quantrill's gang, from finding a lodgment among the Confederate sympathizers in western Missouri. It was what physicians would term "heroic treatment," but with the raid upon Lawrence it became painfully obvious that the disease had assumed such a malignant form that heroic treatment was absolutely necessary. At any rate, the order served a good purpose in breaking up the rendezvous of the guerrillas and checking their forays into Kansas, and loyal men in both states applauded Gen. Ewing for his courage and foresight in issuing it. Some months later Ewing issued his General Order No. 20, permitting loyal citizens to return to their homes, the men to organize companies for defense.
Caroline Abbot Stanley made the order the subject of a novel, and Martin Rice, of Lone Jack, Mo., wrote two poems relating to it, viz: "The Exodus of 1863," and "The Exile's Lament."Pages 727-728 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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