The Civil War in Jasper County was a long, bloody and drawn out affair that, by 1865, had killed or driven out all but a handful of the people who lived in the county in 1861. Historians and reenactors plan to remember the 150th anniversary of another big event in that conflict immediately after the Maple Leaf Parade on Saturday Oct. 19.
Reenactor and local historian Steve Cottrell said members of the Fourth Missouri Infantry, a group of Civil War reenactors, and others will be at the Kendrick Place for an "old-fashioned muster" featuring musket and cannon firing, Civil War-style military drills and other activities commemorating what some have called the "Second Battle of Carthage."
Cottrell said a donation jar will be set up to take contributions to pay for replacing the front porch on the Kendrick Place.
Carthage Civil War Reenactor Paul Kash will set up a medical tent at the site and show how the wounded were treated in the day. Robinson's Light Artillery, another area reenactor unit, will set up a cannon or two, giving people across Carthage a taste of what it might have been like to hear an artillery battle outside town as armies clashed.
Robinson's Light Artillery is a unit built around four replica Civil War artillery pieces owned by Col. James Robinson, Springfield. Robinson and his men, who come from across Southwest Missouri, including Carthage, attended the Battle of Carthage Reenactment in May, 2011 and were last active in the area last weekend during a living history event in Baxter Springs, Kan., marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Baxter Springs.
Cottrell said events at Kendrick House will commence around 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 and continue throughout the day until around 5 p.m. The house will be open to visitors during the day and volunteers with the local Paranormal Science Lab will host a fun autumn "ghost tour" that evening.
While not having nearly the impact of the first Battle of Carthage, which took place on July 5, 1861 and could be labeled the first real battle of the Civil War, this event had its impacts on the region.
According to Cottrell; "During the Fall of 1863, Colonel Joseph O. (Jo) Shelby led a bold Confederate Cavalry raid through Federal-controlled Missouri from his base in Arkansas. Riding as far north as the Missouri River, he and his raiders fought 10 actions with U.S forces and destroyed many Union supply bases.
"When finally turned back in a battle at Marshall, the rampaging Rebel raiders reached Carthage on Oct. 17, 1863. They set up camp at the Kendrick Farm north of town and tradition holds that Shelby and perhaps some of his officers spent the night in the Kendrick House.
"Early on the morning of Oct. 18, 1863, Brigadier General Thomas Ewing (brother-in-law of Gen. William T. Sherman) with a strong force of U.S. Cavalry, attempted to block Shelby's ride south back to Arkansas. After one hour of violent action in and around the town, The Rebel troopers were able to disengage and continue their escape to Arkansas.
Page 2 of 2 - There, Shelby received a promotion to the rank of Brigadier General from the Confederate government in Richmond, Virginia. This action is sometimes referred to as the Second Battle of Carthage."
It was sometime during this period that the second Jasper County Courthouse, already damaged and used as quarters for Union troops stationed Carthage was finally destroyed and most of the remaining buildings around town burned.