|Battle of Fort Blair|
|Part of the American Civil War|
|United States (Union)||CSA (Confederacy)|
|James B. Pond
James G. Blunt
|William C. Quantrill|
|Detachments from three regiments and an escort||Quantrill’s Raiders (approx. 400)|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Fort Blair, sometimes called the Fort Baxter Massacre, or the Battle of Fort Baxter was a minor battle of the American Civil War, fought on October 6, 1863, near the modern-day town of Baxter Springs, Kansas.
In late 1863, the guerrilla band of Quantrill's Raiders travelled south from Kansas along the Texas Road to winter in Texas. Numbering about 400, this group captured and killed two Union teamsters who had come from a small Federal Army post called Fort Blair.
Quantrill decided to attack Fort Blair and divided his force into two columns, one under him and the other commanded by a subordinate, David Poole. Poole and his men proceeded down the Texas Road, where they encountered Union soldiers, most of whom were African Americans. They chased and attacked the Union troops, killing some of them before they reached the earth and log fort.
Poole's column then attacked Fort Blair, but the garrison fought them off with the aid of a howitzer. Quantrill's column moved on the post from another direction and happened to encounter a Union detachment escorting Maj. Gen. James G. Blunt as he was in the process of moving his command headquarters from Fort Scott to Fort Smith.
Most of this detachment, including the military band, Maj. Henry Z. Curtis (son of Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis), and Johnny Fry (first official westbound rider of the Pony Express) was killed, but Blunt and a few mounted men escaped and returned to Fort Scott. Blunt was removed from command for failing to protect his column, but he was soon restored. Touted as a massacre by some, Baxter Springs was another of the events that characterized the vicious Kansas-Missouri border warfare.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Baxter Springs Heritage Center featuring a mural of the Battle of Baxter Springs by: Edmund V. Ness
- Kansas Forts During the Civil War by William C. Pollard, Jr. (1992)