THE CIVIL WAR IN MISSOURI AND ILLINOIS
The City of Quincy, Illinois was blessed through the Civil War after having helped the Mormons in 1838, whereas Jackson County, Missouri was almost completely destroyed by a government order. Kaw Township, the site of the prophesied temple, is spared.
The state of Missouri witnessed the most widespread, prolonged, and destructive guerrilla fighting in American history. A horrific combination of robbery, arson, torture, murder, and swift and bloody raids on farms and settlements.
Wikipedia Article on Quincy, Illinois:
Mormons & the Civil War
During the winter of 1838-1839, five thousand members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, on their way west, were driven from their homes in Missouri and arrived in Quincy. Though vastly outnumbered by the new arrivals, the residents of Quincy provided food and shelter for the Mormons. Joseph Smith then led his followers 40 miles (64 km) up river to the settlement of Nauvoo, Illinois. The kindness by the people of Quincy is still remembered by Mormons today. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir gave a benefit concert in Quincy, from which collected proceeds were donated to the city as an expression of gratitude.
Quincy grew rapidly in the 1850s. Steamboat arrivals and departures made Quincy’s riverfront a beehive of activity. In 1858, Quincy was a site for the sixth Senatorial debate by U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas and his challenger, Abraham Lincoln. Quincy was the largest city in which Lincoln and Douglas appeared.
Lincoln and Douglas again competed during the 1860 Presidential campaign. Although there was substantial support for Douglas in the County, Quincy had a local chapter of the Wide Awakes, the para-military organization that supported Lincoln and the other Republican candidates. The Quincy Wide Awakes were involved in a violent confrontation in a monster political rally on August 25, 1860, in Payson.
The matter of slavery was a major religious and social issue in Quincy’s early years. The Illinois city’s location, separated only by the Mississippi River from the slave state of Missouri, made Quincy a hotbed of political controversy. Dr. Eells House, at 415 Jersey, was considered station number one on the Underground Railroad from Quincy to Chicago.
The Civil War brought increasing prosperity to Quincy. It also brought another connection to Mormons, as most Mormon migrants to Utah in the 1860s came by rail to Quincy; they then boarded steam boats to cross the Mississippi River and continue their journey.
By 1870, Quincy passed Peoria to become the second largest city in Illinois. A massive railroad bridge across the Mississippi River had been completed, and Quincy was linked by rail to Omaha, Kansas City and other points west. These connections greatly increased its trade and shipping.
Wikipedia article on Jackson County, Missouri:
During the Civil War, Jackson County was the scene of several engagements, the most notable of which was the Battle of Westport, sometimes referred to as “the Gettysburg of Missouri,” in 1864. The decisive Union victory here firmly established Northern control of Missouri, and led to the failure of Confederate General Sterling Price‘s Missouri expedition. Other noteworthy battles were fought in Independence in 1862, Lone Jack a few days later, and again in Independence in 1864. All three battles resulted in Confederate victories.
Jackson County was heavily affected by Union General Thomas Ewing‘s infamous General Order No. 11 (1863). With large numbers of Confederate sympathizers living within its boundaries, and active Confederate operations in the area a frequent occurrence, the Union command was determined to deprive Confederate bushwhackers of all local support. Ewing’s decree practically emptied the rural portions of the county, and resulted in the burning of large portions of Jackson and adjacent counties. According to American artist George Caleb Bingham, himself a resident of Kansas City at the time, one could see the “dense columns of smoke arising in every direction”, symbolic of what he termed “a ruthless military despotism which spared neither age, sex, character, nor condition”. The legacy of Ewing’s “imbecilic” (according to Bingham) order would haunt Jackson County for decades after the war.
Blog on General Order No. 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.