Fall Muster to feature speech on Union evacuation of Missouri counties

Captain of the Guard Jim Harrison (front) and Jerry D. Morelock (right) recite the pledge of allegiance at the 2010 Fall Muster of the Elijah Gates Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans held at the Callaway Electric Cooperative Saturday night. At this year's Muster, guests will hear from speaker Tom Rafiner on Order 11, the  controversial Union order that forced evacuation of several Missouri counties near Kansas City.

Captain of the Guard Jim Harrison (front) and Jerry D. Morelock (right) recite the pledge of allegiance at the 2010 Fall Muster of the Elijah Gates Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans held at the Callaway Electric Cooperative Saturday night. At this year's Muster, guests will hear from speaker Tom Rafiner on Order 11, the controversial Union order that forced evacuation of several Missouri counties near Kansas City.

The Elijah Gates Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will host their annual Confederate Fall Muster beginning 5 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Callaway Electric Cooperative.

“The fall muster is a tradition,” said Martin Northway, past Elijah Gates commander and PR spokesperson. “It’s something to reinforce the camaraderie among the members and compatriots, something we know we can dependably do each year. Often other camps join us, and it really is fellowship, and we always have a guest speaker so it has that important educational component as well.”

Following a homestyle meal served at 6 p.m., this year’s speaker will be author Tom Rafiner, who will talk about his extensive research on General Order No. 11 in Cass County, an 1863 Union directive that forced the evacuation of rural communities in Cass, as well as Bates, Jackson and Vernon counties.

The directive was ordered following the Lawrence Massacre, an attack on Lawrence, Kan. by rebel guerilla William Clarke Quantrill.

“The Union wanted to remove all support of guerillas in western Missouri,” said Northway. “They ordered those not in the immediate radius of a Union post to evacuate the county. Some where forcibly removed, some killings were involved and crops were burned. For some decades after the war, some called that area the Burn District.”

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