Caught Between Three Fires
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Carpe Diem59
N 38° 39.077 W 094° 22.143
15S E 380869 N 4278969
Quick Description: Author Tom A. Rafiner's book describes the Civil War's effect on civilians as the result of martial law in 1863 in Cass County. Union General Thomas Ewing issued Order No. 11 with harsh consequences to the civilian population.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 6/19/2011 11:21:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMBTEA
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Bryan
Views: 4

Long Description:
Tom Rafiner is first of all a very good story teller. His new book is based on a Civil War human drama that occurred in 1863-1865 in Missouri's "Burnt District"--four counties on the state's western border with Kansas.

His story is one of families driven from their homes as a result of draconian martial law measures that demanded they leave their homes in 15 days. Union General Thomas Ewing in August 1863 issued his Order #11 to solve a military problem, but the civilians of the affected counties bore the brunt of the damage it would cause.


It came as the result of several infamous events that involved the North, South, and guerilla bands. Each group set fires remembered by the author in the book's title.

Today, when Missourians think of a "Border War", a football or basketball rivalry between the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas comes to mind. Today's sports border rivalry is pretty shallow by comparison to the events that occurred in the 1850s and 1860s.

The 1850s and 60s saw competing armies and guerilla actions fought with raw intensity, revenge and total war as their watchwords.

Tom Rafiner was doing genealogical research on some of his ancestors
who lived in Cass County Missouri near Harrisonville when he got the idea for his book. His ancestors were directly affected by the border warfare and Order #11. His book is thus the story of his and other families whose lives were changed by the horrors of total war.

As the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War begins in Missouri, I found listening to Tom tell his story at the Missouri State Historical Society in Columbia, Missouri most interesting.

Then I followed up with a visit to the "Burnt District" including the towns of Harrisonville,Pleasant Hill and Lone Jack.

Today one can see Burnt District Memorial in Harrisonville with its single chimney representing all that was left of people's homes after Order #11. Also check out the nearby Burnt District Museum where the mural depicting some of the families that appear in Tom's book can be seen. It is a unique and somewhat sobering view of an unprecedented action that made Civil War history in Missouri.

Finally, check out Tom's book. It's a good read.
ISBN Number: 9781450089548

Author(s): Tom A. Rafiner

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