After the rousing success of Kansas University’s redesigned football uniforms in honor of Jennison’s Jay-hawkers of 1861, a competing Kansas university also recently unveiled a special-edition football uniform in commemoration of the atrocities of that bloody time.
Planned for an upcoming series of games, the uniform features blue pants with yellow stripe and bloodied saber, and a blue jersey styled in the fashion that a Federal “Jay-hawker” Soldier serving in Kansas would have worn in the 1860’s. A splash of red blood crosses the front of the jersey, with portraits on the back of Jennison, Abraham Lincoln and John Brown smiling with halos above their heads. Each uniform will also come with a belt on which several simulated scalps will hang.
Coach Bunger Hamm noted, “We’re planning on having special half-time shows in which the cheerleaders will come out dressed as Jayhawkers, along with someone playing the role of saintly John Brown. After a stirring dance routine with torches and swords, a mock-up of a home will be plundered and burned, the livestock ‘slaughtered’, and in what is sure to be a real crowd pleaser – a 14 year old will be filled with lead, and several men will be unmercifully butchered before the crowd.”
Coach Hamm noted that other half time festivities may bring to life such popular figures as “Damn the Constitution” General David Hunter of Fort Leavenworth, the ever fun-loving William T. Sherman, who will reminisce through song about his days as a lawyer in Leavenworth before burning half the country to a crisp, and maybe even a surprise visit by a sanitized version of “Father” Abraham Lincoln himself.
When asked about the current controversies surrounding Civil War-era monuments and symbols, Dr. Hellen Scrumbumkins, President of the Collegiate Sporting Association was quick to point out that the purpose of recognizing Jayhawkers was simply to give students the right kind of people to look up to. “Yes, some might say Jayhawkers were nineteenth century versions of Osama Bin Laden, or Adolf Hitler. But I’ve been assured by a staff of qualified Leftist Academics in Princeton and Harvard that this is simply more ‘Lost Cause’ narrative, and worthy only of derision and dismissal.”
Dr. Eldrix Marxx, noted History Professor and member of the much vaunted American Historical Association said, “With everything that’s going on in this country, we all feel that it’s high time we honor these brave heroes who murdered and burned their way throughout Kansas and Missouri. They did so because they were in the right, and anyone who stood against them was either Satan incarnate, or dog vomit. And since I have my Doctorate in the race, gender and class of nineteenth century wombats, clearly what I say is the truth.”
Note: The above is a work of satire. But the below unfortunately is not.
In May of 1861, the Missouri Legislature convenes at the call of Gov. C.F. Jackson in order to discuss withdrawal from the Union. In response, Federal Captain Nathaniel Lyon and his four regiments of mostly German volunteers demands the surrender of Camp Jackson in St. Louis. A crowd of angry civilians taunt Lyon’s men, and in the resulting confusion, Federal troops open fire. Around 100 men, women and children are wounded, with 24 dead. Enraged, Missouri citizens begin arming for war. (T.L. Snead’s “The Fight for Missouri”, Sean McLachlan’s “Missouri: An Illustrated History”)
In late 1861, state and county officials have refused to take the Federal Oath, and are forcibly removed. W.M. Paxton notes that the military has permitted outlaws to steal without hindrance (near New Market) and that Union troops frequently forage off the people of Platte City. General David Hunter, stationed at Fort Leavenworth, begins his campaign to round up those with Southern Sympathies in Platte County, and orders county leaders to deliver up or drive out the guerrilla leader Silas Gordon – or Hunter would lay waste to the County. When Paxton suggests that he has no power, under the Constitution to do so, Hunter’s reply is “Damn the Constitution!” (Pgs. 316-319, W.M. Paxton’s “Annals of Platte County”)
In 1863, Platte County is disarmed and left as prey to marauding outlaws. Federal jayhawkers bear forged military orders, search houses, barns and stables for arms, and rob and hang the people. Although the Federal militia is active in suppressing bushwhackers, they seem to give little concern toward thieves and murderers. (Pgs. 336, W.M. Paxton’s “Annals of Platte County”)
It’s reported that Jayhawkers H.H. Moore and H.D. Fisher were “freeing” Missouri slaves so they could take them back to Kansas for cheap labor and work as indentured servants. (Pg. 72, Petersen’s “Quantrill of Missouri”)
Guerrilla leader William Anderson was beheaded and his head attached to a telegraph pole in the town of Richmond, Missouri.
Union men kill 17 year old Al Carter. After shooting him from his saddle, they shot out his eyes and scalped him. (scalping was a brutal practice that was said to have been committed numerous times by federal troops along the Missouri/Kansas border) (William Gregg Manuscript)
Halleck directed General Pope to drive out Jennison’s Jayhawks as, “They are no better than a band of robbers; they cross the line, rob, steal, plunder and burn whatever they can lay their hands upon. They disgrace the name and uniform of American soldiers and are driving good Union men into the ranks of the secession army.” (Pg. 507, The War of the Rebellion, 1883, Series 1 Volume VIII)
Near Independence at the farm of Amos Blythe, Federal troops encountered 12 year old Theodore at home. They threatened the boy with hanging if they didn’t tell them what they wanted to know. Theodore managed to escape, and the troops opened fire. He grabbed a gun inside the family home, and ran for the nearby woods. However, the boy was wounded and fell to the ground. He reportedly shot the first federal that came up to him, and wounded two others as they approached. Before he could fire a fourth time, his body was riddled with bullets. (Harrison Trow, “Quantrill” 1923)