JAMES NEWTON VAUGHN
By DONALD R. HALE, 1961
THE BATTLE OF LONE JACK
During the Civil War, Newton Vaughn was sympathetic to the Confederate cause, his family being Southern.
Colonel Upton B. Hayes was in Jackson County in July and August, 1862 recruiting a regiment for the Confederate army. This regiment was a part of General Joseph O. Shelby's Brigade. Haye's regiment was officially, called the 2nd Missouri Cavalry, Confederate States of America. Newton joined Hayes' regiment at this time.
There was a battle at Independence on August 11, 1862. The town was captured by the Confederates led by Quantrill, Hayes, and Colonel John T. Hughes. Col. Hughes was killed during the fight.
The Federal forces feared that Lexington and other federal posts would fall. The Confederate army under Shelby was coming up from the South filling their ranks with men along the way. The Confederate force in Jackson County was already built up.
On the 15th of August, the Confederates began assembling at Lone Jack, Missouri. A small hamlet in Eastern Jackson County. As most people know, it was named for the lone black jack tree that stood near the Confederate marker. The tree gave way to age in 1861. The marker was put up on August 16, 1869.
The Colonel in charge of the post at Lexington sent Major Emory S. Foster with 800 men to out off the Confederates under Hayes and Colonel Gideon W. Thompson from meeting their reinforcements from the South. Colonel Fitz Henry Warren, 15th Iowa Cavalry left Clinton to help
Foster with over 700 men with him.
The Confederates under Thompson and Hayes were at this time camped on the eastern banks of the Little Blue, some 15 miles away. They had about 500 men with them. The Confederate Cockrell and his men were northeast of Lone Jack 3 or 4 miles away. Jackman was also in the neighborhood.
Major Foster arrived at Lone Jack on the 15th at 8:00 P. M. and opened fire on the forces of Coffee and Tracy's company that were in the village. A skirmish ensued as the Confederates retreated west. A few Confederates were wounded and two of Foster's men were killed by their own men in the darkness and confusion.
After the retreat, Foster returned to Lone Jack where they camped for the rest of the night. Foster and some of his officers occupied the large hotel of B. B. Cave. Cave with a large majority of the male citizens had left the town in the care of the women and children.
The word was carried to Cockrell, Hayes, Quantrill and others. Thompson and Hayes united forces with Cockrell and at daylight they arrived within one and one‑half miles of the town. Here they first heard the Federal bugle, sounding the morning reveille. The Confederates dismounted and marched to attack on foot.
The town was divided into new and old town. The Federal camp was in the new town, on the prairie ridge, where stood the lone Black Jack tree. The main street was half a mile in length running north and south. On the east of the new town, was a hedge, and full of corn; on the west was an uncultivated field, overgrown with rank and tall weeds. Through these weeds, the Confederates made their way, stooping and crouching, and arrived in shooting distance undiscovered; and while the Union soldiers were busy feeding their horses, and getting breakfast, a single gun, and then a volley, announced the battle had begun.
The Federals were taken by surprise, but they soon rallied, each man to his post. The Federal artillery drew up to the public square. The hotel, the hedge row, the fences, the shops and the houses were converted into breastworks. The Confederates advanced on and on; and it was soon hand to hand fighting. The artillery supports, the artillery horses, and the artillery men were shot down, and the guns were taken by the Confederates. But they were retaken in a short time by the Union soldiers. Taken by the Confederates a second time; and again re‑taken by the Federals. A large blacksmith shop, which stood near, was a blockhouse and fortification for each party in turn. The hotel was at the commencement a fortification for the Federal forces; from the windows of which they fired from. The Confederates worked their way closer and set fire to it. The Federals inside and other occupants were forced to leave the building. Two or three dead bodies inside were consumed by the flames.
During the battle, Newton laid behind an old well afraid to move. He was wounded in the knee, he carried this scar all his life. Years later, one of his small daughters asked about this scar. When be told her that he was shot during the Battle of Lone Jack, she asked, "Did it kill you?"
The Federals believing they were being attacked by Quantrill and would receive no quarter, Major Roster and his men fought like fanatics. The Union force lost its cannon, 43 men killed. 154 wounded, and 75 missing. Foster, seriously wounded, surrendered when he learned that his men would be treated as prisoners of war and paroled. The Confederates, with 118 men killed and many wounded, began a hasty retreat south on the seventeenth. They were joined by Captain Jo Shelby and 1000 men he had recruited in Lafayette County in only four days.
After Lone Jack, Newton went South to Arkansas with Shelby's army. Here he contracted the measles. It was feared that he might die from them, so he took leave from the army and returned home. This was the end of his soldier days.
The latter part of the year, he crossed the plains again, driving a team to Fort Sumner, New Mexico. He spent the winter by taking charge of a band of cattle in New Mexico.
In the spring of 1863, Newton started home, but joined another outfit on its way home from western Kansas to Sante Fe.
MILITARY ORDER NO. 11
On August 25, 1863. the infamous Order No. 11 was issued. The Order stated in part:
1. All persons living in Jackson, Cass and Bates Counties, Missouri and in that part of Vernon County included in this district, except those living within one mile of the limits of Independence, Hickman Mills, Pleasant Hill and Harrisonville, and except those in that part of Kaw Township, (meaning Kansas City generally) Jackson County, are hereby ordered to remove from their present places of residence within fifteen days from the date thereof. 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 this 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.
2. All grain and hay in the field or under shelter in the district, from which the inhabitants are required to remove, within reach of military stations after the 9th day of September next, will be taken to such stations and turned over to the proper officers there, and report of the amount so turned over made to district headquarters, specifying the names 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.
There were two other supplementary provisions to the military order but these were the main ones.
It is known that Reuben Vaughn's house was burned in 1863. I am sure that this was due to Order No. 11. He moved to Illinois not returning to Jackson County until 1866.
In the summer of 1863, Newton herded cattle for a Mr. Kitchen. He then went to Colorado and worked on a ranch for two years. The next two years, he farmed near Pueblo, Colorado.
JAMES NEWTON VAUGHN
Newton told in later years that he rode with Quantrill for about two months before he joined the Confederate army under Upton Hays.