Battle of Island Mound

A print of a Thomas Nast wood engraving, depicting the Battle of Island Mound. Courtesy of the Internet Archive.

Notable Events:

  • Battle of Island Mound (October 29, 1862)

At the Battle of Island Mound, the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers became the first known African American regiment to fight in a skirmish on behalf of the Union. This regiment and the 5th Kansas Cavalry advanced on a known guerrilla army in Bates County, Missouri. The Kansans fortified at a homestead (which they named "Fort Africa") on October 27 and kept the guerrilla attackers at bay with their superior weapons. Running low on supplies by October 28, the Kansans advanced so that foragers could gather food, and on October 29, the two sides engaged in hand-to-hand fighting before the guerrillas fled the field. The Union forces suffered 19 casualties and the guerrillas lost an unknown number. After the Emancipation Proclamation, the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers were officially mustered into the U.S. Army on January 13, 1863.