In the fall of 1864, a Confederate cavalry column entered the state of Missouri through northern Arkansas. Skirmishing, recruiting and pillaging their way across the state in a raid led by Major General Sterling Price, the Rebels stayed just ahead of the Federal pursuit. On October 23, 1864, the two forces met in the largest battle of the Civil War west of the Mississippi. Just south of the frontier community of Kansas City, near the town of Westport, thirty thousand men clashed in the fields and hills along the Kansas border. Historian Paul Kirkman tells the story of the Battle of Westport, known as the “Gettysburg of the West,” from its roots in “Bleeding Kansas” to its aftermath and stories of survivors.
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