|Hwy 166, approx. 2 miles west of Baxter Springs, KS.|
Postal Code: 66713
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Baxter Springs Soldier's Lot is located inside the Baxter Springs City Cemetery and is administered as a separate cemetery by the US Veteran's Administration as a National Cemetery.
Link to the VA Cemetery page:
Baxter Springs City Cemetery Soldiers' Lot
Baxter Springs Soldiers' Lot is located in the north-central portion of the city cemetery in Baxter Springs, Kansas, approximately 60 miles south of Fort Scott. The cemetery may have been in use before the city of Baxter Springs was incorporated in 1868.
The city of Baxter Springs donated the 0.7-acre soldiers' lot to the United States incrementally after the Civil War in 1869, 1875, 1877, and 1887. The earliest burials in the plot include 132 Union soldiers and officers killed on October 6, 1863, during the Battle of Baxter Springs. The battle, often referred to as the Baxter Springs Massacre, was just one of many murderous attacks on Kansas free-state citizens by the independent force of Confederate guerillas led by the ruthless border ruffian, William Clarke Quantrill.
The federal government intended to remove the bodies of the men who died during the massacre to Springfield National Cemetery, but the citizens of Baxter Springs petitioned to keep them. As part of the arrangement to retain the burials, the city of Baxter Springs donated the tract of land to the government and agreed to keep the graves in good order.
Monuments and Memorials
In 1886, the federal government erected a large marble and granite monument at the soldiers' lot in memory of the men killed in the Battle of Baxter Springs, as well as soldiers and officers killed in other nearby engagements. Funds were appropriated to build the monument after the local Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) post launched a petition drive in 1885, collecting signatures from more than 7,000 veterans. The monument was fabricated by Mitchell Granite Works of Quincy, Massachusetts, at a cost of $4,000. Dedicated on Decoration Day 1886, the monument is inscribed with the names of 163 soldiers and officers, including the names of the 132 soldiers killed during the Battle of Baxter Springs. The monument is over 20 feet high and is surmounted with a marble statue of a Union soldier at parade rest. Four 1853 24-pound siege-gun cannons, mounted in concrete bases, are located within the monument's perimeter, one at each corner.
(As per US Veteran's Administration Cemetery List)