Area 16: Drexel

This was wide-open prairie at the time with no settlements, but the War brought Camp Prince for a time around the springs at Coldwater Grove. Being so close to the Kansas state line, this was a dangerous place to live. As it was also near the Military Highway running from Ft. Leavenworth to Ft. Scott, it was heavily traversed by troops and used by Confederate General Sterling Price as a retreat route following his defeat at the Battle of Westport in October 1864.

The map shows the action in the area by Jennison’s Jayhawks in July 1861 as they plundered up and down western Missouri. (Caught Between Three Fires, p. 72.)

For two days, over 1,200 Union troops rested at Camp Prince without provisions. Several units camped on the farm of Benjamin and Hetha Stephens. Troops took and burned between 6,000 and 8,000 fence rails.

An area farmer, Matt Todd, was murdered on his farm in 1864 by Kansas troops.