Date of Graduation

Fall 2015


Master of Science in Applied Anthropology


Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

William Meadows


archaeology, Civil War, museum, battlefield, Missouri, African American

Subject Categories



In May, 1863 a group of Confederate guerillas led by Major Thomas Livingston attacked Union troops at William Rader’s farm in western Jasper County Missouri. The guerillas killed eighteen Union troops, who were unarmed at the time, and mutilated their bodies. Most of them were from the first African American regiment of the civil war. The following day Union troops retaliated by burning the town of Sherwood, Missouri and multiple homesteads in the area. These events caused an increase in the brutality of the civil war in Southwest Missouri. To commemorate these conflicts and provide a “living history” site for the public, Jasper County plans to create a museum and park on five acres of property near the historic location of the Rader farm. To assist the county in this project, I performed historical research on the events and an archaeological survey of the park grounds. The survey yielded artifacts, including fired musket rounds, that improve our understanding of the attack at the Rader farm, will enhance the museum displays, and will assist in nominating the site for the National Register of Historic Places. The archaeological evidence suggests that the African American soldiers were more effective in defending themselves than most of the documentary sources indicate.


© Christopher Dennis Dukes

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