Over concerns of the Paw-Paw Rebellion in North Western Missouri, a detachment
of Federal troops crossed the Missouri River on July 13, 1864, and occupied Platte
County Missouri. At this time, a Confederate Force of approximately 200-300 men
was organizing and encamped at Camden Point under Colonel J.C. Thornton. As
a picnic was being held in a pasture on the north side of town, a detachment of
the 2nd Colorado Cavalry and 15th Kansas Cavalry (300-400 soldiers commanded
by Col. Ford and Jennison), ambushed Thornton’s force. Six Confederate soldiers,
Lieutenant Alamarine Hardin and Privates, Richard Alvis (Olvis), Jasper Clements,
Robert McCormick, Jesse Myles, and Andrew Smith were killed at the fight (buried
at Pleasant Grove). However, according to Federal reports, 15 men were lost to
the Confederates, with one loss to the Union (Private Flannagan). Ammunition,
weapons, and gunpowder were captured, Camden Point was burned, and several
civilians (Dr. Thomas and Maj. McCluer) were also executed.
The “Protect Missouri” battle flag, given to Col. Thornton by the ladies of Camden
Point, was captured and now resides at the Colorado State Historical Society.
Ex-Confederate soldiers of Platte County, led by Dr. E. McDowell Coffey, placed
a memorial to the Confederates killed in the engagement at the Pleasant Grove
Cemetery in 1871. This memorial is the third oldest Confederate memorial west of
the Mississippi River. Two older Confederate memorials can be found in Lone Jack,
Missouri and Chowen Cemetery (Wayne County, Missouri) erected in 1870. The
Camden Point battle is significant as it effectively disrupted Thornton’s increasing
ability to control the area.
Note: See photos of Thornton, Ford and Jennison here. Read an accounting (from St. Joseph Herald) of Thornton’s speech below.
After planning and working with many different groups and individuals, June 28, 2014 was the date set for the 150th Sesquicentennial Remembrance. Activities began on Saturday at 1:00 with a memorial service at Pleasant Grove Cemetery (located north outside of town). The memorial service incorporated a color guard, gun salute (with cannon), reenactors, Camden Point’s Battle Flag, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Following the memorial service, there was a cannon firing demonstration and educational displays in the Camden Point Park (west of the baseball diamond) from 2:30 to around 3:30. Rain ended up canceleing the remaining events.
- To view photos and a look at the 150th memorial service, please click here.
- Program from the Event: If you would like to view the program for the event, please click here (available as a PDF)
Also, check out Platte County’s History Illustrated, which was created to honor and remember many events (including the Camden Point battle) during Platte County’s 175th Anniversary. To view sample images from the book, click here and here. The 70 page book is full color, recommended for ages 13+, and is sized at 8.5 by 10.
- To order a hard copy for $25, visit this link: Platte County History Illustrated
- To order an electronic copy for $4.99, visit our History Illustrated amazon store link!