Black soldiers’ 1862 valor finally recognized at Missouri site
BUTLER, MO. -- Earlier this week, the golden prairie-grass pasture here 70 miles south of Kansas City was quiet except for whistling wind and the distant growl of a tractor.
On Saturday, though, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources expects 200 people to gather on this spot about a mile up a gravel-covered Bates County road off Missouri 52 at 11 a.m. A band will play patriotic music, dignitaries will speak and a flag will rise as the state dedicates this farmland as a historic site.
A bronze plaque will be unveiled on a stone monument at the edge of this field, which in the past year has been transformed into a state park.
Here — on the Old Toothman farm — the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry set up headquarters 150 years ago, calling it Fort Africa.