Lone Jack Civil War Battlefield Museum and Soldiers Cemetery

Location Information

Date: 17 August 2019     Type: Museum

Location Title: Lone Jack Civil War Battlefield Museum & Cemetery     City/State: Lone Jack, MO

Investigation Times: 07:00 PM - 10:30 PM     Status: Analysis

 

Weather Information

Sunrise: 06:32 AM   Sunset: 08:09 PM

High Temperature: 94 °F   Low Temperature: 65 °F

Sky Condition: Clear   Wind: SE at 6 mph

Humidity: 67%   Precipitation: 0%

Lunar Phase: Waning Gibbous   % disk visible: 96%

Solar X-Rays: Normal  Geomagnetic Field: Quiet

Pressure: 29.90 mmHg  

 

Investigators Present

Becky Ray

Jennifer Sprague

Julie Klos Burch

Tania Rounds

Investigators Notes

 

Jennifer Sprague, Lead Investigator: On this investigation, I was the lead investigator and the other investigators were Tania, Becky, and Julie. We started off in the “Cave Hotel” and did an EVP session. We also set up a grid light in the bedroom and it was during this session where we had some possible EVP‘s and are currently still reviewing them.

We then moved on to the museum and at that point, we set up a camera and a grid light. After we set up that equipment, Becky and I went to the graveyard to attempt an infrasound experiment while Tania and Julie were in the museum investigating.

Tania and Julie recorded in the museum and Julie recorded two instances of reply knocks to her request for the spirit to "make a noise" and to "make a sound". They were standing perfectly still during the instance where there are two reply knocks at least.

It has been said that infrasound in various amounts has the ability to make people hear things and possibly hallucinate, and I was curious to see if this would have any effect on an EVP session in a reportedly haunted location. We also started off this experiment by Dan, our tour guide, reading an account written by a soldier that was at the battle of Lone Jack. While he was reading I put on some headphones playing infrasound and put on a blindfold while Becky had her recorder to document. I wanted to use her to be the “eyes and ears” of the experiment that was not possibly affected by infrasound and I wanted to use her to compare anything I thought I was hearing or feeling to see if she was experiencing something similar. I did not experience anything out of the ordinary during this time. I did for a few minutes start feeling a little uneasy, but I don’t think that was anything paranormal.

After this experiment, we then went in and investigated the museum and Tania and Julie went out and did the experiment in the graveyard. Julie caught some very strange noises that sounded similar to battlefield noises (i.e., gunfire volley with an echo, cannon, unexplained helicopter type sounds, one very loud bang).  They heard nothing like this while sitting there. Julie asked Tania if she was getting anything and neither reported anything of interest at the time.

While Becky and I were in the museum we did not experience anything out of the ordinary. We did at one point think we had a possible EVP but later on upon review found out that it was not. After Tania and Julie conducted their experiment they came into the museum and we investigated it as a group with all of us together.

I’d like to thank Dan for allowing us to come out and we do look forward to going back. He was a great tour guide and a wealth of knowledge!

Location History

The Lone Jack Civil War Battlefield, Museum & Soldier's Cemetery is the only Civil War Museum in Jackson County, Missouri and one of the few battlefields where the soldiers who perished during the battle are still buried on the battlefield and it has not been designated as a National Cemetery.
The Lone Jack Civil War Museum is a unique round native stone building built in 1963. It houses a variety of displays including artifacts from the Battle of Lone Jack, items of local history, photos of the men who fought at Lone Jack.

During the summer of 1862 many Confederate and Missouri State Guard recruiters were dispatched north from Arkansas into Missouri to replenish the depleted ranks of the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy. In Western/West-Central Missouri these included then Captain Jo Shelby, Colonel Vard Cockrell, Colonel John T. Coffee, Upton Hays, John Charles Tracy, John T. Hughes, and DeWitt C. Hunter. Most of these commands were working independently and there was no clear sense of seniority yet established. On August 11 the Federal commander General John Schofield was stunned to learn that Independence, Missouri had fallen to a combined force of Colonel John T. Hughes, William Quantrill, Gideon W. Thompson, and Upton Hays. Schofield ordered General James Totten to concentrate his forces to deal with the threat.

On August 15, 1862, Union Major Emory S. Foster, under orders from Totten, led a 740-man combined force from Lexington to Lone Jack. Other forces were dispatched from Kansas under General James G. Blunt (2,500 men) and Missouri under General Fitz Henry Warren (600 men), but they would not arrive in time for the engagement. Upon reaching the Lone Jack area, Foster received intelligence that 1,600 rebels under Col. Coffee and Lt. Col. Tracy were camped near town and prepared to attack them. The estimate of the rebel command was revised down to only 800 and at about 11:00 p.m., Foster and his men attacked the Confederate camp and dispersed the enemy. The firing of his cannon during this brief skirmish proved to be Foster's undoing, for it alerted Colonel Vard Cockrell and other rebel commands in the area of Foster's position and intent to fight. Foster's men returned to town to rest along the main street, having spent several days in the saddle. Colonel Cockrell conferred with Upton Hays, Lt. Col. Sidney D. Jackman, and DeWitt C. Hunter and determined to give battle the next morning with the intent of overwhelming the much smaller Union force.

Cockrell's plan was to clandestinely deploy Hunter, Jackman and Tracy's forces in a field to the west of town well before sunrise on August 16 and await the opening of the fight. Hays was to initiate the battle with a mounted attack from the north as daylight approached, whereupon the others would launch a surprise flank attack. Hays did not attack as early as planned, instead reconnoitering the other commands before advancing. As daylight appeared Foster's pickets became aware of Hays' advance. This gave Foster's men a brief opportunity to deploy, spoiling the element of surprise.

With sunrise exposing them while awaiting Hays' tardy advance, Jackman, Hunter, and Tracy attacked but were held in check. Hays then performed a dismounted attack from the north. Together his force and Tracy's crumpled the Union right flank, forcing the 7th Missouri Cavalry (commanded by Captain Milton H. Brawner) back onto the artillery. The cannoneers now began a desperate fight. Union Captain Long's 2nd Battalion Missouri State Militia Cavalry concealed behind a hedgerow of Osage orange trees poured a crossfire on the Confederates, temporarily repulsing them.

On the other side of the field, Hunter's force was stalled by three companies of Captain Plumb's 6th Missouri State Militia Cavalry. A mounted force (possibly Coffee's) approached on Hunter's flank and he mistook them for Federals. The mounted men attacked but were surprised and repulsed by fire from Capt. Slocum's company of the 7th Missouri State Militia Cavalry behind another Osage orange hedge. Hunter, now short of ammunition, abandoned the field for the ammunition train, exposing Jackman's flank. Jackman was also short of ammunition and retired as well.

Tracy's and Hays' commands renewed their attack to the north, eventually displacing the Indiana artillerists. With no remaining Confederate threat to the south, Captain Plumb now counterattacked to the north, reclaiming the artillery. Jackman and Hunter's resupplied men then returned to the field. Hays attempted to counterattack but a counter-charge by Plumb forced him to retreat. Much of the fighting then devolved into a war of attrition between Confederates on the western side of the street, Union men on the right with their artillery in the middle. The artillerists were soon routed and the guns changed hands several times. Foster recaptured the guns a final time, being severely wounded himself in the process.

After five hours of fighting and the loss – by wounding – of Foster, rebel Col. Coffee and his 800 men reappeared north of town causing Foster's successor, Capt. Milton H. Brawner, to order a retreat. The men left the field in good order and returned to Lexington. The cannon were hastily spiked or disabled and hidden before the Federals departed. The Confederates secured a victory, but the approach of Union forces including Blunt and Fitz Henry Warren forced the Rebels to withdraw on August 17. General Fitz Warren occupied the town that day.

Foster was later criticized for attacking on the first day while being outnumbered and for not awaiting reinforcement. However, Fitz Warren's command did not arrive until two days later, and Blunt's three days after Foster arrived. The Federals fought more vigorously because many believed Quantrill's raiders were present and would be brutal to prisoners.

Federal Capt. Brawner reported Union losses as 43 killed, 154 wounded, and 75 missing/captured, a casualty rate of 34 percent and this was almost certainly too low. Rebel Colonel Hunter reported burying 119 Federals and 47 Rebels, but the true losses are unknown. Excluded from Hunter's total were an unknown number of dead Confederates claimed by their friends and families for burial elsewhere. A recent roll call list of Federals killed at the action as compiled in service records by Wayne Schnetzer reveals 65 killed and at least 29 who later died from wounds received at Lone Jack. The list of known Confederate participation and deaths is less complete, but at least 55 names are listed as killed, with at least 4 others later succumbing to their wounds.

EVPs
Unknown Voice - 7:15pm - 17 Aug 2019
00:00 / 00:00

Recorded at the very beginning of the investigation in the front room of the Cave Hotel. There is a faint voice after Becky says, "...recording." 

Submitted by Becky

Jennifer's Recorder - 17 Aug 2019
00:00 / 00:00
Tania's Recorder - 17 Aug 2019
00:00 / 00:00
Becky's Recorder - 17 Aug 2019
00:00 / 00:00
Julie's Recorder - 17 Aug 2019
00:00 / 00:00

These recordings are all from the same time. Jennifer initially noticed the voice on her recording. Tania was sitting next to Jennifer and picked up the same voice. Becky was in the next room with Julie discussing where possible smells around the Hotel may have come from and Julie does say the word "campfire," but for some reason, Jennifer and Tania's recorders seemed to strongly pick up the word "fire." Is it just Julie's voice?

Talking about possible activity. - 17 Aug 2019
00:00 / 00:00

This was recorded after Julie had been talking about there being activity on the other side of the highway so there should be here. Becky makes some comment about the animals that were killed then there are some strange noises in the background and a possible voice. Some hear choking with a possible slap. 

Submitted by Becky

Could it be a cow? - 17 Aug 2019
00:00 / 00:00

While Becky, Jennifer, and Dan were in the cemetery and Dan was reading Becky's recorder picked up a stray sound that seems to be a cow. However, there are no cows in that area. 

Submitted by Becky

Knocking - 17 Aug 2019
00:00 / 00:00

Julie asks, "Can you make a sound?" while she and Tania were in the Lone Jack Museum. Both members were standing still yet there seems to be a response. 

Submitted by Julie

Battlefield Sounds? - 17 Aug 2019
00:00 / 00:00

While Julie and Tania were sitting in the cemetery Julie's recorder picked some as of yet unidentified sounds. 

Submitted by Julie

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