Woodlawn Cemetery in Independence, Missouri, has one of the nation’s oldest Civil War monuments. Admittedly, I knew nothing about this monument until I read a short article about it in the August 2014 issue of Civil War News. The monument memorializes the men of the 2nd Colorado Cavalry that were killed on July 6, 1864, at Grinter’s Farm near Independence. That day, Captain Seymour D. Wagoner led twenty-three men of Company C on a patrol, and they rode right into a trap set by George Todd, a guerrilla leader. Captain Wagoner and seven of his men were killed and three of the guerrillas were wounded. A stagecoach that had been captured earlier in the day by Todd’s men was used to carry away the wounded guerrillas.
Remarkably, the monument was erected only ten days after the skirmish! It is believed to be the “oldest Civil War monument west of the Mississippi and third oldest in the country” (Civil War News, August 2014, p. 19). I’m going to visit this monument the next time I’m in Independence!