Martin Rice was a well known and well respected member of the Lone Jack Community.
While the majority of the residents of Lone Jack were of southern sympathies, he was a
known Union sympathizer. Of the horrors of Order #11, he wrote in part:
"For several weeks during the summer of 1863, rumors were prevalent and common in the
country that such an order was in contemplation. Scouting parties of Union soldiers declared
that, unless the bushwhackers ceased from their system of guerrilla warfare, and the citizens
ceased from harboring, aiding, and protecting them, an order would be made to depopulate the
country infested by them.
That which gave more color to the rumor, and more alarmed the citizens than the threats of
the common soldier, was the fact that the Union men who had taken refuge in Kansas City
and Independence notified their friends in the country to hold themselves in readiness to obey
the order when it came; that unless a change for the better was made in regard to guerrilla
warfare, such an order would most surely be issued.
The Sni Hills in Jackson County had the name of being the principal rendezvous of those
guerrillas, and threats of vengeance were more frequently made against that part of the
country than any other.
On Tuesday, the 25th of August, General Ewing issued his celebrated order from Kansas
City, and rumor, with her thousand tongues, soon spread it over the ill-fated territory.
I thought I had witnessed and felt the hardships and privations of civil war and martial law
before, but it was reserved for this, the last week in August and the first ones in September,
1863, to teach me and others how much the human body and mind can bear up under and still
Previous to this, if one were brought into a strait, or got into trouble or difficulty, he could
appeal to some friend or neighbor for help, and the appeal was seldom made in vain. But now
all were in the same strait; the same weight of sorrow and distress was pressing upon all;
there was no exception, and none in our part of the district were exempt from the general
My own reason, as well as the suggestions of friends, convinced me that my life was now in
more danger than it had yet been. The country was full of bushwhackers, some of them
personal friends of the men who had been killed in the morning; I had been taken with them,
my life had been spared because I was a Union man, theirs had been taken because they were
not, and retaliation was common on each side. It was plain that I must go as my friends and
neighbors did, or not go at all. I felt assured that if I abandoned them and sought a place of
shelter and security, by taking some other road, my life would pay the forfeit, nor did I wish to
abandon them, so long as I could be of service to those who were now so much in need of help.
I saw much of the incidents and fruits of Order No. 11. Before and behind was seen the long,
moving train of sorrowing exiles, wagons and vehicles of every shape and size and of all
kinds, drawn by teams of every sort, except good ones, a cloud of dust rising from the road.
The further we proceeded, the greater became the moving column of wretched fugitives.
On every road that led eastward from the county of Jackson came the moving mass of
humanity, seeking an asylum they knew not where; some driving their flocks and herds along
with them, others again as I was with nothing but a make-shift wagon and team—some not
even that. Women were seen walking the crowded and dusty road, carrying in a little bundle
their all, or at least all that they could carry. Others, again, driving or leading a cow or a
skeleton horse, with a bundle or pack fastened upon it, or a pack-horse on which the feebler
members of the family rode by turns.
The number, which crossed at Lexington – great as that number was – was but a small part of
those who, under the operations of that Order No. 11, were made homeless and scattered as
it were to the four winds."
It would appear that Martin references directly the Sept 6th event and that he had been a witness to it. (At least he infers that he was there in the above.)
Wlliam Calvin Tate's three kids end up living with Martin Rice on the 1870 census.
John S. Cave's son William, who was born a month after John S. was murdered, has a death certificate on file, #1246 Missouri, that indicates he was born in Lexington MO. This fits with Rice's comments above, so I think it safe to presume that was the refugee destination for the families involved.