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Those who resisted leaving their homes were killed. Soldiers burned their houses and crops.
"They referred to this area for many years after as the Burnt District because they burned every dadgum thing," says Gregg Higginbotham, a re-enactor who lectures at schools and libraries about Order No. 11 and Jackson County history. He also works for Wide Awake Films as a historical adviser. At Westport 175, he's portraying John McCoy.
"I always like to point out that there was bad blood; there had been since 1855. And it never really ended," Higginbotham says. "And it's still not over. They still talk [about] football games and basketball games as the border wars ... that kind of stuff."
At the Westport re-enactment of Order No. 11, however, bad blood is on hold. The man portraying Gen. Ewing is jovial before he steps up to read the order to the crowd.
Before the skit starts, a man wearing a black kilt approaches Ewing. He's the one from Gladfest, who wanted to borrow an extra uniform. In addition to the kilt, he's wearing a dark-colored vest and a white linen shirt. A pewter Celtic cross hangs on a chain around his neck, and a black scarf is tied around his forehead.
"Wrong war," Ewing tells him.
"I'm just trying to help any way I can," he replies, a little testily.
Someone hands him a Union jacket and a cap, so he puts it on.
"It's not the 7th, but it'll work," Keith says.
A crowd is growing on the sidewalk. The spectators, about 50, include some hipsters, folks in period costumes, families with kids, and a woman who asks Ewing if she can get a copy of Order No. 11 for her scrapbook.
A Q104 van, also doing a live remote, has turned down its music. Gen. Ewing, flanked by Keith, Richardson, the man in the kilt and a couple of others, stands behind a small wooden table. "Company, fall in!" he orders.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I have important news." As he reads the decree, other re-enactors in the crowd yell insults. "Rebel scum," says a woman in a hoop skirt.
"You dang guerrillas came to Kansas," another man says.
"Rebel trash!" the woman yells again.
The insults grow louder, and the guns come out. Someone fires a shot in the air, which makes the spectators jump.
"One of you guys is going down," Keith threatens. A struggle begins between some Union soldiers and hecklers in period dress. More gunshots echo off the buildings. A few people cover their ears.
Just then, the sound of a bugle wafts out from another part of the parking lot. "Hey, guys, the cavalry's coming," Heaviland exclaims.
The crowd giggles, and the Irish guy waves his flag.
A man in a Union uniform lies on his back on the ground. Keith kneels near his fallen comrade and places the man's cap over his face.
The Irish guy also kneels a few feet behind the dead guy's head. He holds his cap in one hand and the green flag in the other. Tears spill out of his eyes.
After the skit, some people linger on the sidewalk. A toddler in a stroller keeps repeating, "Trying to kill a big man." Cars slowly drive by. An African-American couple in an SUV looks slightly disturbed at the sight of the Civil War garb.
Then comes the covered wagon, trailed by a long line of cars. Directly behind it is a beige minivan with Illinois license plates. Two young women are in the front, laughing at the wagon. The passenger, who sports a gray T-shirt with "Missouri" in yellow letters, tries to take a picture of the unusual scene.