Sherwood Speaker series. Missouri Southern will host three lectures focusing on different aspects of the Civil War and the ambush that happened just north of Joplin.

The lecture series is scheduled at the start of each of the next three months. It kicks off Monday, September 10th, October 8th, and November 5th at 7:00 pm at Corley Auditorium at MSSU.

During two days in May of 1863, the severe brutality of the Civil War became painfully real to the soldiers and residents of western Jasper County.  These two days would be remembered forever in the annals of history leaving a lasting mark on the members of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry Regiment and the area around the town of Sherwood, Missouri.  Much has been researched and written of these volatile 48 hours. 

“And they came with vengeance on their mind. With that said, they burnt the Rader farm house and Sherwood which was the nearest community which was also possibly a guerrilla stronghold,” says Brad Belk.

That history is front and center in the Sherwood Speaker series. The first talk will address the close family ties between some soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Another will speak to the role liquor played in the war. And Dr. Ian Spurgeon will wrap up the series on the part played by African American soldiers.

In 2009, Jasper County acquired the five-acre area with funds from a donation. Since then, other donations have been made to improve the site and create the Sherwood/Rader Farm Civil Park. Improvements will be noted during Saturday’s event, including a new plaque telling the of the site’s significance to the Civil War in Jasper County.

The plaque reads: “The Civil War action on this field was part of a series of events in May 1863 that intensified southwest Missouri’s bitter guerrilla conflict and ultimately left most of Jasper County depopulated and in ruins by war’s end.