Books in Progress

Biography of R.L.Y. Peyton

RLY Peyton

R.L.Y. Peyton played a dynamic part in western Missouri history from 1854 to 1862.  Peyton, a Harrisonville lawyer, led the secessionist movement in western Missouri.  During the Border War,  Peyton served in the Missouri Senate Assembly.  When the Civil War began Peyton formed a Missouri State Guard Cavalry Regiment.  In the autumn of 1861 the Confederate “Rump Legislature” selected him to serve in the Confederate Senate at Richmond, Virginia.  Peyton died September 3, 1863 of disease at Bladen Springs, Alabama.  A dynamic and fiery orator, Peyton’s presence and role has long been forgotten.

Bates County History: 1854 to 1870


When the Civil War ended in 1865, Bates County lay in complete devastation. No county in the United States suffered the destruction sustained by Bates County. The nation’s Civil War began in this part of western Missouri during the Border War from 1854 to 1861. The first Civil War battle between African-American Union troops and Confederates occurred in Bates County. Tossed into oblivion, the families and events of this horrific period have been lost for 150 years. This history will recover and document the events which led to Bates County’s obliteration and reconstruction.

Bates County

Jackson County History: 1854 to 1870


Jackson County was the largest and most prominent county within the Burnt District. Jackson County citizens played a major role in the Border War. Independence and Westport served as the primary pro-slavery locations during the Border War. Although strongly southern in culture, Unionists grabbed control of the county in 1861 and never relinquished it. The number of battles, violent skirmishes, and assassinations in Jackson County during the Civil War, place it at the center of Missouri’s Civil War history. Jackson County’s Radical Unionists orchestrated a repopulation of the Burnt District which shrouded this county’s tumultuous Civil War history in silence for 150 years.