The Battle of Island Mound (fought on October 29, 1862, southwest of Butler, Missouri, in Bates County) was unremarkable in terms of casualties.
On the Union side 8 were killed and 11 wounded; Confederate casualties are unknown.
But that clash marked the first time that African-American soldiers engaged in combat in the Civil War.
Historian Jim Denny presents the illustrated talk Battle of Island Mound on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
This program is part of the Library's Civil War Sesquicentennial observation.
Squaring off against a unit of Confederate guerillas at the Battle of Island Mound were soldiers of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers. The bravery shown by the black troops at Island Mound received national coverage in the newspapers of the day and undermined the widespread prejudice that blacks lacked the courage or discipline to fight for their freedom.
Denny's presentation is keyed to the grand opening on October 27, 2012, of the new Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site.
Now retired, Jim Denny was a historian for 33 years with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and continues to lecture and write about many aspects of local history. He is the author of Lewis and Clark in the Manitou Bluffs Region, The Atlas of Lewis and Clark in Missouri (with James D. Harlan), and The Civil War's First Blood: Missouri 1854-1861 (with John Bradbury). For the last two years he has been writing articles on the Civil War in Missouri for Rural Missouri magazine.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.
This event is co-sponsored by the Missouri State Parks.