Bjorn Skaptason Bio
Mr. Bjorn Skaptason holds degrees from the University of Kansas and Loyola University Chicago. He worked as a seasonal ranger at the National Park Service’s Shiloh National Military Park and Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center for two summers while studying history at Loyola.
Bjorn has published essays on Ambrose Bierce at Shiloh for the Ambrose Bierce Project Journal, on the United States Colored Troops in the campaign and battle of Brice’s Crossroads for the West Tennessee Historical Society Papers, and in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society on The Chicago Light Artillery.
A dealer in antiquarian books, Bjorn produced and guest hosted A House Divided for Author's Voice® a live book discussion program webcast from Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago. Bjorn was the speaker at our Round Table dinner meeting in March of 2014.
The 2nd Colorado Cavalry Regiment
The Second Colorado Cavalry regiment came from the Rocky Mountains to Missouri to fly the flag of their U. S. territory in the Civil War. During the summer of 1864, Colonel James Ford’s “Mountain Hogs” were stationed in Jackson County, and were responsible for combating guerilla bands operating in western Missouri, including groups led by such bushwhacker notables as George Todd, William Gregg, and Dick Yeager.
The summer bushwhacking season erupted into a vicious and remorseless conflict, and the Coloradoes found themselves also fighting the “Paw Paw Uprising” north of the Missouri river. In October, Ford’s tough guerilla hunters came together to fight in the traditional cavalry role against General Sterling Price’s invasion at the battles of Westport. This program will introduce Colorado’s soldiers in Missouri, examine how they learned to fight the bushwhackers on their own terms, and then show how they helped finally defeat the Confederate cause in Missouri. The Mountain Hogs paid a heavy price for their successes, and the lessons they learned still inform the bloody business of counterinsurgency.
The 2nd Colorado Cavalry Sources
Dan Smith said there is an excellent account detailing the activities of the Second Colorado Cavalry combating guerilla warfare in western Missouri during the period of January to August 1864, before the Price Missouri Campaign in Douglas R. Cubbison's article titled: “Look Out For Hell Some Place Soon”, in the journal, Military History of the West, Vol. 32, No. 1, (Spring 2002), pages 1-24.
At the end of the article, Mr. Cubbison refers to the intense fire-fight between the Second Colorado Cavalry and George Todd's guerillas at a place called the Grinter Farm, on July 2, 1864. Company C of the Second, commanded by Captain S. W. Wagoner, was ambushed by Todd’s guerillas about seven miles south of Independence at the Grinter Farm. The company sustained heavy casualties including Captain Wagoner and eight other troopers. They were buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Independence. Members of the regiment immediately collected funds for a monument to be erected to honor their fallen brothers. This monument is stated to be the first Civil War soldiers monument erected west of the Mississippi.
This is a map that Dan Smith prepared for a power point presentation, depicting the location of the Grinter Farm located near present day 1-470 and MO 291, north of Lee’s Summit, Jackson County MO.