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Henry C. Pate

(April 21,1832 - May 11, 1864)

Henry C. Pate was born in Virginia and emigrated west to Kentucky in 1850. Trained as a lawyer, Pate would once again move west to Weston, Missouri. Here he would start up a pro-slavery newspaper called the The Star of the Empire. Pate was an active recruiter and fund raiser for pro-slavery settlers in the Kansas Territory.

In 1856, Pate would join Shannon's Sharp Shooters, a pro-slavery militia organization named after Kansas Territorial Governor Wilson Shannon. Following the Pottawatomie Massacre, Pate would lead a band of pro-slavery militia into Kansas. He was intent on finding and punishing the perpetrators. After a few days of terrorizing the citizens of Douglas County, Kansas, Pate and his men would be camped along side a creek near Black Jack, Kansas. Early on the morning of June 2, 1856, Pate's pro-slavery militia would be attacked by a force of free-state militia led by John Brown. In what would become known as The Battle of Black Jack, Pate would end up surrendering to Brown. Pate would later write, “I went to take Old Brown and Old Brown took me.” John Brown would later exchange Pate and his prisoners for the release of his imprisoned sons.

Pate would serve in the Confederate Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 5th Virginia cavalry under Major General J.E.B. Stuart during the American Civil War.

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