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Battle of Westport: Pratt's Artillery

Tour Stop 17A [ Waypoint = N39 00.808 W94 31.792 ]

"On the morning of October 23, 1864, Clarke's Confederate Brigade of Marmaduke's Division was in line on this hill from 63rd Street Trafficway north across 59th Street facing east to stop Pleasonton's Cavalry. Pratt's two batteries, Harris' Mo. and Hynson's Tx. Each with two 10 pounder parrotts and one small gun were in the line. Two parrotts were here firing on the ford, the road and Union artillery on the hill across the river. Pratt's artillery was withdrawn before the final Union charge. The entire line was forced back at 11 A.M."

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Directions to Stop #17A: Turn around and head east on 59th Street. Turn right (south) onto Manchester Trafficway Terrace. Continue for a block or two andturn right onto Manchester Trafficway. Continue for another block to 63rd Street and turn right (west). Take the first right into the Kansas City Water Services Department and find a place to park. You will probably notice the cannon before you notice the marker, which is up on your left. This tour stop is located in Kansas City, Missouri 64132.

Description: This marker provides a brief description of the Confederate artillery (under command of Major Joseph H. Pratt) that was placed at this location. General Marmaduke had placed Hynson's Texas Battery (four Parrott guns) on the far right of his main defensive line. It was placed in position to cover the open field and the road leading up from Byram's Ford. These were the guns that would lay down such a murderous fire on the Federal advance up the narrow Byram's Ford Road.

Note: The cannon placed here is not a Parrott gun. A Parrott was a type of muzzle loading rifled artillery weapon. Parrotts were manufactured with a combination of cast and wrought iron. You can tell a Parrott by the reinforcing band of wrought iron around the breech. The cannon at Tour Stop 8 is a Parrott.

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