Prelude to Westport: Archaeological Survey of a Portion of The Big Blue Battlefield in Jackson County, Missouri and Addendum Archaeological Data Recovery Investigations

Big Blue Battlefield Historical Marker

Publication: US Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District.

Author: Jason Maror

Date of Publication: 1997

PDF File: ADA351555.pdf



TRC Mariah Associates Inc. conducted an intensive archaeological survey of an approximate 30-acre portion of the Big Blue Battlefield in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. The inventory was required in advance of proposed flood-control levee construction under the purview of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District. The systematic survey involved both visual inspection and metal detector transects to search for evidence of the Civil War engagements which occurred in the vicinity of Byram’s Ford (of the Big Blue River) on October 22 and 23, 1864. The Big Blue (or Byram’s Ford) Battlefield (Site 23JA507) was evaluated as historically significant and is recommended as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A Two definite and several potential military artifacts associated with the battle were recovered, and a relatively intact 1.32-acre portion of the battlefield (Site 23JA507, Locality A) was evaluated as contributing to the site’s overall eligibility. This parcel is recommended for addition to the existing Byram’s Ford Historic District. The proposed levee construction will have an adverse effect upon Locality A of Site 23JA507, for which mitigation is recommended. Data recovery by intensive metal detecting and artifact analysis is recommended as appropriate treatment for this site.