Biography of Col. Lewis R. Jewell

Various members of the Jewell family have been well known at Fort Scott and vicinity for many years. Both Col. Lewis R. and his son, by the same name, were active, and the father quite prominent, in the days of the Civil war. He came of old Massachusetts lineage, moved to Ohio early in life, and while a resident of Washington County married Susan Hutchinson. Mr. Jewell became interested in river transportation, and when he moved to St. Louis, several years before the war, was the owner of several boats plying the Mississippi and Ohio, and had reached the rank of “Captain.”

In 1859 Captain Jewell located in the central strip of Kansas near Arcadia, and there established himself as a farmer and stock-raiser. By the vigorous resistance of settlers, in which he was a leader, the aggressive Cherokecs were barred from the country, but to make their tenure more secure a delegation of the whites was sent to Washington to seek Government backing and to protect the settlement of a large contemplated colony from the East. The captain was one of this delegation, but before anything definite was accomplished the Civil war broke like a sudden storm on the country, and colonization and all else were thrust aside in face of the great danger and disaster.

Captain Jewell had been known as a strong democrat, and some had even denounced him as pro-slavery, but when the danger of disunion loomed he rejected an offer of service in the Confederate army and joined a company of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry of the Union forces. He was elected captain of that command and, upon the reorganization of the regiment, was commissioned lientenant colonel. His service for the Union cause was one of bravery and ability and, after proving his soldierly qualities in several fierce engagements, his time came in November, 1863, at the battle of Cane Hill, Arkansas. After being wounded several times and his horse shot from under him, he continued in the field, leading his regiment afoot. While thus leading a charge, he recsived a ball in his groin, fell unconscious and was taken into the Confederate camp. He died two days thereafter, recovering consciousness sufficiently to be sent back for burial to the Union lines. This was done, under a flag of trues, and he was bronght home by members of his old company and buried at Fort Scott. The colonel was a brave popular citizen, and Jewell county is named in his honor. His son was also identifled with the Sixth Kansas Cavalry, in a minor capacity, and after the war founded Arcadia.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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