THE history of Kansas during the Civil War was not solely one of bushwhackers and politicians, of border raids and factional brawls. Other aspects were equally important and certainly no less interesting. Some of these--economic conditions, refugees, the Negro, Copperheads, jayhawking, Indian affairs, and railroads--are the subjects of the present chapter.
Kansas prospered economically during the Civil War. The severe drought that ruined the 1860 crop came to an end in April, 1861, as heavy rains fell throughout the state. By early summer the editor of the Elwood Free Press was able to say that "a year of plenty is to succeed a year of famine." In fact, so large a crop was harvested that the problem for a while was one of surplus, not scarcity.1 But heavy government military buying soon provided a ready and profitable market for this surplus and eventually absorbed nearly all the agricultural output of the state. Money became plentiful and circulated freely, and business was proportionately lively. Late in 1862 another editor frankly asserted: "Financially, the existence of the present war has proved a godsend to Kansas."2____________________