1. While the officers and men of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers
were eating lunch, the enemy set fire to the prairie grass. The rebels used the
concealment provided by the fires smoke to drive Seamans pickets and attached
scouts back into camp. The strong southerly winds soon fanned the flames into a large
prairie fire that swept towards "Fort Africa." A backfire was set around the
fort to keep the conflagration from engulfing the defenses. His vision to the south
obscured by smoke, Captain Seaman became concerned that the enemy might take this
opportunity to stage a general attack upon the camp.