Just before noon on Sunday,the 23rd of October 1864, a solitary rider appeared on the horizon of the outskirts of Topeka and rapidly approached the stockade. Here he gave Major Stark a confused statement of Union defeat at the Big Blue River the day previous and the impending Confederate advance. The Major immediately gave the order for each captain to prepare his men for the coming battle and the force of nearly 300 untrained soldiers found their niches at the wall of the fort or their places in the trench. There were also a few brave women who donned mens clothing without being asked and helped fill the gaps in the line.
The quiet Sunday afternoon slowly faded into evening and still there was no sign of invasion, or word from the front-line. The sleepless Topekans passed the night in a miserable haze of anticipation, but nothing came. At nine o'clock the next morning (Monday) another lone horsemen appeared with the news that Price and his entire Army had been defeated near Westport Missouri the previous day and were retreating South down the State Line.
The town of Topeka was spared in a sense that it was not physically assaulted but the mental punishment suffered by it's citizens was severe. They now had to deal with the loss of the many men from the 2nd Regiment who died or suffered the lasting effects of injury or sickness caused by their imprisonment. They were a hearty breed though and soon most had moved on with their lives. On July 3rd, 1869 an article appeared in the "Daily Kansas State Record" of Topeka which gives an almost cheery description of the Fort and the events surrounding it.
TOPEKA'S "FORT SIMPLE"