Civil War Wiki

The Kaiser Burnout was a fire set by Confederate Captain James Kaiser during the American Civil War in the Big Thicket area of Southeast Texas.

Historical background[]

Like their counterparts in the Kansas region, local Texans in the Big Thicket forest region who refused to fight for the Confederacy were referred to as Jayhawkers.[1] These refugees hid in the nearby thick wooded area and were often poor, lacking basic necessities such as food and clothing. They would live off of the land's wild fruit and often salvaged corn sacks from timber camps for clothing.[2]

Due to the numerous beehives near Honey Island, a vast concentration of these Jayhawkers formed a camp nearby.[3] Sympathetic locals would also bring supplies to this encampment, often in exchange for the honey that was stolen.[4]

The fire[]

In the spring of 1865, a Confederate captain named Charlie Bullock captured some of these refugees and locked them up in a shack near Woodville, but they managed to escape. Shortly after, Confederate Captain James Kaiser set fire to the canebrake region near Honey Island to flush the Jayhawkers out. Intense heat permanently destroyed the canebrake.[5] Over 3,000 acres (12 km²) of the Big Thicket forest burned as well.[6]


External links[]

  1. REDIRECT Template:GNIS Note: Exact coordinates of site are listed as unknown in Polk County, Texas.