Kaiser burnout


an HMS American Cultures collaborative production


The Kaiser Burnout was a fire set by Confederate Captain James Kaiser in the Big Thicket area of Texas.

Jayhawkers were people in the Big Thicket area who refused to fight for the Confederacy and retreated into the Big Thicket forest for protection. They had little or no clothing or food and lived off of the forest, eating fruits and other natural foods. Due to the many beehives around Honey Island, many of them moved there and were hidden and fed by sympathetic locals.
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In the Spring of 1865 a couple Jayhawkers were captured by Confederate Captain Charlie Bullock, but they managed to escape from the shack where they were being held. This angered the Confederates even more. Shortly after that, Captain James Kaiser set fire to the Big Thicket forest to flush the Jayhawkers out. Unfortunately, the fire was so hot that it left a scar in the land, so no sugarcane ever grew back, and over 3,000 acres of the forest were destroyed.