The Battle of Osawatomie took place on August 30, 1856 when 250-300 Border Ruffians led by John W. Reid and Rev. Marvin White attacked the city of Osawatomie. John W. Reid was intent on destroying free state settlements and then moving on to Topeka and Lawrence to do more of the same. John Brown first got word that the group was coming when they shot his son Frederick. Brown with 40 or so men tried to defend the town against the pro-slavery partisans, causing heavy casualties before being forced to withdraw; the town of Osawatomie was then looted and burned. This was one event in series of skirmishes between abolitionists and pro-slavery Missourians in what has been known as Bleeding Kansas.
The Soldiers Monument, dedicated August 30, 1877, was paid for by friends and relatives to commemorate those who died in the battle of Osawatomie. The names of the deceased listed on it are Fredrick Brown, George W. Partridge, David Garrison, Theron Parker Powers, and Charles Kaiser. All of these men (except Charles Kaiser) are buried beneath the monument. John Brown's name also appears on the monument, but he is buried in North Elba, New York.