The Battle of Fort Blair or Fort Baxter Massacre, or the Battle of Fort Baxter was a minor battle of the American Civil War, fought on October 6, 1863, near the present-day town of Baxter Springs, Kansas.

In late 1863, Quantrill's Raiders, a large Confederate guerrilla band, traveled south from Kansas along the Texas Road to winter in Texas. Numbering about 400, this group captured and killed two Union teamsters who had come from a small Federal Army post called Fort Blair.

Quantrill decided to attack Fort Blair and divided his force into two columns, one under him and the other commanded by a subordinate, David Poole. Poole and his men proceeded down the Texas Road, where they encountered Union soldiers, most of whom were African Americans. They chased and attacked the Union troops, killing some before the soldiers reached the earth and log Fort Blair.

Poole's column attacked the fort, but the garrison fought them off with the aid of a howitzer. Moving on the post from another direction, Quantrill's column happened to encounter a Union detachment escorting Maj. Gen. James G. Blunt, who was moving his command headquarters from Fort Scott eastward to Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Taking the Union forces by surprise, Quantrill's column killed most of the detachment, including the military band, Maj. Henry Z. Curtis (son of Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis), and Johnny Fry (first official westbound rider of the Pony Express), a total of 103 men. Blunt and a few mounted men escaped and returned to Fort Scott. Blunt was removed from command for failing to protect his column, but he was soon restored. Union supporters called the killings a massacre; the conflict at Baxter Springs was characteristic of the vicious Kansas-Missouri border warfare.

Battle of Fort Blair
Part of the American Civil War
Date October 6, 1863
Location Cherokee County, Kansas
Result Confederate victory
United States United States (Union) Confederate States of America CSA (Confederacy)
Commanders and leaders
James B. Pond
James G. Blunt
William C. Quantrill
Detachments from three regiments and an escort Quantrill’s Raiders (approx. 400)
Casualties and losses
103 3