Battlefield Dispatches No. 252: Wagon Boss No. 5: ‘Indian Soldiers’

Before returning to Fort Scott in the Spring of 1862, wagon boss R.M. Peck recorded his observations of Humboldt, Kan., and the organization of the “Union” 1st and 2nd Regiments of Indian Home Guards in his journal. Early in the last century, he published his memoir of the Civil War in a series of articles [...]

What a Woman Can Do: Mother Xavier Ross

As the Civil War approached, 1850s Kansas was center-stage for the brewing conflict. Pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions battled it out for control of the state with knives, guns, even with cannons. Located on the banks of the Missouri River, Leavenworth was a bustling city where, as one historian has written, “robberies, stabbings, lynchings, hangings, tarrings [...]

Kansas Day: Patriot Flag flies over Fort Scott

“Happy birthday, Kansas!”
That exclamation by local veteran Jim Scott kicked off local events celebrating Kansas’ 150th birthday and a small ceremony associated with the raising of the Patriot Flag — a 30-by-58 foot, 60-pound United States flag — on Saturday at Skubitz Plaza near the Fort Scott National Historic Site. The flag flew in front [...]

Battlefield Dispatches No. 250: ‘Wagon Boss and Mule Mechanic: Part 3 Army Mules on the March’

This column is the continuation of Wagon Boss Robert M. Peck’s experiences in eastern Kansas and the Indian Territory (present Oklahoma) from 1862-1865. During the Civil War, the “Union” Quartermaster Department hired civilians to be in charge of mule drawn wagon trains that transported almost all of the supplies that were necessary equip a field [...]

KANSAS 150: Fort Scott had key role in statehood

Kansas statehood and the Civil War were intertwined, and a lot of the issues were played out in Kansas, according to Galen Ewing, park ranger at the Fort Scott National Historic Site.
The fort was established and garrisoned by the U.S. Army from 1842 to 1853 to assist in protecting the Permanent Indian Frontier. It was [...]

History buff wants to recreate cannon called ‘Old Sacramento’ used in sacking of Lawrence

The cannon that fired on the Free State Hotel during the sacking of Lawrence has lived a long, full life during the Civil War era in Kansas and Missouri. Now, however, it sits destroyed — a giant hole ripped through its side — in the Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Mass.
But that cannon, called [...]

Battlefield Dispatches 244: ‘Wagon Boss and Mule Mechanic No. 1′

During the Civil War, the War Departments of the United and Confederate States were faced with many logistical problems.
Logistics is the branch of military science that involves the purchasing, maintaining and transporting of material and personnel. In the Civil War, the Quartermaster and Commissary departments were responsible for most of these functions. The primary vehicle [...]

Travel News for Kansas Includes Info about the Role of Kansas in US Civil War History

Kansas Plays Key Role in Civil War History: As the country gears up for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, history enthusiasts will be interested in learning the key role Kansas played in the actual beginning of the Civil War. The border wars between Kansas and Missouri and Kansas’s decision to be a free [...]

Freedom Frontier is beneficiary of $25,000 grant in honor of Deanell Tacha

The Kansas Health Foundation isn’t the only nonprofit group benefiting from Deanell Tacha’s 18 years of service on the organization’s board.
This week, Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area will receive a $25,000 grant in recognition of Tacha’s contributions to the Kansas Health Foundation’s board.
“This is a pretty major contribution for us,” said Judy Billings, executive director [...]

Battlefield Dispatches No. 242: ‘Shot by Shot’

At approximately 3 a.m. in the morning on Oct. 26, 1864, the Confederate Army of Missouri, commanded by Mjr. Gen. Sterling Price, started to advance south (if you are of the Southern persuasion) or continued to retreat (if you are of the Northern persuasion) from the vicinity of Deerfield, Mo., towards Neosho and Newtonia in [...]