Battlefield Dispatches No. 231: ‘Complete Surprise’

“Surprise”, be it spontaneous or planned, by it’s very nature was a major element in the tactics and success of the “Union” and Confederate guerrillas in Missouri and Kansas during the Civil War. All of the following after action reports describe brief, violent engagements where “surprise” was complete and contributed to the success of the [...]

Federal government endorses Civil War commemorative plan for western Missouri and eastern Kansas

Federal officials have approved a regional Civil War commemorative plan.
The proposal, drafted by local organizers of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, seeks to showcase the local conflicts that preceded the larger war. It recently received U.S. Interior Department sanction.
The federal district, established in 2006, now is entitled to apply for additional funds.

Battlefield Dispatches 230: ‘Portfires Light the Way’

Traveling by the darkness of night during the Civil War was often fraught with danger and could be hazardous to one’s health.
This was especially true when traveling on rough roads or roads that passed through heavily wooded areas or swamps at night. The following after action report describes how one creative “Union” Major used antiquated [...]

Battlefield Dispatches 229: ‘Beset by Bushwhackers’

In the summer of 1863, the Quartermaster and the Assistant Adjutant General at Fort Scott were faced with a major logistical problem. The problem was, how to SAFELY transport supplies and the military mail across 180 miles of the unprotected Military Road from Fort Scott to Fort Blunt (formerly Fort Gibson) in the Indian Territory [...]

Museum to commemorate anniversary of raid

Walking along Massachusetts Street, the Rev. Richard Cordley of Plymouth Congregational Church stopped to look at the carnage in front of him. All but two of the buildings on the street had been burned to the ground and the once-empty sidewalks were now lined with the dead bodies of the men who had been slain [...]

Battlefield Dispatches No. 227: ‘Elusive Foxes’

A fox, by itsz very nature, is a sly, cunning, clever, crafty, stealthy and wily hunter. It has to possess all of these characteristics in order to survive and avoid pursuing foxhounds, which are very smart dogs. During the Civil War in Missouri and other areas, especially in Missouri, the Confederate guerrillas or partisan rangers [...]

Kids dig in and learn a little Kansas history during mud fort event

At 7 years old, Brady Traffas could finally join his older brother Kade this year in building mud forts by the Kansas River.

“He’d been hearing about it and was dying to come,” said Brady’s dad, Daniel. “He got to come out today, and he’s loving it.”
Daniel and Kade, 10, have been building mud forts for [...]

Civil War scenes at FSNHS Saturday

Dramatic scenes from the Civil War will be recreated during a tour at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Fort Scott National Historic Site.
Throughout the war, Fort Scott was home to many important functions, including a supply depot, a training and recruitment center, an army general hospital, a refugee center, a military prison and a national [...]

Annual series commemorates Lawrence’s role in the Civil War

One is the picture of calm determination; the other, of fierce passion.
The first, President Abraham Lincoln, and the second, abolitionist John Brown, both played pivotal roles in the formation of Kansas as a free state. Their contributions — along with those of many others — will be explored in coming weeks as part of the [...]

Battlefield Dispatches No. 225: BRAVE: Impudent, Insolent and Insulting women

In any war, and this was especially true in the Civil War, the women who were at home in the combat areas had to be brave, self reliant, feisty, witty, quick of mind and at times, arrogant and defiant to protect their families, homes, farms, etc. If they were faced with enemy soldiers they could [...]