Throughout Missouri there will be a remembrance of the start of the Civil War for those that are interested to check out. Following is a listing of some of the activities that you will be able to see during the celebration.
The National Frontier Trails Museum, 318 W. Pacific, is offering a program titled “Civil War Women of Missouri” program on Saturday, March 19 and a guided gallery walk entitled “Civil War in the West.” In this 30 minute gallery walk, slated for Thursday, April 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2011, you’ll discover how the Civil War impacted western settlement. Other Civil War programs and events for 2011 are still in the planning stages.
Many scholars believe that the seeds of Civil War sprang from the Kansas/Missouri Border war, which raged for years over the question of whether Kansas would join the Union as a slave or free state. The Puppetry Arts Institute, is staging an original marionette theater, “Trouble on the Border, Order 11” that will help educate and entertain families who wish to learn about the Border War and how it led to the Civil War which followed. Performances are set for April 15 and 16 at the Sermon Community Center, 201 N. Dodgion. Call (816) 833-0777.
Independence is also home to another key site in the Border and Civil Wars, the 1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home, located at 217 N. Main on the Independence Square. The jail housed infamous guerilla William Clark Quantrill, and some of his Raiders. The jail later housed prisoners such Frank James and others whose crimes arose out of the aftermath of the Civil War. Quantrill’s Raiders members of the James gang. Learn about General Order Number 11, issued by the Union General Thomas Ewing, who intended to de-populate five counties in a “scorched earth” campaign as it sought to cut off support for Southern sympathizers. Those who refused to sign an oath of loyalty to the Union under the order, resulting in the imprisonment of many elderly men, women and children ended up as inmates in the jail for refusing to sign the oath. Call (816) 461-1897 for more information.
Pioneer Trails Adventures, a covered wagon historical tour which operates from the Square during spring, summer and fall, also offers stories of the times, including tales of the battles of Independence. The wagon drives past the Bingham-Waggoner Estate, home of Missouri artist/activist George Caleb Bingham, who painted scenes of the era, including his famous work, Order Number 11, which he painted while living at the estate. Catch a ride outside the Jail.
The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum will open a special long running display created just for the library which will honor Bingham and his work. With a working title of “Steamboats to Steam Engines: George Caleb Bingham’s Missouri from 1819-1879”, the exhibit will explore the development of Missouri through the eyes of a native artist. One segment of the exhibit will be devoted to the years of these wars. The display runs from March 10, 2011 through September 8 and is free with regular paid admission. For details, call (816) 268-8200, toll free (800) 833-1225.
Two major battles took place within the City of Independence and Jackson County, Missouri, including the First Battle of Independence (August 11, 1862) one of the first urban battles of the Civil War; and the Second Battle of Independence/Battle of the Little Blue (October 21-22, 1864) when 15,000 forces of the Union and Confederate armies fought along the Little Blue River in Eastern Jackson County. A Civil War walking/driving tour brochure which highlights 15 sites of the 1st and 2ndbattle of Independence is available if you check with the CVB in Independence.
There is a great deal of history in the Independence area for you to learn, get out there and see all that is offered during the 150th remembrance of the Civil War.