The Trans-Mississippi Theater
On the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, visitors to Freedom's Frontier don't have to head east to Virginia or Tennessee to experience extraordinary events that changed America forever. During the 1850s, the nation turned its attention to Missouri and Kansas, where people with different definitions of freedom collided, inciting and fueling the Civil War.
From this country's infancy, northerners and southerners disagreed about slavery and other cultural and economic issues. These struggles emerged, not on April 12, 1861 with the first shots of the Civil War, but in the 1850s on the border between Missouri and Kansas Territory. The debate over the expansion of slavery into Kansas Territory soon turned bloody as revenge, retribution and retaliation fueled and extended the Border War, a firestorm that prefaced the Civil War.
Shortly after the Civil War began, Missourians and Kansans readied themselves for phase two of their fight. Battles, sackings, and burnings continued throughout the war.
Visit the following locations to learn more about the Civil War in Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area.