Casualties of War

A Civil War on the Western Border Symposium

EVENTS — AUG 17, 2024


Casualties of War: A Civil War on the Western Border Symposium

August 17, 2024
Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum
Tickets on sale now

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area presents Casualties of War: A Civil War on the Western Border Symposium. Measuring the struggle for freedom against the loss of liberty, the symposium will explore the wide-ranging effects of the border conflict and the loss of civil liberty for those caught in its vortex.

Until the mid-nineteenth century, a democratically elected government of civilian authorities protected the US’s founding guarantees: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Events in eastern Kansas and western Missouri forced the unthinkable, posing a direct challenge to those American values. When a military attempts to exert control over a hostile insurgent civilian population, fundamental questions emerge – with consequences that reverberate through history to the present moment.

This day-long event gathers a broad-based group of historians to discuss the price of civil liberties during wartime at the Harry S. Truman Library & Presidential Museum in Independence, Missouri.

Sessions presented will examine the Kansas-Missouri border war through the lenses of how geopolitical conflict shapes gender roles; the suspension of habeas corpus and invocation of martial law; the dawn of industrial total war; the lessons of insurgent movements; and more. Speakers include Kerry Altenbernd, Alisha Moore Cole, Dr. Harry Laver, Daniel L. Smith, and Richard Titterington.

Advance registration is required. Tickets for the program are $40 and include access to all sessions, museum admission, and a catered lunch. Ticket sales end August 15.

Casualties of War: A Civil War on the Western Border Symposium is a combined presentation of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area and the Civil War Roundtable of Kansas City. Its sponsors encourage participants to gain a better understanding of the events of the late 1850s and early 1860s that shaped our region and influenced national history.

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) builds awareness of struggles for freedom in western Missouri and eastern Kansas. Established by Congress in 2006, FFNHA covers a unique physical and cultural landscape across 41 counties and 31,000 square miles. It promotes three diverse, interwoven, and nationally significant stories: frontier settlement, the Missouri-Kansas Border War and Civil War, and enduring civil rights disputes. FFNHA inspires respect for multiple perspectives and empowers area residents to preserve and share these stories, achieving its goals through interpretation, preservation, conservation, and education for all residents and visitors. It is one of 62 federally recognized National Heritage Areas across the United States.