Even though we didn’t get to visit a lot of the historical places that I had on my list for our Civil War study, we still wanted to finish strong with Blood on the Border.
I had planned on making a few day trips to various forts and sites near us but time, weather, and illness prevented us.
So this week, we researched and read about the military forts that were open and active during the civil war here in Kansas.
Most forts in Kansas Territory were set up without much pre-thought. Their main purposes were to protect and aid main travel routes through Indian Territory, serve as a juncture for shipping supplies and goods, and as a buffer between the ever arriving settlers and the Native Americans.
During the Civil War, many forts that had dwindled in previous years were revived with troops and supplies.
Reading and Research
All of our resources for this section of the study were free.
- Read Kansas! cards – Frontier Forts (click the pictures of each card for the file)
- Fort Scott in the Civil War (there is a great short film at the end of this article)
We focused in on three of the most important forts during the Civil War – Fort Scott, Fort Riley, and Fort Leavenworth.
We had two very awesome brochures about Fort Scott that were given to us way back in April when we visited the homeschool conference in Kansas City.
The people at the Junior Ranger Program booth were so nice to us, and when they found out we were buying Civil War material, they loaded us down with brochures and pamphlets.
And if you remember – we already had a taste of Fort Riley during the war when we went to the First Territorial Capital of Kansas.
One aspect of Fort Leavenworth that we are still exploring is the recruitment and training of black soldiers – Kansas was the first official state to do so.
Notebooking, Lapbooking, and Activities
- Notebooking pages from my Civil War Comes to Kansas pack (pg 5-11)
- A large and small map of Junction City to go in our notebook and lapbook (Junction City is right outside Fort Riley)
The girls spent some time looking at maps – both historic and current – looking for the different forts we were reading about.
They each chose one notebooking page to cover. I let them cut the images and titles out of the other notebooking pages and paste them into their lapbooks.
Of course, the best activities for this study would be to get out there and visit many of the great historical forts and trails. We have a little time left, perhaps we can make a few more stops along the road.