Civil War in Kansas
Kansas entered the Union as the 34th state on January 29, 1861. Less than three months later, on April 12, Fort Sumter was attacked by Confederate troops and the Civil War began. In Washington rumors were afloat that President Abraham Lincoln was to be kidnapped or assassinated. James H. Lane, a senator from Kansas, recruited 120 Kansas men who were in the city and organized them into the "Frontier Guard." For nearly three weeks they were billeted in the White House to protect the president.
Most Kansans strongly favored the cause of the Union. Governor Charles Robinson at once began recruiting troops for the Union armies, and Senator Lane returned from Washington to do the same. Before the war ended the federal government issued several calls for troops, asking Kansas for a total of 16,654. More than 20,000 "Jayhawkers" enlisted, however, and the state contributed 19 regiments and four batteries to the Union forces. Although many of these volunteer soldiers hailed from states other than Kansas, this was a remarkable showing for an infant state with only 30,000 men of military age. Kansas soldiers suffered nearly 8,500 casualties.
In 1914 Memorial Hall was opened in downtown Topeka in memory of the state's members of the Grand Army of the Republic. Veterans participated in the transfer of the state's battle flag collections from the Kansas State Capitol to the new hall, which became the home of the Kansas Historical Society until 1995. more on Kansapedia
From Our Collections
Kansas Memory, online digital archives
Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War, guided tour, Topeka
The Civil War Comes to Kansas: Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, Read Kansas! lesson
The Civil War Comes to Kansas: The Battle of Mine Creek, Read Kansas! lesson
"War for the Union and for Freedom!": Recruitment of Civil War Volunteer Regiments, Read Kansas! lesson
Kansas Museum of History, Topeka
Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Site, Pleasanton