Just a few feet from the Santa Fe Trail (and only a few miles from my home) is one of Kansas’ newest additions to the National Register of Historic Places: Black Jack Battlefield. The Battle of Black Jack is considered by some to be one of the earliest battles of the American Civil War. In 1856, John Brown attacked a group of Pro-Slavery men led by Henry Pate, who had taken prisoners in retaliation for John Brown’s attack on Pottawatomie Creek, which was in retaliation for an earlier attack on Lawrence, Kansas. (Franklin and Douglas counties were not peaceful places to live in during the 1850s.)
Today, the battlefield has been preserved. Visitors can take a guided tour or watch reenactments. You can also visit the nature trail from dawn to dusk at no cost. The nature trail is beautiful and will offer new blossoms as the seasons pass.