Archive for Thursday, May 28, 2009

Battle of Black Jack anniversary event is set for Saturday

May 28, 2009

The Battle of Black Jack will be celebrated Saturday on its 153rd anniversary at the battle site, off Highway 56, just southeast of Baldwin City.

Kansas combatants collided on the site 153 years ago in the first regular battle between free-state and pro-slavery forces. Abolitionist John Brown fought in the battle.

Kerry Altenbernd, on-site tour coordinator for the Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park, said the battle has local, state and national significance.

“It’s important because it was really the first physical battle against slavery in the United States,” he said.

The Black Jack Battlefield Trust has organized several events to commemorate the battle from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Events range from battlefield tours and a battle re-enactment to an antique quilt show and period music.

A campfire dinner will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The dinner costs $12.50 for adults and $5 for children if tickets are purchased in advance. The adult cost is $15 the day of the event.

All other events are free and open to the public.

“The events were designed to give people a chance to come out and go back in time and think about what went on and the importance of the history here,” Altenbernd said.

Altenbernd said the anniversary celebration also will feature more than a dozen vendors, including “Dr. Faulkner,” a local, historic weapons expert.

He said the trust was still adding vendors to the daylong celebration.

For more information, visit

Anniversary events

• 1 p.m. - guided tour of the battlefield

• 3 p.m. - guided tour by John Brown, played by Kerry Altenbernd

• 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. - Campfire Supper

• 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. - Blue and Gray Brigade Band performance

• 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - The Lecompton Re-Enactors performance

• 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - antique quilt show and various vendors


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