Life Amid Conflict

Each day, KHC features the hot topics and great speakers in the Speakers Bureau catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Bushwhackin’ the Jayhawks along a Civil War Border” by Brian Craig Miller.

7th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry

Soldiers from the 7th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, 1863.
Image from, Kansas Historical Society, copy and reuse restrictions apply.

As the nation commemorates the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, Kansans have the opportunity to explore what life was like along the Kansas-Missouri border between 1861 and 1865. Letters and diary entries tell how residents lived, dressed, prepared for battle, and worked on a daily basis during the Civil War. Although the war dominated the lives of those living along the border, the residents continued to live as normally as possible, farming, building communities, and rebuilding their shattered lives once the war ended, whether they were Missouri bushwhackers or Kansas jayhawkers.

“The American Civil War dominated the lives of Missourians and Kansans living along a border engulfed in conflict,” said Miller. “Yet they tried to live their lives as normally as possible. I wondered how Kansans and Missourians coped with the war and then dealt with the ramifications once the guns went silent. This presentation explores how those living along the border worked and survived our defining chapter in American history.”

Brian Craig Miller

Brian Craig Miller

Brian Craig Miller is an assistant professor of history at Emporia State University. He has researched, published, and lectured extensively about the public memory of the Civil War and serves as associate editor for the journal Civil War History.

Bring Brian Craig Miller’s “Bushwhackin’ the Jayhawks along a Civil War Border” or one of the other presentations in the Speakers Bureau catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, KHC program officer, at leslie(at) for more information.