48 Places to Visit and Learn More

NOTE: While there are many fine places designed to teach us the complex challenges of the Civil War era, each place on this list is somehow related to the story told in Just Following Orders . As you can see, the places are organized in sequence as they relate to the novel.

We’d love to see you taking the next step—planning a vacation, whether a one-day adventure near your home or a trip of several weeks. Why not see how many you can visit over the next ten years?

Chapter 1: Frontier Trails Museum in Independence, Missouri, is a great place to start learning about the border wars and life in Missouri during the eleven turbulent years of guerrilla warfare. Ask personnel for information about where to go from there.

In Kansas, you might start at Watkins Museum of History in Lawrence. There you’ll learn about the early settlers in this historic town, why many people in the area were hostile toward these new neighbors, how the raids on the courageous abolitionists wreaked havoc on the young city, and how they responded. While there, ask about the Lawrence Peace Center display. Of course, you’ll want to also check out the interactive exhibit about Order No. 11, added to Watkins in 2013. From Watkins, you can inquire about other nearby historical attractions to explore.

Nearby, Le Compton, Kansas claims to be “where the Civil War began.” To see why, visit Constitution Hall and the historical museum, a short walk away.

Chapter 2: Fort Sumter Museum in South Carolina gives an excellent southern perspective and shows the area tragedies here where the first shots were fired for what the Union called “The Great Rebellion” and some southerners still call “The War Between the States.”

Check out Mayhew Cabin & Historic Village and John Brown’s Cave in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

Learn of some of the destruction caused by Jayhawkers at John Brown Memorial Park and Museum, Osawatomie, Kansas.

Chapter 3: The Battle of Pea Ridge might have been where Andrew’s father went to fight. Check out Pea Ridge National Military Park at Garfield, Arkansas.

Chapter 4: See the Lone Jack Battlefield Museum and Soldier’s Cemetery in Lone Jack, Missouri, the location of the battlefield where Andrew and Joshua met in this fiction story and helped care for the wounded.

Chapter 5: Of course, you’ll not want to miss The John Wornall House Museum, Kansas City, MO or The Burnt District Monument, Harrisonville, MO

Chapter 6: Museum of the Cherokee Indian Nation, Cherokee, North Carolina, and the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, each give the story of the Trail of Tears and much more about the Cherokee Nation.

Chapter 14: Betsy Ross House in Philadephia, Pennsylvania features the life and accomplishments of another famous Quaker.

Pennsbury Manor, home of William Penn, is one of many places in Philadelphia where you can learn more about Quakers and how their activism helped to change the minds of many in the 19th century.

The Quaker Tapestry Museum in Stramongate, England tells about abolition, too. The tapestries there were the inspired by a grade-school boy!

Chapter 18: The Gettysburg Museum in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania AND Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Also in this chapter, Mr. Wornall speaks of the Battle of Honey Springs in what was then “Indian Territory.” Study and try to visit the historic site in Honey Springs, Oklahoma.

Why was the Battle of Honey Springs especially important to the Union? You can find the answer in Mr. Wornall’s remarks, of course. You can also visit the Ft. Smith National Historic Site in Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

Over in Washington, Kentucky, you’ll be inspired by Harriett Beecher Stowe, Slavery to Freedom Museum in Washington, Kentucky.

Back in Missouri, find out about the long history of racial discrimination in baseball by visiting the Negro League’s Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

You’ll have to go all the way to New York, however, to see the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown.

Chapter 22: The National Park Service has a plan for tourists who want to travel along the entire Santa Fe Trail. Starting in Missouri, it will take you through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado, all the way to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

While there, you’ll want to ask about the El Camino Real del Tierra Adentro, a trail 200 years older than the Santa Fe, comes up to join the Santa Fe Trail.

Chapter 26: Visit Shawnee Indian Mission, which Rev. and Mrs. Johnson established, at Fairway, Kansas.

Explore President Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is in Springfield, Illinois.

Chapter 30: For Sioux culture and history, visit Sioux Indian Museum in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Nevada City Museum and Music Hall near Alders Gulch, Montana allows you to understand gold rush fever.

Find Patee House Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Chapter 31: Also in St. Joseph is Jesse James Museum.

Nearby, you can see the Pony Express National Museum. If you hurry, you can take in the nearby Alexander Majors House of Kansas City, Missouri . Discover why these two have a lot of shared history.

For more on issues of conscription and the New York City draft riots, visit Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s National Civil War Museum.

If you’re able to get to Connecticut, stop in at The Elihu Burritt Research Library If you can’t get there, just visit it online for help with research about the history of this progressive thinker and those he influenced to work for peace.

Chapter 32: For railroad history and much more, see Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History (a Smithsonian affiliate) in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Or at Hannibal History Museum in Hannibal, MO.

While in Hannibal, visit The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum and the Mark Twain Riverboat.

Chapter 34: See the George M. Verity Riverboat Museum in, Keokuk, Iowa and the Keokuk National Cemetery. You may want to plan your visit so you can be there for Keokuk’s annual spring Civil War Reenactment

Chapter 36: Mt. Pleasant, Iowa holds an annual multi-cultural festival in late summer to celebrate the town’s diversity.

Also at Mt. Pleasant, see the Richard E. Oetken Heritage Museums

Then, hop on down to Salem to see The Henderson Lewelling House, an underground railroad museum.

Chapter 38: At Centralia Historical Society Museum, Centralia, Missouri, you should be able to find out all there is to know about Bloody Bill Anderson and the Centralia Massacre.

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in Fishers, Indiana, is a Smithsonian affiliate, offering a vast array of activities and information on the web. Even if you can’t go, you should check them out.

Chapter 40: If in Massachusetts, be sure to stop in at Concord’s Louisa Mae Alcott’s Orchard House.

You’ll have to go all the way out to Eads, Colorado, though, to find The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.

For extensive coverage of Sherman’s March, a trip to explore Georgia’s March to the Sea Heritage Trails is what you need. From there you can visit the most infamous of Civil War prisons at Andersonville, Georgia.

If it’s more convenient, find out about Libby Prison in Chicago, Illinois.

Chapter 41: In St. Louis, Missouri, check out Civil War Museum.

In the Epilogue, we discover that it’s not enough to pass legislation to the Constitution in order to secure civil rights. Brown vs. Board of Education, an Historic Site of the National Park Service in Topeka, Kansas shows how the struggle to insure civil rights takes constant vigilance, persistence, hard work, and often requires great risk-taking.

QUESTION: Even if you were able to go to every one of the above 48 places and had thoroughly studied all the issues presented in “Just Following Orders: Surviving Guerrilla Warfare in the American Civil War,” do you think that you might be ready to take the necessary risks on behalf of others?