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Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site

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The Battle of Island Mound marked the first time that African-American troops were engaged in Civil War combat, nearly a year before the battle depicted in the film Glory. Battle of Island Mound State Historic site encompasses Fort Africa, where the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry were camped in 1862 before a pitched battle with pro-Confederate forces near a low hill named Island Mound. Come, walk the interpretive trail loop and learn about this battle as well as the effect that the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry has on later Union decisions to allow African-American units to fight.

“The Battle of Island Mound”

Missouri State Parks’ new short film depicting the story of the Battle of Island Mound, the first time that African-American troops were engaged in Civil War combat is coming soon to a state park or historic site near you.  Check back soon for more information on upcoming events.   

Park Hours

Sunrise to sunset - year-round

Every spring, the woodlands in Missouri burst with color even before the trees begin to bud. The first signs of spring come from plants called spring ephemerals. Ephemeral refers to a plant with a very short life cycle. Spring ephemerals take advantage of all the sunlight hitting the forest floor before the leaves come out. They bloom and die back very quickly, but while they are blooming, they put on a stunning show. From the blues and purples of the Virginia bluebells to the oddly-shaped white Dutchman’s breeches, a bounty of color and new life awaits you on many Missouri state park and historic site trails. One of the most popular trails for spring ephemeral wildflower viewing is the Thousand Steps Trail at Washington State Park. If you take a walk on this trail, your eyes will be treated to a carpet of trilliums, bluebells, Dutchman’s breeches, spring beauties and wild sweet Williams. For more on trail in Washington State Park, visit http://www.mostateparks.com/trails/washington-state-park.