BALDWIN CITY, Kan. (AP) _ A Civil War battlefield in northeast Kansas has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
The National Park Service on Wednesday announced the designation for the Black Jack Battlefield just east of Baldwin City.
Abolitionist John Brown fought pro-slavery forces of Henry Clay Pate in the battle on June 2, 1856. Several historians have suggested it was the first battle of the Civil War.
Kerry Altenbernd, vice president of the Black Jack Battlefield Trust, says the designation gives national significance to the 40-acre site along U.S. Highway 56 about three miles east of Baldwin City.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Altenbernd says the listing may help secure grants to maintain the property and improve maintenance and amenities for visitors. Currently, it is maintained only by volunteers.