Kansas was admitted as a state in January 1861, becoming the newest addition to the American Union before the American Civil War. By formally rejecting slavery through popular vote, Kansas became part of and fought on the side of the Union. Kansas’ acceptance as a Union member caused almost immediate conflict with neighboring state Missouri, a slave state and Confederate member. The American Civil War ended in 1865 with a Union victory under General Ulysses S. Grant and the abolishment of slavery in the United States with the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
Dedicated in 2016, the Reconciliation Memorial honors the memory of both Confederate and Union soldiers from the American Civil War. The memorial, which replaced the Confederate flag flown in the US Bicentennial Flag Pavilion, closely resembles the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. Each side of the four-sided gray granite obelisk tells how both sides of the civil war lost soldiers and what each side was fighting for.