“At least 600,000 men died in the Civil War. Major battles numbered the dead in the thousands; even minor skirmishes killed hundreds…Then why study the death of thirteen men?… Mass death numbs the mind and heart as it numbers its vast toll. Relief from the horror is less possible when we watch old Joe Woods and thirteen-year-old David Shelton plead for life – and then die.” – Phillip Shaw Pauadan, Victims: A True Story Of The Civil War
Black Jack Battlefield. No one died in this confrontation. However, the energy of death and trauma was very present for me in this space.
A note to the living: This was the flashpoint, a trigger, a catalyst for a horrific war. Thus, the prior and subsequent deaths of any who are linked to this conflict are connected. Karma. Energy threads on the subtle plane. Some people – sensitives – will feel those elements in this space. Actions create waves. Subtle Energy.
Visiting the Black Jack Battlefield site was an eye-opener and draining – because I was there to do a reading – open in a way that I might not be otherwise. Civil War energy is dense, emotionally intense and sticky. Volatile emotions and psychic wounds from the atrocities committed continue to resonate.
Picture Beetlejuice – plopped into the middle of sandworm central … or a similar unfamiliar and highly interactive space. It takes a bit of time to figure out the disposition and the framework.
This is a link to the detailed backstory (and present day photos) about the site: Civil War Muse. I had no information until after my visit – when I came home, crashed, then stayed up for hours combing the web for details on everything related to that space – Civil War, Native American, Santa Fe Trail, Underground Railroad … history crash course – and more overwhelm. It helped me to understand why I felt like I had been slammed from all sides. The multitude voices were from different vantage points of the timeline. Wow!
While there might have been more interest in the activity of the house – the land is what resonates for me. That energy field is wide open and multi-layered. Synchronicity: A sign speaks for the space … and me.
The ‘Black Jack Battlefield & Nature Park’ interpretive sign in the center has text which reads as follows: The land you see before you has stories to tell – – – stories of the struggle for human rights and freedoms, stories of the western frontier. Thank you, Civil War Muse.
Andy told me later that he overheard talk of a ghost sighted in the house that they thought might be John Brown. He heard that as he was looking at the info brochure with the picture of Robert Hall Pearson and the exact image of what they described. (Fair deal – fuzzy beard — they look similar.)
Spontaneously, I told him John Brown was a butcher – (insight from my guides) – he killed animals. And then I saw an exact reference to that on the brochure he handed me. #5 on the Brochure: Killing the Horses and Mules. Brown ordered his men to kill Pate’s animals to leave him without transportation – and the view is that it did factor into his decision to seek a truce. Henry Clay Pate: Leader of the Pro-Slavery militia. You really don’t want to connect with John Brown’s ghost.
A way for me to describe “the field” or an “energetic overlay” is to compare it to movie scenes. Quantum space. Multiple entities or presences are sensed. Some are nameless and they may not represent a singular individual.
Picture scenes from The Legend of Bagger Vance, Field of Dreams and Harry Potter where other dimensions/realms overlap and intermingle – you step into a field and a portal to/from the past opens – others step out from the mist and vie for your attention. Some are visible, others, only sensed.
A woman I did a reading for told me she saw an orange circle appear in the front door of her house as a group of people came through in single file, like they were in a conga line. Dressed in clothes from an earlier time period, following the one who carried a platter of some kind, they danced through the room and out of the scene… Her child, who saw – and played with – ghosts had been seated in her lap – allowing her to experience his expanded vision.
The Imprint Theory
My term for this is ‘energetic overlay’. Experiencing paranormal activity at certain sites – spaces/locations, I can feel energetically drained and/or buzzed. Sensory overload at the Black Jack site, was an affirmation of the presence and the connection. Multiple sources. One voice claimed a specific identity. Others registered as impressions, emotions, images, and word phrases. It can be a lot to unpack.
Environmental Sensitivity and Paranormal Experiences, Link. The imprint theory is a popular theory among ghost hunters (Danelek, 2006). This theory suggests that ghostly manifestations and haunt-type phenomena are the reflection of a moment in time that has somehow been inscribed or imprinted in the environment (Danelek, 2006).
For example at the moment of a violent death of an individual the intense emotions and electrical properties of that individual are released affecting and becoming imprinted in the electromagnetic fields of the local environment (Shallis,1983). In essence the event becomes imprinted in the walls of the room like an emotional memory (Shallis,1983). Link.
The Black Jack site was “noisy” for me – one impression I was given – a request for visitors to dig deeper and learn about the myriad events that led to the Civil War battle to understand how the catastrophic clash of cultures and conflicting agendas created a cascade of tragedies that impacted lives on and off the battlefields. And continue to influence the timeline on parallel planes – affecting nature and the ecosystem. The interconnected web.
Spirituality with a Wholistic view.
“Then the good mysteries gave him the tshi’saqkan, the wigwam built with four posts and wrapped with bark, in which he could fast and dream, so as to enable him to see at any distance where game was to be found, where his enemies were in hiding.” – Hoffman, Walter James (1896) The Menomini Indians, p. 93. Source.
Related material: Indigenous Religious Traditions. Link.
About the blood – War atrocities register more clearly in smaller numbers
Consider Ishmael Beah’s war story. Different timeline, different continent. Same emotional trauma and horror. – He tells how, at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and became a soldier. “I was glad to see other faces and at the same time disappointed that the war had destroyed the enjoyment of the very experience of meeting people. Even a twelve-year-old couldn’t be trusted anymore.” – A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Amazon.
Then consider John Brown, one of the trigger fingers for the Civil War – and his actions in May, 1856 – The Pottawatomie Massacre. The brutal murder of 5 proslavery settlers marked the beginning of the “Bleeding Kansas” period, “as both sides of the slavery issue embarked on a campaign of terror, intimidation, and armed conflict that lasted throughout the summer.” “News of the attacks inflamed the territory, as both pro- and antislavery families fled for their lives.” Link. The following month, June, 1856 – Brown led the Battle of Black Jack. Civil War start date is April 12, 1861.
No doubt slavery needed to end – the method was tragic.
Wrestling with the prompt of “700 dead bodies”, “men, women and children”, I even asked where they were buried? Was it literal or specific? I began to look more closely at Kansas history in general to see what events would have been noted at that time and found a confluence. The Black Jack event was the top layer and a trigger for the civil war but a hotter battle was already underway – with the Indigenous population – and a cultural history on the land that predates this event.
700 as Metaphor or prompt to imply a significant and impactful tragedy. For whom? “Men, women and children” didn’t factor on the battle site. Did it pre-date the site/region ? What else might register in that space?
I expanded my search to include casualties (not the same as fatalities) of African Americans fleeing from slavery via the Underground Railroad, Radical Abolitionist John Brown, Bleeding Kansas, and the American Indian Wars.
- Again, note the timeline: “Did you know? On November 29, 1864, one of the most infamous events of the American-Indian Wars occurred when 650 Colorado volunteer forces attacked a Cheyenne and Arapaho encampment along Sand Creek. Although they had already begun peace negotiations with the U.S. government, more than 140 Native Americans were killed and mutilated, most of whom were women and children.“ Source.
The presence of the Santa Fe Trail is also an energetic influence for that area. Seeing the volume of traffic – impossible to determine a body count for those who passed through and those who might have perished on the journey – but the trail wagon count is incredible. Source. Those imprints are here as well.
This paragraph echoes the information my source (plural) offered during the visit to the Black Jack site.
“Despite the visibility of the violence in Kansas, relatively few of the settlers in the new territory were deeply invested in the conflict over slavery. Many of those listed on the pro-slavery side were poor farmers who didn’t even enslave people, while few anti-slavery settlers were champions of Black rights. Both groups simply wanted land for themselves and their families, but were caught up in the ongoing battle that was tearing the nation apart.”
The source described the mood at the time was like being in a tsunami, the wave came up and engulfed the region. Things might have been different if cooler heads had been allowed to prevail but the hotheads led the charge.
Native Americans fighting encroachment from white settlers, were also being ousted from their homelands in the east and driven further west. Kansas was a stopping point. Santa Fe Trail is the timeline witness to the conflict and disruption.
Example: 1864. Ed Miller Story mentions a wagonmaster in charge of a train of some 100 wagons who is desperate for help because those wagons are surrounded by 2 – 3,000 Indians. (The trail is mapped in great detail with multiple links on this site.)
Ironically, the loudest influence during my visit to the Black Jack site was representing the Native Americans of the Plains. Asking for a refresh on the history to account for additional tragedies that still haunt the land.
Mentioned in the previous post, Counting the Dead: Estimating the Loss of Life in the Indigenous Holocaust, 1492-Present , David Michael Smith says: “Understanding the scope and dimensions of the Indigenous Holocaust is an important first step toward collective political action which addresses the needs, interests, and aspirations of Indigenous people today—and which ensures that such a holocaust will never happen again.“
The point in learning the expanded history is to understand the generational toll on the entirety of the population – all humans – and then including the animals, the ecosystem and subtle realms. Recognize the patterns to stop the cycle before it repeats. All is connected.
Knock, knock – calling on battlefield ghosts
What is the Morphic Resonance? Sheldrake suggests that nature is not a machine and that each kind of system – from crystals to birds to societies – is shaped not by universal laws that embrace and direct all systems but by a unique “morphic field” containing a collective or pooled memory. So organisms not only share genetic material with others of their species, but are also shaped by a “field” specific to that species. Link.
The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Memory of Nature, Amazon. Overview: Sheldrake is “Offering a replacement for the outdated, mechanistic worldview that has dominated biology since the nineteenth century, Sheldrake’s new understanding of life, matter, and mind shows that rather than being ruled by fixed laws, nature is essentially habitual. And because memory is inherent in nature, he explains, in order to survive successfully for generations to come, we will have to give up our old habits of thought and adopt new ones: habits that are better adapted to life in a world living in the presence of the past–as well as the presence of the future.”
Collective Memory. 1. Not in the brain. 2. Survives bodily death. YouTube video presentation. Rupert Sheldrake.
Ghost excavations at an American Civil War battlefield
The following project affirms Morphic Resonance. Edited from the site of origin: Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal, Vol. 3 No. 2.
Soundscape and the Culture of War on an American Civil War
Battlefield: An Ethnography of Communication with Past Presences – John G. Sabol
“Have reenactments, ghost tours, ghost tour/investigations, and widespread ‘ghost hunting’ created an expanded morphic field of battlefield presence that is perceived as a haunting by phantom ‘ghost soldiers’?”
This paper presents the results of a series of ‘ghost excavations’ that were conducted at one American Civil War battlefield. The focus of these ‘excavations’ was to explore the reality of these perceptions and manifestations of past presence through controlled and directed fieldwork.
As Rupert Sheldrake states: “What happened in the past can in some
sense become present there again and thus…..can act as doorways to realms of experience that transcend the ordinary limitations of space and time.” (1994:176).
The site chosen for our ‘ghost excavations’ was the Antietam
battlefield, located in Sharpsburg, Maryland. This battlefield was the site of the single bloodiest day of combat in American history, with more than 26,000 casualties (killed, wounded, and missing).
“The reading of a letter at the 11th Connecticut monument by one of our female investigators ‘unearthed’ more than a fragmented auditory
communication. It recovered a past ‘live’ audio scene that contained many elements of an ethnography of communication. During the scenario, we first heard footsteps and the rustling of brush in the wooded area behind the monument. This was followed by some investigators reporting tactile sensations as if they were being gently touched. These investigators (all female) were positioned behind the video camera and out of frame. The video camera itself was physically moved, and the live video feed was in and out of focus several times.”, Soundscape and the Culture of War on an American Civil War Battlefield: An Ethnography of Communication with Past Presences – John G. Sabol (21-30)
Symbols, imagery and designs also resonate with purpose. What is also important to mention is an item I was wearing at the site would have projected a beacon of receptivity to a Native American presence. Thus the challenge to go off on a tangent.
And what a fascinating tangent. Although it might put a dent in my credibility, because I am so obviously not a linear thinker, I trust the personal need for the ‘trip’ … and __ the ego.
The availability and volume of information on historical events now is fantastic. Compared to what I remember learning about in school, History has been updated tremendously in the past 40 years with additional research – collected, cataloged and archived.
Kansas Example: Brown vs. Board of Education Museum
One day our ancestors will look back and wonder how we were able to watch without responding or intervening to tragedies – obvious in hindsight. And like previous generations caught up in tsunamis of tumultuous societal and geographical upheaval – it may be that the only response is – we lived it the best that we could.
A moment in time – 2022
2022. Climate in crisis. Drought, floods, fires, Glaciers are melting, the rainforest disappearing. Rainforest Facts. Ocean pollution is throwing up a red flag. Link. Environmentalist are seeing their worst case scenarios manifest in Brazil. Link. Extinction crisis. Link. Indigenous people continue to suffer loss of their land and cultural heritage. Human Rights Watch.
History is happening here and now. The future (on multiple timelines past and present) is improved with every hurt we prevent and every past we heal.
Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park has been carefully tended with the house restored to provide an opportunity to rediscover the past. That opens the door to healing the future in the present. Prairie Restoration and Management is one example of proactive presence – healing the environment and restoring the balance – elevating the energy of the space.
The paranormal element is natural and will remain present. Some will sense it. Others will just enjoy the area. If you experience it, wherever you are, ground yourself. Sit quietly and ask for insight to understand the purpose of the presence – is there a message? Answers will be specific to you. Show up with gratitude and appreciation and enjoy the time for reflection. Nature is healing. Site.
Black Jack Ruts. Santa Fe National Historic Trail. Link.
Restoring Native lands. Link.
Tall Grass Prairie. Chase County, Kansas. Link.
Native tribes have lost 99% of their lands. “By wrangling many disparate sources into one quantitative data set, the work “is going to represent a paradigm shift” for studies of U.S. colonialism and its effects.” 10.2021. Source.
Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. – Albert Einstein
— I’ll update if I receive any new information regarding the reading. The video shoot – no matter the result – is the only reason I researched this history. I am glad I did. I can say there were no believers at the site – because what I said had nothing – or very little – to do with the house and that had been the primary focus of the prepared questions. No doubt due to the ghost presence. I also can not prove any of what I was given.
But my sense of it suggests the primary trauma predates Black Jack and is not related to the house. It is an interesting site. The prairie restoration is beautiful.
I do have more information – something I just stumbled across over the weekend – regarding paranormal activity related to Civil War battlefield sites in an upcoming post. Someone has left me a trail of breadcrumbs. I’ve decided to follow.