Years ago, we got interested in researching and attending Civil War battle sites. We discover what occurred during the battle and then attend the sites to try to get a feel of what the combatants were seeing, doing and maybe thinking. One of the earliest urban battles of this war was the Battle of Independence and one of the last battles was the Battle of the Little Blue (river). The Little Blue was a small river east of Independence that was under the control of the Union forces. The Confederacy wanted to raid this area to take the heat off of the Eastern Front and ended up being defeated. This was a great step toward ending the war the next year. A concrete base is all that is left of a covered bridge over the Little Blue. A private home was being used by the Union Army as a field hospital. When it was attacked by the Confederates, the upstairs was an operating area and damage to the brick walls from minnie and cannon balls are still observable. We then returned to Independence and saw some trees blooming beautifully. It seems like the buds are sprouting almost instantly. We left town for a couple of hours and seemed to find some of these beauties that may or may not have been there when we left. Note the "two toned" tree - white and pink. SPRING IS HERE!!!