Jerald Gross is the eighth-grade Social Studies at Richard W. Warren Middle School.
In this Q5, he talks about the Mexican War exhibit at the school.

Jerald Gross is the  eighth-grade Social Studies at Richard W. Warren Middle School.
In this Q5, he talks about the Mexican War exhibit at the school.


Jerald, what are some of the documents and artifacts that are part of the Mexican War exhibit?
Artifacts from the Mexican War include uniform buttons, discharge papers of U.S. soldiers who fought in the Mexican War, buckles found at Buena Vista, Mexico, a pocket watch most likely belonging to an officer found at Cerro Gordo, necklace beads/pottery found at the camp location of Maj. Zachary Taylor at the Battle of Buena Vista, Mexico, a powder flask, a dagger, sabers, swords and much more.
The display is located in the eighth-grade wing outside of my classroom at Richard Warren Middle School. The display is open to visitors to the school.
 
Are most of the items on display from museums or privately owned? What are some of the rare items on display?
These artifacts are from a local private collection. Besides the exhibit at the Frontier Army Museum on Fort Leavenworth, this is the first display of the Mexican War in Leavenworth.
A few of the rare items in the display include artillery cannon balls recovered across the Missouri River in a farmer’s field that were fired from Fort Leavenworth in preparation for the Mexican War. There is also a Mexican artillery saber with a whalebone handle that was claimed as a souvenir by Col. Sterling Price of Missouri. Col. Price would later go on to serve as a brigadier general for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Who organized the exhibit? Do you think this war is overshadowed by other wars?
The artifacts were organized and installed by a collector who wishes to remain anonymous whom I have known for almost 15 years. I often think that the war with Mexico and fight for the independence of Texas is overshadowed.  
 
What are some interesting facts that people who view the exhibit will learn? How did this war change our history in the U.S.? What direct tie does Leavenworth have to the Mexican War 173 years ago?
As the war ended on Feb. 2, 1848, with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the U.S. gained an additional 525,000 square miles of territory. It included land that made up all or parts of present-day Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. This war helped finalize our borders and allowed for the great migrations from Europe and Asia.
Fort Leavenworth was a training post for units on their way to fight in the Mexican War and some soldiers even lived in Leavenworth.
 
As an eighth-grade social studies teacher, what are you hoping students will learn from viewing the artifacts from this war? How have your students reacted to it?
I am hoping that these displays will continue to serve as a springboard for historical inquiry. I also want students to start thinking, how did my family play a part in our country’s rich history?
I have noticed that since I started rotating the display to different time periods, students have been getting excited about the current display and asking what’s going to be in the next display. This is the second installment of four displays planned for this school year.
– Rimsie McConiga