Category Archives: Events

Tour of Pilot Knob with Historian Doug Gifford Coming Up on October 2 and 3

Engraving of Federal troops in the Arcadia Valley in 1861. By 1863, Federals constructed the earthen Fort Davidson to protect the St. Louis & Iron Mountain Railroad line and the rest of the Arcadia Valley. Courtesy of Civil War on the Western Border.

Join historian Doug Gifford and the Civil War Round Table of St. Charles for a tour of the Battle of Pilot Knob/Fort Davidson on October 2 or 3! The tour will cover the story of the battle, including Price’s movement into the Arcadia Valley, civilian experiences, the planning and execution of the attack and defense, artillery, logistics, medical care in its aftermath, the Union withdrawal and Price’s pursuit, and the many lessons learned in the battle’s wake. Doug Gifford, an Army historian and the author of Where Valor and Devotion Meet: The Battle of Pilot Knob, will be leading the tours.

Since tours are one day long each, guests can choose to attend either date (October 2 or 3) – they are the same on both dates. The tour begins at the Visitors Center at 10:00am. It is a free event, but we highly encourage you to pick up a copy of Doug’s book for extra reading.

The tour is held entirely outside, so be prepared for weather. Guests are asked to bring their own vehicles to travel from stop to stop.

For more information, please give Doug an email at

When Nathaniel Lyon Court Martialed the Second Cousin of Robert E. Lee

In the years prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, well over two-hundred future field commanders in the war were stationed in Missouri. These soldiers included Robert E. Lee, Ulysses Grant, James Longstreet, William T. Sherman, Braxton Bragg, and many others. They were trained and drilled on the parade ground of Jefferson Barracks Military Post located only a few miles south of St. Louis along the Mississippi River.

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Willie Lee is shown on the far left with a war-time image of Jefferson Barracks and Nathaniel Lyon on the right. Courtesy of the Reeves Family, Civil War Scholars, Missouri Civil War Museum, and The State Historical Society of Missouri.

Though many – like Ulysses Grant and J.E.B. Stuart – largely had positive experiences serving near one of the largest cities in the United States, some soldiers’ services at Jefferson Barracks were blotted with challenges. One of these soldiers was Lieutenant William “Willie” Fitzhugh Lee. Continue reading