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

Guarding Confederates in the Old McDowell Medical College

At the corner of 8th and Gratiot, the McDowell Medical College was transformed into St. Louis’ most notorious prisons for Confederate soldiers and secessionist civilians. Just prior to the outbreak of war, the college was owned and operated by the macabre Dr. Joseph McDowell, who gained a reputation for digging out corpses from local cemeteries … More Guarding Confederates in the Old McDowell Medical College

Who Is This Benton Barracks Soldier?

One of the most recognizable African-American soldiers of the Civil War, this young soldier has represented the nearly-200,000 USCTs who served in the Union armies. Standing in front of the famous “Benton Barracks backdrop,” he has also been the face of former Trans-Mississippi slaves who risked their lives to fight for freedom. Around 8,000 of … More Who Is This Benton Barracks Soldier?

Major Horace A. Conant and the Planter’s House Hotel Meeting

Many of us know the story of the infamous Planter’s House Hotel meeting on June 11, 1861. The six most-influential political and military leaders in the State of Missouri at the start of the American Civil War – Major General Sterling Price, Governor Claiborne Jackson, Thomas Snead, Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, Colonel Francis P. Blair, … More Major Horace A. Conant and the Planter’s House Hotel Meeting

A Rare Sight of Union Troops Drilling in Missouri

Every day I am amazed by the number of primary sources that I have never stumbled upon before, especially with Missouri Civil War-related sources. To be fair, though, I have only been digging around for this kind of material since I started working at the Missouri Civil War Museum in 2011. Nonetheless, I am familiar … More A Rare Sight of Union Troops Drilling in Missouri

Take a Tour of the Camp Jackson Affair in Downtown St. Louis

Considered to be the culminating event of early-war tension in St. Louis, the Camp Jackson Affair changed the course of Missouri’s neutrality and the state’s role in the ensuing Civil War. With 28 people dead and scores more wounded, including women and children, the nation was shocked by the violence and the conduct of Federal … More Take a Tour of the Camp Jackson Affair in Downtown St. Louis

A St. Louis Civilian Flies the Rebel Flag in 1862

On May 16, 1862, Mrs. Amos on 6th Street received a harsh and threatening letter from St. Louis Provost Marshal George Leighton. In the back of her house, she – or another occupant of the building – flew the Rebel flag in defiance of Federal occupation of the city. Open sympathies with the Confederacy made … More A St. Louis Civilian Flies the Rebel Flag in 1862