A new website will highlight Missouri's Civil War history as the 150th anniversary of the war's beginning approaches.
The website, www.MoCivilWar150.com, was launched by the Missouri Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and features topics including: the Civil War's key figures and their specific roles in Missouri history; the battles and battlegrounds where troops from the Union and Confederacy engaged one another; the places history enthusiasts and travelers still can visit today (along with a trip-planning tool); upcoming events; and educational opportunities for students and teachers.
The website also includes links to photos from Civil War sites, social media outlets, a special You-Tube channel, and a series of warrelated videos from Wide Awake Films.
"Missouri's role in the Civil War was an active one," said Katie Steele Danner, director of the Missouri Division of Tourism. "Overall, Missouri had a greater number of battles and engagements - more than 1,000 - than any state except Virginia and Tennessee. Visitors and residents alike will want to see these attractions and events to learn about the Civil War and Missouri's tumultuous past."
"In many ways, the Civil War's roots were in Missouri," said Bill Bryan, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Division of State Parks. "The same forces that drove the nation to war in 1861 were present in Missouri almost a decade before. This website will serve as a tool for people to learn about the war and the very important issues around it."
The Missouri Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission was created earlier this year by an executive order from Gov. Jay Nixon. The goal of the commission, in part, is to "increase awareness and understanding of Missouri's role in the Civil War."
Among the key figures from Missouri were: Gov. Claiborne Fox Jackson, a Southern sympathizer who wanted Missouri to secede from the Union; Jesse James, who rode with "Bloody" Bill Anderson and is credited with having a role in the "Centralia Massacre" during which 24 Union soldiers were killed; and Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, who served a two-week stint as a Confederate volunteer before deciding he wasn't fit for service.
More generals who commanded armies during the Civil War lie in Bellefontaine and Calvary cemeteries in north St. Louis than are buried at Arlington and West Point.