Author Archives: Kristen Pawlak

On the Eve of War: The Missouri Bootheel

Located in the extreme southeastern corner of Missouri is the “Bootheel,” a region named for its unique shape as it protrudes into Arkansas from the famous 36,30’ latitude line. The counties of Dunklin, Pemiscot, New Madrid and portions of Mississippi, … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Trans-Mississippi, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Swarming with maggots” – Assistant Surgeon Samuel Melcher and the Care of the Wounded at Wilson’s Creek

As the first major engagement fought west of the Mississippi River, the 1861 Battle of Wilson’s Creek (fought August 10, 1861) was known for being a particularly desperate, hard-fought battle that resulted in nearly 20% casualties on both sides. For … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Medical, Personalities, Primary Sources, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

“High upon a hill she stands” – The Civil War History of Jewell Hall in Liberty, Missouri

In the heart of Clay County, Missouri sits the historic town of Liberty and one of the oldest colleges west of the Mississippi River – William Jewell College. Located near the state’s contentious, bloody Western Border, Liberty sat at the … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Preservation, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What We’ve Learned: Keep the Fire Alive for the Civil War

On April 12, 2011, I was sitting in my high school Civil War & Reconstruction course, just listening to my teacher talk to us about the significance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Early in the ‘Civil War … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Sesquicentennial | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Finding Missouri Governor and Union Brigadier General Thomas C. Fletcher in Hillsboro

For many history buffs and road trippers, rural Jefferson County, Missouri is usually not very high – or maybe not at all – on the Civil War bucket list of sites to see. Sitting due south of St. Louis is … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Personalities, Slavery, Trans-Mississippi, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

This Place Mattered – St. Bridget of Erin in St. Louis

In early 2016, demolition crews rolled up to one of St. Louis’ oldest churches, St. Bridget of Erin. Demolition crews ploughed their way into her beautiful front brick façade and soon enough, this 19th-century church was just a pile of … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Emerging Civil War, Preservation | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

“He is the last of seven sons” – One Sanitary Agent Witnesses the Tragedy of War in St. Louis

In her first assignment as an agent with the Chicago branch of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, Jane Hoge witnessed the true tragedy, devastation, and sacrifices that the Civil War brought upon Americans. At age 50 and the mother of two … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Emerging Civil War, Medical, Primary Sources, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Iowa Soldier’s First Combat Experience at Wilson’s Creek

Today marks the 159th anniversary of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, fought on August 10, 1861 along the banks of the Wilson Creek, a mere twelve miles to the southwest of Springfield, Missouri. One of the first major battles of … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Primary Sources, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

“It is inhuman, to treat our soldiers as such” – An Iowa Newspaper Criticizes the Federal Hospital System

On January 23, 1863, the Cedar Falls Gazette of Cedar Falls, Iowa wrote an article about their visit to the general hospital complex at Jefferson Barracks Military Post. Located just south of St. Louis, the hospital at Jefferson Barracks was one of … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 3 Comments

Sacred Duty – Sherman Honors Thomas E.G. Ransom

In June of 1884, General William T. Sherman stood before the members of St. Louis’ newest Grand Army of the Republic post. Just having retired from the U.S. Army and residing in the Gateway City, Sherman “was invited by several … Continue reading

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