Commemorating Our Military Past

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Article Tags:

Civil War , Historic Sites / Civil War , State Historic Site , Museums , museums
Show-Me History
Author: H&L Partners
History comes to life across Missouri. From pioneer adventures to Civil War reenactments and epic interactive Army helicopter simulations, we make it possible to relive and honor the past, every day.

The spirit of Missouri’s frontier years lingers in the quiet town of Arrow Rock, 20 miles southeast of Boonville. In this pioneer-era village you can take-in several sites, including, among other possibilities: Arrow Rock State Historic Site; tour an old jail; the courthouse; explore the home of artist George Caleb Bingham; visit the J. Huston Tavern State Historic Site; and dine at the J. Huston Tavern Restaurant, which has been serving meals to travelers along the Santa Fe Trail since 1834. Hiking and camping provide a spectacular vista and a chance to walk in the steps of pioneers like Lewis and Clark, who crossed the Missouri River in the area. Be inspired by the struggles and stories of African-Americans from 1865 when you visit the Arrow Rock African-American Museum. Also, the Boone’s Lick State Historic Site preserves the location where Daniel Boone’s sons, Daniel M. and Nathan, owned and operated a salt-processing business. Hike up the trail that leads to the salt springs and a breathtaking outdoor exhibit.

Missouri is legendary for its pivotal role in the Civil War. The Battle of Athens State Historic Site, in far northeast Missouri, is the location of the northernmost Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River, where Union troops defeated the pro-south Missouri State Guard in 1861. The site features camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing and boating. History tours lasting from one to six hours are available. Take a natural history tour, hiking through gorgeous fields and forests. The site is 10 miles north of Kahoka, Missouri.

Established in 1826 as the country’s first "Infantry School of Practice," Jefferson Barracks, beside the Mississippi River, 10 miles south of downtown St. Louis, served as a major military installation until 1946. A new 16,000-square-foot museum, located on-site in what was the Post Exchange Building, focuses on Missouri’s role in the Civil War. The museum features a collection of artifacts including letters, weapons, uniforms and even a mounted horse. At one time or another, more than 200 Civil War generals served at the post.

There’s something irresistible about reading someone else’s mail. On Pinterest, explore the Missouri History Museum’s Collection of Love Letters written by James E. Love to his fiancée, Eliza Mary “Molly” Wilson, throughout his Civil War service. The letters were posted online 150 years after he put pen to paper.

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in Republic (15 miles southwest of downtown Springfield), was not only a pivotal battle in Missouri, it was the second major battle of the Civil War nationwide. More than 2,500 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded or declared missing during only five hours of intense battle. Today, the pristine landscape allows visitors to experience one of the best-preserved battlefields in the United States.

When was the last time you took a ride in a real Army helicopter? Visit the Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks in Springfield and take a simulated flight in a Cobra AH-1S Army helicopter (available Tuesdays & Saturdays, other days by appointment). Step into the cockpit, start the engine and get ready to lift off. You’ll soar over sand dunes at top speeds as you fire away at enemy tanks. The Museum includes many other hands-on exhibits.


 Arrow Rock State Historic Site
The Santa Fe Trail crossed the Missouri River here. Landmarks include artist George Caleb Bingham's ...

 Arrow Rock African-American Museum
Reflections of African-American Arrow Rock, 1865-1960 is a permanent exhibit located in Brown Lodge ...

 J. Huston Tavern Historic Site
Experience history while you dine. This building has served travelers along the Santa Fe Trail since ...

 J. Huston Tavern Restaurant
The J. Huston Tavern has been serving meals to travelers along the Santa Fe Trail since 1834. The brick ...

 Boone's Lick State Historic Site
As early as 1805, Daniel and Nathan Boone, sons of famed frontiersman Daniel Boone, processed salt from ...

 Battle of Athens State Historic Site
At this site, Union troops defeated the pro-south Missouri State Guard in 1861; it was the northernmost ...

 Jefferson Barracks
Jefferson Barracks was established in 1826 as the country’s first “Infantry School of Practice." ...

 Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
Designated a National Cemetery in 1866, the 331-acre site is still in use. Burials from the War of Independence ...

 Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
Fought on August 10, 1861, the Battle of Wilson’s Creek was a pivotal battle in Missouri and the ...

 Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks
Hands-on environment for all ages. On display is a Cobra helicopter, a T-33 jet aircraft, Army Jeeps, ...