Missouri’s Civil War Site: Glimpses into History
Throughout Missouri, history lives on at several Civil War sites. Learn about Missouri’s role in the Civil War by visiting one of our battlefields and commemorative sites.
History Vacations That Reveal the Past
At the Battle of Athens State Historic Site, you’ll walk in the footsteps of Union soldiers who, in 1861, vanquished the pro-confederacy Missouri State Guard. During a guided tour, people taking history vacations learn the fascinating background of this historic event—the northernmost Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River. Located 10 miles outside of Kahoka, Missouri, this Civil War site also offers picnicking, hiking, fishing and boating.
In Cape Girardeau, visitors are welcome to tour the legendary Fort D, one of the historic sites in Cape Girardeau designed under the direction of future Grand Canyon explorer John Wesley Powell. Of the four forts built to protect the vital city of Cape Girardeau, only Fort D survived the constant attacks by Confederate forces. Be sure to check out the original cannons, each of which had the capability of firing a 32-pound cannonball.
Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site is one of Missouri's most important Civil War sites. It claims its page in history as the site of the Battle of Pilot Knob. Following an incredibly intense two-day battle in 1864, Union troops prevailed over Confederate forces. Watch the story unfold in Fort Davidson's visitor center, where you can view a video and several exhibits.
In 1861, a fierce fight took place at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, near the town of Republic. Learn more about this major battle by viewing a film and visiting the museum full of history. Vacations here continue following the walking trails to various battle sites and historic buildings.
In Marshall, visit the monument dedicated to the Dennis Brothers depicts the Civil War's impact on individual families. This equestrian monument was erected as a symbol of the struggle of the war which divided the Dennis brothers in their youth. Austin Dennis fought for the South; his brother Davis Dennis fought for the North.
At Lexington’s Civil War sites include Machpelah Cemetery, visitors see the gravesites of the soldiers who fell at the Battle of Lexington. Stop by the Lexington Tourism Bureau to pick up a guide on this historically significant cemetery and to learn more about the battle itself.
Civil War enthusiasts may be surprised to learn that St. Joseph, even though no battles were fought there, played a role in Civil War history. Vacations to St. Jo include nine, registered Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area sites, each having historical significance to the Civil War. They feature exhibits that outline the struggles and successes of the St. Joseph area during the Civil War. Also in St. Jo, the National Military Heritage Museum, is dedicated to preserving the military heritage of the United States.