The Common Pleas Courthouse was completed in 1854. It sits high atop the hill "dungeon" was used to jail southern sympathizers and perhaps Confederate soldiers. On the west side of the courthouse stand three memorials, including one that depicts a Union soldier. Though it isn’t a Civil War battlefield, the Cape Girardeau Common Plea Courthouse is an important Missouri monument to the Civil War.
The spring was an ideal place for military units to camp and recruit. In July 1861, 2,000 soldiers from 15 Southeast Missouri counties met to organize as the First Division, Missouri State Guard- the pro-Confederate state militia, known in history as the "Swamp Fox Brigade."
This cemetery holds 150 markers of soldiers who died during the Civil War. Each marker includes a brief account of where, when and how that soldier died.
Exhibits reflect the culture of this ever-changing river town, from the Mississippian Indian period through the great earthquakes of 1811 and 1812; from New Madrid's role in the Civil War through the early 20th century. Learn more about nearby Civil War battle sites, historic places in the region and the people who made the rich history of this river town possible.