It's about an hour's drive from Boonville to this Battlefield, which is open to the public and contains a picnic area and two Civil War markers. The site is among those listed on Missouri's Gray Ghosts Trail. The Battle of Centralia, Sept. 27, 1864, featured Southern partisans commanded by "Bloody Bill" Anderson, whose men wiped out a Union force led by Maj. A.V.E. Johnson. The battle took place within hours of the Centralia Massacre. According to reports, Jesse James fired the shot that killed Major Johnson.
From Centralia, take a 45-minute drive south to The Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society, which archives the history of Callaway County. While you're here, learn the Civil War connection to this county, known as The Kingdom of Callaway.
You've spent the morning soaking up Civil War history in Centralia and Fulton, now treat yourself with a big lunch at Beks. It's located downtown, four-and-a-half blocks from Westminster College and the Winston Churchill Museum.
From Fulton, drive 25 minutes south to Missouri's capital. An important historic site, National Cemetery, contains more than 1,500 burial sites for veterans of wars dating from the War of 1812 to the Vietnam War. This site was originally intended to be used as a burial site for Civil War soldiers from the surrounding area, with the first burial taking place in 1861; several soldiers from the aforementioned Battle of Centralia are among those buried here. Federal gravestones have a familiar arched top while the Confederate gravestones have a gabled angle top.
The Capitol, completed in 1918, covers three acres in downtown Jefferson City. Inside the Capitol, explore the Missouri State Museum, which features exhibits of historical significance, including one focusing on the state's role in the Civil War.
When you've finished your Capitol tour, drive just a few blocks south to Capitol Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, where newly renovated guest rooms await. You can dine at Capitol Plaza or enjoy one of the dozens of restaurants that are within 10 minutes of the hotel.