In the winter of 1862, a serious epidemic of smallpox broke-out among Confederate prisoners in a Union prisoner-of-war camp in Alton, IL. Rather than run the risk of infecting residents of Alton, prison officials moved the sick prisoners to Sunflower Island, out in the middle of the Mississippi River. Not surprisingly, it became a place where men went to die. Smallpox Island is a good indicator of the understanding Civil War-era medical personnel had regarding sanitation, infection, and contamination.
The documentary series “The Civil War- St. Louis” will take a look at what it was like to live in a Union-controlled city located in a state with Confederate leanings. In the mid-1800’s Missouri was populated by states’ rights supporters who supported slavery, as well as abolitionist German immigrants. The 12-part series explores places in and around St. Louis where Civil War events unfolded.
A State Divided -- A Missouri Symphony
Skirmish at Island Mound is the second movement of an original symphony created and composed by Dr. Barbara Harbach. A State Divided -- A Missouri Symphony was created for the October 27, 2012 dedication of Battle of Island Mound. Narrated by Dr. Louis Gerteis and performed by the University Orchestra, conducted by Robert Charles Howard.
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
Officials at Jefferson Barracks National operate under the notion that you can always learn something about a society by how they bury their dead. Civil War soldiers… both Union and Confederate… are buried at Jefferson Barracks. On a cemetery tour we visit monuments for each, including a mass grave where 175 men are buried.
Jefferson Barracks Missouri Civil War Museum
Jefferson Barracks played a role in the Civil War long before the Civil War began. That's because so many Civil War generals… Union and Confederate… passed through there before they made the very important decision regarding which side they were going to fight for. For nearly ten years now, a small group of very dedicated people has been working to establish the Missouri Civil War Museum at Jefferson Barracks. They hope to open to the public this year.
Today many people may react with disgust, horror… even humor… at some of the commonly held beliefs in the medical community at the time of the Civil War. Dr. David Meyers, a re-enactor with the Society of Civil War Surgeons, sheds some light on some of the tenants members of the medical community were operating under when Union and Confederate forces were mortally wounding each other across the eastern half of America. Even citizens back then had a problem with the sanitary conditions soldiers were forced to fight in. So what did they do? They held a fair. A Sanitary Fair.
There are 14 more episodes of The Civil War: St. Louis.
Museum of Transportation
In St. Louis County, the Museum of Transportation is featuring a Civil War sesquicentennial exhibit titled "Roads, Rivers, & Rails: Transportation of the Civil War." This episode takes a look at that exhibit, but more importantly, at a strategic tunnel on Museum of Transportation property. It was virtually the only way to get into the city of St. Louis 150 years ago if you were traveling by rail. Also in this piece, we meet a man who is trying to construct, and build support for, a Civil War tourism travel map in the state of Missouri similar to those in Virginia and Tennessee, two states which have had success with drawing attention to their Civil War heritage.