Missouri Civil War Sites and Travel
near St. Louis in the Arcadia Valley and Black River Area
of Iron County and Reynolds County MO
war pitted Missourian against Missourian wreaking havoc, pain, death
and destruction in its path through Missouri.
Download the Battle of Pilot Knob Driving Tour
County Civil War Sites in the Arcadia Valley Region
(Directions to the
locations in Ironton, Arcadia and Pilot Knob are in the Battle
of Pilot Knob driving tour available at Fort Davidson or
may be downloaded here.)
Arcadia, Ironton and Pilot Knob - The
history of sister communities Pilot
Knob, Arcadia and Ironton, Missouri are inextricably linked.
A traveler will barely perceive the difference from one community
to the next, along the three mile stretch which is seemingly
continuous. History, however, sets each apart- as important
events occurred and historical landmarks appear in all three.
1857, it was a time of celebration throughout the region when
the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad was completed
all the way to Pilot Knob.
region was thriving; that is, until the specter of the Civil
War began to encroach upon Missouri . . . the time of celebration
came to a halt.
The recently completed railroad at Pilot Knob was
valuable to both sides, Union and Confederate, as
it transported many raw materials to the city of St. Louis.
The Battle of Pilot Knob swept through the entire area and
the civil war laid waste to homes, businesses and area farms.
Missouri - When
Iron County was formed February 17, 1857, the name
was derived from its principal mineral.
Homes and businesses sprung up and Ironton became the county
seat and the center of commerce for the area.
Today, see the historic Iron County Courthouse which still
bears the scar of a cannonball, 1800s architecture, antebellum
homes, historic churches and turn of the century mercantile
buildings. Also in Ironton, General Ulysses S. Grant,
received his commission as brigadier general and
became commander of the union forces in southeast Missouri,
while camped by a spring which still flows in Ironton.
A monument to General Grant rests on the lawn of
the Ste. Marie Du Lac Catholic Church.
the Grant monument in 1866
Missouri - Arcadia
was laid out in 1849 and incorporated in 1879.
It owes its existence to what was the Arcadia High School.
It is known today as the Ursuline Academy
- Arcadia College Historic District and is on the
National Register of Historic Places. The institution
was founded by Rev. J. C. Berryman. "The school was a grand
success, and from it graduated many of the best citizens of
Southeast Missouri." A short time prior to the Civil
War, he became the proprietor of the institution, but due to
the war, was forced to abandon it. It is believed, from
1861-1863, the original buildings were used as a military hospital.
After the war, Mr. Berryman reopened the school and continued
it until 1867. Although there is only one building left
standing from the original campus (the laundry building, now
occupied by Nostalgic Place Bed and Breakfast), the other eight
buildings reflect magnificent turn of the century architecture.
Tour this 17 acre campus with its mature trees,
stone retaining walls and nine historic buildings. Stroll through
the campus and view the grotto, cemetery and spring house. Of
particular note is the St. Joseph Chapel with
some of the most amazing stained glass windows in the world.
The Academy Bed and Breakfast is also located on the campus.
For a complete tour of historic
towns, landmarks and history of Iron County, please take this
tour. You'll see many other places to visit
on your civil war tour of our region.
Knob, Missouri - In
addition to Fort
will find other historical sites in Pilot Knob.
mine at Pilot Knob was of vital importance to St. Louis industry.
The railroad served the southeast Missouri iron mining district,
running from Irondale through Iron Mountain. When the
Civil War began to encroach upon Missouri soil, the Union established
a the post at Pilot Knob . . . not only to protect the mines,
but to also insure Union supplies could reach their outposts
at Farmington, Fredericktown, Centerville, Barnesville and Patterson.
Also, when in Pilot Knob, be certain to see one of the oldest
surviving churches in the Arcadia Valley, historic Immanuel
Lutheran Church located at East Pine and North
Ziegler. Founded by German immigrant August Gockel in 1861,
the church was occupied and used as a hospital during the Battle
of Pilot Knob. After the war, a second story
was finished in the back of the church and used as a one room
school house until 1936. Sometimes a pastor would live in the
back room of the church temporarily and one lived in the small
room with seven children and his wife! As years went by the
congregation helped found churches in Iron Mountain (now Bismarck),
Farmington, and Ironton. Tours of this church, which is on the
National Register of Historic Places and still contains much
of its original furnishings, can be arranged.
Shepherd Mountain Hiking Trail
(The trail is in the areas of old iron mines and also the fighting between civil war Confederate General Marmaduke's units and members of the 14th Iowa Infantry. The area where the Confederates placed a cannon is also near the trail.)
Click to download map
County, Missouri Civil War Sites in the Arcadia Valley Region
- Reynolds County was organized in 1845, however long before
this designation, many early pioneers braved the risk, hardship
and sacrifice in search of their dream. . .a more productive
and rewarding life in our Ozark Region. The civil war
era presented tumultuous times for these early settlers, in
some cases pitting brother against brother and fathers against
sons. Many notable historic landmarks and remnants
of these early settlements are still present in Reynolds
County, some on the National Register of Historic Places.
From 1850 to 1860, the population of Reynolds
county almost doubled. Even though almost all of its inhabitants
were from southern states, slavery was never an important issue
in hilly Reynolds county. It was a sad trick of fate that
the citizenry had no say, no choice, as this nation gradually
edged closer and closer to an internal war that would devastate
a complete tour of historic
towns, landmarks, early settlements and history of Reynolds
County, please take this tour. You'll see many other
places to visit on your civil war tour of our region.
Missouri - Centerville, located on the West
Fork of the Black River, was born as a brand new town at the
same time Reynolds County was designated in 1845. The
original courthouse was completed in 1850, but was not to stand
long. The courthouse burned to the ground.
During the war, troops and guerilla bands foraged the area and
union troops occupied the courthouse for a time, bringing progress
to a standstill in Centerville.
In 1863 over
100 Union soldiers who were camped near the courthouse were
captured by the rebel Captain Reverend Jesse Pratt. The
present courthouse was completed in 1871 and is one of the few
courthouses in Missouri over 100 years old.
- formerly Barnesville, Missouri and Logan Creek
and his young family left North Carolina in 1835, first settling
in Pilot Knob. After two years, this resourceful man decided
to move his family once again. Their new destination: Along
Logan Creek outside of what is now known as Ellington.
Within a short
time, a small settlement arose with a church, school, stores
and homes and the settlers named it in his honor ~ Barnesville.
Pioneers were pleased and village stores were prospering. Merchants
made two-week trips to St. Louis by ox-cart to purchase their
stock and to trade their hides and furs.
the Civil War began, Confederate soldiers moved into southeast
Missouri from Arkansas, through the wilderness on the Bellevue
Trail, and formed permanent camps at Van Buren, Barnesville,
the trail and the area villages in its possession, their next
move would be Fort Davidson. The Union wanted to protect Pilot
Knob as well as St. Louis and sent the Union Calvary on missions
throughout the area settlements. They made many raids, wounding,
killing and taking Confederate soldiers captive. Determined
to completely rid this area of