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MoSGA Messenger, The Official Blog of the Missouri State Genealogical Association
Tom Pearson, Editor

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Friday, April 24, 2009

MISSOURI CIVIL WAR MUSEUM UPDATE

In 2002, a grassroots group of Missouri businessmen and citizens formed the "Missouri Civil War Museum, Library and Research Center", a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization. This organization is dedicated to the preservation and study of Missouri and its involvement in the American Civil War, and we are committed to telling both sides of the story in an impartial manner. Attempts were made to locate centrally in the state, but an opportunity we could not pass up arose to locate instead at Historic Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis-- the oldest active military base west of the Mississippi River (established 1826). To learn more about the history of Jefferson Barracks, go here:

http://www.mcwm.org/history_jbtimeline.html.

In 2003, we acquired the old "Officer's Post Exchange and Gymnasium Building" at Jefferson Barracks, a beautiful old Federal-style building built between 1903 and 1905, which is currently being refurbished to its original state. It is this building that will become the Missouri Civil War Museum. The group also acquired the neighboring, smaller officers’ post exchange building, which was built during World War I (1918), and which is being refurbished to its original state for use as the Missouri Civil War Library and Research Center. To date, over 2000 volumes have already been collected for the library. Membership in the organization is quickly growing and is now over 400 members. To learn more about the Missouri Civil War Museum, Library and Research Center, please go here: http://www.mcwm.org.

Big plans are underway throughout the State of Missouri and at Jefferson Barracks in anticipation of the many ceremonies and commemorations being planned for the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War in 2011 (only 2 short years away). The Civil War is still considered to be one of the most popular subjects in America, and State Tourism has confirmed that Civil War sites are still one of the biggest tourist draws. Jefferson Barracks is currently going through a great renovation / revamping phase. The whole of the approximately 2000-acre Jefferson Barracks campus will become a destination for military historians from all over the country, with museums throughout Jefferson Barracks dedicated to all our various wars. Thus, once the expected influx of domestic and international visitors to Jefferson Barracks, the Missouri Civil War Museum Library and Research Center will be in a vital position to help direct visitors interested in Civil War history to other key Civil War sites located throughout the State of Missouri, including well-known sites at Wilson's Creek (Springfield), Pilot Knob (Fort Davidson), Westport (Kansas City), Cape Girardeau, Belmont, Palmyra, Lexington, Carthage, Nevada, Jefferson City, St. Louis and other Civil War sites throughout the State of Missouri.

The Missouri Civil War Museum (MCWM) wants every county in our state accounted for and represented at the museum. We are working on creating links from our website to the Civil War link of every County in the Missouri GENWEB system. As you know, soldiers’ military records and pension records can sometimes contain a great wealth of family and genealogical information, often solving many of those "brick walls" and "dead ends". The MCWM hopes to some day have a file created for every Missouri soldier from every county, including military records and pension records, and this will include soldiers from other states who served in Missouri, or who lived in Missouri after the war, and / or who are buried in Missouri soil. If you would like to help, please send any information or pictures you have about any Civil War soldiers to the MCWM. Also, if you, or anyone you know, has Civil War artifacts or books (including Civil War books about your particular county), please consider donating or loaning them to the MCWM. All donations are tax-deductible and appropriate paperwork is supplied to the donor, and staff members will make arrangements to pick these items up from you, if you can't deliver or ship them.

Despite these tough economic times, good things are happening, and this memorial to our Show-Me State Civil War ancestors is long overdue. Here's a chance to make Missouri history and help preserve the memory of our Civil War ancestors. Please consider spreading the word about the Missouri Civil War Museum, and please consider becoming a member:

http://www.mcwm.org/imgs/Museum%20Membership%20Form.pdf

If you’ll send us the names of persons who might be interested who don't have computer access, we'll be glad to mail MCWM information to them.

Thanks for posting this on the MoSGA blog.

Sincerely,

John Maurath
Missouri Civil War Museum at Historic Jefferson Barracks
222 Worth Rd
Jefferson Barracks, MO 63125
MCWM phone number 314-845-1861

PS MCWM Chairman Mark Trout has been invited to speak at the Gasconade County Historical Society in Owensville, MO on Sunday, April 26, 2009. Please contact the MCWM or the Gasconade County Historical Society for further information.

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