By Alex Fees, Producer
Missouri ranks third in the nation for the number of Civil War battles or skirmishes. That’s number-3, behind such Civil War-activity hotbeds as Virginia and Tennessee.
St. Louis was unique– a Union-controlled city located in a slave state where German abolitionists settled alongside people who had Confederate leanings?
“The Civil War- St. Louis,” a 13-part documentary series will now debut in its entirety April 29 at 8 p.m. on HEC-TV.
Segments include Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, where one section contains Confederate soldiers who died in Union-controlled prisons. One such facility is Gratiot Street Prison, which was located just south of what is now Busch Stadium.
The Civil War would give us familiar names, in unfamiliar roles. James B. Eads is the man the Eads Bridge is named after. During The Civil War, Eads built ironclad gunboats in the Carondelet boat yards.
Danny Gonzalez, researcher for The Civil War exhibit at the Missouri History Museum, said Eads’ gunboats, “allowed Union forces to drive down the Mississippi to divide the Confederacy into two parts.”
Other locations featured in “The Civil War- St. Louis” will include:
–the Dred Scott trial at the Old Courthouse.
–the Civil War-era buildings at Jefferson Barracks County Park.
–the St. Louis Union Arsenal.
–earthen forts protecting the city.
–a former post office at Manchester & Hampton, which may have been scouted by Confederate troops.
–the Museum of Transportation.
–the Sanitary Fair, a fund-raiser for care of wounded troops.
–the Jefferson Barracks Missouri Civil War Museum.