Here in Missouri we're accustomed to being considered a bellwether state in national elections. The Show-Me State is pivotal -- no presidential candidate wants to be shown the electoral door here if he or she wants a good shot at winning. But our complicated present is small potatoes compared to our past, especially in the period before and during the Civil War. Coveted by both the Union and the Confederacy, Missouri was a fiercely contested state that suffered more blood spilled on its soil than most (only Virginia and Tennessee saw more battles). Our story as it developed then still very much resonates today in myriad ways; to look at Missouri in the years 1861 to 1865 is to better understand our present divisions. The Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org) acts as master storyteller with its new exhibit, The Civil War in Missouri, which opens on Saturday, November 12. The exhibition covers the national issues that defined the War Between the States, with an emphasis on the factors that affected Missouri most sharply and made its experience unique among all the states, Northern and Southern alike. Admission is $6 to $10, and the exhibit is open every day through Friday, March 16, 2013.
Nov. 12-March 16, 2011