Local History Feed

Phantom gunshot

Phantom Gunshot | Civil War Family from John Fulton on Vimeo.

Shopie Koerner hears a gunshot outside her home in Belleville, Illinois the night before Lincoln is shot in Washington DC. Coincidence?

Her husband, Gustav Koerner, was a journalist, lawyer, politician, judge, and statesman in Germany and Illinois, and a Colonel of the U.S. Army during the Civil War. He was a friend of Abraham Lincoln and served as a pall bearer for Lincoln's funeral.

Jack LeChien, from the The Koerner House Restoration Committee, tells the story. The house was built in 1849 and is currently being restored.

Saturday, June 6, 2015



Waterloo teen seeks to honor Civil War vets


Belleville News-Democrat

WATERLOO, Illinois — One hundred veterans of the Civil War are buried in cemeteries in or around Waterloo. But it would be hard to find them all, because some don’t even have headstones. 

However, Shane Douglas, 15, a sophomore at Waterloo High School, hopes to change that. For his Eagle Scout project, he plans to mark all 100 graves with die-cast bronze markers. 

“Civil War veterans’ graves are getting so worn off from all the elements that you can’t read them,” said Shane, who is a history enthusiast. 

He wants to make sure they get the recognition they deserve. 

Read more at: Belleville News Democrat


Gustav Koerner House

Members from the Col. Hecker Camp #443 (SUVCW) participated in a living history day at the Gustav Koerner House in Belleville, Illinois, on Saturday April 5, 2014.

Gustav Philipp Koerner, also spelled Gustave or Gustavus Koerner (20 November 1809 –  9 April 1896) was a revolutionary, journalist, lawyer, politician, judge, and statesman in Illinois and Germany and a Colonel of the U.S. Army who was a confessed enemy of slavery. He married on 17 June 1836 in Belleville Sophia Dorothea Engelmann (16 November 1815 – 1 March 1888),[5] they had 9 children.[6] He belonged to the co-founders and was one of the first members of the Grand Old Party; and he was a close confidant of Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd and had essential portion on his nomination and election for president in 1860.

The event was held to celebrate the City of Belleville's 200th anniversary. More living history event are scheduled throughout the year.

Koerner's House is currently under renovation by The Belleville Heritage Society.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Koerner



St. Louis County Civil War Sympsoium


St. Louis County Parks and Recreation sponsored a two day Civil War Symposium on August, 26 and 27, 2012. There were presentations on the C.S. Hunley, Daily Life of a Civil War Soldier, Union Mounted Infantry and Death and Mourning in the 19th Century. We also had a tour of the Civil War in the West exhibit in the old Ordnance room. 

Free phone app provides St. Louis Civil War highlights.



BY JOE HOLLEMAN • [email protected]

Anyone who has toured the historic Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg understands how useful an audio guide can be.

Now, St. Louisans can download a free phone app that provides information about local events and locations tied to the conflict, said Angie Dietz, a spokesperson for the Missouri History Museum.

Based on the book "The Civil War in St. Louis" by William C. Winter, the app allows the user to:

• Pinpoint location of important Civil War related sites in the St. Louis area.

• Use a GPS-enabled map to find historic places, and also follow recommended tour routes based on the user’s location.

• Explore a "pinch-and-zoom" photo gallery.

• Listen to a narrator explain historic locations connected to the Civil War and relate background stories about those events.

The app currently is compatible with Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. To obtain the app — which is free — folks can visit the iTunes store or visit the Google Play store on Android and search for "Missouri History Museum."

Joe Holleman's "Life Sherpa" column appears every Sunday in Everyday. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

From Stltoday.com

Sergeant Major Frank Austin, representing the 117th Illinois spoke at the monthly meeting of the Lt. George E. Dixon Camp # 1962 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans on Thursday, December 1, 2011. The 117th was comprised of students and teachers from McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois. Frank read from letters and journals sent home by regiment members and gave an insight into the daily life of a Union soldier. 

Missouri's Civil War experience depicted at History Museum

BY TIM O'NEIL • [email protected]

'The Civil War in Missouri' opens Saturday

Mike Takaki, an art installer with Ely, Inc. carries a reproduction of a Confederate guerrilla shirt while building a display for the Missouri History Museum's 'The Civil War in Missouri' exhibit Tuesday November 8, 2011. The exhibit, marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and curated from artifacts in the museum's permanent collection, opens Saturday to visitors. Photo by Robert Cohen, [email protected]

ST. LOUIS • The Missouri History Museum's special exhibit on the Civil War opens this weekend with old artifacts and fast-moving interactive panels depicting this state's own convulsive, bloody divisions.

The exhibit is the museum's contribution to a four-year national commemoration of the Civil War's 150th anniversary. Missouri, a slave state, shakily remained in the Union. But it was deeply divided by sentiments that played out in harsh social conflict and brutal guerrilla warfare.

The exhibit runs through March 2013. It is in the museum's main building in Forest Park, at Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue. Spread across 6,000 square feet of floor space are 187 artifacts, 251 images, 56 storyboards of explanatory text and 12 touch-screen panels. The images include old drawings, portraits, maps and original documents.

At the entrance, a jumbo TV screen cycles through the portraits and conflicting thoughts of 12 Missourians, six from each side, as war began. They include Jessie Benton Fremont, the influential and ardently Unionist senator's daughter and general's wife; and Sterling Price, a former governor who joined the rebel army.

Continue reading "Missouri's Civil War experience depicted at History Museum" »


CWT-CW150-bookWashington, D.C. – Whether it’s standing atop Chattanooga’s Lookout Mountain or inside Antietam’s Dunker Church, or viewing the remains of the ironclad USS Monitor or the Confederate submarine HL Hunley, some experiences have the power to bring history alive like nothing else can.

Believing there is no substitute for experiencing the places and situations that made history, the Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest battlefield preservation organization, is marking the sesquicentennial anniversary of the American Civil War with the release of an exciting new book designed to bring the past alive for students of history in dynamic new ways.


'Civil War in St. Charles County' Shows War's Multilayered Effects

Documentary written by St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann airs Sunday on Channel 9, KETC.

By Joe Scott
September 22, 2011


Like the rest of the country during the Civil War, St. Charles County was a diverse, uncertain hodgepodge of emotion, ambition, violence, and economic and political motivations.

Channel 9 KETC will televise The Civil War in St. Charles County at 3 p.m. Sunday. After the broadcast, the program will be available online through the county's SCCMO-TV Cable 993 or online video on demand.

Local politicians, educators, students and residents, including Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Judge Stephen Limbaugh, and Mark Wrighton, chancellor of Washington University narrated and provided voices for historical figures.

The one-hour program was produced and edited by St. Charles County’s Video Production Department.

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann, who wrote the documentary, said St. Charles County residents didn’t form into two sides in the Civil War. It was more like three sides, said Ehlmann, author of Crossroads: A History of St. Charles County.

Continue reading at O’Fallon Patch