Civil War group to add more historic markers

Martin Northway was re-elected as chairman of the Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage during a Thursday meeting of the organization in Fulton.

Martin Northway was re-elected as chairman of the Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage during a Thursday meeting of the organization in Fulton. Contributed photo

After completing its goal of placing interpretive panels at seven Civil War sites in Callaway County, the Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage has launched a plan for five new projects.

Martin Northway, chairman of the nonprofit Callaway County affiliate of Missouri’s Civil War Heritage Foundation, said the Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage has decided add two more panels to the trail, one in the northwest part of the county near Hatton and the other at Mokane in the south.

“We are proposing,” Northway said, “the erection of a monument to the war dead at the Callaway County Courthouse and placing signs or plaques at ante-bellum properties in Fulton.”

The fifth item on the group’s wish list is erection of a series of three roadside signs on Old Jeff City Road marking the progress of the Battle of Overton Run from July 16 to July 17, 1861.

It took seven years for the Callaway County Civil War Heritage to complete its plan of erecting seven interpretative panels marking Civil War historic sites in Callaway County.

The last of the seven panels was dedicated Sept. 11 at the Callaway County Courthouse honoring “Callaway County Men at War.”

Northway said completion of the proposed new panels will require the group to raise funds and gain site approval. He said the panel at Mokane would likely feature the role of the Missouri River and Callaway County ports such as old St. Aubert.

Other Civil War events and nearby burials are those of 15-year-old Willie Scott, who was lynched by Unionists after his return from confinement in St. Louis and Alton. Another event was the “Blue-Gray” marriage during the war of Union soldier William Alexander Adams and Virginia-born Mary Elizabeth Gibson. The Adamses are buried at Mokane, Scott and Wainright.

The second planned historic panel near Hatton would tell the story of the seven unarmed Confederate recruits executed by Union militia at Ham Brown’s farm on Nov. 4, 1864. The panel also would explain the circumstances of Gen. Sterling Price’s expedition in Missouri during September and October in 1864.

The suggested location for the second panel is Pleasant Grove Cemetery, site of a stone monument and the graves of two victims.

Heritage Trust members Vicki McDaniel and Warran Hollrah of Fulton Heritage Trust agreed to develop a plan for marking local ante-bellum properties in Fulton. The sites will include the John A. Hockaday home in Fulton, which hosted former Confederate President Jefferson Davis for a Sept. 11, 1875, speech at the county fair.

At the suggestion of Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society Curator Barbara Huddleston, the Heritage Trust group also will contact and cooperate with Fulton’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Heritage leader Don Ernst is heading a committee to plan a monument at the Callaway County Courthouse to honor the county’s Civil War dead, a project proposed before the Civil War Heritage group was formed in 2005.

The Courthouse monument was delayed in order to push for completion of the seven Gray Ghost Trail panels for the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Kingdom of Callaway during the first year of the Civil War in 1861.

The war dead monument at the Courthouse will require fund raising along with research and public outreach to identify soldiers who died during the war. Northway said the number of Callaway County soldiers who died during the war is expected to number at least 200.

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