Thursday, January 23, 2014
An official report is still pending, but a Westminster College history professor and students presented the dozens of bullets, canister balls and other items that have helped reshape their understanding of Callaway County’s largest Civil War battle Wednesday.
Students, staff and local history buffs filled a classroom in the Hazel Wing of the Reeves Library on Westminster’s Campus for a brown-bag faculty presentation, when Assistant Professor of History Cinnamon Brown gave a presentation on the more than 175 artifacts recovered during last year’s historic excavation of the Battle of Moore’s Mill site.
Brown led a number of Westminster history students in an excavation effort in March 2013 when researchers from schools and organizations across the country spent a weekend sweeping the battle site near Calwood for remnants of the war that would help them create a more accurate understanding of the historic skirmish.
The items and their location were meticulously mapped on GPS software to be compiled in an official report that would provide the most comprehensive account since contemporary records of the battle, which began when Confederate guerrillas under Col. Joseph C. Porter ambushed Union troops moving through the area commanded by then-Col. Odon Guitar.
Battlefield researcher Doug Scott with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is compiling the official report, which is expected to be released in spring.
“Doug’s making the official report with the more sophisticated technology based on what was where or how concentrated certain items were,” Brown said. “But we can make conclusions from what we’ve found.”
The battle took place off of modern State Road JJ, south of State Road Z in Calwood. Reports from immediately after the battle, especially those by participant and researcher Joseph A. Mudd, revealed most of the area of the battle — which currently is partially cleared — was heavily wooded at the time.
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