Planning a 2/3 day trip through Missouri to Arkansas.

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
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May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
........ I am not much on Kansas......

Another true Missourian speaks!

confession time--
We moved to Overland Park, KS, a suburb of Kansas City in the mid '80's. Theres an interstate, I-435, that rings the city. Anyone living within that ring is living in the K.C. metro area.
At a family gathering, and elderly cousin, and at that time, keeper of family history came up to me and said how happy she was that I moved back to MO. "Well actually," I said, "We live in Overland Park." Dead silence. She finally asked, "Why Overland Park." "Because they have a good school system and it's all middle class neighborhoods."said I. She was a retired school teacher so glare at me relaxed somewhat about the school comment. "Well, OK. Just don't move to the other side of I-435."
"Yes Ma'am."
I should point out that she's my cousin that though Quantrill didn't do a good enough job at Lawrence.
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
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May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
Fort Campbell Ky. was pretty accessible after 9/11, at least the museum was, I thought it would be a big hassle to see. I liked the helicopters.

When ever I hear the opening to John Fogerty's (of Credence Clearwater Revival), song, "Fortunate Son" it reminds me of Huey's warming up on a flight line. Spent my army career on Biggs Field, Ft. Bliss, TX.
Huey's and Cobra's with the occasional B-52 or Globemaster provided background noise.
 

rebel brit

1st Lieutenant
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Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Location
United Kingdom
@Booner I'm soooo.. jealous , hope you have a great day tomorrow. Thanks for doing a recce and looking forward to a full report .
The book sounds ideal, I'll PM you my address with the promise I will look after it and make sure you get it back.
 

mofederal

Major
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Location
Southeast Missouri
I spent my Army time at Fort Knox. Nasty red dirt, and WWII barracks as far as the eye could see. None there now, except for a battalion sized area. Oddly enough the one I was in. Stripes was filmed in this area at Knox. Using my old building. Now the area resembles a waste land. All you can see is an empty landscape on a dead Army post. The Patton Museum is about all that is left.
 
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Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
Ok, Part 3 of 3 of the great MO/Ark trip!

We had a pretty heavy rain last night, and my internet keeps on getting knocked out, so the internet gods willing, we'll complete the tour recommendations with this post.

Last Saturday I went to Nevada, MO to tour the "Bushwhacker Museum" and to take in Nevada's annual "Bushwhacker Days." If you like cotton candy, cheap jewelry and expensive t-shirts, you'll enjoy Nevada's "Bushwhacker Days!"
I was impressed by the "Bushwhacker Museum" though. Not so much by the display of bushwhacker items, but by the museum in general. It's a locally-based museum, featuring items from Vernon County and Nevada in particular, and it was very evident to me that the citizens of Nevada have a strong interest in their history. Sections of the museum are dedicated to pre-european, early settlers, the major world wars, and a section dedicated to 1880's medical items, in addition to the small section on the civil war/bushwhackers. Would i recommend it to someone on a tight scedule? Probably not, but if you happen to be driving by the area, with time on you hands, yes. Ft. Scott is located about 25 miles west and a combination Nevada/Ft. Scott trip might be worthwhile, again, if time wasn't an issue. What was apparent to me was how strong the SCV are in the area. As a person I spoke with in the museum said to me, "We've very Southeren," and I think the local SCV is one of the host for the Bushwhacker days. And while I was in town I did have to drive by the little house that Frank James lived in after his outlaw days.
After I left town I drove north up to Harrisonville, right through the heart of the "Burnt District." I kept reminding myself that in 1864, there was nothing here; everything would have been burned out. Homes, farms, towns; nothing would have remained due to General Order #11. Also, there are more trees now in the area than there would have been 150 years ago. On my way back I drove through Lone Jack, site of the 1862 battle. There is a small museum on the battle site, but by the time I reached there, it was closed. There is no town left there now, other than a gas station, a quick trip, and a nail salon. There is a number of housing subdivisions that make up the community, along with the museum. Sometime when I've been to KC and on my way home, I'll stop by the museum, it's not that far off the interstate.

So now our traveler is back on I-70, either from the KC area or Higginsvile, and heading east towards Boonville. (Try and keep your excitement level under control!). As I said earlier, this whole section along I-70 saw so much guerrilla action, as well as the routes that Shelby and Price took on their raids on their way back to Arkansas. You'll be passing past a sign on the interstate that says "Emma Exit, one mile." look to the left, (north), and notice a little cemetery by the name of St. Johns about a quarter mile off the interstate. Buried in this cemetery are 8 German farmers who were killed by bushwhackers David Poole and George Todd. In addition to those 8, they killed about 20 more just outside of Emma.
About 25 miles outside of Boonville, you'll pass the Marshall/Sedalia junction (hwy 65). If you went north into Marshall, on the east side of town they have a city park that borders on a large ravine where Gen. J.O. Shelby fought Union troops during his 1863 raid. There are information boards about the battle located in the park.
At exit 89 you'll see a sign that says "Arrow Rock, Blackwater." If you want to visit Arrow Rock first, take this exit. Turn left at the bottom of the ramp and get on "hwy K" and follow it into Blackwater. Blackwater was founded after the war as a railroad stop. It nearly died for awhile but now its trying to come back as a tourist town. It has a couple of festivals each summer. Stay on Hwy K through Blaxkwater until you come to Hwy 41. Turn left. In 5-7 miles you'll come into Arrow Rock. Arrow Rock was founded in the 1820's as a riverboat town and was the place where the Santa Fe trail crossed over the MO river. It's also a place that looks like time forgot. I often go there when I feel like going for a drive and its well worth a visit. check out this website--> http://arrowrock.org/history.php

It was the home of MO artist George Caleb Bingham, Dr. Sappington, who developed a anti-malaria pill which made him wealthy, the Marmaduke and Jackson families were from the area and related to the Sappington's . The area produced many of the politicians of pre-CW MO and is in the heart of "Little Dixie."

Now, to Boonville!
Get back on Highway 41 and head the way you came. Highway 41 goes into Boonville. Or, if you stayed on I-70 aqnd elected to go to Arrow Rock later, get off at the second Boonville exit and turn left at the top of the off ramp on Hwy B. (there are 3 B-ville exits)/ The first Boonville exit has two national chain motels. The second exit has one. The third exit only has a gas station. Drive all the way into downtown Boonville on Hwy B. You'll Pass a Sonic Drive In on your right. The road that tkaes you pass the Sonic, during the CW, was the Boonville/JeffersonCity road and in the general area is where Shelby fought off Union troops on his '63 raid. You'll go through a series of turns and then down a steep hill, through a couple of stop lights and you'll notice a victorian home on your left. This is the MO headquarters for the Daughters of the Revolution, and when I went to highschool, years ago, it was the home of my chiropractor, Jiles McCoy. When he was 17, and WWII was going on, he joined the Marines as a sniper and ended up on the USS Indianapolis at the time it was sunk.
Pretty soon you'll pass my old high school building and if you turned right, on Locus Street and followed it all the way out of town it would turn into a gravel road named the "Rocheport Road". if you followed the road all the way down to the MO river, you'd be at the Merna landing. It was here, 157 years ago this coming Sunday (June 17) That Union Gen. Lyon landed about 1800 hundred troops from St. Louis to attack the MO State Guard who had assembled at Boonville. Turn around and head back into town on the same road. As you come up the bluffs, the MSG took a few shots at Lyons men. once you get to the top of the bluffs, it was in this area that the first real shots of the battle, (more like a skirmish really). The Union forces drove the MSG back upon the second set of hill, brought up their cannon and dispersed and routed the MSG, thus giving the skirmish the name of the "Boonville Races." Unfortunately, there are no markers to show where all this took place. Head back to Main Street.
Back on Main Street, a block later, on the right is the Thespian Hall. During the CW, it served as a barracks, hospital, and prison and on the street just in front of the theater, during either Shelby's or Price's raid, (I forget which), the local militia barricaded the street you are on (Main Street), fired one shot at the invaders and scrambled away.
You are now in downtown Boonville. Notice all the antique shops. Two things have hurt the town; It's close proximity to Columbia, and the local mega Walmart. Boonville is trying to make it's mark as a tourist destination, an a couple of years ago it was named by the Smithsonian Magazine as one of the ten "must visit" small towns in America. It's rapidly turning into a bedroom community for Columbia. We have a lot of history here (for an American town), but I've come to the realization, that we don't do a very good job of either promoting that, or making it easy for a stranger to visit everything. We have a casino and hotel here, and it's pumped a lot of money into the town, but I don't think we've done a good job of promoting what we have. Go to the end of Main Street, just before you cross over the MO River. The large hotel on your right is called the "Frederick." It's completely remodeled inside and has a bar and restaurant, but I don't think it was here during the CW. Underneath the bridge, and visible are large cobblestones that were laid down so cargo could be brought up from the river landing. turn right on High Street and travel down the street while looking at the beautiful Victorian homes, some of these are Bed and Breakfast places. When you approach 7th street turn right and go one block to Morgan and turn left. You'll go down a hill, over a small stream with a little park and look to the large white home on the right as you go up the hill. In front of the house you'll see two "Battle of Boonville" signs. Stop and read them as they explain about the battle. What the don't explain is about the Second Battle of Boonville which occurred near by. Go over the hill and when you get to the bottom look to the left. (If you pass the "Hanna Cole" cottage you've gone too far. In this vacant field a lot of history occurred. In 1810, the widow, Hanna Cole, with her 10 children and her brother-in-law Samuel Cole, first settled here along the river bluff. During the war of 1812 they left, but in 1814 they came back and built a fort on the river bluff along the tree line on the right of the vacant field. During the late 1850's, this was the site of the first State Fair in MO. There were some where houses on the site, and as the CW was breaking out. the Governor of MO., Clairborn Jackson, sent the states weapons here. It's one of the resons he had part of the MO State Guard gather here. After the First Battle of Boonville, Union Gen Lyons build an earthen fort at the top of the hill, running into the tree line to the right. And it was here in Sept. of 1861, that the Second Battle of Boonville fought. The MSG, with a force of around 800 men, attacked the fort from three sides. One group came over the hill you just passed over, another came over the next hill on Morgan Street. The third group attacked from Boonville along Water Street (down by the river). It was here in this fort that a couple of escaped slaves were given muskets and allowed to fight alongside the Union troops. I believe this was the first time instance that slaves were armed and allowed to fight. The only marker you'll find is a small sign at the junction of a little road that leads back into the field, and all that makes reference to is the site of Hana Cole's fort. Turn around and head back towards Main Street.
About a block and a half before you get to Main Street you'll see our old jail on the left. It was here during the war, and held Frank James for awhile. Behind the jail is an old barn, known as the "Hanging Barn," and that's what they used it for. Tours are available.
Turn Left on Main street and go one block and turn right on Spring Street. You'll go down a long hill and just before you reach the bottom, on the left is the "Mitchell Car Museum."I think the owner of the museum is related to the family who made the Mitchell cars. I don't know when the company went out of business, but certainly they didn't make it through the Great Depression. Mu great Grandparents owned a Mitchell. You'll pass over a small stream and on the right is the Spanish style train despot for the Katy Railroad. further to your right is the casino and hotel. even further to your right is the old railroad bridge that goes over the river. It's now part of the KATY Park system. The railroad went defunct 10-15 years ago and the rail line abandoned, but it was turned into a state park; a hiking/biking trail that spans the length of the state. On your left is our local museum, but sadly, I can't recommend it, although it is free. Continue up Spring street and it turns into Santa Fe trail. during Shelby's and Price's raid, this is the route that both took when they left the town, and if you stayed on the road, you could take it all the way to and pass Arrow Rock. Shortly you'll go past Harley Park on your right. Turn in and shortly the road will branch off to the left. Take this road to "Look Out Point' and stop.
You're overlooking the MO river. On the other side of the river was the town of Franklin. Until 1826, this was the fastest growing town in MO. It is the heart of the "Boonslick Region" of MO. But then the spring flood took the town, and the people who lived there either moved to the river bluffs on the other side and made the town of New Franklin, moved to Fayette, about 15 miles further inland, or came over to Boonville. It was Franklin that was the original start of the Santa Fe Trail in 1822. As the frontier moved west, the starting point for the trail moved west with it, all the way to Westport, but across the river in Franklin, this was the origin of the trail. After the war of 1812, for the next 15 years of so this is where the people of KY, Tn, and VA were moving to. It was said that some folks thought everyone from KY was "Moving to the Boonslick, for sure."
Louis and Clark made remarks in their journals about all of the salt licks and the number of deer in the area. Daniel Boone moved to MO in 1790 and he and his sons hunted in the area, and he or his sons may have discovered the salt licks across the river that bears their name. Nathan and Morgan Boone, Daniel's sons, boiled salt in the licks and shipped the salt down river for a few years until they sold their interest in the licks. But the Boone brothers also made a trail, from just west of St Charles, Mo to Franklin, and this was called the Boone Slick Trail (shortened to Booneslick), and that trail was the path along with the river, that the settlers took to reach the frontier. The road should be a National Historic site, as from 1810 to the 1830's, this was the frontier path to the West.
There are a number of CW sites around Boonville and just across the river listed in the book I'm sending you, but I'll just name a few here. First is the town of Rocheport, it;s somewhat like Arrow Rock in that it hasn't changed much since the CW; "Bloody Bill" Anderson claimed it his capital in the fall of 1864. Then the Federals burned it, but it is still worth a visit. Rawlings lane is on the other side of the river. Anderson ambushed a group of Federals out of Boonville and eight of those soldiers killed (and a few scalped ), are buried in Sunset Hills cemetery in Boonville. The Salt Creek Church is across the river, and not far away. The road that goes in front of the church is part of the Boon Slick Road and it was here that two young 17 year old guerilla's were killed and buried together. 15 miles away is Fayette, and the site of the 1864 fight there between the Todd and Anderson guerilla's and the Federals. Frank James said, "the most scared I ever was was at the Fayette fight." You could visit all of these in a day, then head for Centralia to see that battlefield; it's about an hours drive away.

To get to Centralia, get back on I-70 headed east towards Columbia. On the East side of Columbia take HWy 63 North. Turn east (right) on Hwy "B" towards Hallsville. At Hallsville Hwy "B" turns into hwy 124 into Centralia. Use this download for how to get to the railroad site, and the site of the trap laid for Col. Johns(t)on--->http://

I hope I'll be available if you plan to come to Boonville. I've already told you about my plans for October, and unfortunately I am unable to get out of them. But I can be late, so I hope things are do-able. Perhaps you can come to Boonville first before going to KC. But I think it would be a shame not to see KC. And if I'm not available, come to Boonville anyway. my directions and the book will help you on a self-guided tour.

All the best my friend, have a fun and safe trip!
 

rebel brit

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Feb 7, 2013
Location
United Kingdom
@Booner thanks so much for all your hard work in putting this guide together for us, couldn't ask for more, even driving instructions are included. Glad you enjoyed going to the Bushwacker museum, on your recommendations we'll be paying it a visit if we have the time.
From all the helpful tips and interesting sites you've listed , we're thinking we may need an extra day in the area and I'm sure we'll be able to work our days out so that we do meet up.
Will keep in contact, thanks again.

P.S Have you ever thought of becoming a tour guide or at best writing a book, you sure make things sound interesting.:thumbsup:
 

KLSDAD

First Sergeant
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Location
Fremont, MI
The Bushwacker Museum is very good! If you are pushed for time you should pass on the jail tour...nothing special IIRC. I met an older gentleman named Eldon a few years ago who is featured in the WWII area of the museum and gives tours. He also donated some of the CW items. You might ask about him...if he happens to be there a tour from him would be an added bonus.
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
@Booner thanks so much for all your hard work in putting this guide together for us, couldn't ask for more, even driving instructions are included. Glad you enjoyed going to the Bushwacker museum, on your recommendations we'll be paying it a visit if we have the time.
From all the helpful tips and interesting sites you've listed , we're thinking we may need an extra day in the area and I'm sure we'll be able to work our days out so that we do meet up.
Will keep in contact, thanks again.

P.S Have you ever thought of becoming a tour guide or at best writing a book, you sure make things sound interesting.:thumbsup:

You're certainly welcome, and I enjoy telling the history of the area, but I am no writer.....a researcher perhaps, but no writer. Maybe I can get my friend and fellow CWT member @Patrick H to do the writing, he's the professional. It would be nice if we had a brochure of some type available at the visitor center that explained the history of the area.

And I mailed the book out a couple of days ago. Let's see how long it takes to get to you. I had to fill out a customs form. I don't remember doing that the last time I sent stuff overseas.
 
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Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Location
mo
Is the US civil war your only interest? If not you might consider the WWI museum in KC

https://www.theworldwar.org

Its pretty top notch if have any interest in WWI, be a shame to be so close and not see it if have any interest.
 
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