Recent News

December 2010

Columbia's Edwards to play Civil War general in HBO miniseries Mon, December 20

NASCAR driver and Columbia native Carl Edwards has signed on to play Confederate Gen. John B. Gordon in the HBO miniseries "To Appomattox."

Jefferson City Civil War Passport is Rewarding Visitors Wed, December 8

The Jefferson City Civl War Passport highlights the role of the Capital city in American history.  Partnering with the local News Tribune, JC CVB offers a fun way to see the local CW sites.

November 2010

Historian fights to preserve battle ground Tue, November 23

Among rolling Ozark Hills are the buried remnants of a once forgotten battlefield.  But thanks to the efforts of Lake Area historian and an Air Force veteran John Wilson, the fallen soldiers of Monday Hollow will come alive for future generations.

Patee House Commemorates Lincoln Tue, November 23

A program on the 150th anniversary of Mr. Lincoln's election was held Sunday afternoon at the Patee House Museum, during a meeting of the Pony Express Historical Association.

New charts and maps site of Civil War battles launches Wed, November 17

In 1861, U.S. Coast Survey supervisor Alexander Dallas Bache published Notes on the Coast of the United States, secret documents used by the Union Army. This series of notes, covering the Delaware Bay to the Mississippi Sound on the Gulf Coast, contributed to the efficacy of the Union blockading squadrons. Other cartographers and surveyors from the U.S. Coastal Survey were attached to Union forces to survey, sketch and draw maps. The National Oceanic and Atmopsheric Administration  -- the Coastal Survey's heir -- has published these on the Web.

The sole Missouri link is a drawing of Gen. Grant's forces on the battlefield at Belmont, available here.

Sesquicentennial panel starts Civil War website Wed, November 17

Over time, it also will highlight how the war played a role in Missouri history long after the fighting stopped, said Katie Steele Danner, director of the Missouri Division of Tourism.

Maple Leaf Festival to feature more heritage than usual Thu, November 4

A city that reveres its heritage will celebrate it a little more this weekend with the 44th annual Maple Leaf Parade here.

Remington Nature Center to have Civil War exhibit Thu, November 4

The exhibit includes high-quality replica officer’s uniforms of former St. Joseph mayor and Confederate General M. Jeff Thompson, as well as Union Colonel Robert Smith. Different examples of shots also are on display. These include a twelve-pound solid shot for a field howitzer, a canister shot, a 3-inch ordnance rifle solid shot, a six-pound solid shot from a field gun. and a solid shot for a 10-inch siege mortar that weighs 88 pounds.

Missouri prepares Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration Thu, November 4

Missouri is less than a year away from its sesquicentennial Civil War commemoration, an event that planners envision elevating interest in the state’s history closer to hubs of historical tourism like Tennessee and Virginia.

Wide Awake Films Releases August Light Thu, November 4

Wide Awake Films Releases August Light

Historical documentary about the Civil War in Missouri released

KANSAS CITY, MO— It’s been three years in the making, numerous days of shooting and many, many days of editing. Wide Awake Films recently premiered their documentary about the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, titled August Light: Wilson’s Creek and the Battle for Missouri. The film debuted in April at the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Visitors Center in Republic, Missouri, just outside of Springfield, to an excited audience of historians, civil war buffs, re-enactors, local residents, and Wide Awake Films’ fans.

Shot in High-Definition with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, the film depicts the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, the second major battle of the Civil War, and the first fought west of the Mississippi River, which helped to determine the fate of Missouri. Wilson’s Creek marked the beginning of four years of invading armies and ruthless guerilla warfare in Missouri, from St. Louis to modern-day Kansas City. Told through the experiences of individuals, both civilian and soldier, this story reveals a volatile mix of social and political differences -- and a deeply divided population.

Production on August Light began following Wide Awake Films’ completion of a 28-minute version of the film for the Visitors Center at the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. Shot in High-Definition with 5.1 Surround Sound, the museum version debuted in April of 2009.

Since beginning this project in 2007, Wide Awake Films’ owners, Shane Seley and Ed Leydecker, have staged several large-scale shoots—some including up to 85 actors and re-enactors—on portions of the National Park site where the Battle of Wilson’s Creek was fought in 1861. Wide Awake Films concluded filming in November, with a shoot in Kansas City’s Historic City Market. In and amongst the City Market’s 19th century architecture, the company paraded their camera crew, some horses, and more than thirty actors armed with muskets and dressed in authentic period costumes. Filming wrapped with a reenactment of the St. Louis Massacre of early 1861, during which a regiment of Northern soldiers fired on civilians in the city streets, killing 28 and wounding 75. The event significantly impacted popular opinion on the war and bitterly divided Missouri’s residents. Civil War giants William Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant, who stood in the crowd that day, were portrayed by local Kansas City actors. 

The DVD features over an hour of bonus content: a video tour of the Wilson’s Creek Civil War Museum, production stills, archival photos, and NPS Historian Emeritus Ed Bearss touring the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.

DVDs of the film are available at and a broadcast debut on PBS is expected in 2011.