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Callaway Civil War Heritage

Educating about, protecting and preserving Callaway County heritage relative to the 1861-1865 War Between the States and 1865-1876 Reconstruction, in the nation's third-most-fought-over state. Originally named Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage when established in 2005, our group remains an affiliate of Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, sponsor of the Gray Ghosts Trail.

Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

 Missouri Civil War Heritage Foundation

Callaway Civil War Heritage consists entirely of citizen volunteers committed to local heritage preservation - historians, leaders, members of the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society, civic and business leaders, and other interested citizens.

Our various efforts have drawn on numerous heritage-partner organizations and donors - the Callaway County Public Library, Crane's Museum, Elijah Gates Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Fulton Heritage Trust, Callaway County Tourism Board, Historical Society, Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce, Old Auxvasse Cemetery Association and Old Auxvasse-Nine Mile Presbyterian Church, and Westminster College and alumni.

Other donors and property owners include Richard and Connie Williams, the John Payne Harrison family, Bob and Dolores Holt, Bill and Genevieve Conner, Joseph W. McCoskrie, the Callaway Bank - and others. We have also worked cooperatively with the Callaway County Commission and the Mayor and Council of the City of Fulton.

The Chair of Callaway Civil War Heritage is Bryant Liddle. The Vice Chair/Treasurer is Joseph W. "Whit" McCoskrie. Warren Hollrah is Secretary.

Retired as Founding Chair is Martin Northway (2005-2016). The Hon. Joe D. Holt has retired as Co-Chair.

Our Webmaster is Wayne E. Johnson. Kathy (Zbinden) Richey-Liddle is the Facebook Manager.

"Callaway County has a rich and complex antebellum, Civil War and Reconstruction history. It is the purpose of Callaway Civil War Heritage to research, write and disseminate to residents and visitors alike the best and most accurate information possible relating to this period, and to direct interested persons to relevant historical sites."

"The group initially serves to make recommendations to Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation regarding the development and promotional activities of the Callaway portion and Fulton Loop of the Gray Ghosts Trail, and to offer accurate and interesting local material for the foundation's informational Web site."

"Our goal is to generate community support, awareness, pride and recognition of military actions, of the activities of soldiers and civilians, and of historic sites in Callaway County. We will work to enhance these historic locations, develop promotional venues to educate others about our area's Civil War period history, and help create opportunities for local heritage tourism that will benefit this area."

Besides sponsoring, researching and writing, and obtaining financing for the interpretive panels on the Callaway County portion of the Gray Ghosts Trail and organizing their highly publicized dedications, Callaway Civil War Heritage has been involved in these projects:

1. Co-sponsored (beginning in March 2008) the highly successful Civil War Living History Day "indoor encampment," for families and youngsters, at the Callaway County Public Library, with living-history re-enactors who are members and friends of the Elijah Gates Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Reuben H. Bullard Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Our organization has also contributed to a complementary, month-long museum-style informational wall display.

2. Published a booklet on local Civil War and Reconstruction history written by Martin Northway. (This copyrighted material is accessible, for your information, on this Web site.)

3. Created and published a self-mailer guide and map to the Callaway County portion of the Gray Ghosts Trail (also accessible on and reproducible from this Web site). [click here]

4. Financed and obtained governmental approval for signs directing drivers to interpretive-panel sites at Old Auxvasse Cemetery, Calwood (Battle of Moore's Mill), and Fulton.

5. Installed an extensive display including illuminated color panels and a stand of Civil War colors at the former Heart of Missouri Tourism Center in Kingdom City - now Kingdom City's City Hall. The grounds are still the site of our first interpretive panel, "The Kingdom Comes to Callaway."

6. Sponsored local talks and informational Q&A visits to civic and community organizations.

7. Assisted the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society Museum in creating special window displays on local Civil War history and personalities.

8. Produced informational press releases and shared pertinent heritage information with newspapers and other local media; collaborated in a special supplement on the Gray Ghosts Trail for Little Dixie Weekender; and cooperated in productions such as KOMU-TV's "Coverage in Callaway" news feature and the City of Fulton's public-access programming.

Photo: Don Ernst

Dedication of our Gray Ghosts Trail interpretive panel "Callaway County Men at War," Callaway County Courthouse, September 11, 2012. Special guests were a wide representation of officers and first responders who marched as an honor guard; color guard provided by the Elijah Gates Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The panel's featured biography is of George W. Law, who lost an arm in combat as a Confederate officer and who as Callaway County sheriff was killed by vigilantes in 1874. An annual award in his name is given to the county's outstanding law officer.

 After the Battle  -  Illus. by Paul A. Johnson
After the Battle  -  Illus. by Paul A. Johnson

© 2011 - Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage