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Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage

Researching, educating the public about, and protecting and preserving Callaway County heritage relative to the 1861-1865 War Between the States and the 1865-1876 Reconstruction period. We are an affliate of Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, sponsor of the Gray Ghosts and U.S. Grant Trails and itself a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization. Previously known as Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage, we were founded in 2005 and initially sponsored eight interpretive panels on the Gray Ghosts Trail at seven locations in Callaway County, as well as educational programs and publications.

A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

 Missouri Civil War Heritage Foundation

December 12, 2015


Joe and Marlene Crane

FULTON, Mo. - It is with sadness that we must report the passing of Marlene Jeanne Crane, 84, of Williamsburg, Dec. 4, 2015. Like her husband Joe - who is an original board member of Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage - she was a respected retired local educator, a prominent community leader, and a great friend of regional heritage and history. Highly regarded as an ambassador for Missouri hospitality, she took an active role in founding and operating Crane's Museum, and she managed the wonderful Marlene's Restaurant on site. The entire Crane family - the force behind the landmark Crane's Country Store - funded the Gray Ghosts Trail panel at Williamsburg. We offer our sincere condolences to Joe and his whole family. A report on Marlene's life can be found at

A Columbia newspaper recently published this feature on Marlene and Joe's role in Crane's Museum:

November 04, 2015


 Missouri Civil War Heritage Foundation

ST. LOUIS, MO. November 4, 2015. Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation announced today the launch of, a web resource developed in conjunction with the National Park Service. The site chronicles the work of a team of archeologists who have studied important Missouri Civil War battlefields since 2005, most recently a survey of the 1862 Battle of Moore's Mill in Callaway County.  The development of the website was made possible by a grant of the American Battlefield Protection Program of the National Park Service, which also funded a field survey of the Moore's Mill battlefield and the nomination of that battlefield to the National Register of Historic Places. The grant was obtained in 2012 and administered by Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation.

The new website currently focuses on the campaign of Confederate Colonel Joseph C. Porter, which covered a large area in northeast Missouri from June to October, 1862. The Battle of Moore's Mill, east of Fulton, Missouri, was fought on July 28, 1862, and was an important part of Porter's campaign. In addition to an extensive history of Porter's campaign, the website offers site visitors the opportunity to download and print a technical report prepared by archeologists and historians involved in the Moore's Mill survey. Also accessible is a technical report of a survey of the 1863 Battle of Marshall, Missouri, prepared by the same team.

Dr. Doug Scott, who heads the American Institute of Battlefield Archeology (an affiliate of Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation), led the Moore's Mill survey along with Dr. Steve Dasovich of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. Dr. Scott noted that the website will expand to cover other archeology sites in Missouri, and will include access to survey reports for field work done on the battlefields of Centralia and Boonville, and others. "We're grateful to the American Battlefield Protection Program for the confidence it has shown in our team," said Scott. "This repository will provide free access to scholars, students and the public to important research that expands the scope of knowledge of Missouri's Civil War,' he added.

The survey of the battle of Moore's Mill was a collaborative effort of students and faculty of Lindenwood University, Westminster College of Fulton, and Missouri Valley College of Marshall, Missouri.

Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation:

Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) educational organization and was founded in 2001 to assist Missouri communities in interpreting and preserving their important Civil War heritage sites, and in marketing Missouri's vast Civil War resources to visitors.

About the American Battlefield Protection Program:

The American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) promotes the preservation of significant historic battlefields associated with wars on American soil. This press release is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author (s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.


Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation
For more information:
Gabriela Molina
Programs Coordinator
or visit
American Battlefield Protection Program

For more information:
Kristen McMasters
National Park Service

Tuesday, April 07, 2015


FULTON, Mo. - It's a quip about the Civil War with some Southern "attitude" to it:
Question: What occurred on April 9, 1865?
Answer: The world's longest cease fire.

"It's true that General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant on that date 150 years ago," says Martin Northway, founding chair of Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage, sponsor of the Gray Ghosts Trail in Callaway County, Mo.

Maj. Gen. Sterling Price

"To many in the North at the time, that surrender at Appomattox, Va., meant the war was over. To those today raised on an eastern-centric view of the war, that day in 2015 marks the symbolic end of the current Civil War sesquicentennial - either that or April 15, the day Abraham Lincoln died from an assassin's bullet.

"But in fact, there were other Confederate commands that did not surrender for weeks, and fighting continued in the West. Even as others followed Lee's example, there were those who refused to surrender - among them, many Missouri Confederates.

"And needless to say, scars persisted afterward, and Reconstruction was often troubled - as witness the emergeance of Missouri as the 'Outlaw State' due to the transformation of guerrillas like Frank and Jesse James and others into bank and train robbers."

THE SURRENDERS: Northway noted that the "life" of the Gray Ghosts Trail commemoration of the war period is extended by virtue of its interpretive panels' coverage of Reconstruction events - in Fulton's Hockaday Park, for example, the panel "Jeff Davis Comes to the Kingdom" narrates former Confederate President Davis' triumphant 1875 visit and address. "Callaway County Men at War" on the Courthouse Square tells of how former Lt. Col. George W. Law, who lost an arm in the war, served afterward as county sheriff, killed by vigilantes in 1874.

Lt. Col.
George W. Law

Coincidentally, Law's former 1st Missouri Cavalry commander, Col. Elijah P. Gates, also lost an arm, but survived to surrender the remnants - perhaps 200 men - from among thousands of elite combat fighters who had served in the now-shattered Missouri Brigade. These remnants were part of a force defending Fort Blakely, Ala. Facing a gargantuan Union force, they in fact did capitulate on the same day as Lee.

Among the Confederate troops in the western theater, Texas cavalry fought gamely to the end, winning a May 12-13 fight at Palmetto Ranch, Texas, usually considered the last battle of the war. Meanwhile, in Louisiana, part of the Confederate trans-Mississippi department led by Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, commands including many Missourians were dissolving.

Believing himself to be facing Union treason charges in the wake of Lincoln's killing, he headed for Mexico via Texas, leaving the business of surrender to a subordinate, Simon Buckner. Ironically, it was General Buckner's humiliating surrender of Fort Donelson, Tenn., to General Grant three years earlier that helped solidify the latter's reputation as the North's most reliable fighting general and gave him the nickname "Unconditional Surrender."

THEY DID NOT SURRENDER: General Kirby Smith found plenty of company as he made his way to the border. Hundreds of Missourians who had refused to surrender were poised to enter Mexico now governed by the French-allied Emperor Maximilian, under challenge by followers of Benito Juarez.

Brig. Gen. Joseph O. "Jo" Shelby brought along with him 200 troopers, among them veterans of his famous "Iron Brigade" of cavalry. When they sank their battle flag in the Rio Grande River and crossed into Mexico, they were among perhaps 500 Missourians, including former Missouri governor Maj. Gen. Sterling Price - who had led the failed September-October 1864 expedition into the state - and Confederate Governor Thomas C. Reynolds.

Lt. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith
Brig. Gen Joseph O. "Jo" Shelby
Brig. Gen. Mosby M. Parsons

But after a brief stay, most returned home. Maximilian's government fell in 1867. "The whole experience had been a lost cause," wrote Andrew Rolle in The Lost Cause: The Confederate Exodus to Mexico (1965). "Although their fortunes were mixed during the later Reconstruction period, most of the exiles felt a sense of relief upon returning home."

Governor Price died in St. Louis Sept. 29, 1867. Shelby made his separate peace with the U.S., eventually serving as U.S. Marshal of Missouri's Western District. One Mexican exile who did not make it back was Brig. Gen. Mosby M. Parsons of Jefferson City, dying about Aug. 15, 1865, near China, Mexico. It appears likely he was killed by Juaristas, as he had allied himself with Imperialist forces.

THE LAST GUERRILLAS: Back in Missouri, from late 1864 through this time and the months following the war, many of the Southern guerrillas who fought occupying Union forces were hunted down and killed. The notorious Capt. William T. "Bloody Bill" Anderson - who had engineered the blood bath at Centralia, Mo., Sept. 27, 1864, and whose guerrillas had staged the Oct. 14 destruction of Danville from nearby Williamsburg - was killed in a Union ambush near Richmond, Mo., Oct. 26. Centralia, Williamsburg and Danville all have panels on the Gray Ghosts Trail.

Meanwhile, Col. (or Capt.) William C. Quantrill - Missouri's most prominent guerrilla leader, who had led the Aug. 21, 1863, sacking and massacre at Lawrence, Kan. - set out from Missouri with about two dozen men, intending to reach and kill President Lincoln. In mid-April 1865 in Kentucky he discovered Lincoln was already dead. On May 10 he was mortally wounded in a barnyard skirmish near Louisville, painfully lingering until his death June 6.

Bloody Bill Anderson
Jesse James

The brutal Archie Clement, a valued lieutenant of "Bloody Bill" Anderson, launched an 1865-1866 crime spree against Unionist banks in Missouri. He was killed in a gunfight Dec. 13, 1866.

Another who had ridden with Anderson, 16-year-old Jesse James, was shot in the chest by Union cavalry while trying to surrender. After his recovery, he began his long career in bank and train robbery alongside brother Frank and fellow former guerrilla Cole Younger. Considered by many a Southern "Robin Hood" despite his violence, Jesse James was murdered in St. Joseph, Mo., April 3, 1882.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


FULTON, Mo. - A proposal to place the Moore's Mill battlefield near Calwood, Mo., on the National Register of Historic Places has been forwarded to the federal government after unanimous approval by the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

Among those present at the council's February 20 hearing in Jefferson City was Greg Wolk, director of Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, which nominated the site for historic designation. The MCWHF is also sponsor of the Gray Ghosts Trail driving tour of historic panels in central Missouri.

Also present were Bryant and Kathy Liddle, owners of property which is part of the battlefield. Bryant Liddle and Joe D. Holt are co-chairs of Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage, the local affiliate of the state foundation.

While the historic designation is largely honorary and private property owners are free to opt out, approval by the federal government would insure that land incorporating the battlefield is protected from federal projects, which would be subject to formal review.

"This is good news for local citizens interested in historic preservation," says Martin Northway, founding chair of Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage. "This and a whole series of projects are a result of our campaign to place two interpretive panels at the battlefield, dedicated on the battle's 150th anniversary."

"Only a half dozen years ago, the Moore's Mill battlefield was nearly forgotten, unmarked except for a roadside sign," adds Liddle. "Now the site is marked by the Trail historic panels, visitors are directed by roadside signs, and the battlefield has been the subject of an archeological dig and an expert study." The panels are on St. Rd. JJ about 7/10 mile south of the St. Rds. Z/JJ junction.

In March 2013 battlefield archeologists led an investigative dig at the battlefield. Among the many volunteers were history students of Westminster College Assistant Professor Cinnamon Brown.

Chief investigators Douglas D. Scott, Thomas D. Thiessen and Steve J. Dasovich released a 190-page technical report, "A 'Desperate and Bloody Fight: The Battle of Moore's Mill, Callaway County, Missouri, July 28, 1862." The effort was funded by a $25,000 grant obtained by the state foundation from the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program.

A separate, independent but complementary project has been the successful effort by the Elijah Gates Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, led by Commander Noel Crowson, to locate and mark the mass grave of soldiers from both sides buried together after the battle. A memorial park including a large inscribed monument south of the battlefield was dedicated at a large public event July 27, 2014.

The sharp four-hour Battle of Moore's Mill, July 28, 1862, pitted troops of Union Col. Odon Guitar against the vastly outnumbered Confederate cavalry and partisans of Col. Joseph C. Porter. The result was a Union victory.

For information about Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, consult the Web site To learn more about the Gray Ghosts Trail in Callaway County, see

Sunday, February 08, 2015


FULTON, Mo. - Copies of experts' final report on a dig two years ago unearthing about 200 artifacts of a Civil War battle near Calwood in Callaway County have been released to local institutions. Volumes have been presented to representatives of the Callaway County Public Library, Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society Museum and Westminster College.

Thus, now available for the scrutiny of researchers and the public are copies of "'A Desperate and Bloody Fight': The Battle of Moore's Mill, July 28, 1862" by battlefield archeologists Douglas D. Scott, Thomas D. Thiessen and Steve J. Dasovich.

The March 2013 dig including many local and college-student volunteers was part of a study sponsored by Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation (MCWHF) and financed by a grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program of the National Park Service.

On February 4, copies of the oversize 190-page report were presented to Barbara Huddleston, Curator of the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society Museum, and Greg Reeves, Manager of the Callaway County Public Library. Copies had been donated previously to Westminster College.

The volumes were presented by Joe D. Holt and Bryant Liddle, Co-Chairs of Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage, local affiliate of the MCWHF and the sponsor of Callaway County's portion of the Gray Ghosts Trail driving tour.

Barbara Huddleston's assistance to the researchers is cited in the report. Professors and students at Westminster College were among the dig's volunteers. Bryant Liddle is also a property owner of a portion of the Moore's Mill battle site and was a volunteer on the dig. He and his family financed one of the two Gray Ghosts Trail interpretive panels at the battle site near Calwood.

For information about Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, consult the Web site To learn more about the Gray Ghosts Trail in Callaway County, see

Greg Reeves (center), Manager of the Callaway County Public Library, receives a reference copy of the Moore's Mill Battle study from Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage Co-Chairs Joe D. Holt (left) and Bryant Liddle.

Barbara Huddleston, Curator of the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society Museum, is presented a copy of the Moore's Mill Battle study by Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage Co-Chairs Joe D. Holt (left) and Bryant Liddle. The small display box includes a sampling of artifacts from the March battle dig.

Greg Reeves (second from left), Manager of the Callaway County Public Library, and Barbara Huddleston, Curator of the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society Museum, receive copies of the Moore's Mill Battle study presented by Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage Co-Chairs Joe D. Holt (left) and Bryant Liddle.

Photos courtesy Don Ernst

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


FULTON, Mo. - In recognition of Westminster College's participation in the March 2013 archeological dig at the site of the Battle of Moore's Mill, our Co-Chairs Joe Holt and Bryant Liddle presented copies of the final battlefield report to Westminster Asst. Prof. Cinnamon Brown and library officials Angela Grogan and Kat Barden, January 23, 2015. Also present was President Barney Forsythe, as well as Asst. Prof. Michael Boulton and some students who took part in the dig.

The volumes were gifts of Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation - our parent organization - which sponsored the project funded by the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program. The 190-page report "A 'Desperate and Bloody Fight': The Battle of Moore's Mill, Callaway County, Mo., July 28, 1862" was prepared by expert investigators Doug Scott, Thomas Thiessen and Steve Dasovich. For an account of the presentation, see the College's Web site at

President Forsythe was instrumental in getting the necessary approval to locate one of our eight Callaway County Gray Ghosts Trail panels on campus, along Westminster Avenue below the historic Columns. The interpretive panel explains the role of the College during the War, with accompanying narratives on the engagement at Overton Run and on Callaway slaves who served in the Union Army. The panel was funded through donations by Westminster alumni. Its highly publicized 2011 dedication event featured keynoter U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Byron Bagby, himself a Westminster College alumnus.

Westminster College Asst. Prof. Cinnamon Brown with College President Barney Forsythe.

From left, Westminster College Asst. Prof. Cinnamon Brown and President Barney Forsythe, Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage Co-Chairs Joe Holt and Bryant Liddle, and Kat Barden, head of public services at the College's Reeves Library.

From left to right, Westminster College Director of Library Services Angela Grogan, President Dr. Barney Forsythe, Assistant Professor of History Dr. Mark Boulton, Assistant Professor of History Dr. Cinnamon Brown, Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage Co-Chairs Joe Holt (WC'62) and Bryant Liddle, Westminster College's Reeves Library Director of Public Services Kat Barden, and students John York '16 and Spencer O'Gara '16. Brown, Boulton, York and O'Gara participated in the 2013 archeological dig.

Photos courtesy Westminster College

Monday, October 02, 2014

The Battle of Westport, mural by N.C. Wyeth in Missouri State Capitol


CALLAWAY COUNTY, Mo. - Former Governor and Confederate Maj. Gen. Sterling Price had never abandoned his dream of securing Missouri for the Confederacy, despite his and most of his troops' absence - except for occasional brief cavalry raids - since 1862. From then until late 1864, it had been the lot of Confederate guerrillas to carry on mostly alone a bloody, tit-for-tat irregular warfare with occupying Federal troops and Union militia in Missouri.

With the blessing of the Confederate Department of the Trans-Mississippi, in September 1864, Price began to lead a large expedition of more than 10,000 cavalry and mounted infantry from Arkansas north into Missouri. His objectives were to capture St. Louis and to recruit or conscript soldiers to his cause. Even before he set out, with the encouragement of his high command, guerrillas began attacking Union troops and disrupting communications in western and north-central Missouri.

In north-central Missouri, Confederate officers started recruiting men to the commands of Cols. Caleb W. Dorsey, Caleb J. Perkins, and David A. Williams, among others. While there were no engagements in Callaway County during this time, many of her men made their way south of the river to join in the fighting with Price's army.

Meanwhile, Price paused in the first phase of his long march to launch an ill-advised and poorly executed attack on outnumbered but fortified Union troops of Fort Davidson at Pilot Knob, Mo., suffering 1,000 casualties. The Federals slipped away under cover of night, and not only was Price deflected from marching on St. Louis but he failed to net the Union force and its commander - Brig. Gen. Thomas Ewing, Jr., whose notorious General Orders No. 11 a year earlier had emptied the 3½ counties south of Kansas City of most of their citizens, bringing untold suffering to thousands of Southern people.

Coincidentally, on that same Sept. 27 Capt. "Bloody Bill" Anderson's guerrillas executed nearly two dozen unarmed Union recruits at Centralia, Boone County. Later that day, they and their allies slaughtered a battalion of 39th Missouri State Militia mounted infantry under Maj. A.V.E. Johnston three miles southeast of Centralia. (Centralia is a site on the Gray Ghosts Trail.)

Moving westward, Price's command brushed past the Jefferson City capital and its fortified Union troops. Elements of Price's army fought in numerous engagements, including on the Moreau River, briefly captured Sedalia and decisively defeated a Union garrison in battle at Glasgow, a victory that could not be savored because Price continued to move, now pursued by Union troops on all sides.

These forces converged on Price's army near Kansas City October 19, leading to a series of engagements culminating in the heavily outnumbered Confederates' decisive defeat at the Battle of Westport, October 23. With about 30,000 troops fighting, this was the largest cavalry battle of the Civil War, its dramatic result branding it the "Gettysburg of the West." The lengthy retreat of Price's army southward was marked by further defeats and the capture of many of his soldiers.

Confederate Maj. Gen. Sterling Price

There were Callaway men among the casualties in the endgame of Price's expedition. One such was 30-year-old John G. Glendy, Co. B, Wood's Confederate Cavalry Regiment. He was killed Oct. 23, 1864, at Westport, in the battle on the Little Blue River. His remains lay in that far field until his father traveled there to claim them, so that his son could be buried with full Masonic honors at the family plot at Concord Cemetery in northwest Callaway County, Dec. 18, 1870. A proclamation by Concord Lodge 154 AF&AM mourned the loss of Brother Glendy, “a worthy member,… a kind son,… an affectionate brother, … a good citizen, and... a bright ornament [of society].”

Confederate Col. Caleb W. Dorsey
THE HAM BROWN'S FARM MASSACRE: As the countryside filled with Union troops attempting to thwart their crossing the Missouri River, some recruits were delayed in joining Price's army. This occurred with about 200 soldiers of recruiting officer Capt. William R. Terry, blocked by Union troops at Glasgow. Some of these recruits returned to Callaway County. Among them were a few camped in falling heavy snow along Four Mile Creek west of Hatton the night of November 3. The next day, they intended to join several hundred recruits of Colonel Dorsey said to be just north in Audrain County.

Learning the next day that Maj. James C. Bay was nearby with 150 cavalry of the 67th Enrolled Missouri Militia hunting "guerrillas," the Callaway men scattered to elude capture. Some headed for the farm of C. Hamilton Brown 4½ miles northwest of Hatton. Eight rode into Brown's barn lot, pursued by Bay's soldiers. Unarmed (some may have been disarmed), they tried to surrender but Bay ordered all executed as presumed guerrillas. Miss Mary A. Brown pleaded for the life of James Ed Bradley, 16, who was spared. The men shot were Orderly Sgt. James Polk Selby, Joseph A. Adair, George B. Allen, John R. Davis (or R.C. Davis), Alfred A. Kemp, William Key and Charles Sinclair (or J. St. Clair).

Some of the victims are buried at Millersburg Baptist Cemetery, two others at Prairie Chapel cemetery and a family graveyard, and the rest at Pleasant Grove Cemetery, where a monument says all were "Confederate troops murdered in cold blood by Federal troops." Years later, witnesses at Bay's deathbed said he was haunted by the "imaginary avengers of the boys who were murdered at the Brown farm."

THE STORY OF WILLIE SCOTT: The experience of teenaged William S. "Willie" Scott wrote a final, tragic local coda to the sad saga of Price's expedition. A resident of near Wainwright in Southern Callaway County, Scott - only 15 years of age - was determined to join the Confederate army, crossing the Missouri River presumably between October 6 to 8 to do so. Because no formal record of his service exists, it is unknown to which unit he attached himself or where he saw action. But after the Battle of Westport, separated from the bulk of Price's command, he was captured in Dade County, in western Missouri, between the Little Osage and Marmiton Rivers.

He was transported to Gratiot Street Prison in St. Louis, then on or about November 1 was transferred to Alton (Ill.) Military Prison. On December 10, he wrote his mother that while in "good health," he wanted her to "come down and see me … [and] get a recommendation for my release from some of the loyal men of that Neighborhood And bring with you for me some clothing & money[.] Also, Ma if you can't possibly come send me some clothing and money."

He was finally released in March 1865 but was left to his own devices to get home. After spending a night there, he crossed the Missouri River bottom to visit his sister, where on his second night he was dragged away by Union sympathizers - a few of those "loyal men" of the neighborhood - and lynched, only about a week before Lee's surrender and less than a week before the surrender of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi with which he had so briefly served. "Willie's" tombstone in Link Cemetery at Wainwright reads: "William S. Scott, Son of J.M. and S.J. Scott, MURDERED, March 31, 1865, Aged 15 years."

 William S. Scott and Sister Amanda Jane

"Willie" Scott and sister Amanda

   Tombstone of William S. Scott

William S. "Willie" Scott's tombstone

For more on Willie Scott, see the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society materials at:

On Price's expedition and Jefferson City's role, see documents gathered on the Cole County Historical Society's Web site:

Monday, September 01, 2014


 Capt. William T. (Bloody Bill) Anderson

Capt. William T. (Bloody Bill) Anderson

 Maj. Gen. Sterling Price

Maj. Gen. Sterling Price

WILLIAMSBURG, Mo. – In east-central Missouri, Williamsburg and Danville are separated by a mere ten miles, a county line and the Loutre River.

But during the Civil War 150 years ago, the span between them may as well have been the Gulf of Mexico, because the small village of Williamsburg was Southern in sentiment, but Danville – former seat of Montgomery County, population near 1,000 – was a Unionist stronghold.

Thus, Capt. “Bloody Bill” Anderson's guerrillas marked it for destruction, along with railroad stops at High Hill and Florence. They aimed at the latter to help take pressure off Confederate Gen. Sterling Price's September–October 1864 raid into Missouri – but they burned the former for the hell of it, maybe even because of the personal slights of a guerrilla's sisters there.

Whatever the reason, by the night of October 14, 1864, most of Danville lay in smoking ruins, fired by perhaps 80 desperate, heavily armed Rebel horsemen. The guerrillas staged their destructive raid from Williamsburg, the “Gateway to the Boone's Lick” region in eastern Callaway County.

This story and more is told in three interpretive panels on the Gray Ghosts Trail Civil War driving tour, which commences in the east at Danville at the Danville Female Academy – one of few structures surviving from the raid – and in Williamsburg at Crane's Museum. The trail continues west through Callaway County to Centralia, Boonville and Marshall.

The two Danville panels were dedicated in 2006, during the opening of the first three sites on the trail. The panel at Williamsburg was dedicated at an October 22, 2011, ceremony and tells about the raid, Confederate and guerrilla leaders from the area, and the community's key role in aiding settlers traveling the Boone's Lick Road.

The festivities sponsored by Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage (see photos below) were heralded by a skydiver, the audience roused by the music of the Centralia Battlefield Band, and visitors treated to wagon rides driven by Hershel Linnenbringer and Elaine Walker. A color guard was provided by the Elijah Gates Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The centerpiece of the ceremony emceed by KoCCWH's Warren Hollrah was the unveiling of the panel by Joe, Marlene, David and Amy Crane and family, donors of the panel. The day's speakers included Greg Wolk – director of Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, sponsor of the Gray Ghosts Trail – County Commissioners Gary Jungermann and Doc Kritzer and Boone's Lick Trail expert Ron Kamper.

Today, historic Williamsburg bustles with activity, at landmark Crane's General Store, Crane's Museum and Marlene's Restaurant. Travelers seeking accommodations will find the newly opened Gray Ghosts Trail Inn ( as well as hospitable motels in Kingdom City to the west and another bed and breakfast in Fulton, the Loganberry Inn (

Photos by Don Ernst

Friday, April 25, 2014


FULTON, Mo. - Two top national battlefield investigators will headline the program "Archeology of the Battle of Moore's Mill" at 4 p.m. Friday, May 2, at the Coulter Science Center on the campus of Westminster College. Douglas D. Scott, Ph.D., and Steve Dasovich, Ph. D., will assess the results of a March 22-23, 2013, dig at the site of the July 28, 1862, Battle of Moore's Mill.

The archeological investigation unearthed nearly 200 artifacts at Calwood, Mo., a community about seven miles northeast of Fulton. Led by Scott and Dasovich, the dig was sponsored by Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation and local affiliate Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage.

The excavation involved students and volunteers from the St. Charles, Mo., school as well as those of Assistant Professor of History Cinnamon Brown of Westminster College and Dr. Peter Warnock of Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo. The effort was financed by a grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program.

Key in local coordination were KoCCWH Co-Chair Bryant Liddle and member Warren Hollrah. Liddle is owner of a portion of the property where the battle occurred. His family also financed one of the two Gray Ghosts Trail interpretive panels at the site.

President of the Society for Historical Archaeology, Scott was an investigator in the famous 1980s excavations at the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn. He also serves on the advisory board of Armchair General magazine. Dasovich is director of Lindenwood's Archeological Research Program and chair of its Anthropology and Sociology Department.

The sharp four-hour battle pitted troops of Union Col. Odon Guitar against the vastly outnumbered Confederate cavalry and partisans of Col. Joseph C. Porter. The result was a decisive Union victory.

Westminster College volunteers at the March 2013 Moore's Mill battlefield dig.

Bryant Liddle and his family at the Gray Ghosts Trail panels dedication at Calwood, July 28, 2012.

Link to Westminster College Moore's Mill Article

Sunday, March 30, 2014


 View Larger Image
Photo By: Catherine Cummins
Fulton Sun
FULTON, Mo. - The Founding Chair of Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage - sponsor of the Gray Ghosts Trail in Callaway - is the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Service Award of the annual Kingdom of Callaway Supper. Historian and writer Martin Northway accepted the prestigious honor at the awards ceremony of the 109th Supper, at William Woods University's Dulany Auditorium, March 25, 2014.

The award "for outstanding community service toward the enrichment and betterment of Callaway County" was specifically for his role in developing the local Gray Ghosts Trail, of which the Hon. Joe D. Holt in his presentation speech said Northway was the "guiding light" director.

"...The Gray Ghosts Trail runs through Callaway County following generally the Boone's Lick Trail … made famous by a book [The Gray Ghosts of the Confederacy] by Richard Brownlee," said Holt.

"...The Gray Ghosts signs here in Fulton and the county marking the trail and sites around Fulton … and the tremendous history in the [interpretive] panels together with the verification of all of that information was largely created and certainly ramrodded into place by Martin Northway.

"The historical information he wrote was vetted through Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation and has been approved by noted historians such as Dr. Bill Parrish, professor of history emeritus at Mississippi State University and formerly of Westminster College.

"Martin never let up on us, pushing forward to get it done."

Holt said it was the notion of Mark Douglas, Don Ernst and Northway back in 2005 to make sure the county was well represented on the trail. They were soon joined by a core group including Bill Conner, Joe Crane, Rob Crouse, Noel Crowson, Warren Hollrah, Barbara Huddleston, Vicki McDaniel, Whit McCoskrie and current co-chairs Holt and Bryant Liddle.

Sadly, valued historian Douglas only survived to research and write the first panel, but in Northway's acceptance of the award he said, "We are confident Mark would approve" of how planning, financing and dedicating each new panel has engaged additional leaders and portions of the community. As an example he cited the dedication of the final "Callaway County Men at War" panel at the courthouse on Sept. 11, 2012.

The panel features a thumbnail biography of Confederate Lt. Col. George W. Law, killed in the line of duty as Callaway County sheriff in 1873. The county's law officers and first responders were invited as honored guests; led by County Sheriff Dennis Crane and Fulton Police Chief Steve Myers, three dozen of these uniformed public servants marched as an honor guard.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


KINGDOM CITY, Mo. - The gymnasium at Hatton-McCredie Elementary School in Kingdom City, Callaway County, has been named after the man who was the school's principal for nearly a quarter of a century - Joe Crane, a civic and business leader of the community of Williamsburg.

"Crane's Gym" was anointed September 20, 2013, at the school's monthly flag ceremony that began under Crane's tenure from 1970 to 1993.

A committee member of Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage, Crane is responsible for locating the Gray Ghosts Trail interpretive panel "Gateway to the Boone's Lick" at Crane's Museum in Williamsburg. The panel tells of the role of the historic Boone's Lick Trail (or Road) in the Civil War - including its use by "Bloody Bill" Anderson's guerrillas in destroying nearby Danville - and identifies prominent "Rebel" leaders. The panel was financed by the Crane family - Joe and wife Marlene and son David (who manages Crane's Country Store) and his wife Amy.

The senior Crane can often be found in the museum or its Marlene's Restaurant. When available, he readily shares his vast knowledge of local history and lore.

In Kingdom City, the Gray Ghosts Trail panel "The Kingdom Comes to Callaway" is located at the Heart of Missouri Tourism Center, 5584 Dunn Drive (573/642-7692), one block north of I-70, just off US 54. The panel tells of the October 1861 agreement local pro-Southern "minutemen" elicited from would-be invading Union militia. The event earned Callaway County the popular sobriquet The Kingdom of Callaway.

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Joe Crane, sporting his trademark red suspenders, at the Gray Ghosts Trail dedication at the Callaway County Courthouse, September 11, 2012. Photo by Don Ernst


WILLIAMSBURG, Mo. - Inspired by the Gray Ghosts Trail, Steve and Jan Gray - a retired couple - have opened a bed and breakfast in Williamsburg named the Gray Ghosts Trail Inn. An ample, restored 1905 home, their B&B is directly on the old Boone's Lick Trail, at 10703 County Road 184 (Main St.). The picturesque B&B is only two blocks from Crane's Museum, home to one of eight Callaway County outdoor Gray Ghosts Trail interpretive panels sponsored by Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage, local affiliate of Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation.

Located along I-70, Williamsburg is the eastern gateway to the Gray Ghosts Trail in Callaway County, just west of the Trail's beginning in Danville, Montgomery County. The Williamsburg panel tells of the role of the Boone's Lick Road and of local guerrillas during the War Between the States.

"It's cute and charming, and needed to be restored," Jan Gray told the Fulton Sun about the couple's decision to turn the house into an inn. "It's important to history because it sits right on the Civil War Gray Ghosts Trail. Bloody Bill Anderson came through here and picked up one or two guerrillas on his way to [raiding] Danville."

Information can be found at the Web site, or call (573) 253-3888.

The Gray Ghosts Trail Inn is not the only B&B on the Gray Ghosts Trail in Callaway County. In Fulton, the lovely, large Victorian-era Loganberry Inn is located immediately east of Westminster College, at 310 W. 7th St. Information:; (573) 642-9229.

The Gray Ghosts Trail Inn


FULTON, Mo. - With sadness we report the passing of Isham Holland, 95, Fulton, pastor, retired educator and regional historian, and avid supporter of the mission of Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage. He died at home surrounded by family the night of July 3, 2013, only hours after the 150th anniversary of the grievous wounding of his Virginia-born grandfather, Thomas C. Holland, at the stone wall during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Captain Holland survived to move to Callaway County and raise a family. Isham was eight years old when his grandfather died in 1925; Isham was at the funeral.

He was born in Callaway, December 9, 1917, and was married to the former Adelia Carol Yocum, who died in 2004. Earning a certificate after high school, Isham began elementary teaching even before excelling at the University of Missouri and the Kansas City College and Bible School, earning two bachelor's degrees (history and theology) and a Doctor of Divinity.

At the Kansas City institution, he had a long career, as instructor, dean of administration, vice president and president, and at his death was president emeritus. His pastoral and evangelical service spanned most of his life, and he did mission work in Latin America for five decades. He served at one time or another on most boards of the Church of God (Holiness).

He is remembered fondly by his many surviving relatives and by legions of friends, who admired his humanity and active intelligence.

Isham Holland, at right, at the Sept. 11, 2012, Gray Ghosts Trail dedication at the Callaway County Courthouse, with Hockaday House owners Dolores and Bob Holt and keynote speaker Judge Gene Hamilton. Photo by Don Ernst

Friday, June 28, 2013


FULTON, Mo. – In July, the nation will mark the 150th anniversaries of two major events that were turning points in the Civil War – the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1–3, 1863; and the surrender of Vicksburg, the “Gibraltor of the Confederacy,” on July 4, 1863.

Historic figures in Callaway County, Mo., played important roles in both battle campaigns. Their stories are among those told in interpretive panels on the Gray Ghosts Trail driving tour sponsored by Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage, local affiliate of overall sponsor Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation.

While only one Missouri unit is known to have taken part in the Confederate Army in the East, several Confederate soldiers moved from there to Missouri immediately after the war. “It's remarkable we had two men here who fell just yards apart during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg,” says Martin Northway, historian and KoCCWH chair. “Both survived grievous wounds to have families and lead full lives in Callaway County.”

Elijah P. Blankenship was a private in the 57th Virginia Infantry Regiment who may have gotten the farthest during the Confederate Army's failed attempt to storm Cemetery Ridge, the so-called “High Water Mark” of the Confederacy. Receiving four or five wounds, he was left for dead but survived, and lived with his family in the Calwood neighborhood after the war.

Buried at Old Auxvasse Cemetery, his story is noted on the cemetery's Civil War trail panel. An event dedicating his soldier's stone drew two hundred people and extensive media attention in 2003.

During the same charge, Capt. Thomas C. Holland of the 28th Virginia Infantry fell shot through the jaw only yards away from Blankenship. He, too, lived in Callaway after the war – and remarkably, there is a man alive today who remembers him. Isham C. Holland of Fulton was a boy when his granddad died in 1925. He recalls that the man called “T.C.” cultivated what was known as “Grandpa's Patch” on the farm where he lived with his daughter and son-in-law in his last years.

Isham Holland was recently honored as a “Real Grandson” by the Missouri Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He is a member of the Elijah Gates Camp No. 570 SCV, based in Fulton. His grandfather died Feb. 11, 1925. Isham Holland recalls, “We stood in deep snow on a very cold winter day as the old soldier was laid to rest beside his wife and among her people in the graveyard in the field across the road from our house.”

As for the Vicksburg campaign, many Callaway men served in the battles that led up to the 47-day siege ending in the city's surrender on July 4, 1863. That event and General Lee's defeat at Gettysburg July 3 marked a dramatic reversal in the fortunes of the Confederacy, though the war lasted almost two more years.

One of the many county men who enlisted in Confederate units serving at Vicksburg was George W. Law, a popular farmer who at the beginning of the war led a company into the Missouri State Guard resisting Union occupation of Missouri. When the legislature that fled Jefferson City with Gov. Claiborne Fox Jackson declared for the Confederacy, many of the same men who had enlisted with Captain Law followed him into Confederate service with the 1st Missouri Cavalry Regiment.

Transferred east of the Mississippi, the regiment was dismounted to serve as combat infantry. Law rose in rank to lieutenant colonel and second in command of the regiment, which saw action in the battles in which the Confederate army unsuccessfully attempted to keep Union Gen. U.S. Grant's troops away from the gates of Vicksburg. In the final battle on the Big Black River, Union forces broke the center of the Confederate army, which fled across the bridge leading to Vicksburg. Many were captured, and Law was shot in the arm, resulting in the amputation of the limb.

Law served for the rest of the war in a staff capacity, but after returning to Callaway after the war was elected county sheriff in 1872. In Fulton in 1873, while transporting the convicted stock thief Peter Kessler – a much-despised local bushwhacker during the war – Law was mortally wounded by mounted vigilantes who lynched Kessler. Law lingered painfully for a few days, long enough for his old commander, Col. Elijah P. Gates, to join him by his deathbed. Gates himself was sheriff of Buchanan County, despite his own loss of an arm during the war.

George Law's life is the featured biography on the Gray Ghosts Trail panel “Callaway County Men at War” in front of the county courthouse in Fulton. The panel telling of both Union and Confederate local soldiers was dedicated Sept. 11, 2012, in an event honoring law officers and other first responders.

Other Callaway soldiers serving in the war – including local slaves who fought for the Union – are featured in the panel “War Comes to Westminster College” below The Columns on Westminster Avenue in Fulton and in the panel “The Kingdom Comes to Callaway” at the Heart of Missouri Tourism Center in Kingdom City.

For information about the Gray Ghosts Trail in Callaway County, consult the Web site of Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage, For more about the entire Gray Ghosts Trail, see

Capt. Thomas C. Holland was a brigadier general in Missouri's United Confederate Veterans after the Civil War.

At the March 23 reunion of the Missouri Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans at which he was honored as a “Real Grandson,” Isham Holland unfurls the Confederate battle flag used at the burial of his grandfather Capt. T.C. Holland. At left is Isham's grandson Kurt Holland.

Lt. Col. George W. Law, 1st Missouri Cavalry, served as Callaway County sheriff from 1872-1873 despite losing an arm in the Civil War.

The May 17, 2003, event dedicating a soldier's stone for Pickett's Charge veteran Pvt. Elijah P. Blankenship at Old Auxvasse Cemetery featured a delegation of Virginia's Jubal Early Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy bringing soil from the grave of the soldier's brother in Franklin County, Va., to distribute on Elijah's grave here.

 Callaway County Flag

© 2011 - Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage