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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Fulton Sun Article

Fourteen colorful, distinctive red, white and gray signs marking the route of the Gray Ghosts Trail driving tour through Fulton are being installed this week, reports Martin Northway, chair, Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage, sponsor of the Trail in Callaway County.

The Trail linking Civil War interpretive panels and historic sites from Danville and Williamsburg through Callaway, Boone, Cooper, Saline and Howard Counties is sponsored overall by Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation and derives its name from a landmark book on the guerrilla war in Missouri, Richard S. Brownlee's "Gray Ghosts of the Confederacy." The image on the Trail signs is of Capt. William T. "Bloody Bill" Anderson, one of the best-known Confederate guerrillas.

"These new street signs will lead residents and visitors alike to three Civil War interpretive panels in Fulton that are significant cultural assets," says Northway. "They represent three of our seven Gray Ghosts trail sites in Callaway County." Two of those -- Old Auxvasse Cemetery and the Battle of Moore's Mill at Calwood -- also will soon be marked by directional signs, leading east from the Heart of Missouri Tourism Center in Kingdom City.

The Fulton street signs are funded by one primary donor, Fulton Heritage Trust, and a secondary donor, the Callaway Bank. "We are most grateful to these donors," says Northway, "as well as to the cooperation and support of the Office of Mayor LeRoy Benton, the Fulton City Council and Traffic Commission and the municipal workers who are installing these signs so quickly and efficiently."

The signs guide drivers from US Business 54 (North Bluff Street) and St. Rd. F (West 4th Street) into the downtown area to three Fulton sites: Westminster College, with its interpretive panel on the college's role in the war and about Callaway County slaves who became Union soldiers; the county courthouse, where a panel "Callaway County Men at War" will be installed and dedicated later this year; and Hockaday Park, where the panel "Jeff Davis Comes to the Kingdom" tells of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis' 1875 speech in Fulton and overnight stay at the Italianate house owned by Bob and Dolores Holt.

That panel, also funded by Fulton Heritage Trust, also describes three local antebellum properties. The Westmister College panel was funded through donations by local alumni of the college.

Northway said several volunteers from the Callaway Civil War group have played key roles in the directional sign program, among them KoCCWH co-chairs Joe Holt and Bryant Liddle, Warren Hollrah, Barbara Huddleston and Vicki McDaniel. For more information on the group, consult the online Web site

For information about the state foundation, see and an overall map of the Gray Ghosts trail, see

Kingdom Notes- April 10, 2011

The sesquicentennial of the Civil War begins with the anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter. The Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage has chosen April 16th to recognize the events in Callaway County which propelled our citizens in to this conflict. Little did anyone know it would be a four year struggle that would in some way effect everyone's lives.

The Fulton Weekly Gazette of June 16, 1905 ran a very interesting article about "Westminster College During the Civil War". The editor of the newspaper was Ovid Bell, the son of John P. Bell who was a student at Westminster College in the spring of 1861.

On April 16th, Dr. William Parrish, former History Professor at Westminster, will share the story of the six students who left college just before graduation to form the Callaway Guards. In the newspaper article we learn their names are Daniel H. McIntyre, Joseph S. Laurie, W.S. Duncan, Joseph C. Watkins, George Davis and John P. Bell.

Fulton during the war was a town of around a thousand people. The county was home to 17,449 residents of which 26% were slaves. The greater part of the town lived south of what is known as Fifth or Asylum Street. The northern portion of the town was scantily populated with woods and other parts used for farming.

The collegian of the civil war period was primarily a student. He had few sports. Football was unknown here, intercollegiate athletic contests were not even remotely considered. A form of what would become baseball was played on the field across Stinson Creek behind the college.

Diversion in student life was found chiefly in the literary societies. Debates were held, essays were read and orations were performed with the public invited to attend. The article states: "The faculty forbade the discussion of political questions in the literacy societies and frowned on manifestations of enthusiasm for either side; consequently there were no encounters between the students on account of the war." Perhaps this restriction had an effect on what the six students did that spring of 1861.

U.S. Army Major General Byron Bagby, will also return to his home town on Saturday, April 16th, to share with us the often unheard of story of the black solider. A number of slaves from Callaway County served in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War.

The commemoration of these events are occurring not to refight the war, although some still do, but to honor those soldiers and civilians of both the white and black communities which were all a part of those difficult times.

For information about this event and those being planned for this year, stop by the museum at 513 Court Street, call us at 573-642-0570 or checkout the website

© 2011 - Kingdom of Callaway Civil War Heritage