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Exhibit in Springfield Focuses on the City's Role in the Civil War


Tell me about the exhibit Civil War in Missouri that's currently at the Park Central Branch Library:

"It is a photo exhibit of different individuals, places and artifacts that had a role in shaping Springfield's outcome during the Civil War.  They're not all related to the 1863 Battle of Springfield but just in  Springfield during that time period.  There are Union, civilians, pro-confederate civilians, southern soldiers, Union soldiers--there's a wide variety of individuals represented there,"  Grubbs said.

Where did these items come from?

"The images are from several different places.  We worked with Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, The History Museum for Springfield-Greene County, First and Calvary Presbyterian Church--they all loaned us images for this exhibit," he said.

That's interesting that First and Calvary had some images.  What is the situation there?

"They had several individuals that were prominent in their church that had a role in the Battle of Springfield.  Henry Sheppard, C.B. Holland are just two individuals as an example that played a role during the battle," he said.

Can you give kind of a brief overview of what Springfield's role was in the Civil War?

"Early in the war, from 1861 to 1862, Springfield changed hands several times.  The population was about 2/3 pro-Union, and it was a major strategic area  for both the south and the north where it could serve as a staging ground for launching operations into Arkansas or, if you're in the Confederacy, launching operations back into Missouri.  It officially became under firm Union control about early spring/February of 1862.  The federal troops created it as a major supply depot and so in 1863 there was a major raid into Missouri from Arkansas by Confederate troops and thus the Battle of Springfield took place," he said.

It sounds like a really interesting exhibit and such an important part of our past.  How long is that exhibit going to be at the library?

"It'll be at the Park Central Library branch until February 1st," he said.

And during regular library hours I assume?

"That's right.  8:30-9," Grubbs said.

This is all part of the Civil War Sesquincentennial.  How can people find out about other Civil War events that are coming up at Springfield-Greene County Library branches?

"We have a wide variety of events that are taking place beginning January 8th and running through January 13th.  For more information you can go online to our website or you can check out any of the bookings that are available at any of the branches, and we've also developed a program guide listing all of the events that are taking place that week.  Those are also available at the library branches," he said.