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8, July 2013

Worthy Reading: The Patience of Pearl

One hundred years ago today, a homemaker in St. Louis named Pearl Curran became a medium for a woman named Patience Worth, a 17th-century Puritan. According to Curran, Worth used Curran’s physical presence to dictate fiction and poetry through a Ouija board. There were many skeptics, but others argued that Curran had only a ninth-grade education and couldn’t possibly have written a biblical novel and a Victorian novel, and that Worth must therefore have dictated the works. Read more »

5, July 2013

Civil War Love Letters: July 5, 1863, Pt. 2

In this letter, James describes efforts to have a 4th of July celebration, which failed due to the continued heavy rains. He also speculates about the future movements of Rosecrans’s army, which depended on the results of actions by the Union army in other parts of the country. By this date, although James had not yet received the news, General Ulysses S. Grant’s siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, ended with surrender by the Confederates, and the Army of the Potomac, commanded by General George G. Meade, was victorious at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Read more »

5, July 2013

Civil War Love Letters: July 5, 1863

By June 30, Confederate general Braxton Bragg and his men had retreated to Tullahoma, Tennessee. After a brief rest, Union general William S. Rosecrans’s Army of the Cumberland prepared to pursue Bragg and fight him at Tullahoma, only to discover, on July 1, that Bragg’s forces were already retreating once again to the southeast. James was part of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, which left Manchester, Tennessee, at 2 P.M. on July 1 and marched 12 miles to Tullahoma, where they arrived at midnight. At 6 A.M. Read more »

3, July 2013

A Meeting of the Past and Present in the Gillette Family Garden

In our post on May 21, we discussed the Missouri History Museum's Gillette Family Garden project. In the next couple of months, we'll be including updates from the people involved in tending and watering the garden.


As I work in the Gillette Family Garden, I find the scene idyllic. The smell of the dirt and vivid green of the plants reminds me of my rural roots. And I find even the notoriously hot St. Louis sun doesn’t bother me as it beats down because I’m so content. Read more »

2, July 2013

Teaching About Slavery: Freedom's Memorial

As we reflect on the Museum's recent Civil War in Missouri exhibit, we are preparing for Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty. These two exhibits share one thing in common: the history of enslavement in America. This topic often poses a challenge for field trips: How do we talk about this painful subject with children?

In a series of blog posts, we’ll share the approach we took with elementary school students in the Civil War in Missouri exhibit. Read more »

1, July 2013

I Was a Soldier Exhibit Focuses on Plight of Homeless Veterans

The number of homeless veterans living in the United States is shockingly high. Estimates vary widely, but almost everyone can agree that in any given year more than 100,000 veterans will find themselves homeless. And almost everyone, regardless of political party or background, can agree that this is a particularly embarrassing problem for a country that prides itself on supporting its troops. Read more »

1, July 2013

Research Uncovers a Personal Connection

On January 7, 2013, I began my internship at the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center. My responsibilities included helping librarian Emily Jaycox with her research projects. Her current project revolved around the Work Projects Administration (WPA) in St. Louis. She had a list of people who worked for the project in the 1930s and wanted to find out more about who some of these people were and what they had contributed to the WPA. Emily showed me how to research in the city directories. Listed along with names were job titles and addresses. Read more »

30, June 2013

Civil War Love Letters: June 30, 1863

Camp at Manchester
June 30th 1863
12 o,clock Noon

Molly Dear Read more »

28, June 2013

Civil War Love Letters: June 28, 1863

After Union general William S. Rosecrans, and his Army of the Cumberland, gained control of Liberty, Hoover, and Guy’s gaps, he started to gather his forces at Manchester, Tennessee. The main column of his army, including James, marched along the muddy Manchester pike, where they camped near Beechgrove. Confederate general Braxton Bragg and his men retreated toward Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Camp at Beech Grove Tenn.
June 28th 1863

Dearest Molly Read more »

27, June 2013

Civil War Love Letters: June 27, 1863

The day after writing his last letter, James left Murfreesboro on what became known as the Tullahoma, or Middle Tennessee, Campaign, General William S. Rosecrans’s long-awaited offensive against Confederate general Braxton Bragg. The campaign faced two primary challenges: the weather and the terrain. It rained heavily during the entire campaign, which turned the roads to mud, and the Union troops had to travel on difficult roads to reach the enemy. The troops in Bragg’s army were spread out over three Tennessee towns: Tullahoma, Shelbyville, and Wartrace. Read more »