History on Elm: Civil War Forts and the Prominence of Southeast Missouri in Battles

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

SHSMO Center for Missouri Studies

605 Elm St.

Columbia, Mo.

Cape Girardeau and Southeast Missouri played a larger role in the Civil War than most Missourians and others appreciate. Responding to the threat of occupation of Cape Girardeau by secessionists, the 20th Illinois Infantry occupied the town on July 10, 1861, and began to plan for four forts to protect against attack from the west and south. This presentation by SHSMO’s Bill Eddleman will discuss why Cape Girardeau was important to the war effort. Eddleman will offer details on the forts and their construction, explain some of the major events in the southeast Missouri region during the war, and the aftermath of the Civil War in the region.

About the speaker: Bill Eddleman is the coordinator of the SHSMO Cape Girardeau Research Center and regularly writes a column on local history published in the Southeast Missourian and produces a monthly radio program, Tales from Days Gone By, on KRCU Public Radio. Eddleman’s popular 16-part Basic Genealogy web series is available on shsmo.org and he is often sought after by various organizations to speak on genealogy and history in Missouri’s bootheel region. He is the past president of the Missouri State Genealogical Association. Eddleman served as a professor in the Department of Biology at Southeast Missouri State University from 1995-2014. He served as vice provost and dean of the School of Graduate Studies from 2011-2013 before being appointed as the provost of Southeast Missouri State University, prior to joining SHSMO.