This July 23 is the 125th anniversary of the death of General and President Ulysses S. Grant. His adopted home state is making plans to commemorate his passing. Grant lived in St. Louis before and after the Civil War, and his early Civil War career was concentrated in Missouri.
A driving trail to highlight Grant’s connections to Missouri is being spearheaded by Missouri’s Civil War Heritage Foundation. The first leg of the trail will cross south St. Louis County, connecting Pacific (which is partly in Franklin County) with historic Jefferson Barracks. Among attractions to be featured on the trail are St. Louis County’s Museum of Transport, the Father Dickson Cemetery in Crestwood, the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site and the heritage areas at Jefferson Barracks. Efforts have begun at Jefferson Barracks to establish a U. S. Grant Presidential Study Center, and the Missouri Civil War Museum is set to open there in time for the 2011 sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
The U. S. Grant Trail will be inaugurated in Pacific, Missouri on Saturday, July 24, 2010. Pacific is dedicating an educational marker to commemorate its Civil War history, in ceremonies at the Pacific Station Plaza, First and Orleans Streets. Although General Grant visited Pacific only fleetingly in 1861, Pacific (on Interstate 44 in St. Louis’ west suburbs) is seen as a crucial junction point to bring the driving trail into the St. Louis area and to promote all of St. Louis’ Civil War resources. The city is the site of the only Civil War battle that occurred in St. Louis County.
“Pacific has the foresight to realize that tourism and historic preservation go hand in hand, and to know that tourists will get off that highway to see a Civil War battlefield,” said Missouri’s Civil War Heritage Foundation president Greg Wolk. All of St. Louis will benefit by the attention the U. S. Grant Trail will bring, Wolk added.
Other Ulysses Grant events scheduled for July 24 will occur at the Ulysses S. Grant historical site, Gravois Road and Grant Road near Grant’s Farm in St. Louis County and at Ironton, Missouri. At the Grant NHS, the US Grant Camp #68 of the Sons of Union Veterans will hold a ceremony at 10:00 a.m. including Color Guard and an exhibit that discusses Grant’s death and the construction of his tomb in New York City will be featured. Meanwhile, in Ironton, 90 miles south of Jefferson Barracks via Missouri Highway 21, Grant fans will rededicate a monument, erected shortly after Grant’s death, which marks the place he received his commission as a brigadier general in 1861. The Ironton event starts at 2:00 p.m. at the Ste. Marie du Lac church.
About Missouri’s Civil War Heritage Foundation:
A 501(c)(3) educational organization, MCWHF 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 who will be traveling during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.