The Civil War Laid to Rest - St. Louis, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 41.461 W 090° 14.114
15S E 740463 N 4286116
Near the Willow house, a small museum at the cemetery's main gate.
Waymark Code: WM15BZP
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 12/04/2021
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Geo Ferret
Views: 0

County of marker: St. Louis Independent City
Location of marker: Bordered by: W. Florissant Ave. & Willow, just inside main gate, St. Louis
Erected by: Missouri Civil War Heritage Foundation, Inc.; Missouri History Museum; Bellefontaine
    Cemetery; & Friends of Bellefontaine Cemetery
Date Erected: 2015

Marker Text:

The Civil War Laid To Rest

Indispensable Ironclads
At the outbreak of the Civil War, the War Department saw a need for the building of ironclad gunboats. James Eads (1820-1887) of St. Louis was the man for the job. Eads firmly believed in the importance of the Mississippi for national defense, and his schemes fed into the Union strategy of blockading the south. He was asked to design the Navy ironclad gunboats in 1861; these boats allowed Grant to take Vicksburg. With only ninety days to build the boats, Eads had 4,000 men working around the clock at his shipyards in Carondelet.

The ironclads - steam-propelled warships armored by iron or steel plates - proved to be an invaluable asset to Union success during the Civil War. They aided General Grant as he took Fort Donelson and Fort Henry, as well as in the taking of New Madrid. Eads continued to build the ironclads throughout the war, eventually producing fourteen of the twenty-two boats used during the span of the war. The first seven were named for cities along the Mississippi or its tributaries.

The ironclads were so effective because they drew only six feet while carrying thirteen guns. They had a speed of eight knots and had two and a half inches of armor on the boat, except for the pilot house, which had half of that. At the close of these victories, Eads sent part of his earnings to aid Confederate victims, because he considered the war "an accursed contest between bothers."

Eads later became known as the engineer of the Eads Bridge in St. Louis.

1861 ✰ 1865

Bellefontaine Cemetery serves as the final resting place for over 86,000 souls and counting. With 314 acres and fourteen miles of roadways, Bellefontaine is home to dozens of architectural landmarks representing St. Louisans and their families since its founding in 1869.

  The cemetery hosts a rich Civil War history. Notable is Bellefontaine's extensive list of prominent Civil War figures, both Union and Confederate. The following is some of their stories.

  George Graham Vest chose to support the South at the outbreak of the war and served as judge advocate general with General Sterling Price. In the fall of 1862, he was elected to the Confederate Congress. However, he is arguably best known for a lawsuit he argued concerning the shooting of a dog, Old Drum. During the trial, he gave a speech referring to a dog as "...the one absolute unselfish friend that a man can have...." It is said that his "Eulogy of the Dog" is where we get the phrase "man's best friend."

  Major General Francis Preston Blair, Jr. one had a largely politic career. His military career, however, was praised by General Grant and General Sherman. Grant stated, "There was no man braver that he." Sherman, speaking on the subject of St. Louis, swore Blair "did more than any single man to hold this great central necessary to the perpetuity of the Union."

  Well known throughout Missouri General Sterling Price. Price had the reputation as one of the Rebels' most beloved generals. In 1864, he began an infamous yet ultimately unsuccessful raid through Missouri with the intent to capture St. Louis for the South. He suffered a massive defeat when he attacked the Union at Pilot Knob, a defeat he struggled to recover from.

  Major General John Pope is considered one of the most controversial Union generals, and he was despised by Federals as much as Confederates. After serving as a Union commander at the disastrous defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run, his reputation grew. He is known to have bragged endlessly about his victories in the West, often comparing them to the Union's defeats in the East.

  Another controversial general is Major General Don Carlos Buell. He is known as the hero of the day when he relieved Grant at the Battle of Shiloh. But after delaying engaging the enemy in battle, against orders, Lincoln later removed him from command.

  The highest-ranking Civil War general in Bellefontaine, Lieutenant General Alexander Stewart, voted against secession and did not believe in slavery, yet he joined the Confederacy because he believed in states' rights. He played important roles in most of the critical battles in the West.

  The other dozen of Civil War figures buried at Bellefontaine range from emancipated slaves to St. Louis's most successful madam. To learn more about these witnesses to history, stop by the office to pick up a Civil War Tour booklet that will lead you around the grounds to the sites.

During a hot August early in the war, Adaline Couzins volunteered her services to Dr. Charles Pope, one of St. Louis's leading surgeons. After she helped carry the wounded into the as-yet-unfinished New House of Refuge Hospital, Couzins "washed and dressed them with the appliances of hospital stores she had gathered together when news came of the battle." The wounded came the St. Louis from a battle in Springfield. Missouri, that would later be known as the battle of Wilson's Creek.

  Later in the war during the ninety-eight day siege of Vicksburg, Couzins received injuries while nursing soldiers in the field for the Western Sanitary Commission - the precursor to the Red Cross. She late successfully petitioned the U.S. Government for a pension for her services in the WSC, becoming one of the few volunteer Civil War nurses to be so rewarded. She and her daughter Phoebe, one of the country's first female lawyers, proudly joined the Ladies Union Aid Society.

The General's In-Laws
General Ulysses S. Grant married Julia Dent in 1848. Her father, Frederick Dent, initially disapproved of their courtship. Dent considered himself a Maryland aristocrat and was a slave owner; both facts he proudly proclaimed while residing at the White House (the the Executive Mansion) with his daughter and son-in-law, despite Grant's strong support for the Union. Frederick Dent dies in Washington, D.C., in 1873, and is buried at Bellefontaine. Dent's name lived on through Grants' first child, whom they named Frederick Dent Grant. The Dents occupied a 900-acre farm in St. Louis named White Haven. White Haven is now home to the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site managed by the National Park Service. It is a stop along the U.S. Grant Trail.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
"Bellefontaine Cemetery is an active cemetery that reached its largest size in 1865 (336 acres), and was reduced to its current 314 acres during the early-to-mid twentieth-century. Most of the acreage removed from the 1865 parcel was sold to the City of St. Louis prior to 1930 and used to widen W. Florissant Avenue and Broadway, and improve Calvary Avenue. In 1959, the cemetery’s southeastern corner (0.41 acre) was taken through eminent domain by the Missouri Highway Department as a permanent easement when the Mark Twain Expressway (i.e., Interstate-70) was constructed. This latter alteration is the sole loss of acreage that occurred after the period of significance (1849 – 1940). The easement did not alter the physical character or historic appearance of the cemetery." ~ NRHP

Additional point: Not Listed

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