Missouri’s Civil War Heritage Foundation has secured funding to develop the U.S. Grant Trail south from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau. Currently, the trail spans Northeastern and East Central Missouri, highlighting the path of Ulysses S. Grant as well as sites of many battles of the Civil War.
The Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau played an instrumental role in supporting Missouri’s Civil War Heritage Foundation in their efforts to extend the trail southward. Cape Girardeau’s rich Civil War history and heritage will be featured in a new driving tour that should be available for public distribution by early spring 2014.
This new development of the U.S. Grant Trail from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau is an important step in creating a Civil War tourism experience that would take travelers through all of Grant’s 1861 Missouri campaigns. In addition, the expansion of the trail is beneficial for the state.
“Missouri has an immense number of interesting and significant stories, including stories about U.S. Grant’s activities here in our state before, during and after the Civil War. These stories are of importance nationally, as well as at the local and regional levels,” explains Geoff Giglierano, executive director of the Missouri Humanities Council, which has been a supporter of past endeavors of Missouri’s Civil War Trails. “The U.S. Grant Trail and its expansion to the south of St. Louis can assist even more communities in sharing some of these intriguing stories with a larger audience. This will attract new visitors, and help foster community pride and a better understanding of what makes these places unique.”
Discussion and planning is currently ongoing to determine possible trail route mapping as well as sites to be featured along the trail’s expansion route. Sites under consideration will have a direct relationship to Grant (prewar and postwar included), and to other traditional Civil War themes.
Missouri witnessed the greatest number of battles and engagements – more than 1,000 – of any place except Virginia and Tennessee. Given this rich Civil War history, Missouri’s Civil War Trails aims to highlight these important sites that exist in abundance across the state. Along with the Gray Ghosts Trail, which covers Central and Western Missouri, the U.S. Grant Trail provides travelers the opportunity to experience the struggle between the Union and the Confederacy in the Northern-most state where battles were fought.
Current U.S. Grant and Gray Ghosts driving trail maps can be requested at civilwartraveler.com.
This information was copied from a Missouri’s Civil War Heritage Foundation news release.