Tuesday, August 30, 2011



Place: Near Springfield, Missouri

Commanders: Ben McCulloch (CSA)
Franz Sigel (USA)
Nathaniel Lyon (USA)
Sterling Price (CSA)

Engaged Forces: Confederate-11,300; Union-5,400

Casualties: KIA--Confederate-257; Union-223
WIA--Confederate-900; Union-721
MIA--Confederate-27; Union-291
TOTAL--Confederate-1,184; Union-1,235


Adamson, Hans C. Rebellion in Missouri, 1861: Nathaniel Lyon and His Army of the West. Philadelphia: Chilton Co., Book Division, 1961. HG-973.73

Castel, Albert E. General Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1968. HG,ST 973.742

The Battle of Wilson's Creek, August 10, 1861: Wilson's Creek Centennial Commemoration, August 10, 1961. Springfield, Mo, 1961. ST-973.73

Brooksher, William R. Bloody Hill: The Civil War Battle of Wilson's Creek. Washington: Brassey's, 1995. ST,HG,BU-973.731

Holcombe, R. I. An Account of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. Springfield, Mo: Greene County Historical Society, 1998. HG-973.731

Kemp, Hardy A. About Nathaniel Lyon, Brigadier General, United States Army Volunteers and Wilson's Creek. S.l: s.n., 1978. ST-B

Patrick, Jeffrey L. Campaign for Wilson’s Creek: the Fight for Missouri Begins. Buffalo Gap Press: McWhiney Foundation, 2011. 973.731 (most branches)

Phillips, Christopher. Damned Yankee: The Life of General Nathaniel Lyon. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1990. ST,SLAS,HU-B

Piston, William G, and Richard W. Hatcher. Wilson's Creek: The Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000. HG,SLAS-973.731

Rea, Ralph R. Sterling Price: the Lee of the West. Little Rock: Pioneer Press, 1959. HG-L B PRICE


Tombstone, Portable. See Sellers, Isaac.

Valle House. The Valle House, home of one of the early French settlers of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, is reputedly haunted. Brandon, Jim. Weird America (1978), p. 123.

Wadlow, Robert Pershing. The so-called "Alton Giant" died in 1940 at age 22. He was at that time 8 feet, 11 inches tall, and was supposedly the kindest, gentlest man you could ever imagine meeting. There is a life-sized statue of Wadlow on Pershing Avenue in Alton, Illinois. Midwest Motorist, September-October 1991, pp. 34-35.

Worth, Patience. In 1913, a St. Louis housewife named Pearl (Rogers) Curran claimed to be in continuing contact with a spirit named Patience Worth. The spirit said she had been born in Dorsetshire, England, removed to America, and been killed by Indians approximately three hundred years before she made contact with Curran. Patience was an industrious spirit, and for the next ten years dictated a rather dizzying stream of poems, short stories, and novels to Curran. More than 5,000 poems passed from Patience through Curran's pen, plus a play and several novels, including one called Telka, which some critics said did not possess a single word that entered the English language after 1700. Yost, Casper S. Patience Worth: a Psychic Mystery (1916).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011



PLACE: Manassas Junction, Virginia
DATE: July 21, 1861


CSA: Pierre G. T. Beauregard
Joseph Johnston

USA: Irvin McDowell


CSA: 32,500 troops available for battle (18, 053 actually involved in the fighting)
387 men killed in action or mortally wounded
1,582 men wounded
13 men captured or missing in action
1,982 casualties total

USA: 35,000 troops available for battle (18,572 actually involved in the fighting)
460 men killed in action or mortally wounded
1,124 men wounded
1,312 men captured or missing in action
2,996 casualties total


Ballard, Ted. Battle of 1st Bull Run. Washington, DC: Center for Military History, 2007. DO- D114.12: B32/2.

Davis, William C. Battle at Bull Run: A History of the First Major Campaign of the Civil War. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday, 1977. ST-973.731

Detzer, David. Donnybrook: The Battle of Bull Run, 1861. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2004. HG-973.731

First Manassas. Arlington, VA: Time-Life Books, 1997. ST,MA-973.731

Johnston, R. M. Bull Run: Its Strategy and Tactics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1913. ST-973.73

McDonald, JoAnna M. Give Them the Bayonet! A Guide to the Battle for Henry Hill, July 21, 1861. Shippensburg, PA: Burd Street Press, 1999. ST-973.731

McDonald, JoAnna M. “We Shall Meet Again”: the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run), July 18-21, 1861. Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Books, 1999. ST-973.731

Nofi, Albert A. The Opening Guns: Fort Sumter to Bull Run, 1861. NY: Gallery Books, 1988. ST-973.731

Rafuse, Ethan S. A Single Grand Victory: The First Campaign and Battle of Manassas. Wilmington, Del: SR Books, 2002. HG-973.731

Roman, Alfred. The Military Operations of General Beauregard in the War Between the States, 1861 to 1865: Including a Brief Personal Sketch and a Narrative of His Services in the War with Mexico, 1846-8. NY: Harper, 1883. ST-973.73302

Wheeler, Richard. A Rising Thunder: From Lincoln's Election to the Battle of Bull Run : an Eyewitness History. NY: HarperCollins, 1994. ST-973.73


National Odd Shoe Exchange. This local organization for a time offered a way for persons with two different-sized feet to exchange shoes with others in similar situations, so that each person could purchase one pair of shoes and still have a shoe that fit each foot perfectly in spite of the size difference. St. Louis Post-Dispatch Magazine, March 29, 1992, p. 4.

Neosho Ghost Light. A mysterious "Ghost Light" is sometimes seen outside Neosho, Missouri. Brandon, Jim. Weird America (1978), pp. 120-122.

Nun Brains. A scientific study was conducted locally that required tissue samples from the brains of elderly nuns. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 26, 1994, p. 1D.

"Old Knobber." In the 19th century, an elderly man from Knob Noster, Missouri, known as "Old Knobber" was noted for his habit of wandering the back woods at night while carrying a lantern. After he died during a sudden, violent storm of unknown origin, local persons on many occasions have reported seeing "Old Knobber's" lantern. Collins, Earl. Folk Tales of Missouri (1935), pp. 119-121.

Pandas. The St. Louis Pandas were players on a semi-professional softball team, not large cuddly-looking fur-bearing mammals from China. In 1939, the team began playing a winter schedule, but was abruptedly disbanded after only two weeks of play (this story is not really an odd phenomenon, I just like the team name). St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 5, 1972, p. 6C.

Petrified Girl. Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell, head of a 19th century St. Louis medical school, placed the body of a teen-aged girl in a cave near Hannibal, Missouri. The body was fretted with stalactites to see if it would petrify. Havighurst, Walter. Upper Mississippi: A Wilderness Saga (1944), p. 198.

Pirates. For a time in the colonial era, the Mississippi River south of St. Louis was a haven for pirates, who robbed and sometimes murdered unwary travelers. Outraged citizens finally formed a makeshift flotilla and attacked the pirates, killing some and dispersing the rest. KSD Radio. St. Louis: A History of the City on the Eve of Its Two-Hundredth Anniversary (1962), p. 9.

Police Dogs, Cultured. The first police dogs used in St. Louis were trained in London, England. St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 7, 1958.

Pygmy Graves. Early explorers of the St. Louis area reported finding the graves of mysterious aborigines of pygmy proportions. Flint, Timothy. Recollections of the Past Ten Years in the Valley of the Mississippi (1826), p. 173.

Friday, August 12, 2011


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has run an obit (with color photo) of our friend and co-worker, Keith Zimmer, who passed away on 30 July 2011. Keith is the guy who (singlehandedly) produced the St. Louis Obituary Index that is an invaluable resource for so many of us:


Here's the link to do a search of Keith's index:


Click on "Reference and Research," then "Genealogy."


Inaugural Ball, Underground. See Fletcher, Thomas C.

"Jack-the-Stabber." St. Louis had its own lesser-scale "Jack the Ripper" type criminal, as recounted in Jones, J. E. Review of Famous Cases Solved by St. Louis Policemen (1924), pp. 100-102.

King Edward I. A St. Louis man, Edward C. Schafer, was elected King by the grateful people of Biffeche, a tiny African country to which he had made numerous charitable donations. Nine Magazine (March 1998): 18.

Koch, Albert. See Missouri Leviathan.

Lake of the Ozarks Monster. See Sea Serpent- Lake of the Ozarks.

Missouri Leviathan. A 19th century entrepreneur named Albert Koch assembled the skeleton of a huge prehistoric beast that he called "Leviathan Missouriensis" (the huge beast from Missouri). For a time he sold tickets to persons interested in viewing the unknown creature. Koch later sold the skeleton to the British Museum (which was able to assemble it correctly- Koch had made a number of crowd-pleasing but anatomically inaccurate modifications to the skeleton). Beveridge, Thomas. Geologic Wonders and Curiosities of Missouri (1978), pp. 394-395.

Muir Mansion Ghost. This mansion near Boonville, Missouri, is supposedly haunted by Nancy Muir, daughter of the mansion's first owner, Howard Muir. Collins, Earl. Folk Tales of Missouri (1935), pp. 125-128.

Murder Rocks. The name given to a rock formation in Taney County, Missouri, which had eroded so oddly that it offered a perfect hiding place for Civil War bushwhackers, who used it to ambush Union troops and Union supporters. Beveridge, Thomas. Geologic Wonders and Curiosities of Missouri (1978), pp. 227-228.

Mystery Star. A mysterious bright light, described as a "star" by family members, appeared repeatedly to the Davidson family of Columbus, Missouri. The head of the household finally went out to investigate the phenomena and mysteriously disappeared, never to be heard from again. Collins, Earl. Folk Tales of Missouri (1935), pp. 114-116.


Sterling Price
Confederate Army General

Born: 20 September 1809
Died: 29 September 1867
Buried: Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.

Price worked as an attorney, businessman, planter, and politician prior to the Civil War.


Missouri legislator; U.S. Congressman; and Missouri Governor (1853-1857).

Battles & Campaigns

Mexican-American War

Santa Cruz de Rosales (March 16, 1848)

American Civil War

Lexington, Missouri (20 September 1861)
Wilson’s Creek (10 August 1861)
Iuka (19 September 1862)
Pilot Knob (27 September 1864)
Little Blue River (21 October 1864)
Second Battle of Independence (22 October 1864)
Westport (23 October 1864)
Mine Creek (25 October 1864)

Books about Sterling Price

Buresh, Lumir F. October 25th and the Battle of Mine Creek. Kansas City, Mo: Lowell Press, 1977. ST 973.737

Busch, Walter E. Fort Davidson and the Battle of Pilot Knob: Missouri’s Alamo. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2010. ST,SC 973.737

Castel, Albert E. General Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1968. HG,ST 973.742

Gifford, Douglas L. The Battle of Pilot Knob: Staff Ride and Battlefield Tour Guide. Winfield, Mo: D.L. Gifford, 2003. HG 973.73

Jenkins, Paul Burrill. The Battle of Westport. Kansas City, Mo: Franklin Hudson Pub. Co, 1906. ST 973.73

Lee, Fred L. The Battle of Westport, October 21-23, 1864. Kansas City (Mo.): Westport Historical Society, 1982. ST 973.737

Peterson, Cyrus Asbury. Pilot Knob: the Thermopylae of the West. New York: Neale Publishing Co., 1914. ST 973.73

Rea, Ralph R. Sterling Price: the Lee of the West. Little Rock: Pioneer Press, 1959. HG-L B PRICE

Reynolds, Thomas C., and Robert G. Schultz. General Sterling Price and the Confederacy. St. Louis: Missouri History Museum, 2009. ST 973.782

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Ghost Light. See El Dorado Light.

Ghost Light. See Hornet Spook Light.

Ghost Light. See Neosho Ghost Light.

Ghost Light. See Seven-Year Light.

Ghosts. See Muir Mansion Ghost.

Ghosts. See Valle House.

Graves, Pygmy. See Pygmy Graves.

Grizzly Bear. On August 28, 1920, a grizzly bear escaped from the St. Louis Zoo. It terrified pedestrians in Forest Park and raided a fruit stand before being recaptured. St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 28, 1920.

Hornet Spook Light. A mysterious "Ghost Light" is sometimes seen on a road outside Hornet, Missouri. There have been numerous sightings of this light (which is usually described as a glowing, basketball-sized light) during the past 150 years, some by policemen, government employees, and university professors. Brandon, Jim. Weird America (1978), pp. 120-122. See also Devil's Promenade.

Houseman, Angie. A boy named David had a prophetic dream about the still-unsolved murder of 9 year-old Angie Houseman. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 6, 1994, p. 1D.