Master’s Student Project Showcases Missouri’s Experience During the War’s First Year of 1861
Columbia, Mo. (June 12, 2012) — As part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a Missouri School of Journalism master’s student has launched an interactive website that tells of Missouri’s experience during the war’s first year of 1861.
The website – www.missouriscivilwar.com – includes a rich assortment of multimedia features, including re-enactments captured on video, high-quality photographs, oral commentary and more. Clay Stalter launched the site as part of his requirements for his graduate degree, which he completed in May.
Organized chronologically, the website examines the pre-war causes and conflict, significant events within the state during the first year of the war, profiles of the re-enactors who keep the history alive and the importance of preserving Missouri’s Civil War history.
“Few people realize that Missouri was the third most fought-over state during the Civil War after Virginia and Tennessee,” said Stalter.
Among the featured sections are:
- Prologue: Tension over slavery was building both within Missouri and the Kansas Territory long before the outbreak of the Civil War. The struggle for freedom, a historically accurate account of life on the plantation in the mid-19th century and the violence along the Missouri-Kansas line are covered.
- Historical: Learn about significant events in Missouri’s first year of the Civil War, which shaped state’s allegiances for the next four years. Video clips about the Camp Jackson affair as well as the battles of Boonville, Lexington and Wilson’s Creek are available.
- Living Historians: Eight video stories of those with a passion to recreate the past in the present and keep Civil War history in the public eye are included in this section.
- 150 Years Later: Places, artifacts and documents can give us insight into the past if we are willing to preserve them for the future. Stories about those who are trying to save former dwellings of slaves and preserve historical records, objects and places are discussed here.
Stalter began working on the site in early 2011 by researching historical events and covering re-enactments to give those events life.
Note: High-resolution photographs from the project are available for print or Web publication, and interviews with the creators of the project can be arranged.
Content on the website was created throughout 2011 by Stalter and fellow students at the Missouri School of Journalism. Stalter organized student teams, directed the coverage of major Civil War re-enactments and led the production of the short videos to complete the project. The website design was part of a competitive project in a multimedia planning and design course taught at the journalism school. The winning design was developed by Nicole Thompson. Two photojournalism classes assisted in covering the re-enactments as well as producing the video.
“Missouri was at the heart of the war’s central issue, that of the expansion of slavery into the then-unsettled Western Territories,” said Stalter. “Many people only think of the immense casualties and the large battles fought primarily on the eastern front, but Missouri’s Civil War history cannot be overlooked.”
Updated: June 9, 2020