A footnote from history by Stephanie Grace Whitson
When you travel, do you pay attention to highway signs intended to lure you to historic sites, or do you drive on by? After decades of traveling Interstate 70 in Missouri Missouri, I finally took time to follow signs that led me to the Oliver C. Anderson House and to a Confederate Cemetery
|Photo taken near |
A slave state, Missouri never officially seceded from the Union, but many of its citizens wanted to do just that. The population included passionate abolitionists like Elijah Lovejoy of St. Louis and equally passionate slaveholders whose plantations dotted the countryside of what was then called "Little Dixie." Because of the citizens' divided loyalties, Missouri actually had two state governments for a brief time in 1861.
|Women working in a Missouri munitions factory.|
|Margaret McClure, loyal Confederate|
If I'd lived in Missouri in the 1860s, what would I have done? Would I have risked my home or my life for the cause? For which cause? Learning about the women of the past always makes me thankful that I am a woman of 2015. Thankful for many things. As I write this post, my smartphone tells me that the high today will be 5 degrees. Five. I think about Margaret McClure in the dead of winter, trying to keep warm in her home-turned-prison. Of Adaline Couzins walking a battlefield strewn with suffering men. I take a break to put on a pair of socks. My feet are cold. The thermostat is only keeping the house in the 60s. Oh, Margaret ... Oh, Adaline ... how did you bear it.