With the Civil War Sesquicentennial, a boom in Civil War tourism is underway. Of course, Civil War tourism has been a constant feature of American life since 1865, with Civil War veterans themselves taking the lead in the process. Normally, a civil war such as America experienced in the 1860s would be a wound for a nation that would never heal. In our nation it became an odd source of national pride, patriotism and an opportunity to make a buck. America, what a country!
The above video from Missouri is one of many produced by state tourism agencies to help foster Civil War tourism, and it is one of the better ones that I have seen. A nasty guerilla conflict raged throughout Missouri for the entire war, with endless sites of skirmishes throughout the state, and several major battle fields. Missouri was an odd state for all this to occur in, since slavery was clearly on the wane in that state prior to the beginning of the Civil War, with slaves numbering only 114,000. However, Missouri was a state for extremes, with extreme Unionists, often recent immigrants, centered around Saint Louis, confronting extreme Confederates throughout much of the rest of the state. This all led to a very bitter Civil War indeed for the inhabitants of the Show Me State. Now it is something to use to get people to come to Missouri to spend money. It may not make sense, but it is very American!