Civil War documents donated to SEMO

Saturday, May 3, 2003

With little fanfare save a short media advisory, The St. Louis Civil War Roundtable, a group of about 100 Civil War historians and aficionados, came to Southeast Missouri State University's Kent Library last week with more than 50 documents from a Civil War battle in Cape Girardeau in the spring of 1863.

The group found the papers on eBay, the Internet auction Web site and bought them from an Indiana man for $1,200.

The roundtable members didn't ask for money or honors.

The group's vice president said simply that there were a lot of historical Cape Girardeau names in the documents, and they needed to be here for local accessibility.

Among other items, there's an order for women and children to be loaded onto boats before the fighting.

Other interesting documents include pay vouchers, accounts of the amount of corn being bought for the troops and a statement from a captured prisoner stating the names of families who took him in.

History-loving Cape Girardeau residents owe the St. Louis group a debt of gratitude.

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