The U.S. Grant Symposium kicked off the first weekend of April 2014 with several events in conjunction with the Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival. On Saturday, April 5th, Soldiers Memorial Military Museum housed the "Divided Loyalties" exhibit from the Missouri State Archives, that examined the upheaval and uncertainty that characterized the state during the Civil War era. Also in attendance were a group of local Civil War authors signing copies of their books.
Symposium goers could take part in a "Grant's St. Louis" walking tour around the downtown area, led by Renegade Tours, which highlighted important sites relating to Grant's time in the city.
Greg Wolk, Executive Director of Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, and Geoff Giglierano. Executive Director of the Missouri Humanities Council, at the U.S. Grant Symposium April Events at Soldiers Memorial. Photo by Kelly Suellentrop
Saturday's event were capped off by a keynote lecture at Central Library by renowned scholar, Dr. Ronald C. White, Jr., entitled "American Ulysses." The lecture was presented by Lindenwood University. In addition, self-guided activities were available at various Civil War related venues throughout the city, including Campbell House Museum, Bellefontaine Cemetery, and the Eugene Field House.
Dr. Ronald White, Jr. Photo by Stephen Hanpeter
On Sunday, April 6th, local scholars, joined by Dr. Ronald White, discussed the Grant family at a roundtable at White Haven, part of the U.S. Grant National Historic Site. Guided tours of the Father Dickson Cemetery offered the history behind several important African American Missourians of the time. The Missouri Civil War Museum and the Jefferson Barracks National Heritage Foundation were also open to the public for exploration.
Pam Sanfilipo, historian at the Ulysses S. Grant Historic Site, Dr. Ronald White, Dr. Tom Curran of Cor Jesu Academy, and Geoff Giglierano lead the round table at White Haven. Photo by Stephen Hanpeter.
The Symposium events in May were honored with Mayor Francis G. Slay declaring Saturday, May 3rd as Ulysses S. Grant Day in the city of St. Louis. Greg Wolk, Executive Director of Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation, presented the proclamation at Central Library in grand style, accompanied by Dr. John Marszalek, Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Mississippi State University and Executive Director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association, and Barry Hana of the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the 101st Airborne Division Association, as well as a group of Civil War reenactors.
Greg Wolk presents the Ulysses S. Grant Day Proclamation, as Dr. John Marszalek and Barry Hana look on. Photo by Cher Petrovic.
Saturday, May 3rd also brought an Archeology Forum, "Ulysses S. Grant: The Archeological Record" at the Missouri History Museum, led by Dr. Douglas D. Scott, known as one of the founders of battlefield archeology. During the forum, Dr. Scott discussed how archeological
evidence has shed light on Grant's past. He also unveiled the findings from the Moore's Mill archeological dig in Callaway County, which he oversaw in March of 2013.
Dr. Douglas Scott. Photo by Stephen Hanpeter
Also speaking was Dr. Marzalek, who explored the important relationship between Grant and William T. Sherman in his lecture, "Warriors of the New Warfare, Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman." Held at Central Library, it was presented by Lindenwood University.
Dr. John Marszalek. Photo by Stephen Hanpeter
Missouri's Civil War Heritage Foundation was proud to announce the release of the brand new Southeast Segment Map of the U.S. Grant Trail. which travels from St. Louis down through Cape Girardeau.
The new U.S. Grant Trail - Southeast Segment is revealed. Photo by Stephen Hanpeter
Sunday, May 4th rounded out the Symposium events with morning tours of Bellefontaine Cemetery, the site of numerous Civil War graves, both Union and Confederate, and an afternoon "Footsteps of Grant" Bus Tour. Led by Renegade Tours with special guest tour guide, Greg Wolk, author of Friend and Foe Alike, the tour visited three historic Civil War Era homes: Campbell House Museum, The Eugene Field House, and the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion. Along the way, Wolk told stories about the footprints Grant left in the Downtown and Soulard areas.
Between the April and May events, the U.S. Grant Symposium paid honor to one of the Civil War's greatest heroes, and firmly established the imprint he left on St. Louis, as well as the imprint the city left upon him.