BOONVILLE — Hundreds of people milled about the site of the First Battle of Boonville on Saturday. In the hours prior to the battle re-enactment, spectators shared their reasons for coming to the event and what they found most memorable.
Here's what they had to say.
Why was it important for you to be here this weekend?
“It’s great outdoor activity, it’s a great historical site to see. It keeps history alive. It brings the knowledge to people of what happened in our nation and the importance of the times then, how our people were divided.”
— Chris Bryant, 38, Oak Grove
“Because it’s fun to see, and it’s got good history.
And I just like it.”
— Chandler Bryant, 13, Oak Grove
"My great-grandfather was in this battle. He mustered in in May of 1861 in St. Louis. That's where you signed up for a three-month hitch. ...
They came up by steam boat up the river here, behind those trees over there, and then they came through the woods here to fight the battle.
... He was with the Union. He was in the Fifth Regiment, which was Lyons' regiment. ... He died in 1884. He was 44 years old at the time of the battle. ... His name was Henry Dulle."
— Larry Fague, 70, Winfield
“Just to see the history.”
— Scott Schild, 41, Clarksville, Iowa
“We know nothing about it.”
— Ginger Schild, 39, Clarksville, Iowa
“We’re on vacation, … I wanna see guns and cannons. He (Kain) plays with his real gun all the time.”
— Dianna Schild, 5, Clarksville, Iowa
“I don’t play with it, I shoot. Shotgun, muzzle loader.”
— Kain Schild, 8, Clarksville, Iowa
"I think I read that 45 percent of all the battles of the Civil War
were fought in Missouri, which is an amazing thing to me, if that is, in fact, correct. I think it is. So, here we are, in Missouri."
— Suzanne Brown, 60, St. Louis
"To learn a little about the history. History of wars."
— Daniel Juarez, 59, St. Louis
"This year at school I was learning about the Civil War in social studies, so I thought it would be really fun to come here and learn more about it.
— Azucena Molina, 11, St. Louis
"I'm interested in battles and stuff, and I think the Civil War is a really interesting war. And whenever I hear like the Civil War I'm always like, 'Yeah, what? What? What? What? What about the Civil War?'"
— Alejandro Molina, 9, St. Louis
"Well, my dad just found this place online. He said he wanted to come, so I wanted to come with him."
— Mephi Daleen, 9, Marshall
"It's just great for the history of it. ... I'm gonna be a social studies teacher, so that's a big aspect of it right there. ... It's something we need to pass on. This is part of our history. ... People fight for their beliefs every day. And this is one of the ways they fought for their beliefs."
— David Daleen, 37, Marshall
"Cause I need to. I wanna come see fishies."
— Logan Conley, 3, Kansas City
"I just wanted to bring them down here, ... just to learn a little bit more outside of what they learn in school, to actually see something of it, to tie the two together."
— Jeff Conley, 39, Kansas City
"Well for me, I'm an American historian, and this is an important sesquicentennial. It marks just a very important anniversary within our history in the war between the states. That's really a significant benchmark in American history. Well, the Civil War itself is, and this marks that very significant benchmark. And I don't think many people realize the importance of Missouri in the Civil War in the West. Or the fact that it has the third-most battle sites of any state in the nation. ... I just wanted to see a re-enactment of one of those before the year was out."
— Judy Conoyer, 71, St. Charles
"We have gone to re-enactments in Florida. But the fact that it's the 150-year sesquicentennial, it was my husband's idea to come here after he read an article on the Internet. And we planned a Civil War history tour to end up here. And then we're going to go south."
— B.J. Wegman, 56, Riverview, Fla.
"I think this was basically where everything got started, everything in Missouri was the first part of the Civil War. ... We're basically trying to learn a little bit about the Civil War. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it in when I was in school, so I'm learning a lot now."
— Ray Wishmeyer, 64, Riverview, Fla.
What is the most memorable thing you have learned or seen so far?
"I think the amazing part is that these re-enactors try to wear the clothing of that period. And with the temperatures that they are today, you have to think back that we didn't have the comforts of having the ice. You know I saw one of the re-enactors carrying ice; they didn't have that opportunity back then. Just the outfits that they're wearing and just knowing how miserable they would have been back then, compared to what we are now."
— Michelle Marsden, mid-40s, Columbia
"We started out over on the Union side, and this is our first trip to a re-enactment. ... Everybody's been very friendly and eager to share kind of authentic experiences of the day, and how battles were fought and how the camps were laid out and stuff. Almost everything's been interesting since we've never been to one before."
— Ann Church, 58, Columbia
"How bad the medicine, the medical care was back then. The fact that most of the deaths were from disease rather than being wounded."
— Larry Fague, 70, Winfield
"It was just great seeing a whole historical scene in front of you. It was just
kind of like walking back in a time machine or something like that. ... I brought my son, Skyler, just because I want the kids to learn a little bit about history."
— Paul Zacharias, 43, Columbia
"I like to learn about wars and history. My favorite subject is history."
—Skyler Smith, 9, Jefferson City
"I like the shops, seeing the iron workers and the leather workers and stuff. I think it's neat to see people making things like they were made 100 years ago, 150 years ago I guess."
— Anne Freeman, 24, Jefferson City
"You don't ever get to see ... the cannons, the old artillery, shoot much. You go to Civil War sites and they're sitting there, but you don't actually seem them in use."
—Bill Salyer, 55, Boonville
"I'm surprised that as many people are here, that there's so many people. ... I was just counting the cars whenever I came in, and I was 44th in line to get in the park. And there was like half a mile of cars behind me, so there's a bunch."
— Jim Hickam, 68, Overton