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The Foundation For Historic Preservation

The Civil War

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War Eagle Trail

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The 1895 Underriner House & Trading Post

Berryman Cabin & One Room Log School


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War Eagle Trail

    At the time a group of Wisconsin men volunteered to fight for the North in the Civil War, they had no way of knowing they would become world famous because of one bird.
     Shortly before the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry left EauClaire, Wisconsin, they were given a young Bald Eagle mascot, they would name "Old Abe." 
     They traveled to St. Louis and then on to Fredericktown before they had their first encounter with Confederate soldiers.  Upon learning the 8th Wisconsin's first battle would be here, they felt obliged to protect their Bald Eagle mascot they had named "Old Abe".  So, they tethered the eagle to the Madison County Courthouse roof.  However, when the fighting began, "Old Abe" became so excited upon hearing the cannon and rifle fire, he broke free and flew to the action, one mile south of town.  From then on, "Old Abe" was given an Eagle Bearer, a soldier, whose sole responsibility was to carry the Eagle into battle, right next to the Flag Bearer.   And thus began the Eagle Brigade.  Because Old Abe had the ability through his shrill screams and flight to encourage these Union soldiers to fight even more fiercely, he became hated by the Confederacy.  Many times, the rifles of the enemy forces were aimed at this eagle, but Old Abe was never hit, losing only a wing feather once or twice.
     There were 35 other battles fought through southeast Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.  After this final battle at Hurricane Creek, MS, Old Abe was mustered out and returned to Wisconsin where he lived the remainder of his life at the state Capitol.  The War Eagle Trail  lists the 36 battles. A map is being developed that will guide the tourist to each location in these four states, taking them off of the interstate highways and through the quaint towns, and thus giving the towns the opportunity to increase their tourism and enhance economies.

Fredericktown, MO 21 Oct 1861
New Madrid/Island 10 - Mar/Apr 1862
Point Pleasant, MO 20 Mar 1862
Farmington. MS 9 May 1862
Corinth, MS 18 May 1862
Luka, MS 12 Sep 1862
Burnsville, MS 13 Sep 1862
Luka, MS 16-18 Sep 1862
Corinth, MS 3-4 Oct 1862
Tallahatchie,MS 2 Dec 1862
Mississippi Springs, MS 13 May 1863
Jackson, MS 14 May 1863
Assault on Vicksburg 22 May 1863
Mechanicsburg, MS 4 Jun 1863
Richmond, LA 15 Jun 1863
Vicksburg, MS 24 Jun 1863
Surrender of Vicksburg 4 July 1863
Brownsville, MS 14 Oct 1863
Fort Scurry, LA 13 Mar 1864
Fort DeRussy, LA 15 Mar 1864
Henderson's Hill, LA 21 Mar 1864
Grand Encore, LA 2 April 1864
Pleasant Hill, LA 8-9 Apr 1864
Natchitoches, LA 20 Apr 1864
Kane River, LA 22 Apr 1864
Clouterville & Crane Hill, LA 23 Apr 1864
Bayou Rapids, LA 2 May 1864
Bayou LaMonre, LA 3 May 1864
Bayou Roberts, LA 4-6 May 1864
Moore's Plantation, LA 8-12 May 1864
Mansura, LA 16 May 1864
Maysville,LA 17 May 1864
Calhoun's Plantation, LA 18 May 1864
Bayou De Glaise, LA 18 May 1864
Lake Chicot, AR 6 June 1864
Hurricane Creek, MS 13 Aug 1864

The Foundation for Historic Preservation
Welcomes You | THE CIVIL WAR | War Eagle Trail | National Register Sites | The 1895 Underriner House
& 1837 Pratte Trading Post | Berryman Cabin &  One Room Log School

To contact us:

Foundation for Historic Preservation
1312 Madison 401
Fredericktown, MO 63645

Phone: 573-576-8528
Fax: 573-783-5235