The Missouri Civil War Museum won’t open until late this year but already more than 1,000 artifacts have arrived, including an original 35-star, 1863 flag and two green parlor chairs that belonged to Mary Todd Lincoln.
The $2 million renovation of the 1905 Jefferson Barracks Post Exchange Building, that will house the museum, has been financed mostly through private contributions according to a release by the Missouri State Parks.
Jefferson Barracks, founded in 1826, is the oldest active military installation west of the Mississippi River and was the site of one of the largest hospital complexes during the Civil War. Today it is a national historic site that includes a cemetery where about 16,000 Civil War veterans are buried as well as home base for the Missouri National Guard.
The museum building as well as a smaller 1918 building that is slated to become a library and study center have been leased from the St. Louis County Port Authority.