My wife and I are local history buffs (her great grandfather was a St. Louis architect of note) and we had high expectations for our visit to the museum on the 4th of July 2014. It was quite obvious from the start that a considerable investment went into restoration of the building and this was the highlight of the visit. After watching the film in the lobby where it was stressed "that no tax dollars" were used in the museum's development we payed the entry fee. (Most, museums of note in St. Louis have no fees and ask for donations due to the local commitment to fund through taxes and our belief that our heritage is a gift for all.) The curators would be well served if they could have followed the excellent example of the the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park that presented an exhibit: "The Civil War in Missouri" where real life historical events were brought to light. Most of the exhibits (swords, pistols and rifles) in this museum are labelled "unknown" although the origin of the manufacturer was listed on some. The state of Missouri has a very unique place in our Civil War due the status of the freemen and slaves living adjacent to the free border states but you will not grasp much of this in the current state of the museum....The directors would do well to review the material presented in "Civil War St. Louis" and breath some life into a Civil War experience away from the over-documented, battles and skirmishes....or at least provide more details of the the major battles.
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