Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mound City, Illinois – A Strong Civil War Connection

Mound City, Illinois played a significant role in the Civil War though very few know of its contributions.

Mound City started out as two separate communities. One was a project called Emporium City founded by Emporium Real Estate and Manufacturing Company, a group of businessmen from Cincinnati and Cairo Illinois. The other was Mound City founded by Major General Moses Marshal Rawlings. Rawlings owned a hotel and his guests would sleep atop an ancient Indian mound in the summer to enjoy cool breezes. These and other mounds in the immediate area have long since been destroyed. The city was incorporated in 1857.

What put Mound City on the map was its proximity to the Mississippi river and to nearby Cairo, the base of Grant’s army before he invaded the south during the Civil War. It contained a massive military hospital, a naval station, a shipyard that built 3 of the Union’s 7 ironclad gunboats and one of the country’s 12 National Cemeteries for veterans of war.

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For more on Illinois in the Civil War, try these books: