Digging for History

9 years 6 months 2 weeks ago November 09, 2007 Nov 9, 2007 Friday, November 09 2007 Friday, November 09, 2007 4:44:13 AM CST in News

Today the land is a cornfield, but 146 years ago, it was a battlefield.

Archaeologists Douglas Scott, Steve Dasovich, and their team use metal detectors to find what remains of Missouri's first major Civil War battle. They are hoping what they find will allow mid-Missourians to relive history.

"They can drive the Rocheport Road just as Sterling Price and Gov. Jackson were and Lyons the Federal Commander and all those folks. You can be on that same ground," said Scott.

The team started the survey Thursday morning and will continue through Saturday. So far, they've uncovered a lead ball, most likely a bullet and a buck shot. The archaeologists won't know for sure what the artifacts are until they take them to a lab in Nebraska to clean and analyze.

The crews came out Thursday to survey and find out the possible boundaries of the Boonville Battlefield, which could amount to 500-600 acres. Using a G.P.S, Scott and the team can map each artifact within two inches of where they find it, creating a large map of the area to form boundaries. If they find enough evidence to establish boundaries, street signs could indicate the historical significance of the site. This in turn could give people a fresh look into the past.

"The old saying that if you forget your history and forget about the mistakes that were made, you're bound to do them over again. So yes, I think it's very important to understand our history," explained Jack Change of the Missouri Civil War Heritage Foundation.

Although today was mostly a day of false starts, it's important to remember the Civil War itself and how the events in Boonville may unfold slowly before history is made.

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