The Civil War in Missouri

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The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.

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Pipe bowl of Confederate POW Corporal David C. Balentine

MHM Collections

Corporal David C. Balentine, of Brunswick, Chariton County, joined General Sterling Price's Missouri State Guard in late 1861, and was assigned to Colonel F. S. Robinson's 3rd Infantry. Balentine and the other raw, unarmed recruits bivouacked at the junction of Blackwater River and Clear Creek in Johnson County, where they were subsequently captured by a Federal force and sent to Alton Prison in Illinois. The prisoners were first sent to the Gratiot Street Prison in St. Louis before being transferred. This clay pipe bowl inscribed with Balentine's name is also marked "McDowell's College," the common name for the medical college that the Federals confiscated and turned into Gratiot Street Prison. Gratiot was one of several St. Louis prisons, including the Myrtle Street Prison and the Chestnut Street Prison, that held Confederate prisoners, spies, guerrillas, women and other civilians, and even Union soldiers accused of crimes.