Terrors and Trials: Henry and Lucy Fike’s Civil War

7/15/2023 | Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site | Lawson, MO

Drawing upon the 400 letters that Henry and Lucy Fike wrote to each other during the Civil War, presenter Jeremy Neely will consider the ways in which two ordinary people – one a schoolteacher who became a Union quartermaster and the other a homemaker – navigated the greatest challenges faced by their nation and their marriage. During the fall of 1864, Henry marched from St. Louis to the Kansas border, chasing Sterling Price's Confederate army and confronting the damage caused by years of guerrilla violence. Lucy, meanwhile, exemplified the outspoken patriotism of loyal women on the homefront. In addition to taking on the responsibilities once held by her absent husband and raising their spirited toddler, Ellie, she also spearheaded the local Union League and found herself constantly feuding with Copperhead neighbors. "For my part," Lucy wrote in 1863, "I feel like putting on britches now, and fighting." Together, the Fikes remind us how the war was indeed a shared experience that demanded extraordinary sacrifices by men, women and children alike.

This presentation is sponsored by the Missouri Speakers Bureau. The Missouri Speaker Bureau is jointly organized and managed by Missouri Humanities and the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Presentation Time: 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Click here to read the news release.

Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site is located at:

26600 Park Road N., Lawson, MO | 816-580-3387

Associated activities

  • Interpretive Programs