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Climate and terrain, especially stream drainage basins and topography, greatly influenced European-American settlement patterns, agricultural practices, transportation networks, and the cultural and economic development of the southern Missouri Ozarks from the early 1800s to the American Civil War (1861-1865). These also were key factors, together with land cover and natural resources, that predicated the course of military operations and tactics during the war. The same factors affected widespread partisan conflicts during the war and vigilantism during the Bald Knob-ber era, a mid-1880s cultural extension of the Civil War in Taney, Christian, Douglas, and Stone counties. This field trip will examine the geology of selected areas in and around Branson in southwestern Taney County and integrate historical events and anecdotes, which illustrate the influence of geologic factors.

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