“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cape Girardeau in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

“Red Rover, Red Rover”

Did you know?

"Red Rover, Red Rover" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 12, 2012
1. "Red Rover, Red Rover" Marker
Inscription. "Red Rover" was the first hospital ship of the United States Navy, the first Navy ship that women served on and the apparent namesake of the popular children's game. It was also build and launched in Cape Girardeau in 1859.

"Red Rover" was a steamer brought by the Confederate Navy a the beginning of the Civil War and used as a transport. At the Battle of Island #10 near New Madrid, MO, it was captured by Union forces in April 1862. The Union Navy outfitted it as a military Hospital ship, which had never been done before. The ship contained operating rooms, amputations rooms, medical supplies, wards and accommodations for the female nurses, some of whom were members of the Catholic order Sisters of the Holy Cross. African-American women served as paid aids.

One of the modifications allowed the new hospital ship to carry up to 300 tons of ice in its lowest hold: an important commodity for the sick and wounded soldiers. "Red Rover" made many trips up and down the Mississippi and other rivers, carrying soldiers to hospitals and treating lesser cases on board. Wherever "Red Rover" went, it was in great need, and the staff treated soldiers from both sides of the war.

After the war, a popular children's game known as Gates of the City was renamed Red Rover, perhaps because the vessel was called back and forth
"Red Rover, Red Rover" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 12, 2012
2. "Red Rover, Red Rover" Marker
Pook's Turtles and Red Rover Markers are both at the end of the Mural and near the flood gate at the far right.
across the river so often or because it served both sides of the conflict.

Generations of children since have played the game that features the chant "Red Rover, Red Rover, send (name here) right over!"

And it all began here in Cape Girardeau, MO
Location. 37° 18.35′ N, 89° 31.041′ W. Marker is in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in Cape Girardeau County. Marker is on North Water Street near Broadway Street. Click for map. Marker is along the Mississippi River behind the River Wall flood gate at the end of Broadway St. Marker is in this post office area: Cape Girardeau MO 63701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pook's Turtles (here, next to this marker); The Mississippi River (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Telephone Service (about 500 feet away); The Lewis and Clark Expedition Across Missouri (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Red House Interpretive Center (approx. 0.4 miles away); George Drouillard (approx. 0.4 miles away); Old Lorimier Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Red House (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Cape Girardeau.
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 416 times since then and 93 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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