Carnahan said documents recently found at the St. Louis circuit clerk's office details court cases focused around the state's attempts to bring about security and peace in the wake of the Civil War, the St. Louis (Mo.) Post-Dispatch said Thursday.
"This is a treasure trove of information, most of which has never been seen by historians," Carnahan said of the papers, found during a 10-year preservation project. "These cases are attempting to right the wrongs that people saw in those years."
The project was focused on the sorting and indexing of more than 11,200 court cases that took place between 1866 and 1868.
St. Louis Circuit Clerk Mariano Favazza said the cases indicate a "second civil war" took place in the court system following the Union-Confederate conflict.
"The second civil war was the one fought in the courts," Favazza told the Post Dispatch of the documents set for public release. "It was people looking to get even, to get their money back and get what they had lost."