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Waynesville is the county seat for Pulaski County, Missouri. Platted in 1834, the city was named for Anthony Wayne, a Revolutionary War figure and member of the US House of Representatives. Early settlers came primarily by wagon train from Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and the Carolinas. Initially a trading post for settlers and trappers, although primarily a pro-Southern community, the Union Army built a fort on a bluff in Waynesville in order to protect the Wire Road, using to bring supplies from St. Louis to Springfield. No major battles were fought in Waynesville, but there were several skirmishes and raids. By the end of the war, most of Pulaski County was deserted, homes and farms had been burned or left empty, and businesses were looted or destroyed. The construction of the Southern Pacific Railroad after the war led to a revival of the town and surrounding area. The community is served by Interstate Highway 44, Missouri Route 17, Highway T, and historic Route 66. Waynesville is west of St. Robert, northeast of Buckhorn, and north of Fort Leonard Wood, surrounded by portions of the Mark Twain National Forest.

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