12 Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Civil War in Missouri

Annie69 By Annie69, 3rd Oct 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>History

Contrary to popular belief, the Civil War was not confined to the South. Here are a dozen things you probably didn't know about the Civil War in Missouri.

The most fought over state

Fact #1:
Based on the number of battles and skirmishes within its borders, Missouri was the third most fought over state.
Strategically located, the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails all ran through Missouri. The Pony Express was based in St. Joseph. The Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri Rivers all ran through or bordered the state.
Missouri was also rich in resources. The 1860 census ranked Missouri as eighth in population, making it a good source of manpower. It also had lead for bullets, iron for cannonballs, and could produce enough food to feed an army.

Claimed by both sides

Fact #2:
The Battle of Boonville on June 17, 1861, was more skirmish than battle. It only lasted 20 minutes. General Lyon followed Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson and the duly elected officials of Missouri from Jefferson City to Boonville and captured the state.

Fact #3:
Eleven states went down in history as seceding from the Union but, by the end of 1861, there were 13 stars on the Confederate flag. Missouri's government-in-exile was on the run. They convened in Neosho, Missouri, and on October 30 passed a Secession Ordinance which Governor Jackson signed the following day.
For the record, Kentucky was also claimed by both sides and was the 13th star on the Confederate flag.

"Gettysburg of the West"

Fact #4: The largest battle fought west of the Mississippi River was fought in Missouri. Nicknamed the "Gettysburg of the West," the Battle of Westport was fought in October 1864.

Jefferson Barracks

Fact #5: Jefferson Barracks, a federal military post from 1826-1946, served as one of the largest Union hospitals in the country. It treated Yankees and Rebels alike and could hold 3,000 patients.

The People

Fact #6: Missouri enlisted more men per capita than any other state on either side. The official number of volunteers was 199,111.

Fact #7: After serving the citizens of Missouri for ten years, Judge Alfred W. Morrison resigned as state treasurer in 1861 rather than swear allegiance to the Union. He returned to his farm in Howard County until his death in 1883.

Fact #8: Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson, a resident of Howard County, was the only sitting governor to lead troops into battle.

Fact #9: The first Union General to die in battle was killed at Wilson’s Creek. General Nathaniel Lyon was killed on August 10, 1861.

Fact #10: The first battle fought by future president Ulysses S. Grant was in Mississippi County, Missouri, at the Battle of Belmont on November 7, 1861.

After the war

Fact #11: Missouri was the only state to abolish slavery within its borders before the 13th Amendment was ratified in December 1865. In 1864, the state voted for a constitution convention which began on January 6, 1865. On January 11, the delegates abolished slavery in Missouri by a vote of 60-4.

Fact #12: The National Cemetery in Springfield is the only cemetery where both Union and Confederate forces are buried side by side.


Battle Boonville, Battle Of Belmont, Battle Of Westport, Battle Of Wilsons Creek, Civil War In Missouri, Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson, Jefferson Barracks, National Cemetery Of Springfield

Meet the author

author avatar Annie69
History column appears weekly in local newspaper. Also news, human interest, and pictures. My fiction and poems have appeared in literary anthologies and I've written 3 novels

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author avatar M G Singh
4th Oct 2015 (#)


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author avatar Annie69
5th Oct 2015 (#)

thank you

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
4th Oct 2015 (#)

Wow interesting post and fact! Did Oregon enter the war?

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author avatar Annie69
5th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks. I can't recall about Oregon off the top of my head, but I'll add that to my "to do" list.

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