History of Greene County, Missouri

R. I. Holcombe, Editing Historian

History of Missouri

Chapter 8: Civil War in Missouri

Fort Sumter fired upon — Call for 75,000 men — Gov. Jackson refuses to furnish a man — U. S. Arsenal at Liberty, Mo., seized — Proclamation of Gov. Jackson — General Order No. 7 — Legislature convenes — Camp Jackson organized — Sterling Price appointed Major-General — Frost's letter to Lyon — Lyon's letter to Frost — Surrender of Camp Jackson — Proclamation of Gen. Harney — Conference between Price and Harney — Harney superseded by Lyon — Second Conference — Gov. Jackson burns the bridges behind him — Proclamation of Gov. Jackson — Gen. Blair takes possession of Jefferson City — Proclamation of Lyon — Lyon at Springfield — State officers declared vacant — Gen. Fremont assumes command — Proclamation of Lieut.-Gov. Reynolds — Proclamation of Jeff. Thompson and Gov. Jackson — Death of Gen. Lyon — Succeeded by Sturgis — Proclamation of McCulloch and Gamble — Martial law declared — Second proclamation of Jeff Thompson —President modifies Fremont's order — Fremont relieved by Hunter —Proclamation of Price — Hunter's Order of Assessment — Hunter declares Martial Law — Order relating to Newspapers — Halleck succeeds Hunter — Halleck's Order 81 — Similar order by Halleck — Boone County Standard confiscated — Execution of prisoners at Macon and Palmyra — Gen. Ewing's Order No. 11 — Gen. Rosecrans takes command — Massacre at Centralia — Death of Bill Anderson — Gen. Dodge succeeds Gen. Rosecrans — List of Battles.

"Lastly stood war—
With visage grim, stern looks, and blackly hued,
* * * * * * *
Ah! why will kings forget that they are men?
And men that they are brethren? Why delight
In human sacrifice? Why burst the ties
Of nature, that should knit their souls together
In one soft bond of amity and love?"

Fort Sumter was fired upon April 12, 1861. On April 15th, President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 men, from the militia of the several States, to suppress combinations in the Southern States therein named. Simultaneously therewith, the Secretary of War sent a telegram to all the governors of the States, excepting those mentioned in the proclamation, requesting them to detail a certain number of militia to serve for three months, Missoui's quota being four regiments.

In response to this telegram, Gov. Jackson sent the following answer:

Executive Department Of Missouri,
Jefferson City, April 17, 1861.
To the Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
Your dispatch of the 15th inst., making a call on Missouri for four regiments of men for immediate service, has been received. There can be, I apprehend, no doubt but these men are intended to form a part of the President's army to make war upon the people of the seceded States. Your requisition, in my judgment, is illegal, unconstitutional, and can not be complied with. Not one man will the State of Missouri furnish to carry on such an unholy war.
C. F. Jackson, Governor of Missouri. [43]

April 21, 1861 — U. S. Arsenal at Liberty was seized by order of Governor Jackson.

April 22, 1861 — Governor Jackson issued a proclamation convening the Legislature of Missouri, on May following, in extra session, to take into consideration the momentous issues which were presented, and the attitude to be assumed by the State in the impending struggle.

On the 22nd of April, 1861, the Adjutant-General of Missouri issued the following military order:

Headquarters Adjutant-General's Office
Jefferson City, Mo., April 22, 1861
(General Orders No. 7)
I. To attain a greater degree of efficiency and perfection in organization and discipline, the Commanding Officers of the several Military districts in this State, having four or more legally organized companies therein, whose armories are within fifteen miles of each other, will assemble their respective commands at some place to be by them eventually designated, on the 3rd day of May, and to go into an encampment for a period of six days, as provided by law. Captains of companies not organized into battalions will report the strength of their companies immediately to these headquarters, and await further orders.

II. The Quartermaster-General will procure and issue to Quarter-masters of Districts, for these commands not now provided for, all necessary tents and camp equipage, to enable the commanding officers thereof to carry the foregoing orders into effect.

III. The Light Battery now attached to the Southwest Battalion, and one company of mounted riflemen, including all officers and soldiers belonging to the First District, will proceed forthwith to St. Louis, and report to Gen. D. M. Frost for duty. The remaining companies of said battalion will be disbanded for the purpose of assisting in the organization of companies upon that frontier. The details in the execution of the foregoing are intrusted to Lieutenant-Colonel John S. Bowen, commanding the Battalion. [44]

IV. The strength, organization, and equipment of the several companies in the District will be reported at once to these Headquarters, and District Inspectors will furnish all information which may be serviceable in ascertaining the condition of the State forces.
By order of the Governor.
Warwick Hough, Adjutant-General of Missouri.

May 2 1861 — The Legislature convened in extra session. Many acts were passed, among which was one to authorize the Governor to purchase or lease David Ballentine's foundry at Boonville, for the manufacture of arms and munitions of war; to authorize the Governor to appoint one Major-General; to authorize the Governor, when, in his opinion, the security and welfare of the State required it, to take possession of the railroad and telegraph lines of the State; to provide for the organization, government, and support of the military forces; to borrow one million of dollars to arm and equip the militia of the State to repel invasion, and protect the lives and property of the people. An act was also passed creating a "Military Fund," to consist of al the money then in the treasury or that might thereafter be received from the one-tenth of one per cent. on the hundred dollars, levied by act of November, 1857, to complete certain railroads; also the proceeds of a tax of fifteen cents on the hundred dollars of the assessed value of the taxable property of the several counties in the State, and the proceeds of the two-mill tax, which had been theretofore appropriated for educational purposes.

May 3, 1861 — "Camp Jackson" was organized.

May 10, 1861 — Sterling Price appointed Major-General of State Guard.

May 10, 1861 — General Frost, commanding "Camp Jackson," addressed General N. Lyon, as follows:

Headquarters Camp Jackson, Missouri Militia, May 20, 1861.
Capt. N. Lyon, Commanding U. S. Troops in and about St. Louis Arsenal:

Sir: I am constantly in receipt of information that you contemplate an attack upon my camp, whilst I understand that you are impressed with the idea that an attack upon the Arsenal and United States troops is intended on the part of the Militia of Missouri. I am greatly at a loss to know what could justify you in attacking citizens of the United States, who are in lawful performance of their duties, devolving upon them under the Constitution in organizing and instructing the militia of the State in obedience to her laws, and therefore, have been disposed to doubt the correctness of the information I have received. [45]

I would be glad to know from you personally whether there is any truth in the statements that are constantly pouring into my ears. So far as regards any hostility being intended toward the United States, or its property or representative by any portion of my command, or, as far as I can learn (and I think I am fully informed), of any other part of the State forces, I can positively say that the idea has never been entertained. On the contrary, prior to your taking command of the Arsenal, I proffered to Major Bell, then in command of the very few troops constituting its guard, the services of myself and all my command, and, if necessary, the whole power of the State, to protect the United States in the full possession of all her property. Upon General Harney taking command of this department, I made the same proffer of services to him, and authorized his Adjutant-General, Capt. Williams, to communicate the fact that such had been done to the War Department. I have had no occasion since to chance any of the views I entertained at the time, neither of my own volition nor through orders of my constitutional commander.

I trust that after this explicit statement that we may be able, by fully understanding each other, to keep far from our borders the misfortunes which so unhappily affect our common country.

This communication will be handed you by Colonel Bowen, my Chief of Staff, who will be able to explain anything not fully set forth in the foregoing.
I am, Sir, very respectfully your obedient servant.
Brigadier-General D. M. Frost, Commanding Camp Jackson, M. V. M.

May 10, 1861 — Gen. Lyon sent the following to Gen. Frost: [46]

Headquarters United States Troops, St. Louis, Mo., May 10, 1861.
Sir: Your command is recorded as evidently hostile toward the Government of the United States.

It is, for the most part, made up of those Secessionists who have openly avowed their hostility to the General Government, and have been plotting at the seizure of its property and the overthrow of its authority. You are openly in communication with the so-called Southern Confederacy, which is now at war with the United States, and you are receiving at your camp, from the said Confederacy and under its flag, large supplies of the material of war, most of which is known to be the property of the United States. These extraordinary preparations plainly indicate none other than the well-known purpose of the Governor of this State, under whose orders you are acting, and whose communication to the Legislature has just been responded to by that body in the most unparalleled legislation, having in direct view hostilities to the General Government and co-operation with its enemies.

In view of these considerations, and of your failure to disperse in obedience to the proclamation of the President, and of the imminent necessities of State policy and warfare, and the obligations imposed upon me by instructions from Washington, it is my duty to demand, and I do hereby demand of you an immediate surrender of your command, with no other conditions than that all persons surrendering under this command shall be humanely and kindly treated. Believing myself prepared to enforce this demand, one-half hour's time before doing so will be allowed for your compliance therewith.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. Lyon, Captain Second Infantry, Commanding Troops.

May 10, 1861 — Camp Jackson surrendered and prisoners all released excepting Capt. Emmet McDonald, who refused to subscribe to the parole.

May 12, 1861 — Brigadier-General Wm. S. Harney issued a proclamation to the people of Missouri, saying "he would carefully abstain from the exercise of any unnecessary powers," and only use the military force stationed in this district in the last resort to preserve peace."

May 14, 1861 — General Harney issued a second proclamation.

May 21, 1861 — General Harney held a conference with General Sterling Price, of the Missouri State Guards.

May 31, 1861 — General Harney superseded by General Lyon.

June 11, 1861 — A second conference was held between the National and State authorities in St. Louis, which resulted in nothing. [47]

June 11, 1861 — Gov. Jackson left St. Louis for Jefferson City, burning the railroad bridges behind him, and cutting telegraph wires.

June 12, 1861 — Governor Jackson issued a proclamation calling into active service 50,000 militia, "to repel invasion, protect life, property," etc.

June 15, 1861 — Col. F. P. Blair took possession of the State Capital, Gov. Jackson, Gen. Price and other officers having left on the 13th of June for Boonville.

June 17, 1861 — Battle of Boonville took place between the forces of Gen. Lyon and Col. John S. Marmaduke.

June 18, 1861 — General Lyon issued a proclamation to the people of Missouri.

July 5, 1861 — Battle at Carthage between the forces of Gen. Sigel and Gov. Jackson.

July 6, 1861 — Gen. Lyon reached Springfield.

July 22, 1861 — State convention met and declared the offices of Governor, Lieutenant-Governor and Secretary of State vacated.

July 26, 1861 — Gen. John C. Fremont assumed command of the Western Department, with headquarters in St. Louis.

July 31, 1861 — Lieutenant-Governor Thomas C. Reynolds issued a proclamation at New Madrid.

August 1, 1861 — General Jeff. Thompson issued a proclamation at Bloomfield.

August 2, 1861 — Battle of Dug Springs, between Captain Steele's forces and General Rains.

August 5, 1861 — Governor Jackson issued a proclamation at New Madrid.

August 5, 1861 — Battle of Athens.

August 10, 1861 — Battle of Wilson's Creek, between the forces under General Lyon and General McCulloch. In this engagement General Lyon was killed. General Sturgis succeeded General Lyon.

August 12, 1861 — McCulloch issued a proclamation, and soon left Missouri.

August 20, 1861 — General Price issued a proclamation.

August 24, 1861 — Governor Gamble issued a proclamation calling for 82,000 men for six months to protect the property and lives of the citizens of the State.

August 30, 1861 — General Fremont declared martial law, and declared that the slaves of all persons who should thereafter take an active part with the enemies of the Government should be free. [48]

September 2, 1861 — General Jeff. Thompson issued a proclamation in response to Fremont's proclamation.

September 7, 1861 — Battle at Drywood Creek.

September 11, 1861 — President Lincoln modified the clause in Gen. Fremont's declaration of martial law, in reference to the confiscation of property and liberation of slaves.

September 12, 1861 — General Price begins the attack at Lexington on Colonel Mulligan's forces.

September 20, 1861 — Colonel Mulligan with 2,640 men surrendered.

October 25, 1861 — Second battle at Springfield.

October 28, 1861 — Passage by Governor Jackson's Legislature, at Neosho, of an ordinance of secession.

November 2, 1861 — General Fremont succeeded by General David Hunter.

November 7, 1861 — General Grant attacked Belmont.

November 9, 1861 — General Hunter succeeded by General Halleck, who took command on the 19th of same month, with headquarters in St. Louis.

November 27, 1861 — General Price issued proclamation calling for 50,000 men, at Neosho, Missouri.

December 12, 1861 — General Hunter issued his order of assessment upon certain wealthy citizens in St. Louis, for feeding and clothing Union refuges.

December 23-25 — Declared martial law in St. Louis and the country adjacent, and covering all the railroad lines.

March 6, 1862 — Battle at Pea Ridge between the forces under Generals Curtis and Van Dorn.

January 8, 1862 — Provost Marshal Farrar, of St. Louis, issued the following order in reference to newspapers:

Office of the Prevost Mashal,
General Department of Missouri,
St. Louis, January 8, 1862.
(General Order No. 10)
It is hereby ordered that from and after this date the publishers of newspapers in the State of Missouri (St. Louis City papers excepted), furnish to this office, immediately upon publication, one copy of each issue, for inspection. A failure to comply with this order will render the newspaper liable to suppression. [49]

Local Provost Marshals will furnish the proprietors with copies of this order, and attend to its immediate enforcement.
Bernard G. Farrar,
Provost Marshal General.

January 26, 1862 — General Halleck issued order (No. 18) which forbade, among other things, the display of Secession flags in the hands of women or on carriages, in the vicinity of the military prison in McDowell's College, the carriages to be confiscated and the offending women to be arrested.

February 4, 1862 — General Halleck issued another order similar to Order No. 18, to railroad companies and to the professors and directors of the State University at Columbia, forbidding the funds of the institution to be used "to teach treason or to instruct traitors."

February 20, 1862 — Special Order No. 120 convened a military commission, which sat in Columbia, March following, and tried Edmund J. Ellis, of Columbia, editor and proprietor of "The Boone County Standard," for the publication of information for the benefit of the enemy, and encouraging resistance to the United States Government. Ellis was found guilty, was banished during the war from Missouri, and his printing materials confiscated and sold.

April, 1862 — General Hallook left for Corinth, Mississippi, leaving General Schofield in command.

June, 1862 — Battle at Cherry Grove between the forces under Colonel Joseph C. Porter and Colonel H. S. Lipscomb.

June, 1862 — Battle at Pierce's Mill between the forces under Major John Y. Clopper and Colonel Porter.

July 22, 1862— Battle at Florida.

July 28, 1862 — Battle at Moore's Mill.

August 6, 1862 — Battle near Kirksville.

August 11, 1862. Battle at Independence.

August 16, 1862 — Battle at Lone Jack.

September 13, 1862 — Battle at Newtonia.

September 25, 1862 — Ten Confederate prisoners were executed at Macon, by order of General Merrill.

October 18, 1862 — Ten Confederate prisoners executed at Palmyra, by order of General McNeill.

January 8, 1863 — Battle at Springfield between the forces of General Marmaduke and General E. B. Brown.

April 26, 1863 — Battle at Cape Girardeau. [50]

August __, 1863 — General Jeff. Thompson captured at Pocahontas, Arkansas, with his staff.

August 25, 1863 — General Thomas Ewing issued his celebrated Order No. 11, at Kansas City, Missouri, which is as follows:

Headquarters District of the Border,
Kansas City, Mo., August 25, 1863.
(General Order No. 11.)
First. — All persons living in Cass, Jackson and Bates Counties, Missouri, and in that part of Vernon included in this district, except those living within one mile of the limits of Independence, Hickman's Mills, Pleasant Hill and Harrisonville, and except those in that part of Kaw Township, Jackson County, north of Brush Creek and west of the Big Blue, embracing Kansas City and Westport, are hereby ordered to remove from their present places of residence within fifteen days from the date hereof.

Those who, within that time, establish their loyalty to the satisfaction of the commanding officer of the military station nearest their present place of residence, will receive from him certificates stating the fact of their loyalty, and the names of the witnesses by whom it can be shown. All who receive such certificate will be permitted to remove to any military station in this district, or to any part of the State of Kansas, except the counties on the eastern borders of the State. All others shall remove out of this district. Officers, commanding companies and detachments serving in the counties named, will see that this paragraph is promptly obeyed.

Second. — All grain and hay in the field, or under shelter, in the district from which the inhabitants are required to remove within reach of military stations, after the 9th day of September next, will be taken to such stations and turned over to the proper officer there, and report of the amount so turned over made to district headquarters, specifying the names of all loyal owners and the amount of such produce taken from them. All grain and hay found in such district after the 9th day of September next, not convenient to such stations, will be destroyed.

Third. — The provisions of General Order No. 10, from these headquarters, will at once be vigorously executed by officers commanding in the parts of the district, and at the stations not subject to the operations of paragraph First of this Order—and especially in the towns of Independence, Westport and Kansas City. [51]

Fourth. — Paragraph 3, General Order No. 10, is revoked as to all who have borne arms against the Government in the district since August 20, 1863.
By order of Brigadier-General Ewing:
H. Hannahs, Adjutant.

October 13 — Battle of Marshall.

January, 1864 — General Rosecrans takes command of the Department.

September, 1864 — Battle at Pilot Knob, Harrison and Little Moreau River.

October 5, 1864 — Battle at Prince's Ford and James Gordon's farm.

October 8, 1864 — Battle at Glasgow.

October 20, 1864 — Battle at Little Blue Creek.

September 27, 1864 — Massacre at Centralia, by Captain Bill Anderson.

October 27, 1864 — Captain Bill Anderson killed. December __, 1864 General Rosecrans relieved and General Dodge appointed to succeed him.

Nothing occurred specially, of a military character, in the State after December, 1864. We have, in the main, given the facts as they occurred without comment or entering into details. Many of the minor incidents and skirmishes of the war have been omitted because of our limited space.

It is utterly impossible, at this date, to give the names and dates of all the battles fought in Missouri during the Civil War. It will be found, however, that the list given below, which has been arranged for convenience contains the prominent battles and skirmishes which took place within the State: [52]

Potosi, May 14, 1861
Boonville, June 17, 1861
Carthage, July 5, 1861
Monroe Station, July 10, 1861
Overton's Run, July 17, 1861
Dug Spring, August 2, 1861
Wilson's Creek, August 10, 1861
Athens, August 5, 1861
Moreton, August 20, 1861
Bennett's Mills, September __, 1861
Drywood Creek, September 7, 1861
Norfolk, September 10, 1861
Lexington, September 12-20, 1861
Blue Mills Landing, September 17, 1861
Glasgow Mistake, September 20, 1861
Osceola, September 25, 1861
Shanghai, October 13, 1861
Lebanon, October 13, 1861
Linn Creek, October 16, 1861
Big River Bridge, October 15, 1861
Fredericktown, October 21, 1861
Springfield, October 25, 1861
Belmont, November 7, 1861
Piketon, November 8, 1861
Little Blue, November 10, 1861
Clark's Station, November 11, 1861
Mt. Zion Church, December 28, 1861
Silver Creek, January 15, 1862
New Madrid, February 28, 1862
Pea Ridge, March 6, 1862
Neosho, April 22, 1862
Rose Hill, July 10, 1862
Chariton River, July 80, 1862
Cherry Grove, June __, 1862
Pierce's Mill, June __, 1862
Florida, July 22, 1862
Moore's Mill, July 28, 1862
Kirksville, August 6, 1862
Compton's Ferry, August 8, 1862
Yellow Creek, August 18, 1862
Independence, August 11, 1862
Lone Jack, August 16, 1862
Newtonia, September 13, 1862
Springfield, January 8, 1863
Marshall, October 13, 1863
Pilot Knob, September __, 1864
Harrison, September __, 1864
Moreau River, October 7, 1864
Prince's Ford, October 5, 1864
Glasgow, October 8, 1864
Little Blue Creek, October 20, 1864
Albany, October 27, 1864
Near Rocheport, September 23, 1864
Centralia, September 27, 1864


Next Chapter | Table of Contents | Keyword Search

History of Greene County Home | Local History Home

Springfield-Greene County Library