One of the most recognizable African-American soldiers of the Civil War, this young soldier has represented the nearly-200,000 USCTs who served in the Union armies. Standing in front of the famous “Benton Barracks backdrop,” he has also been the face of former Trans-Mississippi slaves who risked their lives to fight for freedom. Around 8,000 of … More Who Is This Benton Barracks Soldier?
“Our men were generally armed with the old Springfield rifle, while the Confederates had in many instances only shotguns. Most of our wounded were disabled by buckshot or buck-and-ball. Some of the Confederates used old double-barreled guns,” remembered Major John Halderman of the First Kansas Infantry. He was not writing about just any Trans-Mississippi Confederate … More The Hodgepodge of Armaments of the Missouri State Guard
“After mature deliberation [Colonel Everett Peabody] decided to do as above stated – attack, and thus give the alarm to those in our rear, so that they could turn out and make some resistance to the overwhelming force, and not be captured or attacked in their quarters. This move seemed to be the only way … More The 25th Missouri Infantry at Shiloh
Over 8,000 African Americans from Missouri – mostly former enslaved – volunteered to fight for freedom in the Union Army in 1862 with the Confiscation Acts. Not until the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 did the Government approve of the mass mobilization of all-Black units for combat in the infantry, cavalry, … More Freedom Fighters of Missouri
Just mere days after the Camp Jackson Affair on May 10, 1861 that left 26 people dead and dozens of others injured in the streets of St. Louis, the Missouri General Assembly (spearheaded by pro-secessionist Governor Claiborne Jackson) passed a “military bill” to assemble military forces on behalf of the state of Missouri to protect … More Building the Missouri State Guard
“The challenges faced by the Missouri troops were immense. In addition to being exposed to combat for the first time, they were faced off against Maj. Gen. John Brown’s Confederates, who were some of the best troops in the Southern army. This was no easy task for certain, but through sheer force of will the … More The 44th Missouri at Franklin
As a slave state in the Upper South, Missouri and her citizens had a dynamic relationship with the “peculiar institution.” The average Missouri slaveholder owned five slaves, while medium sized slave owners in the Deep South owned between 15 and 50 slaves. The largest slave owner owned just under 200 slaves. In 1860, slaves made … More Enslaved Population in Missouri, 1860
Known as the “American Zouaves,” the 8th Missouri Infantry was as much a tool for recruiting young, enthusiastic Unionists as it was a social experiment in early-war St. Louis, Missouri. At the start of the Civil War, St. Louis was a booming river city, with growing populations of German and Irish immigrants, as well as … More The Formation of the American Zouaves Regiment