Soldiers in Civil War Missouri Faced Issues with Rations

Hardtack, salt pork, cornmeal, and coffee are the four foods we associate with the average Civil War soldier’s ration. Much of what we learned about the rations comes from Hardtack and Coffee, the famous book written by John Billings of the Army of the Potomac. Though an excellent primary source into the life of a … More Soldiers in Civil War Missouri Faced Issues with Rations

Sherman’s Visit to the Wilson’s Creek Battlefield in 1885

This article was originally posted on the Emerging Civil War blog on September 5, 2018, written by Kristen M. Pawlak.  Ever since the guns were silenced in the spring of 1865, veterans and civilians alike trek the battlefields of the Civil War to inspire them and understand the carnage and sacrifice that occurred on those … More Sherman’s Visit to the Wilson’s Creek Battlefield in 1885

Major Horace A. Conant and the Planter’s House Hotel Meeting

Many of us know the story of the infamous Planter’s House Hotel meeting on June 11, 1861. The six most-influential political and military leaders in the State of Missouri at the start of the American Civil War – Major General Sterling Price, Governor Claiborne Jackson, Thomas Snead, Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, Colonel Francis P. Blair, … More Major Horace A. Conant and the Planter’s House Hotel Meeting

One of Hannibal’s Railroad Men

Many of us know famed Missouri author Mark Twain’s short story, “The Private History of a Campaign That Failed,” which he pokes fun at his two-week-long service in the pro-Confederate Marion Rangers company. Not particularly invested in the greater issues of secession and slavery, Twain joined the unit following the Camp Jackson Affair, saying “our … More One of Hannibal’s Railroad Men

Defending Fort Davidson

On September 27, 1864, Major General Sterling Price’s 12,000-man Army of Missouri moved north towards their target of St. Louis and encountered the Federal garrison at Fort Davidson in southeastern Missouri in the St. Francois Mountains. Price advancing north from Camden, Arkansas into Union-occupied Missouri was the last major offensive movement of a Confederate army … More Defending Fort Davidson

A Missourian Describes Why He Joined the State Guard and the Confederate Army

Unlike much of the South in the spring of 1861, Missourians stood dominantly neutral and conditional Unionist, though she was a fellow slaveholding state. The Missouri Legislature voted to remain with the Union, an overwhelming 98 to 1 in March. However, in May, when Federal troops fired into a crowd of civilians after capturing several … More A Missourian Describes Why He Joined the State Guard and the Confederate Army

A Rare Sight of Union Troops Drilling in Missouri

Every day I am amazed by the number of primary sources that I have never stumbled upon before, especially with Missouri Civil War-related sources. To be fair, though, I have only been digging around for this kind of material since I started working at the Missouri Civil War Museum in 2011. Nonetheless, I am familiar … More A Rare Sight of Union Troops Drilling in Missouri