The Missouri Civil War

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A civil war cannon in Missouri
A civil war cannon in Missouri

 The Missouri Civil War

The civil war in the United States was a period of significant turbulence and internal strife. The Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865, with over 600,000 people killed. The war caused significant suffering to many Americans but also served as an important catalyst for change and advancement in many areas of American life.

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This period is often associated with The Civil War, which can be difficult to understand without first understanding how this conflict came about. This paper will explore the causes of the civil war and its implications on today’s society.

Describe the Missouri civil war in detail (what happened in the civil war)

In May 1861, during a period of great turmoil in American politics and society, the state of Virginia seceded from the United States and joined forces with secessionist elements in other states to form the Confederate States of America. The states that remained loyal to the United States formed a loose confederation known as the Union, later known as the United States of America.

After the secession of Virginia, violence erupted throughout the state and then spread to other areas. In western Missouri, a convention was called in early 1861 by some of the most prominent secessionists to determine whether or not to secede from the Union. That body passed an ordinance of secession on October 31, 1860. On November 28, 1860, this convention voted to join other southern states in forming a new government, the Confederate State of Missouri. The government did not recognize this action in Washington, D.C.

When secessionists threatened military action against the capital, Lincoln called upon the states for aid. After Virginia seceded from the Union in May 1861, Missouri was one of only five states which refused to send troops. Lincoln’s decision to station Union troops in Missouri was based on his desire to keep control of strategic positions and provide protection for St. Louis, then a vital rail center and gateway to the west. Many citizens of Missouri believed that Lincoln was suspending the rights of Southerners living there by forcing the Union troops on them.

How did the Missouri compromise lead to the civil war?

After the Missouri Compromise was declared unlawful, supporters of slavery and those opposed to it flocked to the region to cast ballots for or against the practice. The hot-button issue of slavery was the primary cause of conflict among members of the Missouri Compromise. The votes from these tumultuous elections helped determine an individual’s stance on secession. 

The role played by Missouri in the civil war.

A sizable contingent of men from Missouri served on both sides of the Civil War. At least 30,000 men fought for the Confederacy, and more than 109,000 men enlisted and served in the Union army. At least 5,000 men from Missouri died in combat. Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson were born and raised in Missouri, as was Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Numerous other notable figures from Missouri served on both sides of the conflict during the Civil War, including future president Ulysses S. Grant and postwar president Harry Truman.

List and explain the civil war battles in Missouri


Charleston was a railroad town at one time and still has the remains of its old stockyards. In April 1861, a secessionist convention was held here, and federal troops picketed the town before Missouri became a state. The battle lasted from August 19, when the Union army retreated from their fortifications to reinforce the railroads.

Dry Wood Creek

On September 2, 1861, the Union army was on its way to Springfield. Union General Curtis stopped at Dry Wood Creek, where Confederates attacked him on the 12th. His force of 5,000 men repelled the attack but, in so doing, lost one man killed and eight wounded. The Confederates reported one or two killed and a few wounded. The battle caused Curtis to lose machinery and supplies in his advance to Springfield.

2nd Boonville

On September 13, 1861, Confederate General Bragg took a force of 3,000 men to Boonville in the hope of attacking Springfield. Union General Alfred Pleasanton was in the area then; however, he withdrew from the field before Bragg could take advantage of his presence. On September 15, 1861, Confederate General Marmaduke attacked Pleasanton. Two divisions opposed them under Thomas Ewing and McCook with about 1,000 men each.

1st Lexington

On September 13-20, 1861, about 10,000 Federal troops rallied in Lexington to oppose a Confederate invasion. The Federals sent two brigades of cavalry to harass the Confederates. The Confederates attacked with about 4,000 men and drove the Federals across the Missouri River at Bolivar Heights. 

Why African Americans migrated to Missouri after the civil war

After the Civil War, the United States was a restless and uneasy country. Under President Andrew Johnson, conditions for blacks worsened. In 1868, a year after he became president of the United States, Johnson vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which had set out to protect the rights of former slaves. 

The act stated that no person could be denied the right to vote or hold public office because of his race. Johnson also vetoed a bill that provided billions of dollars in financial aid to the formerly enslaved people. Only five thousand blacks lived in Missouri by 1870, so their exodus from the state was not nearly as great as from Southern states such as Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana. But the migration has been marked by many historians as perhaps the largest movement of black people in American history.

Importance of the Missouri compromise to the civil war

The Missouri compromise was one of the most important factors leading to the American Civil War. Other important issues included:

The Slavery Issue – The true purpose of the Missouri Compromise was to pacify some sectional issues among northerners and southerners. The debate over slavery in Kansas and whether or not it should be allowed was being carried out in Congress. The situation in Kansas had been brewing for thirteen years before the Civil War began, but the issue split North and South once the war broke out. The Civil War resulted from a battle between an anti-slavery North and a pro-slavery South, which wanted to expand slavery.

The Tariff Issue – Northerners and Southerners did not agree on tariffs on imported goods. The South wanted low tariffs that would allow it to trade with foreign countries easily and sell its cotton without high taxes, while the North wanted high tariffs that would protect northern manufacturers. This issue also helped split the North from the South.

The Election Issue – In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States. The southerners didn’t like this because he was anti-slavery, which was a strong unpopular issue with southerners. They decided it would be better to break away from the Union and form their own country. When Lincoln was elected, there was a split between the North and South. On April 12, 1861, Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. This started the Civil War.

Issues Missouri cared about in the civil war

Missouri cared about many issues regarding the civil war. Some of these issues include:

1. Preservation of slavery – Missouri depended on slave labor for a large part of its economy. Most farmers relied on slave labor on their plantations and farms, which were also used for food and fuel. The enslaved people were also used in Missouri as pack mules to transport goods, supplies, and people across rivers or mountain ranges.

 2. Invasion of Missouri – Missouri had always been a border state and became an important part of the Union’s plan to block the Confederate invasion in 1861.

3. Extermination of the Indians – Between 1833 and 1872, the U.S. Army forced thousands of Native Americans off their land in Kansas and into reservations in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). The government paid $15 million to remove more than 900,000 people from their traditional lands.

4. Extermination of the Mormons – In 1857, a group of Latter-day Saints known as the Mormons fled to Utah because of religious persecution. The U.S. Army sent an army led by Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston to drive them out, and in 1862, the government expelled more than 15,000 people from their homes in Southern Utah. The nation also paid $5 million ($100 million in today’s money) for these exiles and forced them to leave their land alone.

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Categories: History