[ Audio Transcript ]
Panel 10 - Missouri at War
- The Final Attempt to Win Missouri -
Missouri ranked third among states in number of military actions fought during the Civil War, although few of these actions were large scale battles. In the summer and fall of 1864, Confederate guerillas attacked the citizens of northern Missouri with renewed intensity in an attempt to draw Union troops away from the state's southern border so that General Sterling Price could make a last attempt to win Missouri.
This last attempt began in September 1864 as Price's forces moved north from Arkansas. On September 26 and 27, Price and 12,000 men attacked the 1,400 Union troops stationed at Fort Davidson, in Pilot Knob Missouri. The Union troops were forced to flee, but managed to inflict heavy losses on Price's troops and delayed his advance so that Federal forces had time to mobilize. In addition, the battle did not give Price any strategic advantage.
Turned away from St. Louis and Jefferson City, Price fled west before being caught between two Union forces at Westport. The resulting battle is sometimes known as the "Gettysburg of the West" and marked the beginning of the end for Price's efforts in the west. Union forces defeated Price, who continued to flee south. His goals of winning Missouri for the Confederacy and swaying the fall elections in favor of the Confederacy were not realized and the campaign marked the end of organized Confederate resistance in Missouri.
The documents on these panels are accounts from Missouri military officers describing the movements of the guerrillas during the attacks of the summer.
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