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Sunday, January 20, 2013

A deceptive quiet in Civil War Missouri

General Marmaduke's raid was over. He and his Confederate cavalry raiders were almost to the state line of Arkansas, where they would return to their winter quarters and eat meager rations until the spring campaigns. Most of the bushwhackers had also left the state. With the underbrush thinned out during winter, they had lost their advantage and blended with the civilian population or rode to quarters in Texas.

A few bands of rebels kept up the fight even through the depths of winter. On January 21, Union Col. Joseph Douglass and his men attacked a rebel camp near Columbia in the center of the state. The rebels fought until their ammunition was exhausted and then fled. Douglass rode back to Columbia with four prisoners in tow--all captains.

On January 27, Col. James Lindsay heard of a small rebel camp at Bloomfield and rode into town with 250 men of the Enrolled Missouri Militia and two pieces of artillery. The rebels hightailed it.

There would be scattered skirmishes throughout the winter. The relative calm wasn't to last. Come spring the bushwhackers would return, and so would General Marmaduke.

Image of "Pine Cottage" winter quarters for some Union soldiers, taken by Mathew Brady.


  1. I imagine many spent the winter just trying to survive the elements.

  2. It's funny... the idea of bushwackers in the US is something I'd never even thought of. I think of them as a 'jungles of Asia' thing, but I suppose a good portion of the south is pretty wild.. Missouri definitely has an interesting history.


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