Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Civil War Missouri at the start of 1863

A hundred and fifty years ago, the war was not taking a holiday. On the Mississippi, Sherman was trying to take Vicksburg and failing badly. Grant was moving south towards the same objective. There was fighting further east too, despite it being the Christmas season.

Missouri wasn't getting a rest either. The state was now in Union hands. The Confederates had suffered setbacks at the battles of Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove and there was no rebel army to speak of within the state.

In the countryside, however, an increasing number of guerrillas staged hit-and-run attacks on Union forces and Confederate recruiters rode through rural areas picking up volunteers to go down to Arkansas to join the regular army.

The Civil War in Missouri had entered a new phase, with cavalry raids, skirmishes, and bushwhacking replacing actions by large armies. In fact, the first major raid had already begun. On December 31, 1862, Confederate Brigadier General John Sappington Marmaduke rode out of Arkansas at the head of 3,000 cavalry to hit Union supply lines. I'll be posting more about this raid in the next couple of weeks.

Later in the year, Marmaduke would launch a second raid and the famous Confederate cavalryman J.O. Shelby would head one of the greatest raids of the war. I write about all three of these raids at length in my book Ride Around Missouri: Shelby's Great Raid 1863.

There will be plenty to blog about in 2013 as I relate the events of 150 years ago!

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.


  1. You and my brother should chat. He loves the civil war, but most of his research centers around Great Grandpa's regiment.

    1. Feel free to give him my email addy! I'd be happy to take a guest post too, especially about your ancestor's experiences.

  2. The Civil War is a rich and complex event. My younger brother does a lot of research on it. You should chat. :)

  3. Right now I'm reading Robert Leckie's None Died In Vain. So I will hopefully be able to follow more of what you write about here.


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