Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Civil War Missouri at the start of 1863
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.