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STERLING PRICE, CSA - History

STERLING PRICE, CSA - History


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GENERAL STERLING PRICE, CSA
VITAL STATISTICS
BORN: 1809 in Prince Edward County, VA.
DIED: 1867 in St. Louis, MO.
CAMPAIGNS: Wilson's Creek, Lexington, Pea Ridge, Iuka, Corinth, Helena, Camden Expedition, Price's Missouri Raid.
HIGHEST RANK ACHIEVED: Major General
BIOGRAPHY
Sterling Price was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, on September 20, 1809. When he was 21 years old, he and his family moved to Missouri, where he became a slaveowner, major tobacco planter and politician on the frontier. Price served as military governor of New Mexico during the Mexican War, and was appointed a brigadier general. After the war, he was elected to the legislature and to Congress. In 1852, Price was elected governor, and later became commander of state troops. He initially opposed Missouri's secession. However, when Francis P. Blair, Jr. and Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon took over Camp Jackson in St. Louis, Price was so outraged that he joined the Confederacy as commander of Missouri troops. He and Confederate Brig. Ben McCulloch defeated Brig. Lyon at Wilson's Creek, Missouri, then took the Union garrison at Lexington. Price was appointed a major general on March 6, 1862, but won no further major victories. After suffering defeat at Pea Ridge, Arkansas; Iuka, Corinth and Helena, Arkansas; he helped oppose the Camden Expedition. Late in 1864, Price led the Army of Missouri in what became known as Price's Missouri Raid, which ended in retreat. When the Confederacy surrendered, Price fled to Mexico, and returned in 1867, poor and in ill health. He died in St. Louis, on September 29, 1867.

STERLING PRICE, CSA - History


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A fter the Civil War broke out in 1861, the newly established Confederate government began to issue its own money as legal tender to the citizens of the South. The 1st note from the Government of the Confederate States of America was issued in April of 1861. Notes were issued for the next three years, ending in 1864. A total of 70 different types were issued into circulation.

A lmost every Confederate note was painstakingly hand signed and numbered. These notes were printed on large sheets and then cut apart by hand. It is not uncommon for these notes to have uneven margins, as getting these notes into circulation was more important than making sure each note had an accurate cut.

C ounterfeiting became a major problem for the South. The North played a big role in this action by printing counterfeit notes and distributing them in the South causing massive inflation.

W hen the Civil War was over, the Southern infrastructure was in disarray. The Southern banks had no money to loan, and the price of cotton fell drastically. Confederate notes had no value at all. The US never recognized the Confederate States of America as a legitimate government, so the money, stocks, and bonds that were printed by the Confederacy had no value, and could not be transferred into US funds. Anyone who had invested in the Confederate government, with notes, bonds, or stocks, lost the value of what they had invested.

T oday, the value of these notes is far from worthless. Their prices range from under one hundred dollars for the most common and heavily printed series, to the tens of thousands for the rarest. Most of the heavily printed issues are still readily available to some extent, while the rarer issues are tightly held by collectors, and don't surface that often. One thing is certain though, quality Confederate notes have shown to steadily increase in value over the years, and make a good investment.

A s collectors and dealers of Confederate and Obsolete currency, we view these notes as a glimpse into a fascinating part of our nation's history. Our desire to collect began when we realized the great opportunity to own currency that was once used by soldiers and civilians alike during that tragic war.

T ake a look through our site to find many examples of Confederate and States notes available for purchase. Whether you are an experienced collector, or just looking to obtain your first piece of paper money history, we are sure you will find something of interest. Right now is a great time to acquire your first note, or add more notes to your collection. Thanks for visiting.


STERLING PRICE, CSA - History

Missouri History
Flags Of The Rebellion
1861 - 1865


While this modern Missouri flag never flew during the war of 1861-1865, it is shown here, so as to illustrate it's Confederate roots. The Missouri State Flag has been around for a long time, and has went through many revisions and changes of design. The pattern we see today is the result of all these changes of design, but the basic style has been somewhat the same all along. Missouri finally adopted this style as the official flag almost 60 years after the War Between The States on March 22, 1913. The flag consists of three horizontal stripes of red, white and blue. These represent valor, purity, vigilance and justice. In the center white stripe is the Missouri coat-of-arms, circled by a blue band containing 24 stars, denoting that Missouri was the 24th state. Yet, it is important to keep in mind that the modern Missouri flag was based on the CONFEDERATE Missouri State Guard Flag pictured below.


The Missouri State Guard Flag was the adopted flag of a newly organized State Guard. Due to the Camp Jackson Massacre, which took place on May 10, 1861, Missouri needed defense from Federal occupational invaders. The Military Bill was passed by the Missouri State Legislature on May 11, 1861. The bill authorized Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson to disband the Missouri State Militia and reform it as the Missouri State Guard. The MSG was designed to protect Missouri from federal invasion and atrocities. The state was divided into nine Military Districts, each of which were to raise a Division of troops. Overall command of the Missouri State Guard was given to Missouri Confederate General Sterling Price.


The Missouri Battle Flag is designed of a white Roman Cross, blue field, and deep red trim. More than 60,000 Confederate Missouri men served under this flag. Many prestigious units such as Pindall's 9th Battalion Of Missouri Sharpshooters saw extensive service under this flag.


4th Missouri Infantry Regimental Flag

The 4th Missouri Infantry Regimental Flag was carried by men who organized in Springfield, Missouri in 1862. This Confederate regiment left home to join up for service in Van Dorn's Army Of The West in Tennessee.

Quantrell Flag Made By Annie Fickle

This specimen has been a much debated enigma and caused profuse confusion caused by "Yankee" media throughout the years, as to the spelling of William C. Quantrill's name. This is due to the above pictured flag, made by a young Missouri girl. Well, the answer is quite simple and amazing. We owe this debt of solving the mystery to ex Missouri Partisan Ranger, Mr. George Shepherd. The legend and spelling of the name QUANTRELL came about by a 20 year old girl named Annie Fickle who lived in Lafayette County. In May of 1862, Annie's family home had been invaded by a company of Federals, and they arrested Annie when she was found to be in the company of a Partisan Ranger. Later, Annie had been rescued by Quantrill's Partisans, and she never forgot this. As a token of her appreciation, Annie made a battle flag for the Partisan Rangers. The flag was made of four layers of black, quilted alpaca, and was three by five feet. Running edgewise through the middle of the flag was the name QUANTRELL in dark red letters. As was common in this time, women such as Annie did not have much education. So she spelled the name on the flag as best she could. After completing the construction of this flag, Annie, in the dead of night, took the flag into Quantrill's camp, wrapped in a piece of plain paper. William C. Quantrill accepted it himself, and gave a deep and heartfelt thank you to Annie. Quantrill's men then gave 3 cheers, waving their hats, and giving full approvals, honors and recognition to this 20 year old Missouri girl who had risked her life to make this gift to Quantril and his men. The men attached the flag to an eight foot pole of oak, attached with 12 nails, and were quite proud of this flag! This flag was carried into many battles, such as Lawrence, Kansas, and was riddled with many bullets. Quantrill and his men took this flag into Kentucky in late 1864, where Captain Quantrill and his men were later ambushed by Edward Terrell and his cavalry detachment of hired assassins on May 10, 1865. Captain Quantrill later died from his wounds on June 6, 1865.

Beyond doubt, Annie Fickle's love of the Missouri Partisan men was truly heartfelt, and this flag was actually carried by captain Quantrill and his men out of the deep respect for the courage shown by this young Missouri girl. Erstwhile, this flag had spread fear and terror in the hearts and minds of the cowardly, illegally invading, criminal Yankee invaders. And, thus started the "Quantrell" spelling in the Yankee media.

But one can fully rest assured, the gallant Captain's name was QUANTRILL. With the explanation of Annie Fickle's flag verified, we can now explore further definitive physical evidence of the real spelling of William Quantrill's name.

Quantrill wrote often to his Mother, who lived in Canal Dover, Ohio. Many of these letters, and other signed ephemera still survive. The author of this publication has examined several of these authentic letters.

And in every one of his signatures, Captain Quantrill signs his name:


Quantrill - Missouri Partisan Rangers

This is another style of Missouri Partisan Ranger Flag that was carried by Missouri men who rode under William C. Quantrill. These men rode hard and defended the innocent citizens of Missouri from the slaughter and carnage that had been committed by the Occupational Forces sent by Abraham Lincoln. Although many Northern histories consider the Partisan Ranger to be bushwhackers, they were only waging the type war that had already been committed against them and their families. Occupational troops from Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconin raped, pillaged, burned and destroyed much of Western & West Central Missouri, and the Partisan Rangers were at times the only defense the people of Missouri had.


ATM - Army Of Trans Mississippi
Department Battle Flag

While not entirely a Missouri flag, this flag was used in many Trans Mississippi battles, skirmishes, and actions by the Confederate Trans Mississippi Armies.


Irishmen in the Confederate Army

The National Museum of Ireland’s permanent exhibition Soldiers and Chiefs: The Irish at War at Home and Abroad from 1550 has a large collection of loans from museums around the world. These include items belonging to Major General Patrick Cleburne (1828–64) and the 10th Tennessee Infantry Regiment (Irish) of the Confederate Army, on loan from the Tennessee State Museum. It is estimated that 20,000 Irish soldiers fought for the Confederate Army and 160,000 fought in the Union Army during the Civil War. While there were a number of Irish regiments, including the ‘Fighting 69th’, in the Union Army, the only Confederate regiment to be formally designated as Irish was the 10th, raised at Nashville, Tennessee, in April 1861. Under the command of Colonel Randall McGavock, an Irish-American, the regiment saw action in the Western theatre, fighting in Mississippi and Tennessee. At the Battle of Raymond, Mississippi, in May 1863, 52 members of the regiment were killed, including Colonel McGavock. On display in the exhibition is Colonel McGavock’s guidon, which would have marked his location during the battle.
Also on display are the eating utensils, military cap and walking cane of Major General Patrick

Cleburne, who was the highest-ranking Irish-born Confederate general. Born in County Cork, Patrick Cleburne served in the British Army before purchasing his discharge and emigrating to the United States in 1849. He settled in the town of Helena, Arkansas, in 1850, first working as a pharmacist and then training as a lawyer. Cleburne proved himself an intelligent and courageous commander throughout the American Civil War and, like the 10th Regiment, fought in the Western theatre. He was dubbed the ‘Stonewall of the West’ and he was well known for advocating the contentious position of enlisting slaves in return for their freedom. General Cleburne was killed in 1864 after a disastrous frontal assault on entrenched positions against Union forces in Franklin, Tennessee. After three years on display in the Soldiers and Chiefs exhibition, the objects will be returned to Tennessee State Museum in February 2010. HI

Lar Joye is curator of military history at the National Museum of Ireland (Decorative Arts and History).


The Civil War Muse

(September 20, 1809 - September 29, 1867)

Born in Virginia, Sterling Price moved to Missouri in 1831 and finally settled in Keytesville, Missouri. Price quickly became involved in Missouri politics and, after a break to serve in the Mexican-American War, became the Governor of Missouri in 1853. When the American Civil War broke out, Sterling Price was appointed a Major General and placed in command of the pro-southern Missouri State Guard by Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson. Early in the war, Price led the Missouri State Guard to victories in the Battle of Wilson's Creek and the Battle of Lexington and then to defeat in the Battle of Pea Ridge. In 1864, Price, then a Major General for the Confederacy, led a cavalry raid into Missouri that ultimately resulted in an overwhelming defeat.

Pre-Civil War Role

Sterling Price was born near Farmville in Prince Edward Count, Virginia. In 1831, Price and his family moved to Fayette, Missouri and then a year later to Keytesville, Missouri. Price served in the Missouri State House of Representatives in the late 1830s and early 1840s and was elected as a US Congressman representing Missouri.

Price resigned from being a Congressman to serve in the Mexican-American War. Price raised the Second Regiment of the Missouri Mounted Volunteer Cavalry and was elected its colonel on August 12, 1846. President James K. Polk promoted Price to brigadier general of volunteers on July 20, 1847. Following the war, Price was discharged on November 25, 1848, and returned to Missouri.

Back in Missouri Price bought a farm and raised tobacco, becoming a slave owner in the process. Missouri elected him Governor and he served from 1853 to 1857. On February 28, 1861 Price was elected presiding officer of the Missouri State Convention, which would end up voting against secession.

Civil War Role

Initially, Price was against secession for the state of Missouri. But that changed after May 10, 1861 and the Camp Jackson Affair. Missouri Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson, a southern sympathizer, had called out the state militia for training. They established "Camp Jackson" about 4 to 5 miles from the St. Louis Federal Arsenal. Federal Captain Nathaniel Lyon, an ardent abolitionist, saw this as a threat to the federal arsenal and forced the militiamen to surrender to his Missouri Home Guard. In marching the prisoners through St. Louis a riot broke out and many of the prisoners were killed or wounded.

Price was outraged at the Camp Jackson Affair. Missouri Governor Jackson placed Price in command of the Missouri State Guard on May 11, 1861. On June 11, 1861, Price joined Missouri Governor Jackson to meet with now Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri Congressman Francis P. Blair, Jr. The purpose of the meeting was to work out their differences and calm the emotions on both sides. Lyon stormed out of the meeting, essentially declaring war on Jackson and the Missouri State Guard. As a result, Price's Missouri State Guard retreated with Lyon in pursuit.

Price led the Missouri State Guard in a series of engagements against Lyon's Union forces. The Battle of Boonville on June 17th resulted in a Union victory. Price continued moving south. Price temporarily left the Missouri State Guard to obtain support from the Confederacy. Price formed an alliance with Confederate General Benjamin McCulloch and the Arkansas State Militia. Together they moved against Lyon's Union Army of the West in the Battle of Wilson's Creek, which resulted in a Confederate victory.

Following the Union Army of the West's retreat to Rolla, Missouri, Price moved the Missouri State Guard north and engaged Union defenders in the First Battle of Lexington (from September 13 to September 20, 1861). This resulted in a victory for Price and gained the south control of the Missouri River Valley west of Arrow Rock. But Price was unable to keep control and had to move south. Union Commander Frémont had sent troops to recapture control of the Missouri River.

Missouri's provisional state government passed and Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson signed the Ordinance of Secession on October 31, 1861. Shortly after, Price resigned his commission from the Missouri State Guard and joined the Confederacy as a Major General.

In March of 1982, Price commanded his Missouri troops as part of the Confederate forces at the Battle of Pea Ridge in Arkansas. The result was a Union victory that solidified control of Missouri for the United States. Later that year, Price and his Missouri troops were sent east of the Mississippi River to reinforce General Albert Sydney Johnston. Although they arrived to late to participate in the Battle of Shiloh, Price did lead his soldiers as part of the Confederate forces in the Second Battle of Corinth in October 1862. This too ended in defeat for the Confederacy.

In 1863, Price requested and was transferred back to the Confederate Department of the Trans-Mississippi. In July 1863, Price commanded an infantry division under Lt. General Theophilus H. Holmes in the Battle of Helena. Both the overall attack was poorly coordinated and resulted in a Union victory. Later that year, Holmes became ill and took a leave of absence. Price was placed in command of all Confederate forces in Arkansas.

In the summer of 1864, Price received approval to mount a cavalry raid into Missouri. The raid's purpose was to capture supplies, but more importantly draw Union forces from the eastern theater of the war, away from Petersburg and Atlanta. Although the raid initially succeeded in capturing large quantities of supplies, Price's Army of Missouri was decisively defeated at the Battle of Westport. He subsequently lost a series of battles and much of his captured supplies while retreating south from Westport. His retreat took him through the Indian Territory and Texas. After three months, Price finally returned to Arkansas in December 1864 with less than half the troops with which he had started the campaign.

Post-Civil War Role

In 1865, Price went to Mexico and was the leader of a Confederate exile colony in Carota, Veracruz. This colony failed and Price returned to Missouri, impoverished and in poor health. Sterling Price died of cholera while living in St. Louis and is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St Louis, Missouri.


Price abandons Iuka

Price was aware that Ord was northwest of the town, but he wanted to continue fighting Rosecrans the next morning. His officers reasoned with him that just because Ord had not joined in the fight of the 19th did not mean he would remain in place on the 20th and that the Confederates should leave town before they indeed found themselves trapped between Grant’s forces. Price agreed, deciding that he should leave Iuka and go west to join with Van Dorn. In the early morning hours, Price’s army escaped, moving south past Rosecrans’s army down the road Rosecrans had left open. The next morning, Rosecrans and his men found no one to fight. Rosecrans sent a detachment to pursue the Rebels, but Price escaped relatively unscathed.

Rosecrans wondered why Ord had not attacked on the 19th, though he should not have been totally surprised after his talk with Grant’s two staffers.

Neither Ord nor Grant had heard the roar of battle south of Iuka, despite the many hours of musket and cannon fire that indicated a fierce fight. Also, Ord’s men heard nothing, although Federal detachments scattered up and down the railroad on guard duty did hear the noise. Rosecrans did not find out about the changed orders until he spoke with Ord on the 20th. He was of course furious, and he and Grant never reconciled.

The bigger issue was what kept Ord and Grant from hearing the sounds of fighting. Rosecrans remained convinced that he had been abandoned by Grant. In later years, the answer to the question of the seemingly deaf ears of many Union officers and men was identified as an “acoustic shadow.” The term basically means that weather conditions, including such factors as wind, humidity, moisture, and terrain, could in some cases block sounds from places not too far away. This theory has been tested and found to be accurate.

So the strange battle at Iuka ended, highlighted by poor communication and a peculiar weather situation. Price joined Confederate forces with Van Dorn and Grant re-concentrated his Union troops at Corinth, where Rosecrans defeated Price and Van Dorn on October 3 and 4. Price’s abandonment of Iuka and Rosecrans’s victory at Corinth secured North Mississippi for the Union forces and led to Grant’s first efforts to attack Vicksburg.

Michael B. Ballard, Ph.D., is coordinator, Congressional and Political Research Center and University Archivist, Mississippi State University Library .


Price, Sterling

Sterling Price, a U.S. congressman, governor of Missouri, and Confederate major general, was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, to a slave-owning planter family. Educated briefly at Hampden-Sydney College, Price read law before moving with his parents to Missouri in 1830. There, he raised hemp and tobacco on a large farm near Keytesville and in 1850 owned 19 slaves.

A lifelong proslavery Democrat, Price was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives and served as its speaker of the house before being elected to Congress in 1844. He left his seat to lead a regiment in the Mexican War, during which he received a promotion to brigadier general. In 1853, he was elected governor of Missouri and served one term.

In 1861, his popularity and moderate politics earned him election as president of the state convention that voted overwhelmingly against Missouri’s secession, the only such delegation called in any state that ultimately voted against secession. When unconditional Unionists in St. Louis (in particular U.S. Congressman Frank P. Blair and Capt. Nathaniel Lyon) suppressed secessionists in St. Louis, Price accepted overall command of the Missouri State Guard.

Price signed an agreement with federal department commander, William S. Harney, which pledged neutrality on both sides – an agreement that Unionists Blair and Lyon promptly abrogated. After the famous failed June 11 conference with Governor Claiborne F. Jackson and these federal leaders at St. Louis’s Planters’ House, Price organized and led the local state troops in an unsuccessful defense against Lyon’s riverine expedition, which captured the state capitol and kept Missouri in the Union.

Although not present at the State Guard's defeat at the Battle of Boonville, Price joined the retreating troops and led them to the southwestern corner of the state, where he recruited, trained, and armed a larger force. Ultimately, Price commanded about 12,000 enlisted State Guard at Cowskin Prairie. While there, Price also convinced Confederate General Ben McCulloch to enter Missouri from Arkansas in order to attack Lyon, encamped at Springfield.

Price then marched to Lexington, where his army besieged and forced the surrender of a 3,500-man fortified garrison of federal troops and Home Guard.

On August 10, 1861, at the Battle of Wilson's Creek outside Springfield, Price’s and McCulloch’s combined force defeated Lyon, forcing the federals’ withdrawal. At Wilson’s Creek, Lyon earned the unenviable distinction of being the first Union general killed in the war. In September, Price marched northward, driving from the border counties Kansas Jayhawkers under the command of James H. Lane. Price then marched to Lexington, where his army besieged and forced the surrender of a 3,500-man fortified garrison of federal troops and Home Guard under James A. Mulligan.

Pressed by troops under John C. Frémont, commander of the Department of the West, Price soon retreated into the southern counties, where he attended the “rump session” of the legislature and voted for secession in Neosho. After a brief occupation of central Missouri, Price and his state troops went into winter camp near Springfield, where they transferred into Confederate service and in February withdrew to Arkansas.

In March 1862, Price again joined forces with McCulloch in the newly-formed Army of the West, under overall command of Major General Earl Van Dorn, to drive federal forces under Samuel R. Curtis from northern Arkansas.

Defeated at the battle of Pea Ridge on March 6-7, 1862, Price and his troops retreated with Van Dorn to northern Mississippi to defend against advancing federal forces under Ulysses S. Grant. The Confederates’ abandonment of Missouri caused Price twice to travel to Richmond, Virginia, in unsuccessful attempts to convince President Jefferson Davis to support the Trans-Mississippi Theater.

Price led forces in defeats at the battles of Iuka and Corinth before transferring again to Arkansas in spring 1863. After a mismanaged attack on Helena on July 4, Price wintered his troops at Camden. While he participated as an independent command with Edmund Kirby Smith against federal forces in Arkansas in the spring of 1864, Price lobbied the Confederate administration for authorization to lead a campaign into Missouri.

Price invaded Missouri with a force of 12,000 soldiers, mostly made up of cavalry, to destabilize Union control of the state, raise recruits, and attempt to sway the election against President Lincoln.

In the fall of 1864, Price invaded Missouri with a force of 12,000 soldiers, mostly made up of cavalry, to destabilize Union control of the state, raise recruits, and attempt to sway the election against President Lincoln. In September, Price lost time and men in a defeat at Pilot Knob before heading northward to threaten St. Louis. Badly outnumbered, he turned west along the Missouri River, gathering troops and supplies along the way.

Finally defeated at Westport in what has been called the “Gettysburg of the West,” Price and his troops retreated in late October through the Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) to Texas. By December, when they returned to Arkansas, only 3,500 of Price’s men remained. During the winter he publicly feuded with the exiled governor of Missouri, Thomas C. Reynolds, over the Missouri campaign. When the war ended, rather than surrender, Price dismissed his men and with a number of his officers escaped to Mexico, where they founded a colony of ex-Confederates named Carlota. The colony foundered, though, and in 1867, Price returned in poor health to St. Louis, where he died of cholera.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Marmaduke's First Raid into Missouri - JAN 1863


The Battle of Hartville was the first action of the newly formed 8th MO Cavalry Regiment. Here is one synopsis of the battle. Another description is here for your historical pleasure. The red county is Wright County Missouri. Greene County, where Springfield is located, is depicted in the map to the right.


If you follow the links above there are some pretty fair descriptions of the importance of this battle. Perhaps this bit from Wikipedia on the battle sums it up the best:

" Elements of both sides observed the other withdrawing from the field as night approached, and both claimed victory as a result. The real results were mixed. From the Union command's perspective they had repulsed Marmaduke's assaults inflicting heavy casualties, but the Federals had been forced to leave the field. From the Confederate perspective Marmaduke had united his force and secured his line of withdrawal. He set up a field hospital in town and could claim to control the field briefly. However, he was compelled to make a rapid retreat into Arkansas and then an arduous trek to winter camp. Additionally, the frontal assaults had resulted in the death or mortal wounding of several senior CSA officers including: brigade commander Col. Joseph C. Porter, Col. Emmett MacDonald, Lt. Col. John Wimer, and Major George R. Kirtley.

The raid itself caused great disruption of Federal forces in the region and a number of small outposts had been overrun, destroyed, or abandoned. However, the other major objective, the depot at Springfield, remained in Union hands. The successful escape of the raiding party did foreshadow the vulnerability of Federal Missouri to fast-moving expeditions."

Indeed, this was not the last raid that Brigadier General Marmaduke undertook with his fine cavalry units. In reality, the units involved, including the 8th Missouri Cavalry Regiment, were very much alive in the fight in the often over-looked Trans-Mississippi Department throughout the entire portion of the War of Southern Independence. In fact, just a year and half or so after this battle under Major General Sterling Price, the largest cavalry movement on the American continent would occur - albeit with far more grandiose aims than taking an armory in Springfield - Price's Raid of Fall 1864 with the Army of Missouri.



Legends of America

Sterling “Old Pap” Price was a lawyer, planter, politician, Missouri Governor, and Confederate General in the Civil War.

Price was born near Farmville, Virginia September 20, 1809. He grew up to attend attend Hampden-Sydney College in 1826 and 1827, where he studied law and worked at the courthouse near his home. He was then admitted to the Virginia bar and established a law practice. In the fall of 1831, Price and his family moved to Fayette, Missouri. A year later, he moved to Keytesville, Missouri, where he ran a hotel and mercantile. On May 14, 1833, he married Martha Head from Randolph County, Missouri and the couple would eventually have seven children, five of whom survived to adulthood.

During the Mormon War of 1838, Price served as a member of a delegation sent from Chariton County, Missouri to investigate reported disturbances between Latter Day Saints and anti-Mormon mobs operating in the western part of the state. His report was favorable to the Mormons, stating that they were not guilty, in his opinion, of the charges levied against them by their enemies. Following the Mormon capitulation in November 1838, Price was ordered by Missouri governor, Lilburn Boggs to Caldwell County with a company of men to protect the Saints from further depredations following their surrender.

He was elected to the Missouri State House of Representatives, serving from 1836–1838, and again from 1840–1844. He was then elected to as a U.S. Congressman, serving from March 4, 1845, to August 12, 1846, when he resigned from the House to participate in the Mexican-American War, where he served as a Brigadier General of Volunteers.

Battle of Wilsons Creek, Missouri in the Civil War

After returning from the war, he returned to politics, serving as the 11th Governor of Missouri from 1853 to 1857. When the Civil War began, Sterling Price was opposed to secession but, reversed himself after Federal militia, under Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, seized Camp Jackson near St. Louis, where the pro-secessionist militia had gathered. When he joined with the Confederates, he was given command of the Missouri State Guard and led his forces to two early Confederate victories, the first at, Wilson’s Creek near Springfield, Missouri on August 10, 1861, and the second at Lexington, Missouri in mid-September.

Price was commissioned a major general in the Confederate States Army on March 6, 1862, just before the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas. His forces were defeated there and again at Iuka and Corinth in Mississippi. Price’s command fought a series of minor engagements during 1863 which had little effect on the war.

Then, in the fall of 1864, Price mounted one final campaign, a large-scale raid into Missouri and Kansas from his base in northern Arkansas. Price cut a wide swath of destruction across his home state but, was finally run to ground by two Union armies at Westport in present-day Kansas City and soundly defeated. Price and the remnants of his command then fled south into Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and finally Texas.

Price never surrendered after the war. He led his troops over the border and offered their services to Mexican Emperor Maximilian I, who refused them. Price then settled in a colony of former Confederates in Carlota, Veracruz. He was impoverished and in poor health when he returned to the United States in 1866. He died in St. Louis on September 29, 1867, and was buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.


Legends of America

The Battle of Westport, Missouri by Andy Thomas.

Price’s Missouri Expedition – August-October, 1864 – Also known as Price’s Raid, this expedition through Missouri and Kansas occurred in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the Civil War in the fall of 1864. It was led by Confederate Major General Sterling Price, who started from Camden, Arkansas on August 28, 1864. The campaign’s intention was to recapture St. Louis and recover Missouri for the Confederacy. Early in the campaign, the Confederate forces won several victories, but the tides changed after they were defeated in Westport, Missouri. They then made their way to Kansas where they lost the Battles of Marais des Cygnes and Mine Creek before they were forced to retreat back to Missouri, and ultimately to Arkansas.

Price’s Raid through Missouri

Fort Davidson – September 27, 1864 – The first battle of Price’s Raid, the Battle of Fort Davidson, also called the Battle of Pilot Knob, took place in Iron County, Missouri. In September 1864, a Confederate army under Major General Sterling Price crossed into Missouri from Arkansas with the goal of capturing St. Louis. Union Brigadier General Thomas Ewing moved with reinforcements down the railroad to Ironton to slow Price’s advance. On the morning of September 27, 1864, the Confederates attacked, driving the Federals back into their defenses anchored by Fort Davidson. In the late afternoon, Price unsuccessfully assaulted the fort repeatedly, suffering heavy casualties. Price, considering the possible time involved, had dismissed the possibility of mounting guns on the high ground to compel the fort to surrender or to shell the garrison into submission. During the night, the Federals evacuated the fort. Price had paid a high price in lives and gave Union forces the necessary time to concentrate and oppose his raid. The Union victory resulted in 184 Union casualties and 1,500 Confederate casualties.

Fourth Battle of Boonville – October 11, 1864 – Taking place in Cooper County, Missouri on this was the second battle of Price’s Expedition. General Sterling Price’s Confederate forces arrived in Boonville, Missouri on October 10, 1864. Even though the town was largely sympathetic to the Confederacy, undisciplined members of Price’s force engaged in a two-day frenzy of looting that delayed their advance. In the meantime, Union forces were working on a strategy to defeat the Confederates. Union Brigadier General John B. Sanborn, who had been following Price and his men came upon Price’s rearguard on the outside of Boonville on October 11, but he was repulsed by Confederate Major Generals John S. Marmaduke and James F. Fagan. Sanborn then withdrew south of Saline Creek. On the same day, “Bloody Bill” Anderson and his bushwhackers arrived in Boonville with Union scalps dangling from their horses’ bridles. Appalled, ordered Anderson to remove the scalps immediately, and refused to speak to him until he did. Once Anderson complied, Price ordered him to take his men northward to break up the North Missouri Railroad. However, Anderson and other bushwhackers had already brought the railroad line to a halt, so he instead attacked and looted small towns and depots north of the Missouri River. On October 12, Price and his troops left Boonville.

Glasgow – October 15, 1864 – Part of Price’s Missouri Expedition, this battle occurred in Howard County on October 15, 1864. While Major General Sterling Price led his men westward across Missouri, he decided to send a detachment to Glasgow to liberate weapons and supplies in an arms storehouse, purported to be there. This combined mounted infantry, cavalry, and artillery force laid siege to the town and the fortifications on Hereford Hill. Before dawn on October 15, Confederate artillery opened on the town and Rebels advanced on Glasgow by various routes, forcing the Yankees to fall back. The Union forces retreated out of town and up the hill toward the fortifications on Hereford Hill. There they formed a defensive line in this area, but the Confederates continued to advance. Convinced that he could not defend against another Confederate attack, Colonel Chester Harding surrendered around 1:30 pm. Although Harding destroyed some Federal stores, Price’s men found rifle-muskets, overcoats, and horses. The Confederates remained in town for three days before rejoining the main column with new supplies and weapons and marching on towards Kansas City. The victory and capture of supplies and weapons were a boost to Price’s army’s morale. The Confederate victory resulted in 400 Union casualties and 50 Confederate.

Sedalia – October 15, 1864 – While Confederate Brigadier Generals John B. Clark and Joe Shelby were engaged in the Battle of Glasgow, General Price sent Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson and elements of Shelby’s Iron Brigade, including about 1,500 men, to attack the town of Sedalia, Missouri. The Confederates defeated and captured the Missouri Union militia stationed there in two fortified redoubts, and then some of the Confederates troops began sacking the town. Realizing what was happening, Thompson ordered them to stop, permitting them to keep only the weapons, equipment, and horses he had already seized from the patroled defenders. Thompson and his men then left Sedalia to rejoin Price’s main force.

Missouri Soldier by Enoch Long

Lexington – 2 – October 19, 1864 – A battle of Price’s Missouri Expedition, this skirmish took place in Lafayette County on October 19, 1864. Major General Sterling Price’s march along the Missouri River was slow, providing the Yankees a chance to concentrate. Major General William S. Rosecrans, commanding the Department of the Missouri, proposed a pincer movement to trap Price and his army, but he was unable to communicate with Major General Samuel R. Curtis, commander of the Department of Kansas, to formalize the plan. Curtis was having problems because many of his troops were Kansas militia and they refused to enter Missouri, but a force of 2,000 men under the command of Major General James G. Blunt did set out for Lexington. On October 19, Price’s army approached Lexington, collided with Union scouts and pickets about 2:00 pm, drove them back, and engaged in a battle with the main force. The Yankees resisted at first, but Price’s army eventually pushed them through the town to the western outskirts and pursued them along the Independence Road until nightfall. Without Curtis’s entire force, the Yankees could not stop Price’s army, but they did further retard their slow march. Blunt gained valuable information about the size and disposition of Price’s army. The Confederate victory resulted in an unknown number of casualties.

Battle of the Little Blue River, Missouri Historical Marker

Little Blue River – October 21, 1864 – Also called the Battle of Westport, this battle, taking place in Jackson County on October 21, 1864, was part of Price’s Missouri Expedition. Price’s march along the Missouri River was slow, providing the Yankees a chance to concentrate. Major General William S. Rosecrans, commanding the Department of the Missouri, proposed a pincer movement to trap Price and his army, but he was unable to communicate with Major General Samuel R. Curtis, commander of the Department of Kansas, to formalize the plan. Curtis was having problems because many of his troops were Kansas militia and they refused to enter Missouri, but a force of about 2,000 men under the command of Major General James G. Blunt did set out for Lexington. He met the Confederate troops at Lexington on the 19th, slowed their progress, but was defeated and retreated. On the 20th, Blunt’s troops arrived on the Little Blue River, eight miles east of Independence. The Union forces prepared to engage the Confederates again in a strong defensive position on the west bank. Curtis, however, ordered Blunt into Independence while leaving a small force, under Colonel Thomas Moonlight, on the Little Blue. The next day, Curtis ordered Blunt to take all of the volunteers and return to the Little Blue. As he neared the stream, he discovered that Moonlight’s small force had burned the bridge as ordered, engaged the enemy, and retreated away from the strong defensive position occupied the day before, crossing the river. Blunt entered the fray and attempted to drive the enemy back beyond the defensive position that he wished to reoccupy. The Yankees forced the Confederates to fall back, at first, but their numerical superiority took its toll in the five-hour battle. The Federals retreated to Independence and went into camp there after dark. Once again, the Confederates had been slowed and more Union reinforcements were arriving. The Confederate victory resulted in an unknown number of casualties.

Independence – 2 – October 22, 1864 – Part of Price’s Missouri Expedition this skirmish took place in Jackson County on October 22, 1864.Major General Sterling Price’s army rode west in the direction of Kansas City. On the night of the 21st, he camped at Independence and resumed his westward march the next morning with Brigadier General Joe Shelby’s division in the lead followed by Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke’s division, with Brigadier General James Fagan’s division bringing up the rear. While Shelby’s men met success at Byram’s Ford, the other two columns did not fare as well. Major General Alfred Pleasonton’s Union force crossed the Little Blue, beat up a Rebel brigade in Fagan’s command, and occupied Independence. Marmaduke’s division then met Pleasonton about two miles west of Independence, hit the Federals hard, pressed them back, and held them at bay until the morning of the 23rd. Pleasonton’s actions, however, frightened Price and his army, and influenced them, after they had crossed the Big Blue, to send their wagon trains to Little Santa Fe on the Fort Scott Road. The Confederate victory resulted in 140 Confederate casualties, the number of Union casualties is unknown.

Battle of Byram’s Ford by Benjamin D. Mileham

Byram’s Ford – October 22-23, 1864 – Also called the Battle of Big Blue River this skirmish took place in Jackson County, Missouri as part of Price’s Missouri Expedition on October 22-23, 1864. Major General Sterling Price’s Army of Missouri was headed west towards Kansas City and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Major General Samuel R. Curtis’s Army of the Border, in and around Westport, was blocking the Confederates’ way west and Major General Alfred Pleasonton’s provisional cavalry division was pressing Price’s army’s rear. Price had nearly 500 wagons with him and required a good ford over the Big Blue River to facilitate the passage of his supplies. Byram’s Ford was the best ford in the area and became a strategic point during the fighting around Westport. On October 22, Major General James G. Blunt’s division held a defensive position on the Big Blue River’s west bank. Around 10:00 am on the 22nd, part of Brigadier General Joseph O. Shelby’s Confederate division conducted a frontal attack on Blunt’s men. This attack was a ruse because the rest of Shelby’s men flanked Blunt’s hasty defenses, forcing the Federals to retire to Westport. Price’s wagon train and about 5,000 head of cattle then crossed the Big Blue River at Byram’s Ford and headed southward toward Little Santa Fe and safety. Pleasonton’s cavalry was hot on the tail of Price’s army. Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke’s Rebel division held the west bank of the Big Blue at Byram’s Ford to prevent Pleasonton from attacking Price’s rear. Pleasonton assaulted Marmaduke at Byram’s Ford, around 8:00 am, on the 23rd. Three hours later, Marmaduke’s men had enough and fell back toward Westport. With Pleasonton across the river, he was now an additional threat to Price who was fighting Curtis’s Army of the Border at Westport. Price had to retreat south. The number of casualties in the Union victory is unknown.

Battle of Westport, Missouri by Andy Thomas

Westport – October 23, 1864 – Occurring in Jackson County, Missouri on October 23, 1864, this was part of Price’s Missouri Expedition. Confederate Major General Sterling Price’s Missouri Expedition had changed course from St. Louis and Jefferson City to Kansas City and Fort Leavenworth. As his army neared Kansas City, Major General Samuel R. Curtis’s Army of the Border blocked its way west, while Major General Alfred Pleasonton’s provisional cavalry division was closing on their rear. Price decided that he needed to deal with the two Union forces and decided to attack them one at a time. With Pleasonton still behind him, Price chose to strike Curtis at Westport first. Curtis had established strong defensive lines and during a four-hour battle, the Confederates hurled themselves at the Union forces but to no avail. The Rebels could not break the Union lines and retreated south. Westport was the decisive battle of Price’s Missouri Expedition, and from this point on, the Rebels were in retreat. Estimated casualties in the Union victory were 1,500 for both Union and Confederate.

Battle of Trading Post/Marais des Cygnes – October 25, 1864 – Three battles occurred within several hours of each other on October 25th, the first of which was the Battle of Marais des Cygnes. After losing the Battle of Westport, Price was in a headlong retreat, while being hotly pursued by Major-General Alfred Pleasonton’s Union cavalry.

The Union general caught up with the Confederates as they camped on the banks of the Marais des Cygnes River near Trading Post in Linn County, Kansas. After an artillery bombardment that began at 4:00 a.m., Pleasonton’s men launched a furious assault. Price ordered his troops to cross the swollen river, leaving Major General James F. Fagan to hold off the Federals until he could get his wagon train across. Although the Union captured two cannons and several prisoners, they were unable to prevent the escape of Price’s force. The number of casualties in the Union victory are unknown. Pleasonton continued his pursuit of Price, catching up with him again later that morning at Mine Creek.

Battle of Mine Creek, Kansas by Samuel J. Reader

Battle of Mine Creek – October 25, 1864 – The Battle of Mine Creek, Kansas, also known as the Battle of the Osage, was fought on October 25, 1864, as part of Price’s Raid. The second-largest cavalry engagement of the war, it was fought between two divisions of Confederate Major General Sterling Price’s Army of Missouri and two Federal brigades under the command of Colonels Frederick Benteen and John Finis Philips. About six miles south of Trading Post, the brigades of Benteen and Philips of Pleasonton’s division, overtook Price’s Confederates as they were crossing Mine Creek. The Southerners had been stalled as their wagons crossed the swollen ford, and they formed their line of battle on the north side of Mine Creek. Although outnumbered, the Federals commenced a mounted attack, led by the 4th Iowa Cavalry, which one participant described as bursting upon the Confederates “like a thunderbolt”, causing Price’s line to disintegrate “like a row of bricks”. Superior Union firepower and the ferocity of their attack made up for their inferior numbers, and Pleasonton’s cavalry forced Price to retreat once more. Approximately 600 of Price’s men, including two of his generals, John S. Marmaduke and Brig. General William L. Cabell, were captured, together with six cannon.

Marmaton River, Missouri courtesy Wikipedia

Marmaton River – October 25, 1864 – Also called the Battle of Shiloh Creek or Charlot’s Farm, this skirmish occurred on October 25, 1864, as part of Price’s Missouri Expedition. Following the Battle of Mine Creek, Major General Sterling Price continued his cartage towards Fort Scott. In the late afternoon of October 25, Price’s supply train had difficulty crossing the Marmiton River ford, and, like at Mine Creek, Price had to make a stand. Brigadier General John S. McNeil, commanding two brigades of Pleasonton’s cavalry division, attacked the Confederate troops that Price and his officers rallied, including a sizable number of unarmed men. McNeil observed the sizable Confederate force, not knowing that many of them were unarmed, and refrained from an all-out assault. After about two hours of skirmishing, Price continued his retreat and McNeil could not mount an effective pursuit. Price’s army was broken by this time, and it was simply a question of how many men he could successfully evacuate to friendly territory. There was an unknown number of casualties in the Union victory.

Newtonia – 2 – October 28, 1864 – Fought in Newton County on October 28, 1864, this battle was part of Price’s Missouri Expedition. Price’s force was in full retreat following its expedition into Missouri. On October 28, 1864, it stopped to rest about two miles south of Newtonia, Missouri. Soon afterward, Major General James G. Blunt’s Union troops surprised the Confederates and began to drive them. Brigadier General Joe Shelby’s division, including his Iron Brigade, rode to the front, dismounted, and engaged the Yankees while the other Rebel troops retreated towards Indian Territory (Oklahoma). Brigadier General John B. Sanborn later appeared with Union reinforcements which convinced Shelby to retire. The Union troops forced the Confederates to retreat but failed to destroy or capture them. The Union victory resulted in 400 Union casualties and 250 Confederate.


Watch the video: Lecture 20: Prices Raid Civil War MOOC (May 2022).