Posted October 18, 2002

Updated November 7, 2002

Updated April 29, 2003

 

Civil War St. Louis Timeline

 

DATE EVENT DESCRIPTION MORE INFO
February 15, 1764 St. Louis founded

St. Louis was founded by Pierre LaClede and his step-son Auguste Chouteau with a land grant from the King of France.

It was a fur trading post. St. Louis was named for King Louis IX. Positioned on the Mississippi River just below the point where it was joined by the Missouri River, the new settlement of St. Louis was ideally positioned to become a powerhouse of commerce for the upper Mississippi and to serve as a gateway to land further west. Already in the area were French settlers, many of them slave owners.

To the south of St. Louis, the town of Ste. Genevieve had been settled between 1735 and 1750, with French fur traders arriving in the area even earlier.

See the exhibit from the St. Louis historic Courthouse

See the history of Ste. Genevieve on Rootsweb

April 30, 1803 Louisiana Purchase

In 1803 the United States paid France $15 million for the Louisiana Territory--828,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River. The lands acquired stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border. Thirteen states were carved from the Louisiana Territory. The Louisiana Purchase nearly doubled the size of the United States, making it one of the largest nations in the world.

See the National Archives Online Exhibit

March 9, 1804 Joins the United States Among the areas added to the United States was the Missouri area with the thriving French river town of St. Louis which was actually under Spanish rule at that time. Upper Louisiana (Missouri) was surrendered to the Americans March 9, 1804 in St. Louis. In St. Louis the proclamation was read to the people in French and was greeted by many with tears. Lt. Governor DeLassus, after the transfer, wrote of the event, "The Devil may take all." French and Spanish citizens suddenly became reluctant Americans as their national homeland was sold from beneath their feet to a nation foreign to them. This conflict of allegiances, and the new Americans regarding America as a foreign nation, came into play as a factor in Civil War allegiances in their children's and  grandchildren's generation. In Civil War Missouri, there were areas where French was still the dominant language, and culture.

 

Lion of the Valley

Lion of the Valley, St. Louis, Missouri, 1764-1980by James Neal Primm

An interesting and well-written general history of St. Louis.

available from Amazon.com

April 4, 1806 Jackson Claiborne Fox Jackson born in Fleming County, Kentucky.  
September 11, 1809 Price Sterling Price born in Prince Edward County, Virginia

Sterling Price by Castel

available from Amazon.com

June 4, 1812 Missouri Territory Part of the territory of Louisiana became the Territory of Missouri.  
August 2, 1817 Steamer Zebulon M. Pike The first steamboat on the Mississippi river north of the Ohio river reached St. Louis.  
July 14, 1818 Lyon Nathaniel Lyon born in Ashford, Connecticut.

Damned Yankee

available from Amazon.com

1820 Missouri Compromise

The Anti‑Slavery men everywhere, and at that time there were very many in the Southern States, protested vigorously against the admission of Missouri into the Union as a Slave State, and the controversy soon became so violent as to convulse the Nation. In 1818, when the bill for the admission of Missouri was being considered by the House of Representatives, Gen. James Tallmadge, of New York, introduced the following amendment:

And provided, That the introduction of slavery, or involuntary servitude, be prohibited, except for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party has been duly convicted; and that all children born within the said State; after the admission thereof into the Union, shall be declared free at the age of 25 years.

This was adopted by practically all the votes from the Free States, with a few from the Border States, which constituted a majority in the House. But the Senate, in which the Slave States had a majority, rejected the amendment, and the struggle began which was only ended two years later by the adop­tion of the famous Missouri Compromise of 1820, which admitted Missouri as a Slave State, but prohibited for the future any "Slavery or involuntary servitude" outside the limits of that State north of 36 degrees 30 minutes [Missouri's southern border].

- John McElroy, The Struggle for Missouri

The Struggle for Missouri by John McElroy available on the Missouri Civil War Reader

Feb. 19, 1821 Blair Francis Preston Blair, Jr. born in Lexington, Kentucky.

available from Amazon.com

August 10, 1821 State of Missouri

 

Missouri entered the Union as the 24th state with the temporary capitol in St. Charles. Missouri was admitted as a slave state.

 
October 11, 1821 Reynolds Thomas Caute Reynolds born in South Carolina.  
~1825 McCoy Arthur C. McCoy born in Ireland, raised in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. Later St. Louis secessionist Minute Man, officer under Shelby, bank and train robber with the James and Younger brothers.

More on Arthur C. McCoy

~1830 Louden Robert Louden born in Philadelphia. Later a St. Louis secessionist Minute Man, brother-in-law of Arthur C. McCoy. A secret service agent under General Price, spy and smugger. Saboteur of Mississippi River steamers as one of the organized Boat-Burners. Confessed saboteur of the steamers Ruth and Sultana.

More on Louden in the Boat-Burners

April 26th, 1836-November 7, 1837 McIntosh & Lovejoy Francis L. McIntosh, a mulatto riverman, lynched by St. Louis mob after he murdered deputy sheriff George Hammond, who was trying to arrest him. Abolitionist editor Elijah Lovejoy murdered in nearby Alton, Illinois for continual criticism of McIntosh lynching.

More on McIntosh and Lovejoy

January 10, 1843 Frank James Frank James born.

More on the James-Younger gang

January 14, 1844 Cole Younger Cole Younger born.
September 27, 1847 Jesse James Jesse James born.
1846-1847 Wilmot Proviso Named for Pennsylvania congressman David Wilmot. This proposal would have excluded slavery from all territories acquired as a result of the Mexican War. Passed in the House of Representatives but defeated in the Senate. Caused great bitterness in both abolitionist and pro-slavery circles.  
1853-1856 Price - Slavery Sterling Price (Democrat) governor of Missouri. Price, a pro-Union/pro-Slavery man attempts to bridge the widening gaps that will soon swallow the nation.  
May 30, 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois secured passage of a bill that repealed the Missouri Compromise and, in its place, divided the remaining land of the Louisiana Purchase into the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. The people of these territories were authorized to determine the status of slavery according to popular ("squatter") sovereignty. This leads to bloody warfare between pro-slavery Missourians and northern "immigrant aid societies" struggling for political control of Kansas and the right to include or forbid slavery in the state constitution.  
Aug. 27, 1856 Brown- Reynolds Duel B. Gratz Brown, cousin of Frank Blair and J. O. Shelby and editor of Free-Soil Missouri Democrat, is wounded in a duel with pro-slavery U.S. Attorney Thomas C. Reynolds. It is the last resort to the code duello in St. Louis history.

Brown- Reynolds Duel

1857 Dred Scott Case

Dred Scott was a slave who had been sold to a family named Emerson who had lived for years in free territories. In St. Louis, Dred Scott and his wife Harriet had two children. They sued for their freedom based on the time they had lived in a free territory. The cases began in 1846 and lasted 11 years.

This U.S. Supreme Court case decided whether or not Scott was a citizen and had the right to sue, whether or not he was entitled to freedom, and the constitutionality of the Missouri Compromise, which established unclear boundaries of slavery. A majority of the justices decided that Scott's stay in free states had not made him free. The Missouri Compromise was found to be unconstitutional on the grounds that it deprived people of property without the due process of law. Scott was declared to be property and not a citizen of the United States; therefore, he had no right to sue. Scott's lawyer before the Supreme Court was Montgomery Blair, brother of Frank Blair, and later Postmaster General under President Lincoln.

Following the conclusion of the case, the Emersons returned Dred Scott to his original owners, the Blows. The Blows freed the Scotts. Dred Scott died of consumption September 17, 1858.

See this site from Washington University in St. Louis to see original documents from the Dred Scott case

April 10, 1858 Benton Long-time Missouri political titan, Thomas Hart Benton, dies in Washington, D.C. Benton's political career was ended over his refusal to "agitate" over the Slavery question, and his fall from power in the period 1849-1856 presaged the coming war

Thomas Hart Benton in Defense of Dueling

August 6, 1860 Jackson Claiborne Jackson elected governor of Missouri. Thomas C. Reynolds elected Lt. Gov. Both run as "Douglas Democrats" (i.e. anti-secession) and not "Breckenridge Democrats" (i.e. pro-States Rights).

Claiborne Fox Jackson

available from Amazon.com

Nov. 1860 Lincoln Abraham Lincoln elected President of the United States  
Dec. 20, 1860 secession South Carolina secedes from the Union.  
Jan. 9, 1861 secession Mississippi secedes from the Union.  
Jan. 10, 1861 secession Florida secedes from the Union.  
Jan. 11, 1861 secession Alabama secedes from the Union.  
Jan. 11, 1861 Federal Troops arrive in St. Louis "Sturgeon's Folly" -- Federal troops arrive in St. Louis to guard U.S. subtreasury in response to alarm raised by Assistant U.S. Treasurer Isaac Sturgeon. Pro-secession Minute Men formed in response, Charles McLaren first chairman.  
Jan. 19, 1861 secession Georgia secedes from the Union.  
Jan. 26, 1861 secession Louisiana secedes from the Union.  
Feb. 2, 1861 Arsenal Captain Nathaniel Lyon arrives for duty at St. Louis Arsenal.  
Feb. 13, 1861 Militias New state law bans "unauthorized militias" (aimed at Blair's Home Guards). Minute Men organization (approx. 300 men) mustered into Missouri State Guard, forming 5 companies under Captains Barret, Duke, Shaler, Green, and Hubbard.  
Feb. 18, 1861   Voting for delegates to convention to determine whether Missouri would stay in the Union. No avowed secessionists elected.  
Feb 23, 1861 secession Texas secedes from the Union.  
Feb. 28, 1861   Convention meets in Jefferson City, but soon adjourns to Mercantile Hall in St. Louis.

The Missouri Convention

March 4, 1861 Lincoln inaugurated Abraham Lincoln inaugurated 16th President of the United States. Near riot at Minute Men headquarters as secessionist flag sewn by Arthur C. McCoy's wife, Louisa Gibson McCoy, flies defiantly at Berthold Mansion.

The Minute Men

March 22, 1861   Convention adjourns subject to call of the chair. Final report determines that "That at present there is no adequate cause to impel Missouri to dissolve her connection with the Federal Union."  
April 12-14, 1861 battle - Fort Sumter Confederate troops open an artillery barrage against Fort Sumter, South Carolina, still in Federal hands. Major Anderson, commanding the Federal garrison, agrees to surrender the fort on April 13th. Federal troops evacuate on April 14th.

Sumter by Peckham

April 15, 1861 Lincoln & Missouri President Lincoln calls for 75,000 volunteers for 90 days to put down the rebellion. Missouri's quota is four regiments.  
April 17, 1861 Lincoln & Missouri Governor Jackson refuses the Federal government Missouri's regiments, saying, "Your requisition, in my judgment, is illegal, unconstitutional, and revolutionary in its objects, inhuman and diabolical, and cannot be complied with."

Blair & Lyon Save the Union

April 26, 1861 arsenal Captain James H. Stokes transfers all the excess arms at the St. Louis Arsenal to Illinois in the steamer City of Alton

The 140 Year Debate Over the Number of Guns at the Arsenal

May 6, 1861 secession Arkansas secedes from the Union.  
May 9, 1861 Camp Jackson Siege guns provided by Jefferson Davis for the purpose of taking the federal arsenal arrive on the steamer J.C. Swon in boxes marked "marble" and are taken to Camp Jackson  
May 9, 1861 Camp Jackson Nathaniel Lyon, dressed as a woman, scouts the secessionist Camp Jackson.

Lady in Spurs

May 10, 1861 Camp Jackson Camp Jackson captured by Unionist forces. 28 people are killed in fighting/shooting incident in streets following.

"A woman and child were killed outright; two or three men were also killed, and several others were wounded.  The great mass of the people on that occasion were simply curious spectators, though men were sprinkled through the crowd calling out, “Hurrah for Jeff Davis!” and others were particularly abusive of the “damned Dutch” Lyon posted a guard in charge of the vacant camp, and marched his prisoners down to the arsenal; some were paroled, and others held, till afterward they were regularly exchanged." --William T. Sherman

Camp Jackson by Peckham

Description of the Camp Jackson events by W. T. Sherman

May 12, 1861 Jackson - Price Governor Jackson appoints ex-Governor --and current president of the State Convention-- Sterling Price as Major General commanding the Missouri State Guard.  
May 20, 1861 secession North Carolina secedes from the Union.  
May 23, 1861 secession Virginia secedes from the Union.  
May 31, 1861 Gratiot St. Prison McDowell Medical College, owned by southern-sympathizer Joseph Nash McDowell, was searched and confiscated by Federal authorities. At first the building was used as a barracks. In December it was converted for use as a prison.

Gratiot Street Prison

June 8, 1861 secession Tennessee secedes from the Union.  
June 11, 1861 Price, Jackson, Snead, Blair, Lyon The meeting at Planter's House hotel between Gov. Claiborne F. Jackson, Gen. Sterling Price (accompanied by Col. Thomas L. Snead) and Nathanial Lyon, Frank Blair (accompanied by Maj. Conant). It ended with Lyon making the famous proclamation as recorded by Snead:

"Finally, when the conference had lasted four or five hours, Lyon closed it, as he had opened it, Rather,' said he (he was still seated, and spoke deliberately, slowly, and with a peculiar emphasis), 'rather than concede to the State of Missouri the right to demand that my Government shall not enlist troops within her limits, or bring troops into the State whenever it pleases, or move its troops at its own will into, out of, or through the State; rather than concede to the State of Missouri for one single instant the right to dictate to my Government in any matter however unimportant, I would (rising as he said this and pointing in turn to every one in the room) see you, and you, and you, and you, and every man, woman, and child in the State, dead and buried.'

"Then turning to the Governor, he said: 'This means war. In an hour one of my officers will call for you and conduct you out of my lines.'

Meeting at Planter's House

The Fight for Missouri by Thomas L. Snead available on the Missouri Civil War Reader from Civil War St. Louis

June 17, 1861 battle Battle of Boonville, Missouri. Union victory.  
July 5, 1861 battle Battle of Carthage, Missouri. Confederate victory.  
July 26, 1861 State Convention State Convention - shorn of almost all but Unconditional Union Men - reconvenes in Jefferson City  
July 26, 1861 Fremont arrives Major-General John Charles Fremont arrives in St. Louis to take command of Western Department  
July 30, 1861 State Convention State Convention declares vacant all state-wide offices, including governor and lieutenant-governor.  
July 31, 1861 State Convention State Convention State Convention appoints Hamilton R. Gamble as provisional and acting Governor, and Willard P. Hall as Lieutenant-Governor. They are inaugurated the next day (Aug 1). Missouri now has two governors for her citizens to choose from. Historian William E. Parrish calls this "one of the most unusual extralegal actions any state ever witnessed".  
Aug. 5, 1861 Jackson Governor Jackson declares Missouri to be an Independent State.  
Aug. 10, 1861 battle Battle of Wilson's Creek near Springfield, Missouri. Second major battle of the Civil War and a significant Confederate victory. Union General Nathaniel Lyon left dead on the field.

Battle of Wilson's Creek

Aug. 14, 1861 martial law Martial law declared in St. Louis. Maj. McKinstry, then acting Quartermaster, appointed Provost Marshal.

Justus McKinstry and His Enemies

Aug. 30, 1861 martial law Martial law declared throughout Missouri by Fremont.  
Sept. 15, 1861 Blair & Fremont Col. Frank P. Blair arrested by Fremont.  
Sept. 24, 1861 Gen. Curtis Gen. Samuel R. Curtis assumed command of the city of St. Louis, and vicinity.  
Oct. 3, 1861 Provost Marshals George E. Leighton assigned as Provost Marshal of St. Louis.

Provost Marshals

Oct. 8, 1861 Boat-burners First steamer burned in St. Louis that is attributed, by Union authorities, to sabotage.

The Boat-Burners

Nov. 2, 1861 secession Rump session of pro-southern legislators, meeting at Neosho, passes ordinance of secession and elects congressmen and senators to the Confederate congress.  
Nov. 2, 1861 Fremont relieved Fremont relieved of command. Maj. Gen. Hunter placed in command.  
Nov. 9, 1861 Halleck

 

Major-General Henry W. Halleck takes command of Department of the Missouri. Maj. Gen. Hunter relinquishes command to Halleck Nov. 18, 1861.

 
Nov. 28, 1861 Missouri, CSA Missouri admitted to the Confederacy. Whether Missouri actually seceded or not depends on perspective--the state never fully left Union control, nor was it considered part of the Confederacy by the Union.  
Dec. 4, 1861 Provost Marshals Col. B. G. Farrar appointed Provost Marshal General of the Department of Missouri. Capt. George E. Leighton Provost Marshal of the city of St. Louis. & vicinity.

Provost Marshals

Dec. 10, 1861 secession - Kentucky Confederates held meetings in Russellville, Kentucky in late October and mid-November and established a provisional Kentucky state government that was admitted into the Confederate States of America on December 10,1861. Its capital was Bowling Green, but this government withdrew with the Confederate army in mid-February 1862 and, despite a brief return the same year, spent most of the Civil War in exile.  
Dec. 22, 1861 Gratiot St. Prison

The first prisoners arrive at Gratiot Street Prison. One dies practically on the doorstep as the prisoners wait outside in the cold for entry. There were about 1300 men who arrived in 36 train cars. They were escorted by the 25th Indiana and 2nd Iowa Regiments. Crowds followed the column, occasionally cheering for the prisoners.

Gratiot Street Prison

March 6-8, 1862 battle Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern), Arkansas. Heavy Missouri involvement. Significant Union victory.  
April 1862 Halleck General Halleck left for Corinth, Mississippi. General J. M. Schofield in command of most of Missouri.  
Sept. 10, 1862 Provost Marshals Col. Thomas T. Gantt appointed Provost Marshal General replacing Farrar. Gantt relieved by Gen. Curtis on Nov. 1, 1862. Col. F. A. Dick was the next appointed Provost Marshal General.

Provost Marshals

Oct. 13, 1862 Gratiot St. Prison Twenty prisoners escaped by cutting through a wall. Those who escaped were: Nolan, Truelove, Ferlawn, Smith, Jones, Dawner, Edens, Moody, Davis, Cooper, Pollard, Trussell, Budson, Farris, Hicks, Sweeny, Breeden, Brooke, Ribbs, Barcom.

Gratiot Street Prison

Oct. 18, 1862 massacre

 

Palmyra Massacre - ten prisoners executed in Palmyra, Missouri in retaliation for the presumed murder of a Union man.

The Palmyra Massacre

December 7, 1862 Jackson Claib Jackson dies in Little Rock, Arkansas. Lt. Gov. Thomas C. Reynolds becomes Confederate governor-in-exile of Missouri  
March 1863 OAK Order of American Knights, a copperhead organization, formed.

Northwest Conspiracy

March 9, 1863 Curtis, Sumner, Schofield General S. R. Curtis replaced in command of Department of Missouri by Maj. Gen. Edwin V. Sumner, but Sumner died enroute to Missouri and died in Syracuse, New York March 21. 1863. Gen. Schofield was appointed to command of the Department of Missouri May 24, 1863.  
April 25, 1863 arrests Mary Louden, wife of Confederate spy, saboteur, and courier Robert Louden, is arrested in St. Louis, the first in a series of arrests from among the women of Grimes' and Louden's mail smuggling ring.

See the Gratiot Street Prison Women and Children Prisoner Lists and Prisoner Notes

May 13, 1863 banishments A large number of prominent southern-sympathizing citizens, mainly women, are banished from St. Louis, sent south by steamer. Among those banished are:

Mrs. Robert Louden, Margaret McClure, Mrs. Charles Clark, Mrs. Addie M. Haynes, Miss Harriet Snodgrass, (all accused of being rebel mail agents) Eliza Lily Brown Graham Frost (Mrs. General D. M. Frost), Mrs. Joseph Chaytor, Mrs. Montrose Pallen, Mrs. David Sappington, and Mrs. William Smizer, and Miss Lucie Nicoholson

June 1863 Boat-burners J. W. Tucker receives $20,000 from General Joseph E. Johnston for his boat-burning scheme.  

The Boat-Burners

June 9, 1863 Provost Marshals James O. Broadhead appointed Provost Marshal General of the Department of Missouri which, at that time, consisted of Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, the Indian Territory, and southern Iowa.

Provost Marshals

July 1, 1863 slavery The Missouri State Convention, meeting for the express purpose of considering emancipation of Missouri's slaves, passes a gradual plan that would begin to take effect in 1870.  
July 4, 1863 battle Confederate surrender of Vicksburg, including 1st and 2nd Missouri brigades.  
Aug. 4, 1863 Louden Steamer Ruth is burned near Cairo, Ill., with $2.6 million in payroll for Grant's army aboard. Saboteur is Robert Louden who is later convicted of the incident and ultimately confesses.

The Boat-Burners- Steamer Ruth

Aug. 13, 1863 massacre A jail building in Kansas City collapses, killing or maiming a number of women relatives of Quantrill's guerrillas. This is the final trigger that sparks Quantrill's Lawrence raid.  
Aug. 21, 1863 Lawrence massacre The abolitionist town of Lawrence, Kansas is raided by several hundred Missouri guerrillas led by William Clarke Quantrill. Over 150 men and boys were killed, the town looted and burned.

Aftermath of the Lawrence Massacre

Aug. 25, 1863 Order 11 banishments As a direct response to Quantrill's Lawrence raid, the Union issues Order 11 which forcibly depopulated Missouri counties bordering Kansas. Numerous women and children were made into refugees. Homes were burned behind people leaving only chimneys standing giving rise to the name "Burnt District" that referred to this area for years to come. Counties that were part of Order 11 were Cass, Jackson, and Bates counties, and part of Vernon county.   
Sept. 3, 1863 Louden Confederate agent Robert Louden arrested in St. Louis. He's tried and convicted in December on charges of spying, mail carrying, and boat-burning (Steamer Ruth & others), and sentenced to death.

The Boat-Burners

Sept. 13, 1863 Boat-burners Steamers Imperial, Jesse K. Bell, Hiawatha, Post Boy, and a barge loaded with freight, burn in St. Louis at the foot of Market St.

The Boat-Burners

Oct. 4, 1863 Boat-burners Steamers Forest Queen, Catahoula, Chancelor burned in St. Louis at foot of Carr St.

The Boat-Burners

Nov. 7, 1863 Grimes Confederate agent Absalom Grimes arrested in Memphis. He's taken to St. Louis the following month, tried and sentenced to death.

Absalom Grimes

Dec. 12, 1863 Gratiot St. Prison The "great escape"--as many as sixty men escaped from Gratiot in a single night via a tunnel.

Gratiot Street Prison

January 29, 1864 Dept. of Missouri Major-General William S. Rosecrans arrives in St. Louis to take command of the Department of Missouri.  
January 31, 1864 Governor Gamble Governor Gamble, who had been in ill-health for several years, dies of pneumonia at St. Louis. Lt.-Gov Williard P. Hall becomes head of the Provisional Government  
Feb. 10, 1864 McCoy Arthur C. McCoy is captured in Arkansas. He escapes a few months later while being transferred to Alton prison.

Arthur C. McCoy

May 6, 1864 Louden Robert Louden's execution is post-poned by order of President Lincoln only hours before it was to take place.  
June 18, 1864 Gratiot St. Prison A daring escape attempt is made by the highest security prisoners. Absalom Grimes, William McElheney, and John F. Abshire are all shot and fail to escape (Abshire is executed a few months later). Two men, James A. Colcleazier and Lewis Y. Schultz are killed. Among those who escape are several members of OAK, including William Douglass. Also escaping were William Sebring and J. C. Hill who made their way to Canada and took part in the failed OAK effort to free the prisoners at Camp Douglas in Chicago. Alfred Yates and Col. John Carlin also escaped but Carlin was killed in Illinois a few months later.

Gratiot Street Prison

July 15, 1864 Boat-burners Steamers Cherokee, Northerner, Glasgow, and Sunshine burned in St. Louis.

The Boat-Burners

July 28, 1864 OAK The Missouri Democrat publishes long expose of O.A.K. prepared by Provost Marshal J. P. Sanderson.  
Sept. 16, 1864 Price General Price's great invasion begins  
Sept 27, 1864 massacre Centralia Massacre and battle. Guerrilla Bloody Bill Anderson and followers massacre Union soldiers in Centralia, Missouri, then win an overwhelming victory over Union pursuers. The James brothers, Frank and Jesse, were probably present.

Bloody Bill Anderson

available from Amazon.com

Oct. 1, 1864 OAK OAK Supreme Commander for Missouri calls for the membership to rise in support of Price's invasion  
Oct. 3, 1864 Louden Believing the security of the St. Louis prisons was threatened by Price's raid into Missouri, officials transferred most high-security prisoners to Alton prison. Robert Louden escaped enroute, cutting off his handcuffs, slipping over the side of the boat and swimming away.

The Boat-Burners

Oct. 23, 1864 battle Price defeated at the Battle of Westport just outside Kansas City. It is the largest battle west of the Mississippi. Confederates begin long retreat to Arkansas  
Oct. 27, 1864 Bloody Bill Anderson Notorious guerrilla, Bloody Bill Anderson, killed near Albany, Missouri.  
Nov. 1864 governor Thomas C. Fletcher elected governor of Missouri. New Constitutional Convention approved and delegates elected.  
Dec. 9, 1864 Grimes Confederate agent, Absalom Grimes is pardoned and released by order of the president.

Absalom Grimes

Dec. 11, 1864 Boat-burners Boilers on steamer Maria explode at Carondelet, MO, killing at least 25. Crew suspects a Courtenay torpedo. Generations of rivermen will memorialize her with the epithet "Hell and Maria".

Hell and Maria

December 18, 1864 Dept. of Missouri Major-General Grenville M. Dodge of Iowa named
commander of the Department of Missouri.
 
January 6, 1865 Missouri constitutional convention Missouri constitutional convention Constitutional convention meets in Mercantile Hall, St. Louis. Charles D. Drake, Radical Republican, is the guiding light. They quickly pass a new ordinance of emancipation to replace the gradual plan adopted in 1863.  
January 11, 1865 slavery Missouri Ordinance of Emancipation goes into effect. Slavery is dead in Missouri.  
March 7, 1865 end of Federal rule Governor Fletcher issues proclamation declaring that no organized Confederate force exists in Missouri. Dismantling of Federal apparatus in Missouri begins.  
April 8, 1865 Missouri constitutional convention Constitutional convention approves new state constitution for Missouri. Critics call it "the Draconian Constitution" to mock Charles D. Drake. It includes the "Iron-clad Test Oath" that disenfranchises many Missourians. Delegate William F. Switzler, who voted against it, observed, "The Constitution was not conceived in statesmanship, but in a spirit of malice and revenge --a spirit at war with the wise policy of the times, and unworthy of a victorious and magnanimous people."

Oath of Loyalty

April 9, 1865 War's end? General Lee surrenders the army of Northern Virginia. Though most erroneously consider this the end of the war, on the 29th of April the Department of Missouri vowed to fight on... and did. They did not surrender for over a month.  
April 14-15 1865 Lincoln Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, is shot from behind by pro-southern actor John Wilkes Booth while watching the play Our American Cousin at Fords theatre. Lincoln dies the next morning. Booth and his fellow conspirators connections to the Confederate secret service lead many to believe that the Confederate government was responsible for the assassination --which is hotly denied by many others.  
April 25, 1865 Boat-burners Colonel James H. Baker, Provost Marshal of the Department of Missouri, issues his first report on Confederate boat-burners working under Joseph W. Tucker. A later, updated, version of Bakers report will be included in the trials of the Lincoln conspirators.  
April 27, 1865 Louden - Boat-burners
Robert Louden's last known boat-burning strike--he plants a Courtenay Torpedo on the Steamer Sultana at Memphis killing nearly 2000, mostly Union POWs returning north. Louden's brother-in-law Arthur McCoy is in the area, sending spies into Memphis regularly, assigned to do "what damage they could" to river steamers.

The Boat-Burners

May 10, 1865 Jefferson Davis Jefferson Davis, 1st --and only-- President of the Confederate States of America, is captured by Union troops near Irwinville, Georgia. Davis and his cabinet had abandoned Richmond just before its fall on April 2. He was believed to be attempting to reach the Trans Mississppi theatre to continue the war.  
May 15, 1865 outlaws - Jesse James Jesse James takes a minie ball through the right lung. He surrenders at Lexington a week later.

James-Younger gang

May 26, 1865 War's end Department of the Trans-Mississippi surrenders at New Orleans.  
June 6, 1865 Missouri constitution Election to ratify Drake's Constitution held under the new voting rules. After several weeks suspense while the vote is counted, it passes by 1,862 votes out of 85,478 cast.  
June 6, 1865 Quantrill William Clarke Quantrill dies in Kentucky.  
June-July 1865 Price, Shelby Gen. Price, Gen. Shelby, Thomas C. Reynolds, Kirby Smith, and other Missouri leaders and men go to Mexico rather than surrender. Because of the unusual position of Missouri Confederates as Confederate soldiers from a Union state, many believe they may never be allowed to return home in peace.  
July 4, 1865 Missouri constitution New Constitution goes into effect.  
1866 Lyon Publication of James Peckham's "General Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri in 1861". Peckham's position close to Blair and his allies in the early days of the conflict gives him excellent sources to chronicle events from a Unionist perspective through the Battle of Wilson's Creek. This book will be copied from, sometimes with attribution, by many that follow.

James Peckham's "General Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri in 1861".

February 14, 1866 Liberty Bank Robbery The first daylight, peacetime bank robbery in US history in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri conducted by a band of ex-guerrillas, most of whom had served under Quantrill. Frank James considered a likely participant. A series of bank robberies across Missouri follow, usually conducted by a variable band of ex-guerrillas.

James-Younger gang robberies

January 11, 1867 Price Sterling Price returns from Mexican exile to St. Louis for the first time since the Meeting at the Planters House in June of 1861. Price does not request presidential pardon  
Feb. 18, 1867 outlaws - Jesse James Five pro-Union militia men try to kill a still-recovering Jesse James at the family farm.

James-Younger gang

Sept 13, 1867 Louden After having to leave St. Louis in haste after admitting to having sabotaged the Steamer Sultana, Robert Louden contracts yellow fever in New Orleans and dies.  
September 29, 1867 Price

 

Sterling Price dies in St. Louis, occasioning "the largest funeral procession in the city's history" (Sterling Price: Portrait of a Southerner, Robert E. Shalhope). Available from ABEBOOKs

 
March 20, 1868 McCoy, bank robbery Arthur McCoy, ex-St. Louis Minute Man, is connected to the bank robbery at Russellville, Kentucky. Several ex-guerrillas were also involved including--possibly--the James and Younger brothers.

James-Younger gang robberies

1868 Grant, Blair U.S. Grant elected 18th President. Frank Blair is vice presidential candidate on losing Democratic ticket.  
1869 Reynolds Thomas C. Reynolds, last Confederate governor of Missouri, returns to St. Louis from Mexican exile  
December 7, 1869 Gallatin Bank Robbery The bank at Gallatin, Missouri is robbed and the cashier killed. A horse used in the robbery is traced to Jesse James of Kearney, Missouri. This is the first robbery attributed to the James brothers at the time of the robbery.

James-Younger gang robberies

1870   15th Amendment to U.S. Constitution passes guaranteeing the vote to African-Americans  
1870   B. Gratz Brown elected Governor of Missouri on Liberal/Democrat ticket. Test Oath repealed, restoring the franchise to ex-Confederates.  
1871 Blair Frank Blair elected U.S. Senator by Missouri legislature  
1872 Grant, Brown B. Gratz Brown runs for Vice President on ticket with Horace Greeley, and is defeated by U.S. Grant winning his second term.  
May 27, 1873 Ste. Genevieve Bank Robbery A bank in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri is robbed. The robbers shout "Hurrah for Hildebrand" as they leave, a tribute to the former bushwhacker/guerrilla recently killed in Iowa. Arthur C. McCoy, with a Ste. Genevieve upbringing, is the likely leader of this robbery accompanied by the James brothers.

James-Younger gang robberies

July 21, 1873 Adair, Iowa train robbery The first train robbery by the "James-Younger gang" of outlaws. Arthur C. McCoy, the James brothers, and Cole Younger are suspected as the robbers. With this robbery, that resulted in the death of the engineer as the train derailed, the outlaw band achieves national notoriety.

James-Younger gang robberies

Nov. 22, 1873 outlaws John Newman Edwards, formerly Gen. Shelby's adjutant, published "A Terrible Quintette" about Jesse and Frank James, Cole and John Younger, and Arthur C. McCoy. It is the beginning of the outlaw hero-mythos that came to surround the James brothers.

A Terrible Quintette

March 10, 1874 McCoy Arthur McCoy is named as a participant in the murder of a Pinkerton agent in Clay County, Missouri. A few weeks earlier he had also been named as a participant in the Gads Hill train robbery.

James-Younger gang robberies

1874 Lyon Red granite obelisk memorial to Nathaniel Lyon.  
July 9, 1875 Blair Frank Blair dies in St. Louis.  
Sept. 7, 1876 outlaws The James and Younger brothers take part in the disastrous Northfield, Minnesota bank robbery attempt. All three Younger brothers--Cole, Jim, Bob--are wounded and captured in a massive manhunt across the state. The James brothers are the only participants to escape.

James-Younger gang robberies

April 3, 1882 outlaws - Jesse James Jesse James killed by Bob Ford.

James-Younger gang

Oct. 5, 1882 outlaws - Frank James Frank James surrenders himself to the governor of Missouri, and stands trial for robbery and murder. He is acquitted. This is considered by some to mark the end of the Civil War in Missouri.

Frank James Trial

1885 Blair

 

Statue of Frank Blair erected in Forest Park.

 
1886 Snead Publication of Thomas L. Snead's "The Fight for Missouri". Snead had been close to the center of all things Missouri Confederate during the war.

Civil War Reader

March 30, 1887 Reynolds Thomas C. Reynolds dies in St. Louis, probably by his own hand  
1888 Grant Statue of U.S. Grant unveiled at City Hall.  
1901 Winston Churchill Publication of "The Crisis" by St. Louis native Winston Churchill. This fictional account of the war in St. Louis meets with both commercial and critical success.

Civil War Reader

1903 outlaws - Cole Younger Convicted bank robber, Thomas Coleman Younger ("Cole" Younger) writes an autobiography of his life and adventures. The book is largely written to bolster pardon/parole attempts to free him after 25 years of prison in Minnesota and so contains considerable denials of involvement in other robberies and claims of utter innocence. The book is as interesting for what isn't said as what is, and for the semantic contortions Cole Younger goes through in phrasing some assertations.

Cole Younger autobiography

by Cole Younger

available from Amazon.com

1906 Sigel Equestrian statue of U.S. General--and "Dutch" favorite--Franz Sigel erected in Forest Park.  
1908 Galusha Anderson Baptist minister Galusha Anderson publishes his "The Story of a Border City During the Civil War".

Galusha Anderson

1909 McElroy Publication of John McElroy's "The Struggle for Missouri"

Civil War Reader

1911 Basil Duke Publication of Minute Men leader Basil Duke's "The Reminiscences of General Basil Duke".

Basil Duke

available from Amazon.com

1914   Confederate Memorial approved for Forest Park.    
1926 Grimes
AuthorAbebooks
Author
Title
Publication of "Confederate Mail Runner" by Absalom Grimes.
 

 


©2002/2003 D. H. Rule

No reproduction or distribution without consent of author.

Feel free to link to this or any other page on the site.

Please don't hyperlink to pictures, query for copying permission.

Return to Civil War St. Louis

Hit Counter

Total site hits

Hit Counter

since January 25, 2001

 

Other websites by the webmasters of Civil War St. Louis:

D. A. Houdek

The Heinlein Archives

The Heinlein Society

The Heinlein Prize

Butler Public Library

Caltronics Assembly & Design, Inc.

Laura Ingalls Wilder