Posted May 29, 2004


The Fight at Jackson Fairgrounds:

Confederate Victory Against the Odds


©2003 Kirby Ross

with an Introduction by James E. McGhee, ©2003

The Fight at Jackson Fairgrounds: Confederate Victory Against the Odds

© Kirby Ross

Author's Note & Introduction
Ch 1 - Lindsay Murdoch

Ch 6 - Playing a Squally Game of Marbles

Ch 2 - Chasing Phantoms

Ch 7 - Aftermath

Ch 3 - Closing In

Ch 8 - Mopping Up

Ch 4 - Hell Breaks Loose Epilogue

Ch 5 - To the Death


Return to Civil War St. Louis


 The True Life Wild West Memoir of a Bush-Popping Cow Waddy

By Charley Hester, Edited by Kirby Ross

available for pre-order at

Also by this author:

James O. Broadhead: Ardent Unionist, Unrepentant Slaveholder by Kirby Ross





Within a couple of months of the Jackson fight the formation of the 12th M.S.M. Cavalry Regiment was completed.  Murdoch, having been devastated by the loss of his Fremont Ranger Battalion and his lieutenant colonelís rank in late autumn 1861, had been promised by General Schofield on December 1, 1861, ďa commission in the state service to be determined by the number of companies raised by him.Ē  After he recruited three of the 12th M.S.Mís eight companies, an appointment at least as major seemed to be warranted.  Instead, that position went to Bazel F. Lazear of Pike County who had raised a company of troops in North Missouri for the 10th Missouri State Militia Cavalry, but none for the 12th M.S.M.  Adding insult to injury, a few weeks after the Jackson Skirmish Captain Murdoch was ordered to march his three Cape Girardeau companies to Ironton where they were to be absorbed into the rest of the regiment.  His battalion now being lost to him along with his autonomy, he was relegated to being just one of eight captains answering directly to three higher-ranking regimental field officers.


Failing to receive what he appears to have felt his due, Murdoch did not react well to events and was arrested for mutinous conduct after he delayed the ordered troop transfer.  With the approval of General Schofield he was court-martialed and was dismissed from the militia under General Order #6-1862. 


Although drummed out of the service, Murdoch nonetheless remained active in the military.  After serving somewhat ironically as court martial recorder in Cape Girardeau for three months, he was appointed a draft enrollment deputy provost marshal for the region.  During Marmadukeís Raid in April 1863 Murdoch served as a special aid to General John McNeil and participated in the defense of Cape Girardeau during the assault on that post.  He thereafter helped raise part of a company for the 10th Missouri Cavalry Volunteers before returning to his duties as enrolling officer for the draft.  During Priceís Raid in September 1864, Murdoch was placed in charge of a detail of laborers at Pilot Knob and dug a series of rifle pits that proved to be essential to its defense during the large battle that took place there. 


As the Radical Unionists came to total power in Missouri following their sweep of the legislative and executive offices in the elections of November 1864, Murdoch was able to formally rehabilitate his military career.  After helping recruit Companies B and H of the 50th Missouri Infantry Volunteers he received a commission as captain of Company H on 4 February 1865, and served in that position through the remaining months of the war.


Upon the cessation of hostilities Murdoch was appointed and then subsequently elected to the office of Clerk of the Circuit Court for Bollinger County.  In 1869 President Ulysses Grant appointed him Internal Revenue Collector for the 14th Judicial District of Missouri.  Murdoch ultimately concluded his career of public service as a clerk for the U.S. War Department.1 

Click Here for Bibliography


1Murdoch Narrative, 154-164. 

     William Jeffers ultimately reached the rank of colonel and commanded the 8th Missouri Cavalry (CSA).  For a brief profile of Jeffers and a discussion of the evolution of his command, see Introduction.  See also, McGhee, Campaigning With Marmaduke.

©2004 G. E. 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