War & Reconciliation:
The Mid-Missouri Civil War Project

The Civil War was fought across the American continent. It briefly scarred the fields where men fought and permanently transformed the country they fought over. The face of war in Missouri was unique. The war started early here, with violence along the Kansas-Missouri border in the 1850s. When secession came, Missourians formed armies and fought pitched battles over whether she would stay or go. Unionists won and Missouri became an anomaly – a slave state that remained in the Union but was also claimed by the Confederacy. The marquee battles of the War were fought elsewhere, but guerrilla violence plagued Missouri until Appomattox and beyond. The last shot of Missouri’s Civil War may not have been fired until 1882, when Governor Crittenden arranged the killing of guerrilla-turned-bandit Jesse James.

The Mid-Missouri Civil War Project is an effort to understand what happened in central Missouri by collecting, organizing, and interpreting the records, writings, and recollections of those who lived here. How did the communities we live in split in two? How did they experience a war in which their citizens killed each other in small, personal encounters? And how did they learn to live together again?

University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law © 2010