Missouri Lyon Hunt

“The Federal authorities have for months past in violation of the Constitution of the United States, waged a ruthless war upon the people of the State of Missouri, murdering our citizens, destroying our property, and… desolating our land. War now exists between the State of Missouri and the Federal Government…”- Claiborne Fox Jackson, October 21, 1861.

When the elected government of Missouri was forced out of the capital by Union forces under the command of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, all of the secessionist legislators who followed Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson were basically in a state of limbo. A provisional government was being instituted by the members of the State Convention in Jefferson City, while Jackson was in Richmond meeting with Confederate President Jefferson Davis in an effort to get Confederate support, even though Missouri had not formally seceded.

In a two-story brick courthouse in Cassville, Missouri, that was known as

William T. "Bloody Bill" Anderson Death Photo 1864

On Oct. 26, 1864, a company of Missouri Partisan Rangers led by Captain William T. “Bloody Bill” Anderson were camped north of present-day Orrick on land owned by “Riley” Blythe, which was then known as Albany. Major Samuel Cox of Gallatin and 300 men of the 51st and 33rd Missouri Militia Mounted Infantry were a few miles away on the other side of Albany. It is believed that Mrs. Mary Rowland, a Union mother, rode to Major Cox and told him where the Rangers were camped.

What ensued is known as the Battle of Albany, and although it lasted only ten minutes, it’s outcome caused ripples throughout Missouri. William T. “Bloody Bill” Anderson, was killed and his death would be a catalyst for the desperado activities that followed the war, most notably that of Jesse and Frank James, both who rode with Anderson. The following is a report dated

Missouri Guerrillas

In Part I we looked at the motives for fighting as a guerrilla instead of a regular soldier during the Civil War. Author Bruce Nichols explained that there were five motivations for adopting the role of a guerrilla – bitterness, anger, hope, desperation and excitement. We covered bitterness and anger and we now move on to hope, desperation and excitement.

Nichols points out that many Missourians were hopeful that Federal carelessness would result in a victory for the southern sympathizers. This was actual a real and relevant hope, as there were plenty of mistakes made by the Union commanders in the West. As the war began to have an eastern focus, many of the talented leadership headed that direction, leaving behind less than stellar leadership. For those not in Missouri, the idea of needing top-notch leadership there seemed a waste. Why waste good officers and men in an area that

The Ketchum Grenade, patented August 20 1861 by William J. Ketchum

You read that right… sort of… Most people do not associate hand grenades with the Civil War. They were, however, used in the sieges at Vicksburg and Petersburg and even in the west at the Battle of Pilot Knob.

The “Ketchum Hand grenade” was patented by William F. Ketchum and looked like a large dart. This design meant for the grenade to land on it’s nose, behind of which held a percussion cap. Unfortunately, they didn’t always land on their noses. Many times they were tossed at the rebels who would “Ketchum” (catch them) in blankets without detonating and then hurled them back whereupon they did indeed detonate.

Obviously, they were not as useful as they appeared. Or were they?

At the Battle of Pilot Knob in September 1864, at the onset of Confederate General Sterling Price’s infamous raid into Missouri, the grenades had a different effect.

The confederates had