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The Civil War in Missouri

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A War of No Quarter

Information Sheets

Men who opposed the Union army in Missouri for a variety of reasons turned to violence.

Meriwether Jeff Thompson engage in several small Civil War skirmishes, where he often emerged victorious out of the seemingly impassable swamps, earning him the name “Swamp Fox.”

Guerrilla warfare went on in Missouri for most of the Civil War. Bands of pro-South men would hunt and kill Union soldiers and pro-Union civilians.

The Palmyra Massacre was the execution of ten Confederate prisoners as retribution for the capture of a pro-Union civilian, Andrew Allsman.

General Thomas Ewing Jr. received a command under General John Schofield in 1863 to deal with the rampant guerilla action on the Missouri-Kansas border.

Primary Source Activities

Students will compare and contrast the experience of people in St. Louis with people in the more rural areas of the state during the Civil War.


A History of Missouri 1860-1875 by William E. Parrish

Black Flag: Guerila Warfare on the Western Border by Thomas Goodrich

Bloody Bill Anderson: The Short Savage, Life of a Civil War Guerilla by Albert Castel

Civil War on the Western Border by Jay Monaghan

Devil Knows How to Ride: The True Story of William Clarke Quantrill and His Confederate Raiders by Edward E. Leslie

Inside War: The Guerilla Conflict in Missouri During the American Civil War by Michael Fellman

Lincoln's Resolute Unionist Hamilton Gamble, Dred Scott Dissenter and Missouri's Civil War Governor by Dennis Bowman

Nobody's Boy by Jennifer Fleischner

The Bushwhacker: A Civil War Adventure by Jennifer Johnson Garrity