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Encyclopedia > St. Louis in the Civil War

St. Louis, Missouri was a strategic location during the American Civil War, an important city to the Union army and navy. It was the major supply depot and launching point for campaigns in the western theatre. Image File history File links Wiki_letter_w. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article is becoming very long. ... The 21st Michigan Infantry, a company of Shermans veterans. ...

Located near the junction of the Missouri River, the Ohio River and the Mississippi River, St. Louis was a major port and commercial center, with a growing industrial base. The population reached 160,000 in 1860. Catholics, mostly German Americans and Irish Americans were the dominant ethnic groups, along with many from both North and South. The Missouri River is a tributary of the Mississippi River in the United States. ... The Ohio River is the largest tributary by volume of the Mississippi River. ... The Mississippi River, derived from the old Ojibwe word misi-ziibi meaning great river (gichi-ziibi big river at its headwaters), is the second-longest named river in North America, with a length of 2320 miles (3733 km) from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. ... German-Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry. ... Irish Americans are residents or citizens of the United States who claim Irish ancestry. ...

The Camp Jackson Affair occurred early in the war on May 10, 1861, when Union military forces (consisting primarily of German immigrants) clashed with civilians on the streets of St. Louis, resulting in the deaths of at least 28 people and injuries to another 100. The affair polarized the population of Missouri, leading many once-neutral citizens to advocate secession and setting the stage for sustained violence between the opposing factions. The Camp Jackson Affair was an incident in the American Civil War on May 10, 1861, when Union military forces clashed with civilians on the streets of St. ... May 10 is the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (131st in leap years). ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... For other uses, see Secession (disambiguation). ...

During the Civil War, St. Louis stayed under Union control because of the strong military base, and the public support from loyal Germans. The largest percentage of volunteers served in the Union army; some went south to fight for the Confederacy. Some people who stayed in the city during the war and supported the South smuggled supplies, medicine, and otherwise assisted Confederate soldiers.

No major battles were fought in or near the city, but the Mississippi River became a vital highway to secure during the war. Loyalties to the Union and Confederacy caused families in St. Louis to split apart, making the Civil War an influential battle for every community.


  • William E. Parrish. A History of Missouri: Volume III, 1860 to 1875 (2001) ISBN 0-8262-0148-2



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