Home     Mission    Building    Staff    Events    Get Involved    Store    Education     Resources     Media Room     Contact     Members Only
spacer topics

Museum Experience
Plan a Field Trip
Teacher's Page
MCWM – Directions & Location
Civil War History/Trivia/Facts
Jefferson Barracks History
MCWM in the Community



MAY 10, 1861

The First Major Action to Officially Bring Civil War to Missouri

1861 Image of Troops at Camp Jackson


Most Missourians, Although pro-Confederacy, Are Initially Against Secession and Wish to Take a Stance of Armed Neutrality
While many historians attribute the firing on Fort Sumter as the beginning of the American Civil War, and attention is thus focused on the eastern theatre of war, the Civil War actually began in Missouri 7 years earlier in 1854 with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, all revolving around the issue of slavery, and the attempts to bring slavery into the new states, and the opposing attempts to keep it out of these same new states.

Even before the founding of this country, the topic of slavery had been hotly debated.  The Founding Fathers strongly disagreed over it, but reluctantly decided to allow it, and thus our Stars and Stripes condoned and flew over the “institution” of slavery for nearly 90 years.   Slavery has thus been continually argued over in the halls of Congress, from the Founding of our nation (and even before) until the Civil War.   In their controversial book “Sounding Forth the Trumpet” (available in the MCWM Bookstore), David Manuel and Peter Marshall attempt to prove that the chastisement of American civil war, is the result of the evil of American slavery.

In an attempt to maintain a balance of power in Congress between slaves states and free states, the Missouri Compromise established the Mason-Dixon line (the southern border of Missouri) as the dividing line between free states to the north of the line and slave states to the south of the line, but allowing Missouri to come into the Union as a slave state, while allowing Maine to come in as a free state.  The Kansas-Nebraska Act though, introduced by Illinois Democrat and Lincoln opponent Stephen Douglas, annulled the Missouri Compromise, by allowing the citizens of Kansas and Nebraska (through popular sovereignty) to decide on their own, if they should allow slavery in their territories. 

This caused a rush of anti-slavery and pro-slavery factions (mostly Missourians) into Kansas, in an attempt to gain control of the state government, culminating in what was called the “Border Wars”.   The result was hostilities and atrocities committed by both pro-slavery and anti-slavery groups against each other, crossing back and forth between Missouri and Kansas.  Out of this came the Jayhawkers, under the uniform of Federal soldiers initially commanded by lawyer and US Senator Jim Lane, whose troops terrorized and killed pro-Southern citizens.  (This was later the inspiration for the Clint Eastwood movie, “The Outlaw Josey Wales”).   In retaliation, pro-Southern guerilla militia units were organized, who in turn, terrorized anit-slavery citizens.  The James and Younger gangs, Bloody Bill Anderson, Quantrill, Hildrebrand and many others are some of the more notorious who formed these guerilla bands.  These were violent and horrible times in Missouri, where brother was truly pitted against brother, and Missouri’s citizens of all persuasions suffered from the worst of inhumane atrocities, which continued up to the beginning of the Civil War in 1861.  Hollywood “missed the boat” on the story of the Civil War, and it’s true beginnings in Missouri.  Keeping all of this in mind, fast-forward 7 years to Camp Jackson in St. Louis.

 On March 9, 1861, during the State Convention meeting at the St. Louis Mercantile Library Hall, 63-year old Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice, Hamilton Gamble (who later became provisional governor) , on behalf of the Committee on Federal Relations stated:

"To involve Missouri in revolution under the present circumstances is certainly not demanded by the magnitude of the grievances of which we complain nor by the certainty that they cannot be otherwise and more peacefully remedied, or even diminished by such revolution.

The position of Missouri in relation to the adjacent States (except for Arkansas, Missouri was surrounded by free states), which would continue in the Union, would necessarily expose her, if she became a member of the new Confederacy, to utter destruction, whenever any rupture might take place between the different republics. In a military aspect Secession and connection with a Southern Confederacy is annihilation of Missouri.

The true position for Missouri to assume is that of a State whose interests are bound up in the maintenance of the Union, and whose kind feelings and strong sympathies are with the people of the Southern States, with whom we are connected by the ties of friendship and blood …… To go with those States-to leave the Government our fathers built-to blot out the star of Missouri from the constellation of the Union, is to ruin ourselves, without doing them any good. We cannot follow them, we cannot give up the Union, but will do all in our power to induce them to again take their places with us in the family from which they have attempted to separate themselves.

For this purpose we will not only recommend a compromise with which they ought to be satisfied, but we will endeavor to procure an assemblage of the whole family of States, in order that, in a General Convention, such amendments to the Constitution may be agreed upon as shall permanently restore harmony in the whole nation."

The resolution recommended by the Committee on Federal Relations and adopted by the State Convention held:

  1. There is at present no adequate cause to secede.
  2. The Union shall be perpetuated and harmony restored.
  3. The Crittenden amendments are recommended.
  4. A convention of all States shall propose amendments to the United States Constitution.
  5. Coercion will cause civil war; therefore the military power of the United States and of the Seceded States should be withheld and stayed.
  6. The Convention should adjourn to December 3, 1861, or be subject to a call of an appointed Committee.

On March 21st,  when the final vote was taken, the above resolution was passed by a 98 to 1 majority (nine members were absent).   Result;  Missouri voted against secession at this time, and pro-secessionist Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson could not legally do anything to change that, unless something happened to change the hearts and minds of Missouri's citizens, and the Governor had a plan.


The St. Louis Arsenal, the coveted target.
(Note the building in the background still stands on the old Arsenal grounds to this day.)

Former Governor Robert M. Stewart, the Governor before Jackson's term, laid down the State policy of "armed neutrality". Being against secession, Gov. Stewart's views more closely mirrored the opinions of the majority of Missourians than that of Gov. Jackson.  Stewart warned

… "As matters are at present, Missouri will stand by her lot, and hold to the Union as long as it is worth an effort to preserve it...In the mean time Missouri will hold herself in readiness, at any moment, to defend her soil from pollution and her property from plunder by fanatics and marauders, come from what quarter they may...She is able to take care of herself, and will be neither forced nor flattered, driven nor coerced, into a course of action that must end in her own destruction."

Gov. Claiborne F. Jackson, on the other hand, did not see secession as destruction for  Missouri, and sought for the State to join the Confederacy.  Although, on the surface, he continued with the policy of "armed neutrality", he believed Missouri public opinion would soon shift in favor of secession. Until that time came, Jackson did everything he could, to prepare the State for that awaited day.   Possibly he preferred a peaceful transition and made efforts towards an agreement with one of the commanders at the St. Louis Arsenal, in an attempt to transfer the munitions at the Arsenal to State authorities without hostilities. But this was thwarted when  Capt. Nathaniel Lyon  was transferred from the border wars in Kansas to the Arsenal. Lyon was aggressive, and considered by many to be a “hot-head”.  He was a career Army officer, an abolitionist and was extremely devoted to preserving the Union.

Gov. Jackson now feared that Missouri's resources at the Arsenal, and that the men of the State, would be used by Lyon and the Federal authorities in “Lincoln's war against the southern Confederacy”. Jackson's response to Lincoln's request for 3,123 troops was, "Sir--Your requisition is illegal, unconstitutional and revolutionary; in its object inhuman & diabolical.  Not one man will Missouri furnish to carry on any such unholy crusade against her Southern sisters."

This too, was the feeling of the majority of Missourians, who opposed any disregard for the State's neutrality.  Only in St. Louis was there significant support for Lincoln, mostly amongst the immigrant Germans and a portion of the Irish.  This also included the Germans in the various settlements throughout the State.  (See “The Role of German Immigrants in Civil War Missouri”).  St. Louis Attorney and Congressman Frank Blair, Jr, (brother to Lincoln’s Postmaster General in Washington, Montgomery Blair), was among those who began rallying the support of St. Louis’ German population, and began organizing them into Home Guard units.  Five Volunteer regiments, and five United States Reserve Corps (USRC) volunteer regiments were organized, totaling between 8000 to 10,000 men, mostly Germans.  They organized and drilled at various locations throughout the city, and this caused great alarm and concern among Missouri’s pro-Southern population, who considered this an invasion of the State and going against state sovereignty by Federal forces.

It was now clear to Gov. Jackson that the Federal Arsenal would have to be taken by force. Was it in Jackson's mind, that the Arsenal would become Missouri's "Ft. Sumter", so to speak.  But, his State militia forces lacked the weapons and equipment necessary for taking the Arsenal, and besides, not all of the members of the militia were pro-secession. In anticipation of Missouri joining the Confederacy, President Jefferson Davis received envoys from Gov. Jackson, and issued them siege guns, mortars, and other weapons, which were taken from the US Arsenal in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

A letter dated April 19th that Gov. Jackson sent to David Walker, a member of the Arkansas Convention, shows Jackson’s desire for “prompt action” and his belief that the people of the State will soon change their minds in favor of secession…"I have been, from the beginning, in favor of prompt action on the part of the southern states, but a majority of the people of Missouri, up to the present time, have differed with me.  What their future action may be, no man, with certainty, can predict or foretell, but my present impression is--judging from the indications hourly occurring--that Missouri will be ready for secession in less than thirty days...Public sentiment here is rapidly leading to this point. A few more days will determine all."

In a few more days Gov. Jackson planned on receiving his secret shipment of arms. A letter, dated 23 April, 1861 and signed by Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy reads:

His Excellency C.F. Jackson, Governor of Missouri.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge yours of the 17th instant, borne by Captains Greene and Duke, and have most cordially welcomed the fraternal assurances it brings.
A misplaced but generous confidence has, for years past, prevented the Southern States from making the preparation required by the present emergency, and our power to supply you with ordnance is far short of the will to serve you.  After learning as well as I could from the gentlemen accredited to me what was most needful for the attack on the [St Louis] Arsenal, I have directed  that Captains Greene and Duke should be furnished with two 12-pounder howitzers and two 32-pounder guns, with the proper ammunition for each.  These, from the commanding hills, will be effective, both against the garrison and to breach the inclosing walls of the place.  I concur with you as to the great importance of capturing the Arsenal and securing its supplies, rendered doubly important by the means taken to obstruct your commerce and render you unarmed victims of a hostile invasion.
We look anxiously and hopefully for the day when the star of Missouri shall be added to the constellation of the Confederate States of America. With best wishes, I am, very respectfully, yours,
   --Jefferson Davis  
(NOTE:  Davis was very familiar with Missouri, and especially St. Louis and it’s Arsenal, as he had been stationed just a few miles south at historic Jefferson Barracks during his own military career with the US Army.  Two months after Camp Jackson, Congress enacted legislation to move the Arsenal to Jefferson Barracks).

Sketch Map of Camp Jackson as it looked May 10, 1861. Source: "The Union Cause In St. Louis In 1861: An Historical Sketch", by Robert J. Rombauer; St. Louis Municipal Centennial Year, 1909.
The Missouri State Volunteer Militia (M.V.M) had a yearly  event of muster and drill at an open area known as "Lindell's Grove", near the [then] western edge of the city limits of St. Louis. This year's muster was dubbed "Camp Jackson" in honor of the Governor. The secret shipment of guns arriving from the Confederacy would be transported to Camp Jackson in wooden crates labeled "Tamoroa Marble". Purportedly, it was claimed that there was no intention to march upon the Arsenal at this time. The number of militia (possibly only 700 to 900 men) at the camp was far too small to take on the  strongly defended Arsenal. This was a routine yearly muster with no supposed planned objectives except to acquire the weapons for Gov. Jackson's future use. [See 1861 Image of Troops at Camp Jackson]

It’s important to note again, that many of the members of the militia at Camp Jackson were not in favor of secession and wanted the State to remain neutral.  Perhaps as many as 1/3 were actually in favor of preserving the Union. For example, 2nd in command at Camp Jackson was  Lt. Col. John Knapp who would later become a Colonel in the pro-Union Enrolled Missouri Militia (EMM aka MEM). According to witnesses, there were a number of pro-secessionist flags and camp street signs at Camp Jackson, but these probably were those belonging to members of the Minute Men Militia, a pro-Southern paramilitary organization,  which was a relatively small segment of the Missouri Volunteer Militia. According to Gen. Daniel M. Frost (after whom Frost Campus at St. Louis University would later be named), who was the Commander of Camp Jackson, every soldier in camp had taken a solemn oath to not only serve the State of Missouri but to protect the "Constitution and laws of the United States..."

Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, the new commander at the U.S. Arsenal in St. Louis who had been transferred from the “border wars” in Kansas, had received intelligence of the secret arms, which were being transported to Jackson from Confederate President Jefferson Davis.   Purportedly, Lyon himself surveyed Camp Jackson while disguised as a woman, riding inside of a carriage. Lyon felt the urgency of the situation, and ordered most of the 5 Volunteer regiments and the 5 U.S. Reserve Corps (USRC) volunteer regiments (these were the aforementioned Germans, numbering between 8000 to 10,000 men) to march to, and take positions surrounding  Camp Jackson.  Colonel Frank Blair’s 1st Infantry Regiment Volunteers were the first to march from Jefferson Barracks. Some officials advised against such action, preferring to follow a legal approach through the courts, as the arms that Davis sent to Camp Jackson, had been considered stolen property from the US Arsenal in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  But Lyon was wise to the slowness of the legal system, and keenly aware that immediate action needed to be taken.  He would utilize the overwhelming forces of the volunteers and demand an unconditional surrender.

The following perspective is taken from Robert J. Rombauer's book, "The Union Cause in St. Louis in 1861" (1909).  Rombauer was Lt.Col. in Command with Colonel Almstedt of the 1st Regiment, US Reserve Corps Volunteers, and was thus a participant and witness at Camp Jackson.  [Note: Although the men of the Missouri Volunteer Militia encamped at Camp Jackson are referred to as "secessionists", it’s important to note again, that not all were actually of this persuasion, most preferring neutrality.  But, the unfolding events would soon drive many of these men to the Confederacy.]

"Early morning on May 10, a horseman was seen galloping southward on the Carondelet Road [now S. Broadway] to Jefferson Barracks.  He took orders to the First Volunteers, which camped there, to march without delay and with forty rounds of cartridges to the Arsenal, fully eight miles distant.  They started about eight o'clock, was headed at the Arsenal by two Companies of Regulars under Lieutenant Sweeney, and followed their Colonel, Frank P. Blair, and the commander of all the troops, Captain Nathaniel Lyon. 

This column moved north on Seventh street to Chouteau avenue and westward on the latter until coming in full view of Lindell Grove, they saw the Secessionists run to their cannons and rally to arms.  From here this column advanced across the commons in a diagonal line, alternating the "quick step" with "double quick", to a narrow lane west of the camp, and marched on same northward to Olive, passing Frost's sentinels within twenty yards.  A part of the First Volunteers was still in the western lane when the head of its column, marching eastward on Olive, met the Union troops coming westward from the city.

The Second Volunteers, Colonel Boernstein, started from Marine Hospital, marched on Broadway to Chouteau avenue and followed that avenue and the route taken by Lyon and Blair; the distance was near six miles. 

Six pieces of artillery and the Third Volunteers under Colonel Francis [Franz] Sigel started from the Arsenal, marched up Broadway to Olive and out Olive to the camp, the Artillery taking position on the elevated ground at the east end, also north of the camp, commanding its entire length and threatening it thus in case of a combat, with a most destructive fire. 

The Fourth Volunteers, Colonel Nic Schuettner, also started from the Arsenal with the Third, but branched off on Market Street and followed that street and Laclede Avenue to the southern line near the east end of the camp.

The Reserve Regiments were disposed as follows:  From the First Reserve, Colonel Almstedt, one Battalion under Lieutenant-Colonel R. J. Rombauer, marched from Jaeger's Garden on Tenth and Sidney, across the commons to Jefferson Avenue; thence to the east end of Camp Jackson, and took position on the left of the Artillery. 

 From the Second Reserve, Colonel Kallmann, one Battalion under Lieutenant-Colonel J.T. Fiala, marched from Soulard Market, north to Olive and west on Olive to the camp, and took position southwest of the First Reserve. 

The Third Reserve, Colonel John McNeil, formed at the St. Louis Turner Hall on Tenth and Walnut; marched out on Pine Street, then turned to Clark Avenue, following this to west of Jefferson Avenue and formed there the line in front of a little church and near the southeast corner of the camp. 

 The Fourth Reserve, Colonel B. Gratz Brown, marched out on Morgan to near the northeast corner of the camp, guarded with the Third Reserve the approaches to town, forming an actual reserve force for Lyon's command and cutting off the approach to the camp from the city.

Some of the Regulars and the completed Companies of the Fifth Volunteers, under Colonel C. E. Salomon, held the Arsenal, while one Battalion of the First Reserve, under Major Philip Brimmer, and one Battalion of the Second Reserve, under Major Julius Rapp, occupied the streets and guarded the approaches to the Arsenal, with the order to pass no one. 

The Fifth Reserve, Colonel Charles G. Stifel, not yet armed, but ready for muster, was assembled at headquarters, Stifel's Brewery.

The distance which each column had to march, being known to Captain Lyon, he timed their starting to secure the simultaneous arrival in their respective positions, in order to surround the camp from all sides.

As soon as the inhabitants noticed Regiment near Regiment to press westward on parallel streets with the cadence of fate, and observed the waves of glittering bayonets roll steadily onward along the avenues and many thousand serious, determined men move like veterans toward one destination, an indescribable excitement spread among the people. 

The rumor of the Union host's march towards Camp Jackson spread like wild fire through the city.  The simultaneous movement on various streets bewildered the population, and set large numbers of men that belonged to the camp, as well as their friends, in motion, of whom Scharf says in the History of St. Louis:  "Numbers of men seized rifles, shotguns, or whatever other weapons they could lay hands upon and rushed pell mell to the assistance of the State troops, but were of course obstructed in their designs,. " still many of them gathered near the camp, while the majority of men, women and children were actuated by curiosity only, and rushed in wagons, buggies, and on horseback, most of them, however, on foot, like a living stream, ahead, on the side and behind the troops and towards Camp Jackson; not at all deterred by the certainty that in case of a conflict, even a great many spectators must lose their lives. 

From the pavements, from the windows, even from roofs, people gazed upon the martial array.  Mothers of Union sons cast saddened looks upon their passing offspring, while sisters and wives looked wistfully after the vanishing ranks; nor was the anguish of the families in the center of town less, creating anxiety in the older persons, and often disdain akin to hatred in the more demonstrative girls and boys, who ostentatiously withdrew from sight and slammed many a door and shutter in order to give patent expression to their sentiments.

Gen. Daniel M. Frost, aware of Lyon's movements, sends Col. John S. Bowen to deliver the following message:
Camp Jackson, MO, May 10, 1861
Captain N. Lyon:
Sir:  I am constantly in receipt of information that you contemplate an attack upon my camp; while I understood that you are impressed with the idea that an attack upon the Arsenal and United States troops is intended on the part of the Militia of Missouri;... I would be glad to know from you personally whether there is any truth in the statements that are constantly poured into my ears.  So far as regards any hostility being intended towards the United States or its property or representatives by any portion of my command, or as far as I can learn, and I think I am fully informed, of any other part of the State forces I can say positively that the idea has never been entertained.... I trust that, after this explicit statement, we may be able, by fully understanding each other, to keep far from our borders, the misfortunes which so unhappily afflict our common country.
I am, ect.,
Brig.-Gen. D. M. Frost

Capt. Nathaniel Lyon, his mind already made up, refuses to read the above message. He proceeds with surrounding Camp Jackson within sight and musket range of Frost's forces.
Capt. Lyon sends B. G. Farrar forward with the following message to Gen. Frost:

Headquarters United States Troops, St. Louis, May 10, 1861.
General D. M. Frost, Commanding Camp Jackson.
Sir: Your command is regarded as evidently hostile toward the Government of the United States.  It is for the most part made up of those Secessionists who have openly avowed their hostility to the General Government, and have been plotting the seizure of its property and the overthrow of its authority.  You are openly in communication with the so-called Southern Confederacy, which is now at war with the United States, and you are receiving at your camp from the said Confederacy, and under its flag, large supplies of the material of war, most of which is known to be property of the United States.  These extraordinary preparations plainly indicate none other than the well-known purpose of the Governor of the State, under whose order your are acting, and whose purpose recently communicated to the Legislature, has just been responded to by that body, in the most unparalleled legislation, having in direct view hostilities to the General Government and co-operation with its enemies.

In view of these considerations, and of your failure to disperse in obedience to the proclamation of the President, and in view of the eminent necessities of State policy and welfare, and the obligations imposed upon me by instructions from Washington, it is my duty to demand, and I do hereby demand of you, an immediate surrender of your command, with no other conditions than that all persons surrendering under this demand shall be humanely and kindly treated.

Believing myself prepared to enforce this demand, one-half hour's time before doing so, will be allowed for your compliance therewith.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain Second Infantry, Commanding Troops.

During the thirty minutes after issuing this notice to Gen. Frost, a growing angry crowd was pouring from the city, hurling insults at Lyon's troops and threatened riot. Gen. Frost requested more time, but Capt. Lyon, nervous of the situation, countered that his troops would begin firing in ten minutes. Gen. Frost issued one last appeal:

CAPTAIN N. LYON, Commanding U.S. Troops.
Sir: I never for a moment conceived the idea that so illegal and unconstitutional demand, as I have just received from you, would be made by an officer of the United States Army.

I am wholly unprepared to defend my command from this unwarranted attack, and shall, therefore, be forced to comply with your demand.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D.M. Frost,
Brig. Gen. Comdg. Camp Jackson, M. V. M.

Although there are varying and conflicting accounts of the Camp Jackson affair, the following gives an overall summary of the aftermath.

The State militia troops encamped at Camp Jackson, immediately stacked arms and gave up peacefully. There was no cheering among Lyon's Federal troops. Frost's State militia troops were marched back to the Arsenal in between files of the First Regiment (Federal) Volunteers. Other Federal troops stayed at Camp Jackson to guard the captured arms and supplies. Before starting back for the Arsenal, In a highly inopportune moment, Capt. Lyon, after dismounting, was kicked by his own horse and knocked disabled for some time. While Lyon's officers attended to his impaired condition, the crowds grew larger and angrier by the moment. "Damn the Dutch", "Hurrah for Jeff Davis" were shouted along with other insults.  Rocks and dirt clods were thrown at Lyon's men. Men in the crowds began brandishing pistols. One armed drunk tried to make his way through the troops and was pushed away. Feeling insulted, the drunk opened fire, wounding an officer.  "Captain Rufus Saxton , at the head of the Regulars was shot at three times, while the crowd around the man who shot, goaded him on.   Soon after a "most aggressive man was bayoneted.”  

After the killing of one soldier and the mortal wounding of Capt. Constantin Blandowski (3rd Volunteers, US), company after company fired volleys into the crowds. Men, women and children, with perhaps as many as 100, were wounded with 28 dead or dying. Among the dead were three Camp Jackson prisoners, and a baby in its mother's arms. This all happened along Olive Street.  Some Pro-Southern citizens and pro-Southern newspapers claimed that the soldiers opened fire first, forcing the citizens to return fire in defense.

The prisoners were finally assembled on Olive St. between files of their captors, and after a delay, were marched down Olive street, then south to Chouteau and east to Broadway. Insults and rowdies followed along shouting obscenities. By the time the troops reached Chouteau Ave., Union flags began appearing. As the troops progressed down South Broadway crowds gathered to cheer and shower Lyon's forces with flowers. Clearly a different welcome than they had received in the northern and western parts of the city (dominated by the Catholic Irish and southerners of varying ethnicities).

Once the St. Louis Arsenal was reached, the prisoners were guarded by the First Regiment Volunteers, and remained there until paroled. After Camp Jackson, rioting and brawls increased in the city of St. Louis.   There were additional incidences of Volunteer troops being fired upon from buildings, and in turn, citizens being shot by the Volunteer troops. 

The majority of the militia men at Camp Jackson, once predominantly neutral Union men, as mentioned several times before, now became hardened against the Federal government, as a result of Camp Jackson, and returned their loyalties to their State government, and many enlisted in the Missouri State Guard (pro-Confederate) and would later defeat Lyon, killing him on August 10, 1861 at the Battle of Wilson's Creek (aka “Oak Hills” to Confederates), exactly three months following the Camp Jackson affair. A minority of the militia men from Camp Jackson will side with Lyon (who was promoted from Captain to General) .   General Nathaniel Lyon, was the first U.S. General to be killed in the American Civil War. 

 While the horrors of Civil War had already perplexed the State for 7 years, Civil War now officially had come to St. Louis and to the State of Missouri as a result of the Camp Jackson Affair, and Missouri came under Martial Law.  By war’s end, there would be more skirmishes and engagements in the State of Missouri , than in any other state (except Virginia and Tennessee)!

 (For a Confederate perspective of the Camp Jackson Affair, see Thomas Sneed’s book, “Fight for Missouri”.  For a Union perspective, see Robert Rombauer’s book, “The Union Cause in St. Louis in 1861”.  Both available from the Missouri Civil War Museum Bookstore).

(also known as Lindell's Grove)

Very little open ground remains where troops once drilled on the site of Camp Jackson. The above
image was taken in February 2003 of the grounds of Frost campus of St. Louis University. Frost
campus was named for Gen. Daniel M. Frost, Commander of the Missouri Volunteer Militia that was
captured by Federal forces on May 10, 1861. Photo by Scott K. Williams

Panoramic looking southeast along Grand towards intersection of Grand and Lindell. This area was once
part of the Camp Jackson encampment. The First Regiment Missouri Vol. Infantry, under command of Lt. Col. John Knapp was camped near this location. This included the following companies: Co A St. Louis Guards; Co. B Sarsfield Guards; Co. C Washington Guards; Co. D Emmett Guards; Co. E Washington Blues; Co. F Laclede Guards; Co. G Missouri Guard; Co. H Jackson Guard; Co. I Grimsley Guards; Co. K Davis Guard. Photo by Scott K. Williams
Wedge of ground where Olive Street splits into two streets: Lindell Blvd. on left and Olive Street on right.
Gen. Daniel M. Marsh's headquarters at Camp Jackson was located on this wedge of ground located
between Olive and Lindell. Photo by Scott K. Williams


Yellow shaded area represents the former Lindell's Grove area and location of Camp Jackson. "X:" marks
approximate location of Gen. Frost's headquarters; "I" approximate location of 1st Regiment (Lt. Col. John Knapp) camp; "II" approximate location of 2nd Regiment (Col. John S. Bowen); "III" Jackson Battery (Lt. Henry Guibor); IV "sectional artillery"; "V" Emmet McDonald's Cavalry Troop C. [ Troop A Cavalry (Capt. Staples) and Troop B Cavalry (Lt. Archibald McFarlane) probably located near Troop C]. Base map from "The Union Cause In St. Louis In 1861: An Historical Sketch", by Robert J. Rombauer; St. Louis Municipal Centennial Year, 1909. Annotations by Scott K. Williams

By Scott K. Williams
Edited by MCWM
© Missouri Civil War Museum
Design and Hosting - Studio 2108 LLC