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The Civil War in Missouri

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A Fractured Peace


By 1865, Missourians were weary of conflict. They had endured it for nearly a decade, beginning with the brutal border war with Kansas in 1856. With the surrender of the Confederates they faced a new era of peace.

But strong divisions and prejudices remained. Newly freed African Americans found that racial bigotries of even some of the most ardent Unionists would mean their fight for the rights of freedom was far from over. The interests of St. Louis and the rural areas of the state remained disparate as the city industrialized, becoming the nation's fourth-largest urban center by the 1890s. In addition, the divisions between ex-Confederates and Unionists in the postwar period created strife as former guerrillas continued to terrorize the countryside, and Radical Republicans implemented repressive rules against former secessionists.

Over time some of these wounds healed, and, whether Union or Confederate, people went about preserving the memory of their fallen friends, family, and heroes. In other cases divisions endured, and those divisions would help to define how the state and the nation moved forward into the 20th century.

In an attempt to turn the tide of war, Confederate general Sterling Price planned an invasion of Missouri for September and October of 1864.

General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General Grant at Appomattox in April 1865 was followed by the surrender of the remaining Confederate armies over the next six weeks.

President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 declared that all persons held as slaves in the rebellious states were free, but the proclamation was more a statement and a promise than effective emancipation.

Radical Republicans were a faction within the regular Republican Party that advocated not only abolition of slavery but also severe treatment of dissidents.

The postwar years became a time of reconciliation. Many who served in the military focused on remembrance of their experiences.

Price's Raid

Follow the path of General Sterling Price

Thematic Collections: Fractured Peace

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Test Your Knowledge: A Fractured Peace

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