The Civil War in Missouri

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The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.


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Pocket Watch of Colonel Austin M. Standish, Missouri State Guard 

1851-1857
MHM Collections

The first major battle in Missouri (and west of the Mississippi) took place near Springfield, Missouri, on August 10, 1861, when opposing armies met at Wilson's Creek. "My adjutant, Colonel Standish...in attempting to reconnoiter the enemy's line," reported Brigadier General Mosby Monroe Parsons, "was struck by a minie-ball, but escaped death by the missile embedding itself in his watch." Later in the war Standish was severely wounded in the left hand during battle at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, and left the battlefield by Parsons' order. Standish luckily avoided death on two occasions, but his good fortune ran out when he joined a mass exodus of Confederates who fled to Mexico after the war. Standish, Parsons, and four others were killed about July 19, 1865, at Toro, between Matamoros and Monterrey. The Mexican Times, Mexico City's American newspaper, announced that the men had been stripped naked and murdered "by a band of red-handed robbers."