The Civil War in Missouri

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Missouri Volunteer Militia, captured at Camp Jackson, 2 images

1861
MHM Collections

Less than a month after the Civil War started, Missouri's pro-secession governor, Claiborne F. Jackson, called for the Missouri Volunteer Militia to gather at Lindell's Grove in St. Louis for an annual encampment. The troops set up Camp Jackson, named in honor of the governor, and Capt. George W. West's Missouri Guard was among the companies mustered into the 1st Regiment. The elaborately embroidered flag, which had been presented to the company by the Ladies of St. Louis, represented the whole regiment, and it flew outside of the tent of the regimental commander, Lt. Col. John Knapp. After learning of governor Jackson's plot to use his encamped militia to seize the federal arsenal in St. Louis, Union soldiers under Capt. (later Gen.) Nathaniel Lyon captured the entire force of predominantly pro-Southern troops on May 10, 1861. West's company was allowed to keep the flag, and after the troops were paroled West kept the flag in his possession for the duration of the war.