The Civil War in Missouri

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Colonel John G. Burbridge

1861-1865
MHM Photographs and Prints

John G. Burbridge was a thirty-one year old resident of Louisiana, Missouri, when the Civil War began. He joined the war effort in June 1861, recruiting a small band of men and joining the Missouri State Guard. At Cowskin Prairie, Burbridge was elected captain of the Jackson Guards and within days appointed colonel of the First Infantry, Third Division, Missouri State Guard. With this regiment, Burbridge fought at the battle of Carthage, Missouri, and at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. After recovering from a head wound he received at Wilson’s Creek, he was given the command of the Second Calvary Regiment, Second Division, Missouri State Guard.Colonel Burbridge continued his zealous service on January 16, 1862, helping to organize the First Missouri Infantry Regiment (Confederate) and serving as the unit’s colonel. He fought with this unit in the Battle of Pea Ridge. During the summer of 1862, Burbridge organized the Fourth Missouri Cavalry and with them he proved himself an able-bodied cavalry commander. Burbridge was recommended for promotion to brigadier general by the Missouri Congressional delegation in 1864. He never received his promotion, however, because the War Department felt that Missouri already had its share of generals. Burbridge completed his Civil War service by participating in Price’s 1864 Raid where he commanded a brigade.