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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Colonel Elijah Magoffin

MHM Photographs and Prints

For many soldiers, both Union and Confederate, brawls between fellow soldiers were common. Mr. Elijah Magoffin, a wealthy farmer who resided near Hughesville, Missouri, served as a Confederate soldier until close to the end of the war. His life, however, was cut short when he attempted to break up a bar-room fight between a friend and another man. Magoffin died instantly when a large bowie-knife pierced his heart. His son later chased down the culprit in Texas and hung him.Early in the war in August 1861, Magoffin had been arrested for killing two Union soldiers that he feared were coming to arrest him for his Confederate activities. While imprisoned in Alton military prison, he, two of his sons, and another prisoner escaped to rejoin the Confederates.