The Civil War in Missouri

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Lithograph, probably by Ehrgott & Forbriger, Cincinnati, 1861
MHM Photographs and Prints

This print depicts the Battle of Boonville on June 17, 1861, in which Union general Nathaniel Lyon routed secessionist Missouri governor Claiborne Jackson and General Sterling Price. The cartoon is designed to look like a public notice of a lost animal. Jackson appears as an ass who has been frightened from his owner by “the sudden appearance of a Lion.” The lion of course represents Nathaniel Lyon.While the Battle of Boonville lasted only 20 minutes, its strategic importance was great. It gave Lyon and Union forces control of the Missouri River and the heavy recruiting grounds of central Missouri. In addition, it dislodged the secessionist state government and sent it on the run, setting the stage for the installation of a provisional Union government in Missouri.