The Civil War in Missouri

Missouri was a keystone in the Union cause. The nation's major western lines of communication and travel were anchored in the state; the Pony Express, and the California, Oregon, and Santa Fe Trails. The three major waterways of the country, the Missouri, Mississippi, and Ohio rivers, either passed through or touched the state. According to the 1860 census, Missouri ranked eighth in population, making it an excellent manpower resource for the army. The state was rich in deposits of raw materials -- lead for bullets, iron for cannonballs. Its agricultural production could feed an army.

"...And to Missouri we
Extend both heart and hand
And welcome her a sister
Of our Confederate band
Tho surrounded by oppression
No one dare deter
Her adding to our Bonnie Blue Flag
Her bright and twelfth star! "

Lyrics, Bonnie Blue Flag, by Harry McCarthy, 1861.

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