Border State Contest: Civil War Comes to Missouri in 1861, Second Edition was published November 7, 2021 by Trans-Mississippi Musings Press.
It’s 1860 in the State of Missouri. When all the votes are counted, three men have been elected that will change the state forever. Claiborne Fox Jackson becomes the state’s Governor. Frank Blair is re-elected to represent Missouri’s First District in the United States House of Representatives. And Abraham Lincoln becomes the 16th President of the United States. In 1860 slavery, of course, is legal in the state of Missouri. Missouri, along with other Border States, is key in Lincoln’s initial policy that the coming war is not about freeing the slaves. Abraham Lincoln is convinced that he must keep Missouri in the Union. Fortunately, the large majority of Missourians agree with him. They are against war and just want the status quo to continue. This book tells the story of two minority groups on opposite ends of the political spectrum. One group, led by Claiborne Fox Jackson, is convinced that Missouri’s destiny lies with the Southern States of the Confederacy. The other faction, led by Frank Blair, believes that Missouri must remain a part of the United States of America, no matter what. Both sides realize war is inevitable and begin to prepare by forming paramilitary organizations. But the difficulty of arming these groups turns their attention to the Federal arsenal in St. Louis, Missouri. Lightly guarded, the St. Louis Arsenal contains tens of thousands of small arms and a plentiful supply of ammunition. As events unfold, the state’s new Governor, Claiborne Fox Jackson, believes the state will vote to secede from the Union. When that happens, Jackson has been assured the arms in the St. Louis Arsenal will be turned over to the State Militia. So Jackson is content to wait for events to unfold. Frank Blair cannot convince the local military commander, US Army Brigadier-General William S. Harney to beef up the security of the St. Louis Arsenal. But Blair has powerful friends in Washington City, and he continues to warn them about the dangers to the arsenal. A volatile situation in the state is exacerbated when a United States Army Captain is reassigned to protect the St. Louis Arsenal. Captain Nathaniel Lyon is a combat veteran, as well as an abolitionist firebrand. He will stop at nothing to achieve his vision for the state of Missouri. The Secessionists in the state must be punished. But on the day of Lincoln’s inauguration, the delegates at the Missouri State Convention pass a resolution which states that Missouri will not, at the present time, secede from the United States of America. With the fall of Fort Sumter, the American Civil War begins, and, with the help of Frank Blair, Captain Nathaniel Lyon raises an army of 10,000 Federal volunteers in St. Louis. Shortly thereafter, Captain Lyon uses this army to surround and capture a legal encampment of Missouri State Militia. This act of Federal coercion outrages many Missourians. One of the outraged is a former Missouri Governor who pledges his services to the current Governor. Governor Jackson takes Price up on his offer and appoints him Major-General of the Missouri State Guard. The relationship between Jackson and Price on one side and Blair and Lyon on the other side degenerates to such an extent that Nathaniel Lyon actually declares war on the State of Missouri. This failure to compromise leads to in armed clashes between the State of Missouri and the United States of America. Beginning with the 1860 elections and ending with the Battle of Carthage, this book tells the stories of the decision makers and the individuals who carried out their decisions. Who made the decisions that dragged Missouri into the American Civil War? What decisions were made that changed the State of Missouri forever? Will Claiborne Fox Jackson succeed in goal of seeing Missouri secede? Will Frank Blair succeed in his goal to keep Missouri in the Union? Find out in Border State Contest.