Battle of Boonville, MO: October 11, 1864

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Price’s raid on Missouri and Kansas, KHC is featuring excerpts from “Price’s March of 1864” Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater script. The Shared Stories of the Civil War reader’s theater project is a partnership between KHC and the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.                                                                                                 

William (Bloody Bill) Anderson

William (Bloody Bill) Anderson. Photo courtesy of:, Kansas State Historical Society. Copy and Reuse Restrictions apply.

READER 3: Pushing rapidly on to Boonville, General Shelby by a rapid charge drove in their pickets…Propositions for the surrender of the town were made to him, which were accepted, and accordingly the place with its garrison, stores, etcetera., were delivered into his hands…About 300 prisoners were captured at Boonville, with arms, ammunition, and many stores, which were distributed among the soldiers.

On the 10th I arrived at Boonville with the rest of the command. My reception was enthusiastic in the extreme. Old and young, men, women, and children, vied in their salutations and in ministering to the wants and comforts of my wearied and war-worn soldiers.

Captain [Bill] Anderson, who reported to me that day with a company of about 100 men, was immediately sent to destroy the North Missouri Railroad.  At the same time, [William] Quantrill was sent with the men under his command to destroy the Hannibal and Saint Joseph Railroad, to prevent the enemy, if possible, from throwing their forces in my front from Saint Louis.

General Sterling Price, Confederate Army of the Missouri.

READER 4: [T]he Confederate sympathizers in this county were greatly elated for a time…The country was full of bushwhackers.  The noted Confederate guerrilla leaders were raiding the counties of Boone, Audrain and Monroe, robbing, murdering and mutilating.  In Boone county Bill Anderson and his men were riding about…with human heads ghastly and grinning hanging by hickory bark from their saddles, and human scalps dangling from their bridles…It was reported that he was coming to Palmyra, and that back of him were Generals Price, Marmaduke, Shelby and Cabell, with an army of 25,000 men.

Some of the merchants of Palmyra packed their goods and moved them to Quincy and other points and closed their houses, fearing that the town would be captured by the Confederates.  The cashier of the bank left for the East, taking all the funds with him…The Confederate cause, long smoldering in this quarter of Missouri, had flashed up, as it were, and its flickering blaze brightened the faces of its friends for a brief season before it died out and was quenched forever in the blood of its adherents.

R. I. Holcombe, Marion County, Missouri.

Continue following the Confederate Army of the Missouri as they wreak havoc across Missouri. Look for the next script installment on October 15.