Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Shock: A Civil War Battle That I Had Never Heard Of

I suppose that title manages to reflect not only a certain arrogance but also ignorance as well. While reading through my Saturday copy of The Tulsa World, I happened across an article about an investigation led by Dr. Douglas Scott, a well known forensic archaeologist. He and his team are attempting to find the site of the Battle of Marshall (Missouri); the headline notes that this is a “famous Civil War battle site.” Huh? I wracked my brain and came to the conclusion that I had never heard of the Battle of Marshall. This was a humbling moment for someone who has studied the Civil War in detail for 37 years. The article notes that this battle, fought on 13 October 1863, marked the conclusion of a raid by Colonel Joseph O. Shelby into central Missouri. The battle featured much action but hardly any bloodshed and yet the encounter was enough to cause the Confederates to retreat back to Arkansas. James M. Denny, the leading expert on the event, is quoted in the article, and the website of the Mid-Missouri Civil War Round Table features a lengthy article by him on the battle.

Work responsibilities have led to a decline in the number of my postings of late—hopefully, I’ll be able to pick up the pace again later this month.


  1. Jane,
    There is only one book on this raid that I know of, and it really isn't very good.

    "The Fifth Season: General “JO” Shelby's Great Raid of 1863" by Mark Scott (Two Trails Publishing, 2001).

    I only mention it for trivia's sake!


  2. Thanks, I appreciate knowing about the book! I don't know quite how you manage to comment on so many books on your blog, but I certainly do appreciate your work.

  3. Check out Andy Thomas's painting, The Battle of Marshall, at the following link:

    Thomas did a nice job of portraying a wounded Jo Shelby at the head of this men . . .

    Mike Martin

  4. Dear Mike,
    I like Andy Thomas' paintings but did not realize he had created a portrayal of the Battle of Marshall. Thanks for the link!