Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Total Number Of Trans-Mississippi Military Events

Many times (too many times), well meaning but unknowledgeable folks in other parts of the country have insisted that “not much” happened in the trans-Mississippi during the Civil War. These claims make me wince. Perhaps they would change their minds if they would study page 582 in volume one of Frederick H. Dyer’s A Compendium Of The War Of The Rebellion (1909). Dyer attempted to count every campaign, battle, engagement, combat, action, assault, skirmish, operation, siege, raid, expedition, reconnaissance, scout, affair, occupation, and capture that took place during the War. His task was monumental! I’ve taken his “tabular statement,” reordered it, and highlighted trans-Mississippi states and territories. Rather than breaking down his information into engagements, battles, etc., I have just included the total number of military events in each state and territory.

Virginia: 2,154
Tennessee: 1,462
Missouri: 1,162
Mississippi: 772
Arkansas: 771
West Virginia: 632
Louisiana: 566
Georgia: 549
Kentucky: 453
Alabama: 336
North Carolina: 313
South Carolina: 239
Maryland: 203
Florida: 168
Texas: 90
Indian Territory: 89
California: 88
New Mexico Territory: 75
Kansas: 66
Dakota Territory: 45
Pennsylvania: 32
Colorado Territory: 31
Nebraska Territory: 27
Arizona Territory: 24
Ohio: 19
Nevada Territory: 16
Utah Territory: 14
Minnesota: 13
Idaho Territory: 11
Indiana: 10
Oregon Territory: 9
Washington Territory: 4
District of Columbia: 3
Illinois: 3
New York: 1

The next time someone tries to tell you that “nothing” or “hardly anything” happened in the trans-Mississippi just mention that at least 3,101 documented military activities occurred there during the War.


  1. And that's just military engagements! It doesn't count all the home front troubles - Indian raids here, the breakdown of civil order there, the economic and social consequences of blockading, the cotton trade to similarly-war-torn Mexico...The Eastern theater is boring.

  2. How true! Like many, my introduction to the Civil War came by reading books about the Eastern Theater, but the trans-Mississippi is more diverse, sweeping, quirky, and fascinating than the other theaters. My personal opinion is that the trans-Mississippi was much more significant than the traditional viewpoint.