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A Rough Business: Fighting the Civil War in Missouri (paperback)

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The Society’s new anthology of fourteen articles, chosen by Dr. William Garrett Piston, explains that no region of our state, no racial or ethnic group, and neither gender escaped the trials of the American Civil War. Missouri—on the border between Union and Confederacy—and divided by the allegiances of its residents to the cultures of North and South, could not avoid conflict during the war. The articles, originally published in the Missouri Historical Review, share a deliberate emphasis on military history—Dr. Piston argues for “its centrality to understanding the most significant conflict in our nation’s history.”

A Rough Business

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The fourteen articles, originally published in the Missouri Historical Review, in this anthology trace the conflict from the January 1861 inauguration of Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson and his secessionist efforts through the early battles of the war to the effects of guerrilla warfare on the civilian population, both those with Unionist and secessionist leanings, to the aftermath of the war when freed people moved from rural environs to towns and forced a new relationship between the races. Along the way, the authors describe the impact of military rule in the urban areas of St. Louis and Kansas City as well as in rural regions such as Saline and Platte counties and recount Union military movements through the Ozarks and a failed Confederate raid on Cape Girardeau.