Friday, October 20, 2017

The Civil War Missouri Compendium

Because of my interest in their subject matter and the non-regularity of their appearance on the market, Civil War Missouri books always catch my eye when they pop up on lists of upcoming titles. For a while, I puzzled over the content and mysterious subtitle of Joseph W. McCoskrie Jr. and Brian Warren's The Civil War Missouri Compendium: Almost Unabridged (Hist Press, November 2017), but now that a description and limited preview are available we at least have a better idea of what's inside.

The publisher describes it as "a chronological overview of more than three hundred of the documented engagements that took place within Missouri's borders, furnishing photos, maps, biographical sketches and military tactics." The sample pages from the first chapter remind me of an updated version (with some added twists) of Carolyn Bartels's The Civil War in Missouri Day by Day, 1861 to 1865, which was first published by Two Trails in 1992 with at least one more edition following it over the years. When I get a copy, I'll report back on my findings.


  1. The conflict in Missouri is one of the most difficult theaters for a history buff or someone just wanting to learn more to understand. This manuscript is designed to help that reader grasp the uniqueness and magnitude of the conflict in Missouri, how Missouri played an important role in the buildup, how many of the military leaders first experiences in the war commenced in Missouri and the early successes by the Union in defeating the southern secessionist objectives eminated from Missouri. Its not necessarily for the civil war scholar, or die hard civil war buff but for those who would like to have a better understanding of what really occurred during the largest and most threatening insurgency of our nations history.

  2. I was disappointed that the book missed a battle just south of Taos, Missouri where Sterling Price and company tried to cross the Osage River. This battle probably saved Jefferson City as Price thought there were many more troops against him and he diverted away from the capitol. Sorry the authors missed such an event. I would be happy to direct them to the battleground if they have an interest. Michael Rodemeyer,

    1. I remember reading about Taos, Mo and the connection to Price's campaign that seized Taos, New Mexico during the Mexican War. I am not convinced that any attack on Jefferson City would ever had been in Price's best interest. With Pleasonton's forces bearing down on him from the east, and considerable forces available in the west, Price would have risked encirclement of his army and eventual capture of his entire command. The Missouri River would prevent any feasible escape to the North. The considerable heavy loss of casualties at Fort Davidson earlier certainly weighed on Price's mind something he would also be vulnerable to at an even heavier barricaded Jefferson City. AT Fort Davidson, Price enjoyed a force ratio advantage of 4 to 1 or greater, he would not have anywhere near that advantage during an attack on Jefferson City. Price's most important Center of Gravity at this stage in the raid was his mobility, which he would have surrendered even if he was successful capturing it.

  3. The authors missed a rather significant battle south of Taos, Missouri just outside Jefferson city Missouri Michael Rodemeyer


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