Monday, June 25, 2018

Five books on the Missouri State Guard

1. Sterling Price's Lieutenants: A Guide to the Officers and Organization of the Missouri State Guard, 1861-1865 by Richard C. Peterson, James E. McGhee, Kip A. Lindberg & Keith I. Daleen (2nd edition, 2007).
No comprehensive history of the Missouri State Guard has ever been undertaken, but the MSG's wartime operations have been discussed extensively in a number of readily available military studies. However, this list is dedicated to reference works (though perhaps a future one will cover the Guard in action). In my mind, the most essential of these is Sterling Price's Lieutenants. First published in 1995, it underwent revision for a new edition in 2007 (see the above link for my review of the latter). All of the books on this list are not only out of print but their publishers are defunct (thus the absence of links), so grab a copy when and where you can!
2. Record and Order Book: Missouri State Guard 1861-1862 by James E. McGhee (2001).
Tradition holds that MSG sources are scant and the organization's recordkeeping particularly spotty, but I've been told by those in the know that more than enough primary source material exists in archives across the country to construct a reasonably good history. Many of the documents related to the Guard's most active period are transcribed and collected in this very useful book.
3. The Forgotten Men: Missouri State Guard by Carolyn Bartels (1995).
Bartels gleaned from the National Archives a MSG roster of over 7,000 names (which was a good start at the time). From these materials, the author also pieced together a casualty list and an index of over 3,000 additional names mentioned in the files.
4. More Forgotten Men: Missouri State Guard by Wayne Schnetzer (2003).
A continuation of the work of Bartels, Schnetzer's book added more than 4,000 names to the list compiled in The Forgotten Men.
5. Missouri’s State Guard: Their Officers and Men - Tried Soldiers, Full of Zeal for the Cause: A Brief History of the Missouri State Guard After Pea Ridge March 9, 1862 - Spring of 1865 by Wayne Schnetzer (2011).
Though the bulk of the guardsmen that wished to continue fighting transferred to Confederate service by the end of spring 1862, the MSG remained in existence throughout the war. Schnetzer's narrative recounts this much lesser-known history of the State Guard, and his book also includes a number of useful appendices (among them a fairly extensive roster of MSG officers and men who served between March 1862 and June 1865).


  1. Drew, you should consider adding David Hinze's "Battle of Carthage." It is a magnificent history, jammed with Missouri State Guard original research and coverage.

    1. That's one of my favorite books, but it doesn't fit on this list. I am saving it for the 'Guards in battle' one. I always hoped that Hinze would do another book, but no such luck. I believe that he passed a while back.

  2. Alas, Dave died of a heart attack about six or eight years ago, I think. He was a wonderful guy, one of the nicest around. We have fun putting that book together. For those interested in the guard, there is a lot of pre-battle organizational and leadership assessment coverage.

    Thanks Drew.

  3. I am trying to find information about the 1st brigade of the 1st division of the Missouri State Guard (Army of the West). I am researching a sutler for that unit, named C. W. (Charles Whitsett) Hicks. Can you provide any help on this? Thanks, Charles Derby

    1. Try this messageboard:

      There are often regulars there (or at least there used to be) that can help with information about individuals.


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