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Scholarly Essays

A Long and Bloody Conflict: Military Operations in Missouri and Kansas, Part I

An essay by ,
U. S. Air Force Command and Staff College
Union Colonel Franz Sigel led troops in a failed attack on Wilson's Creek.
Although the conflict in Virginia has commanded the lion’s share of attention and scholarship, Missouri and Kansas witnessed a tremendous amount of fighting during the American Civil War. Only two states, Virginia and Tennessee, had more actions fought on their soil during the Civil War than Missouri. Missouri was a strategically vital state for President Abraham Lincoln and the federal government’s war effort, and a case can be made that the Civil War started on the Missouri-Kansas border in the 1850s, during “Bleeding Kansas.” Missouri was split in its sentiments, and many Missourians fought on both sides of the war. By contrast, Kansans overwhelmingly fought for the Union.