Civil War 1861-1865
"Sturgeon Missouri Then and Now, 1856-1981"
"According to Switzler's History of Boone County, 'When the Civil War broke out the people of Sturgeon for the most part sympathized with the Confederate side. The town was early occupied by the Federals and held by them as a military post during most of the war. It was regarded by them as a place of considerable importance. By reason of its military occupation the citizens were greatly inconvenienced, to use a mild term."

"A large part of the reason for its importance of course was its location on the railroad and proximity to the road to Rocheport and the river.

"The first act of war was in June 1861 when the railroad bridge over Sailingtown Branch was burned by Sgt. R. Bruce Ball, who claimed to be acting under orders of Gov. C. F. Jackson, but the bridge was soon rebuilt.

"The first company of Federal soldiers in town was a battalion of the Third Iowa Infantry, Col. Williams commanding. They came July 1861, stayed a few hours. The second troops were 14th Illinois Infantry, with Col. John Palmer. After a short time they were succeeded by a company of Merrill's Horse, 2nd Missouri Cavalry. Others followed. In December of 1861 Col. Birge's Western Sharpshooters, who fought Col. Dorsey's Confederates at Mt. Zion church, arrived.

"In December 1861, detachments of the companies of Captains James Watson and J. J. Searcy and others, with about 250 men, raided the North Missouri Railroad and destroyed a considerable amount of track to prevent the passage of Federal troops and supplies.

"Sturgeon was the city of refuge for the few men of Major Johnson's command who escaped from the Centralia Massacre in September, 1864, in which 80-some guerillas under Bill Anderson waylaid a train from St. Louis at Centralia, plundered it and robbed passengers, and shot 23 unarmed Federal troops on it. The train was allowed to leave Centralia but was burned anyway, two or three miles west toward Sturgeon. Other battles and encounters between Anderson's men and Federal troops ranged back and forth in the area in ensuing days.

"During the course of the war, Dr. J. S. Lockridge treated many of the wounded on both sides of the battle, sometimes treating the Federals in town, and then hurrying to the battlefields to treat Confederates in the field."

Back to Sturgeon History

Home | About Sturgeon | Newsletter | Publications | City Services | Ordinances
Area Businesses | Area Schools | Area Churches | Local Weather | Local Television
Recreation Center | Events Calendar | Links Page | Search the Web