Short history of the First Missouri Confederate Brigade

  • December, 1861, Brigade organized in Osceola, Missouri
  • March 7-8, 1862, Battle of Elk Horn Tavern (Pea Ridge)
  • April 1862, Missouri Brigade transfers to the east side of the Mississippi River
  • June 1862, General Little placed in command of the Army of the West’s First Division…Col. Elijah P. Gates takes over command of the brigade
  • Sept. 1, 1862, Brigade reorganized in Saltillo, MS
  • September 19, 1862, Battle of Iuka, General Little killed.
  • October 3-4, 1862, Battle of Corinth
  • April 29, 1863, Battle of Grand Gulf–Bowen defeats Grant
  • May 1, 1863, Battle of Port Gibson, Cockrell in command of the Missouri Brigade at this time
  • May 16, 1863, Battle of Champion Hills
  • May 17, 1863, Battle of Big Black River
  • May 17-July 3, 1863, Siege of Vicksburg
  • January 8, 1864, The men of the Missouri Brigade reenlist for 40 years
  • May 6, 1864, After being exchanged, the Missouri Brigade is ordered to support General Johnston. The Brigade marches 275 miles in 11 days, only 75 of which were by train. Not even Jackson’s foot cavalry made time that fast.
  • June 18, 1864, Battle of Lattimer House, GA
  • June 27, 1864, Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, GA
  • July, 1864, Battles of Atlanta, GA
  • October 5, 1864, Battle of Alatoona, GA
  • November 30, 1864, Battle of Franklin, TN. Gottschalk writes, “Of the 82 officers who led Missourians into that vortex of death at Franklin, 19 were killed, 31 wounded, and 13 captured. Of the 614 enlisted men who braved the storm of shot, shell, canister and fire from repeating rifles, 79 were killed, 198 wounded, and 79 captured. The smallest brigade numerically at Franklin lost nearly two-thirds of its strength or 419 casualties from the 696 who charged near the gin house…[the brigade’s] loss of 60.2% if its strength was exceeded by only three Confederate brigades in the entire war.”
  • April 9, 1865, battle of Blakely, Alabama
  • May 4, 1865, final surrender

Books that deal with the First Missouri Confederate Brigade


  • The First Missouri Confederate Brigade, by Ephraim Anderson
    Anderson, a member of the Brigade, tells the story of the story from the soldier’s point of view. His book is an excellent source on the actions of the Brigade.
  • The Confederate First and Second Missouri Brigades, by Bevier
    Bevier’s account isn’t quite as interesting as Anderson’s, but it is still necessary reading.
  • The Confederacy’s Fighting Chaplain: Father John B. Bannon, by Phillip Thomas Tucker
    Bannon was the chaplain for company F, 5th Missouri Inf Reg. Bannon participated in all actions of the Brigade up to Vicksburg. After the siege he went to Europe where he worked to achieve foreign recognition from the Papacy.
  • The South’s Finest: The First Missouri Confederate Brigade from Pea Ridge to Vicksburg, by Tucker.
    The name is self-explanatory. Tucker is following this book up with another book that will follow the Brigade from the end of Vicksburg to the final battle at Blakely.
  • Westerner’s in Gray: The Men and Missions of the Elite 5th Missouri, by Tucker
    This is the history of the 5th Missouri Inf. Reg., probably the finest regiment in the First Missouri Confederate Brigade. This is a very interesting book, but it should be supplemented with The South’s Finest.
  • The Forgotten Stonewall of the West: John Stevens Bowen, by Tucker.
    This is another excellent book from Tucker. Bowen was one of the Confederacy’s most promising field commanders. Not only did he repulse Grant at the battle of Grand Gulf, but he nearly achieved victory at the battle of Baker’s Creek (Champion’s Hill) against a force that far outnumbered his. His death at the conclusion of the Vicksburg campaign is in part to blame for lack of coverage in the history books.
  • In Deadly Earnest: The Missouri Brigade, by Gottschalk.
    This is probably the best single work yet on the Missouri Brigade. Gottschalk isn’t a professional historian, and he proves that you don’t have to be to write a great history book. If I could buy only one book on the Brigade, this would be it.
  • Forgotten Valor: The First Missouri Cavalry Regiment CSA, by Farley
    This is the history of Gate’s First Missouri Cavalry Regiment (dismounted), another of the regiments of the brigade. The book contains a roster of soldiers who served in the brigade and has excellent maps.
  • Absalom Grimes: Confederate Mail Carrier, by Grimes.
    This is a very entertaining book! Grimes joined the Missouri State Guard along with Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain). Grimes spent plenty of time in Gratiot Street prison in St. Louis, but always managed to escape. When he wasn’t in prison he spent his time smuggling mail from Missouri to the soldiers of the Missouri Brigade.
  • Confederate Military History, Volume 9
    I included this since it discusses the Missouri troops who operated on both sides of the Mississippi River. I doesn’t go into near as much detail as the Tucker and Gottschalk books do.
  • Compendium of the Confederate Armies, by Sifakis
    This book is the Confederate equivalent to Dyer’s Compendium. It lists all organized troops from the state of Missouri, gives a list of the actions they saw, but doesn’t go any further.
  • The Battle of New Market, by Davis
    I included this book because Woodson’s Company A, First Missouri Cavalry Volunteer’s served under Lee in the east. These soldiers started out as members of the regiments of the Missouri Brigade. They were captured in various battles and were eventually exchanged. The problem was that when they were exchanged the entire Missouri Brigade was still awaiting exchange after the Siege of Vicksburg. Since they couldn’t join the Missouri Brigade they went to the next best thing….the Army of Northern Virginia. They served out the rest of the war in the east and played a role in the battle of New Market.
  • Other
    This category includes things such as magazine articles, journal articles, unpublished diaries, unpublished letters, articles appearing in the Confederate Veteran (the publication of the Sons of Confederate Veterans), and sources of information. If you are interested let me know….I don’t have near everything, but I know where to find most of it, and that’s the important thing.