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Battle of Carthage

At the beginning of the war, Missouri was a sharply divided state, with armed pro-secession forces, led by Governor Claiborne F. Jackson and Sterling Price, facing pro-Union troops under General Nathaniel Lyon. In June, Lyon had captured the capital, Jefferson City, and won the Battle of Booneville, gaining the Union forces the upper hand in the state (cf. June 1861). Meanwhile, Jackson and Sterling were able to raise a fairly large army of about 6,000 men. On July 5th, they met a force of about 1,000 Union soldiers under Franz Sigel at Carthage. Sigel was forced to retreat and while the balance of power did not really change in Missouri, this battle did give the pro-Secessionists a victory and helped recruit more troops to their cause.

Battle of Carthage
"The Battle of Carthage, Missouri." From Harper's Weekly. New York, August 3, 1861. 9 x 13 3/4. Wood engraving. Very good condition. NA

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