A Burned Land

The Trans-Mississippi in the Civil War


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About the Book

Often neglected by historians, actions in Missouri and Kansas had an important influence on the course of the Civil War, with profound effects for the communities and people in the region.
This book focuses on the experiences of the soldiers, officers and civilians on both sides. Outside of Virginia and Tennessee, Missouri was perhaps the most hotly contested territory during the war.
The author brings to life the events in the region that contributed to the internecine strife in the Western Theater. The fighting in Missouri culminated with an expedition that re-wrote the books on tactics and the use of mounted infantry.

About the Author(s)

U.S. Army veteran and retired Department of Defense Intelligence analyst, Robert R. Laven lives in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

Robert R. Laven
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 194
Bibliographic Info: 22 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7558-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3416-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Prelude 3
1. “Our Once Happy Land” 17
2. Union Militia 29
3. Confederates 41
4. Months of Discontent 54
5. Arcadia Valley Confluence 62
6. Objective: St. Louis 82
7. Retribution 96
8. Trial at Westport 109
9. Blue Grass Ridges 126
10. A Newtonia Gallop 137
11. Afterword 143
Epilogue 149
Appendix I: Supreme Court Dred Scott Decision 151
Appendix II: The Palmyra Massacre 157
Appendix III: Removal Order for Persons on Missouri Border 158
Appendix IV: Special Order for Shooting Six Confederate Prisoners 160
Appendix V: Battle of Fort Davidson/Pilot Knob 161
Appendix VI: Vitt’s Mill, Union, Missouri 164
Appendix VII: Battle of Westport and Byram’s Ford 168
Appendix VIII: Missouri State Guard and Confederate Troops 174
Chapter Notes 177
Bibliography 181
Index 183

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Impressively informative…exceptionally well written…meticulous attention to historical detail…a welcome valued addition”—Midwest Book Review.