Central Missouri Civil War
Missouri State Museum
201 Capitol Ave, Jefferson City MO 65101
Located in the State Capitol Building, the museum offers a variety of Civil War exhibits. Open daily 8 am–5 pm. Free.
Jefferson City National Cemetery
1024 E McCarty St, Jefferson City MO 65101
Seventy-nine of the victims of the Massacre and Battle of Centralia are buried here.
Attack at Goslin's Lane
Missouri Civil War Heritage Foundation sign at 8536 Missouri J, Rocheport, Boone MO 65279
A Union wagon train was surprised here Sept. 23, 1864, by about 100 Missouri guerillas led by, among others, "Bloody Bill" Anderson. The Southerners looted and burned the wagons and captured 12 Union troops, who were executed with three black teamsters. Union forces caught up with some of the guerillas that night, killing several. Scalps from the Union soldiers killed during the raid were found on the guerilla's horses and, evidence suggests, the Union troops retaliated by scalping the guerilla dead. Anderson then moved on to Centralia where he struck four days later.
The Massacre and Battle of Centralia
On Sept. 27, 1864, Confederate guerrillas under “Bloody Bill” Anderson rode into Centralia with the intention of robbing a train on the North Missouri Railroad. After terrorizing the town and robbing a stagecoach, the raiders stopped a passenger train, robbed it and shot and killed 22 unarmed Union soldiers and a civilian on the train. Armed Union soldiers arrived shortly after and took off after the guerilla band. They rode into a trap. The guerillas ambushed the small Union force, ending up killing 120 more Federal soldiers. Frank James rode with Anderson that day. He probably was joined by his brother, Jesse, and Cole Younger.
A monument and marker commemorating both the battle and massacre is located in City Park.
An animated map and two good websites help explain this incident.
Website links to Missouri Civil War places: Missouri Links