Battle of Centralia

Jesse James fought alongside William "Bloody Bill" Anderson in the Battle of Centralia. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Notable Events:

  • Battle of Centralia (September 27, 1864)

Commanded by Major A.V.E. Johnston, 155 Union soldiers pursued William "Bloody Bill" Anderson's 80 guerrillas to their encampment southeast of Centralia. Among the guerrillas were Frank and Jesse James. What was supposed to be a swift Union retribution for the Centralia Massacre earlier on the same day turned into a one-sided battle. When the two forces collided, the poorly armed and inadequately trained Union forces were nearly annihilated by Anderson's men -- only 32 of the Union soldiers survived. Today, visitors can enter the battlefield and read two historical markers.