Battle of Liberty

The campus of William Jewell College, where the Union Army buried soldiers who fell in the Battle of Liberty. Courtesy of the Harvard Library.

Notable Events:

  • Battle of Liberty/Blue Mills Landing (September 17, 1861)

After the secessionist Missouri State Guard's victory at Lexington, former Senator (and now General) David Rice Atchison led Missouri State Guardsmen on an attack against Liberty, Missouri. They engaged with Union soldiers under command of Lieutenant Colonel John Scott at Blue Mills Landing, southeast of Liberty on the Missouri River. In the Battle of Liberty, or the "Battle of Blue Mills Landing," the vastly outnumbered Union forces were defeated and retreated to the town, while the State Guardsmen returned to Lexington to reinforce General Sterling Price. Wounded Union soldiers were treated at a makeshift hospital on the campus of William Jewell College, and many of the dead are still buried there.