Lexington, Missouri

Bird's eye view of Lexington, Missouri. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Notable Events:

  • Founded (1822)
  • Arrest of Charles Robinson (May 10, 1856)
  • Battle of the Hemp Bales (September 12, 1861)
  • Second Battle of Lexington (October 19, 1864)
  • Jesse James Wounded by Union Soldiers (May 15, 1865)
  • Death of Archie Clement (December 13, 1866)
  • Former Bushwhackers Capture the City (November 6, 1866)

The town of Lexington, Missouri was the site of many important events during the Civil War. The First Battle of Lexington (also known as the Battle of the Hemp Bales), gave the Confederates tenuous control over northwestern Missouri early in the war, and the town's proslavery inhabitants supported the bushwhackers and border ruffians who carried out guerrilla warfare against the Union. In 1866, the city suffered the indignity of being captured by former bushwhackers a year after the Civil War had ended. Today, Lexington remains a small town 40 miles to the east of Kansas City, and is home to the Wentworth Military Academy. Visitors can see the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site.