Battle of Liberty

Tuesday, September 17, 1861

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

Following the secessionist Missouri State Guard's victory at Lexington, former Senator (and now General) David Rice Atchison leads Missouri State Guardsmen on an attack against Liberty, Missouri. They engage 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 are defeated and retreat to the town, while the State Guardsmen return to Lexington to reinforce General Sterling Price. Wounded Union soldiers are treated at a makeshift hospital on the campus of William Jewell College, and many of the dead are buried there. 


Open Timeline