Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Saline County

I just got back yesterday from a trip to Marshall, Mo. in Saline County. I don't normally think of Saline County as part of the Ozarks, because it's a little too far north; so I don't know a lot about the area's history and seldom write about it. However, I suppose Saline County is considered the northern edge of the Ozarks by some definitions, where the Missouri River represents the northern boundary, and even if it is not, it is close enough to the Ozarks that it won't hurt to mention on this blog the few tidbits of Saline County history that I am familiar with.
Saline County was the site of fairly significant Civil War action, the so-called Battle of Marshall (although it was little more than a good-sized skirmish). The Battle of Marshall was the culmination of Colonel Jo Shelby's raid into Missouri during the fall of 1863, the main purposes of which were to recruit for the Confederacy, lift the spirits of Southern sympathizing people in Missouri, and perhaps occupy Federal forces that could otherwise be used in fighting battles in the East. After chasing Shelby for several days, General Egbert Brown finally caught up with the Rebels at Marshall and almost succeeded in trapping them in a deadly circle. Shelby was able to break through the Federal line, but his forces became separated into two bodies during the escape and both columns had to beat a hasty retreat toward the Arkansas border.
Probably the only other thing about Saline County that I'm familiar with at all is the fact that Arrow Rock, located on the river east of Marshall, was a significant town in the very early history of Missouri. For instance, it was the home of three Missouri governors: Claiborne F. Jackson, Meredith Miles Marmaduke, and John Sappington Marmaduke. It was also the home of artist George Caleb Bingham, who was famous for his paintings of Missouri scenes.


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