Happy Missouri Secession Day!

On October 28, 1861 the Missouri legislature convened at the Masonic Hall in Neosho, Missouri and passed an ordinance of secession, abolishing its ties with the Union. A month later the state was admitted into the newly formed Confederacy.

After the Missouri State Guard secured victories at Wilson’s Creek (near Springfield, Missouri) in August, 1861 and Lexington, Missouri in September, 1861, the Missouri Legislature met at the Masonic Hall in Neosho, Missouri on October 28, 1861 to debate the subject of secession from the Union.

With the attempt at maintaining a neutral stance in regard to the war having failed and the legally elected legislature being forced out of the state capital at Jefferson City by the threat of the Union army, Missouri’s elected officials had but little choice to cast its lot with the Confederacy. As I noted in my book “Blood in the Ozarks: Expanded Second Edition”:

“The Missouri legislature met in Neosho and passed an ordinance of secession in October , 1861 and was admitted into the Confederacy in Nov. 1861 (though they never controlled the state again).

It has been written in the history books that the secession was not legal because there was not a quorum in the Missouri House or Senate present. According to Col. Moore, this was not the case:

“The Legislature passed an act of secession. In every particular it complied with the forms of law. It was called together in extraordinary session by the proclamation of the governor. There was a quorum of each house present. The governor sent to the two houses his message recommending, among other things, the passage of an act dissolving all political connection between the State of Missouri and the United States of America. The ordinance was passed strictly in accordance with law and parliamentary usage, was signed by the presiding officers of the two houses, attested by John T. Crisp, secretary of the senate, and Thomas M. Murray, clerk of the house, and approved by Claiborne F. Jackson, governor of the State. The legislature also elected members of the Provisional Congress of the Confederate government, among whom were Gen. John B. Clark, who was succeeded in his military command by Col. Edwin W. Price, a son of Gen. Sterling Price, and Gen. Thomas A. Harris, who was succeeded in his military command by Col. Martin E. Green.”

Missouri would forever be known as “The 12th Star of the Confederacy.”

After the Union victory at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas on March 7-8, 1862, the Union effectively controlled Missouri leaving mostly partisan factions to resist the occupation forces.

The Missouri government would find itself in exile and it’s new capital would be located in Marshall, Texas for the remainder of the war.


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