About Those Official Numbers

Most “official” sources claim that 110,000 Missouri men fought for the Union and some 30,000 fought for the Confederacy.

I’ve always questioned these figures for several reason:

1: Does this number include Union soldiers from neighboring states whose units were designated as “Missouri” units?

2: Does this number include the number of Missouri men who fought for the South in “irregular” or “partisan” units?

3. Does this number include Missouri men who were forced to join Enrolled Missouri Militia units or face jail time for “desertion”?

I’m guessing this number does not include the number of Southern men forced to join Union militia units and then fled with their newly furnished weapons.

I have stumbled across an example from the latter group in the September 21, 1865 issue of The Weekly Free Press (Atchison, Ks). An article in the paper reports that an election was held in Salem, Dent County, Missouri for the purpose of electing officers of a unit of Missouri Militia (Union) and that after the election the new company of Union militia celebrated by getting drunk, riding out of town and shouting for the Southern Confederacy.

Union Militia shouts for the ConfederacyUnion Militia shouts for the Confederacy Thu, Sep 21, 1865 – 4 · The Weekly Free Press (Atchison, Kansas) · Newspapers.com Thu, Sep 21, 1865 – 4 · The Weekly Free Press (Atchison, Kansas) · Newspapers.com

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