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From These Honored DeadHistorical Archaeology of the American Civil War$
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Clarence R. Geier, Douglas D. Scott, and Lawrence E. Babits

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049441

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049441.001.0001

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Archaeology of the First Battle of Boonville, Missouri, June 17, 1861

Archaeology of the First Battle of Boonville, Missouri, June 17, 1861

(p.26) 2 Archaeology of the First Battle of Boonville, Missouri, June 17, 1861
From These Honored Dead

Douglas D. Scott

Steven J. Dasovich

Thomas D. Thiessen

University Press of Florida

On June 17, 1861, over a month before the Battle of Bull Run, several thousand men fought a brief battle a few miles east of Boonville, Missouri. With its low cost in terms of human life and injury, the battle's strategic consequences far exceeded the scale of the engagement. The First Battle of Boonville pitted a force of Union soldiers against the newly formed Missouri State Guard. The myth of the battle is that the Missouri State Guard failed as a military unit and beat an ignominious retreat from the field that became derisively known as the “Boonville Races.” Archaeological investigations of the battle suggest the story is more complex than the historical record avers. The historical archaeology presented in this paper clarifies the battle events and their outcome.

Keywords:   Boonville Races, First Battle of Boonville, Missouri, Missouri State Guard

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