Jefferson City, MO 32° View Live Radar Wed H 57° L 27° Thu H 39° L 28° Fri H 45° L 35° Weather Sponsored By:

Missouri role in Civil War detailed in new book

Missouri role in Civil War detailed in new book

November 21st, 2017 by Jenny Gray in Local News

Signing a book for Fulton Mayor LeRoy Benton are authors Brian Warren (left, seated) and Joseph W. McCoskrie Jr. Their new book, 'The Civil War Missouri Compendium: Almost Unabridged,' sold like hotcakes at the book signing Friday night at the Playhouse Bistro. More book signings will be conducted at Smockingbird's on Court Street during Small Business Saturday this weekend.

Photo by Jenny Gray /News Tribune.

Estimates on the number of books published about the American Civil War range from 50,000 to more than 100,000, but local authors Joseph Whit McCoskrie and Brian Warren said their book is different.

"What kind of sets it apart from other books is we mark on our maps over 300 battles and engagements (in the state of Missouri," McCoskrie said during a book signing last week. "Our book gives you locations by county."

The pair recently completed "The Civil War Missouri Compendium: Almost Unabridged." The book was published by Arcadia Publishing & The History Press and was released Nov. 13.

The book was a communal effort. McCoskrie said he did much of the research and writing, and Warren, owner of Well Read Books, edited and worked on pictures. Danielle Warren completed nine detailed maps.

There is also information on guerrilla raids on the Missouri border and how to find locations, McCoskrie said.

"It's a comprehensive piece," he said. "If you want to get into Civil War history in Missouri, this is a good place to start."

The book's introduction explains to readers how to best use it, according to McCoskrie. Most people study the Civil War's machinations from an East Coast perspective, not realizing how critical the central United States was to the war's outcome.

During the Civil War, they said, only Virginia and Tennessee saw more action than the Show-Me State.

"We wanted to raise awareness about the importance of (Missouri) to both the Union and Confederate sides to control," he said. "By the Union pushing the Confederates out of Missouri in '62, that enabled (Gen.) Grant to begin his campaign to Shiloh and ultimately, Vicksburg. The Confederates missed the opportunity to disrupt supply lines to St. Louis and concentrated too many resources in the East."

By losing control of central states such as Missouri, Confederate armies lost a route further west of the Mississippi River to Texas, he said.

Related Article

Camp Lillie unites Civil War descendants of Union troops

Read more

Warren, a Fulton transplant from southern California, studied history in college there. McCoskrie grew up on Lawrence and Kansas City, and after graduating from the Virginia Military Institute, he served 28 years as an infantry officer in the Army and Army Reserve.

Both men said if they had a Civil War hero, it would be former general and eventual American president Ulysses S. Grant, who sometimes gets a bad rap.

"Through Whit, I learned about his role in the state," Warren said of Grant. "He actually was a pretty good president. He was a very unambitious kind of guy, but he seemed to always do the right thing for the right reason."

According to McCoskrie, both Grant and Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman were in St. Louis when the war began. They both became instrumental in Union victory and the period of time — Reconstruction — following the war's end.

"Grant appreciated how important reconciliation was going to be," McCoskrie said. "The tough part is achieving peace after war."

The Civil War Missouri Compendium includes pre-war information, with details about violence and bloodshed along the Kansas-Missouri border in 1854. Biographical sketches and military tactics also are discussed.

The book is available in Fulton at Well Read Books, the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Museum and Smockingbird's for $21.99.