Battle of Fayette, Missouri

Joined
Mar 7, 2014
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9,955
#1
I recently posted a thread on activities leading up to this battle and the Centralia Massacre. Guerrilla bands had been gathering in central Missouri for some time. On this date in history, Anderson, Todd and Quantrill met south of Fayette and debated attacking the militia post there.

Quantrill advised against it, as he had already had experience attacking armed defenders barricaded into brick and log buildings. Todd was initially against the idea, but was persuaded to join in.

Specific accounts vary in minor detail. All agree that Anderson's and Todd's men rode into town dressed in stolen Federal and militia uniforms and thus they didn't alarm anyone.

One account says that a guerrilla saw a negro soldier in uniform, that this was apparently too much for the guerrilla, who drew his pistol and shot the man dead on the spot. Regardless, someone fired a shot and spoiled the surprise. The meager federal forces had time to barricade themselves in the court house and in railroad tie winter quarters they had been constructing a couple of blocks away.

The guerrilla attackers soon found themselves in a storm of bullets with few places to hide. Frank James later said it was the "worst scared I was in the war".

There's a nice, brief account of the fight here:

http://mocivilwar150.com/history/battle/172

and much more can be found about it on line. My thread recounting some of the events leading up to this fight is here: http://civilwartalk.com/threads/trouble-brewing-in-missouri-sept-1864.104416/

This fight was a serious defeat for the guerrillas, but was, in a way, the precursor to the Centralia Massacre soon afterward.
 

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Joined
Mar 14, 2013
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#2
What a tragic waste of young lives in such a futile attempt at victory against the Federals who were well ensconced in their fortifications! Hamp Watts well said that the charge "was both reckless and stupid." It's a good thing William Quantrill called John McCorkle back from engaging in it or his book, Three Years With Quantrill might never have been written.
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
9,955
#3
Some of you will probably find this next link interesting. During excavations for a WPA project in Fayette, a Remington revolver was found at the base of the hill where the Fayette Fight occurred. Photos and the story behind the pistol are included. However, the brief article speculates that the piece might have been dropped by Anderson, Todd or Quantrill. Quantrill didn't participate in the attack, so speculation about his ownership is pointless. All the rest of the article is very interesting:
http://www.rulen.com/partisan/fayette2.htm
 

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