Price’s Raid, also known as Price’s Missouri Expedition, was a Confederate raid through Missouri and Kansas in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the Civil War in the fall of 1864. Led by Confederate Major General Sterling Price, the campaign intended to recapture St. Louis and recover Missouri for the Confederacy. He also hoped to weaken Abraham Lincoln’s chance at re-election. To accomplish these objectives, the plans included:
- Capturing St. Louis, Missouri
- Capturing Jefferson City and installing a Confederate governor in the capitol
- Collectin supplies and weapons for the struggling Confederacy
- Recruiting soldiers from Missouri’s large population of Southern sympathizers
General Price and his troops started from Camden, Arkansas, on August 28, 1864. Along the way, he picked up more soldiers and had a strong force of some 12,000 troops as well as several generals, including James F. Fagan, John S. Marmaduke, Joseph O. “Jo” Shelby, John B. Clark, and M. Jeff Thompson
As Price and his men advanced into Missouri, he discovered that St. Louis and Jefferson City were heavily fortified. He abandoned his plans to capture the cities, but his mission to gather provisions resulted in a supply train of 500 wagons.
The Confederate forces won several early victories, but the tides changed after being defeated in Westport, Missouri, by Union forces under Major General Samuel R. Curtis in late October. They then made their way to Kansas, where they lost the Battles of Marais des Cygnes and Mine Creek before they were forced to retreat to Missouri and ultimately to Arkansas.
At the conclusion of Price’s Raid, not a single objective had been met, and it proved to be the last significant Southern operation west of the Mississippi River. Its failure bolstered confidence in an ultimate Union victory in the war, contributed to President Abraham Lincoln’s re-election, and ended Southern hopes of turning the hotly-contested border state of Missouri into a Confederate state.
Following Price’s retreat, the Confederate effort west of the Mississippi River was minimal.
Price’s Missouri Expedition Battles – August-October, 1864
Fort Davidson – September 27, 1864
Boonville – October 11, 1864
Glasgow – October 15, 1864
Sedalia – October 15, 1864
Lexington – October 19, 1864
Little Blue River – October 21, 1864
Independence – October 22, 1864
Byram’s Ford – October 22-23, 1864
Westport – October 23, 1864
Battle of Mine Creek – October 25, 1864
Battle of Trading Post/Marais des Cygnes – October 25, 1864
Marmaton River – October 25, 1864
Newtonia – October 28, 1864
Compiled by Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated March 2022.
General “Jo” Shelby and His Great Raid through Missouri
Civil War Timeline & Leading Events