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Provenance:  A Gift of the St. Louis Civil War Roundtable, April 2003.
 
Citation: St. Louis Civil War Roundtable / Cape Girardeau Civil War Documents, Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University.
 
Restrictions:  None 
 
Historical Background 
 
The American Civil War began in 1861 after eleven states seceded from the United States over the issues of slavery and states rights, forming the Confederate States of America.  Missouri was one of four slaveholding states that remained in the Union (the other three were Delaware, Maryland, and Kentucky), and as such had divided loyalties.
  
The first land battle of the Civil War was fought at Carthage, Missouri in early July, 1861.  Following the Battle of Wilsons Creek in August, 1861, the Confederate presence in Missouri was mainly restricted to partisan raiders in the western half of the state.  Union soldiers garrisoned most cities in the state, especially along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers where US Navy ironclad gunboats could support land operations.
  
At the beginning of the Civil War both sides called up soldiers of varying classes.  Those in Missouri who supported the Confederates were known as the Missouri State Guard in 1861, and were later mustered into Confederate service as volunteer regiments such as the 6th Missouri Volunteers (CS) who defended Vicksburg in 1863.
  
The Union had volunteer regiments as well, such as the 6th Missouri Volunteers (US) who laid siege to Vicksburg in 1863.  The pro-Union Missouri state government also had units which were not mustered into Federal service, known as the Missouri State Militia, which acted like volunteer regiments, but never left the state.  Also, the state had a 2nd class militia called the Enrolled Missouri Militia, a national guard style unit, only assembled in times of crisis, however, many of these units served out the entire war in garrisons across Missouri.
 
Cape Girardeau was garrisoned by Union soldiers throughout the Civil War.  Four forts, known as A, B, C, and D were constructed to defend the city in case of attack.  In the spring of 1863, Confederate General John Marmaduke led a raid of several thousand men into southeastern Missouri, and attacked Union General John McNeil's Cape Girardeau garrison.  The Battle of Cape Girardeau was a brief affair, in which few men were killed.  The city was held by Union forces, and the Confederates were forced to withdraw.
 
In 1864, Confederate General Sterling Price led a large raid of 12,000 men into Missouri with the intention of capturing St. Louis and drawing Federal soldiers away from other hard-pressed fronts, giving other Confederate armies room to maneuver.  He passed through Ironton, and was held up for several days by Union forces there at the battle of Pilot Knob.  This allowed Union forces to be rushed to St. Louis, and made an attack against the defenses there impractical.  General Price turned west and was defeated by pursuing Union forces at the Battle of Westport near Kansas City.  The Confederate army then turned south and exited the state.  The Confederates never again advanced into the state of Missouri
 
Scope and Content 
 
 This collection includes different types of documents from the American Civil War.  Generally the documents fall into one of five different categories: General Orders, Special Orders, Equipment Reports, Legal Statements, and Receipts.  There are a few documents which do not fit into any of these categories. Most of the General and Special Orders are issued by the commander of the Cape Girardeau sub-district (usually Brigadier General John McNeil).  Equipment Reports and Legal Statements are usually signed by Capt. J. H. Burrough, the Cape Girardeau sub-district Provost Marshal.            The collection is organized chronologically, with those undated documents in the first folder, and then by year in each folder after that.  1863 and 1864 are subdivided further, due to the large number of documents produced in those years. 
 
List of Abbreviations
  
Sgt.                 Sergeant
Lt.                    Lieutenant
Capt.               Captain
Maj.                 Major
Lt. Col.            Lieutenant Colonel
Col.                 Colonel
Brig. Gen.       Brigadier General
EMM               Enrolled Missouri Militia
MSM               Missouri State Militia
AAQ                Acting Assistant Quartermaster
AAQMGMO   Acting Assistant Quartermaster General for the State of Missouri
CSA                Confederate States of America
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